Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Quest!

Be Prepared Quest 2008

By: Sr GS Angeli Monique Siladan (Iloilo Council)

It was early in October when the circular from the national headquarters arrived, and was distributed to the troop leaders and my TL presented it, and the first thing that appeared said, “Be Prepared (BP) Quest 2008, Singapore, November 24-29, 2008.” Very exciting and who doesn’t want to attend an international event anyway? Doubts and worries came before everything was settled. For almost a month of processing all the papers and preparing for the event, the delegates are now confirmed. Angeli Monique Siladan of Central Philippine University, Hyacinth Bangero of Btac. Viejo National High School, Harrah Mae Rivera of SPED-ISEC and Tita Ghia Joy Bermejo of Central Philippine University, all from Iloilo Council- were finally approved to be delegates of the Philippines to the BP Quest in Singapore. Actually this event is neither a camp nor a conference, it is a contest. This is the ultimate quest for knowledge on Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting, pitted against members not only in Singapore but also in the Asia Pacific Region and beyond! The contest has its 4 main coverage which includes, WAGGGS and the United Nations, Scouting and Guiding in the Asia Pacific, Girl Guides Singapore and Scouting and Guiding skills. So before we went to Manila, we had our reviews and orientation in the council. We are all busy and we also had a hard time in reviewing during our busy days. And at last the time has come, and let me elaborate each day of happiness and success that we experienced.

November 22, 2008. The 3 girls were very excited. Our trip to Manila is at 11:20am and only the 3 of us are travelling because Tita Ghia will arrive the next day. We had a lot of fun in the national headquarters. Adjusting from each other was not that hard since the 3 of us knows each other very well. We had the time to roam around the building and in the late afternoon we went to Robinsons. When we went home, something happened but it’s a secret (hehehe). A little discussion and review concluded our day.

November 23, 2008. It was a very good Sunday. Tita Aida visited us in our room that morning to say her good lucks to us. We were scheduled to have our orientation with the trainers of the NHQ today. We were taught a lot about international travelling and the tradition of Singapore. We also had a mock quiz to test on whatever we have reviewed but sad to say we did not passed it. We also had a sample of the actual happening during the contest. It was really fun and we discovered more facts because of it. The titas inspected our luggage first and they gave us good lucks to us too. After which, we had our dinner out at Greenhills with Tita Ghia’s family. It was quite tiring so we slept immediately when we returned.

November 24, 2008. We woke up very early because our flight will be at 7am. We left NHQ at 3am and exactly checked in our luggage at 4am. Quite a long wait but we used that few hours to review our notes and sleep. Now after 3 hours of wait in the airport plus another 3 hours and 15 minutes of travel we are now in… SINGAPORE! We were fetched in the airport, together with the 11 Brunei Girl Guides and their 3 Guides (titas), by Ms Jalilah. As soon as the bus came, we immediately went to the Guide House (This is their NHQ). When we were already there, I have noticed that my back pack is already missing. I started to worry but I stayed calm. Good thing we called the airport and after a few minutes they confirmed that my bag is there and all I need to do is come there and claim it. Now, I really believe that Singaporeans are one of the most honest people in the world, they have a proof. We have settled well in the Guide House and by 2pm we had a briefing in the hall together with the other competing groups in the event. It was very nice getting to know other girls of different races. There were more than 40 teams who joined- 1 from the Philippines, 3 groups from Brunei and the rest were competing schools in Singapore. We also met the very kind International Commissioner of Singapore, Ms. Jessie Tan. After the briefing, we proceeded back to our rooms, had a little rest and in a few minutes we went for a walk in Junction 8 together with Uncle Mail who is also one of our trainers. This is one of the nearest malls in the Guide House. We really had a good time because Uncle Mail would make us laugh and would tell us different stories of the places. Who would ever want to end that day? Time was really fast since in Singapore, even if it’s already 7pm , we can’t notice it because it’s not the typical night time in the Philippines which is dark. Their sunset will be usually at 7:30pm or 8pm. Whew… “Girls too much for the window shopping, we still have a contest. We need to review.” And that ended our day!

November 25, 2008. Good Morning sunshine! Such a lovely morning but actually
 it was almost 8am when we woke up. Today, we will be having a tour in the famous island of Singapore- Sentosa and to the biggest mall in Singapore- Vivo City, together with a host school. We were very excited and we prepared our exchange gifts. At 9am we were already prepared a
nd our host school was ready to fetch us. They were the Girl Guides from Nova Secondary School. They were very nice and kind. We were grouped into buddies and there I m
et Zoe, a 12 year old girl. She was very nice and a smiling face person. I gave her a friendship pin immediately. I also had the chance to meet the other girls. They were really young, most were 12 and 13, and the oldest was 14 years old. We also met their Guides Mrs. Junie Ong and Ms. Suganti. They were really fluent and could get along with us easily. We departed the Guide house and went to the train station. They taught us how to buy the tickets and ride in their MRT. It was very fast and we reached Vivo City at about 20 minutes only. We first bought our food in the market and the others had a little look in some of the boutiques. We were really strict with the time, after 20 minutes we already departed and rode again a train going to Sentosa. While waiting for our tickets, the three of us were really surprised when the girls just sat in the floor where people would pass through. Well, Singapore is really clean that anyone is allowed to sit anywhere. And now after a few minutes of waiting, we arrived in Sentosa and we proceeded in Siloso Beach. The place was quite the same as Boracay back in the Philippines because of the white sand and almost all kinds of races were there too. We enjoyed our tuna sandwich for lunch and our activities like the sand castle making and beach volleyball. It was a great time to socialize with the other girls. After that, the Philippine team planned to have a little tour around Sentosa. I really like to try the adventures and see some of the known spots in Sentosa but my companions would prefer shopping than experiencing the thrill. We only had a 20-minute ride in the cable car and the rest were spent for shopping. *sigh*! We went back in our meeting place at 6pm and all of us started to depart in Sentosa and proceeded in Vivo City for the dinner and shopping. We had a great diner then we had a little shop and finally had our rest. Zoe and her friends had their chance to give their remembrance for us. I got a really cute figurine from Zoe and it really looks like a Girl Scout in a pink uniform. Time flew so fast that we haven’t noticed that it’s time to bid goodbye to each other. We exchanged e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers so we can still communicate with them. It was quite an emotional moment for each of us since they became our first friends in Singapore. But everything has to end, so that we can move on for tomorrow. Though tired and a little teary-eyed, we still managed to have our final reviews when we reached the Guide House. Oh my, we really enjoyed and almost forgot that the Preliminary Round will be tomorrow! But we must handle it well because a Girl Scout’s motto is “Be Prepared”.

