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A. Preliminary Questions

1. From the behaviors in the Gallup poll, I chose gambling. However, this behavior of gambling is limited only to the monetary and profit-based form of gambling, thus it does not cover “gambling your life” or “taking a gamble (referring to risk taking)” and other forms of gambling. In my personal opinion, I would say that this behavior is RIGHT.

Gambling is a game of probabilities. The player understands that there is a chance of winning and also a clear chance of losing. Gambling is much like taking risks, it is a risk; not everything will end up in your favor. There are no promised get-rich-quick schemes nor are lies told to the player. No, the player lies to himself, the greatest lie is that “I’ll will the next one”. It’s the person’s fault that he’s become a degenerate gambler, therefore, this specific behavior is rooted in personal mindset and not by gambling per say.

This is based on the very definition of gambling, that being “an act of gambling; an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success” (New Oxford American Dictionary) and with reasoning.

As previously stated, most things in life are a gamble; everything is rooted in probability. Now as living beings, we can choose not to subject ourselves into these situations knowing that along with the possibility of a positive outcome, there might also be a negative outcome; much like choosing whether or not to participate in a game of blackjack or slots.

2. Acts are considered sinful if it meets the following criterions: causes serious harm, has adequate freedom, and has adequate knowledge. When a person is gambling just a small amount of money, then no, the act is not considered sinful; after all, there is not serious harm. However, the state in which serious harm is caused is debated since factors such as the personal financial state, family’s financial state, socio-economical factors, emotions etc. all have to be considered. At the same time, should a person (likely a child) be coerced into making a bet without full knowledge of the nature of gambling, then it is not bad or sinful.

3. With my answers as basis, I would identify myself as a Moral Rationalist. Rather than deciding the right or wrong of a behavior, I choose to examine the different evidences presented and attempt to form a conclusion of the situation itself staring from there. But I am not a follower of Rationalism (the exclusive use of scientific reason and and the insistence of certainty), no, I choose to follow Rationality (the use of reason).

Gambling is acceptable when the person fully understands the nature of gambling. However, it is not when the player is intentionally tricked/cheated and/or is addicted to gambling. But this conclusion can only be reached when all the necessary factors are considered.

B. “What if…?”

Dude, I heard that you just gambled for the first time. Did you win? Oh, kinda sucks that you lost, shouldn’t have bet on the Lakers when you knew that the Bucks were going to win. But back to the point, I don’t think that you should gamble anymore. Sure you might think that when you reason out gambling, it is good thing. After all, it presents you with the opportunity to gain money if you risk a certain amount in the beginning. But you can’t only utilize rationalism. There are so many other things to consider; things such as emotion. How do you feel about gambling? How do those around you feel about gambling?

When you gamble, you need to understand  the truth, “There are some that win and some that lose”. You need to keep this in your mind at all times. There is no surefire way of winning when you gamble, otherwise, it wouldn’t be gambling! Still, your best shot is to stay away from it. You’ll be better off with you nine to five job versus that slim chance of ultimate victory in Vegas, followed by losing everything in consecutive ill considered bets that will eventually throw your ass onto the streets.

As a friend, just don’t gamble. Okay?

I had no idea what Kropek was until the guys told me that it was shrimp chips. Then again, what’s with the shape? I always thought that it would be all puffy but apparently, uncooked Kropek is in the form of thin rectangular slices that “puff” up when cooked with heat and oil.

The oils used during this activity were butter, canola, vegetable, and palm oil. But for some reason, I couldn’t identify the differences save for butter ‘cuz I LOVE BUTTER!!!

Genetically Modified Foods (GMF) are a subject of controversy with regards to both pricing and health concerns.

As with all food products on and entering the market, the issue of safety is one on top of the priority list of consumers. GMF has undergone a process that may make them more resilient to viruses and herbicides and other forms of pests. In the short term, this may prove to be beneficial. Certain strains of GMF have the ability to be cultivated in harsher environments versus their natural counterparts. As such, it would be acceptable to sell these GMF.

However, the long term effects have yet to be recognized. Therefore, large scale introduction of GMF to the mass market should be limited until a conclusive study into long terms effects have been done.

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xsibcle2012 AOK module4

Although the foods are to be considered normal and common to those who regularly eat it, they are however, considered weird or even disgusting to others. This may be attributed to the differences in culture. However, we can all agree that food, in general, pertains to all objects that are edible.
For me, normal food consists of general food types I would encounter in my daily life. Thus excluding various internal organs and all insects and other creatures with exoskeletons (except for crabs, prawns, and shrimps). The rest wouldn’t be normal food.

Top 5 Weirdest Food:
1. Balut
2. Gizzards
3. Brains
4. Spiders
5. Fried insects

It not always that doing a business counts as a Service aspect of CAS. But apparently, this is it.

Xavier’s Entrepreneurial Project aims to give students the opportunity to apply business topics they have learning in school to a real life situation, requiring them to set up a business and operate it for a span of two days in a bazaar. This year, we (IB students) participated in the bazaar held in the Rockwell Business Center.

Ooh Chocolate was the name of our business, specializing in brownies.

“Hi, might I interest you in some of our delicious, top-of-the-line brownies? They are offered in three flavors: Original, Chocolate topping, and a creamy penut butter topping with crushed Chocnut on top. It’s current 25 a piece but in the spirit of Christmas and giving, we sell them by the box. For 9 pieces, have a discount, making the price just 200 pesos; more than 10% discount! An excellent gift for you loved ones.” That was the gist of my sales pitch, and it worked at least it did most of the time.

