A Senior Moment: Literacy Outreach Program

Last January 14, us seniors went to Caloocan City to conduct a literacy program at the Epiphany of the Lord Parish.
Photos courtesy of Miss Leigh Fuentes. Thank you for letting me steal your photos! πŸ™‚

To be honest, I wasn’t really excited about this event at first.
The weather was humid, the venue was small, the smell of the God-knows-what reeked, the people were too many, and I had this miserable case of dysmenorrhea.
I was too tired, too drained, too lazy. 
When I entered the court, I had a pokerface on. And mind you, I wasn’t the only one. I noticed that many of the people beside me felt the same way, too. 
But upon sticking my “Ate Hershey” name tag onto my shirt & seeing the little children around me excited, happy and smiling, despite every hardship they have been going through, I had a change of heart.
I felt that it was wrong to have them smiling at us, but the only expression marked on our faces were frowns. 
I was even more compelled to help out when I saw a kind hunchback carrying her baby around. I was inspired. I was touched. I was driven. I almost cried.
I then told some of my friends, “Guys, alam kong malaking sacrifice ito on our part. Alam kong mainit at masikip, pero isipin nalang natin na everyday, ganito ang environment na hinaharap nila. Napaka excited silang makita tayo ngayon. Sacrifice nalang tayo. Tiisin natin eto, para lang sakanila at kay God. Maging happy tayo, kasi happy din sila. Gawin natin lahat para i-bless natin sila.”
Everyone agreed to cooperate and spread the love. πŸ™‚ The program started and ended great.
I noticed that my fellow seniors, like me, were also driven by the kind people.
They also had a change of heart.
Everyone worked together, and everything went smoothly.
Everyone was happy- both us and the kids.
The first part of the program was the story-telling time!! πŸ˜€

Drawing and coloring time!!
Game time!
I was part of the games committee (who I love so much! woohoo i love you teamates), so imagine the stress we all went under when we had no clue what game to conduct with THIS MANY PEOPLE.
We finally decided to have a dancing/singing contest instead.
The kids enjoyed!! πŸ™‚ The winners got to receive a hundred bucks each (yung bagong design pa na peso bill, ha!)
Our very own Art Barredo teaching the kids how to dougie!
Look at how stressed we all were when the mic/sound system broke down! haha!

These three ladies were our sponsors. They had much of a great time watching us from above as well.
They laughed and smiled with us. When the program ended, my school principal introduced me to them.
They told me to tell my batchmates how thankful and impressed they all were.
*oh and the lady in the center asked me, “Be honest ha. Requirement ba ng school niyo na dapat maganda o gwapo kayo? Ba’t majority ng batch niyo, napaka-good looking?”
HAHAHA OH MY GOSH. That really made me laugh!

Now the next photos were taken by me!
This is the wonderful group that we handled. 
Our team leader was Rone (shown in the photo), who did such a great job dealing with kids.
I admire him for being so patient, kind, and warm to them.
A secret between you and me, those two girls shown under actually has a crush on Rone haha kaya imagine how kilig they were when this photo was taken!
Our kids were so behaved!! I love them! πŸ™‚
I felt so guilty because I didn’t get to help my group that much.
My dysmenorrhea was killing me. I also felt a little bit dizzy.
Miya, my groupmate, even told me to go to the “stage”/balcony area to rest.
Being  a female, she understood the pain I was having.
When I reluctantly went to the balcony to rest, I kept on praying.
I said “God, I rebuke this pain that is preventing me to help out. I pray that you will drive this out of me, so that I may be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
True enough, God answered my prayers. My discomfort was gone as soon as game time started!
The games were a success, and everyone, including me, had such a blast!!
Thank you Lord for you answer prayers!
And thank you Lord for such concerning and loving groupmates!

They held the sticks of crayons as if they were pieces of treasure.
The pencils seemed like diamonds to them.
I was so touched by how simple their wants and needs were.
But look at us, we take advantage of our able lifestyles! We simply waste, lose, and fool around with our pencils and crayons. But these kids, they only get to use those on special occasions. Instead of piling our art materials in one corner of the house and just let them  be a waste and accumulate dust, let’s just give them to the children who need it most.

