Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'll be watching Twilight with friends

My friends and I are watching, "Twilight". It is based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer.
I don't have the books yet but I already have the PDF copies of the novels. OMG, the list of books and e-books to read that I have, is already mile-long! But, I will find time to read them, that's for sure. Though I am not expecting this movie to be great, but I hope it can give justice to what Ms. Meyer has written.

Is this going to be just-another-vampire-movie? I don't know! But the movies' trailer looks nice and I am excited to watch the full length show.

By the way, we will be watching the movie at Glorieta and we have reserved the tickets online through Too bad, we did not decide sooner, so we got the 11PM screening time which is the last show, but it hasn't changed the fact that I am eager to watch this movie with my friends. I was actually the one who convinced them to watch. Honestly, I am hoping that it will be really nice and the story is a must-be-good-one so I won't be tortured by my friends and be fed to the lions.

Got to eat dinner, ciao!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas is in the Air, smell it!

Holidays are coming and are really unstoppable.

At work, our officemates organized Monito/Monita - a kind of exchange gifts activity where there is a specific theme. Last week, we had something green and just this week we had something dark / black / evil. I received a pen that's colored green with a hand sign of peace and yesterday, I received a head and a wrist band which is good for badminton. They were cool gifts and thanks to those who gave them.

I am thinking if there will be gift giving or even big Christmas celebrations or parties in Singapore. Also thinking if vacations in Singapore would be long which I doubt. Sigh :( An hour ago, our HR emailed everyone of the holidays this December (Philippines) and they are as follows:

1. ) December 1, 2008 declared as a regular holiday in lieu of November 30 which commemorates Bonifacio Day
2.) December 25, 2008 Christmas Day
3.) December 26, 2008 Special non-working holiday
4.) December 29, 2008 Special non-working holiday
5.) December 30, 2008 Rizal Day
6.) December 31, 2008 Special non-working holiday

Quite a long holiday here in the Philippines. I will surely miss Christmas as I have foreseen that I will be spending it somewhere else away from home. I'm getting nostalgic already of the thought of it. Well I will be going home to Cebu first week of December and I will spend those days with my family and friends. So I'll make the most out of this mini vacation.

Christmas is really in the air and I am breathing it already. The spirit is sharing and forgiving and if you can do those things, I think you have celebrated Christmas. My way of redefining Christmas looks good to me :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good-bye JIRA issues - hurray !

I just solved three major fixes for the JIRA assigned to me, hurray!

I was lucky enough to have found a solution to these issues which are sort of critical to the project's release. Though things were tough, I just pushed myself and do some overtime work/research to finish it on time. Again, free of charge. Overtime is inevitable I guess if you are working in software engineering but, I think better schedules would make a difference.

But I have some few, I guess, wandering thoughts like, I am just wondering when will I turn over the tasks I am doing. Will my boss give me new tasks aside from the tasks I am working? Basically these critical tasks were assigned to me just last week. I actually have one critical task which I am partially finished with and I am on the testing stage. I have updated my unit test for this tasks but still testing it on a live host if it behaves correctly.

Anyway I hope he won't be giving me more tasks to work on, so I can move on smoothly.

And oh, I got surprised when the HR staff from the company where I will be working in Singapore emailed me of my flight schedule. I am again so excited. What's ironic is that, I haven't purchased my ticket back to Cebu where my departure will be for my flight to Singapore. Silk Air is a sure fun and exciting because it will be my first ever to fly with it in international border.

God bless and many good things to come for everyone :) Ciao!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Enchanted Kingdom, Hot Spring in Laguna and PBA Live with Cebu Friends

Though my Friday was really busy for me, but the weekend plans has got to push through and nothing should stop me, rather, us to enjoy it. My friends from Cebu went to Manila for a great fun and adventure. Thanks to Olga for arranging/managing/coordinating the itinerary for the planned getaway.