November 26, 2008. Whew! The day has finally come. At 2pm all the contestants are going to meet again at the hall of Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School for the Preliminary Round of the BP Quest 2008. We relaxed ourselves that morning. Quite nervous but we have to overcome it. We had our last reviews while having our breakfast and we actually prayed a lot. We went to the test area earlier but it still started late because the Brunei Guides came late. So, it was already 2:30pm when the test questionnaires and answer sheets were distributed. The Preliminary Round is actually a 60-item multiple choice exam which will be answered in 60 minutes. We started the exam at 2:45pm. Looking at the questions, honestly, I find it “quite” easy; the only tough part was about the history of Girl Guiding in Singapore. I was able to finish it for 45 minutes, same with Hyacinth and Harrah but we didn’t forget to review it over again. After 15 minutes, Ms. Jalilah finally announced, “Time is up!” We passed all the answer sheets and questionnaires. Well, I’m very happy that I answered it well. The three of us immediately talked about the exam, and then we would argue our answers and ends it up with “ok you got it!” *sigh*. It was in fact a really good time. Nothing to argue, the important thing is we did our best to answer every question. We’re not asking to be the Top 1; we just would like to be in the Top 5 so we can compete in the finals. Emotions are still in and we still need to review because we may not know if we would qualify. Well too much of the exam! It’s time to chill! We went in Junction 8 again to have some walk and to meet Mrs. Ong. She toured us in the famous Orchard Road where the Spirit of Christmas is everywhere. The huge malls had shinning lights everywhere and there are lots of people. We had the chance to visit the famous Lucky Plaza mall where most of the Filipino stores and Filipinos as well, can be found. We did our “final” shopping of souvenirs and pasalubongs there. If you want to buy original and affordable electronic gadgets, I tell you, if you can’t go to Japan, visit Singapore. We also went to the Borders bookstore. We spent a lot of time there. We sat down and read books while Tita Ghia bought some books which she can use for her class. We really had fun and Mrs. Ong is a really good tour guide. It was almost 9pm when we arrived back in Bishan. We were very tired and after a few chats we found ourselves sleeping.

November 27, 2008. We woke up early today, as in 8am! We will be having another tour to be hosted by another group of guides. Not like the Guides from Nova, our host guides are of the same age like us. This time I had a very humorous buddy-Rena who is 14 yrs old. The patrol leader and eldest member is Wan Lin, who is already 18 yrs. Old, currently in pre-college. Before leaving the Guide House, we first had a short game which can help us get to know each other, and then we departed the guide house. Our first stop is the Science Centre. It’s almost a 1-hour bus ride but it’s ok because we sang songs in the bus. We looked around the Science Centre but the main highlight is the omnitheatre. We first had an awareness seminar before watching the film. 
It was really a good thing that we were able to know the real situation of the world. After that small talk, we proceeded in the omnitheatre where we will watch the film “Wild Ocean”. It’s more than a 3-dimentional cinema, it is a surround theatre. It was very wonderful and unique. We truly enjoyed the film and the whole experience. We wish to have it here in the Philippines, too. Our time is running out. After our lunch treat, we departed and proceeded in the Fish Farm. I smell something fishy. Well, the fish farm is really a good place for fish lovers. There are lots of coy and we met the century old dragon fishes! We really appreciated God’s creation and fishes are blessings. The most exciting part was the fish spa. We dipped our feet in the fish pond where the fishes would come and suck the dead skin from our feet. The fishes tickled our feet but it was relaxing. That concluded our visit in the fish farm and we headed to my most awaited activity today, Archery! Well, archery is one of the major sports in Singapore and it’s a great opportunity to meet the president of the Archery Association of Singapore and learn the sport as well. The president even emphasized that “Girls are good archers than boys.” Well, we had the chance to prove it. Our coach really had fun teaching us, especially us from the Philippines because we often shoot for the bull’s eye. The worst part of that day was the horror movie we watched, I mean they watched, in the bus. Everyone would scream but me, I was hiding under my cap! Hahaha… It was really a great experience and as what every moment must be, the day has ended and we must say our farewells to our new found friends but of course we exchanged contact information with each other. We sang the Thank you song we often sing in the Philippines as a sign of gratitude to them. Well, the days are really fast approaching and the final round is getting near. Though we’re tired, we still have to review even a bit only.

