Saturday, May 25

Faces

A speech therapist’s pledge

A speech therapist’s pledge

Faces
By SYRAH VIVIEN J. INOCENCIO and LORRAINE B. LAZARO BEYOND the pristine and lovely neighborhood of Blue Ridge B, Quezon City is a sanctuary for life-changing miracles: Maria Lena Buhay Memorial Foundation Inc., the country’s first oral school for the deaf. Every day, the foundation’s cherished schoolchildren with bright smiles and big ambitions are given a chance to experience the world better through a rekindling of their God-given gifts. Each day is another opportunity to maximize their potentials through the caring efforts of motivators who believe in and never give up on them. Heading the school is a teacher and a mother who embraces each child with love. Leticia Buhay talks with the students while noticeably pronouncing every single word correctly. Whenever one child is
Benjo Gutierrez wields his pen for the people

Benjo Gutierrez wields his pen for the people

Faces
By ROMMEL BONG R. FUERTES JR. and LORRAINE B. LAZARO ONCE MOVING to the beat of the music, Benjamin Joshua “Benjo” Gutierrez is now moving to the rhythm of his words. The former Salinggawi Dance Troupe captain used to participate in cheerdance competitions for the tiger university, but since  bagging his diploma, he found himself focusing more on a much bigger fight: a fight to let people know the harsh reality of life, which he faces through writing. “Nabuhay ako sa cheerleading; ‘yun ang bumuhay sa akin. Pero for me, tapos na ako sa phase na ‘yun. May mas [malaki] na ako na kalaban, may iba na akong ipinaglalaban,” he says. An avenue for others As a cheerleader from high school up to college, Benjo, who used to juggle his priorities and responsibilities for both his ac
Reymark Simbulan is ready to rise again

Reymark Simbulan is ready to rise again

Faces
By JOY THERESE C. GOMEZ A FATEFUL incident that happened almost two years ago left Reymark Simbulan with a temporary handicap. In a bout with overpowering tendencies to end his life, Reymark jumped from his condominium unit on the 17th floor. While his life has never been the same since then, the repercussions of the episode turned out to be a way for him to fully embrace and accept himself. The former Artlet Student Council president calls the process of recovery a “war”—it does not come without sacrifices, and it is a series of battles that he needs to overcome one by one to become stronger and more resilient. Reymark also says that although he had to give up certain goals like bagging Latin honors and being able to play sports, the setback has not stopped him from movin
Neil Sebastian brings reality to the reel

Neil Sebastian brings reality to the reel

Faces
By SYRAH VIVIEN J. INOCENCIO and JOAHNA LEI E. CASILAO IN A time when apathy is said to persist among the youth, Neil Sebastian promotes interest in social issues through what he creates best: films. The budding filmmaker marries his beliefs and advocacies with every film he produces. Similar to how a little pebble creates ripples when dropped into water, Neil aims to make an impact on his audience one film at a time. “‘Yung mga goal ko na gawin na film [is] something that makes people think, makes people decide, makes people know about a certain issue. I always make sure that [the film] is something relevant,” he says. The philosophy freshman also asserts that a film should consist of the filmmaker’s stand on a social matter. For him, it is not only about spreading aware
A resilient daughter’s silent battle cry

A resilient daughter’s silent battle cry

Faces
AN ALARM goes off at 4 a.m., which obviously startled Jelena Candice Santos. She quickly turns off the device in fear of waking up the whole household who also had a fairly long day yesterday. Candice lingers for a minute after she awakens, bracing herself for yet another day of making ends meet. On her way to prepare breakfast, the young lady walks past her parents’ room and catches a glimpse of her mom sleeping; she is quickly reminded of the circumstances that require her to be strong. As Candice descends to the kitchen, she sees that her older sister is already up as well and they proceed to cook breakfast side by side. “Tulungan kami ngayon, although minsan hindi talaga maiwasan na may times na naiisip namin na bakit ang endless nung problems, bakit hindi natatapos,” s
UST Sinag Ballroom Dance Company steps into the limelight

UST Sinag Ballroom Dance Company steps into the limelight

Faces
THE STUDIO is filled with upbeat music, its rhythm compelling the people in dancing shoes to warm up in preparation for the intense training that is about to commence. Some dancers stretch their bodies, preparing it for a tiring rehearsal, while others practice swinging in tiptoes like poetry in motion. Members of UST Sinag Ballroom Dance Company sway in perfect synchronization as if they are used to the rigor of ballroom dancing, their faces painted with smiles proving their love for dancing. Notable Artlet dancers are seen scattered in different areas of the studio: Rochelle Salvador is preparing materials in one corner, Reign Juanico is training with his seniors, and Kathreen Dave enters the studio a minute later. Like ballerinas in music boxes, the lives of these Arle...
Paul Castillo moves the world one word at a time

Paul Castillo moves the world one word at a time

Faces
By LORRAINE B. LAZARO and THERESE MARIE F. UNGSON JUST AS artists have their craft, Paul Castillo has his words. He uses his passion for writing to leave an impact on the world. While revisiting his journey, a smile appears on his face. For Paul, writing is not just a simple act of composition—writing must give back to society and be a part of history. Despite being in his 30s, the writer ensures that he is able to incorporate the traditions of writing while keeping up with the trends of society. Being a former NSTP facilitator and now an instructor under the Faculty’s Department of Literature as well as a resident fellow at the Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, Paul had the chance to view the world through a wider perspective and share it with today’s ge
Charisse Orozco is living the dream

Charisse Orozco is living the dream

Faces
By JOY THERESE C. GOMEZ and LORRAINE B. LAZARO JUST a few seconds before entering the court, the thumping of her heart joins the beating of the drums as her world pauses for a while. As she ascends, Charisse “Chase” Orozco is welcomed by flashing lights, a cheering crowd, and the chilling court air. Immediately, she was captivated by the FilOil Flying V Center and became ready to face the crowd and tell the tale of two basketball teams going head-to-head in the 94th season of National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). Standing with a microphone in one hand and a notebook in the other, Chase greets the frenzied crowd with a smile as she walks onto the court. Little does the audience know that her calm demeanor masks the two worlds she is juggling: listening to the ha
Copyworld is ready to rise from the ashes

Copyworld is ready to rise from the ashes

Faces
NOT a day goes by when the streets outside the University of Santo Tomas are not filled with the diverse sounds of the chattering students, the blaring horns of vehicles, and the roarings of distant passersby. Antonio St. is a place where students take time to breathe fresh air—a break from the commotion and raucous caused by the pressures and demanding deadlines of the four corners of the classroom. It is a place where time stops while the world continues moving, with booming food stalls and student-related businesses like computer shops and photocopying centers being the heart and soul of the street. Quite unusual as it may seem, Antonio St. was hushed and the surroundings that were commonly filled with people were suddenly emptied out as there were no classes due to a national
Noelle Capili brings the people’s battle to social media

Noelle Capili brings the people’s battle to social media

Faces
IN THE eyes of many, Noelle Capili is naturally high-spirited and a classic class clown. Little do they know, she is also a social media-savvy activist fighting the good fight and tearing down stereotypes. Born in the era of advanced technology, Noelle can always be found on social media documenting her daily experiences and expressing her thoughts one tweet at a time. Even with her fascination with the said medium, the activist never thought of using social media as a platform to air out her sentiments and give voice to the people who cannot speak up on their frustrations in society. Eventually, Noelle used social media to express her sentiments and beliefs. She helped bring the battle on the streets into the pixels of the four-cornered screen. “[P]arang makikita mo k