Saturday at around 5:30AM, I heard a hard knock on my door and my body just did not mind who was it or my mouth never cared to opened and speak up, I just found myself opening the door and forcefully opened my sleepy eyes. It was Olga and Agnes and they were very alive and kicking and already dressed up. "What? - a bubble thought I had"; so I jumped! I got a soap and wash my face and I took a gargle of Listerene - mouth wash. I then changed my sleeping wear to something suitable. The girls waited for me like for 5 minutes. I actually forgot about the whole fetching thing and for that I did not set my alarm. After everything were set, we went to NAIA 3 to fetch our friends. Morning sunshine is there and the darkness enveloping the sky began to fade away and good thing the plane which our friends were on board hasn't arrived yet. We got to the airport just in time. After some five minutes of waiting, our friends got out of the arrival area. We then went outside of the airport and got a taxi bound to our place. Okay let me introduce them to you who these people are:

(from left to right: Jason, Sly, Olga, Bloom, Ronan, Genesis, Yanna, Jez, Agnes)

We went to McDonalds but it's still so early so we decided to go to our condo to leave their belongings and stuff. After everything was set, we went back to the fastfood to take our breakfast. It was Opaw who cracked the first joke which sent us to laughter. Since we speak another language called, "Bisaya", we would usually have fun trying to translate English words into Tagalog. So basically everyone laughed at the translation for French fries which is "piniritong Pranses". After the chit-chat at McDonalds, we then went back to our condo and prepared for our adventure and our first trip was to Enchanted Kingdom. I have been to the place once and going back their still sounds fun. We got a taxi to Glorieta and went to Glorieta 2. Yanna, Jez and Bloom was with me. We passed by at Ayala Avenue and I sort of acted as a tour guide mentioning the buildings which they will find interesting. Ofcourse, I did not fail to mention Rufino plaza, an old looking building in Makati which was the tallest building in the Philippines in year 1996. We stopped at Glorieta 3 and headed to Glorieta 2 where we can buy our tickets for Enchanted Kingdom. There was a long queue and we waited there for almost an hour after we were attended by the guy in red polo shirt. They had a problem in their ticketing as there was no more printable sheets for the receipts. Anyway things got served but our stomachs were getting angered already.

We arrived at E.K. after an hour ride and that was 1:40 P.M. or something in the afternoon. There was a crowd of all sorts and it was drizzling. Olga the "Girl Scout" of the group had an umbrella and so we were shielded from the slight rainfall while we were waiting for our turn. Jez got us a snack while waiting outside. Some of our friends went somewhere to do some hunting that's good for the eyes. We got our turn and our Cebu friends, got the ride-all-you can tickets and we bought the regular tickets. When we got inside of the theme park, we hurriedly scout for a place to have lunch as we were hungry as beasts already.

After we had a really awesome lunch just enough to give us the energy booster we needed, we looked for a good place to start the fun. Since, my condo-mates and I got the regular tickets, we just looked around and took some pictures. GMA 7 stars were having a show so we just sat there and observed several actors/actresses passing by and stole some pictures of them. Our friends from Cebu on the otherhand, just couldn't be stopped from the rides. I was planning to get a ticket upgrade but I had limited funds so I just decided to feast my eyes for anything that was interesting and beautiful. My condo mates and I decided to walked around and checked for something to buy. We craved for something sweet and so we found ourselves at the counter of an ice cream parlor, while waiting for our friends from the roller coaster ride. The last ride our friends from Cebu took was the space shuttle. The queue was really long and they waited for almost 30 minutes. We actually waited from the roof deck / observation deck where we can capture some scenes. While waiting for them, we also took some pictures. At last, when they had their chance to scream their hearts at the top of their voice, we decided to had our chance to get a ride. My condo mates and I went to ride the carousel. It wasn't heart pumping as what our Cebu friends experienced but it was fun as Ronan made some comical acts. Well it was getting dark and we decided to get our bags from the EK's locker area. After that, we decided to get to our next destination, Rockpoint Resort - hot spring resort in Laguna.

