Job Interview Strategy: What is your Weakness?

Ralph is studying at The American Institute to practice his English and improve his communication skills to become a flight attendant.
Ralph is studying at The American Institute to practice his English and improve his communication skills to become a flight attendant.

Almost every job interviewer, regardless of industry, salary, or country asks the question, what is your weakness?  Yet, many recent graduates, and even seasoned professionals do not know how to answer this question.  Do you just tell them your weakness?  Of course not.  You don’t want the interviewer to know that you are weak.  You want them to know that you have strengths that would match the position they have to fill.

Here are some strategies on how to answer this question:

  1. Discuss non-essential skills or attributes.  For example, when you work in an airline industry, time management and customer service are very essential skills.  So, you do not want to tell the interviewer that these are your weaknesses.  Focus instead a skill that is not quite necessary in becoming a flight attendant, such as being funny.  You do not have to be a comedian to become a flight attendant.  You can tell the interviewer that you are only funny to your closes friends, but to strangers, you seem to be more on the serious side until they get to know you better.
  2. Discuss the skills you have improved.  For example, tell the interviewer that you once didn’t communicate very well in English.  Now, after taking courses at the American Institute for English Proficiency, talking to other professionals, and communicating with all kinds of individuals, you have not improved only your English, but also your communication skills in general.  The interviewer wants to know that even if you had a weakness, you challenged yourself and developed your skills.
  3. Another strategy is to turn the negative into positive.  For example, perhaps you can say that you were a perfectionist, which led you to spend too much time on a project.  However, you have learned to work faster, work harder, and work smarter so that you can get the task done correctly sooner than later.  Let the interviewer know that you are not a perfect person, but because you can now work more efficiently and more effectively, your task can be completed right away.  Give examples, like when you were a basketball player, you were such a perfectionist that sometimes, you went home late because you kept practicing.  Tell the interviewer that in order for you to meet your goal of being a starter, you took advice from and had skills practice with your coach and the team captain rather than practicing on your own over and over again.

As they say, practice makes perfect.  Now, I have to keep reading this over and over so that it becomes more natural when I say it.  Good luck to those who are also interviewing.  If you would like to improve your English and communication skills to prepare yourself for a certain career, like Ralph who wants to become a flight attendant, you may visit us at the American Institute for English Proficiency in Makati or Quezon City.


Practicing the Verb Tenses

Studying verb tenses and American accent with Sharon.  It's a very hot day in the Philippines, but learning English is cool!
Studying verb tenses and American accent with Sharon. It’s a very hot day in the Philippines, but learning English is cool!

I am having my third session with my English teacher, Chris Delacruz.  Today, we practiced the verb tenses: past tense.


Simple: +d, +ed, +ied, irregular
Example: baked, walked, studied, ate
Exercise: Tell me about your weekend

Last weekend, I was so busy because I prepared a lot for my immigration to Canada.  I had many visitors at my house.  My brother and sisters stayed at my house for their vacation and will stay until my husband arrives from Canada.  That is why every weekend busy.  On Saturday, I woke up at about 7 in the morning.  I prepared breakfast for my kids and my visitors.  After I cooked breakfast, I called them to join me in the kitchen at our dining table.  We had fried eggs, fried hot dogs, fried tilapia, and of course rice and coffee.

When we finished eating, I gave my kids a bath, and I took a bath as well after them.  Then I went to the market by myself while my sister looked after my kids and her own kids and while my brother, who is a police officer, prepared to go to work.  I bought groceries that would last as the next few days, such as sugar, coffee, vegetables, meat, and fish.  After buying the groceries, I went home, and I placed my groceries in the refrigerator.  Then I prepared pork sinigang, a sour-based soup with vegetables, for lunch while my sister was helping me to take care of the children.

Past Progressive: was/were + verb-ing
Example: was eating, were eatingExercise: Tell me about last night.