November 28, 2008. It’s a good new day. We had nothing to do that morning so what we did is stay in our favorite place, “The Kitchen”, and eat. In the afternoon Ms. Shirley Tan, the sister of Ms. Jessie, hosted our last tour. We had a quiz in the bus about Singapore and anyone who gets the answer wins a prize. It was really fun and we were not bored until we reached our destination. She first brought us in the China Town. Of course what do you see in China Town? Chinese, pagodas, Chinese architecture, dragons, Chinese symbols, the trishaw and a lot more. We also visited their wet market, where we saw how frogs are being skinned and cooked. It’s definitely like China. Next stop is the Little India. Yeah right, we are travelling the world in just one place! Very amazing! We have learned a lot about India when we were there. Ms Shirley gave us the traditional symbol of Indians in their forehead and of course we had the chance to see the beautiful art of Hena Tatoo. It’s different from the hena we usually see because their hena is much more symbolic. So we have spent a lot of our time touring the world, the night is almost approaching. We had our dinner in an Indonesian restaurant at Far East Plaza Mall. Good thing we’ve been there in that mall the other day, so we’re quite familiar already. We were offered very delicious cuisines. Spicy food was not an exemption. It was a very good time to bond with each other. After that dinner we proceeded to our final stop in the famous Singapore River, famous because the discoverer of Singapore who is Sir Stanford Raffles first docked their ship here. We had a very wonderful river cruise. We met the Merlion, the theatre shaped in a Durian, the Singapore Flyer and other awesome sites around the river. Well, Singapore has truly developed from the old fishing place, to the number 1 tourist destination in the world. They are truly blessed in this country. We went home earlier today and we were very satisfied but it’s not a good time to sleep yet. Tomorrow is the final round. We studied and reviewed a lot that night. Uncle Mail and Ms Jalilah were already teasing us that we really need to study. Well, in our minds, the question is “Why do we need to study? Did we qualify?” we can’t assure by now, so all we need to do is study.

November 29, 2008. The day has finally come. We were very nervous by that moment, from the breakfast until we reached the hall. Everyone was there, waiting for the results just like us. The three of us were getting cold, our legs were shaking. We then prayed before the program started. “Welcome to the BP Quest 2008!” The quiz master started and the announcement of the Top 5 followed. “1st to come on stage… Girl Scouts of the Philippines with the average of 64.5%!” That was a very shocking moment! We were qualified and in fact we ranked no. 1 during the preliminary round. We were really thankful to God for that victory. Unfortunately the Girl Guides from Brunei did not qualify to the finals, so it was the battle of the Philippines and the 4 competing teams of Singapore. We were still cold and after a few moments we were calm. The judges were smiling at us, well they were the honorable members of the Asia Pacific Committee and the renowned names in Singapore girl guiding. The questions were asked one by one. It was the start of the first round. This is an individual round; no assistance from team mates, questions are asked and answered for 10 seconds, individually. Two points for every correct answer and no deduction for the mistake. We only had 1 mistake during that round and we were in rank 2 because the 4th team won that round. In fact for every correct answer we have, we would pray and pray and thank God. There are more chances to win. Next round is an individual team round and we were actually tested on our skills during this round. This was actually our favorite round. The first challenge is to make a gadget out of the 3 poles and 1 twine. That was very fun. Of course we made a tripod. Well, if our tripod is the worst in the Philippines, our tripod is the best in Singapore. We got 5 points for that tripod which raised us to be back in rank 1 again. Other challenges include: memorization, first aid, labeling the parts of the axe and singing of the world song. Well, that round was truly ours. We were happy of the results but we must not be because there is still the last round, which will test our speed in pressing the buzzer. 5 points for correct answer and 5 points will be deducted for wrong answer in the first try. If the other team stills, there will be 3 points for correct answer and 3 points for wrong answer. This round was very hard because we must be careful. We can’t risk our score. The questions were also harder. We didn’t study too much on the 4 World Centers but almost of the questions were focused there. We had some correct answers and some deductions as well while the 5th team would often still and press the buzzer faster than we do, that’s why we were defeated by their team. We were quite sad by the end of the round but still happy because we were not left out in the top 3. The results are now final and we were at rank 2. It’s ok, as long as we did our best. There was an extra round that time for the audience. They were given patches and everyone really enjoyed. The awarding followed after that round. The awards were really great and we were very happy to receive the silver medals and the trophy. They also gave us a token as a remembrance. We ended with picture taking and giving of remembrance to each other. After which we proceeded at the garden where a grand dinner was served. We had the chance to talk with the other girls who were not qualified and we became good friends. One by one, each team departed the guide house. With lots of memories to share and reminisce, everyone left a smile and a sweet goodbye to us. We realized, the contest is over and we will be leaving in two days time. We had a small walk again in Junction 8, we also visited The Library at Bishan. We were able to call back in our family and reported the good news. We are really celebrating our victory. We went back to the guide house and had a rest. Tomorrow we will be soloists in the guide house because the Brunei Guides are already going home.