We arrived there at around 8PM and we were very hungry but we did not forget to take some pictures. Ronan did not go with us as he needed to meet his cousin(as if I believed him and he confessed that I was right hehehehe). We got a huge room with ten beds. After we put our things into safety, we went down to their mini restaurant for our dinner. They actually serve Western and Filipino dishes and most of us ordered Filipino food. After we had our dinner, some of us decided to bathe in their hot spring. Of course, everyone were excited and so the tired and aching bodies need to have a good bath and why not in a hot spring? To most of us, it was our first time to go to a hot spring so there was no denying in our face that we wanted to have a nice hot bath :) Everyone got relieved from the stresses of the city, and everyone felt so so relaxed. Well we went to bed after that long night.

It was a Sunday, Nov 16 at 9AM when everyone was awake. We just hit the mini restaurant of Rockpoint and ordered food for breakfast. We actually planned to go to Tagaytay after the hot springs, but it seems that we haven't enjoyed the stay their, so we just finished our food and then headed to the hot spring.

Well we sort of decided to cancel the Tagaytay trip, to not to rush ourselves from the schedule that we have set. We don't want to be stressed from our vacation, right? Hehehehe.

Anyway everyone had a great fun at Rockpoint. We made some comical acts and remarks and specially Opaw who cracked most of the jokes. They were corny but really funny and intelligent sometimes.

After three hours of fun at Rockpoint, we decided to go back to our rooms and prepare for the ride to Manila. It was 12 noon and everyone was hungry. We thought that we need to eat somewhere so we decided to go to Binalot just few meters away from the hot spring compound of Pansol, Calamba Laguna. "Binalot" is a dialect which means wrapped. Well, the food that they served to us wasn't wrapped so I don't know how they call it then. But in Makati where they have a "Binalot" branch, the food they served were wrapped with banana leaves. Anyway we ate and satisfied our stomach.

We then got a bus bound for Manila. It was a almost a two-hour ride. We stopped by at Mantrade and took a PUJ. We were a little in a hurry already because we don't want to be late from the church service at Greenbelt chapel. When we arrived at our Makati condo, we just changed our clothes, washed our faces aka clean ourselves then off we went to the Sunday service. The mass was interesting as always. It talked about God-given gifts or talents to be put to use according to the teachings of Christ. It was enlightening and thought provoking. The priest never failed to deliver the message across (on my part). After church, we decide to go to Cuneta Astrodome so we can watch PBA in raw, live action drama. It took us 3o minutes to get to the sports dome. We don't have our tickets yet and good thing there were business people who offered us some tickets and so we purchased eight of them. It was too bad that we did not watch the game together since the tickets were not in order but even so, we still had fun. Yanna had her dream-come-true moment when he had a picture with Alvin Patrimonio - a once famed basketball star. Agnes got her chance to have her's when she had a photo with Kenneth Duremdes. As for the rest of us, it was crazy. I am not a basketball fan of all sorts but it turn out really awesome. For one thing, I was cheering both Purefoods and Ginebra team who ever gets a point. Yanna wanted me to cheer with her so I just changed which team to side but sometimes I couldn't stop from cheering Ginebra team simply because their play was also amazing. Well the game ended with Ginebra winning it and toppling Purefoods team with a bang.

We were hungry again and decided to go to MOA to dine at Yoshi no ya. After, we had our dinner, we just strolled by at the MOA bar strip and checked them out. We also took some group pictures. We did not want to have some booze because tomorrow would be work already, and so we just continued the long strolls. It was getting dark and everyone wants to eat something again. Good luck to those who were on a diet but nothing can stop a sweet tooth in us, so we again check the delights at a particular ice cream parlor. I just ordered a peach mango shake and Agnes had a parfaite. The rest got halo-halo. After we ate, we strolled again and listen to some live music. When we felt tired and sleepy already we went home and call it a day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Money Matters! ... Money Matters?

I wish money trees were true....

I have been in some financial turmoil lately and maybe up until now. I asked some of my relatives for help and they too were having some wreckage. I knew I can find other sources. So I scouted my insurance company if they have enough value of my investment and good thing they have. I was able to loan a sum. I knew it was a little improper but I had no choice so I called some friends. A friend who was a classmate of mine since grade school up until college days answered my call and heard me. Thank God she is a blessing and an angel. There were people who helped me and I am so thankful for them. I am touched and moved by their kind heart. The company where I work also had their share. Even if there were issues, they still gave me a sum. I also went to a bank and applied for a loan. My papers were already submitted and I am positive that I am qualified for the said loan. I am crossing my fingers and even my toes? How would I do that then?

