April 25, 2017

Maximo, a Springdale alumnus to join 50-day camp in Korea

 

Igi Maximo is a PAREF Springdale Alumnus and former SBO President.

After leading Cebu MultiSport to the team title in the Cobra 70.3 Ironman 70.3 mixed relay division, 18-year-old Cebuano junior cyclist Luis Miguel “Igimax” Maximo, will represent the country in the UCI World Cycling Center Satellite Training Camp on September 2 to October 20 in South Korea.
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Relucio, Pursuing excellence

“I have always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Parents, teachers, school administration, members of the school board, guests, and the graduating class of 2012, good evening.

This powerful quote from the greatest basketball player of all time-Michael Jordan- – is what inspires me and Batch 2012 to strive for excellence in everything that we do, be it a simple or daunting task.

Take this speech for example. When I actually started writing it, I found out that it’s even harder to do than our Research Paper. Yet, one thing was certain though. I knew that the reason why I made it here today is that I never gave up in pursuing excellence. A line from the movie, “Three Idiots”, gave me the inspiration I needed. It goes, “Pursue excellence and success will just follow.”

So, it looks like… this is it! Finally, we have made it to the end of high school and I, personally, am very thankful to be part of this batch. As we are all gathered here to commemorate this important milestone in our lives, let us savor the fruits of our efforts. Without you guys, I wouldn’t be here and so this speech is not only mine, but yours as well.

Many consider us the best batch that Springdale has seen so far. We have heard it several times in elementary, only to hear the same thing again all throughout high school. And so with this, we went out to fulfill what everyone had expected of us. It propelled us to work harder and excel in academics, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Majority of us are on the director’s list, but… we’re not just a bunch of nerds. Almost everyone in the batch is part of the varsity and we have reaped numerous awards in soccer, basketball, taekwondo, debate, golf, swimming, cycling and even scrabble. That is what makes our batch truly amazing.

And guess what? We are also known as the guinea pigs of the school. Because of our high performance, we were always the first ones to try new things, like when they needed to change the curriculum. We didn’t see it as something bad because it just showed how much the school believed in us, making us a benchmark for other batches to emulate. And when we graduate, they will probably say things like “look at this batch and how much they have achieved.” Yes, these are just a few of our accomplishments that will definitely go down in Springdale history.

All these would not have been possible if not for those people who have been instrumental in helping us become what we are today: Our beloved parents and teachers. Our parents for their unwavering love and constant support, and our teachers for their deep wells of patience. In all our struggles, our parents have continued to serve as our guiding light to keep us going and stay focused on our goals. Without them, we might have gotten lost along the way.

Our heartfelt gratitude also goes out to all our teachers who have painstakingly handled our batch throughout the years. The experience we had during our Chemistry exhibits, when we were tasked to teach younger kids who did nothing but run around, made us realize how difficult it must be to be a teacher, especially to high school students who sometimes act like Grade 1 pupils.

Our teachers, together with our parents, have also instilled in us the love for God who makes all things possible. Nothing would have come to fruition without him. For all these, we cannot indeed, thank you enough.

Although we will be travelling different roads, hopefully, we will one day meet again and share new experiences and take pride in our lofty pursuits. Perhaps we will meet as Springdale parents. One of us may even be the chaplain of the school, or some may be influential business leaders in the community.

But no matter what path we take, we will forever be grateful for the wealth of experience that Springdale has provided for us. It has been a pleasure spending the last four years in high school with all of you. And because of the endless support from our parents and teachers, the hard work and never giving up on our goals, we have been better prepared for greater responsibilities ahead.

So, to the graduating class of 2012, let’s go out into the real world, take on new challenges, and show to everyone why we are the best batch of Springdale! – Graduation Speech by Alfredo Relucio Jr, Batch 2012

Speaking Out To Win

Courtesy photo by Ribo HolganzaMANILA, Philippines — At the recent World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC), touted as the Olympics of debate, Team Philippines was the most watched and was considered one of the best and strongest teams to beat, alongside European countries which have long dominated the tournament.

