The Complete Senior Year Guide

Just me on a regular day in high school. Legit missing those days. (Wow kala mo naman ang tagal na.)

This is it. This is going to be your final year in high school and you’re about to graduate after ten months. At long last. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for as the Department of Education deprived you of this for two years. I know the feeling. You are officially graduating from basic education and congratulations for making it this far. It is going to be a blast!

Grade 12 is the make-or-break year of your high school life. Why? It’s the “filtering” stage because one mistake or failure can cost you your diploma and one bold move can launch you into the spotlight. You either take the stairs to success or dig your own grave. The decision is yours. I won’t talk much further because everything I want to address is already written down below. Let’s cut it short.

Here’s the final chapter of my Senior High Guide series and perhaps the last entry dedicated to my alma mater. Let’s get down to business. Allow me to share my senior year experience in full detail. This post holds nothing but the truth. It’s a LONG READ but I promise it will be helpful! Read on!



  • Mind over matter. – This will be my first tip because it’s the most important. You have to condition your mind that it’s your best year ever, that you’ll do everything you can to make it worthwhile. It’s your last shot in high school so you better get focused. You need to have this I’m-gonna-do-my-best-whatever-it-takes mindset. Dapat motivated ka to ace your graduating year because it’s a make-or-break year. You have to imagine a prize waiting for you at the finish line para ma-motivate ka. Actually, may mga weird akong motivation. Minsan iniisip ko na dapat kong gawin ‘to para mahaba yung sasabihin ng emcee bago ako mag-bow sa recognition. (Dapat mapagod magbasa yung emcee sa dami ng awards!) O kaya dapat mahaba yung caption ng Facebook post ko or ng parents ko. O kaya minsan isipin niyo na lang na dapat naka-reserved seats yung parents niyo pag graduation na.  And that helps too! Akala niyo ha! Hahahaha!
  • Review your old Biology and Physics lessons. – Once again, your notes in JHS will be of help. Your lessons in Bio and Physics will be taken again in your senior year and you might as well review them! Good luck sa Physics! Hihihihi.
  • You’ll miss Math. – Life is so much better and lighter because there’s no Math.  And it worked to my favor because most subjects are more on linguistics and arts. Physics lang talaga ang kalaban nating mga bobo sa math.
  • Creativity is a prerequisite for STEM. – Yep. Dapat marunong ka sa mga scrapbook scrapbook doodle chena and all. Hindi ko alam bakit ang tatanda na namin tapos ganito pa rin, well kung mas mahirap naman ang ipapagawa mas magrereklamo kami. Hay, kaya di tayo umaasenso eh. LOL. Basta ayun, dapat may art skills pa rin because Grade 12 is more on creative work. Magazines, music videos, short films, presentations, name it you’ll do it. Star Magic workshop lang ang peg. Tip: If you struggle with creative ideas, the internet is there. Just as long as di ka deretsahang kumokopya ng trabaho ng iba.  Nakakatuwa rin kapag creative projects kasi nai-insert ko yung mga interests and ideas ko. I remember one time I reinvented skin products for a business proposal. Then we produced a magazine and I chose Lifestyle as the theme. Haha! Share lang.