November 30, 2008. The voices of the Brunei Guides woke us up. It was still early and they were all dressed up in their official uniforms. “Bye Angeli, Hya, and Harrah!” Oh my, early this morning we had a sad moment. We bid our farewells to them. Well, it was sad but we must be happy because we are also going home tomorrow. After they left, we also prepared our selves because we are going to church with Ms Jessie. The mass was 10am we left the Guide house earlier so Ms Jessie had the chance to tour us around the Raffles Hotel and in some malls near the church. We met a lot of Filipinos during the mass. Well, the Catholic Church in Singapore is the famous place where Filipinos would gather to worship God. After the mass, we experienced our very first heavy rain in Singapore. It was just like the Philippines. We were wet because we only had one umbrella. Good thing we entered the mall and roam around while the rain is not at stop yet. It was now time for lunch and Ms. Jessie brought us to a famous restaurant in Raffles street. We really enjoyed the food. Since, we were not allowed to eat pork in the Guide House, we were happy that we had the chance to eat a dish of pork there. That was the best lunch we had in Singapore as what Hya and the rest of us complimented. After lunch we went for a walk to The National Library. Ms Jessie once worked here as a librarian so she really knew where to bring us. She brought as in the floor where the color changing walls are and we had the chance to read the latest news in the newspaper section where not only Singapore newspapers are there but newspapers around the world too. We really enjoy our tour especially when we stop by a library. We feel very light and smart whenever we’re surrounded by books. We spent most of our time there but we’re already tired, so it’s time to go home. We bid our goodbye and thanks to Ms Jessie for the tour and hospitality she has shown us, since it was the last time that we would see her. We went back to Bishan via train without Ms Jessie. And that was our last tour. At night we were already busy packing up and preparing our luggage for tomorrow’s leave, and then we had our good night sleep.

December 1, 2008. It’s a good start of the month but a sad one as well. Happy because at last we’re going back to the Philippines and sad because we are leaving the place we’ve loved and stayed for almost week. We had our last breakfast and lunch in the kitchen. We will truly miss the kitchen, since it’s not only our cooking area; it’s also our study area and our favorite “tambayan” too. We took our last preparations, dressed up in our official uniforms, brought our luggage downstairs and waited for Mrs. Wang and the taxi to arrive. Ms. Jalilah and Uncle Mail also came with us in the airport. That was almost 3pm when we went to the airport and our flight is at 5pm. We said our thanks and goodbyes to our very supportive trainers and then afterwards they left. 2 hours of wait was really fast because we didn’t notice that in a few minutes passengers are already boarding. The rain poured very hard before we left Singapore. Well, the Lord has truly blessed us with these wonderful and unforgettable memories. The plane arrived in the Philippines at 8pm. Thank God we’re back at home.

December 2, 2008. Farewell to Manila and hello Iloilo. Tita Ghia had her flight ealier than us. So again only the three of us are riding the plane at 9am. After hours of waiting in the airport and minutes of riding the plane, at last… we’re back in our hometown with lots and lots of memories to tell.


In life, sometimes we are given opportunities which come only once and when it arrives, remember to grab it. Just like what we did. This experience has truly developed us in the different aspects of life. We have placed in our minds before we left that we will not come to Singapore for competition (win or lose, it’s ok as long as we will do our best) but for experiences and lessons we cannot learn in the four corners of a classroom. We have gained a lot of knowledge and a lot of friends as well. The BP Quest has made us realized that there are more to learn in scouting and guiding and we hope to have the same quest here in the Philippines. We were very thankful to girl scouting because in spite of the hardships we’ve been through, our dreams were still fulfilled. We also wish that every girl in the world would experience the same things as we do but we must remember that a scout/guide has an obligation in her community. It is best to expose ourselves first in the local community and continue our journey later on into the world. We hope to join another international event soon, but we believe that before that, there must be hard work and of course we must implement the motto, which Lord BP started, the motto we’ve been living for and the motto which the whole world must follow…BE PREPARED!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friendship Caravan 2008

Friendship Caravan 2008
By Cdt. Sct. Stephanie Anne P. Tan

The Friendship Caravan 2008 took off on a good start with a Welcoming Dinner in Xiamen wherein the participants got to know each other with an icebreaker by the name of Human Bingo. We discovered that aside from us, 3 girls from the Philippines, there were also 3 Girl Guides from Malaysia, lots of Girl Guides from Hong Kong and also boys and girls who were a part of the China Juvenile Development Service Center. After the dinner, we all went to the beach and took part in a youth festival or fire party. The festival portrayed the different talents of Chinese people and enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming Beijing 2008 Olympics can really be felt in the air.

July 21, 2008. The real caravan started. After breakfast, we immediately went to the port and rode a ferry that brought us to the renowned Gulangyu Island. We learned that Gulangyu is famous for its pianos since before only rich people can afford pianos but now over 600 hundred pianos can be found inside the island. We went to a piano museum and saw pianos of different styles and sizes. The island is also well-known for its variety of architecture. Over 13 embassies of different countries can be found there so it also has varying styles and designs. We also visited the Gulangyu Aviary which housed a variety of birds such as peacocks, storks, cockatoos, flamingoes and many other birds. We also rode a cable car to reach the peak of Gulangyu Island. It was named Sunlight Rock. The trek to the top was extremely tiring especially since it was also very hot. But the view at the top was worth it. But of course, we also used the time as we walk to get to know some of the other participants better. We compared our different organizations. I also discovered that while girls from Hong Kong are quite good in speaking English, most of the Chinese girls don’t understand English at all.