Anyway, they are not free and I know that. I have the responsibility and obligation to these folks. So, I have to work really hard, enjoy every bit of sweat I pour, gear up myself and learn from every tidbit of life's journey. I just would like to end this entry with this Biblical passage:

"A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."

Got to go to the church, ciao!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Phoenix's Mission to Mars: a sad note ?

It's geekazoid time.

Well a friend of mine sent me a link regarding the Phoenix Mars Lander. It details about it's last transmission. Phoenix's message feels like he is human.

The Phoenix's mission is a history maker. For one, it has surveyed mars for months to gather scientific data and to ultimately see if Mars is livable. Another thing, it prides NASA and the scientific communities who have helped to make it possible. Data gathered from Phoenix is also an important aspect in this journey. I will give us some answers which could maybe well beyond our knowing. Right now the data is still being analyzed and of course I am excited to also read about it.

To the "Super Cali Fragi Listic Expi Ali Docious" Phoenix, thanks to you too.

To see the write up where it also has some tweeter notes from Phoenix, just visit this link:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I was late , my boss was checking on me, and I am getting broke

It was a Monday and the log-in system that we have was updated. Basically my name or my log-in credentials were already deleted. I have to write my name on a piece of paper to record my log-in and log-out.

My routine would start for a stand up meeting with the team mates, basically reporting the progress that we have. The load that I have was a little lighter because of the fact that I have resolved the issue when I went to the office last Saturday and I was not surprised that more tasks were assigned to me. New JIRA or program defect or enhancements were given. Basically the routine boring Monday passed by and I was having some financial crisis. I am joining the US and some European countries of the crisis. You see my company won't be giving my salary for November because of my resignation and I will be receiving it on the third week from the last day with the company including my quit claims and other refundable claims. Anyway, I am broke. I know I am not alone on this and I am hoping that I can lend cash from my relatives or friends or from my insurance or a personal loan from a bank. Hope it will be approved sooner too.

Today, I woke up early but then was really slow at moving, and literally I was dragging myself. I don't know, little by little as I am nearing my resignation day, I felt bored and not wanting to go to the office. One thing for sure was I am having no motivation already of the workload I have, plus the fact that I won't be getting my salary any sooner. Good thing I have still food supplies so for sure I won't be experiencing Africa's famine in Makati. Just as I was preparing already to the office, my phone rang and our company's receptionist was on the other line asking if where was I already. He was asking if I am on my way. All I could do was say yes.

Anyway, two issues came in my tasks and I am still figuring out things. All of these issues were not an original work of mine and most of them were not finished, and they were assigned to me to be finished by me. I am already on the brink of telling my boss what I feel and how I think. He is still lucky that I have changed because when I was still younger, I always voice out my opinion and I was really blunt to the point of being tactless. Anyway, my patience is still there and I think I can still manage to pull this off so I'd rather go on and take this as an opportunity for learning and improvement.

Bye for now because I am hungry already. Hehehehe. Have a great evening to everyone!

P.S. I am so excited to work in Singapore, and I am hoping that everything will be in its right place.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday is haunting me :)

This is my first time to work on a Saturday here in Manila. Even if I would love to spend the weekends just watching any movie or reading a good book, I just can't. I'm here at the office trying to change all the build stuff of our project just for the modules that I am testing to be completed. I just wanted to get things done already and not cram on the final day I flee this company.

I wish I'd be out soon and go somewhere like Glorieta or Greenbelt (sigh). My housemate went to Manila Ocean Park and my other housemates are having some fun at home. I wish I'm in the comforts of my room and play the very old StarCraft.

I know I have to do this because it felt uneasy knowing that Dec 2 is really fast approaching. Or am I just a worry freak again?

Anyway I am blogging while waiting for the builds to finish after wiring all the module dependencies. I really like Apache Ant (sigh). I hope Apache Ant will prove useful in my future projects because if not, I will be very disappointed why did I have to delve Apache Ant from the ancient scrolls.

