World Water Day by CAWST. Photo credits to CAWST

Hello everybody!

On March 18th, after months of continuous hard work, I attended the World Water Day event hosted by CAWST Youth Wavemakers. Months before, we had met up to discuss water sanitation and education, and set out with a plan to make a difference.

Me and the other IB volunteers.

I am so proud to have worked with the other International Baccalaureate students, whom we like to call, the Justice League. Coming from an ethnic background and a school that is extremely multicultural, we all connected through the stories of our countries of origin. One trend arose from our talks, because of the unsafe water back “home”, many of our families did not drink tap water in Canada.

Macarons made by me, and some of the other sweets at our table.

Education is so important. The spread of knowledge and information is what makes society progress. Calgary has some of the safest drinking water in the world, yet so many families are buying bottled water and contributing to pollution. Me, along with the amazing team, conducted surveys in order to gather information. Teaming up with the City of Calgary and Kathy Lam, my talented friend, we designed water bottles which we sold, and are still selling, in order to raise money for CAWST. Along with promoting #YYCH2O with our own designed shirts as well, we got other schools to take part and make bracelets to sell during world water day.

It has been an amazing past few months. Teaching and educating is really something I find joyful. I always said one of my dreams in life was to build a well, and even if I’m not physically constructing one, I’m slowly getting there.

 

Water bottles, bracelets and presentation of Father Lacombe

CAWST, The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology is an AMAZING organization. We hear about people dying in third world countries all of the time, but do we know why? Who here really knows about the vicious cycle of poverty? Do you know that many parents and grandparents are having their children suffer and die, but aren’t aware it’s simply because of the water they drink? Our vision of dirty water is the reality of millions of people around the world.

Every human deserves clean drinking water, it’s an essential, it’s a right. I’m so glad to work with CAWST and my school. After all our hard work, like I say all the time, we can make a difference. Even if it’s just three kids, that’s three more futures saved and multiple families saved from the pain of loss.

Thank you for reading once again! I’ll be back soon to update you all again.

Regards,
Ruby Angelica Raguindin
Miss Teenage East Calgary 2014

Written by: Ruby
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Hello there!

Now, I am fully aware that I haven’t posted in a quite a while.  I have actually missed blogging a lot and am super excited to be sharing what I’ve been up to. This being said, you can expect a plethora of posts within the next week or so.

So, where was I exactly during my disappearance? In all honesty, my absence was not a fun one. On March 7th I woke up in my room with a piercing pain in my head. I had a slight fever and I was also light sensitive, nauseous and dizzy. Even with all of these symptoms, I got up, took an Advil and went to school. I was absolutely exhausted.

After school, I had a meeting in downtown right after school. Following this meeting, was another at 6pm. When I got into the car around 10pm that night, I was shivering to the point where I couldn’t hold objects or speak. At home, my fever had come back at a raised temperature. Instead of calling my doctor, I decided to put on warm pyjamas, take another Advil and then proceeded to fall asleep.

The following day, my fever was still present. My appetite still failed to make an appearance and was instead replaced with a pounding headache, nausea and exhaustion. That night I was meant to travel to support the Strathmore Lions Club but around 30 minutes before departure, I was too dizzy to even walk. I took more medicine and slept the best I could with a fever and headache.

On Sunday, my feelings had not gotten any better but instead worse. Along with the previous symptoms, I was feeling extremely weak and could not leave my bed. That evening, my parents decided to call the doctor and she urgently advised them to bring me to the hospital.

All of my pictures on this blog so far are not glamorous haha.

At the emergency room I was immediately given a mask and was asked a series of questions. After a five minute wait, I was put under isolation. The room was extremely small and honestly speak, I felt like a “freak”. Not even my parents could walk inside the room without being fully covered, their faces covered by clear plastic masks. I still didn’t know what was wrong with me. I tried to sleep that night, but the sound of another patient in the room beside me moaning in pain kept me up all night.

