Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back from Manila with the Grand Prize!

5th RMSEC Philippines Grand Prize Winner! Just got back from Manila from the awarding ceremony of the Ramon Magsaysay Essay Competition. I'm glad to announce that my essay, The Autobiography of a Leper: Healing a Heart just won the grand prize!

To win in the RMSEC Philippines means a lot to me. It's my dream! I've been joining for the past 5 years and finally my efforts paid off.

Thanks for all those people who believed in me: My parents, my Tito Julius and Tita, to Althea, Aizee, and everyone who read and helped to improve my essay. Thanks!

But, even if I didn't win, it would still have been worth it to know about Murlidhar Devidas Amte. It's good to know that such people exist that do the stuff that would make legends.

(You may read the essay here.)
June 25
Before take off (my first time at the (new? haha) Buhangin Airport)

Ignoramus Inside Philippine Air Lines (the last time I was in one, they didn't have that many screens on board. hahaha. That was like, 10 years ago.)

Safely Landed at NAIA. Thanks to the captain for the smooth flight!

Miss Mai makes sure I don't get lost in Manila (This picture is taken the next day, on our tour)

At the Orchids Suite hotel

(RMAF just gave me allowance for three days, and hungry, I decided to use some of it for a late afternoon snack.)
The View Outside the 9th Floor Window
Takoyaki Dinner with Althea, at Harrisons(no pics, my phone just turned on low battery and my charger had a problem. Off to Harrison. Althea treated me at Takoyaki's, they say it's the best at Harrison's. Miguel and Raph came too.

Back at the hotel, I find that Allen, my room mate and fellow regional (high-school level) finalist from Mindanao, had his flight cancelled.

June 26
Tour Around the National Museum: Classic American Car
(From left to right, I hope I got this right: Elaine, Miss Mai at the Back, Eleonor, Oliver , Kate, Desiree, and Melissa)

(Miss Mai becomes part of the art)

Skull of the Tabon Cave Woman
Mummified Egyptian Cat God (Tomb of Caer'beru) (Okay, that was a joke, this is actually my pet Frizzy, asleep on my bed back home. hahaha. Maybe I should put this on

One of my favorite paintings there:

Overall, the tour around the National Museum was worthwhile, fun, and--after 2 and a half hours of touring their different sections--I was hungry. And a bit tired, haha. We met Senator Loren Legarda there on our way to Juan Luna's famous Spoliarium (sorry, no cams allowed!). The Spoliarium is BIG! Imagine the far end of a movie theatre, maybe bigger. They had to cut it in three pieces when they had to ship it from Spain (ouch!).

We had lunch at Casa Mileta with President Ramon Magsaysay's grandson, Sir Paco Magsaysay, and what a satisfying lunch it was! The food was delicious, but the plate was too big we could only eat a fourth of it. Not to mention there was still dessert coming.

At the awarding ceremony, we met Rosa Rosal, Kacy Concepcion, and Senator Magsaysay. We were able to shake hands with various important people in our country. I hope I could ask for some of the pictures they took there sometime soon.

We were interviewed by Studio 23 and Knowledge Channel after. Then, back to our hotel.

Celebrate! With the remaining allowance from what RMAF gave to us finalists, I treated my friends to food from Tokyo Tokyo, which we ate over at The Great Ushigami Shrine*. Raisa, Aizee--my girlfriend (SMACK! ouch. ehem, I was just kidding Ziii.:p) Maverick, and The Great Ushigami**)

Since my roommate wouldn't be able to come, Mavi stayed over at the hotel.

*The place which cannot be disclosed
**He who must not be named

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