A. Preliminary Questions

1. The behavior or action that I chose is gambling as it is the most relevant to me. Using my own reasoning, I would consider this action or behavior to be wrong. Basically, the Road of Caution states that when it is difficult to determine whether or not a act is wrong, it would be best to view it as something wrong. The act of gambling and whether or not it is morally right or wrong is still pretty ambiguous to me. For one, even the smallest and pettiest of bets are already considered to be forms of gambling, yet they essentially do no harm and, to others, are simple forms of leisure or entertainment, much like how I enjoy playing video games or listening to music. Gambling, however, can also be severe in a sense. A wrong act is defined as something that violates an accepted convention or norm and generally causes some harm to oneself, to others, or to the society. While gambling is considered to be normal for most people, I believe that gambling, over time, may harm oneself and others. The act may cause a person to become too competitive, thus affecting his or her relationship with his or her peers. The person may also experience an attachment and addiction to the act, which has negative effects on one’s life, such as excessive use of money in gambling. Therefore, while it is uncertain whether gambling is truly wrong or not, I believe that it is a wrong act because generally, it causes harm to the self and to others.

2. I believe that in some cases, gambling need not be considered bad or sinful. As I mentioned before, small bets are considered to be forms of pleasure, leisure, and entertainment for most people, and as a result, need not be considered sinful. This is because small bets are usually made with friends or with one’s peers, and because the act itself is sometimes considered to be an act of relaxation or bonding between friends, I really don’t think small or petty bets are sinful. While the Road of Suspicion states that we must cast some suspicion into our moral decisions that involve either pleasure or pain, going against small bets or not engaging in small bets doesn’t really have any negative effects or implications, which takes out the factor of pain in this road.

3. Based on my answers, I would consider myself to be a moral rationalist. Looking at my answers, I believe that my thinking process when it comes to moral decisions involves both general situations and particular situations. When facing certain moral dilemmas, I tend to look at the general short-term and long-term effects or implications first, then focus more on certain instances in my life when I’ve encountered similar dilemmas. These allow me to look at moral decisions or choices using different perspectives.

B. What if…?

[Insert name of friend], I don’t think you should gamble a lot anymore. Can’t you see that gambling has only brought you down all these years? I mean, it’s alright to have small or playful bets with us once in a while, but I don’t think that you’re living life properly when all you think about is gambling. You’ve already lost thousands of pesos in the act, and you’re starting to isolate yourself from your friends and family. You know that gambling will ruin your life at the rate you’re going, and you always have the freedom to stop, yet you continue to gamble anyway. Even if gambling is really fun for you, I think that the best choice is to abandon this hobby of yours.


Among the oils used in cooking kropek, I liked corn oil the most. For my group’s special ingredient, which was butter, I noticed that as opposed to the other groups, it took quite some time for our kropek to be cooked. Some of the kropek didn’t even grow, and we were only able to make a few. Moreover, the taste of the kropek after using butter was really strange as it tasted like popcorn.


In my opinion, eating food that contains genetically modified organisms is acceptable to human beings. It may not only contain added nutrients as opposed to ‘ordinary’ food, but also, I believe that genetically modified food is able to benefit us more than it does harm. For instance, GMOs allow food to have longer shelf lives, are eco-friendly, and can help certain types of food, especially crops, thrive in places where they normally wouldn’t. This means that GMOs won’t have a negative impact on the environment, and they may actually make more types of food, especially nutritious ones, available to the hungry or malnourished.

Man needs to make use of its ability and resources to make the world a better place to live in, and I believe that GMOs give man the power to do so.


I believe that one of the main food problems in the world today is that people continually eat food that is detrimental to their health. Through Chemistry, people can probably learn more about food structures, find ways to improve the nutritional value of these foods, and ultimately decide what to eat, focusing on foods that are more beneficial to the body in the long run. Aside from this, spoilage is another food problem that needs to be addressed. Chemistry can help people find ways to prolong the shelf life of some foods, and possibly, make food more accessible to those stricken with hunger or starvation.


