Category Archives: grader

Of Grades and Awards: The Unrecognition of the Many

My eldest child, I call her bb#1, is now on her 9th grade at a science school. This level may  truly be trying as there are only very few on Recognition List every time the school’s Quarter Recognition is held. While grades 7, 8 and 10 may have almost 20 on the list, Grade 9 only has less than 10. At one time, I noticed only six names on the list. I observed this when I graced each of the quarter recognition of bb#1 in her 7th and 8th grade. Eight times in all.

To be recognized as one of the names on a Director’s List, a junior high school student at this science school must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 1.5. Our bb#1 hit it all in her grades 7 and 8. But not yet at her 9th grade so far. Two quarters have passed already. So, what is her GPA then? It’s a little over 1.6 but not beyond 1.7. O-ha! If this is in a college level, then bb#1 would surely be a cum laude, which require a GPA of 1.75 or better. The 1.5 would be a magna cum laude. Wow. So even if bb#1 is not called to the stage for a certificate giving, yey, she is still that intelligent kid!

Her laggard performance zeroes in on Filipino-based subjects – Filipino and Social Science. Like a buy1-take1 thing because Soc Scie is on Filipino language. This has always been like this since the first grade. Well, our national hero who is a polyglot, Dr Jose P Rizal, even wrote that Tagalog is a very difficult language! And, even if it is referred to as Filipino, the actual use is 90 percent, if not a hundred percent Tagalog. We Visayan speaking folks in the country have hard tongues speaking hard vowels. Hence, it is very difficult for us to shift to the soft Tagalog. Well, anyway, good thing the school subjects are mostly English based, so bb#1 could easily get a flat 1 in Mathematics =)

Recognition is not just for the academics. The school may be is focused on science and mathematics, but there is wide embrace towards alternative learning activities (ALA) such as the arts, dance, media (broadcasting), agriculture (gardening) and even cookery. Of the many ALA choices, bb#1 chose Dance since the 7th grade up to the present 9th grade. She just love to dance! Few days ago, we skimmed the city stores for a loose-fitting camouflage pants for her dance attire in the incoming ALA Culmination. We found one – a branded ukay at two hundred pesos. We also bought a fitting black top from Gaisano Mall. Kim chose two pieces. I could only agree as we seldom buy brand new clothes for them anyway.

Other contests that the school participate in aside from math and science include the arts. Since bb#1 beats the ALA-arts contestant in poster-making at school, she (from ALA-Dance)  is to represent the school in a Poster Making Contest at the national level. It will be held at UP Los Baños. She already has the airplane ticket for tomorrow’s flight after the ALA Culmination. Hopefully, she will enjoy her trip and be able to draw what she wants to interpret of the theme during the contest and be happy with her output. Winning would be a bonus!

She did win First Place on Editorial Cartooning contest sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cagayan de Oro Premier in 2016. She has a knack for the arts. She got it from her dad who gifted me in 2001 his work – a framed charcoal sketch of Jesus Christ face. It was a gift that I prefer over flowers and chocolates noh, so he’s able to catch my attention =) Below are the photos I took at SM Uptown in Cagayan de Oro City when it schowcased the winning entries of the contest.

IDEA2016 4IDEA2016 3IDEA2016 2IDEA2016 1.jpg



Dandansoy: A Visayan Folk Song

Dandansoy is the name of a boy. This song is about the singer leaving Dandansoy to go back to her hometown.



