Proven and tested — skip the small talk and pull out this questionnaire instead.

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

It’s not always easy to build rapport with people you just met, especially now that we’re practically used to being so disconnected to everyone and everything. Thankfully, a few scientists came up with a step-by-step guide that succeeded to make two people fall in love in just less than an hour.

I’ve been in quarantine for 100 days, and the abundance of time I have in my hands allowed me to reminisce about a lot of things I took for granted — like excessive socialization. One weekend before the lockdown, two of my college friends and I decided to talk over a bottle of Soju and wine in the condo. We were at that stage of our friendship where we weren’t necessarily intimate — but we also couldn’t get enough of each other’s company. It was a Thursday night, and we collectively decided to push aside all our homework and just breathe for a while. I took the opportunity to propose the 36 Questions to spice up our evening a bit. …


A 30-Day Decluttering Diary And A Few Sustainable Tips

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

It took my room a few tidying up until I realized that the rules of minimalism just aren’t for me. With that, I decided to come up with my own decluttering process — one that is pressure-less and most definitely realistic.

I am a firm believer that decluttering need not be extraneous and overwhelming. It can be a therapeutic activity that allows us to be in touch of ourselves and our surroundings. It can say a lot about what we value, who we are or perhaps, who we once were.

As my advanced New Year’s resolution, I decided to declutter at my own pace. The only rule is to find at least 1 (one) item a day, which I no longer need. From there, I decide what I want to do with them — either repurpose, throw out, donate, or re-gift. …


A dive through in the causes and consequences of catastrophes in the Philippines.

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Photo by Ezra Acayan, Getty Images

I recently saw a Facebook post that claims disasters in the Philippines as a result of people’s nearsightedness. The majority of the population indeed put magnified importance on survival over long term plans. However, the vastly flawed and deeply-rooted issue extends way beyond a myopic generalization.

Typhoon Rolly (Goni) recently caused vast devastation and destruction in Bicol, leaving at least 20 people dead. A few days later, typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) makes landfall in the same Region and leaves some 170,000 dislodged, one dead, while three are still missing. It wiped the main island of Luzon to destruction earlier this week, causing further displacement of vulnerable individuals in the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis. …


No good tidings, no sleigh bells.

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Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

Christmastime is arguably the season of goodwill, togetherness, and gleeful traditions. Mirthful laughter and colorful lights surround the streets, as people welcome the last hurrah on an eventful chapter of their lives. Every good thing that comes throughout the year builds up to this very moment.

Christmas is also the celebration of happiness, abundance, and togetherness — much of what most of us, unfortunately, can’t necessarily have at present.


Spoiler alert: It’s not exactly the best environment

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Photograph: Tony Law/Redux/eyevine. (from The Guardian)

My first Apple gadget was an iPod touch. I carried it with me everywhere, you’d easily assume I knew it perfectly well. Yet, if you told my 12-year-old self that the gadget she adored so much was made by an overworked, underpaid Chinese slave who would rather die; she’d probably just walk away and put her earphones back on.

Times change, and almost gone are the days when consumers are completely passive of what brands they consumed. The internet now provides them with extensive resources that can aid them to practice their autonomy. I will endlessly admire the Gen Z for being well-informed individuals. They are the first generation to not only care for the future of the environment and humanity, but also fearlessly take action on their advocacies. There are a lot of hasty generalizations and stereotypes that surround these younglings, but it is undeniable that they are game-changers. The Gen Z champions veganism and a zero-waste lifestyle. They try to resolve universal issues by creating trends. They are responsible for the rise of reusable straws, Hydroflasks, and period cups. …


Be careful, your answer reflects your priorities as a person.

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Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Most university students would see recollection and retreat courses as no more than just another requirement to graduate. Personally, they were six units of my college life that I just wanted to get over with, so I didn’t necessarily have my hopes up on the impact scale. That was until our retreat lecturer raised a question that forever changed the way I look at life.

In my CSR class, we recently discussed frameworks that highly influence people’s ethical decision-making: the Consequentialist Framework; the Virtue Framework; and the Duty Framework. These ethical frameworks identify three kinds of people in the world — the consequentialist, the virtuous, and the dutiful. Still, some people stand between the lines. They can live according to two frameworks, even three. You may wonder how they differ from each other. …


Now is never too late to make a change

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Photo by Zetong Li from Pexels

Redwood trees are the tallest species of trees on Earth. But like every other tree, they also start with a single little seed — three millimeters big to be exact.

I wrote a lengthy film review on The Lorax (2012) when I was fourteen. It was one of my favorite films at that time that I just felt the need to write down all my emotions for it. I admired the film’s take on the harmful effects of logging, deforestation, and modernization. The original book by Dr. Seuss was initially banned in the early ’90s because it was believed to portray logging in a poor light and would turn the children against the industry. So, I thought that the existence and accessibility of its film adaptation was a massive leap to humanity. Films like The Lorax that discuss important and sensitive topics in society play an important role in media, as they help children have a better sense of the world and become better adults of the future. …


Poverty is caused by many things, and our ignorance plays a part in it

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

There are many things that cause poverty such as climate change, social inequality, and lack of infrastructure. However, the biggest contributing factor to this universal issue is a poor educational system. The thing is, the world would be a completely different place if everyone had equal access to quality education.

I was 17 when I first visited the underworld of Metro Manila. I took the Literary Service Training for my NSTP, and we taught basic English and Mathematics in the slums of Payatas. My ignorance of the real issue made me hate the experience initially. I was part of the problem. I did not understand the importance of our presence in the community. Nevertheless, my perspective completely changed when my NSTP partner and I were assigned to tutor this very timid 12-year-old girl. My heart broke once I realized that she can barely even read or answer basic math problems. They say that we write our own story. What they do not tell us, however, is that it actually comes with a pre-filled template. The children we see in the streets, deprived of a proper childhood and quality education, will grow up and make their own choices. Nonetheless, those choices will never make their lives any more comfortable than those born into wealth. …


This is how I try to make a difference in my own way.

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Photo by Life Matters from Pexels

We recently discussed values and ethics in my CSR class. It made me think a lot about the current events in the Philippines, and how people’s individual opinions are heavily driven by what they are made of.

Growing up, my mother did not have a silver spoon handed to her. She attended public school, was a working student, and struggled to make ends meet in her younger years. My family once went on a weekend road trip in Manila where we passed by a street familiar to her — it was where she used to live. She recounted a time when the landlord kicked her family out of their apartment. …


A vague and sugarcoated explanation will only make things worse for them.

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Fourteen years ago, I watched a timeless film on HBO that taught me about real death. It was an unpleasant experience per se. Television is a usual medium for children to learn, but difficult topics like death may require further explanation from adults. Unfortunately, I felt that I had to deal with my accidental discovery of death by myself that it turned a PG-rated ’90s classic into the greatest nightmare of my childhood.

Children’s understanding of death develops differently. My sudden traumatic awareness of it could indeed have been avoided by proper monitoring. However, children are just naturally curious to not come across difficult topics such as death. They will eventually cross that road, and it would be helpful to have someone explain it to them as lightly and realistically as possible. They can learn about death from school, friends, or overheard adult conversations. …

About

hazeldal

je m’appelle hazel. je suis une etudiante en dlsu. j’aime lire, ecrire et manger.

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