The program lasted from 11 til 3:45.
While the loot bags were handed out to the children by the souvenirs committee,  Rone, Dustin and me chilled at the beautiful chapel upstairs to make “pahangin”. HAHAHA.

After the program, we were treated by our principal at Mcdo for a job well done. πŸ™‚ yay!


Even though we all were VERY tired, we all seemed really happy and contented.
God used us as instruments to be a blessing to others, and we wouldn’t want to be used any other way. πŸ™‚
The Teenage Queen
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A Bunny For My BB!

So my dad surprised me with a new phone last Saturday, Jan 21.
(Gee, thanks dad! That was so sweet of you!!) 
I was really, really shocked when he handed the phone to me. πŸ™‚
He said it’s some sort of a “congratulations gift”. Haha, awwww πŸ™‚
I wanted to “personalize” my phone even more– by adding a touch of my girly-ness.
So I bought a bb case from Greenhills last Thursday (jan 26) with my parents who also bought their own phone cases, too. Haha!
I was able to buy mine for only 180 pesos!
It even came with a cute furry tail stand! Awwww x
The store had the “Rabito” case in different colors: pink, red, yellow, white, black, etc.
I had difficulty in choosing between hot pink or striking red.
I chose the red one instead because I thought that the pink case is too common already.
Oh, and I also bought myself a screen protector for only a hundred bucks!!
What do you think of my rabito case?:)
The Teenage Queen
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New hair!! β™₯

I had my hair relaxed at Bench Lab Trinoma (at the garden area beside California Pizza Kitchen) last Sunday, jan 22, 11.
Thanks for the treat, mom!:)
Chad was the name of my senior stylist. He is so sweet and gentle. I love him! 
I also did the stupidest thing ever.
I wasn’t allowed to wash my hair for three nights, right?
So that means that I could only shampoo starting on Wednesday night .
I forgot all about it and washed my hair on a Wednesday morning!
Di bale, wala namang difference nanyari. Haha.
So, what do you think about my new look, girls?:)
the teenage queen

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Victory after the fall.

January 18, 2012.

It was 30 minutes ’til dismissal time, and I can’t help but admit that I had such a boring time during my last subject. I asked the teacher if I could go to the restroom (so, you know, i could chill or relax for 3 minutes or something).

When I got inside the cubicle, I had this unusual urge to check my phone. I know it was sort of “illegal” to do this, but I just had to. Something inside me was really trying to tell me to check my phone.

And so I did. I opened my phone and saw that my parents’ secretary texted me.
It said, “Congrats Hershey, nakapasa ka sa UPCAT.”
The first thing that went through my mind was, “say whaaaaaat?”
I thought that she just made a mistake, and that what she meant to say was that I passed USTET (check out my blog post here: USTET). As far as I knew, UPCAT results would be released during the last week of February. And besides, matagal na akong nag-give up on UPCAT. Hindi na ako umasa doon.

Then I noticed that I had a missed call.
It came from my dad.

I called my father to check on what was happening.

When he asnwered the phone, he said “anak.. I have good news.”
Then I replied, “Is it about the upcat?”
Then he said, “How did you know?”
I said “Your secretary texted me…..”
And he said “Wait…wait…..”
Then he shouted , “Arlene!! BAKIT MO SIYA TINEXT? ako dapat magsasabi sakanya! “
 <i have to admit, this part was funny HAHAHAHAHAHA>

When he got back on the line, I demanded that he tell me how they found out about the results.
He said that a pastor friend of ours had a churchmate whose job was to upload the names on the upcat site.
Our friend wanted to know ahead if I passed, so he asked him.
As soon at pastor found out, he texted dad.

But dad specifically warned me this: Do not ever set your hopes up high. The results may not be final just yet.

At the back of my mind, I was a bit frustrated. I mean, why would you even tell me something like that if you knew that it wasnt final? Ano? Sinabi mo lang kasi trip mo? Ang labo dun eh no? =))

For one tenth of a second, I actually had my hopes up high.

When I got back to the classroom, I whispered to my girlfriends, Belly, Bria, Angeline and Aubrey, about what had happened. I told them that it would really hurt me a lot if ever I dont see my name posted on the results board.
I begged them to help me stop getting my hopes up.
I didn’t want to hurt myself.