  • Memorization skills are vital. – There’s Bio, SocPol, Contemporary Arts, Theo, ETech, Entrep, and all the other subjects na puro terms ang inaaral kaya kailangan ng matinding memorization skills. Tip: Rewrite your lectures at home. I use my laptop to type lectures inside the class and then I rewrite them at home for memory retention. Guaranteed effective guys! Don’t rewrite the stars, rewrite your lecture. LOL.
  • English Proficiency is key. And because most subjects are research-centered and more on humanities, expect essays, written reports, and research work as your performance tasks and outputs. Tatlong thesis pa niyan! English proficiency is very crucial. You’ll experience producing magazines, advertisements, short films, TV and Radio broadcasting and all that research work. Feel ko nga AB Comm talaga inenroll ko eh, hindi STEM.  
  • Google Docs is a life saver. – It’s very very convenient to use as long as you have a stable internet connection. Basta online lang yung mga ka-group mo magagawa niyo yung dapat gawin. (Sana maayos na groupmates nga lang!) Oh and by the way, high tech na ang ibang teachers! May pa-Google Classroom na sila!  I just love how we are able to utilize these apps, super napapadali na yung mga ginagawa. And these apps are suited for our education system. Our generation is very lucky indeed, so don’t complain!  Di ko maintindihan bakit tinatamad at nagrereklamo pa yung iba eh mas convenient na nga ngayon. *rolls eyes* 
  • In Voice Records We Trust. – My classmates can attest to this. Using my laptop, I voice record my teachers during discussions. Lalo na pag Bio, Theo, at sa mga Research subjects because it helps when you listen to them again at home. Parang nadi-discuss ulit sa’yo. Bale lecture sa laptop, voice records, tapos lecture ulit sa bahay. Yes, this is peak GC. Oh, record your teachers during discussions to keep receipts too! “Sir, wala kayong tinurong ganyan, may ebidensiya ako!”
  • Th(re)esis – You have THREE (3) Research subjects. Practical Research 2; Inquiries, Investigation, Immersion; and Capstone Project. And please, don’t ever take these subjects for granted, makakatulong din sila kahit di mo nakikita yung relevance nila ngayon, promise yan. Promise. ‘Wag niyong unahin yung reklamo. I’ll dedicate a category for this! Continue reading!
  • Socialize. – Dapat marunong kang mag-PR, mag-salestalk, makihalubilo. Dapat marunong kang makisama. ‘Di ba sabi ko nga dati dapat pang Mister/Miss Friendship yung attitude. Hahaha! Make sure that you have connections, dapat kilala ka nila at dapat kilala mo rin sila, iba kasi pag kilala ka ng mga tao. This isn’t just about the fame, but you know you’ll need each other in certain events too. Mutualism oh. Haha!
  • Dance Again. – Gird your loins. UGH, THIS WAS MY MAJOR STRUGGLE. After a year of intense work outs, prepare yourself for dances again. Samba and Chacha were one of the lessons and sadly, wala talaga sa DNA ko yung pagsayaw kaya mababa grade ko sa PE. Then the next sem fitness ulit, so dapat pumayat ka o ma-maintain mo yung katawan mo kasi kung hindi, babagsak ka. Joke lang! Haha!
  • Connections can be very helpful. – Dapat may kilala kang sikat or professionals; i.e. nurse, doktor, negosyante, priest etc. You need to have connections too! Why? Because they can help in your research, school projects, and in other shoots! “We need to shoot in blablabla.” “Ay may kilala kami diyan! Perfect!” This will make your life easier and I’m very thankful to have connections with so many people.
  • Learn how to drive. – This isn’t totally necessary but it will help you during shoots outside the school. Dapat may marunong magmaneho sa mga kagroup mo kapag shooting ang projects, kahit pagmaneho lang yung naambag niya ayos na. Bayaran niyo na lang yung gas niya non! I ain’t kidding!


