MEET: National U alumna who “teaches for the Philippines”

To serve the country…this was one of the things in mind of National U alumna Maria Elaine Joy P. Quidato when she graduated from the university in 2013. But even before she was able to do her duty as an educator in the Philippines, she had to go through numerous challenges.

She, together with her family, moved to Manila in 2003 when she was still in grade school. It was quite hard for her to adjust moving from the quiet city of Victoria in Negros Occidental to the bustling streets of Quezon City.

But this did not stop her in aiming for her dreams. She finished elementary in Batino Elementary School and took secondary level in Balara High School. 

“Bago sa akin yung sistema ng private school, but then one of my cousins asked me to drop by National U to check if BS Biology was offered, because I really wanted to be a doctor. Unfortunately it was not offered. But good thing, I discovered that they were giving discounts to BSEd enrolees if you are an honour student.” Quidato recalled.

Wanting to help her family, Quidato decided to take up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education major in English in National U. The 23-year old alumna also shared that she worked hard to earn and keep her scholarships so as to continue studying in National U.
She finished the four-year course on time while also graduating with honours as Magna Cum Laude.

Quidato recalled that while waiting for the results of the Licensure Examination for Teachers, she juggled TESDA NC2 trainings, tutorial services while also volunteering in Save the Children Philippines to gain experiences in the field. 
It was in January 2016 when she discovered Teach for the Philippines.
TFP, according to its website, is a for-purpose, non-stock, non-profit organization that works to provide all Filipino children with access to relevant and excellent education. 

“What attracted me the most was the teacher stories and chronicles, and that made me think na, I want that, I want to experience what they experienced in public schools. Also, one doesn’t need to be an education graduate and doesn’t need to be a LET passer, as long as you want to teach and you are willing to be assigned to their placement schools.”

TFP enlists some of the country’s most promising young leaders to teach for two years in public schools throughout the Philippines. Driven by the vision of TFP to give Filipino children access to inclusive, excellent, and relevant education, Quidato worked with the organization, trained for two months, became a teacher-fellow and taught for two years in a placement school in Biñan Laguna.

Quidato shared that during her fellowships or trainings for Teach for the Philippines, she can never forget the core values National U had taught her. 
“I think there is where resilience plays its part. Kinailangan kong maging matatag in each part of [my] life kasi hindi ka na ihehele ng university and professors mo, you stand on your own, whatever you learned in the university, it’s much different in the real world, you have to stand with the values that you have, you carry it with you. After all the fellowships, nasabi ko sa sarili ko na kinaya ko pala.” 

Now that Quidato is done with her two-year stint as teacher-fellow for TFP, she is now about to serve as an “ambassador” and will be assigned for a year in Siargao to help and assist the local government unit of Del Carmen. Quidato shared that she is excited in this new journey wherein she can be able to help not just as a teacher and ambassador but also as a Nationalian.

“I can’t change the whole Philippines, but I think I can help in my own little steps, through education. It may be hard, but it is satisfying to do something for the right people and purpose.” Quidato ended.

Former NU Pep Squad standout passes CPA board exam

Former National U Pep Squad standout Claire Cristobal just proved to us that she is not just an ordinary student-athlete.

In the May 2018 Certified Public Accountant board exam, the 21-year old Cristobal was among the 11 passers from National University, that was also able to record 33.33% passing rate that is higher than the national passing rate of 28.92%.

 Cristobal, who first made a name for her body bending moves, shared that curiosity played a role in discovering her abilities when she was still in high school.

“During that time, may mga classmates ako na ‘pag merong sinalihan na sport, excused ka sa PE, so parang sabi ko gusto ko din. So nag-try-out ako sa gymnastics, then ayun, naging passion ko na yung paglalaro, and by God’s grace nabigyan ako ng chance na makasali sa Palarong Pambansa, dun na ako na-recruit ng NU.” Cristobal recalled.

 Claire admitted that she was hesitant to join the NU Pep Squad because she wanted to focus on her studies to achieve her dream of becoming a CPA.

“Matagal ko syang pinag-isipan, I asked my mother if it is okay and she said I should try. So, I went to the try-outs then when I passed they gave me a full scholarship, and that time, I was motivated that I will not waste this opportunity given to me.”

 Being a student-athlete though was not a walk in the park as she tried to balance her duties as an NU pep squad member and later team captain and an Accountancy student.

Cristobal also recalled that even if she is tired from training and studying she would still wash her laundry so she can save up.

“One of the struggles that time was time management and at the same time focus. Physically, pagod ka, then mentally, drained ka, ang pasok ko sa umaga, ang training sa gabi. But every year as I progressed here in NU, iniisip ko na hindi, hindi ko pwedeng idahilan na pagod ako, I need to balance my time for training and studying.”

 And while some will say that everything will be “all ease and bliss after graduation”, it was a different story for Claire who decided to take the May 2018 CPA board exam after graduating last November 2017.

Her father was in and out of the hospital during her review period prompting her to stay with her family to take care of her father.

“Struggle yung first half ng review, I had to help my mom in assisting my father in the hospital. But what kept me confident that time was my faith in God. I was telling myself that I made it this far, if it’s not for His plan, I wouldn’t be here, I won’t make it without Him.”

It took major dedication, focus and ability to be able to push through during the most difficult times, and even if she was not sure where her steps would take her, the lessons she learned from being a student-athlete remained on her mind.