Belly and Bria even made a joke about the situation, just to keep my mind out of the matter.
They said..
“Baka nung tinanong yung committee kung nandiyan ba si ‘Hershey’, baka akala nila.. Hershey’s kisses.. Eh malay mo, may hershey’s sila sa lamesa.. kaya sasabihin nila ‘Oo, nandito ang Hershey’s’.

Tapos kapag tinanong niyo, nakapasok ba si Hershey? Sasabihin nila, ‘oo, nakapasok’ kasi sa totoo lang, nakapasok naman talaga iyon sa bibig nila.

Kapag tinanong nila naman na ‘nakapasa ba si Hershey?’ sasabihin nila ‘oo’, kasi nakapasa yung Hershey’s sa lasa nila.”

=)) Ang kulit lang.UGH MY FRIENDS. They are so corny pero grabe I LOVE THEM. HAHAHAHA.

Dismissal time.
While we were all chilling outside the office, Aubrey’s friend suddenly texted her , “Dude, I passed UP!”
We were all confused. We thought that the UPCAT results would be released on February……
Aubrey replied and said “How did you find out?? Diba Feb pa yun?”
Her friend replied, “The UPCAT results are out!!”
After congratulating her, Aubrey asked  if she could look for our names: Hershey Neri, Angeline Mora and Ysabela De Guzman.

Her friend replied within 3-4 minutes, but it seemed like forever.
Her friend’s first text was this: “I saw Hershey in the list”. Upon reading that, we all literally jumped for joy.
And then I stopped jumping, and said , “Maybe I didn’t get into the course I wanted.”
But then, she texted again and said “She passed BS Nursing in UP Manila”.

Dani, Bria, Angeline, Belly, Aubrey and I literally shouted all over the place! (in front of the CCTV cameras pa! haha)
I cried. I’ve never been so happy in my life!
Dani hugged me and shouted, “In your face, ACET!” (I failed the ACET, if you didnt know yet)
She also gave me the other half of her two-piece banana Q on stick. Haha!

I am so thankful for supportive friends like them.

Aubrey’s friend texted again and said, “I also saw Ysabela (civil Eng in UP LB) and Angeline(Family Life in UP DIiliman) in the list.”

We completely went crazy. We hugged. Screamed, and screamed some more.
People were staring at us!! They seemed…bothered. HAHA BUT WE DIDNT CARE! We were just soooooo happy!

We were acting like complete cavemen when our vice principal got out of the office and said, “Ladies, what is this noise all about?!”
She was mad. When we shouted in our high-pitched voices that we passed UP, her frown suddenly changed  into a smile.


I went to the fish-ball and kwek-kwek place near my school. I called my dad and we talked. We were both really happy. I was literally jumping across the streets and yelling out yipee’s and hooray’s. The vendors were staring at me, maybe even giggling.

After a while, my friends, Angeline, Rone, and Bria, came too. Rone treated us all kwek-kwek. The vendor then told us, “Congrats nga pala ha. Sabi ko na nga bang tumatalino yung mga customer kong bumibili sakin ng kwek kwek.”
We walked all the way to Moonleaf. Bria, Rone, Angeline and I celebrated there.
I bought a cupcake, and Rone treated me milk tea!
Then I went to Angeline’s place and we bonded til 10:30pm— on a school day— all because my driver fetched me late. Haha!
When I got home, my whole family was smiling right at me. We all celebrated, talked, hugged, and rejoiced.
I’ve never ever experienced this kind of happiness in my life ( Up til now, I’m still  floating on cloud 9).
My parents texted their friends, thanking them for praying for me.
My sister even tweeted and shared the great news to her friends!

My family gathered in front of me, all huddled up, to listen to my story.
I told them about how we all cheered, cried, jumped, and hugged. 
They were happy for both me and my girlfriends.

And I’d like to thank all my friends for being sooo supportive and sweet! Thank you for all your sweet messages. And most importantly, thank you for praying for me!!
You guys are the best!


Right now, I just want to thank God for being sooo amazing. I wouldn’t have passed UPCAT if it weren’t for Him. I also would like to thank my parents’ friends, my ninongs, titas, titos, and friends who prayed for me.
Prayers really, really work. God said that if you have faith even as small as a mustard seed, you would be able to move mountains!

