"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

the great nueva ecija weekend

"When people are inspired,
they do great things."

last weekend was supposed to be a corregidor-subic weekend with my travel buddy yoni and some other friends. however, our plan got botched up by circumstances beyond our control. just as well, something better came up...

the university supreme student council (USSC) of central luzon state university (CLSU) requested our group, TOSP-AC, to help them out in their 9th congress of campus leaders (CCL). we answered their call and last weekend, 10 of us went to the science city of muñoz, nueva ecija to conduct a leadership training seminar (LTS).

team of 10 for a congress of 150

going there...
we left metro manila for nueva ecija last friday evening at about 8 o'clock. we were supposed to leave earlier but the van that CLSU provided for us got caught in the rainy weekend traffic. as a consequence, our team had to wait for quite sometime (4 hours) at the sicilian express in tomas morato for our ride to arrive. from 4pm to the time the van arrived, our group did nothing but eat, laugh, talk, eat, laugh and talk.

side story: we saw what flood's like in tomas morato. when friday evening came, it rained a bit and lo! the street became filled with so much water. i didn't know that tomas morato gets its share of floods.

where was i?

ah yes! on our way to ecija, we made a stopover somewhere in bulacan for more food. we're quite lucky, we parked just in time to witness a very spectacular fireworks show. according to one of the service personnel that i talked to, the wonderful september air display was coming from SM marilao. he mentioned something like "fireworks pasiklaban." ah... a pasiklaban indeed! for quite a time, i was all eyes to the bursts of colors in the night sky -- i almost forgot that we made the stopover for food and refreshments, and not for the fireworks. hehe.

our trip to nueva ecija was loooooong... but it wasn't boring because the group's kinda hyper -- we were talking and joking all the way. our conversations hopped from one topic to another until we started discussing extra sensory perception, third eye, and spooky experiences. too many times, we agreed to change the topic only to mention again gargoyles and not-normally-seen beings just several seconds after. talk about kakulitan! when we made another stopover in one of the towns of nueva ecija for our midnight snack, we still carried on with our "apt-for-the-cold-night topic".

we arrived in CLSU at about 1 o'clock, saturday morning. after thanking the driver, we had a meet-and-greet with the members of USSC who stayed up for our arrival. we were supposed to still conduct an orientation but we were all so sleepy and tired, we begged for rest...

however, our team didn't hit the beds right away when we got to the place where we were housed. we went through our LTS strategies, made last-minute reminders and finalized our tasking.

to say that the 2-day LTS we conducted in CLSU was a success is an understatement.

CLSU LTS 2006: one worthwhile experience

in nueva ecija, we did not encounter palparan, instead we encountered about a hundred and fifty very hyper student leaders who shared the weekend with us despite the other demands in their lives. the LTS was a very fun learning experience for them as well as for us who facilitated the activities. the college kids' enthusiasm and spirit of participation was overwhelming and very inspiring.

eventhough the schedule of the 9th CCL coincided with the CLSU intramurals and cueshe was there (the band stayed just a door away from our room!), we still had good attendance throughout the LTS because the participants chose to prioritize our activities. we gave them our best and they also gave us their best.

all smiles: when things are done with great love!

all the sacrifices, the efforts, and the resources that we put into the endeavor was worth every minute of our weekend stay in nueva ecija. the evaluation that the CLSU campus leaders gave TOSP-AC was also very heartwarming.

more than telling us that we did not waste their time, "super effective po talaga kayo", "di kayo boring magpa-seminar," and "masaya kayong kasama, cowboy pa. marami kaming natutunan," they also encouraged us to continue inspiring more students like them and shared their commitment to do their best shot at being better leaders.

team nueva ecija

personally, i don't regret having jeopardized my "thesis sked" a bit just so i could volunteer for our nueva ecija commitment. our stint in CLSU was very, very worthwhile.

hay, if only funds would allow us to finally bring our LTS to visayas and mindanao...

for now, this is the shout-out: pampanga, you're next! :)

post scripts:
(1) it was great working with the dependable and efficient members of the CLSU USSC.

(2) the team's trip back to metro manila last sunday was fun, fun, fun! we left nueva ecija at twilight and traveled for most of the evening. we were still so hyper despite our lack of sleep that we kept cracking all sorts of jokes -- even those we just merely pulled off from the billboards that we saw along the way.

(3) i printed and submitted my thesis manuscript last monday. that means, i'll be defending my scientific work soon. yes!


  1. I wish your team could conduct LTS to MSU-IIT's KASAMA. It's so sad that I spent 2 years in KASAMA without going through a single LTS. Most of us were inexperienced student leaders and we had to learn most things the painful way.

    Good luck on the defense! I could remember making 3 hellish re-defenses before our undergrad thesis got accepted. Whew!

  2. I wish I can also go to Corregidor...

    Do you know that to be able to go there you must go to my hometown first? Mariveles, Bataan.

  3. jr3, it makes me wonder, what place in the Philippines have you not visited?

    hmmm... let me guess:
    (a) siquijor
    (b) samar
    (c) sorsogon
    (d) sultan kudarat
    (e) saranggani bay
    (f) siargao

    hehehe. kudos to TOSP for reaching out to other students in the area of leadership and training.

    ei, do you offer honorary memberships? hehehe. :D

  4. A Sick Boy, it is our hope to reach the schools in visayas and mindanao real soon.

    ... and it is my hope to really successfully defend my thesis. i've been working on it.

    monmon, tara lets. ala kaming alam sa bataan.

    gwapo_na_baktin, right, right, i have not visited those places you've mentioned... but i plan to...

    it's up to the respective batches to adopt honorary members for their batch. as a whole, we encourage partnerships. :D


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