Travel Diaries: La Ville-Lumière

Oh, Paris! We were so lucky to be able to visit the City of Lights again a year after our first time. And as the last stop of our tour! It was as perfect as it sounds like 🙂

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Travel Diaries: ACGC in Paris 2011

Another super throwback post: Paris at the end of May 2011 with the ACGC. We were about to hit our two-month mark in Europe when we arrived in Paris. We were on the road nearing the city centre itself and everyone was suddenly wide awake staring outside despite the traffic. How can anyone be not excited about visiting Paris for first time?!

There are so many things to cover about our Paris stop for both the 2011 and 2012 tours that for the 2011 one, I decided to have 3 posts including this one. This one will be all about the activities of the ACGC in the city 🙂

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Every time anyone saw a sign that said “Paris”, someone would shout. Haha! We were that excited 🙂

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Travel Diaries: Ciao Venezia!

Another travel post from one of our stops during the ACGC 2012 European tour — the picturesque Venezia!

We were here from April 25-27, coming from Koper, Slovenia. We only had two days to explore and breathe in the air of the “Floating City.” Venice was a powerful city during Middle Ages and Renaissance, as it was the place known for art and commerce. Its command of the water made it a force to be reckoned with during those times. Today, millions of people travel to the city a year, and Fr. Luigi, our host during our stay, told us that the city has more tourists than locals! It’s also famous for its glass-work in Murano, housing different glass factories, the Carnival of Venice using the popular Venetian masks, and of course the gondolas and its use of water transportation!

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We had to take this short train ride from the bus station to go to Venice. I thought it meant going straight to the heart of Venice but I was so very wrong..

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Travel Diaries: Spring in Montreux, Switzerland

Back in 2011, the ACGC competed at the 47th Montreux Choral Competition. This was towards the end of April and it was our second competition (our first was in Maribor, Slovenia for the 11th International Choral Competition where we won 2nd place!). We were on an 81-day concert-competition tour and Day 26 to 30 was spent in lovely Montreux.

This is one of the most memorable stops for me in our 2011 tour because we lived in a bunker that used to be an underground bomb shelter. It was also when we actually had to cook our own meals and clean the place where we stayed. Unlike in our other stops, we had hosts that helped us or we stayed in a hotel. We were put into 3 groups that had a rotation of chores: cleaning the kitchen (including all the kitchenware and dishes), cleaning the bathroom, and cleaning the rooms. We also had our cooking club, which was in charge of cooking all 3 meals per day plus our snacks, especially when we went to the other towns during our stay. We were 37 people that time, so you can just imagine the mess and the clean up we all had to do!

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The only entrance and exit of our bunker. Yup, there was only one key so anyone who left had to tell Will or Irvs that they were leaving or else no one will know that someone’s locked out!

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A Love Affair with the Ateneo

I finally got around to writing a post about my college graduation.

For the longest time, I already knew that I wanted to go to Ateneo. Probably because of the hype surrounding the Blue Eagles every time UAAP season comes along but I didn’t know exactly why. There is no one in my immediate family who graduated from that university. Most of them came from DLSU-Manila and UP-Diliman. I didn’t really think about seriously going to college there until fourth year HS when we started filling out college application forms. I remember going to the Ateneo campus for the first time before I took my UPCAT to submit my application form and feeling so enamored, which I’m happy to say I still felt everyday when I went to school. I can also still remember finding out I passed the ACET at our class outreach and trying to convince my parents that I wanted to go to Ateneo.

To be honest, I really don’t know what to say about my university life. I can say all the usual things, such as I met my friends for life in university, I learned so much, Philo and Theo changed my life, etc., and it’s true. I’m thankful for my Jesuit education despite the sleepless nights having to study for my Philo and Theo (in Filipino!) orals, having to finish a Histo play and a tank that can fit people for a water fight designed as a Greek mythology character for Battle of Bel at the same time, experiencing two summers in Europe representing the Philippines through singing  and performing with the ACGC (the awards and trophies were just a big bonus!), choosing to take a legendary professor even if it meant there was a chance to fail (hi Fr. Dacanay), celebrating my 20th birthday with a performance at a cultural show (Brindis) then having one of the worst carpool rides going home (3 hours from Katipunan to Alabang, leaving at 10PM) then having to wake up an hour later to get ready for a 10-hour JEEP insertion at SM Fairview then having to fill out our forms for our Schengen VISA then crashing to my bed when I got home at 6:30PM.

But probably the best things I experienced in Ateneo were those moments, and I would choose to do the same thing over and over if I had to.

I’ll miss seeing the falling leaves as I drive inside the campus, rushing to class before the second bell from MVP301, rehearsing until 9PM and running to carpool to get home, walking along the Red Brick Road especially after my night classes, hearing people discuss Kant, Aristotle, Scott Peck, Philippine Histo and IQMCN all in one conversation, supporting different org events from watching PAC performances to buying balloons and what-nots from the Doghouse, fearing going to class because of terror profs but eventually feeling thankful at the end of a semester because it changed your life, seeing the campus light up at night during the Christmas season.. what an endless list.

To everyone who made the past 4 years one of the best so far, thank you from the bottom of my heart:
Block G
Block M(anresa)
BF-Alabang Hills Carpool
ACGC
Fr. Dacanay, Ma’m Angeles, Sir Calano, Sir Tirol, Srta. Young, Sir Tanny, Ma’m Carlos
ACGC Batch 2009/2013
Mom, Dad, Ica, Gaby, Fonso, Rafy, Belle, Lance

Thank you, Ateneo. For everything. AMDG.

Yearbook Photos + Graduation Magazine Outtakes

Before I start on my graduation post, I just wanted to share a few photos that were taken during the yearbook photoshoots back in August (technically the pictures aren’t in the yearbook) plus the ACGC seniors shoot for Guidon’s graduation magazine.

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ACGC Seniors! And because this isn’t in the yearbook when it should be because of some “mistake” the AEGIS team committed. I still can’t comprehend how they can “forget” an organization that has been in Ateneo for 92 years. But anyway.

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