2/3 of my Research Studies. I remember doing both of them simultaneously (see the checklist above). So stressful!


  • A GOOD RESEARCH PROBLEM WILL SAVE YOU.–  I repeat, THREE RESEARCH SUBJECTS. Not just one, not just two, but THREE. DepEd, why the hell?! Tatlong thesis in ten months?!  Ito yung tipong ultimo paninigarilyo o pagtapon ng basura ng ibang tao problema mo rin. Ganung level! So dapat magaling kang mag-isip ng research problems. Make sure you have available respondents for the topic you choose and see to it that you’ll be able to solve the problem (even in a little way lang) in the given time span. Hindi yung singka-ganda or singka-galing ng title pero pahirapan naman pag nag-data gathering. Yikes. Again, ‘wag niyong pahihirapan ang mga sarili niyo.   Dapat isipin mo, “Saan ako kukuha ng respondents?”, “Is this feasible?”, “May enough bang RRL for this?”, “Malalaban ba namin sa title defense ‘to?”, “Who will benefit from this?”.  In the first few weeks of Capstone and InqRes, your life will revolve around Variables. Yes, how this independent variable impacts the dependent variable chuchuchu. Bakit ba ‘to nangyayari, ano ang causes, anong effects, what can we change etc. Dapat alam niyo lahat  ng basics na ‘yan. 
  • Choose your workmates wisely. – Only if possible. Choose the best of the best. Make sure you get someone na masipag, magaling sa salestalk, magaling sa writing, sa Math, sa Arts. See to it na lahat sila may maiaambag. If not, weightlifting fairy ang kalalabasan. 
  • Work in a systematic way. – Because I’ve been the leader and main writer in all my thesis subjects, I make sure that my groupmates aren’t stagnant. I jot down all their work for them. “O eto mga gagawin mo, do it this way, ganitong time dapat tapos na, if not I’ll give you something else to work on otherwise you’ll pay.” This is what I do to exercise fairness. Naka-lista lahat ng assignments nila para alam nila yung dapat nilang gawin. As in organized lahat. Kung leader ka palagi, siguraduhin mong all their tasks are written or posted. Para ma-track mo kung sino yung nagta-trabaho nang maayos o hindi.  Gusto ko kasi maayos at nagagawa ang trabaho on time and in a very systematic and strategic way. Oo, demanding talaga ako kasi dapat may respeto ka sa oras at effort ng ibang tao.
  • Connections will save you. –  Life is so much easier if you choose a research topic tackling about something na connected sa ‘yo or importante sa ‘yo. Make sure it’s a topic close to your heart. This is very helpful sa Capstone and Inqres because they’re community based studies. So dapat bago ka talaga pumili ng topic, isipin mo kung di ka mahihirapang maghanap ng connections or access sa mga respondents na kailangan. If you wish to pursue a study in your barangay or your hometown dapat may mai-interview ka na about the research problem or may makukuha kang respondent na makakatulong sa ‘yo. In my case, our Capstone study was about Malnutrition kaya nagpa-feeding program kami sa amin, and it’s easier kasi malapit na lang. Then for InqRes we interviewed college students from AUF and I have access there so I managed to accomplish ten interviews in two hours. This is going to be of help, I solemnly swear. If you have the privilege, please please please use it to your advantage and do it para sa ikabubuti mo.
  • Google Docs is LIFE. –  Once again, utilize technology. Google Docs, Google Sheets will be of help pag nagta-tally na ng questionnaires for Quanti research. Just input the results, the formula, and  et voila! You have it. This is also where I get to see the progress of my groupmates in real time. I know who works well and who doesn’t. *sips tea*
  • EBSCOhost is LIFE TOO. – You’ll know this soon! If there’s no EBSCO, natural selection is coming for you.
  • Rehearse your OD. – I have a habit of over-preparing for things I need to do. I practice lines and speeches days—weeks even— before the actual event. I think of questions na pwedeng ibato sa akin pag OD and I answer them, I review my manuscript a week before the scheduled defense, and I can say that rehearsing is indeed effective. I practice my lines, the questions, the rehearsed answers, lahat. Tapos naka-summarize lahat in my “final script” kumbaga. Inaaral ko lahat kahit part ng mga ka-group ko just in case mag-choke sila. And one time I prepared for the Capstone OD  tapos nung nandun na, the only question was, Let’s proceed to the conclusion na, so ano yung mga nagbago sa respondents ninyo?” and that’s it. As in yun lang. I’m like, “binasa ko lahat ng parts, ni-rehearse ko lines ko, nag-blazer ako at lahat tapos isang question lang?!” The important thing is prepared ka!
  • Prepare for cash out. – You need cash for questionnaires, tokens, pamasahe papunta sa ganitong place, pang-gas, pagkain, and other expenses. It also depends on your research topic. We conducted  a feeding program for two weeks kaya medyo magastos but come to think of it, it’s actually more feasible than doing community work na tipong lilibutin niyo buong barangay para mangolekta ng tubig tas may lab tests pa. Ours kasi dapat mag-gain lang ng weight yung mga bata then you’re good to go. Yung ibang problems kasi maraming gastos tapos walang assurance na effective or what. Hahanap sila ng leaf na pwedeng anti-bacterial chuchu, anong tubig yung safe, saan yung dapat pagtaniman ng gulay et cetera. GANUNG LEVELS. Basta maghanda kayo ng pera. Kung may pang-Starbucks at pang-H&M kayo, dapat lang may pambayad kayo ng mga mas kailangang bayaran.  
  • Research Benefits –  I know that doing research is a very tedious task but from another perspective, this will benefit us in College and in life as well. Ask me why and how? We’ve mastered how these research studies work—how they’re done, who are the potential respondents, where to get information and all. Tbh, hinahanap-hanap na nga namin eh. Di kumpleto yung sem kung walang thesis. So basically, pagdating ng college, piece of cake na lang. Oo, mahirap siya ngayon, pero when you look back, you’ll be thankful na na-experience mo na beforehand. Jusko 6 research studies ba naman in two years ‘di ka masasanay?! At least may prior knowledge ka na ‘di ba?! Research na English, tapos meron ding Filipino dati. Kulang na lang ata Baybayin o Hangul yung medium of instruction! HAHAHA.  O ‘di ba, ahead ka na sa iba mong blockmates soon! Plus you get to hone your oral and written communication skills. Nawa-widen vocabulary mo, nate-test yung fluency and proficiency mo. Your creativity and interpersonal skills are tested too. That can be applied to other practical and daily activities. And that’s our edge as Familians or as K-12 Pioneers. Ibang klase yung training natin so better be thankful!

This is me looking down at my haters. Just kidding!


