Thursday, May 6

Faces

Rommar Javier unleashes his bayanihan spirit

Rommar Javier unleashes his bayanihan spirit

Faces
By  EDUELLE JAN T. MACABABBAD  Photo courtesy of Rommar Javier SHORTLY AFTER the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses in various parts of Luzon, organizations and concerned citizens flocked to social media to call for cash and in-kind donations to help affected residents. One of them was Rommar Angelo Javier, a fresh graduate from AB Communication Arts. Rommar, the former president of Tomasian Circle of Arts and Talents (TOMCAT), is no stranger to charity work. In April 2020, during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), he managed to provide relief goods for his ka-barangays in Brgy. Palapat, which is located in Hagonoy, Bulacan. That is why when Ulysses struck the country and submerged his community in deep floodwaters, he conquered his fear brought by the calamity and t
A second chance: John Brian Pascual survives COVID- 19

A second chance: John Brian Pascual survives COVID- 19

Faces
By PATRICK V. MIGUEL Photo courtesy of John Brian Pascual ENCLOSED IN a four-walled room, Brian forces himself to pull out of bed and stand in his own space of solitude. With a face mask on, he sighs as he pushes away the dark cloud of thoughts setting above his head. He recalls, “I was [looking] sa positive side… na magiging okay lang ako in-time kasi may tiwala talaga ako na [magiging maayos din ang lahat].”  The dawn is about to break as the sky outside is a gradient of ember and navy. As the door opens, a person wearing personal protective equipment enters the room. Behind the KN95 mask with plastic tape plastered on its side, Brain recognizes the muffled voice of his nurse.  To let the day pass, Brian would watch a K-drama. If he gets in the mood, he fills the room with Tw
Grace Panaguiton: Between life and survival

Grace Panaguiton: Between life and survival

Faces
By MARY NICOLE P. MIRANDA Photo courtesy of Grace Panaguiton AS A third-year college student enrolled in online classes, Grace Panaguiton initially expected that the night of Nov. 11, 2020 would be just a typical night. She never anticipated that she and her family would have to conquer and escape from the heavy rainfall and rising floodwaters in their kitchen. Having dealt with strong typhoons in the past, they braced themselves for a long night.  Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) struck Luzon and some parts of Eastern Visayas last Nov. 11 to 12. Ulysses blindsided Luzon with a maximum sustained wind record of 155 kilometers per hour (kph) that gusted up to 255 kph, making it the most destructive typhoon that hit the country in 2020. Its startling strength left victims homeless as its heavy
Streets to School heeds the call to action

Streets to School heeds the call to action

Faces
By ERNEST MARTIN TUAZON Photo courtesy of Trixie Ann Bautista LEARNING IN itself can truly enlighten the mind, but helping other people to gain access to education sparks another kind of joy. For Trixie Ann Bautista, she would gladly lend a helping hand to those deprived of education through the Streets to Schools (STS) youth organization. Trixie’s life work for helping others started in her adolescent years. In fact, she was chosen to become the president of the University of Santo Tomas junior high school Young Community Stewards. Before joining STS, she had already developed a strong bond with her classmates then turned to fellow officers. Moving forward, it led to collaborating in different projects under her presidency in the Young Community Stewards organization. Ever sinc
The new normal of theater, in the words of Ivan Gordola

The new normal of theater, in the words of Ivan Gordola

Faces
By EDUELLE JAN T. MACABABBAD Photo courtesy of Ivan Gordola FOR JAN Ivan Gordola, the challenge of leading Artistang Artlets (AA) has become more difficult as the pandemic continues to upend many lives.  The premier theater guild of the Faculty of Arts and Letters is undergoing a metamorphosis just in time for its 40th anniversary. No one would have thought that in its fourth decade, it would have to deal with an unfamiliar environment that would test its members’ creative juices. “Ang gusto ko lang is ako ‘yung Artistic Director na nagtawid, alongside his members and officers, ng Artistang Artlets sa gitna ng isang pandemya,” he says. From a spectator of theater plays, Ivan’s moment has come to redefine campus theater in front of Artlets ––who are both optimistic and cautious b
Asst. Dean Bernardo braves the new normal