It’s because six Filipino high school students made history by emerging among the top four teams, alongside Scotland, Wales and England in the WSDC tournament held last month in Cape Town, South Africa.

The team was composed of Mariella Antoinette Salazar from International School Manila, Joaquin Maria Bonoan Escano from PAREF Southridge School, Donald Felbaum and Nico Lorenzo Flaminiano from Xavier School, Rico Rey Francis Holganza, Jr. from PAREF Springdale School in Cebu, and Sanjeev Parmanand from Ateneo de Zamboanga University High School.

They breezed through eight preliminary rounds of debates with six wins, and then went on to defeat Team Canada in the first round of the finals with a two to one decision, and then Team Singapore in the quarter-finals with a unanimous vote or a 5-0 score.

The team, however, was narrowly defeated in the semi-finals by Scotland.

Making it to the semi-finals was the farthest place any Philippine team has gone to in the competition. The closest it got in past WSDC tournaments was the top 16 ranking in 2009, followed by the 20th slot last year.

Team member Mariella Salazar says Team Philippines also earned high speaker points during the quarterfinals from top caliber judges.

UNEXPECTED WIN ON A CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC

Despite giving their best performance, the members didn’t really expect to defeat the big teams Canada and Singapore, 2010 and 2011 WSDC champions respectively. In fact, they only realized they were winning when the chief adjudicator was already explaining the merits of their arguments, and announced their victory!

Among the motions or topics discussed during their debates include socio economic rights, the ban on religious parties from running, rural urban migration, Arab Spring, and a feminist movement’s ban on pornography.

For Rico Holganza, Jr. of PAREF Springdale School, what sealed their win against Singapore was the motion which was really close to home, about believing that the gay rights movement should out gay celebrities.

"Team Singapore which was in favor of this motion argued that these gay celebrities who are public figures don’t have a right to privacy because they use their personality to market their brand or products. It runs counter to their values to be closeted gays because it’s deceptive. It's like false advertising. They also said they want to out these celebrities so they can be a model for gay children in conservative societies," says Nico Flaminiano of Xavier School.

But the Philippine team, who cited Hollywood and local gay celebrities in their arguments, maintained that these persons should still have some level of privacy and that they be given the freedom to come out by themselves in their own time and if they want to.

"We argued that some people are successful in creating a dichotomy between their public and private lives. This is very important in trying to protect their party, their children, family and friends from harm. We told them it's also very dangerous to mix public and private life," explains Nico.

Mariella, on the other hand, raised the issue of fragmentation between the movement itself and how outing gay celebrities is counterproductive to the movement.

"Instead of finding inspiration in this gay celebrities and making them role models, what it actually does is alienate certain people. It's like a witchhunt! You don’t have that level of scrutiny with the straight people then why do you want to have that level of scrutiny with gay people? Besides, many celebrities are happy with their lives and don’t even have to come out because they're already accepted,” she adds.

More than the arguments though, Donald Felbaum of Xavier School believes their responsiveness to the issues was what really got the judges on their side. “Both teams were really good. We just edged them out on the criteria of responsiveness and I think that's what sealed the debate more than anything," he notes.

FROM UNDERDOGS TO TEAM FAVORITE

In the earlier part of the tournament, Joaquin Escano of Southridge School says they were among the underdogs. People didn’t expect them to make it that far.

Thus when they advanced to the quarters and semi finals, the other teams began to take notice of their performance. Everyone wanted to watch them perform.

“The best feeling I had there was when we got off the bus and everybody cheered, congratulating us for beating Canada. They told us that we were the talk of the tournament. They even compared us to the Cinderella story, like we were the giant slayers!” Rico enthuses.

For Mariella, the most memorable part of the debates was when the judges announced that they won and the whole room got wild. “Our friends from Peru and Argentina started shouting Filipino, Filipino! They said we were friends with the Philippines before they even got famous!”