July 22,2008. On this day, we were required to wear our official uniforms. It was very fun watching us girls wear our different uniforms. I’ve observed that they seem to like our Cadet uniforms so much. They Hong Kong Girl guides also looked smart in their uniforms, brown for Brownies and blue for the girl guides. On this day, we went to Quanzhou and visited the Quanzhou Maritime Museum. It was said that this is the only museum in China that is dedicated to the history of Chinese overseas exploration. We also saw the religious sculptures and the folk culture of the seaside in the museum. Our next stop was the Fujian-Taiwan Kinship Musuem. This museum exhibits the relationship of Fujian and Taiwan and the similarities and differences of their culture. We saw lots of life-sized statues depicting the lifestyle of the people. Our last stop for the day was Kaiyuan Temple. We saw people there who were praying to very big statues of Buddha. We learned that the statues were not made of pure gold since it would be prone to stealing. Since it was our first time there, we made a wish because they said it could come true.
July 23, 2008. For most of the morning, we rode on the bus and we arrived at Longyan just in time for lunch. The bus ride was entertaining at the start since the girls took turns in teaching a song or coming up with ice breakers. But since the trip was so long, most of us soon slept away the trip. After lunch, our destination was the Gutian Meeting Memorial Hall. We toured the place which is already very old. We cans see the belief of Chinese people in feng shui in their architecture.

July 24,2008 We had another long bus ride going to Yongding to see the Earth Tower of Hakkas. We were amazed by the buildings made of earth which was shaped like a hat, rounded at the middle and with two rectangular structures at the side. The structure of the building was designed so that it is impenetrable and if it is very hot outside, the temperature inside is cold and vice versa. These round buildings are owned by very rich people and it seems that a community can live inside. Another earth building that we visited is shaped like a tiger, just like in feng shui.

July 25, 2008. We visited the TenFu Tea Museum. There, we witnessed how tea is being made and packaged. It was my first time to see tea trees. We also watched a Korean and Chinese tea ceremony and we were able to taste the tea that they prepared. Our lunch was exquisitely prepared with all the dishes made with tea as part of the ingredients. After lunch, we went to a local Chinese school. We displayed our various paraphernalia about the Girl Scouts of the Philippines. We also taught the students from that school how to make bracelets from just tying cords. It was a tiring but fun experience and we run out of cords. After which, we had a program wherein the different participants rendered a number. We, the delegates from the Philippines, danced the Pandanggo sa Ilaw complete with candles and handkerchiefs for exhibition. It was enjoyable seeing the participants perform different numbers. I’ve noticed that the Chinese participants love to perform speech choirs, monologues and such. The Hong Kong girl guides presented a very touching song entitled Proud of You.

July 26,2008. We went back to Xiamen and visited the Xiamen Olympic Museum which is newly built. In there, we learned the history of the Olympics. We also learned that the Beijing 2008 Olympics mascots namely Beibei, Jingjing, Huanhuan, Yingyin and Nini form the words “Beijing huan ying ni” which means Beijing welcomes you. That night, we had our farewell dinner and representatives from the different groups and delegates gave a short message or insights on what they have learned from the caravan. The Chairman Commissioner also gave her message and told us that we should not cry for it is not the end but rather the beginning of wonderful friendships.

July 27,2008. We went our separate ways but of course, we exchanged contact information so that we can continue our friendships despite the distance that will separate us.

As a whole, the Friendship Caravan 2008 was very educational and fun at the same time. It gave us a chance to know girls from other countries. We were also able to know and learn the culture of the Chinese. There are a few things that I’ve learned from the Caravan that I think could be applied to our own system. One example is the program during the bus rides. I think that we should also apply this during our own tours and events since it helps build team spirit and avoids boredom during long trips. I was also able to appreciate the fact that the delegates for the Friendship Caravan were not only Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. There were also students and teachers from local schools and children from the Red Cross. I hope that I could again take part in a Friendship Caravan such as this wherein we are able to make new friends and widen our horizons.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Worthless Memories of the Conference

-Angeli Monique Siladan-
Iloilo Council

It was almost 3pm of February 21, 2008; I was on a rush going home. The reason? At 6pm the ship going to Cebu for the Regional Senior and Cadet Conference will leave. As one of the officers of the Senior Planning Board, the council has chosen us- Ia Anne Noelle Burla and yours truly, Angeli Monique Siladan, to attend this annual conference for Senior and Cadet Girl Scouts. Ia and I were of course very excited because no adult will come with us. This will be a very great time for us.

The ship has boarded from Iloilo and fast as the hours passed, we have reached Cebu at around 8am of February 22. During our stay in the ship, we met some of our co-Girl Scouts from Capiz, they were only three, and they were so friendly to us. On the board was also the girls from Antique but it was already when we got down from the ship that we met each other, there were six of them that time. Now, we’re already in Cebu. I can really sense the feeling of the first timers there. I’m so happy to see the Regional Office again and the Titas there as well. I’m so glad that the Titas can still recognize me and so much to my gladness when I saw some friends there. I started to get to know other girls from the different councils. They really are Girl Scouts because of their friendly spirit.

It was already late when we started with the orientation and the opening ceremony but we were still enlightened when we were already introduced with each other. We were only 43 Girl Scouts present there so we must really know the other girls. We definitely started with the sessions after the opening ceremony. First topic that was discussed was about the “Adolescent Reproductive Health” and “Gender Sensitivity”. We really had fun with the topic and the resource person. The topic was really opened on the concerns of Pre-marital sex and knowing one’s gender. So much is to discuss but it still ended well with icebreakers, singing and snacks. It was then so fast and lunch came.