Got to sign off here, the builds are making a good progress. Ciao!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Barack Obama wins, so what's the score?

I was not really that much of an election frenzied as I am situated away from the USA, nor an American. But think about this. USA is such a huge and powerful country. It's decision can make or break the world into rubbles. It's power is vast. Why should I not give a damn?

I myself have likened the speeches of Obama and it moves me specially when I was attentively listening and watching over them at where else?! The moment he stands there on the stage, firm and full of conviction, until he closes his harangue, it's just so full of strength and rage for change. His messages to the millions of Americans and to the world watching, were really effectively delivered. His gestures and his facials were totally convincing. But, what's the score now that he has won the first leg of the race?

Well, he has managed to win the nods of the majority. He deserves to be there as I see it. To those opposed, let us give him a chance to do what he has got to do. I think in a scoring from one to ten, he has already a point - securing the seat in the White House that is. He has still a long way to go and prove himself with what he has had in his harangues. Every American and anyone who are in dire need of change can support him. The call is to support and put aside the bickering and political issues.

So what's the score? As I have said, it's a point. What about you? Do you have already a score for yourself?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Three Pre-requisites Of My Resignation, Blessing or Curse?

Just this morning, I gave my resignation letter to my manager. But prior to that, he talked to me about things and asked me if my decision was final. I replied to him, "yes". He then asked me of three things. First, he wanted me to finish all of the assigned tasks. Second he does not want me to be absent like do unnecessary leaves. Third, he wanted me to help RDI for their recruitment of new software engineers in Cebu. I don't know why they love Cebu.

I honestly was not sure of those things. The first condition was a little difficult because of the fact that the tasks he is giving me keeps coming. I just thought that he could lessen the load and focus more on the transition phase. Well anyway, I have to do what I have to do. For the second part, I will be absent if it is really necessary. In my almost one year of my stay in the company, I only had availed for two sick leaves when I got really sick because of the drastic change in weather and had availed for four vacation leaves. I even got a perfect attendance in my first six months. Basically, being absent for no good reason is totally out of question. On the third part, I honestly did not promise him anything but I will try to ask around. I just felt that I have no credibility at convincing other people to work at the company that I am going to leave soon. And personally, I cannot recommend the company simply because of my personal reasons which are private and confidential.

Anyway, I ended up my day at the office with a little delay in my work because our server computer which is our database server where I was connecting my desktop, was not working and so my work did not progress a lot. I just managed to do some code re-factoring or re-implementation by changing some algorithmns in our code and doing a technical analysis in our end-to-end system tests.

If you asked me of what lessons I had with today? They are:

1.) Don't commit yourself to something you aren't sure you can do.
2.) Don't promise if you can't at least be responsible about it.

I just felt I am still blessed even if I have lots of things to do and I thank my family, friends and most of all our God for everything. I know I will learn a lot from this.

The stuff toys on the picture above are: Pong the turtle, Rich the cow which looks like a pig to me, Bench the cute bear with the heart and Scare the cute bear with really coarse covering which what could be the fur. My condo mates and I own those cute toys.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Au revoir, French for farewell.

The reason why I got that weird feeling when our CTO called me up, I mean the reason why it felt uneasy when they gave me a pay raise was because I have decided that I will be leaving the company. I have been thinking about what's good for my life and my family lately, and an opportunity came knocking on my door. I was accepted for a job in Singapore. I believe that the hands of the Great Divine has made the map for me already.

To elaborate, what really happened goes like this.

I was really super busy with work. I remembered that I wrote in my facebook account the words, "kagibunshin no jutsu". I took these words from Naruto, a Japanese anime which means, a thousand clones. I had to virtually tell my self to be cloned so there will be plenty of hands that would be doing the programming adventure.