Joaquin cited their friendly nature as another reason for the team’s popularity in WSDC. Contrary to perception that debaters are out for the kill, he says that even when they aim for the win, teams still engage in a friendly match. Competing against a team, he adds, is one of the easiest ways to make friends with them.

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Team Philippines among the Top Four in 2012 World Schools Debating Championships

Six Philippine high school students made history by reaching the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) semi-final in Cape Town, South Africa in January this year, thereby emerging among the top four teams of the tournament. 

Foto / Sharmila Parmanand

Cape Town, Africa. Foto / Sharmila Parmanand

Having participated since 2002, this was the furthest that any team from the Philippines had ever progressed. The team, composed of Joaquin Maria Bonoan Escano from PAREF Southridge School, Donald Felbaum and Nico Lorenzo Flaminiano from Xavier School, Rico Rey Francis Holganza, Jr., from PAREF Springdale School in Cebu, Sanjeev Parmanand from Ateneo de Zamboanga University High School, and Mariella Antoinette Salazar from International School Manila, finished 8th after 8 preliminary rounds of debating, with 6 wins – the highest ever for a team from the Philippines.

Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC extends his greetings to the Philippine team for the honor they have brought to the country. “I am truly pleased with the convergence of young people from different parts of the world to share their opinions on issues affecting their respective countries locally and globally. But more importantly, hats off to the Philippine team for showing the world the great potential of Filipino students,” said Luistro.

He added that the competition has been a golden opportunity for the world to hear and understand the youth’s views on topics that are often discussed only by the older generation – when the issues discussed shall most certainly affect the younger generation.

The team proved to be the tournament’s surprise package, earning the respect of judges and coaches all over the world, as they went on to defeat Canada (2010 champions) in the first round of the finals, and Singapore (2011 champions) in the quarter-finals. They were narrowly defeated in the semi-finals by eventual champions Scotland.

“The team put in a great amount of work, researching topics and practicing their debating, along with having to manage their schoolwork, and it’s good to see their effort and dedication rewarded,” said Sharmila Parmanand, a three-time Asian Champion debater and former member of the Ateneo de Manila Debate Society, who served as coach this year.

Kip Oebanda, a Philippine national champion and two-time Asian semi-finalist, who coached the Philippine team for the previous two championships, noted that this was the first team to field speakers from outside Manila, with a speaker each from Visayas and Mindanao.

“It’s exciting to see debate spreading across the country,” he said.

Source: http://deped.net/team-philippines-among-the-top-four-in-2012-world-schools-debating-championships.html

A Unique Outreach

With outreach programs traditionally practiced during the Christmas season, seventy select students of Bonbon Elementary School in Cebu City became beneficiaries of a one-of-a-kind outreach program. 

The outreach on January 2, 2012 was organized by Dream Foundation led by PAREF Springdale Alumnus & Philippine Azkal Player, Paolo Pascual, and Miss Earth Philippines-Water 2011, Murielle Adrienne Orais. Some alumni of PAREF Springdale Batch 2008 and 2007, and friends joined them. 

It doesn't come as a surprise why Bonbon was chosen as the venue. It's because Paolo's high school batch of 2008 pioneered the outreach in Bonbon Elementary School during their senior year. Since then, Bonbon Elementary School officially became an adopted-school of PAREF Springdale School with already three work missions organized by subsequent batches.

At exactly 10:40 AM, the activity started with a short introduction of the team members. Fun games were played that broke the ice and created a bonding between the kids and the Dream Foundation Team; filling the school with loud cheers and laughter. The pupils were then treated to lunch and gifts. 

Notwithstanding the celebrity status of Muriel and Paolo, the short program was without any press.

They’ve both implied that the children’s smiles and their simple “thank you’s” are in themselves PRICELESS! Their example reminds one of a proverbial phrase, “But when you are giving in charity, let not your left hand perceive what your right hand is doing.”

