Ballpen = 50?


That is the question. Now this is the story:

There are people who offers various items and and say that the proceeds of their sale will go to a fund-raising activity, or to a foundation, or to help in their education, or such and such. And that's how I got this ballpen (with special calendar, as the saleslady told me so).

I was approached one day last week, as I go to SM City Manila, by a girl who introduced herself as Rose Anne. She said that she is a history student in PUP Sta. Mesa. I thought that she would invite me to Bible talk or fellowship or that she would ask me some questions relevant to her course in history. However, she offered me this ballpen and said that it will be for their activity. I forgot to ask what sort activity is that, but then again, after I noticed that she and her colleageus are having a hard time selling their pen, I gave in and I bought her pen. Shelling out a 50 just for an overpriced ballpen is no big deal. However, the deal is that I hope that she is not lying. Well I just hope that their activity is worth my 50 pesos.

At sana rin pala ay hindi madaling masira 'yung pen niya. Kung hindi. Naku....

A Visit to Polytechnic University of the Philippines

Last Sunday, I accompanied my sister to the Santa Mesa (Manila) Campus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) for her entrance examination or PUPCET. The grounds of PUP were flooded with people: examinees and their parents. This is no surprise since the University of the Philippines ceased to be an affordable state university. So the high school students flocked to PUP to avail the low tuition fee and study in a well-known university.
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Student hopefuls and their parents going to PUPCET testing areas.
Hopeful students and their parents going to PUP.
 It is my third visit to PUP-Sta. Mesa. The first time is when I submitted my PUPCET application and the second visit is when I took the entrance exams many years ago. Good thing that I still recall the way to PUP-Sta. Mesa. What I remember is that I had to cross a railroad before I reach PUP-Sta. Mesa's main gate.
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PUP-Sta Mesa on the day of PUPCET
Welcome to PUP!
 I saw some familiar sights like the PUP Pylon:
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PUPCET Day - the PUP Pylon

The three columns of the PUP Pylon symbolize Truth, Excellence and Wisdom. Another familiar sight is the relief mural on the wall beside the main gate:
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PUPCET Day - The Mural near the PUP-Sta. Mesa Entrance gate


I walked around the campus while waiting for my sister. I saw that PUP-Sta. Mesa has a small chapel.
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PUPCET Day - Chapel inside the PUP-Sta. Mesa Campus

If the University of the Philippines has the Oblation, PUP has the Obelisk. This structure is located at the center of the grounds of PUP-Sta. Mesa Campus.
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PUPCET Day - PUP Obelisk
The Obelisk of PUP.
Located in front of the Obelisk is the bust statue of Apolinario Mabini. PUP-Sta. Mesa Campus was officially named after Mabini, that's why his bust is present in the center of the campus grounds.
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PUPCET Day - Bust of Apolinario Mabini

It's not only Apolinario Mabini's bust that is present inside the campus. I discovered that the Mabini Shrine is located on the campus grounds as well.
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PUPCET Day - Mabini Shrine
The Mabini Shrine.
According to the caretaker, the house was originally located in Nagtahan, Manila and came to PUP after being moved for four times in different places. Seems like no one wants to take care of Apolinario Mabini's house. This only shows that heritage conservation is not a priority of the government nor of the Filipino people.

This Shrine is the house where the hero took his last breath when he died of cholera. The caretaker allowed me to go inside Apolinario Mabini's house.
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PUPCET Day - Inside the Mabini Shrine

Apolinario Mabini's house is simple. The furniture was removed and anyone can mistake it for a regular nipa house if the memorial plaque and Mabini's portrait are absent.
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PUPCET Day - Portrait of Apolinario Mabini

There is nothing much to see inside the Mabini Shrine. I left the house and went out of PUP-Sta. Mesa Campus to wait for my sister to finish her exam.

Movie Review: Prince Caspian

Movie poster of Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian.
(Source: Fanpop)

“Uber-good!” that is how I describe the second installment of Disney’s The Chronicle of Narnia series. From the story, the set, the actors and actresses, the fight scenes, the creatures, the cinematography ----- they are so stunning. The Chronicle of Narnia: Prince Caspian now ranks as one of my favorite movies of all time.