We had dinner at about 8 p.m. last night.  I started preparing dinner, dalagang bukid with sarsiado sauce, steamed fished in tomato based sauce, at about 7 p.m.  While I was preparing, my mother arrived from a three-hour trip from my home province of Nueva Ecija.  She was traveling on the bus when I was shopping for groceries for dinner at the market.  I was very happy to see her, but she will stay only until after Holy Week.  We were talking last night about my migration to Canada, and I know that she was very happy for me.  She had always wanted the best for me.  While we were talking, my children were watching TV and playing with their tablets, and my sister was preparing the bed.

I wastalking to my mother for an hour or so until my sister joined us.  The three of us were all reminiscing the past, and it brought happy tears to my mother.  I will miss my sister, brother, and especially my mother very much, but I know I will visit them in about a year.  Last night, we were all laughing about my stay in the province when I visited them.  Every time I was cooking for the family, they told me I was very talkative.  I told them I just wanted all the ingredients to be prepared perfectly so that it would taste delicious.

Past Perfect: had + past participle
Example: had eaten, had walked, had sung
Exercise: Tell me about your last trip.

My last trip was in my home province Nueva Ecija when I visited my family and relatives.  I had bought (buy-bought-bought) a lot of pasalubong or gifts a few days before I traveled with my children there.  When I bought the gifts, I had gone (go-went-gone) to several markets and malls.  I had searched and searched (search-searched-searched) for different gift items until I found the perfect ones for my mother and relatives.  When I had found (find-found-found) the items, I was very happy because I was very tired already.

I had had (have-had-had) several bus stops before I reached my home town of San Antonio near Cabanatuan City.  I had had (have-had-had) several snacks from different towns because of these bus stops.  Before I reached my hometown, I had seen (see-saw-seen) the beautiful rice fields and mountains in the distance, while looking through the glass window.  While enjoying the sometimes bumpy ride, I had imagined (imagine-imagined-imagined) my childhood days, and how I will soon leave this beautiful province.  When I finally got to my home town, I had realized (realize-realized-realized) that I will always miss and never forget this place, my home town, San Antonio.

Past Perfect Progressive: had + been + verb-ing
Example: had been eating, had been talking
Exercise: Tell me about this morning.

This morning, I woke up at about 7 a.m..  I had been preparing breakfast when my children woke up and walked into the kitchen.  We had a good breakfast, and I had been talking about my husband when one of my kids told me how much he missed him.  My children had been missing their father since he went back to Canada last year.  I, too, miss him a lot, but I need to show to my children that I am strong, and that we will be together soon.  I had been planning for my husband’s vacation in May of this year, and we are all excited.  We had been eating breakfast when my mother and niece joined us.  They woke up a little later than us.

While we were practicing past tenses, my teacher noticed several accent errors common to Filipinos.  I know that I need to practice them over and over in order for me to improve.


When I talk to my husband, I will ask him to practice with me.  I know I can say these phrases slowly, but my assignment is to do it naturally, that is, faster and without thinking about it.  This should be fun because I am doing it with my husband.

  1. F/P – I prepared breakfast for five people.
  2. F/P – Perfect Philippines.
  3. F/P – I’m a Filipino from the Philippines.
  4. V/B – Beaver Vibration
  5. V/B/F/Sh – Five Feverish Vibes
  6. TH – Bath, wrath, Cathy.  I gave Cathy a bath.
  7. SH/F/V – Wash, Fish.  I washed the fish five times.


How to Give Good Advice

How to Give  Good Advice
by Chris Delacruz and JT Tan

Good-AdviceWhen we have problems, it’s so difficult to solve it ourselves. Sometimes, it is easier to help others with their problems. Giving advice to ourselves is much more difficult than giving advice to our friends or family members.  We have learned some really good strategies on giving advice to others.