Text by Choy Tura

Golds for Cebu City

CVIRAA, Tagbilaran City, Bohol –"The Cebu City swimming team made a splash in the Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex and bagged a total of 38 gold medals at the end of the competition." (Inquirer NewsDecember 1st, 2011)

Christante Veloso, a Grade 6 PAREF Springdale Titan and one of the members of the Cebu City swimming team, contributed two Golds and a few other medals on the following events:

Gold, Boys 4 x 100 Meter Free Relay

Gold, Boys 4 x 50 Meter Free Relay

Silver, 50 Meter Backstroke

Silver, 100 Meter Backstroke

Bronze, 50 Meter Backstroke

In the Secondary and Elementary Football Competitions, two more PAREF Springdale Titans, namely, Nico Villacin (2HS) and Ryan James Haosen (G7) were also mentioned in the Inquirer News Sports article, as follows:

“The secondary Niños topped their bracket with a spectacular 18-0 routing of Talisay City.

“The team is manned by Don Bosco Technology Center (DBTC) booters and beefed up by two each from Springdale and Abellana National School (ANS).

“Scorers were Jay Arizabal, Val Calvo and Dennis Legaspi with four
goals each; Christian Agot and Yves Caballero with two each and one each from Rogelio Castellon Jr. and Niko Villacin.

“The elementary football team also manned by DBTC trashed Tagbilaran, 6-1.  Scorers were Ryan James Haosen (3), Jon Joseph Rena (2) and Thomas Glen Ramos (1).”

Lyon Valenzuela (4HS) was the other Springdale Titan who was drafted to the Secondary Football Niños.

(Contributed Photo)

OJ de los Santos a proud Springdale Titan

 
On November 22, the 26th SEAG Karatedo Silver and Bronze medalist, Orencio James Virgil Gulle (O.J.) de los Santos, paid a short visit to PAREF Springdale.

After the visit, he wrote a note on his Facebook account. And this is what he says:

"I had a short but great visit today in my high school alma mater.

I look back, and realize that I've learned a lot throughout my past years in this school, especially in the field of wanting to become successful.

It's not just the skill that makes an individual successful, but it is also one's character.

All the virtues that I have learned to improve my character have contributed so much that it has made me grow into a better person.

I am, and always will be, proud to have served the country and reaped the international honors as a certified Springdale gentleman."

Surprisingly, one of his classmates wished him to be "the next Bruce Lee" in their Batch 2008 yearbook.

OJ's yearbook motto goes, "In life we experience failure: but the thought of failure should not bring us down because failure is one of the keys to success."

Photo by Gyl Rosal

PAREF junior gets in national debate team

RICO Rey Francis Holganza, a 16-year-old junior, made it to the Philippine national secondary debate team after a weekend of gruelling tryouts.

The Team Philippines: World Schools Debate Championships committee came to Cebu last Dec. 18 and 19 and hosted a tryouts session at the University of the Philippines Cebu College campus.

Holganza, or Ribo as his friends call him, was chosen by Kip Oebanda and James Soriano, head coaches of the team, after several rounds of debate where six other Springdale students participated.

He will be sent to Dundee, Scotland, on August and to Cape Town, South Africa, on February to compete in two editions of World Schools Debate Championships.

Four of six slots in the team have been taken by Holganza, Joaquin Escaño from PAREF Southridge School, Sanjeev Parmanand from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Akshar Bonu and Mariella Salazar from the International School of Manila.

Practice was intense because it would last until four in the morning, but it was all worthwhile,? Holganza said.

The team has been competing regularly for the past few years, but this is the first time the committee hosted tryouts outside of Metro Manila, making Holganza's accomplishment an even bigger one.

Published in the Inquirer Global Nation on March 29, 2011.

 

Paolo Pascual: Being a part of the Azkals is a very, very big achievement

MANILA, Philippines — Yannick Tuason and Paolo Pascual leave everything behind for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with the Azkals.

Paolo Pascual, goalkeeper: The other ‘Papa P’

He may not be Piolo, but Paolo Pascual now has his fair share of crazy, adoring fans since joining the Azkals as one of its newest homegrown recruits.