This time is really what we enjoy most. Everyone had a hard time communicating in different languages such as Bisaya, Ilonggo, Karay-a, Waray and every language present in Visayas, so what we did was during lunch we ask each other for some words to be translated. All we do is laugh and laugh during those times.
Later in the afternoon, we had the sessions again, this time the topic was “Peer Counseling”, “Personality Development” and “Leadership”. The speakers were really good. At the first part, we built a tower of straws which showed the real essence of leaders in us. It was really a fun activity. Next were oriented with the kinds of leadership we could possess and apply in times that we are necessary to lead. We then proceeded to games, which was in the end wherein I realized we were already in the peer counseling topic.

It was really good. Everyone enjoyed laughing and doing the activities. We were taught how to counsel a friend in need, and that was what I liked most. I was surprised with the last topic. Everyone started to get bored that time (we can’t deny it!) but we woke from restlessness to a good debate with the story, “The Crocodile River.” I really had fun from that and too much in my surprise, when I was carried by four girls (smaller than my size!) from the chair using only their 2 fingers, which was actually a test in one of the Johari Window. It was too fast and the night time is already in. We had diner and of course, funny moments were still there, after we practiced for our Thinking Day Ceremony. It was February 22 and it is in Girl Scouting culture wherein we celebrate the Thinking Day in honor for the birthday of our founders. We also had an acquaintance party that night. The girls were in their casual attire, we also had this “modeling” which led to a beauty pageant then. It was so funny, cute and nervousness arouse, especially if you’re one of those models being judged. We end the night with satisfaction and smiles in our selves. Before I ended that day, I talked with my love ones in Iloilo and reminded them that I’m safe wherever I am.

Late sleep and late rise! What can I do? I slept late at night and now I’m suffering my consequences. I wasn’t able to wake up earlier than what I have planned so I waited so long inside the shower room. Good thing I was able to finish bathing before we started the color ceremony. After the ceremony, we proceeded to the dining area for our breakfast. In our patrol, we did our work in the Kaper’s which was the Mess and Dining. Then, we fixed ourselves and prepared for the sessions this morning, the topic was about “Clean Air”. An engineer from the D.E.N.R., was our resource person. It was a good topic because we were able to awaken ourselves from a very long sleep when it comes to the concern of the environment, specifically the air. Young as our age, we were lucky enough to be aware of what is going on in the world right now, and the topic really soothed those who were “listening” by that time. The next session was much more interesting; we had “Fine Dining”! That was one of the most applicable among all the topics. The speaker was really good in giving each detail of the activity. Mostly, it is applied in formal gatherings wherein etiquette in eating is really important. We were given a chance to perform the same way of formal eating when lunch time came. But before the “formal dining” was performed, the patrol leaders, together with the steering committee, and the titas had the Court of Honor. Many things were discussed during the meeting but all were resolved after the meeting was adjourned. Now, it’s time for lunch! Each was asked to do their fine dining in their own tables. Some had the hard time but mostly had fun in performing it. Our table was actually the noisiest and loudest that time because we were really enjoying the moments and laugh at our best even though the Titas were already looking (sorry we just can’t stop it!). And here we are, back to the session hall again for the last topic of this conference, “Action against the violence of Women” which was already associated with “Human Trafficking”.

Pardon me but I didn’t totally listened to the speaker even though I liked the topic. It is really good to be aware of what are the latest standards of women in the society. That intriguing issue, which is, “Why women were considered inferior by men” was answered by that time. Your participation and rights in today’s world (as a woman and a human) was also discussed.

It ended up quite early, not like yesterday, because we had our workshop for “Action Planning”. We were given time to think of what kind of action plan we can come up wherein we can use in our respective councils. We finished our own action plan then it took so long for us to finish the action plan for the patrol. We had our last diner that night and we continued the action plans after which. We played some games, lead by the steering committee. We all really spent the night at its best, thinking that in the next day it’ll be our last sight with each other. For me that night was endless! Ia and I were the last people to sleep at almost 1am. We just talked, share some stories, laugh quietly and try not to disturb the others, until the time came that we really have to rest. It’s been a very short sleep! I wasn’t able to take a bath because when we woke up it’s already time for the exercise. After then, I rushed up stairs to take a bath and prepare for the Scout’s own. Everyone was in their official uniform and everyone put all their vows onto that sacred ceremony, done uniquely by the girl scouts. As soon as we finished the Scout’s own, we proceeded to the dining area and ate our breakfast.

It was Iris’ birthday that day; it was very early in the morning when we greeted her and until that time we sang a birthday song for her. This day wasn’t so busy. I just prepared myself for the reporting of the action plan of our patrol. Quite nervous that time when I faced the girls and the titas, but still with confidence I started speaking. Everything turned out right, I guess, but the titas were not so satisfied from what we made. We repeated our works and made the second one after I have reported. We had a short while for snacks and the other patrols did their reporting. Everyone wants to finish as soon as possible because we were already over time and the bus for the tour is already waiting outside. We had our lunch after all the action planning was done. It was our last get together in the dining hall so we really enjoyed it. There was a cake prepared for the birthday girl and everyone enjoyed it. At last! Everything’s done! The girls from Capiz, Antique, Bohol and Iloilo, prepared all their things to be brought down stairs. It was my last peek from the titas and the regional office, and now all of us head on to the tour.