Food is any substance that provides nutrition and energy to the body, and it is essential to life. People think that food like tuna eyeballs, balut, tarantulas, etc. are weird because these types of food aren’t normally served in other parts of the world. Most people would consider these to be strange or unusual delicacies because the majority simply don’t eat them often. This is why for me, normal food is what is eaten almost everyday by most people, such as chicken, rice, etc.

My 5 Weirdest Food:

1. Codfish sperm

2. Maggot cheese

3. Any animal brain

4. Snake / Snake skin

5. Tarantula


Our video conference with the Dubai Modern High School from the UAE last December 6, 2011 was truly something memorable. I could really see that everyone from both sides was able to listen attentively and participate actively, which, for me, was the highlight of the VC. The VC kicked off with a great start too, as virtually no technical difficulties were encountered, and that proper introductions were made (through videos made by each school, in our case).

In spite of the success of this VC, I believe that there was something that still went wrong in this conference, and I think that it had something to do with my attentiveness at that time. Sometimes, I wasn’t really paying attention to what the speakers were saying, and this affected my performance in the VC; that sometimes, I didn’t actually know what to say or how to respond to certain statements or arguments. Despite my being satisfied and pleased with the overall flow of the VC, I still feel that I could have done better. This is why for me, it would have been better if I was more attentive during the VC, and therefore, more prepared to share my thoughts and ideas.


Last December 6, 2011, Tuesday, two learning circles from IB Cohort 1 of Xavier School, Philippines, held a video conference with selected students from the Dubai Modern High School in the UAE. This video conference was all about faith and how it has influenced us both personally and in terms of the community. Being part of this event, I am really grateful that I was given an opportunity to learn more about the students from Dubai Modern High School, and that I was able to share my experiences when it came to my perspective on faith. I can truly say that the video conference went really well because, in contrast to our previous video conference with the Jumeirah College from the same city, there were virtually no technical difficulties experienced, so everything went smoothly. Aside from this, I could really see the enthusiasm in each and every student, including myself, as everyone participated actively, either by listening attentively or by sharing thoughts and ideas.

The video conference started off with introductory videos from each school. These videos aimed to shed some light on the historical background and significant values that each school held most dear. In fact, what was good about these videos was that they prompted a lot of questions from both sides, which made the conference much more interesting and engaging. After the introductions, several discussions followed, which included topics like faith, service, and even school symbols.

To be honest, I was pretty proud of myself during and after the video conference because it was actually my first time to participate actively in one. In the past VCs that we had, I would simply just listen to what the speakers had to say or share, not really wanting to speak up. This time, however, I was able to contribute to the discussion and keep the conversation going, which made me feel quite pleased with myself. Moreover, all of us were able to speak and share our thoughts and opinions, which ultimately contributed to the success of this VC.

What I found most interesting during the video conference was the fact that both sides had the same notion of what keeps all of us motivated to do voluntary work. We all agreed on one thing: that peoples’ joy and happiness continue to inspire us to do more and to be more. When we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and finally know that he or she is grateful and glad for what we do for him or her, overcoming cultural barriers and stepping out of one’s own comfort zone isn’t really difficult to do. This is what keeps us motivated to work for the benefit of others, that we put them first before ourselves. Similarly, faith works in the same way. When we firmly believe in something, we become more faithful and confident in what we know to be true, and this is how faith works. Faith allows us to have a clear and concrete idea of what we choose to accept, and this defines our personalities as human beings. I believe that this is something very significant that I have learned from the video conference.



3 Most Relevant Lessons/Topics

1. Epistemological World Views (Absolutist, Evaluativist, Relativist)

2. Lesson on Poverty (Social justice, hidden causes, etc.)

3. Awareness, Analysis, Action


2 Most Important Skills Developed

1. Using faith and reason to understand the world around us

2. Being aware and open-minded, especially when it comes to appreciating the similarities and differences of various religions/faiths


Most Significant Insight

The most significant insight that I gained from the 1st semester is that it is always important to make a choice. I learned this through the lesson on epistemological world views, where it is better to adopt the evaluativist view, considering all possible perspectives first through thought and analysis before making a decision.