Provinces According to Regions in the Philippines as of December 2016

As of 31 December 2016, there are 81 provinces in 18 regions

NIR – Negros Island Region Code: 180000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL 184500000 19 Mun 13 Cities 662 Bgys 1st 1,575,159 2,396,039 796,521
NEGROS ORIENTAL 184600000 19 Mun. 6 Cities 557 Bgys) 1st 679,583 1,286,666 538,553
CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region Code: 140000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
MOUNTAIN PROVINCE 144400000 10 Mun. 144 Bgys 4th 90,497 154,187 215,738
IFUGAO 142700000 11 Mun. 175 Bgys 3rd 98,462 191,078 262,821
BENGUET 141100000 13 Mun. 1 City 269 Bgys 2nd 183,608 403,944 282,659
ABRA 140100000 27 Mun. 303 Bgys 3rd 147,615 234,733 416,525
APAYAO 148100000 7 Mun. 133 Bgys 3rd 60,281 112,636 441,335
KALINGA 143200000 7 Mun. 1 City 152 Bgys 3rd 115,280 201,613 323,125
REGION I (Ilocos Region) Code: 010000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
LA UNION 13300000 19 Mun. 1 City 576 Bgys 1st 410,659 741,906 149,770
ILOCOS NORTE 12800000 21 Mun. 2 Cities 557 Bgys 1st 338,135 568,017 346,789
ILOCOS SUR 12900000 32 mun. 2 Cities 768 Bgys 1st 373,070 658,587 259,600
PANGASINAN 15500000 44 Mun. 4 Cities 1,364 Bgys 1st 1,505,181 2,779,862 545,101
REGION II (Cagayan Valley) Code: 020000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
NUEVA VIZCAYA 25000000 15 Mun. 275 Bgys 2nd 234,638 421,355 397,567
CAGAYAN 21500000 28 Mun. 1 City 820 Bgys 1st 568,628 1,124,773 929,575
ISABELA 23100000 35 Mun. 2 Cities 1,055 Bgys 1st 829,963 1,489,645 1,241,493
QUIRINO 25700000 6 mun. 132 Bgys 3rd 92,804 176,786 232,347
BATANES 20900000 6 Mun. 29 Bgys 5th 9,531 16,604 21,901
REGION III (Central Luzon) Code: 030000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
BATAAN 30800000 11 Mun. 1 City 237 Bgys 1st 414,890 687,482 137,298
ZAMBALES 37100000 13 Mun. 1 City 247 Bgys 2nd 289,460 534,443 383,083
TARLAC 36900000 17 Mun. 1 City 511 Bgys 1st 633,415 1,273,240 305,360
PAMPANGA 35400000 19 Mun. 3 Cities 538 Bgys 1st 1,057,339 2,014,019 206,247
BULACAN 31400000 21 Mun. 3 Cities 569 Bgys 1st 1,519,817 2,924,433 279,610
NUEVA ECIJA 34900000 27 Mun. 5 Cities 849 Bgys 1st 1,187,149 1,955,373 575,133
AURORA 37700000 8 Mun. 151 Bgys 3rd 111,211 201,233 314,732
REGION IV-A (CALABARZON) Code: 040000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
RIZAL 45800000 13 Mun. 1 City 188 Bgys 1st 1,129,374 2,484,840 119,194
CAVITE 42100000 17 Mun. 6 Cities 829 Bgys 1st 1,520,319 3,090,691 157,417
LAGUNA 43400000 25 Mun. 5 Cities 674 Bgys 1st 1,323,246 2,669,847 191,785
BATANGAS 41000000 31 Mun. 3 Cities 1078 Bgys 1st 1,248,059 2,377,395 311,975
QUEZON 45600000 39 Mun. 2 Cities 1,242 Bgys 1st 857,011 1,740,638 906,960
MIMAROPA Region Code: 170000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
OCCIDENTAL MINDORO 175100000 11 Mun. 162 Bgys 2nd 215,146 452,971 586,571
ORIENTAL MINDORO 175200000 14 Mun. 1 City 426 Bgys 1st 392,210 785,602 423,838
ROMBLON 175900000 17 Mun. 219 Bgys 3rd 161,643 283,930 153,345
PALAWAN 175300000 23 Mun. 1 City 433 Bgys 1st 364,175 771,667 1,703,075
MARINDUQUE 174000000 6 Mun. 218 Bgys 4th 121,381 227,828 95,258
REGION V (Bicol Region) Code: 050000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
CATANDUANES 52000000 11 Mun. 315 Bgys 3rd 140,467 246,300 149,216
CAMARINES NORTE 51600000 12 Mun. 282 Bgys 2nd 248,654 542,915 232,007
SORSOGON 56200000 14 Mun. 1 City 541 Bgys 2nd 375,567 740,743 211,901
ALBAY 50500000 15 Mun. 3 Cities 720 Bgys 1st 678,869 1,233,432 257,577
MASBATE 54100000 20 Mun. 1 City 550 Bgys 1st 436,957 834,650 415,178
CAMARINES SUR 51700000 35 Mun. 2 Cities 1063 Bgys 1st 893,813 1,822,371 549,703
REGION VI (Western Visayas) Code: 060000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