A doctor walked into my room early that morning and I was given some scary news. There was a possibility that I might have meningitis, which was life threatening if not treated. Within the next hour, a lumbar puncture was performed on me and I was sent home that following afternoon because thankfully, the results came back negative.

After the spinal tap.

But the pain did not stop there. For the rest of Monday continuing onto Tuesday, I did not get better. Sitting was not an option anymore, as the spinal tap had caused my extremely painful headaches and nausea when upright. My body was extremely stiff, especially in my neck, and my fever was still present. My friends came to visit me on Tuesday afternoon, but I unfortunately had to send them home because I felt absolutely horrible. I ended up calling an ambulance that night, because I knew something was wrong.

My arm after the blood patch.

That night was filled with the most pain I have ever felt in my life. Laying in that bed, it hurt to move. I had little to no feeling in my legs and could not move my head more than an inch. I was extremely nauseous and because I was so sick, I had not eaten much, and my throat burned from acid. My head pounded with pain all through the night, as well as my heart feeling extremely tight. I had extreme difficulty breathing that night, but was not allowed to take my inhaler for fear that my heart rate might be affected. I was so weak and in pain, I wanted to just give up.

News came that instead of the spinal tap making me better, it had actually gotten infected. I underwent a blood patch that day, willing to do anything in order to recover.

Luckily, it worked and I was able to walk and stand in the late afternoon.

This all being said, I am fully recovered now. Thankfully, I am feeling so much better. Over this past month of trying to get my health back up, I realized the importance of taking a break. In order for me to do the best in my work, IB, pageantry and volunteering, I know I that I must take time for family, friends and relaxation. After getting so sick, I’m determined to keep myself peaceful and healthy.

So now I’m back and I’m excited as ever.

Thanks for reading,
Ruby Angelica Raguindin
Miss Teenage East Calgary

Written by: Ruby
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This year, the theme that the UN has chosen for Women’s Day 2014 is

“Equality for Women is Progress for All.”

Equality – To be equal and the same; in regards to value, rank, rights, and opportunities.

I love this word. Not just in terms of gender, but also when talking about race, age, etc. In my mind, we are equal. No person deserves to be treated with less class and respect because of features that they were born with. I am not saying that women are worth more than men, do not get me wrong. I am a strong female character and believe in the empowerment of women, but that does not mean that I look down on the male race. In embracing the thought that women and man are equal, we are creating opportunities for so much growth in the world.

Being a young woman in society, although in no way does it compare to the amount of discrimination women face around the world, I have dealt with a fair amount of judgement. According to so many societal norms, I was born to live my life aiming to reach the goal of being attractive, both by character and my physical appearance. As a girl, I was given the invisible responsibility to obey, serve and please men. There have been days that I left my house without makeup and felt too ashamed to look anyone in the eye, in fear of them thinking I wasn’t “pretty”. I have been told that I could not do certain jobs because I was a girl, therefore I was too weak and/or did not have the knowledge required to complete tasks.  It is so wrong, that there are certain things that a woman should not do because she is simply, female.

“Don’t strain yourself sweetheart, that’s a man’s job.”

No. Last year I went to a Women in Engineering event at the University of Calgary and learned that an extremely large statistic of Alberta’s engineers are made up by males. Yet I met strong, independent women who were on top of their companies, which were running smoothly and successfully. There are so many women like those that I met, that are amazing role models for my generation and the next. You don’t need to be weak, gentle, or soft-spoken in order to be feminine. If you want to be something other than the traditional traits of femininity, then so be it. Being a girl, being a woman, does not rely on you possessing the characteristics that society has told you to possess.

Here is me. No makeup, my hair not done, perfectly natural me.

Yes. I am a beauty queen. I walk on a stage with a full face of makeup on and my hair done. But this does not make me a hypocrite, because I now believe I am still beautiful without the makeup. I am an artist, spending many of my countless hours painting, writing and sketching. Makeup is an art. Makeup is the one of my favourite artistic medias to use. Every face is a beautiful canvas, if you choose to leave it blank or add a design, it is your choice.  You have a choice, to do whatever makes you happy. If you want to wear makeup, do it. If you don’t want to, then don’t. It’s all up to you, but either way you will be beautiful.