First, listen. Yeah, just shut up and listen.  Do not talk.  Just listen.  Let the person who has a problem tell you everything first.  Instead of giving feedback right away, just nod your head to let your friend know that you understand their situation.  Sometimes, our friends just need someone who to be there for them, someone who will not judge, someone who tries to understand first.

Second, be patient. Don’t think that you can solve problems right away. Some problems do take time to be fixed. Some wounds just need time to heal.  If you’re looking for a quick fix to some problems, then you’re on the wrong track when giving advice.  Sometimes, the advice we give won’t take effect right away.  Sometimes, our friends won’t even take the words of wisdom immediately.  They become stubborn, and they continue to repeat the mistakes.  Just be patient, and don’t give up on your friend.

This is my student and new friend, JT. I’m trying to help him out, and I know I need to be super patient with him. Good luck to you JT.

Finally, ask your friend what solutions they have in mind. Sometimes, your friend may already have the solution. It’s better if you ask them for options.  You might be surprised that they already know the answer to their own problems.  They just have a hard time implementing it.  And if they come up with no solutions, then you can offer your own solutions. Just don’t insist on it.  Don’t force your friends to take it.

When we have problems, we want someone to help us. We want to hear our friends’ opinion or advice. It’s much better if we are prepared to give advice as well so that we don’t antagonize or make matters worse. Next time a friend or family member needs advice, just listen, be patient, and ask your friend for their own solutions.  And if a friend doesn’t solve his problem right away, just remember, it is not your fault.  You can lead the horse to the water, but you can’t force ’em to drink.


How to Improve your English

How to Improve your English
by Fatima Fatouhi

Fatima (Filipina) and her husband (Iraqi).
Fatima (Filipina) and her husband (Iraqi).

I have worked in Dubai for four years, and I just recently married and came home to the Philippines. I am now studying at the American Institute for English Proficiency, and I need to improve my English first before I migrate to Australia where my husband resides.

English is the international language and  also the primary language of several countries where we Filipinos are seeking to be employed or migrate to.  In fact, English is in the Constitution as the national language of the Philippines.  English is the foundation in which we are able to communicate with everyone regardless of their national origin.

For us Filipinos, English is our second language, but our parents and teachers urge us to be as fluent as possible in English for various purposes.  Fluency and knowledge in the English language could change our lifestyle; it is the key of success for our career.

Here are some tips on improving your English:

  1. Read. Read. Read.  Yes, I typed that word “read” thrice because I cannot emphasize enough how important reading is.  Read anything from books to magazines and newspapers
  2. Listen.  And I really mean listen, not just hear.  Listening requires the heart and the mind, not just the ear.  Pay attention.  Focus.  Concentrate.  Talk to English speakers and listen.  When you have great listening skills, you improve.
  3. Watch.  If you don’t have anyone to converse with, watch movies as much as you can.

These could be the steps that can improve your English better.  It will develop your thinking skills and expand your vocabulary.  English is the great armor and weapon to bring all over the world.  Enhance yourself  and be a smart English speaker.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fatima Fatouhi is currently a student at the American Institute for English Proficiency.

Migrating to Canada and Improving my English – Verb Tense – Past Tense

Migrating to Canada and Improving my English
by Sharon Regalado

Sharon is a student at the American Institute for English Proficiency.  She is preparing for her migration to Canada, and she wants to improve her English and communication skills first.
Sharon is a student at the American Institute for English Proficiency. She is preparing for her migration to Canada, and she wants to improve her English and communication skills first.

Hello everyone.  I am Sharon, and I am studying at the American Institute for English Proficiency because I am going to migrate to Canada very soon.  My husband has already been living there for five years, and my papers will soon be completed this year.  After five long years of having a long distance marriage, I am so excited to finally join him.  My two kids can’t wait to see their father as well.

But before we go to Canada, my husband told me that I needed to improve my English and communication skills because he wants to make sure that we will adjust more easily and quickly to the environment there.  I can easily adapt to things, but English is one of the things I don’t do so well.  Now that I am studying at The American Institute, I feel a little more confident day by day.