  • You’ll get tired of the people around you. – Whether you like it or not, you’ll eventually outgrow the people around you. Lalo na yung mga taong walang magandang impact sa buhay mo. Yung mga taong walang ibang ine-emit kung ‘di negativity. You already know everything about everyone in your batch. Pero kahit ganon, may attachment pa rin sa mga good friends eh, kahit may mga bad memories ka with other people, hahanapin mo rin yung company ng mga totoo mong kaibigan. Imagine being with the same people for 12 years. You basically saw each other grow up but, it’s time to say good bye as you move on to a new chapter. 😉
  • Keeping up with the Kadramahan. – It’s Mean Girls brought into life. There are times when  I think that some of my batch mates matured in reverse. Kung kailan kami tumanda dun nagkakaroon ng petty issues at catfights na burn book worthy. Regina George is shook.  Cyberbullying is rampant too. Honestly I have no idea bakit ‘di nare-report yung mga ganitong cases at ‘di nasa-sanction yung mga perpetrators. Well, feel ko mauubos yung mga estudyante. No joke! So much drama lies ahead mga kids, grab your popcorn with large softdrinks. Get a daily dose of tea. MARAAAAMING TOXIC. Dapat talaga sina-sampolan yung mga taong ganito eh, ano pang use ng handbook kung hindi nai-impose yung sanctions?! Ang dami sanang di nag-graduate!
  • Yes, people will talk shit about you. – Some people have so much time in their hands that instead of studying, they keep on spreading false rumours and malicious gossip about you or other people. They also have time to stir things up and create issues. Kung sanang pinasa niyo na lang yung oras na sinayang ninyo sa akin, marami na sana akong nagawang productive.  I think it’s a projection of their own insecurities or maybe because they’re just jealous? (Pero most of them are really problematic based sa mga observation ko.) Or wala lang talaga silang magawang maganda sa buhay? May mga tao talagang maraming time magchismis at gumawa ng kwento pero pag lessons na, wala na silang alam. Merong iba na chismis lang din yung ambag sa mga group work. I’m sooo done. Tip: Laging niyong tatandaan  na kapag marami kang ginagawang mabuti o maganda, hahanapan ka ng faults and ima-magnify ng ibang tao yung mga pagkakamali mo. It’s part of life so just shake it off. Never retaliate. Let karma do its job, just continue doing you and find your way to the top. Yung mga gossipmongers na yan din yung mga hihingi ng tulong sa’yo pag minsan! Marami silang humihingi ng tulong sa akin pag minsan!  😉
  • Leave toxic people – Never ever tolerate toxic behavior. I’m no cactus expert but I know a prick when I see one. And please do keep the circle small. You don’t need to endure the toxicity of other people just because may pinagsamahan kayo. Iba yung mental and emotional pain na ibinibigay ng mga toxic na tao so don’t think twice about leaving them. Negativity begets negativity and you don’t want it to be part of your system. And if I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors. Bye feeeelicia.
  • I…I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative… –  Stay away from gossip. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in trouble and in inescapable situations. It’s better to be alone than in bad company. Tip: Wag kang lalapit sa mga taong mali. 


My high school squad and I candidly pose after the graduation rites. We all graduated with honors and with other awards! 6/6! Now that’s what you call #SquadGoals. 

The first and last time I joined DSPC and as luck would have it, I bagged a Best News Presenter award. 
Forever with distinction because Physics was a disaster. Better than nothing at all.

Rise Above

  • Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. – No matter what you say or what you do, you feel like you’ll never be right. I’ve shared about this in my Graduation letter if you remember. There will always be someone who will try to point out your flaws or will try to bring you down in your moments of success. Alam mo, tama o mali man ang gawin mo, may masasabi at masasabi pa rin ang mga tao sa ‘yo, and that’s their problem na, not yours. You can’t please everyone guys.
  • Smart Shaming? – I don’t understand why people try to bring down those who are competent in class and those who excel in what they do. Never ever justify your laziness and your incompetence, you might want to keep up instead of dragging these people down.
  • All About Branding. – Ask yourself, “How do I want to be remembered?”. How you see yourself is how other people are going to see you. Be a role model or someone to look up to. Ask yourself if the 5 year old you will be proud of who you are right now. It’s not just about keeping a squeaky clean reputation, it’s just that you have to leave an impact, a really good impact, on the lives of others. Be genuine. Be someone worth knowing and make your story something worth telling. Mag-iwan ka ng legacy. THINK OF WHAT WILL BE WRITTEN IN YOUR YEARBOOK WRITEUP. (Minsan isipin niyo reaction ng mga tao in case bigla kayong mamatay, matutuwa ba sila o malulungkot? Kaya dapat magpakabuti ka. HAHAHAHAH Hehehe half kidding!)
  • You. control. your. mood. – Emotional stability is necessary. Ewan ko, gumagana yung Psychology powers ko when I’m under pressure, in toxic situations, under intense stress, pagod and all. Whenever I’m not in my “normal” state of mind, I always say to myself na “Drei, don’t think of this.” or “Drei, positive thoughts, think of happy thoughts.” “Drei, wag mong iisipin yan, wag.” I just remind myself to pay attention to things that matter than to sulk and whine, and eventually ruin my day. Sometimes it’s how you react to things. It’s how you think. It’s all in the mind.
  • Individual Work > Group Work – I prefer individual works more than group works because you can track your progress, you don’t depend on anyone, and you are in control of everything. Mas gusto kong mag-isa nagta-trabaho and I really plead my teachers to allow me to go solo during other projects. I like working alone because I get the best ideas out of nowhere then I can execute them better by myself. Maybe it’s because I don’t like bothering or depending on other people or maybe I’m just totally done with their excuses and selective participation. Basta dapat masanay kayong mag-isa magtrabaho kasi pag college na you’re on your own!