Paolo and the rest of the U-23 (Under 23) players are currently preparing for the Southeast Asian Games in November in Indonesia where he will be the first goalkeeper.

He is also getting back to fighting form after he dislocated his shoulder almost two months ago.
 
Photo grabbed with permission from Paolo's Facebook.

Paolo was just a regular Business and Entrepreneurship college junior at the University of San Carlos in Cebu when he got a call from the Philippine Football Federation asking him to try out for the Azkals.

While it’s already an achievement to try out with other experienced and talented players who come from the other parts of the globe, what sets Paolo apart is the fact that he made it to the national team at only 20 years old. The 5’11” Cebuano native has been training with the Azkals since January.

Paolo started playing football when he was seven years old at Paref Springdale School. He was a striker until Grade VII when his coach Mario Ceniza realized Paolo had the potential to be a good goalkeeper given his height. He has since played in Global Smartmatic FC and in the Philippine U-19 team that competed in China.

Paolo is supposed to be in fourth year college now, but because most of the trainings are conducted in Manila, he is now looking for a school in the capital city where he can continue his studies while he attends the national team trainings at the same time.

Even if he is away from home, Paolo relates that he is always reminded by his father to “always be an intelligent athlete” by balancing academics and sports.

How did you get into football? I started when I was seven years old, for school. Since then, I’ve been playing football in elementary, high school and college. It has always been my childhood dream to play football.

Who are your football idols? Being a goalkeeper, I look up to Iker Casillas. Locally, I look up to my partner, Eduard Sacapano. He has a good work ethic and he has been with the team for so long so I think he deserves to get noticed, he deserves credit.

How would you describe yourself as a player? A goalkeeper should have discipline and a good work ethic. You shouldn’t give up. Even up to the last minute, you should give it your all. Neil Etheridge gives us a lot of tips. When he’s here, he trains us. He’s got a lot of really, really good and useful tips.

What type of a student are you? I’m silent, kinda studious and friendly.

Was it a tough decision choosing between school and being part of the national football team? It is football for now. But I know you can’t get a living by just doing football. You have to earn after football also. So you need a college degree and all that to go through with life. I talked to my mom and dad about it first and I told them that this is just a once-in-alifetime experience. My parents have been very supportive. They’re the ones who have been encouraging me to join the Azkals.

Who inspires you during a game? Number one is God. Next is ‘yung mga na-achieve nung veteran teammates namin, all the Pinoys who have been with the Azkals ever since, like Roel Gener. Their dedication to the team and to the country is amazing.

Do you have any rituals before a game? I just pray.

How has football changed your life? Now that we’re part of the team, you should be more conscious about your health. That’s something to focus on.

What do you consider is your biggest achievement so far? I think being a part of the Azkals is a very, very big achievement already.

What was your craziest experience with a fan? In Barotac (Iloilo) it is pretty wild. The crowd there is rowdy compared to Manila. Here kasi, they keep things to themselves. There they would, they release. They do anything.

Are you single or in a relationship? I’m single.

What do you look for in a girlfriend? I like someone who is God-fearing and family-oriented.

The biggest sacrifice that you have to make as an Azkal? Being away from the family. I’m from Cebu and to move here to Manila is a big sacrifice for me.

What was the biggest adjustment for you coming from Cebu? The life and the family. Homesickness. In Cebu, I have everything there, you have a home, you’re family is there for you. But here, you have to be independent. You have to learn how to live on your own. You have to find ways to get by here in Manila. It was hard adjusting. But after probably a month, I got used to it already.

If you were not a football player, what would you be doing now? I will be studying. Get my business degree then maybe I’ll go become a pilot. It’s been my dream as well.

Do you think the Azkals will survive without the Fil-foreigners? I think we also need the Fil-foreigners. They bring a lot of experience to the team. But skills-wise, I think the pureblooded Filipinos have it.

What was your initial reaction when you saw your team captain, Aly Borromeo’s billboard? Good for him. I’m happy for him. If you have that kind of body, why not flaunt it. Aly has been with the team for so long already, he really deserves all the attention and fame that he has been getting now. Same with Ian (Araneta), Chieffy (Caligdong) and Role (Gener). I’m closest to them and Yannick (Tuason).