I am writing here on my teacher’s blog as part of my assignments to improve my English and communication skills.  I will be practicing my sentence structures, subject-verb agreement, and verb tenses.

Verb Tenses
Click on image to enlarge.

First, I will focus on my verb tenses, especially the past tense, because during class, I had difficulty being in the right tense.  When I talked about an event in the past, I always switched to the present tense.  You may wonder why my writing is like this, but of course, my teacher has already corrected this.

So on to the past tense.  I need to make sure that when I describe something in the past, I am writing in the past tense.  My teacher, Chris Delacruz, taught me that there are four past tenses: simple, progressive, perfect, and perfect progressive.  Here’s a quick explanation of the four past tenses:

Simple: Verb +d (baked), +ed (cooked), +ied (studied), irregular (ate)

  • I baked a cake with my kids yesterday.
  • I cooked pakbet for lunch, and my kids loved it.
  • I studied my English lessons, especially the verb tenses.
  • I ate with my kids at the mall.

According to my teacher, the simple past tense is used to describe an event that happened in the past.  It is used to generally describe a completed event or situation.

Progressive: was/were + verb + ing (was/were eating)

  • I was eating when you called me.
  • They were eating when I called them.

According to my teacher, the past progressive tense is used to describe an event that started in the past and continued.  It was ongoing.  The action was moving.  It was not completed yet.  In Filipino, we say, “tuloy, tuloy.”

Perfect: had + past participle (had eaten)

  • I had eaten my breakfast before I went to school.
  • I had eaten my breakfast with my kids at 8 a.m. before I went to school at 9 a.m..
  • I went to school at 9 a.m. after I had eaten my breakfast with my kids at 8 a.m..
  • After I had eaten my breakfast with my kids at 8 a.m., I went to school at 9 a.m..

According to my teacher, the past perfect tense is used when we have at least two events or situations that were completed in the past.  For example, in this case, “eat breakfast” and “go to school.”  So instead of saying it with two simple past tenses like, “I ate breakfast.  Then I went to school,” we can also use the past perfect form like, “I had eaten breakfast before I went to school.”  This would make the speaker sound more sophisticated.

In Filipino, the past perfect tense is equivalent to “naka,” as in “Nakapagluto ako ng tanghalian bago ako pumunta sa eskwelahan.”  I had cooked lunch before I went to school.

Perfect Progressive: had + been + verb + ing (had been eating)

  • I had been eating when you called.
  • My kids had been watching TV when I talked to my husband.
  • They had been listening to the teacher when it started to rain outside.
  • I had been cooking lunch when doorbell rang.

According to my teacher, it is similar to the past perfect form, except that the first event or situation is still ongoing when the second event happened.  The activity is still moving when the second event completed.

My assignment is to write more examples in the comment section of this article.  My teacher will be monitoring my progress here.  Please feel free to practice here with me, so that we can learn from each other.  I am still learning, and I know that I have a lot to learn.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon is a student at the American Institute for English Proficiency.  She is migrating to Canada, and she would like to improve her English and communication skills first before going.

Flight Attendant (FA) Impact Interview

The Impact and Preliminary Interview with Philippine Airlines (PAL)
by Ralph Jason Buenaventura

Ralph is a student at the American Institute for English Proficiency in Quezon City.  He is preparing to be a flight attendant.
Ralph is a student at the American Institute for English Proficiency in Quezon City. He is preparing to be a flight attendant.

Are you looking to be an FA or flight attendant?  Do you have difficulties answering some of the questions?  Ralph and I are working on making it easier for you.  Ralph signed up for a 10-hour private class and a 50-hour group class at the American Institute for English Proficiency so we can help him prepare for his career as a flight attendant, preferably with Philippine Airlines.  We are working on helping him answer his interview questions as well as developing his grammar, American accent, and public speaking skills.