OJ Preparation. 
#FunTime2017 was the best. IV of Spades, Ben&Ben, Patty Tiu? At the covered court? HFA DID THAT.

Serving looks as we go on the way to the Met Gala. Kidding! #Regalia2018 was a blast!

The Last Time 

  • Meet new people –  It’s refreshing to learn from new people. Choose people who choose you. It’s okay to be friendly, it doesn’t hurt to be nice but you don’t go around trusting everyone you know. As I’ve said earlier, other people suck. Be friendly pero wag kayong lalapit sa mga taong mali. Yun lang talaga. Mafe-feel mo naman kung may mali eh. Some events like Science fairs, bazaars and club meetings will require interpersonal skills so better grab the chance to meet new people!
  • Enjoy your “Lasts – Last Culmi, Last Intrams, Last First Friday masses, Last Apostolate, Recollection sa SACOP, Christmas Party and all school events. Attend all of them because it’s the last. It will never be the same again. Please make the most out of it, and take lots of pictures para may memories! Enjoy it while it lasts because before you know it, you’re already on your way to college!
  • Love what you do, do what you love. – Involve yourself in a club or org you really love and it won’t feel like work at all. You have a lot of choices. There’s Cor Unum, The Student Council, Health Sci, ABM Org, Benedictine Club, Athletics, Academic Team to name a few. Basta ang mahalaga, nage-enjoy ka sa ginagawa mo at panindigan mo ‘yan kasi ginusto mo. 
  • Live for the moment. – No matter how seemingly toxic it was before, mas pipiliin mong maging Grade 11 or Junior High ulit. Trust me, sasabihin mo rin ‘to if you reach this point. Pahirap nang pahirap at patanda na tayo nang patanda. Ang bilis ng panahon kaya sulitin niyo lahat ng experiences and events. Minsan lang yan kaya enjoyin niyo na, next time Adulting101 na. I know I always tell this to almost all my undergrad friends, feel ko deep inside ‘di ko talaga masyadong na-enjoy yung high school or I still seek for more enjoyment kasi focused ako sa acads. Hahaha!  But anyway, from a viewpoint ng isang adult, mas pipiliin pa rin nilang mag-aral so enjoyin na lang! 
  • UNEXPECTED FRIENDSHIPS ARE THE BEST.Dito mo makikilala yung mga totoo mong mga kaibigan. Yung mga masasandalan mo kapag nangangailangan ka, mga masasabihan mo ng lahat, mga nandyan para suportahan ka, mga masaya din pag masaya ka. YOU WILL MEET YOUR FRIENDS FOR LIFE. And that’s given in high school. But I made a lot of friends—real friends—in Senior High. I won’t meet the best people ever if it weren’t for SHS. I also met so much people who made a significant impact in my life. I couldn’t be more thankful for you all. Shoutout to Japs, Caltex Buddies, Best Sec People, Hilary & Gerard friends, my servicemates, and my Skin Care followers! I miss you all!!!!!!

This is me taking advantage of the golden hour to get good photos. It was after a “paper plane flying” activity during our retreat!


