“Get out of the doorway,” Mama said. “Don’t stand there blocking the way!” She was furious, as always.

It wasn’t the first time I heard Mama’s angry voice. She was always angry. She always sounded angry at me and everyone and everything around her. Most people were terrified with her emotionless commanding voice. After hearing it everyday, I hardly got affected by it.

“Just move to the side,” Mommy Minda said to me. “Here!” She dragged a plastic chair next to the door and gently ushered me to sit on it so I won’t block the doorway. Mommy Minda was Mama’s mother. She didn’t want to be called Lola, Grandma or anything that would remind her that she was old. Unlike Mama, Mommy Minda was gentler and had a softer tone in her voice. She must have noticed that Mama was about to explode and that I would be in big trouble.

As I stood by the door, next to the chair Mommy Minda provided, I noticed how busy everyone was. They were rushing in and out of the house like they were preparing for something. I’ve seen them before rushing around when our relatives were coming over. I heard someone mentioned the name Ruping. Perhaps he was our visitor. Unlike before when everyone would get excited,  it was different this time. The rush didn’t have excitement to it. There was panic.

At the back of the house, where a roof extension was built a few weeks ago, Mommy Minda unrolled the metal wire and handed its loose end to uncle Louie who was standing on a three-legged wooden stool. Uncle Louie inserted the wire into a bent nail, twisted it around to make a lock knot and hammered the nail until it was buried into the lumber plank of the roof. He pulled it a couple of times, testing its tightness and jumped off the chair. Mommy dragged the chair to the opposite side of the roof, then handed a nail to Uncle, who repeated the same process to make a clothesline.

Just in time when the two wires were fixed, Mama came in holding a huge basin on top of her head. It was full of semi-wet laundry she took from the line outside. It was heavy it almost slipped through her hand when she was about to put it on the floor. As soon as she found the idle chair beside me, she grabbed it to put the basin on top of it where she could easily reach. With hands on her waist, she gave out a loud breath as if to catch some air while her eyes inspected the clotheslines from end to end. Her face was stiff, like she was not pleased.

Mama took something from her pocket and went out through the screened exit door of the extension room. It led to a small garden over-looking the river where I used to spend time with Mama doing the laundry. The garden looked abandoned except for some flowerless orchids hanging on dead branches, which were erected on a spotty Bermuda grass. Empty eggshells adorned the unexciting plants. I once caught Mama watering there as if there was hope coming out of the lifeless twigs sticking out of the orchids.

After a few minutes, Mama approached towards the screen door, while sniffing her hands and wiping them all over the apron she was wearing. From the strong ash-smell that flew in the air when she opening the door, I knew she went to smoke cigarette.

As soon as she was inside the extension room, Mama took a piece of shirt, inserted both her hands on the lower hem and tiptoed to hang it on the first line. As the first piece of garment dangled on the wire, she took another from the basin but when she was about to hang the next, she noticed the dripping of water from the first hanged shirt. She dropped the second shirt back into the basin, removed the first shirt and squeezed any excess water out. She failed on her first attempt but she twisted it around her elbows to make it look like a rope. This time, a few drops of water came out. The shirt looked like a tortured lifeless rag when she put it back on the line.

The first line was about to be filled by laundry; Mommy Minda and Uncle Louie were about to finish the third line, Daddy Tom came in through the shell curtains of the kitchen. He was carrying two roosters in his arms. Unlike Mommy Minda, he was fine being called Grandpa or Lolo but everyone just got used to calling him Daddy.

“Dad, are you sure to bring them in?” Mama said in her usual sharp tone. “They’re going to poop on the floor. You know that I don’t like their smell!”

Daddy Tom did not respond.

The roosters looked uneasy and wanted to let go of Daddy’s grip. Daddy dropped one of them on the floor and tied its rope in a corner.  Their aggressive feet left some brown marks on Daddy’s white shirt. Mommy Minda saw the brown marks, glanced at Mama and then met Daddy’s stare. Her eyebrows were almost touching each other in the forehead but she refused to mention anything that might get Mama furious. She focused back to uncle who seemed to have a hard time hammering another nail. Two nails had already escaped from his grip and flown somewhere out in the bushes.

After tying the other rooster on another corner, Daddy Tom stood up and rushed back to fetch the remaining roosters. Under the star-fruit outside the house, Daddy had carpentered a long time ago some inverted V-shaped sheds for his roosters.

From the extension room, there was no other way but to pass to the kitchen, down to the living room then to the front door. Daddy knew Mama, her eldest would not like to see any dirt on the floor. That’s why he left his boots at the front door and walked barefooted in the house.

Listening to the dull crisp tapping sound of shells as Daddy passed through it, I noticed that Daddy turned back eyeing at the curtain rod. He ran his fingers through the dangling thread of shells and tied it to one side using a straw he found on the floor, then went outside to fetch his remaining roosters.

The sun was about to set. The air was calm and peaceful. It was an ordinary afternoon, except that people were running around for some reason. Beside the door next to the curtain tieback, I stood still watching people passing me by, listening to the hammering, the floor-scratching and simultaneously crowing of the roosters and the slapping sound of wet garments on the line. I just wondered if someone would stop by, tell me what to do and explain to me what was going on.

Performance Appraisal - Like it or Hate it

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At the workplace, we are asked to do performance appraisals once a year to assess our performance and identify areas we need to work on to become even better. Though it is one of the things I least like, I have to do it because it is usually the basis of our extra compensation, bonus or salary increase. No Performance Appraisal, No Bonus, they say!

Three reasons I don’t like it.