“Before, mababaw lang ako mangarap, but when I became a student-athlete, I learned that when you want to achieve something, always aim for the best, always aim for the highest. Sa buhay, ‘pag wala ka nang ineexpect na maganda, mawawalan ka ng gana, wag mo limitahan yung kaya mo, that is what the NU Pep Squad taught me.”

 Hard work and prayers worked wonders for Cristobal when she received the news that she was one of the 2,843 passers in the recent CPA board exams.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity that National University has given me. I want to give back to National U because it helped me and molded me to who I am today. Sa laki ng help ng National University sa amin, I just hope my co-student-athletes will realize that we should always gear towards being a champion outside and inside the court.”

 With this recent feat, Cristobal hopes to inspire not only those who are taking up Accountancy but also her co-student-athletes.

“Just like what I posted in my social media account, your perception determines your performance. Kung paano mo tinitingnan ang buhay, ganun ang magiging galaw mo. Let us always look at the brighter side. Also, always give yourself a reason for achieving something, not just for yourself but for those who believe in you.”

 We may know her as the pep squad’s team captain, the elastic and jelly girl but now meet her new title; Claire Cristobal, CPA.

National U officially named host of UAAP Season 81

National University formally accepted the UAAP Season 81’s hosting during the closing ceremony held last May 16, 2018 in Far Eastern University.

University president Teodoro Ocampo led National U in the symbolic transfer of responsibilities for the hosting of the upcoming season.

In an interview with President Ocampo, he shared that one of the major changes that they will implement in the upcoming season is the new schedule of some sporting events. Track and Field, Fencing and Chess’ schedules which were previously played in the second semester will be moved to the first semester.

Meanwhile, according to NU Athletics Director Otie Camangian, they are gearing up and planning as early as now to ensure a smooth and remarkable hosting of National U.

Camangian is positive that NU will be able to successfully host Season 81 through the support of the National U community and its stakeholders.
“We give our best in whatever we do. We will maintain, if not, improve the way the showcased sports and other events will be managed and conducted.”

National U is set to defend 11 titles in the upcoming season, including the women’s 3×3 basketball which was a demo sport last season.

The university is looking at September 8 as the tentative opening date which will be held in the Mall of Asia Arena.

NU Engineering Team presents research papers in International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management

The National University-College of Engineering was given the opportunity to present in the International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management held last March 11-14 in Annapolis, Washington D.C., USA.

National U was the only university from the Philippines that was invited to the four-day event, which is an annual conference for researchers, educators, government officials, consultants, managers and community leaders from all over the world where they discussed topics related to all aspects of solid waste technology and management.

NU team was composed of professors — Engr. Allan Alzona, Engr. Manny Anthony Taguba and Engr. Franz Santos, and fifth year Civil Engineering student Mary Rose De Leon.

The team presented their studies in Experimental Investigation of the Compressive Strength of Hair Fiber Reinforced Concrete with Superplasticizer” in Use of Wastes in Construction session, “Optimization and Prediction of the Compressive Strength of Superplasticized Hair Fiber Reinforced Concrete Using Central Composite Design” in Innovative Technologies session and “Artificial Neural Network and Phenolic Aqueous Solution Treatment Using Crude Enzyme Peroxidases from Waste Cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata var. alba L.) Leaves” in the Agricultural and Food Wastes session.

According to CE program chair Engr. Alzona, this is a good start for the college since they are now giving importance and shifting focus on research presentation and publication.

“One of the best results from this experience I guess is the exposure of the student who went with us. According to Ms. De Leon, she was able to learn the level of research studies that other countries are doing, so it also served as a benchmark for us. She said that she will talk to the next batch of students who will conduct research and thesis, so she can share what she saw and learned from this event.”

Meanwhile, some of the College of Engineering’s faculty and student researches were also accepted and set to be presented in the following local and international conferences, the 8th International Conference on Intelligent Systems, Modelling and Simulation on May 8-10, 2018, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and 3rd International Multidisciplinary Research Conference, on April 25-27, 2018 in Cagayan de Oro City.

CEAS dean receives international citation for research in language education

National University’s College of Education, Arts and Sciences Dean, Dr. Jessie Barrot, recently received a research fellowship award from the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Regional Language Center (RELC). 

Dean Barrot’s study entitled “Examining the Task Complexity in ELT Course Books in the Philippines”, was one of only two research studies across Southeast Asia region that was funded by the international organization for the year 2017. 

The Singapore-based org aims to build capabilities in language education across Southeast Asia and promote research capacity in the region in studies relevant to the improvement of language education. 

According to SEAMEO RELC, applicants must possess a rich background in research with a good number of research articles that have been published in English by international language and linguistics journals. “This is actually a competitive award for language scholars in the Southeast Asian region. They  give this once or twice a year, and I am lucky enough because I am one of only two chosen by the organization.” Dean Barrot said. 

Dean Barrot also shared that one of his advocacies is to improve the quality of instructional materials here in the Philippines, and this pushed him to submit his work to SEAMEO RELC. “I was ecstatic when I received this award because at long last I would be able to share the findings that I will be having on this study to my colleagues from other countries, and this is an opportunity for me to also network with other scholars from other countries.” 

This is actually not the first international citation of Dean Barrot as he also received the 2017 Award for International Participation at the TESOL International last March 2017. He bested over 600 papers with his study “Effects of a Sociocognitive-Transformative Approach on the Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency in ESL Learners’ Essays”.

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