  • Don’t go to school if you’re SICK. – Oh please, you don’t go around spreading virus in pursuit of that perfect attendance and punctuality award. Please please please, if you’re not feeling well, stay at home. Get enough rest. ‘Wag mong pilitin yung sarili mo dahil magkakasakit ka lalo. ‘Wag ka ng manghawa ng ibang tao dahil mahal at mahirap magkasakit. Or do us a favor and just wear a face mask. Madaling maghawaan dahil naka-aircon na! 
  • Complaining ≠ Making a pointSome students nag about everything. Ine-explain pa lang ng teacher kung ano yung work, complain agad. I won’t exclude myself because know I complain on social media sometimes. Pero yung iba kasi wala ng ginawa kung hindi mag-complain. Bibigyan ng work, magre-reklamo. Deadline, reklamo ulit. May ganitong requirement, reklamo na naman. Nakakastress!!! Actually may mga taong mas marami pang nareklamo kesa nagawa. Why don’t you just comply?! Nag-enroll pa kayo! There’s a fine line between complaining and making a point, the former wins no sympathy. Bakit pa kayo nag-aral kung ayaw niyong sumunod, ‘di ba?!  (ok before you attack me, yung iba kasi ultimo maliliit at simpleng bagay na lang ang ipinapagawa magrereklamo pa. FIGHT ME. loljk bye)
  • Kung alam mong bawal, ‘wag mong gagawin. – I repeat. Kung bawal, ‘wag gawin. Four words, 17 letters, do it and you’re still in the running towards graduation. LOL JK. Kagaya ng pagdala ng phones, vape, at kung anu ano pa. And when they get caught, they still have the audacity to complain or make up excuses. Hay. You’ve studied the handbook for six years in a row yet nothing was instilled in some of you. So disappointing.
  • IT’S OK TO BE GRADE CONSCIOUSBasta balanced, ‘di yung ‘di ka na natutulog para sa grades. I actually thought of something that would eventually help me. Tip: Isipin mo every start of the sem na 98 lahat ng grades mo and you should do everything to maintain that 98 in your card. Tapos kung hanggang saan yung binaba dapat malagpasan mo next time. Let’s say for Physics I assume that I have a 98 on the first day of the second quarter, tapos di ko kinayang i-maintain so naging 84 nung cards out. The following sem dapat bawiin ko yung 84, ipu-push ko para maging 85. Ganon. Gets niyo ba? Haha!  #MAINTAIN
  • Extra curricular activities are just as important. – Enjoy your pull outs and contests! Get out of your comfort zone, as I’ve said countless times. The past year made me enjoy the perks of being a student writer. It’s my first and last time to compete in DSPC and luckily, I won!
  • Learning outside the classroom is better – Experiencing things on your own teaches you things you won’t learn inside the four corners of the classroom. I wish the education system focuses more on immersion or activities that will help you develop your talents. It shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all type of education. Syempre iba iba tayo ng capabilities, you get me?
  • Reward yourself. – Remember my first reminder about having a motivation or a reward waiting for you? This is what I’m pertaining to. Every time you achieve something or when you pass a difficult exam, make sure you get to treat yourself. Dapat may reward system ka with your parents or with yourself. Be it a good massage, a nice haircut, a bunch of clothes, two piece Chickenjoy, or whatever floats your boat. Make sure you feel fulfilled and happy about yourself after accomplishing something. #SelfLove2018 tayo dito mga friends!

Grad invites and portraits, tassel, and an unexpected award. 

…ready for it?  

  • College Preparations. – I remember writing this in this letter to myself from two years ago. Fast forward to present, I’m about to start College in a few days. Going back, your senior year is all about college preparations. Please review for entrance exams and prepare yourself mentally for another chapter in your life. Kung may time kayong magwalwal at lumibot, dapat mas marami yung time niyong nagpe-prepare for your future. It’s nerve-wrecking and sometimes you’ll just cry out of disbelief because you’re growing up too fast and everything is changing. I wrote an article about this in the tabloid issue of Cor which, I believe, will be out this month because it was delayed for cards out last April. Tell me if you want me to publish it here instead!
  • Money Matters. – You need money. Intrams, Fun Time, Contests, Birthdays of your friends, photocopies, College Admissions, Donations, and other incidental expenses will exhaust your wallet. This year lang nag-sink in sa ‘kin na kailangan talaga ng pera para makapag-aral. That’s why you need to save money and spend wisely. ‘Wag na ‘wag niyong wawaldasin sa kaka-walwal o kapricho yung perang pinagpaguran ng parents niyo. Bago mo unahin mga wants, needs muna dapat. (Wow, coming from me pa ‘no?) Nakakainis lang kasi, yung iba wala daw pambayad sa mga kailangan or donations sa school tapos makikita mo sa snaps nila na nasa Starbucks or F21 sila. Ang sarap niyong batukan! 
  • Sleep is a luxury. Kahit gaano pa ka-busy or ka-hectic ang sched mo, make sure you get at least 6 hours of sleep every day. It makes a difference. Para ‘di kayo mukhang dugyot pagdating sa school. Haha!
  • Overloaded everything. – Your senior year is going to be jampacked. Both school work and extra curricular activities come in increasing number (and intensity, charot!) so you should know how to manage your time! #PagodIsALifestyle #BawalMagreklamo #MababashKa  #BawalMapagod 
  • Burn out. –  You’ll reach this point wherein you’re going to question your worth, your purpose, your life goals. Kung yung mga ine-enjoy mong bagay o mga ginagawa mo dati ‘di mo na ma-appreciate ngayon, baka burn out phase yan. You’ll ask yourself at times,  “Am I enough?” “Will I survive this?” “Ga-graduate ba ako?” “May sense pa ba ang ginagawa ko?”. I’ve been there and the only solution is to take a break and spend time alone.
  • Weight? Wait! – Jollibee is there. Manchoo is there. Chowking is there. Kimbob time is there. Different food stalls are there. HFA is surrounded by restaurants so mate-tempt ka talagang kumain nang kumain nang kumain lalo na pag stressed out ka.  Lalo na’t maaga pa ang dismissal so… kain > uwi.