I advised him not to memorize it, but he can start practicing because when we have written down the answers and practiced it, it’s much easier for the words and ideas to roll off your tongue.  Here are our preliminary answers to some of the questions he may encounter during his Impact and Prelim interview.

Tell me about yourself:

Let me start by describing my personality.  I am outgoing, friendly, and responsible.  For example, I love sports, and I was a varsity basketball player at Fatima University on full scholarship.  Also, I love music, and I sung in different school activities.  I love being around friends, and most people say that I am very easy-going and fun to be with.  I tend to focus on being positive when I’m with my friends.  In addition, I was able to manage being an athlete and worker while I was a student.  As a responsible person, when I have a problem, I tend to focus on the solutions and not the problem itself.  That helps me to be able to manage my situations very well.

PhilippineAirlinesAnother thing about me is my professionalism.  I have always wanted to achieve something greater for myself and not settle for the average.  As a student, I had very good attendance because I almost had perfect attendance and hardly any tardiness.  And when I was playing basketball, I attended all of my practices on time.  Actually, I wasn’t as good as the others in basketball, but because I treated it with professionalism, I was a part of the team for three years.  And when I worked as a promoter, I was able to treat my guests as VIP’s no matter their social status.

Lastly, I would like to describe my career goals.  Ever since I entered the university, I have always wanted to be a flight attendant.  I majored in travel management so that I could find out more about the travel and airline industry.  I realized that it was exactly what I wanted because I love to travel and deal with people.  I love talking about culture and places, and the airline industry is the perfect place for it.  I have already completed an OJT with Macro Asia Airport Service, and I was able to observe another aspect of the airline and travel industry.  I know that this is what I really want to do because every time I was at the airport, I felt so close to achieving my dream.

Why do you want to work for the airline industry?

Image Source: Google Images
Image Source: Google Images

I mentioned earlier that I studied travel management and  completed my OJT  in the airline industry.  Furthermore, I have traveled to Singapore and throughout the Philippines.  I also have friends who are working in the industry, such as flight attendants, passenger service agents, customer service agents, and the like.  With all these, I am even more excited to be a part of the industry.  As a flight attendant, I will be able to enjoy two of my passions, which is travel and meeting people from different places and cultures.  I also know that those who work hard and those who continue to grow would be given an opportunity to travel not only within the Philippines, but also internationally since PAL is international.  For me, the airline industry is just very exciting.

Why do you want to work for Philippine Airline (PAL)?

Philippine Airlines is a highly reputable organization, and it is the leading carrier in Asia.  The brand is very strong because of its customer service, compared to other airlines.  Furthermore, working for Philippine Airlines would be very patriotic for me, since it’s very Filipino.  The motto, after all, is “Fly your flag.”   For me, I would prefer to be affiliated with a brand that prides itself in nationalism and customer service at the same time.  Another reason why I would want to work for PAL is because of the different stories I have heard from my friends who are already working for the company.  They told me that the company treated them very well, that the people they work with were like family, and that they really enjoyed what they do.  Of course, I’d get some of the employee benefits that PAL offers.  The last reason I want to work for PAL is because they look and act truly professional.  I would agree with my teacher from The American Institute when he said that he would rather pay more at PAL than another carrier just so he can get more professional service.  At the end of the day, the company that pays attention to their customers wins.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?


My top three strengths are problem-solving, customer service, and professionalism.  As a problem-solver, I know how to look at the the different angles to a problem, like how it started, who was involved, and why it did it start.  After probing, I focus on looking for creative solutions rather than being stuck with the problem.  (Give specific example here.)  When it comes to customer service, I understand the customer is king.  In fact, when I worked as a promoter, I always had to make sure that my guests enjoyed their night out, and that if they had any problems, they can always call or talk to me.  I can definitely relate this to working here at Philippine Airline.  I see every customer as VIP.  And as I said, professionalism is my other strength.  I do manage my time well when it comes to reporting to work.  I treat my colleagues with respect.  And I am very loyal to the company I work for since it is my source of passion and income. (Give example here).