I’ve been depressed the past few days. First, I was sad because I failed the ACET. I hated the feeling of getting rejected.
Second, I hated myself because I didn’t get to do my best on my very last elocution contest— stage fright overpowered me.
I was really down in the dumps that week. I felt stupid. I felt worthless. I wanted a time machine to undo every mistake.

But now, I cling on to God’s Word saying, “I have plans for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.”

I like to think of the situation as God’s way of making me happier than ever. Kumbaga parang pinaiyak muna niya ako bago ako magsaya ng sobra, para lang mas ma-lasahan ko ang tamis ng tagumpay. HALA ANO DAW. =))

After the rain comes a rainbow.
After every pain comes joy.
After every fall comes victory.

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AsianVogue Shop

My JS prom is a month away, and I still dont have a dress and a pair of shoes!

I’d like to buy myself a pair from Asian Vogue.
Their shoes are really nice and unique πŸ™‚ Plus I see a lot of bloggers wear shoes that they purchased from this famous online shop.
My Belle De Jour planner even gave me a free discount coupon that could be used on any item from Asian Vogue!
Sigh. Hope I earn enough money so that I could wear my dream pair!

After all, this would be my last prom ever!

(visit Asian vogue shop )

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Hello, Yellow.

Yellow has never been my favorite color.
It’s too bright, too catchy, too attention-seeking.
I’m more of a laid back, subtle, dark-colored type.
But since I promised myself that I would step away from my wardrobe-comfort zone this year, I decided to start off by buying something in a color that I don’t usually wear.
Last Sunday, Jan 15, I decided to use the bag that I bought from Impulse Co.. (check out this blog post).
I totally do not regret buying it. It’s such a “statement”, don’t you agree?
That Sunday was a very busy day for me.
We went to church and ate lunch with the Manlapaz family (who dad later on injected with cervical cancer vaccines).
Then dad dropped me off at my former teacher’s house, where we bonded just like true BFFs for about 2 hours! Agh, I love Teacher Bel so much! I miss her loads, and I know she misses teaching, too! I gave her a box of tikoy  (since you know, Chinese New Year is fast approaching).
After that, we went to Burger King to eat!
Then we went to SM Megamall to SHOP SHOP AND SHOP!
I was able to use the Forever 21 GCs that my ninong gave me for Christmas. mehehe. Yipee!
Now, on to my outfit:
Tube dress (used as top) from Tango
F21 Cardigan
Feather earring from the big tent bazaar
Aldo sandals (borrowed from my sister)
Bag from Impulse Co

I’m sorry for my haggard face!
It was super obvious that I had such a hectic day!
I’ll try to take more decent shots next time.
Oh, and I also enjoyed wearing on natural-looking red lip stick!

What do you guys think of my yellow-inspired outfit?
The Teenage Queen

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Peace and love amid the fog and rain.

We went to Tagaytay Highlands last January 8 to attend a very special wedding- the wedding of ate Joey and Kuya Grant.

Ate Joey seems more of a cousin to me than just a “family friend”. Her fam bam and my fam bam are the best fam bam pals  (lol did I make sense?).
To make things simpler, Ate Joey’s dad, Tito Nitoy Casillian, and my dad were the best of friends when they were still young boys.
It’s so cute to see that Tito Nitoy and Dad are still doing their best to communicate and keep in touch.

You know, our families practically grew up together.
We saw each other grow up…. we encouraged one another during trials… we went on vacations and getaways together… we sang, prayed, and laughed together.
We make it a point to have a reunion at least twice every year.

So attending this wedding was a mile stone for all of us; we were there to witness Ate Joey marry the man she loves– the man she had been waiting for all along.

Their love story is a really touching one, and I couldnt help but say ‘awwww’ when they said their vows to each other.

It was such a beautiful irony, how the couple seemed very relaxed and at peace, while the cold sky outside sprinkled rain and fog.
They smiled big smiles, and teared happy tears.
Their eyes illuminated the venue; their love gave warmth throughout the place.

Truly, God makes every wedding beautiful.