1) It is very subjective. What if I offended the boss prior to his evaluation? What if I killed his favourite dog on that day? What if I showered saliva on his coffee that morning? Even if he is the best person in the world who swore on his mother’s grave to be as objective as possible, he will still get affected by his emotions. After all, we are emotional beings and we can’t just totally turn our emotions off. Performance appraisals have some number equivalent on every item, but the basis of rating 3 or 3.5 or 4 is basically debatable. I remember asking my ‘Rater’ “can you tell me why you gave 3 (good performer) and not 5 for this item?” His answer was “Because that’s the rating I gave to everyone!” So, my performance is dependent on other people’s rating? Of course, I didn’t argue with him. It will just be a pointless discussion. Unless every part of the appraisal is backed by an objective evidence, it will always be subjective.

2) It is like a double edged sword. If it’s too good to be true, it might create “bloating” in my head. If it’s too harsh and worse than what I expected, it might burst the little bubble of confidence I have left in myself. What if the boss only remembers the extremes of what I’ve done? What about those little good things I’ve done that he might not be aware of? Or should I blow my horn to let him know every time I do something?

3) It is just ridiculous. If it’s meant to help the employee, it has to be done more frequently. That way, it would address the recent successes and lapses. Since it’s mainly for monetary purposes, the goal to empower the employee becomes a second priority.

If only Performance Appraisals were done to provide helpful feedbacks to employees, to really appraise their performance, it would have been more sensible. I know, bonus is still something “sensible.” But there are more important things that don’t have a monetary value.

Feedback can be painful to take in like a vaccine that stings. But its discomfort is only at the beginning; the pain vanishes with time while its benefit remains. Feedback is more effective if you give it fresh than when you give it a year later. It is also beneficial if you give it more frequently and in an encouraging way rather than as one big bulk as if you unloaded the burden you’ve accumulated for a long time. The employee might have forgotten about them already. To remind him after a year would be as bad as taking off an old scab. It could be traumatic for the person and would give him an impression than his boss only wanted him to fail.

In conclusion, it doesn’t matter what you feel towards a Performance Appraisal. If you like it, then it’s great. If you hate it… nobody cares! Whether you like it or not, you have no choice but to just do it. Unless, you don’t want a bonus!



                 1 -        The competition is open to all SiquiSci Alumni only. It is expected to have a maximum of 15 participants.

                 2 -        Each batch can only send one representative.

                 3 -        Presentation can be done in solo or group.

                 4 -       Maximum performance time is 10 minutes but not less than 4 minutes. Time starts upon entry and ends immediately after the performer exits the designated performance area.

                 5 -       Performer(s) may sing, dance, perform a magic trick and stunt or anything under the sun provided that the overall presentation and choreography abide the following rules:

a)      It must be wholesome, clean and done in good taste.

b)      Explicit vulgarity in music, costume, and dance steps are not allowed.

c)       Sexually suggestive, derogatory costumes and anything that will put the school in bad light will not be allowed.

                 6 -      Should the participants use any props, they are responsible for their own set-up and retrieval. No materials must be left on the floor after the performance.

                 7 -       There will be 3 judges from the faculty of SiquiSci. Their identity will be revealed on the date of presentation. Judges will not be allowed to train or choreograph any of the competing performers. The decision of the judges shall be final and non-appealable.

                 8 -        Criteria for judging:

a)      Choreography                                                           30%

b)      Execution                                                                    30%

c)       Wow factor                                                                 30%

d)      Over-all impact                                                         10%

                 9 -        Prizes shall be as follows:

a)      First prize                                    Php 3,000.00

b)      Second prize                              Php 2,000.00

c)       Third prize                                   Php 1,000.00

d)      Consolation                                                Php 500.00 per participant

             10 -        Prior to the contest proper, the participating batch shall submit to the committee the following information (thru email, FB message or SMS) on or before March 15, 2016. This is to ensure that each batch is well-represented.

a)      Batch number (year graduated)

b)      Type of presentation (singing, dancing, etc.)

c)       Number of participants

             11 -            Important Legal Information:

·         The judges shall have the sole authority and discretion to select the winners.

·         By registering, all participants agree to let the SiquiSci Got Talent Committee and its subcommittees use their images for promotional purposes, both photographs and video.

·         Each contestant shall indemnify, defend, and uphold SiquiSci and/or the SiquiSci Got Talent Committee free and harmless from any acts or omissions, damage, injury, claims or third party claims arising from or related to the contestant’s participation in the contest.

For questions relating to the contest, you may contact Franklin Vios (09273610506) or or



Date: April 2, 2016


                    I.            Declaration of event, Call to order and special Announcements

                  II.            Invocation

a)      Prayer

b)      National Anthem

c)       School’s Hym (if any) / Siquijor Island March (if required)

                III.            Recognition of Guests and School’s dignitaries

                IV.            Announcement of Contest Rules, Guidelines and Criteria for Judging

                  V.            Introduction of Judges

                VI.            Contest Proper

a)      The order of presentation is by draw lots, which will be done prior to the start of the program

              VII.            Intermission Number

            VIII.            Announcement of Winners







·         Poster (I will design this! – Do we have budget for printing?) – about the guidelines – to be posted before the contest – to be posted in different towns and FB – to create hype

·         Trophy (optional)

·         Tally sheets for the judges & pencils (I can prepare this)

·         Tally personnel (3 persons - teachers)

·         Judges – secret for now!

·         Tokens for the judges and tally personnel (optional)



Emcees: Franklin Vios and De Laila Catot