Is there a player in the team that you get intimidated by? In football, if you get intimidated, nothing will happen to you. You have to be strong.
 
Published in the Manila Bulletin on July 20, 2011.

Pages: Gio Gandionco’s dream: ‘Be like Rory’

By John Pages

TIGER Woods is outdated and passé. Today’s young golfers want to be like the 22-year-old Irish champion of the United States Open.

Take the son of Opep and Cora Gandionco. Only 16 years old, he possesses the confidence and maturity of Rory McIlroy.

Angelo Jose “Gio” Gandionco explained: “Rory inspired me to do better and to challenge myself; if Rory can do it, why can’t I? It may be tough to be the best or even get in the PGA Tour but if you have the will and desire, you can achieve it. Rory winning made me realize that it’s possible to win one of the biggest tournaments and beat the best. Like now, I’m touring America playing tournaments and I’m up against the best juniors. I know if I play my game I can beat them like Rory. If I focus on what I’m supposed to do and not get intimidated, I can win.”

Spunk, spirit, and self-assurance.

That’s Gio.

From the U.S., he e-mailed last week. “I just finished my first tournament this second trip here,” said Gio. “It’s the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Club Corp Mission Hills Desert Junior in Rancho Mirage (Palm Springs), California. Despite jet lag since I just arrived three days earlier and playing in 114-degree weather, I finished second with a score of 71-73-72, which is my best finish so far here. Most of the other players were from California. LJ Go (from Cebu) also played.”

Gio, a 2-handicapper who also idolizes Rickie Fowler (“He stands out with his fashion statement”), travels next to Pinehurst, North Carolina and Huntsville, Alabama. He then returns home to Cebu, where he is a fourth year high school student at Paref-Springdale (and a five-time Student Athlete Of The Year).

“Last April,” he added, “my mom’s family had a reunion in Hawaii so we went on to Texas to join a tournament at the Texas A&M University. I finished 14th (that was a highly-ranked junior event) and, at the PGA Golf Club in Florida, I finished in the top 10. Here in the U.S., there are 5,000 junior golf players… so I think I have been doing well.”

Gio started golf at the age of four. He used Little Tikes plastic golf clubs and his dad, Opep, who heads the family-owned giant Julie’s Bakeshop, was the person who taught his son how to swing.

By age 7, Gio joined golf events. But, he also had a similar interest in the Azkals game of football. He was Springdale’s striker. Finally, he had to choose. “When my soccer tournaments and golf coach’s schedules competed for my time,” he said, “I knew I had to make a choice. Although I enjoyed the team play in soccer with my friends, I knew it was golf I really loved! So at 11, I started to seriously work on my game.”

Mixing academics and sport has not been easy. “My schedule is very hectic,” said Gio, an honor student who consistently averages 90+. “But, I always try to put time for both practicing and studying. During schooldays, I get dismissed 4:30pm so I head to either the range or the golf course on MWF. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work out in the gym. I get home 6:30pm, study, eat, sleep. It is not easy being a student-athlete; you have to learn how to manage your time well. Even while I’m away for a tournament, I still have to read books and do homework to prepare for tests.”

Gio’s dream? To play in the PGA Tour. But first, he says, “My goal in the medium term is to get a scholarship at a prestigious U.S. university. I would like to play college golf, at the same time graduate with a degree in Business.”

His best score? A 5-under par in a Men’s Amateur tournament late last year. “Although I am still working on my game,” he says, “my short game has always been my strength.

Every aspect of my game is still a work-in-progress, and I am open to learning and improving.”

As to the aspects of golf that he enjoys most, he answers, “I love every part of the game: the pressure, the challenge, the intimidation, the hard work, the difficulties that come everyday and, most of all, the feeling of knowing you’re improving.”

Only 16, Gio sounds like a very, very mature person.

Just like Rory.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu on July 7, 2011.