5 in 5: Gretchen Ho

Get to know 5 lesser known facts about this gorgeous Lady Eagle!
PHOTO Monica Savellano
  1. She was a well-rounded college gal. Although volleyball and her academics as an Management Engineering and Communication major were more than enough to keep her occupied, Gretchen was active in orgs such as the Ateneo Christian Life Community (ACLC) and school events like  the Freshman Orientation Seminar (OrSem). She also managed a food stall in the JGSOM Student Enterprise Center and dabbled in modeling.

  2. She fights for education. Gretchen, an inspiration to plenty of young people, is a very strong advocate for education. "Education is the foundation of everyone. I want the youth to believe in education and see its importance, [to be] something they won't take for granted," she says. "If you don't know a lot, people will take advantage of you [and] your view of the world is very limited. If you're educated, it will help you to become really successful and allow you to help other people as well," she adds.

  3. She already misses being a student. Aside from playing volleyball (which she has been doing for the past ten years), what Gretchen misses most about school is the learning environment and just being a student itself.  "At work, you learn a lot, but it's different when you're a student, you just have to be open to whatever's being taught to you not like when you're working sometimes there are risks... But I will definitely not miss the tests!," this fresh grad says.

  4. She's a closet singer! When asked about her talent that people don't get to see often, Gretchen answers, "I sing a lot at home. I sing everywhere. Hindi naman ganon ka-ganda 'yung boses ko pero makapal lang yung mukha ko. I like music, I like singing. It puts me in a good mood and it's also a form of expression."

  5. She's an adventurer. Gretchen likes looking for new places to eat and new movies to watch, among others. “I always go on small adventures and discover something new,” she tells us.

To read about Gretchen's life lessons from playing volleyball, check out your August issue.

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About the author
Athena Cartagena
Candymag.com Correspondent

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Katherine Go 2 days ago

Cold Food

The most thrilling and delightful moment of any school day is opening up your baon during breaks. There is always so much excitement in unveiling your homemade meal and snacks housed inside matching heat-insulating containers. Because preparing packed meals is an age-old tradition of showing parental love, loved ones pour effort into curating a nutritious meal accompanied by a selection of side dishes, desserts, and beverages daily; it reminds us that we are being taken care of, even from far away.

Baon plays a significant role in a Filipino childhood. Almost every Filipino child comes to school with baon made especially for them by their parents or household helpers. Even Filipinos in the labor force continue to bring baon for varying reasons: to save money, recycle leftovers, cater to personal taste, or attend to special needs. Nonetheless, eating your baon is a heart-warming experience that allows Filipinos to bring a piece of home along with them wherever they go.

Even other cultures practice making packed lunch. In Japan, mothers create bento--Japanese meals in partitioned boxes. Because of the popularity of bento, trends have emerged, such as the Kyaraben, or character-themed bento. Naturally, Japanese parents and students began competing for who had the cutest and tastiest bento, and this is similar to what I have witnessed in my own childhood. I remember seeing my classmates sharing their snacks and lunches. They would compare and boast about their parents' or yayas’ cooking. In my case, I never had the chance to join in the competition or indulge in homemade cooking. Up until this day, I have never brought any baon to school.

For a long time, I envied others. As trivial or petty as it may seem, not having baon became a problem for my grade school self. During that time, I had to sit in a separate cafeteria away from my friends because the kids who bought food were assigned to sit elsewhere. You could consider me spoiled, but I wanted to experience something most kids did. I had food at home, so what made it so hard to bring some with me to school?

Now that I am on my final year in high school I have come to realize the benefits of purchasing my own food. Since I spent on food everyday, I learned to budget my allowance at a young age. Over the years, I learned to practice self-control whenever I wanted to eat more greasy fries and drink sweetened beverages. I have tasted the strangest viands at the school cafeterias, and I have repeatedly satiated myself over my latest delicious discoveries. Despite the struggles, I am thankful that I have never had baon because of what I have learned. Not to mention, I never had to experience eating cold food.

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