Mabuhay sina Mr. and Mrs. Grant Gomez!!

My sister and I in the car going to Robinson’s to have our hair done.

And I’m very proud to say that I did my own make up! My sister taught me new techniques. πŸ™‚

The bride in her beautiful gown!

My sister, mom, and me

My parents

And yep, that’s me wearing my prom grown. Check out my blog entry here:  JS prom

A photo with my inaanak Juan, his pretty sister Reese,  their lovely parents, Kuya Alo and ate Gaze, and my sister, Ate Yas

With Mr and Mrs Gomez! What a beautiful bride and a handsome groom!

Ate Ara is soo pretty, dont you agree?

Waiting for the couple to pass by so that we could shower them with flowers.. mehehe

Reese, 4 or 5 years old, came up to me and said, “Ninang Hershey!!! handa na! “
me: Handa na yung ano?
Reese: yung pagkain!!!! Tara akyat na tayo!
Haha, so cute.
The reception was at the veranda, just a floor above the venue of the ceremony. πŸ˜€

With beautiful Reese:)

With my pretty sis:)

The food was great!! There were also music, games, and, of course, a photo booth!!

Reese and her little girlie friend conquered the photo booth stand! nyahaha! What a cutie!!

A photo with Ate Yas, Ate Ara, and the two cute kiddos.

Family picture! x

sigh πŸ™‚ I hope that when I grow up, I would also find my very own prince- a wise, intelligent, and handsome Man of God. πŸ™‚

The Teenage Queen

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Never enough.

1:33 am.

Have you ever cried out loud  in the middle of the night, hoping that someone could hear you… come up to you…
to hug you tightly…. give you warmth…. make you feel young and beautiful and worthy and happy?
Have you ever hated yourself so much…. that all you want at present is to turn back time.. to undo everything….. just so that you could please everyone?
Have you ever laid on the carpet… hugging your knees with your eyes tightly closed… wanting the world to stop moving….. so that you could stop hurting?
I hate myself.
And I hate everyone for making me feel like this.
I feel worthless.
And you know what hurts most?
I constantly feel that I will never ever be enough for anybody.
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Please pray for me.

I’ll be competing in my very last elocution contest tomorrow.
I’ve been joining this contest since I was 6 years old.
Now that I’m graduating from my school by the end of March, I will also leave behind all the meories of the contests that I joined for the glory of God:)

I will be reciting the piece “Psalm 91” in front of an audience. The contest is from 10 am to 12 pm.
Please pray for me that I may deliver it well and properly; that I may also leave an impact to the audience and judges- a message that God will always be here to cover us with his feathers whenever we call on Him.

God bless, ladies!

The Teenage Queen

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January 7, 2012
Right after my second CAT meeting, I was surprised to see the news that the USTET results were out.
When I saw that I passed USTET, I teared up tears of joy and squealed like a little girl.
I jumped up and down the bed so intensely, making sure to break the cushion’s springs.
I called my sister and parents immediately, and they were happy for me.
They were proud.
They made me feel proud of myself, too.
I was happy— very happy.
I never thought that I’d ever qualify for a good university.
I honestly thought that I’d probably fail the USTET.
But, oh Lord, how You amaze me!
Lord, thank you so much for being so faithful to me! 
I am now qualified for an interview at the college of nursing.
Interviews are required to be able to be accepted into the college.
I dont have a schedule for an interview yet. But when the day comes, please pray for me, okay? πŸ™‚

To read about my USTET-taking anecdote, read this .

I just want to thank God for everything.

Lord,  I am nothing without You. Thank You for Your faithfulness and kindness.

Thank you for keeping your promise that you’d never leave me. Thank you for being with me while I took the exam. Thank you for the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding that you gave me.


I chose BS Nursing because I think that it would be a perfect pre-med course. I dream of becoming an OB GYNE some day and work at St.Lukes, following the footsteps of my doctor parents.


Now that USTET results had been released, I’m still waiting for two other universities’ CET results: UP and Ateneo.


“Lord, let Your will be done here on Earth as it is on Heaven!” πŸ™‚

A million thank you’s to You, Jesus Christ!
Thank you!

I trust in You and Your good and pleasing will alone. πŸ™‚

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