CAPIZ 61900000 16 Mun. 1 City 473 Bgys 1st 418,755 719,685 259,464
AKLAN 60400000 17 Mun. 327 Bgys 2nd 300,292 535,725 182,142
ANTIQUE 60600000 18 Mun. 590 Bgys 2nd 279,600 546,031 272,917
ILOILO 63000000 42 Mun. 2 Cities 1,901 Bgys 1st 1,003,077 1,805,576 507,917
GUIMARAS 67900000 5 Mun. 98 Bgys 4th 90,425 162,943 60,457
REGION VII (Central Visayas) Code: 070000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
CEBU 72200000 44 Mun. 9 Cities 1,203 Bgys 1st 1,434,809 2,619,362 534,200
BOHOL 71200000 47 Mun. 1 City 1109 Bgys 1st 690,532 1,255,128 482,095
SIQUIJOR 76100000 6 Mun. 134 Bgys 5th 57,523 91,066 33,749
REGION VIII (Eastern Visayas) Code: 080000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
SOUTHERN LEYTE 86400000 18 Mun. 1 City 500 Bgys 3rd 235,821 399,137 179,861
EASTERN SAMAR 82600000 22 Mun. 1 City 597 Bgys 2nd 251,859 428,877 466,047
NORTHERN SAMAR 84800000 24 Mun. 569 Bgys 2nd 316,769 589,013 369,293
SAMAR (WESTERN SAMAR) 86000000 24 Mun. 2 Cities 951 Bgys 1st 442,662 733,377 604,803
LEYTE 83700000 40 Mun. 3 Cities 1,641 Bgys 1st 895,173 1,567,984 651,505
BILIRAN 87800000 8 Mun. 132 Bgys 4th 92,830 161,760 53,601
REGION IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) Code: 090000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY 98300000 16 Mun. 389 Bgys 2nd 320,710 584,685 360,775
ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE 97200000 25 Mun 2 Cities 691 Bgys 1st 546,771 957,997 730,100
ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR 97300000 26 Mun 1 City 681 Bgys 1st 541,233 959,685 591,416
REGION X (Northern Mindanao) Code: 100000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL 104200000 14 Mun 3 Cities 490 Bgys 2nd 321,843 567,642 205,522
BUKIDNON 101300000 20 Mun. 2 Cities 464 Bgys 1st 658,697 1,299,192 1,049,859
LANAO DEL NORTE 103500000 22 Mun. 1 City 506 Bgys 2nd 344,950 607,917 415,994
MISAMIS ORIENTAL 104300000 23 Mun. 3 Cities 504 Bgy 1st 471,910 813,856 354,432
CAMIGUIN 101800000 5 Mun. 58 Bgys 5th 55,427 83,807 23,795
REGION XI (Davao Region) Code: 110000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
DAVAO ORIENTAL 112500000 10 Mun. 1 City 183 Bgys 1st 270,087 517,618 567,964
COMPOSTELA VALLEY 118200000 11 Mun. 237 Bgys 1st 344,143 687,195 447,977
DAVAO DEL SUR 112400000 14 Mun. 2 Cities 519 Bgys 1st 517,024 868,690 677,104
DAVAO OCCIDENTAL 118600000 5 Mun. 105 Bgys new province; no data available 0 0
DAVAO DEL NORTE 112300000 8 Mun. 3 Cities 223 Bgys 1st 505,464 945,764 342,697
REGION XII (Soccsksargen) Code: 120000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
SOUTH COTABATO 126300000 10 Mun. 2 Cities 225 Bgys 1st 411,246 827,200 442,881
SULTAN KUDARAT 126500000 11 Mun. 1 City 249 Bgys 1st 383,264 747,087 529,834
COTABATO (NORTH COTABATO) 124700000 17 Mun. 1 City 543 Bgys 1st 599,197 1,226,508 900,890
SARANGANI 128000000 7 Mun 141 Bgys 2nd 239,983 498,904 360,125
REGION XIII (Caraga) Code: 160000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
AGUSAN DEL NORTE 160200000 10 Mun. 2 Cities 253 Bgys 3rd 190,108 332,487 354,686
AGUSAN DEL SUR 160300000 13 Mun. 1 City 314 Bgys 1st 300,772 656,418 998,952
SURIGAO DEL SUR 166800000 17 Mun. 2 Cities 309 Bgys 1st 319,415 561,219 493,270
SURIGAO DEL NORTE 166700000 20 Mun. 1 City 335 Bgys 2nd 273,693 442,588 197,293
DINAGAT ISLANDS 168500000 7 Mun. 100 Bgys 68,856 126,803 103,634
ARMM – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Code: 150000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
TAWI-TAWI 157000000 11 Mun. 203 Bgys 3rd 156,027 366,550 362,655
BASILAN 150700000 11 Mun. 1 City 210 Bgys 3rd 150,672 293,322 322,447
SULU 156600000 19 Mun. 410 Bgys 2nd 280,527 718,290 343,699
MAGUINDANAO 153800000 36 Mun. 506 Bgys 1st 470,021 944,718 972,904
LANAO DEL SUR 153600000 39 Mun. 1 City 1,159 Bgys 1st 459,012 933,260 1,349,437