First stop, the Taoist Temple! It was fun looking back to the temple once again. I really enjoy being there. After a couple of minutes we went back to the bus and we went to the next destination, the Sto. NiƱo Church and the Magellan’s Cross, but we also had time looking around Cebu when we were on the bus. Ia and I were able to light candles first then we bought lots of affordable souvenirs there and for that short time everyone really enjoyed. And now, the last stop…SM Cebu! I missed shopping there! The time was really so short for us to finish roaming around the mall. It was so fast and I lately observed that it was almost 4pm and we have to go! Ia and I had a very hard time looking for the exit. It was really funny of us! It was so sad but we bid goodbye to the other girls whom we’re not going to be with in the ship anymore. I will really miss every one of them. But for some of us who still sees each other in the ship, we just enjoyed while the ship started to depart from the port of Cebu, when in fact the rain started to pour. Maybe, the weather just joined us in thinking the memories we have left from the conference! We still did a lot of bonding in the ship. We ate together and talk of a lot of things. We ended up sleeping very well because of tiredness, and that was our last night with our co-girls scouts. With God’s guidance, the ship successfully arrived in Iloilo, earlier than expected. We all said goodbyes to each other as soon as everyone were brought to the bus terminal.

This was one of the best events I’ve ever attended in girl scouting. It didn’t only teach me a lot of new things but I also made new friends. Nothing can ever replace these memories until time fades away. I miss all the girls already! I encourage everyone to join and participate in the different activities and events of girl scouting. Its one event you wouldn’t ever forget as you continue with life’s journey. If the spirit is in you never stop pursuing it. Someday you’ll realize, being a girl scout is worth it!

Monday, March 03, 2008


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Regional Senior-Cadet Conference 2008

During the National Senior- Cadet Conference 2007, an action planning occurred in which we, girl scouts from different councils were grouped by regions and deliberated a project which was to be done as soon as we arrive at our respective regions. The girl scouts of the Visayas Region planned to have a Regional Senior- Cadet Conference in MYVRPTC, Cebu City. The GSP Visayas communicated, days, weeks, and months after the NSCC’07. Despite our busy schedules and long detachment connection, still we’re able to deal with the given task. *Special thanks to Y.M, Friendster, mobile phones and ofcourse our official site, the*. These things made the communication passion possible. We were also lucky to have our Girl Representative, Senior Girl Scout - Frances Valerie Natividad for a job well done. She actively and effectively managed the planning thing.

The RSCC’08 successfully happened last February 22- 24, 2008 at Camp Marina, Cebu City with the theme “ACT TODAY FOR A BETTER WORLD”. Particular recognition is also for the NSCC’07 staff for imparting their awareness in running an effective conference.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Boys and the bathroom..

-Ma. Precious Eugene M. Sembrero-
Leyte Council

Girl Scout? What a bore! Yes, as obvious as it seems wearing that green, heater uniform is really is senseless. But the question, have you ever tried joining the organization? Have you ever attended Girl Scout encampments? Or have you ever learned something from it?
Many thrilling and out of ordinary things happen in Girl scouting that you wouldn’t encounter outside that organization. Things that is absolutely hard to forget. Especially those things that make your heart to arouse into something you wouldn’t do in your whole life.
So, let me give you a glimpse of what is happening during encampment. The basis of my stories is the Regional Encampment we attended last October 20-26, 2007 at Marina Yulo-Vargas Regional Program and Training Center,Lahug Cebu.

The Stalker

Some might think that Girl Scouts is very dull, that they don’t have any crushes or anything. Think twice, these girls are also creatures whose hearts are soften whenever they encounter opposite species.
We traveled by boat to Cebu. While on the boat we girls don’t have anything to do, so we roamed around. During our excursion we saw guys, good-looking ones to be more specific. We called one “Kuya Brown” because he was wearing a brown t-shirt. There was also “Kuya Blue”, which is a cousin of one of the camper from Cazzandhra.
My other companions wanted to take a picture of those two; in that case they tried hard not to let the guy notice that they were taking stolen shots. We have only picture of “Kuya Brown” who was reading a book, because we didn’t seen “kuya Blue” again.
We checked all the decks just to look for that guy, but we failed. We were like stalkers who had lost their target. We’ve only seen him again when we we’re getting near the harbor.
Another was when we we’re in Camp Marina already. Ate Angie experienced nosebleed, so she was sent to the infirmary. She told us that there were “CUTE” guy nurses. Everyone went excited just to know the news and this was the reason why almost all of us want to have nose bleed and be sent to the infirmary.
A guy at the canteen also caught the daring eyes of the Girl Scouts again. Din- din, the one who first saw this guy, told us about him. Some of us went hysterical again. Sometimes they stalk him, pretending to buy something at the store.

Long Distance Friends

Scouting has contributed a lot to my number of friends. I’m not bragging but having friends from different far-flung places is such an honor.
I thought they will not recognize me but then they were the first one who greeted me. We were really happy to see again each other. Whenever I see them we talked about the last encampment we attended. It was fun remembering such experiences.
I like it a lot whenever someone knows me. But always remember that even if they don’t know you, it doesn’t matter, as long as you know them. It is great to have friends, so treasure them.

