Show and Tell

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

WHO says the classic activity “Show and Tell” is for students only? As the school year once again kicks off this month, it’s the perfect time for students to hear it from elders and mentors—those who have pretty much perfected the skill of waking up at 7 a.m. to rush to homeroom—and learn how they can make the next 10 months productive, exciting and memorable.

Here are four professionals coming from different industries ready to share their experiences to this generation’s students.

Sheena A. Dabon
Fiona Patricia S. Escandor


Confident and quick-witted, Sheena Dabon is one of those individuals one would hardly imagine to have a less-than-perfect experience back in her first day at school. It’s easy to see her settling in quickly, going in from one class to the next, and smoothly cruising along the social scene.

But this topnotch, fast-talking sales trainer in a publishing company had her share of first day glitches as well—“little things” really that had she just done a bit of research and preparation, could have been avoided.

“I wish I knew on the first day of school where my designated classrooms were,” Sheena said, rather bluntly. “Because of that, I was late to most of my classes and I actually entered one that I wasn’t part of. That didn’t really make a good impression. Second, I wish I knew which PUJ route to ride going home.”

Sheena admitted that though perhaps she could have studied more and skipped class less as the days went by, she said she has learned from her mistakes and it has molded her to the person she is today.

Going for a more personal take on the issue, she said, “I wish I participated in all the important gatherings my friends and family had.

At that time, I was so engrossed with the idea that I always had enough time, so it was easier to say no, later or maybe next time. When I graduated and we had our own career paths, I realized that being there for each other wasn’t as easy as being a text or call away.”

Francesca Ann P. Escalona
Jessica Losorata

From serving breakfast in a hotel, to working at an airport or a souvenir shop in Amsterdam, down to getting employed by one of the biggest banks in Holland, to a multinational beer company, Francesca Ann P. Escalona has always been a working-student, all throughout high school and college.

In 1998, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Management at Hogeschool Holland (now InHolland University) in Diemen, The Netherlands.

After graduation, Escalona landed as account manager for a software company. It wasn’t a dream job, but it earned good money for someone fresh out of school. A year later, she decided to take a sabbatical and came to Cebu. The urge to learn more about the Philippines made the 39-year-old traveler by heart fall in love with the country. She has moved to the country permanently.

Escalona is currently an outstanding team leader at the Cebu chapter of an established business process outsourcing firm, reported to be the biggest private employer in the Philippines—Convergys Philippines Services Corporation. With an impressive job title, does a successful professional like Escalona still miss the good ole days at the academe?

Escalona said education in The Netherlands is different. Once you are in college, it’s considered serious since not everyone gets to the higher level.

“It’s high school that I miss most. I had a lot of fun, you know. It’s that stage in your life that you learn to be independent and start making important decisions. If I had a chance to go back to school, I would probably have traveled a bit less, put more time in my studies and attend more classes during college,” Escalona shared, reminiscing.

Atty. Mae Elaine T. Bathan
Joanna Cuenco

Elaine Bathan is a practicing lawyer, the assistant dean of the University of San Jose-Recoletos School of Law, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City Chapter, and radio anchor of RMN dyHP’s Kini ang Akong Suliran.

When asked what she would have done differently if she had the chance to go back to school, this busy and accomplished lawyer had this to say:

"The thing I would have done differently was not cut class and go to Ayala or do manicures at the back of the classroom while in class. Seriously now, perhaps the only thing I would like to do differently is strike a balance between my academics and extra-curricular activities. Maybe if I had done so, I would have made it to the honors list as I was short by a few points."

“However, looking back to my days in college, I feel that all of what I have done, whether in and out of the classroom or the corridors, be it at the canteen or behind the shelves of the library have all been stitched together to create a tapestry of what I am now. School whether elementary, high school or college will remain to be the best years of my life. Looking back at those days, I could not even imagine why it was such a drag waking up in the morning back then.”

Rachel Arandilla
Luis A. Quibranza III

Rachel Arandilla is about getting down to business. She, in her fairly young age, is an established entrepreneur, as the branding and marketing manager of Sprockets Café. She’s also a college instructor for History of Art in the University of San Carlos.

Rachel was one of the Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs by Go Negosyo and was selected by Metro Society as one of the 12 People to Watch Out for in Cebu. Despite all these, she has a few things she’d like to do better if she were to go back to school. Her answer might surprise you.

“I would be more involved in extracurricular activities rather than focus on studies too much. While academics are important, extracurricular activities and sports are also important in developing different facets of your character and in widening your social network—I wish I hadn’t learned that too late, too soon.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 01, 2014.


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