The end of an era. 
The best people in life are free. 

Direk, ready na po ako for mature roles.” : The Personal Development Game

For young adults out there, here are some things I realized in the past 10 months.

  • Check your privilege – This is the first year I’ve noticed that my seemingly normal or seemingly boring life is already treasure to someone else. Thinking of that makes me feel bad and grateful at the same time. We’re all born under different circumstances so you either be thankful for everything, or you work hard to achieve what you want. Make good use of your privilege and please be grateful for whatever you have. That being said, if you have the privilege to study and if you have the access to information and other resources, please use them for your own good. Aral nang mabuti please. Maraming gustong mag-aral pero hindi nila kaya. Be thankful that you’re given the chance to study in a private institution pa. 
  • Education is key – It will take you further in life so don’t waste your chance. No matter how draining it is, just remember that it’s a big big blessing because not everyone has the chance nor the means to study. Mahirap mag-aral pero mas mahirap pag walang pinag-aralan. 😉
  • Make your parents proud – As mentioned earlier, getting a good education is a blessing and see to it that you study well. Isipin niyo na dapat hindi niyo sinasayang yung perang pinang-enroll ng parents niyo, isipin niyo na magiging proud sila kung nag-aaral kayo nang mabuti, isipin niyo na magiging masaya sila at mawawala yung pagod nila kung responsable at mabuti kayo. Siguraduhin niyong aakyat sila sa stage pag ga-graduate kayo! Make them proud always in all ways. It feels so good when you see how proud they are of you! Sobrang sarap sa feeling. ❤ 
  • Compete with yourself. Mind your own growth. – I know I’ve mentioned this in a blog post from before but it’s just now that I realized how important it is to focus on your own progress and to stay in your own lane. It’s a relief to actually ignore how others work and [ignore] their progress. That’s why I mentioned earlier that I like working solo ‘di ba? Better to focus on yourself and your work alone. Turn your attention to yourself and your own growth. I ain’t sure if this is a selfish act but it actually helps you become a better version of yourself. Or maybe it worked for me because I’m an introvert? Hmmm.
  • “Being busy is a blessing” – Truth be told, I feel stagnant and lifeless when I’m not busy. I don’t know why but I think this is already part of my DNA, that I’m destined to be workaholic. I personally don’t like wasting time because I feel useless when I’m doing nothing. It’s unlike me to stagnate and I weren’t raised to be lazy. Ewan ko pero iba yung adrenaline rush or thrill na naibibigay ng pagiging busy. So much that it has already become part of my system. Whenever I’m bombarded with school work, tasks, and errands in between, I honestly feel weirdly happy and blessed because I know that the universe gave me these things to work on because I can accomplish them. It’s this mind set na “ibinigay sa ‘yo kasi kaya mo”. That’s what I repeatedly tell myself when I’m busy. Not quite sure if this is good or bad though (para kasing nano-normalize yung stress). Iniisip ko na lang lagi na blessings lahat ng ginagawa kong ito because I know  I can and I will. Basta dapat may breaks pa rin in between! Balanced pa rin lahat dapat!
  • Have P.R.I.D.E. – I made this acronym up and it stands for Perseverance, Responsibility, Integrity, Discipline, and Excellence. All these should be instilled in you because you have to fend for yourself someday. Perseverance because you need to keep that drive or fire igniting inside of you. Otherwise, you won’t get anywhere. If you easily give up, you will miss out on life’s surprises. Responsibility because you’re already old enough to know what’s right for you hence, be accountable for anything you do or say. Another is Integrity because your training as a young individual will eventually shape you to be a morally upright person. May paninindigan, may prinsipyo at may isang salita. Do the right thing even when no one is watching. Discipline? That’s what most of us—as teenagers, as Filipinos, and/or as a country— lack today. We’re in dire need of discipline because we need to have control, order, and direction in our lives. Lastly, Excellence. In this day and age of settling for the bare minimum, it’s high time that we should put our best foot forward to get what we want and be consistent upon achieving our desires. It’s not an easy climb to success and excellence but you have to start right now. These five values, I believe, are part of the education that our school tries to establish in our minds and hearts. Formation plays a big role in your future and I know that HFA gives it best among others.