The kings and queens of old: Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy returned to Narnia just to find their kingdom in ruins. The Narnians are literally hiding under the rocks. In place of the Narnians, the Telmarines ruled the land. For three centuries, the Narnians were leaderless and the effect of this is very devastating. The trees that once danced now turned deep unto themselves and just became ordinary trees. The talking animals, now forgotten how to speak, just turned into normal animals. Other magical creatures like the minotaurs, centaurs, and fauns were dispersed and their conquerors, the Telmarines, thought they were extinct. The castle of the two queens and two kings lay in ruins.

Prince Caspian, after escaping death from the hands of his uncle, discovered that the Narnians still exist and became the hope for all the Narnians. His key to their trust was the horn owned by Susan, which he blew while he was being pursued by his uncles' soldiers. This same horn brought the four children back to Narnia.

The four children were not they used to be in the end of the first movie. They had forgotten the lessons that Aslan taught them. Apparently, Lucy was the only one who retained her trust to Aslan, thereby making her see him. The final battle scene happened near Aslan’s How, wherein the remaining Narnians made their last stand against the war machine of the Telmarines.

Stunning Scenes

As a fan of large battle scenes, my favorite scene in this movie is the battle near Aslan’s How. It is like the battle scene in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” times ten. The caving in of the How’s underground complex is excellent. The fighting, the swordfight, the strategy used by the opposing forces, the war machines of the Telmarines, and the rescue of Aslan of the beleaguered Narnians by the aid of the trees were totally stunning. I couldn’t help but remember the siege of Jerusalem by Saladin in the movie “Kingdom of Heaven.” This battle scene ranks as one of my favorite.

The attack on the Telmarine castle is also worth watching. The sequence has comedy (thanks for the three mice lead by Reepicheep), action, and drama. I was really moved, especially when the Narnians were forced to leave their friends inside the castle. Seeing your soldiers and friends being murdered helplessly will surely break your heart.

The scene of temptation by the Ice Queen is also excellent. The tension is there and the threat of the return of the evil queen is real. Caspian and Peter fell to the temptations of the Ice Queen but Edmund save them all by breaking the ice of the Ice Queen.

Favorite Characters

The mouse, err the great knight of Narnia, Reepicheep is my most favorite character in the movie. He is a good swordsman, courageous, and had lot of respect to himself. Reepicheep served as the comic relief in the movie. It would be fun to team him up with Puss in Boots of the movie Shrek.

My second favorite are the minotaurs. I do not know why, but I like their hard knack for battle. Very dependable creatures. Their shining moment is during the lone minotaur’s heroic stand in keeping the gate from closing while Narnian forces were retreating from the Telmarine castle.

Of the four children, Lucy stood out. I like her innocence and her love to Aslan. She represents what I wanted to be with respect to my Christian faith, innocence, and undying faith.

Aslan is another of my favorite. He is a lion and a very kind one. And I really love to have a lion.

Underlying Message

C.S. Lewis is the author of the book series “The Chronicle of Narnia.” Lewis is a member of a circle of great authors that includes J.R.R. Tolkien. The series was the product of the their project to come up with a great work that could be a start of English myth. In this project, Lewis created Narnia and Tolkien created Middle Earth.

Both works have underlying Christian message. The elements of Christianity is much more obvious in Lewis’ work than that of Tolkien’s. The war between good and evil is the central theme in “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Christian elements like courage, humility, and faith are all present. Some analysts say that Aslan represents Jesus Christ and leads the good creatures of Narnia. The sacrifice and resurrection of Aslan in the first book is an imitation of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection.

The movie adaptation of “The Chronicles of Narnia” is worth watching. An example of a good a movie that never aims to waste the time of the audience. The hardworks of the Narnia team is well spent. They really created one hell of a movie that may make Lewis smile.

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Read my review of CS Lewis' book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.