Asst. Dean Bernardo braves the new normal

Faces
by MARY NICOLE P. MIRANDA THE COVID-19 outbreak postponed almost everything this year — but never the learning. In compliance to physical distancing and mass gathering restrictions, schools and universities shifted to virtual learning to get the academic year started amid the pandemic. As he adjusts to an online environment, Asst. Dean Alejandro Bernardo shares his experiences in the new normal and how it has changed his perspective on being an educator. Working from, for home For Dr. Bernardo, working from home means being both a father and an educator simultaneously. When the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Manila last March, he already expected that life pre-pandemic would not last. He anticipated that it would greatly affect his work, his schedules, and most e
Tita Anne’s Garden blooms amidst adversity

Tita Anne’s Garden blooms amidst adversity

Faces
By MARIA CECILIA O. PAGDANGANAN  Photo courtesy of Tita Anne's Garden's Facebook page THERE IS no greater joy than sharing with others one’s gifts and blessings. For Angel Gwyneth Aranton, she gladly shares the joys of gardening through her online business, Tita Anne’s Garden.  Angel’s love for gardening started at a young age. In her elementary years, she used to get scolded for picking plants from her school’s garden and bringing them back home to replant.  Motivated by the love and support from her family, she worked harder in honing her craft. She now enjoys spending hours under the scorching hot sun, carefully watering her flowers and trimming dead leaves.  The sociology student is always eager to share her gift with other people. Angel recalls that before the COVID-19 pand
Loreta Arroyo shows off her true colors

Loreta Arroyo shows off her true colors

Faces
by DJULIENNE FLOR V. FOSTER photo by FRANCES MARIE G. IGNALAGA/ THE FLAME BACK IN high school, she had always readied herself with powder and a lip balm. Now, she never goes out without filling her eyebrows and adding a pop of color to her lips with lipstick. She puts on her crisp white polo shirt, black slacks, and goes out the door with a bag slung over her shoulders. Her long hair flows in the wind as her painted nails catch the attention of anyone she passes by. Loreta Arroyo walks on campus with a strut in her step and an aura of confidence; very befitting of a student leader. As the president of the UST Journalism Society, she does the duties and responsibilities that come with the position, all the while showing her truest self as a transwoman.   A woman’s rise t
Julius Renomeron Jr. and Johmar Damiles: frame by frame

Julius Renomeron Jr. and Johmar Damiles: frame by frame

Faces
by PATRICK V. MIGUEL photo by FRANCES MARIE G. IGNALAGA/ THE FLAME SEATED IN  a crowded theater,  Julius Renomeron Jr. and Johmar Damiles held their breaths. Their hearts were beating rapidly as right before their eyes, they saw the title card of their film “Heist School” appear on the big screen. Having their film premiere in the film festival once felt like a pipe dream. Now,  their dreams’ a reality.  Before becoming the award-winning director he is today,  Julius was an ordinary electronics and communication technology student. “Bago ako pumasok ng college, ang gusto kong gawin [noon] ay mostly related sa computer…. So galing ako [sa electronics and communications technology, then] nag-shift sa [informations technology] kasi [gusto kong] makapasok sa tech-industry,” he says. 
Philip Jamilla: Persevering with the masses

Philip Jamilla: Persevering with the masses

Faces
by DJULIENNE FLOR V. FOSTER photo by FRANCES MARIE G. IGNALAGA/ THE FLAME PHILIP JAMILLA always thought that he would live a normal and quiet life. He would pursue his master’s degree, become a professor, write for magazines, and eventually publish  his own books. Little did he know that his plans were about to change when he was tasked to cover a rally.  He still remembers the scene so vividly. A crowd had already been gathering right outside the campus, as they began their  march towards Luneta Park, chanting “Marcos, Hitler! Diktador, tuta!”.  He followed them, compelled to not end his coverage there. He was astounded by what he saw; a large sea of people, sharing the same fire in their eyes. As they raised their hand-painted placards in the air, the activists fiercely called