Weaknesses: (to be completed)

As you see, this article is still incomplete.  If you’d like to learn more about interviewing as a flight attendant for Philippine Airlines, please come back here soon.  Thank you, Ralph, for sharing your answers with everyone.  I’m sure you have inspired others.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ralph is a student at the American Institute for English Proficiency, preparing to become a flight attendant.

How to Put your Adjectives in Order

A Philippine colorful, old, slow,  beautiful, passenger boxy jeepney.  A what???  That’s right.  What happens when you have several adjectives to describe something?  Do you know how to correctly put them in order?  It’s so much easier when you only have a two adjectives, but it gets very confusing when you have more than that.  Here’s your guide on how to put the adjective in order:

Study English at the American Institute for English Proficiency:
Study English at the American Institute for English Proficiency:
  1. Determiner – a, an, the, my, your, few, several
  2. Observation (Opinion) – beautiful, fast, colorful
  3. Physical Description (Size) – big, small, tiny, huge
  4. Physical Description (Shape) – rectangular, round, square
  5. Physical Description (Age) – new, old, young, ancient
  6. Physical Description (Color) – red, white, blue, yellow
  7. Origin – Filipino, Philippine American, Spanish
  8. Material – gold, wooden, metal
  9. Qualifier – Purpose Adjective, Limits the Noun  such as basketball player, sleeping bag, birthday party
  10. Noun – What you are describing

Here are some examples:

  1. I met a beautiful, petite, young, tanned Filipino woman at the birthday party.
  2. I would like to buy a fast, big, red, Italian sports car for my birthday next year.
  3. I ate a delicious, round, white, Filipino, street food they call squid or chicken ball.

Now let’s try describing the jeepney again using the royal order of adjectives.  Can you do it now?  One easy way to memorize the order is to put it into an acronym or initialism: DOSSACOMQ.  Can you create a sentence out of that?  Hmmm.  Let me try making one.  I’ll be back to update this blog when I come up with one.  In the meantime, keep practicing and you’ll eventually get it without using a cheat sheet.

Puerto Galera Trip – Simplying your Vacation

Trip to White Beach Puerto Galera with my AIEP clients and friends: Rozita, Chris, Aji, and Irish

Travel can become a nightmare if you are not careful.  There are many travel and tour operators who could promise you the world but deliver you nothing but grief.  I just want to Puerto Galera this past weekend, and I’m glad to say that my vacation wasn’t a nightmare at all.  No, it wasn’t one of the best either because we experienced some unexpected twists and turns.

For example, our tour operator told us that we would go directly from the port in Batangas to the shores of White Beach.  However, we were taken to another port where we had to ride a very small vehicle (much smaller than a jeepney) for another 30 to 45 minutes to get to White Beach.  On top of that, we had our meals catered, and the operator got the meals wrong: served tanigue sinigang instead of milkfish and scrambled eggs instead of omelette.

On the way to the underwater cave on a smaller boat.

When you get to there, there are many barkers, you know, the ones, mostly men, who hold their laminated pictures of the different beach activities.  I don’t mind if 10 of them come up to me to ask me if I want do their activities for a certain price.  I don’t mind if some of them have different prices.  Sometimes, bargaining is fun.  However, when almost everyone of them come to you within a span of an hour, you spend your hours conversing with them instead of enjoying the beach, the water, the sun, and the half-naked bodies.

There must be a way to simply your trip to Puerto Galera so that it becomes more enjoyable.  So here’s a step-by-step guide on simplifying your trip.