I am Johm: A Poem by My Only Son

My only son, who is now in Grade 6, just composed a poem to be submitted to his teacher tomorrow. I am amazed when I read it and feel the so-called mother’s pride. To document his output, here it is.


I am the only son and the second child of three

I wonder how we all got this far

I hear noises

I see myself as someone else

I want good things to happen

I am industrious and I do household chores


I pretend to stay calm

I feel inspired

I touch my heart

I worry for my parents

I cry when I can’t take it anymore

I am easily bored so I am a busy-body


I understand myself

I say “just do it” to motivate myself

I dream of cool things

I try things that are new sometimes

I hope for second chances

I am a happy child and a prayerful one

Ang Palaka at ang Uwang: Naibalik na Katahimikan

This is a story from a Grade 3 textbook Pintig that is entitled “Naibalik na Katahimikan.” This story will be presented by each pupil in class using any visual aids.  My youngest, grader lagud, is one of those pupils.


Sa isang pook na malapit sa sapa ay masaya at mapayapang namumuhay ang tatlong magkakaibigan: ang palakang si Kokak, ang gagambang si Talaan, at ang susong si Kuhol. Ngunit nabulabog ang kanilang katahimikanm nang dumating si Uwang.

Matakaw si Uwang. Halos lahat ng mga dahon sa paligid ay inuubos niya. Bukod pa nito, si Uwang as mapaminsala. Lagi siyang nagbabantang mananakit at mamiminsala kapag napagbawalan o pinaalalahanan ng magkakaibigan.

suso (snail) by livescience com

photo credit: livescience com

Isang araw, tahimik na nanginginain si Kuhol sa tabi ng sapa nang bigla na lamang siyang suwagin ni Uwang. Nahulog siya sa agos at tinangay siya sa dakong malalim. Mabuti na lamang at nakapangunyapit siya sa isang yagit, kaya nakaahon siya sa pampang.


photo credit: butterflywing

Minsan naman. Gumawa si gagambang Talaan ng isang napakagandang sapot. Ipinagmalaki niya iyon kina palakang Kokak at susong Kuhol. Natuwa rin ang dalawa at pinuri si gagambang Talaan. Subalit kinabukasan, nang naghahanap ng makakain si gagambang Talaan, hindi niya alam na winasak na ni Uwang ang kanyang sapot. Gayon na lamang ang kanyang panlulumo habang si Uwang naman ay patudyong nagtatawa.

Si palakang Kokak naman ay sinuwag ni Uwang ng mga sungay nito, isang araw na nagpapahinga siya sa may batuhan. Namaga ang kanyang nguso ng ilang araw. Kaya ang magkakaibigan ay nagpasya isang araw. Hahamunin nila sa isang paligsahan si Uwang. Ang ilalaban nila ay si palakang Kokak

photo credit: butterflywing

photo credit: butterflywing

Payag ako,” sabi ni Uwang nang mabatid ang paligsahan. “Kung kayo ay magwagi, lalayasan ko na ang lugar nai to. Kung ako naman ang magwagi, kayo’y magiging sunud-sunuran sa akin.”

Nagpalutang sila sa isang malapad na dahon sa gitna ng sapa. Mag-uunahan sina Kokak at Uwang sa pagsakay doon.