Shower Girls and the Boys in the Bathroom

No, no, no, don’t take it the way it is. I’m just talking about the difficulty and at the same time the entertainment we face in taking a bath.
As early as two o’clock we need to wake up in order not to meet the “rush hour” in using the bathrooms. We were still lazy to take a bath but it is much better than not being able to take a bath because there were many users. The lines snaked so long, so far, that it was enough to go around from Leyte to Samar. Okay, I am just exaggerating, but can you picture all of us, lining up, holding our soap, towels, etc.. and then the sun is peeking out already from the sky telling us that another activity is going to happen that day?
All girls should line up before going to the place we were longing, the bathroom. While waiting in vain we find things to do to overlap our boredom. Well, I think the well-known topic was always about “boys”. Sometimes I get tired of talking about guys. I just don’t know with them that it sounds very, very interesting. Anyway, as long as it adds color to the activity of the day which is “waiting”, it would be fine.
When it was the turn of the two girls in front of me, I can hear them talking about their crushes from their school inside the bathroom. It gave me the idea that girls can’t really live without boys.

You Go Girl!

A Girl scout just don’t mope around whenever she feels nothing to do or whenever she doesn’t have any costume when they need to perform.
Just like when it was Extravaganza (an activity wherein each council performs something to represent their council) Guinevere, Din-din and me, don’t have any costumes. Actually we were supposed to be the drummers of our performance. Unfortunately, there was already a tape for the presentation. Instead of just sitting, cry our self out, and to be influenced by our not-so-good mood, we challenged ourselves to unsettle all our tents used by LNHS Girl Scouts in just an hour or at least one and a half hour. It was an accomplishment. “I think we will win if there was a contest for the fastest to unsettle tents”, I thought with a laugh.
See, how girls really rocks? It is not a good idea to stay idle whenever problems, sorrows, hardships and challenges come to your way. Self – empowerment is one of the values Girl Scouts taught me.

My Future Job: Porter

I don’t think so being a porter is such a low class kind of occupation. Honestly, for me it is a noble job (Really.). Helping to carry the bag of people is one of the kindest things to do. Although, in the end you need to pay them, it is still worth it because they have done something for you.
This last encampment, after the closing program, we practiced being a porter. We helped carry the heavy baggage they have. Sometimes it is even bigger than the person who owns it.
You know what, I don’t know but everytime I helped a person I feel more delighted than the person I helped. I really don’t know why. Everytime I see them smile because I’ve helped them, I don’t feel exhausted. I don’t even mind how big or how heavy their bag is and everytime they say the phrase “Thank You”, oh my, I felt that everything that I’ve done was right, an accomplishment, and I think that I’ve made a knew friend. It was even much more worthy than repaying you by means of money. It was really different in a way that it touched not only my heart but also my soul.
Being a Girl Scout is never easy. But then after all those tiring challenges it gives you an opportunity to become a better person.
The memories and values you have earned every encampment is unbreakable. It can never be taken away from you because once a girl scout always a girl scout.
Try joining Girl Scout and be active even in an encampment or not. It might be senseless wearing the Girl Scout uniform because it is makes you sweat, feel tired, or whatsoever. Nevertheless deep inside that uniform is a girl who had become a better person because of that “green- heater” uniform.
When we left camp, I was hoping to see Kuya Brown and Kuya Blue again….

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cebu Council--Patrol Leader's Camp Permit Course 2007

August 17-19, 2007
Marina Yulo Vargas Regional Program and Training Center
Capitol Hills, Cebu City
Cebu Council

Patrol Leader's Camp Permit Course

It's all about Learning, the Skills and the heart of a girl scout!!

The senior girl scouts of Cebu Council were personally trained by our very own Technical Assistant, Miss Jo Ann Jayme about the basic and general knowledge of girl scouting. The Links of unity, the GSP Principles and Laws, the Patrol System and most of all, about our dear founder, Josefa Llanes Escoda.

Tita Leah Apao, Council Executive even had a session about camp budget and the preparation in camp. We also had an evaluation on how to do the correct outdoor colors which was for the good of all scouts.

The topics were really interesting and informative to the extent that the speakers involve fun ways in learning everything from A-Z!!

Senior scouts were given the privilege to present their talents and show the essence of each challenge in the Eight Point Challenge. The scouts were very cooperative in all the games and discussions. They even tried to make their own patrol yells and cheers and presented it to their fellow girl scouts.

Like any other girl scouting encounter we also had a Friendship Night where we all played games of introducing ourselves and had fun singing songs. It was a genuine feeling having to share our smiles and laughter with our new found friends.

As girls and young ladies we are always given the awareness to take care of ourselves and especially our health. We should then be physicall fit and so we had our Calisthenics early in the morning to warm up and start the day right!

Who could ever miss a campfire ceremony?! Not us! We had our campfire ceremony outside the multipurpose hall and each participating school showed what girl scouts have, that is the confidence and the talent!

Learning is a very important thing in life. Our daily activities still needs safety preacautions and as our motto claims that we are always prepared, the girl scouts also had their First Aid Session with a professional Resource Person.

More activities came in the following days as we also experience the Scout's Own early sunday morning with the theme Love, Friendship and Service.

The Cebu Council Staff consisting of Cadet girl scouts who are also a part of the Council SPB accomplished their work in fascilitating and guiding their fellow scouts to lead and learn how to follow instructions. It was also a learning experience for them on how to handle situations and be a good example to the younger ones.

A closing ceremony formally ended the training both happy and sad. With heart full of gratitude for the great blessing of being a part of the Cebu Council girl scout family. We ended the camp but for sure the friendship, learning and the new found skills will never fade away. The camp deepened our knowledge and our interest in making good not just in camp but also in our daily activities of life.