Customer reception generally favorable with a few stating that the peanut butter topping was sticky in their throats. Good thing we sold water… at 20 pesos a pop. It’d be a rip off for many but considering the situation and monopoly we had over the water supply, let’s just say that business was pretty good.

This project required both strength as a team and as individuals. Our initial plan was to sell donuts. After getting the machine, we proceeded to test it out; however, it didn’t work. I guess it was mostly the machine. Following that failure, we decided to fry the balls of batter on a whim, surprisingly, it tasted pretty good. Then we coated it in chocolate, it was amazing. Since the process required large amounts of oil and considering the logistical implications, it didn’t push through. At the same time, we exprimented with milk shakes but due to the costs, we decided not to sell it.

The next was bacon. Being 9gaggers ourselves, we understood the epicness of bacon. So we fried some bacon… and dipped it in chocolate. Let me tell you, it tasted like unicorns jumping over double rainbows. Then again, potential customers would view it as freakishly unhealthy. It’s out.

So we settled on brownies in three flavors. The costs weren’t too high and we didn’t have to make it on the spot.

In conclusion, we did pretty well, #2 in profits and sales.

This time was much better. Through my rigorous training of doing pushups with a large dose of nothing, I hit the ball! I also made somewhat of an impressive catch. If I remember correctly, Michael stepped up to the plate while I was playing left field. On the first ball, he let out a cannon. Analyzing the trajectory, I knew that the ball would soon overshoot me. I immediately rushed backwards but in that one moment, I realized that I couldn’t catch up, the only choice was to jump. And jump I did, the moment I heard the ball fall smack into my glove, a sense of relief overcame me.

We won the game, our team won the game. The opponents had some hard hitters but were largely inconsistent. Our team on the other hand did not have a lot of hard hitters but since everyone could get on base, it was just a matter of doing one-base hits consecutively and waiting for the scores to add up. We were cheering from the sidelines. Man was I in love, that distinct sound of the bat making contact was music to my ears.

Sadly, the next P.E. session would be January 2012, better start preparing.

It’s already been so long since we had our first Video Conference (VC) as part of the Faith to Faith program. Yet having a VC with a “first-time” school was quite interesting.

Dubai Modern was obviously prepared for the VC and had a solid grasp on the points to touch on given the questions. They were able to provide insightful answers and from there, we were able to conduct a smooth VC.

The main theme was culture and community which also included aspects of our respective schools. As a form of preparation, we were required to know the school symbols and understanding their origins/symbolism. I never knew that the school coat of arms had a sun with twelve rays representing China (not People’s Republic of China but rather, Republic of China) and that Hoofy (school mascot) was the result of a vote!

The element of faith was explored in a manner that which I had not expected. Faith would initially equate to religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam etc. But instead, we chose to examine faith with relation to our daily lives. The faith we have in our abilities, family, friends, and community in general.

An area for improvement would be the flow. As previously mentioned, the VC was smooth in general. However, there were certain awkward pauses. Also, some extra time would be greatly appreciated. It was during the latter portions of the VC that we became most devoted to the topic.

In conclusion, the VC was successful and a learning experience for both Xavier School and Dubai Modern.

I GOT BASEBALL FOR P.E.!

After getting Fitness for P.E. during the first semester, a favored P.E. sport for the second semester would be a relief. But who knew that I’d get my #1 preferred sport?

The first session I had to miss due to a VC, but then due to technical difficulties, the VC didn’t fall through, thus wasting a P.E. session. But hey, it was just fitness examination so who cares?

The second session was much better, I had some good catches but went absolutely hitless. Sure my bat touched the ball in my first ever bunt (it failed horribly) but none of the went into the diamond. Before stepping up to the plate, I made sure that everything was in order: cleats had a grip, batting gloves were tightened, baseball bat was held properly, stance set, take a maximum of two practice swings etc. But I kept striking out. It was horrible and epically embarassing.

I only hope that the third session would be better.

Laboring under the scorching sun in the Sahara-esque Taguig City was not in any way a normal Saturday for me. So here I was, lifting concrete blocks to and fro as part of a Service activity. The goal? Build an apartment building. The task wasn’t easy but thank God we weren’t actually going to be the whole thing, just part of it.
But anyways, it took some time to get used to the work process but overall, it was truly a learning experience. We had never learned how to dig ditches effectively by breaking the ground with a rod or learned how to mix cement but all that was OJT on that Saturday.


Lunch time involved us sitting on the ground eating whatever we had brought for lunch but that wasn’t the highlight of the day. After all, we got to play with the kids.
We mainly played tag, with us being the chaser and them being the chase-e. And hell could they run. Even though they ran barefoot, they posed quite a challenge. But with our matured bodies and longer legs, we beat them but not without pushing ourselves to the brink of exhaustion. Then later, a per request, we let them have piggy-back rides. But not without elements of chasing and jousting excluded.
Working for Gawad Kalinga (GK) was a worthwhile experience and I hope that opportunities such as these will appear in the future. Either that or we make it happen.
Gawad Kalinga in an organization the has been devoted to the uplifting of those in poverty and in dire need, especially in the Philippines.