“Tiyak na ako ang magwawagi,” pagmamalaki ni Uwang dahil alam niyang mabilis niyang maikakampay ang kanyang pakpak.

Sinimulan ang paligsahan. Pumaimbulog pa si Uwang habang si palakang Kokak naman ay mabilis nang glumangoy patungo sa dahon. Mula sa itaas, sumisid si Uwang, patungo sa dahon na inaanod sa gitna ng sapa.

frogNgunit nagkasabay sila sa pag-abot sa dahon. Kasabay ng pagsakay dito ni Kokak, dumapo naman si Uwang. Sa bigat nilang dalawa, lumubog ang dahon at kapwa nahulog sila sa tubig. Ang nabiglang si Uwang ay natangay ng agos.

“Tulungan mo ako, Palaka. Hindi ako marunong lumangoy,” pakiusap ni Uwang.

Hindi siya pinansin ni Palaka. Umahon ito sa pampang at sinalubong ng mga kaibigang sina gagambang Talaan at susong Kuhol.

“Mabuti nga sa kanya,” sabi ni Palaka nang hindi na matanaw si Uwang.

Mula noon, nagbalik na ang katahimikan at kasayahan ng pamumuhay ng tatlo sa pook na iyon.

Love Notes from a Grader Lagud

Lagud is a Visayan term referring to the youngest child. Sam, short for Symonne Mari, is my third and youngest child. She always surprises me through her hand-made, cutesy love notes that she inserts or posts in strategic places that are part of my routine.


Cover page of the latest love card

This is the latest love note she made, which she posted outside of the Big Box drawer where I put undies. She knows that I am going to open this drawer usually twice in a day.

And when she writes the note, she often includes the names of her siblings. I knew it’s her solo effort, but she includes them in the credit.

What she always writes particularly revolve around her gratitude towards me, towards us for whatever that we have done for her.  She alternately addresses her notes to me as lone receiver and to us both her parents.  She also expresses her love for us in her notes.


She usually sketches simple drawings of us as a family. Always five characters in the drawings. In the card above, she places herself in between her older siblings. She puts us her parents in the sides, thereby enclosing the children. This depicts safety that parents provide to their children, and Sam shows in her drawing that she feels secure being bounded by both parents on both sides.

Her gratefulness includes as far back her baby days. She thanks us for taking care of her as a little baby. In this note, she draws five faces in the front part. Again, exemplifying the whole family. Complete.


She inserted this note (third photo) inside my coin purse, first weekend of August. I wondered why there’s a paper inside. I put only coins in this deep, black purse given to me by a friend, Aileen Noval. It’s one of the goods for sale at her then Japanese surplus store. As my fingers dipped inside for jeepney fare, I felt this paper. Amidst the passengers-filled jeepney, I couldn’t help but smile when I read the note.

There are other numerous notes I have collected from Sam’s posts and insertions. I keep them like priceless treasures. There was one I found inside the back pocket of my jeans.  I found it when I arrived at Xavier University for the Social Structure class.

Some notes have been made by her when she’s younger. She is now 8 years old. A grade 3 learner in a school where her father works. My classmates at XU asked me how come my child is like this sweet. I don’t have a categorical answer, but I have a mother’s intuition. I never tire from murmuring through her ears while she breastfed then how I love her, how I thank God for giving her to me, and how she makes me happy. I repeat those endearing words up to this day.  I guess she may be filled with these words of gratitude and love that it is just natural for her to express them back.

But what about my older kids, do they do these love notes thingy (as my kids usually use referring to something). Yes, they also made love notes, though not as surprising and numerous as Sam’s.

Lupang Hinirang in Spanish (Tierra adorada)


Tierra adorada 

Hija del sol de Oriente, 
Su fuego ardiente 
En ti latiendo está. 

¡Tierra de amores! 
Del heroísmo cuna, 
Los invasores 
No te hollarán jamás. 

En tu azul cielo, en tus auras, 
En tus montes y en tu mar 
Esplende y late el poema 
De tu amada libertad. 

Tu pabellón, que en las lides 
La Victoria iluminó, 
No verá nunca apagados 
Sus estrellas ni su sol. 

Tierra de dichas, del sol y amores, 
En tu regazo dulce es vivir. 
Es una Gloria para tus hijos, 
Cuando te ofenden, por ti morir.