The Golden Harvest

10:00 AM

A rare gathering of the brightest minds of Tagbilaran City high schools class of 2015

[Published at LifestyleBohol of The Bohol Chronicle, March 29, 2015 issue.
Written together with Mr. Raul Phillip Gatal]

This year's high school graduates will forever be in the books, being the last set of harvest before the full implementation of the K-12 program set this 2016.  But among them, there is this batch of young and promising adolescents who rose to the ranks of their school's graduating class and claimed the title batch Valedictorian.

They may be differentiated among their peers by the shining gold medal hanging on their necks.  However, at the end of the day, they are still like the rest, still growing into the individuals they aim to become and trying to make the big dreams they have turn into reality.  They are the ones who are enjoying the vibrancy of their youth while championing the demands of their academic life.

They are Tagbilaran City high school's golden harvest and let us get to know each one of them.

GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN.  These girls knows the meaning of learning while having fun.
(From L-R): Charlene, Mary Rose, Vanessa, Karen, and Maureen

Maureen Joy Auguis
Valedictorian, Victoriano D. Tirol Advance Learning Center
Secret to being valedictorian: "I keep myself inspired and motivated. I make every failure a stepping stone.I want to do better than I did yesterday."

On breaking out of the nerd stereotype: "I am a member of a charismatic group, El Shaddai. The ministry made me grow spiritually. I also make friends in school and we are the jolly and loud type of friends."

Jerome Palingcod
Valedictorian, Bohol Deaf Academy


ASIDE FROM BEING NATURALLY SMART, Jerome is also a natural in front of the camera.

Secret to being valedictorian: "The love of family, the love of IDEA Family who supported me since elementary. Also faith in God."

On life at a boarding school: "Bohol Deaf Academy is a private residential high school.  We are allowed to go out every Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm so sometimes, me and my friends go to the beach for swimming or attend fiestas.  Our school also organizes activities for us to really enjoy our high school life."

DON'T LET THE SHY SMILE FOOL YOU, Sherwin is able to be more than that.

Sherwin Jay Diez
Valedictorian, Bohol Wisdom School
Secret to being valedictorian: "It is really important to balance my academics, co-curricular activities and my social life."]

Least Favorite Subject: "I do not really like Literature. I am not a fan of reading stories, novels, even those readings in school."

FRANCIS, MACKY, KAREN, MAUREEN, AND JOSHUA enjoyed their first bonding moment.
Hopefully, the start of a new friendship.

Karen Joy Sanigo
Valedictorian, University of Bohol High School Department
Secret to being valedictorian: "I'm just being myself. I'm learning while having fun because I believe that its more effective to learn when there is the fun factor."

On Krisel Mallari: "She has the right to express her feelings but she should have not done it that way. It did not give respect to the people around especially the teachers. She should have done it privately like a heart to heart talk."

Lance Nesle
Valedictorian, Royal Christian School


BEHIND LANCE'S OFTEN QUIET AURA is a guy who is sensible and deep.
His friendliness is the cherry on top.

Secret to being valedictorian: "The secret is God.  The very first thing I did was pray to God and I gave Him the desire of my heart to be the valedictorian.  And of course, along with my prayers are my determination and discipline.”

On Krisel Mallari: "I think the issue is a wakeup call to all the schools to be transparent when it comes to the ranking of their honor students to avoid misunderstandings.  And this is also a reminder to the students to fight for your right.”

Charlene Vitor
Valedictorian, Cogon High School Day Class
Secret to being valedictorian: "It [To become a valedictorian] is only through perseverance, prayers, and time management.”

On overcoming hardships: "I am a mother to my brothers and sisters.  It is a great responsibility but I was able to manage my life at home and in school.”

ASKED TO RECREATE AN EXAGGERATED VERSION of how they react upon seeing their crushes,
Karen, Vanessa, Mary Rose, Maureen, and Charlene gamely poses
while Lance is looking every inch of the boy-next door.

Joshua Joel Cahatol
Valedictorian, Holy Name University High School Department
Secret to being valedictorian: "Being aware of what’s happening inside the classroom when the teacher is delivering his or her lessons.  I’m not the type of student who studies every night.  I only study when I want to as if there is a test the next day.  But I could still remember what the teacher said.  It’s not anymore a problem because I already understood the lesson.”

