VERSATILE. a GA publication ; ateneo shs

ver·sa·tile /a./ ; able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities

Versatile. is an online magazine published by 11 De Brito students from the GA Strand. The title has been chosen as it best reflects the wide horizon of opportunities in store for GA students which tags along with the diversity within the strand.

The ocean seems boundless in width, a possible reason why others choose their own rivers and ponds to develop themselves within. However, the boundlessness, depth, and plethora of possibilities confined inside oceans makes it remarkable.

Not too far from the GA Strand, right?

The GA Strand's Specialized Subjects

by Zoe Salvador

The General Academic Strand is truly a unique one. While the other strands all have specific subjects for each of their preferred courses, the GA students get a chance to experience them as well. In Grade 11, there were specialized subjects that were required for us to take. Those subjects were DRRR (Disaster Readiness and Risk Reduction), and Organization & Management. GA students also have the opportunity to choose from a wide selection of electives for Grade 12. These subjects are Business Mathematics, Fundamentals of Accountancy, Business and Management, Philippine Politics and Governance, Creative Writing, Malikhaing Pagsulat, General Chemistry, General Biology, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility, Business Finance, Principles of Marketing, Creative Non-fiction, Trends and Critical Thinking, and World Religious and Belief Systems. We are asked to choose two electives per semester and we are given a chance to try different subjects that appeal to our liking. This option of choosing subjects from a different academic field is something that is not offered in other strands.

GA is a strand that can help us discover what we want to eventually become in the future. It is for those people who probably haven’t found their passion yet, those who are still conflicted about what to take for college, or maybe even those who just want to be more free and find themselves through their Senior High School journey. It is not that GA is a better strand, for that will always be relative to one’s personal choices. However, it must be known that GA opens a lot of opportunities for students and it is also just as good, just like the rest of the strand.

General Academic Generalizations & Realizations

by Mikayla Pangilinan

The first time that I had to decide on a strand was in Grade 10 when my former school asked us to write our two most preferred strands, as preparation for Senior High School. I first wrote ABM as a choice then I added GA because it was said to be a strand with more free options.

Several days after, someone talked to me and asked about my strand choices. I mentioned GA as my second choice, and the conversation that followed created a negative stigma of the General Academic strand started to grow in my mind. Apparently, the strand was para sa mga walang plano sa buhay.

I was overjoyed when I found out that I got admitted to the Ateneo after sending a letter for reconsideration. Too bad though, I was so hyped that I failed to read that I was admitted into the GA strand instead of the one I originally applied for. I was accepted into that strand, the one for undecided students who are on the lower half when it came to academic excellence.

Or so I thought.

My perception of the General Academic Strand before was really general, in fact, its foundation is a faulty generalization. However, the same perception changed after months in the strand went by. I realized that the strand I belonged to was much more than what other people, as well as myself, thought and assumed to be. People in GA were very different and that’s what made it great. A lot of people excelled in the field of sports, and they even participated in the UAAP competition where a lot of them brought home medals. On the other side of the spectrum, there were also students from the same strand who were recognized for their talent in debating and writing.

It was also amazing for me because teachers contradicted my initial thoughts about the strand. They claimed that we had a lot more opportunities at hand through the different specialized subjects that are offered to us. We were not limited to certain fields, which allows us to know ourselves - our skills, interests - better.

Unified greatness in variety was what faced me through my months of experience in this strand. We may fall sometimes but we are able to rise back up and be resilient. With the diversity in the strand that I belong to, I knew myself and other people better. Like the wide horizon of opportunities offered here, my mind also became more open. Indeed, everything happens for a reason, which is why I believe that I ended up in this strand for a purpose much greater than I first assumed to be.

The Pride of GA

by Thea Dianito

What’s in it for GA? With the different specialized courses offered, the students of the General Academic Strand are not only academically flexible, but are also individuals who are inclined in sports and activities in different fields.

Ateneans representing the school in various competitions

They are one of the treasures of Ateneo as they have contributed medals and given pride to the school. To prove this, with the season 79 of UAAP, the swimming team performed well with Suzanne Himor (11-Canisius) who made a record and gathered a gold medal, 2 silver medals, and a bronze medal. Sarah Alvina (11-De Brito) also got the bronze award. Of course, we have our Blue Eaglets that are mostly composed of the GA students, who are winning most of their games against the different schools in Metro Manila. Ateneo’s SHS taekwondo team has also been garnering awards in the competitions they have been participating at.

On the other hand, in Brown Movement for Cultural Advancement Inc.’s On the Spot Essay Writing Contest, we have Elise Joy Ofilada (11-Canisius) and Alpheus Llantero (11-De Brito) who placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Not only did Alpheus win the on the spot essay, he was also recognized as the 3rd prize winner of the prestigious 2016 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, English Kabataan Essay category. We have Julia Ocoma (11-Favre) as the 3rd best speaker in Asia when her team composed of other Senior High School students won at the Capstone-Cambridge Asian British Parliamentary Schools Debate Championship 2016 held in Hong Kong.

These are just some of the many things that the GA strand is proud of. Truly, Ateneo students are talented as they bring in awards and recognitions from sports to arts and academics.

Credits: Ateneo Senior High School Facebook Page

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