I have embraced my thick, curly and frizzy hair and fall in love with it everyday. Yes, my hair is may not be the typical “asian hair” which is straight, shiny and lustrous but I still have BEAUTIFUL hair. I will not beat myself up just because I do not fit into the norm. In the Miss Teenage Alberta pageant I was one of the shortest and the only asian delegate, but that did not matter because I still felt beautiful.

We are all different, in the way we act or the way we look. That’s what makes us so amazing, that we are all different in race, interests, religions, etc. and yet one feature that brings all women together is that we are just that, women. So HOW DARE society tell us what do in our lives. If we are all so different, how are we supposed to fit into ONE mold? We can’t, and we won’t.

I know it’s part of my own personal responsibility to fight for a change. I will fight for those who may not be able to help themselves right now.

So don’t let today be a day for us to empower women, because we should be doing that everyday. Instead, let today be a reminder of the progress we have made and are yet to make.  Together, as men and women in the world, we can make a difference.

Thank you for reading today’s post. May you all have a wonderful day, full of love and happiness.

Until my next post,
Ruby Angelica Raguindin
Miss Teen East Calgary 2014

Written by: Ruby
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Hi there!
I am extremely excited to hold the title of Miss Teenage East Calgary 2014. The Miss Teenage Alberta pageant itself was an amazing experience, so for me to continue with pageants is a blessing.


So let me introduce myself properly. My name is Ruby Angelica and I am a 16 year old, grade 11 student at Father Lacombe High School. I am a proud to be part of the International Baccalaureate Program at my school and am enriched with so much information everyday. As nerdy as it sounds, my teachers are my friends. I love to write, with English being my favourite subject. Spoken word is wonderful and I encourage everyone to try it out at least just once!

I was born in East Calgary and have been living here since. Raised by my parents, for the first eight years of my life and then given gift of having my grandparents move in after, I can say that I have been shaped by my family and my culture a lot. Now, I live with my mom, step-father, grandparents and my dog, Shiro.

Last year, I won the title of Miss Teen Philippines-Calgary 2013 and my life changed. I met amazing people.

(Left to right) TV Filipino Interview/Me and Ashley Rosales, Miss Belleza Petite Intl. 2013/Family and I at Miss Universe Canada 2013, Riza Santos' crowning/ Calgary Filipino Lions Club Charter Night.

(Left to right) TV Filipino Interview/Me and Ashley Rosales, Miss Belleza Petite Intl. 2013/Family and I at Miss Universe Canada 2013, Riza Santos' crowning/ Calgary Filipino Lions Club Charter Night.

I also consider the Filipino community to be my family. Visminsa and the Calgary Filipino Lions Club have been great to me.

Proudly, I was elected to become the first ever President of the Calgary Regal Leo Club and I now work with a group of silly, but passionate students to make a difference.

I love to volunteer. This is my main passion in life and as cheesy as it sounds, I really want to make a difference. So far, I have partaken in events such as the 30 Hour Famine, Oath of Silence. I am currently working along with CAWST to promote the spread of water safety among ethnic groups. On Fridays I visit a senior’s home through LINKages and am a proud catechist at church on Saturdays. My dream is to build a well in a third world country. One day, I know my efforts will make a difference.

Left: Vow of Slience. Top: Me and catechists with Father Malcolm Bottom: RLC Officers at Health and Wellness Event

Left: Vow of Slience. Top: Me and catechists with Father Malcolm Bottom: RLC Officers at Health and Wellness Event

So with this title, I hope to use it in a way to make the biggest, positive change possible. I hope to continue the empowerment of ethnic youth equality and show people the richness of cultural diversity. I will do all that I can in order to help build the bridge between people’s difference and show that in the end, we are all the same.

With this, I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you so much for taking your time on reading this post. Stick around to read more about my journey to nationals! Also, don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Twitter on the right hand side! Be safe and have fun.

Love,
Ruby Angelica Raguindin

 

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