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REACTION PAPER

(SOI LMATES)

August 5, 2014, around 8 in the morning, the 4th year and 5th year Bachelor of Science in
Civil Engineering class had their Educational Trip in line with the subject of Geotechnical
Engineering: Soil Mechanics (for 4th year students) and Geotechnical Engineering: Foundation
Engineering (for 5th year students). I am one of the 5th year students who attended the said trip
and all I can say is, A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
The group of students who conducted the Educational Trip said that we would go to three
different sites related to our subjects (Soil & Foundation Engineering), and that would be: (1st)
DEPARTMENT OF WORKS AND HIGHWAYS: BUREAU OF RESEARCH AND
STANDARDS (DPWH:BRS), (2nd) that was supposed to be UP Institute of Civil Engineering,
but unfortunately there was a problem that was why we ended up at DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES: MINES AND GEOSCIENCES
BUREAU (DENR:MGB), and the last one was, (3rd) LAFARGE REPUBLIC
AGGREGATES CORPORATION. At our first destination, one of the newly employed
licensed Civil Engineer there gave us some introduction about soil properties and then he
introduced us to the different laboratory equipment. Although I already saw those things a lot of
times because given that my mother is currently working there, I felt pity to the students studying
at our school, and that includes us, we never got the chance and we will never experience having
those apparatuses during our experiments and laboratory subjects, but nevertheless, I am happy
because I gained a lot of knowledge during that tour. We even saw how an asphalt undergoes
testing and compacting process in actual. We leave BRS at around 11am and headed to our next
destination. While we're on road, I heared that the other batch, which was the 4th year students,
was stuck on their way to BRS because they encountered some problem. Hearing that, I silently
prayed for their safety.
When we were at Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the host made a presentation
for us about their role as a government agency in our country. He showed us how they conduct
study and investigate the soils and mines around the country and how they're continuing their
work for the improvement of their institution. In all fairness, even though that was a no-tour-
around-the-bureau experienced, the feeling inside the Lecture Hall was comfortable. It was like
I'm on an executive meeting with a bunch of civil engineers around.
We arrived at our last trip, the Lafarge Republic Aggregates at Angono Rizal, around 3 in
the afternoon. That was a long trip and I even slept on the way to Angono. They were very strict
when it comes to following rules and regulations. One proof was when we got there, we were
stopped by the guards at the entranced and told us to wear our seatbelts, and students who were
sitting at the middle of the bus were told to ride another bus, and I am one of them. I was feeling
excited, clueless and a little bit nervous that time because I thought we would travel far from the
entrance. The intensity of my excitement was then replaced with the same intensity of
disappointment when we got there. Do not ask why, but of course, that bad vibes only lasted for
a minute. I was surprised, not to how clean and white the inside of the building was, but to how
generous and hospitable they are to their visitors. They even made us some sandwiches and gave
us a drink. Focusing on the lecture part, they presented to us their project plan for that particular
day and showed us a video clip about Lafarge. Then a moment later, we divided into two batch.
Each batch would have a tour around the site and we are all excited. I belonged to the second
batch and while wating, I noticed that the 4th year students was not yet around and I had a strong
feeling that they wouldn't make it to the site-tour. When it was our turn, I realized why they were
very strict when it comes to their policies especially the seatbelt-thing, it was because of the
rough road. They toured us to their different plants and I was fascinated by what I saw. There
was even an ongoing process of the 3/4 aggregates there. We also saw their modern plant that
was only a year old producing their finest sand, the S-3. They also toured us to their oldest
machine plant that produces S-1 only. Of course, aside from the sand, there were also a lot of
aggregates there. I really enjoyed that tour, and I was thankful that Lafarge was our last site visit
tour of the day, because as the saying goes, save the best for last.
All in all, that tour was a lot of fun. We even watched 'She's dating the Gangster' on our
way back. I really enjoyed it especially the last part and thankful for the souvenir 'Soilmates'
handbook. I'm looking forward for the next one.