  1. Decide if you’re going to do it as a tour package or on your own.  If you do it as a tour package, there are many tour operators who are willing to set your itinerary for you at an additional price.  Of course, the disadvantage to this is that you have to pay extra for their services.  Here’s an example, we went to Puerto Galera this past weekend (March 8 and 9, 2014), and the travel package was almost Php 3,000 per person, inclusive of roundtrip bus transportation from Manila to the port, boat and Puerto-Galera-related fees, two days and one night of basic hotel accommodation at White Beach Lodge (quad-sharing with two full-size beds good for four), and three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

    If you’re going to do it on your own, it would be a little bit cheaper, depending on the price of the accommodation.  Here’s an example:

    Php 100 – Taxi to Bus Terminal
    Php 340 – Roundtrip Bus Transportation
    Php 500 – Roundtrip Boat Transportation
    Php 060 – Miscellaneous Puerto Galera Fees
    Php 600 – Accommodation (Quad Sharing)
    Php 1,600 – TOTAL

    The meals are around Php 100 per meal.  But if you are really on vacation, I would highly recommend at least Php 150 per meal.

  2. If you’re going the DO-IT-YOURSELF way, looking for an accommodation would be the next thing you must do.  As we all know, the price is much higher during the peak season, which is in the summer (March to July and sometimes August).  In March, you can get a quad-sharing (good for four) accommodation with hot water for Php 2,500.  If you divide this by four people, that’s roughly Php 600 per person.If you go this way, you have to  call around.  Here are some of the more known places:

    White Beach Hotel
    White Beach Resort
    White Beach Lodge

    Yes, the more popular ones have “White Beach” in the name, for the name of Puerto Galera’s is beach is, yup, you guessed it, “White Beach.”  I am hoping to put a list of hotels and accommodation here soon.  We stayed at White Beach Lodge, and it was about Php 2,500 per quad-sharing room.  I tried calling my contact there, and he told me that they are already booked for the month of March.  The Holy Week is coming up in April, and I’m sure the prices are just going to go higher and higher.

  3. Next, decide what activities you’re going to do.  There are many activities to do in Puerto Galera.  They give different prices, so try asking around.  Here’s what we got for our activity:  There were 15 of us, and we paid Php 370 per person for snorkeling and fish feeding.  After our activity, we decided we would still want to do more activities, so we decided to go to the underwater cave for an additional Php 200 per person.
    Fresh sea urchins at 3 for Php 100. We bought this near the underwater cave.

    TIP:  It’s better to negotiate before you go on your activity because the boatmen would want to negotiate with you anymore.  According to the woman who got us the Php 370 deal, they could have gotten it for us for an extra Php 100 only.  It used to be cheaper to go snorkeling, but according to our vendor, there are new taxes, and even the locals don’t know where these new taxes were going since Puerto Galera hasn’t really improved in terms of economy and environment.

Another surprise we got was stopping over another part of Puerto Galera, a port called Muelle, where we had to be driven to White Beach.  We were expecting to arrive at White Beach so that it would be more of a “grand entrance,” but our tour organizer lied to us.  I believe it is the Molina Lines that takes you to that port, so if you want to go straight to White Beach, take another one instead.  They are the same price.

So planning a trip to White Beach in Puerto Galera?  It should be so much simpler, right?  When you go with the right people, your best friends or your family, the trip gets better.  I’ve been there numerous times, and it has always been different because of the company I was with.  I have a lot of photos, and as soon as I edit them, I will post them here.  Have a safe and happy trip!