Anyway it was a Friday and as I have mentioned, everyone was silently working a hard labor. You could hear no murmurs or any voice except the continues taps on the keyboard. People were programming so busily and at 3 PM, there was a brownout in our office and not just the office but the entire building. A water pipe in the building was broken and it has affected the power supply. The management or RDI(company name) decided that everyone be dismissed early from work. After our manager dismissed the teams, a meeting was conducted. After that seemingly caucus, our manager who happens to be the lead in my new project asked me to work on a Saturday. He proposed that he will pay for it. I got confused of the proposal or was I maybe, just maybe did not hear him correctly, and just said that I don't like to work on a Saturday. There was no taking it back as I had made a stupid facial expression and a firm no. Though my head was joggling still the thought of what I heard, it was still a "NO".

When Saturday came, my condominium mate's boyfriend, who came from Cebu had an interview for an employer in Singapore. Well, I woke up around 10 AM and my condo mates were playing the idea of going to the interview as walk-in applicants. Upon knowing what they were up to, I have spoken out that I want to go and told them that we can go. There were discussions but no need to write all the details here, because there were information which might be self incriminatory. Wahahaha. So off we went to Mandarin Oriental Hotel located at Makati Avenue. We came there with a pen and our curriculum vitae (CV). We were excited and kind of not prepared, but, with high hopes. We had brunch by the way to fill our empty stomach before we actually went to the venue. When we came to the hotel, we looked lost and I felt lost and good enough the girl asked as if we were walk-ins. And so a smile was drawn in our faces because we were not even sure if they are going to allow us to hop in. They got our CV, gave us some sheets containing information of available positions to choose. I chose "server applications engineer" and "tools and applications engineer" using Java. It was 1PM already and they were interviewing us one by one initially before we will be interviewed and be subjected to a battery of tests by the technical panel. Mandarin Hotel was cozy and we were hungry. Good thing there was food being served. So we eate there and told ourselves that we need to fill our stomachs because, just what if we won't be accepted at least we were filled. I ate three or four pieces of uber delicious small sized siopao. Well, it was 3PM and were still waiting or should I say queuing and the lobby was filled with more applicants and all of them were not walk-ins. We thought that were not going to be interviewed but we were wrong. At around 5PM my mates were called and lastly it was me. The interviewers were two French guys, an Indian HR Manager and one Singaporean guy. Ofcourse I can't spill out the names because it's confidential or I just thought it is. Hehehehehe. So I got up my seat and shook the hands of the French guy who has a weird English accent. I was having difficulty talking to him and I just put up a smile on my face even if I looked dumb already. Anyway the other interviewers were okay and I understood them. The first part was a practical exam. Prior to that he asked me if I know SQL. I told him I do but I am not an expert. He was going to give me Java threading but he decided to give me Java SQL. He showed me the Java codes and good thing I knew how to solve it. So I filled the missing snippets and explained to him why's. Good thing I got it right. The next one was he let me solved the fibonnacci problem :) I got it right as well. By the way you can't say it was easy because the set-up was weird. While you were actually answering the technical question or solving the problems someone on the panel would radomly throw questions at you from personal to something anything which was confusing and weird. Anyway it was a little stressful as they were bugging your focus. But I tried harder not to lose it and got the idea that it was their way of interviewing. After a few moments intense pressure, the HR manager tapped my back and he told me to go with him on the next room. He then shook my hand and gave me a job offer. I was happy, really happy. When I got out of the room, my mates were there smiling as they had their offers as well. So that was what happened and the rest is history as they say.

Last Friday, October 3, 2008, I talked to my manager privately and told him of my plans. It was not an easy day for me. I just thought that things will be alright and things will be better. And yes Cashmere was right in her predictions.

Au revoir!

Blogging : Award and Friendship

It's always good to share and give back. It's even greater when it comes from the heart. A thank you note is more than enough to give a smile and it makes a difference. Well, there are those who made me smile, some made me see things differently, others entertained me, and a few made friendships blossom. In a way, it has created an impact.

I would like to make mention the blogs and their amazing creators who just well fit this theme. Drum rolling ... Here they are:

Hugo and Roxanne -

Angie Atkinson -

Johayra -

Shiera -

Wen -

JM -

atenean101 -

Cashmere -

Hope you guys continue the great job. There's a lot to do but we can do it. Happy blogging to everyone and continue to make a statement and continue the great works.

And oh, just like Hugo and Roxanne has coined, "pay it forward".