On Krisel Mallari: "I think that what she did was very brave because she expressed her thoughts and feelings and spoke her heart out instead of relying on a rewritten speech.  Nevertheless, the way how she defaced the name of the school and the valedictorian is very wrong.  She should learn respect.”

Ma. Vanessa Pinoliad
Valedictorian, Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School – Special Program for the Arts
Secret to being valedictorian: "Believing in your amazing poterntial and sheer determination can undeniably pave a way to success.  Seeking the guidance of God as well.”

On breaking out of the nerd stereotype: "Just as any other student experiences, I struggle, I cry,  I laugh, and I have fun – a lot of fun.”

THESE YOUNG GENTLEMEN are not just adorable boys but intelligent and kind-hearted ones, too.

Vic Macky Chitto Inting
Valedictorian, Mansasa High School
Secret to being valedictorian: "You should always make yourself always on top.  It is also very important to be capable in many things especially in communicating with others.”

Least Favorite Subject: "Filipino.”

John Lorenz Barrete
Valedictorian, Grace Christian School
Secret to being valedictorian: "My secret of being a valedictorian is the moral support from my family which motivates me to study and reach my goals in life.

Least Favorite Subject: "Math.  I find it hard sometimes especially when I am solving the difficult problems.”

LORENZ GAMELY poses for the camera albeit being new in front of the lens.
Don't worry. The photographer is a newbie, as well.
WE MADE CARL DO a couple of poses to show emotion.
But I guess he is in his element when reading...or pretending to do so. 

Carl Jasper Solijon
Valedictorian, Holy Infant School
Secret to being valedictorian: "Mainly the urge and will to be it.  One must have his desire to become a valedictorian greater than his fear of failure. To be able to do so, he should manage it all together with hardwork and dedication.”

On Krisel Mallari: "I am on the side of Krisel.  I think that the whole educational system of the country is a flaw.  The system basically makes grades more significant than the learning process itself and I don’t think that grades are what will validate us in the real world.”

Mary Rose Bag-o
Valedictorian, Cogon High School Evening Class
Secret to being valedictorian: "Being hardworking.  The attitude should be possessed in order to achieve your goals.”

Least Favorite Subject: "Araling Panlipunan.  I am not fond of history but since it is part of my subjects, I take it as a challenge.  I study twice a day in order to cope up with the subject.”

THERE IS SOMETHING about Francis' smile? Is it the coffee he is getting, the fact that he is being shot,
the thought of being a valedictorian, or that BWS special someone? Maybe ALL!

Francis Cabarubias
Valedictorian, Holy Spirit School of Tagbilaran
Secret to being valedictorian: "Chill lang. Believing I can outdo myself every time, accept my shortcoming and improve them, and of course, trust in myself as much as I trust God.”

On breaking out of the nerd stereotype: "Laagan ko! I have a special someone in BWS.  I hang out also with my friends, I play sports particularly basketball and volleyball and I play the guitar and drums."

A CERTIFIED FAMILY GUY, Rio missed the shoot and interview because he went to his
brother's graduation in Cebu.  But he was so willing to do this one and was keeping an update,
so I decided to include him here.  A+ for effort Rio!

Rio Angelo Escobilla
Valedictorian, Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary High School
Secret to being valedictorian: To be valedictorian...simply needs the best of me.  I have to be active.  I should not settle within my comfort zone and start to reach out.  If there is an opportunity, I take it.  This not just to gain extra points but to [gain an experience to] mold my character, break my limits, and unravel my God-given gifts.  Everything will be easier especially that I enjoy it.

On being inside the seminary:  If you are a student in the seminary, you live inside the seminary. Thus, you get to be fond with everyone inside. In there, one learn to live with each other. That is why we have considered each other as “brothers”, not by blood maybe but by heart. Either younger than you or older, you’ll share the same dormitories, dinner tables and facilities.  Classmate or not you could be close to all. But your classmates would probably be the closest to you. Also, being a kuya to your younger brothers is fun; After all, I’m a family guy.

Hats off to this year's graduates of 2015!!!

Shot on location at the new Bialetti Café and Dong Juan
Special thanks to Joy Angeli Uy of Bialetti Café
More exclusive photos and behind the scenes at my blog's official Facebook page.

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DEEJAY WRITES is a proudly Boholano lifestyle and travel blog by LifestyleBohol in-house writer Deejay Arro. Launched in June 2014, DEEJAY WRITES ranks among the Top 200 Entertainment and Lifestyle blogs in the country and has been consistently receiving positive feedback from readers..