  • You have to give more than what is expected from you. – I over-prepare for everything. If I have a scheduled defense or report, I’d practice my lines a week before or days before the actual event. I always go the extra mile even if it means spreading myself too thin. I want everything to be perfectly polished and practiced  like there’s no room for error. Then once I’m in the situation I’m preparing for, I’ll tell myself, “Ay ganito lang pala.”, “Ay, sobrang naghanda ako tapos eto na yon?!”.  Thing is, you’re not gonna lose anything if you come in really strong, right?  NEVER EVER DO THINGS HALF BAKED.
  • But sometimes, you gotta take things lightly. – Sometimes, it’s just us who overthinks about things. Siguro dala na ng pagiging subsob sa pag-aaral. There are times na maririnig mo pa lang yung words na “Thesis” o kaya “OD” (in my case, Physics lang ang nagbibigay ng anxiety sa akin) then you’re going to feel anxious or tensed already. Yung tipong iniisip mo pa lang naloloka ka na. Pero pag nalagpasan mo na lahat ‘yon sasabihin mo sa sarili mo na, “ay ganun lang pala?” or “How did I survive that?” Tip: Minsan isipin mo na lang na nasa reality show  ka tapos weekly challenge yung pinapagawa sa inyo so you’ll be motivated to do your best and enjoy it at the same time.
  • Learn from your mistakes. – I’d be lying if I say that I didn’t commit a mistake this year. I also have my fair share of careless actions which I kind of regret doing. Think of my tweets or IG stories. I’ll leave it up to you to guess which of them almost got me into trouble. Hint: It’s about a drink. 😉 And please, DON’T BE AFRAID OF FAILURE. 
  • Negative thoughts are lurking around – It’s difficult to not entertain them, it’s hard not to overthink, it’s hard to avoid them when they kick in, most specially when you are at your lowest. Ang hirap. Minsan gusto mo na lang magkulong sa kwarto. Pag vulnerable ka doon ka lapitin ng negativity. You guys know that I am an optimistic person who’s always happy and in a good mood. Honestly,  I also have bad days. I experience break downs too. Minsan nga I’m questioning myself why do I entertain these thoughts when I always preach na it’s all in the mind, about positive thinking. One thing I learned is that it’s very inevitable. This is why mental health is crucial because these negative thoughts can lead to depression. And others resort to bad habits like alcohol and drugs and that makes it worse! Don’t let the demons win.
  • Choose Your Battles – also known as “No to Negativity.” I came across this  ‘5-5-5 mindset’ online and it says, “If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes [over]thinking about it.” As young adults, this is something we should apply into our lives. It’s the fact that not everything deserves our attention and time. Same applies with other people. Don’t kill them with kindness because not everybody deserves your kindness, kill them with silence because not everybody deserves your attention.” But let’s not be apathetic either, you should only focus on what matters.
  • You’re growing up fast. – Maybe it’s just me who thinks of it this way? I always think that being 18 or being in my final stretch of education (and my teenage years) is tantamount to adulting. I’m not quite sure if it’s just me or I feel that I have an approaching deadline for success? Like I should achieve this certain thing at this age, I should be able to do this at this point of my life. It’s very confusing. Finding your purpose is no easy task. It’s part of early adulthood to feel lost and confused about your purpose in life and/or your career path. I just hold on to the fact that everyone my age also struggle with the same thing. We’re not alone!
  • Task and time management is everything.  – I wake up at 4:30 am everyday then I leave home at 5:30.  I arrive home at around 5 p.m. and I still have time to do everything that needs to be done. Kung nagawa kong mag-honors, magCor Unum, mag-blog, at mag skin care routine, magkaroon ng enough sleep simultaneously, kaya niyo rin yan. Although there are opportunity costs like less family and friends time, mababawi mo naman yan during the weekends and holidays. If there’s one thing I learned about time management, it’s that it can’t be mastered overnight. It’s a long process and I’m thankful because I was raised to use my time wisely. Dapat may respeto ka sa oras mo at sa oras ng ibang tao.


That officially ends this series. I hope you enjoyed reading my confessions. Most importantly, I wish you all learned a thing or two in this long post! I will absolutely miss writing these blog posts for you Familians! Make sure you keep them all into mind!

Adios, Colegio de la Sagrada Familia! It’s been a good 12 years with you. See you all around!

To all Grade 12 students, enjoy your Senior year and make it the best of the best! Congratulations for making it this far! You can do it! #YourYear 

If you liked this post, don’t forget to share (or retweet), leave a comment down below, and subscribe!

Follow @HFAStucOfficial for more updates! Tweet your favorite HFA moments using the hashtags #HFACountdown #HFAKathangIsip!

That in all things, God may be Glorified!