Ten Reasons You Need to Learn English Now

Ten Reasons You Need to Learn English Now
by Sanaz Raeisi
AsianMaleProfessionalI have been living here in the Philippines for the last four years, and I must say that my English has improved dramatically.  I have better speaking skills, and my confidence is stronger than ever when it comes to talking to all kinds of people, especially Filipinos who speak very well and native English speakers.
For some odd reason though, many Filipinos, despite living in a country where English is the national language, they have not improved much.  Maybe it’s because they don’t see the importance of learning English.  For those who are still not sure if English is important, here are 10 reasons why you should really learn English now:
  1. POPULARITY.  English  is the most popular language in the  world.  About 400 million people speak English and 500 million people use English as a second language .  The total estimated is  one billion people worldwide will understand this language.  When you learn English, you have access to all these people.
  2. COMPUTER.  Approximately 80% of computer information  can be processed in English.  When it comes to learning computer skills and using the computer in general, it becomes easier when you know English very well.  In this age of information, you always access the computer.  You must as well get comfortable by knowing English.
  3. PRINT MEDIA.  English is the official language of exchanged media and press. About half of the worldwide papers are published in English. Only  in India, three thousand magazines are published in English. So, If you always want to be updated with the latest news and information, English is the language you must know.
  4. TRENDING.  English is the language that most people in the world are learning.  Currently, about a billion people are learning the language.  Two hundred fifty thousand people in China learn English only through television.  Learn English now; you don’t want to get left behind.
  5. TEXT MESSAGES.  Seventy-five percent of the worldwide text messages sent around the world are in English.  Philippines is actually the “texting capital of the world.”   I believe, however, the most Filipinos do not text well in English and use “jejemon” instead.
  6. INTERNET INFORMATION.  More than 80% of websites are written in English.  So if you want to have more information from the web, learn English.  Furthermore, about 70% of emails sent around the world are in English.
  7. BROADCAST MEDIA.  Six of some of the largest information networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, CBC, CNN)  are broadcasted in English.  You get better, more trusted information.
  8. EASY TO SPEAK.  There are more than 600 thousand words in English, but it is estimated that by learning only 1,500 to 2,000 words , you can already converse internationally.  Of course, you want to speak well, so you should really be learning more.   The point is, you actually don’t need that much English to start conversing.
  9. TRAVEL.  Travel is easier, more comfortable, and more fun if you know English!  You can travel to 45 English speaking countries without a guide or translator.  Most people in the Philippines are English speakers.  In fact, some of the best English schools like the American Institute for English Proficiency is located right here in the Philippines.
  10. WORK.  Learning English can be an advantage  to migrate or  to find work in even non-English-speaking countries .  Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US are all looking for migrant workers.
With all these reasons, why aren’t you learning or trying to improve your English yet?  Learning any language will open your vision towards life and you will have a more mature character and even you will strengthen your mind.  You will become more dynamic and your personality becomes better and brighter.  Start today.  It’s never too late.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sanaz is a former student, now a marketing specialist, at the American Institute for English Proficiency.

Easy Way to Remember the PARTS OF SPEECH

Image Source: GrammarKnot
Image Source: GrammarKnot. Click on image to enlarge.

To master English, one must have a very good foundation of the English language, which begins with understanding the categories the different words belong to.  These categories are called “Parts of Speech,” which are the building blocks of forming sentences.  Each word in the English language belongs to eight different categories:

  1. Verb
  2. Adjective
  3. Noun.  Person (Chris, that’s me), place (American Institute for English Proficiency, that’s where I teach), thing (English, that’s what I teach), or an idea (freedom, that’s what I want to have).  You can proper nouns (specific names of people like Chris and places like Makati or Quezon City) or improper nouns (general names like mom or places like school).
  4. Conjunction
  5. Adverb
  6. Pronoun
  7. Preposition
  8. Interjection

To make it easier for you to remember, look at it as an acronym:
VAN (Automobile), CAP (Hat), PI (In math, it’s roughly equal to 3.14.  For Filipinos, it’s the Philippine Islands).  To make it even easier to remember, create a sentence out of it.  I drove my VAN, put on my CAP, and thought about the PI.  Trying playing around with it.

Okay, I know this post is not complete.  I will come back to give definitions to the rest of the parts of speech.  Let the picture above guide you for now.  In any case, this should be very basic for you.  Come back often because I will soon be posting intermediate to advanced writing and grammar tips.

The Filipino experience through the senses of Chris Delacruz

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