Bookmarks, Blueprints, Fieldnotes, and Tourbillons

Apr 12

only lifeproof can four-proofed a finely-crafted smartphone, and only belkin is allowed to extend my phone’s battery life…

only lifeproof can four-proofed a finely-crafted smartphone, and only belkin is allowed to extend my phone’s battery life…

Apr 11

may the sweetness of this cheesecake be with us forever… (at Amici, Ayala Triangle)

may the sweetness of this cheesecake be with us forever… (at Amici, Ayala Triangle)

Apr 04

2014’s First Issue of ASIAN Geographic; featuring the Great Asian Journeys of Asia’s Great Explorers

2014’s First Issue of ASIAN Geographic; featuring the Great Asian Journeys of Asia’s Great Explorers

Dec 31

Forging Life Through Experiences and Personal Circumstances

The door of the year 2013 is closely approaching, and I am observing that majority of the Facebook users, neighbors, and the totality of humanity, that will celebrate the coming of the  New Year, are very happy. Sounds can be heard everywhere, foods are abundantly prepared and served in the tables, firecrackers are popping out in the streets - this is indeed the start of the New Year!

We may not notice but, the past 365 days of the outgoing year, recreated and reshaped the lives of each and everyone of us; continuously forging our mind to sharpens our awareness in our surroundings,  affecting and influencing the others by our existence, embedding our own contributions in the grand book of world histories.

For the past 365 days, I also write a type of letter enumerating different things that I observed and experienced for the whole past year (2012), and now I am doing the same thing again for 2013. In this kind of settings, I always remember Soren Kierkegaard’s famous line:
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards"

In January, I decided to change the way I think in owning a smartphones. Before, I don’t want that my phone be of a touch screen-based, because I believed that my thumbs are not capable of pressing those small keys! But I was wrong. The moment I realized that smartphones manifests the existence of intelligent and innovative way of utilizing the capabilities of microprocessors or microcontrollers, I ran out to the nearest telecomm center and took a subscriber’s plan. And Smart Telecommunications granted me an iPhone plan after securing the following: [1] Proof of Identity (Passport, Employment’s ID, Bank Accounts, etc), [2] Proof of Income or Certificate of Employment, [3] Proof of Billing. For some, the reason for this decision must be automatic, I mean, they would mean that it is a necessity because of the digital age, but for me it is not that.

23 months ago (February 2012), I decided to take the challenge of owning an investment that will surely sheltered the future of my own family - a house and lot, sacrificing thousands of my premiums, that I will continuously pay for the next 20 years (21 years, actually). But the moment I have the reservation, the land developer told me that I should pay them by checques. At that time, I only have an ATM account, serving as my payroll. I do not have any bank accounts in any bank; I only have personal savings - paper bills kept in-between the pages of my books. So I told the developer if I could pay them in-cash for the succeeding months. I have the guts to do it because I have a job, but they opted against me to do it. So I have no choice now but to open a checking account. The odds were against me at that time, I thought.

I went to BPI first, and asked the banker if I could open a checking account, he then asked me promptly, “do you have any savings account here for the past 10 months at least, and with PHP 10,000 monthly balance?” I responded, “I don’t have”, and he refused me to open a checking account because it is advisable to have the savings account he told previously. The odds are against me, still. I next go to Metrobank, but I received the same advises from them.

I told the land developer about my case. To ease my application for the opening of checking account, they gave me an endorsement letter, which I would have to give to the bank, and let that branch decide if they will grant me to open. Fortunately, the bank granted me to open the account. They issued me a check book, and advised me that the account I have opened up has maintainable amount for it not to close, and I promised them that I will take care of the account. Lesson learned: Bank Accounts are of the same importance as you treasure the importance of your passports, diploma, transcript of records, and the likes. It may not have any use for you at this moment of time, but your bank accounts will really help and save you in gaining the any bank or financial institution’s trust.

Same thing had happened to me when I applied for a credit card. Because I do not have any savings account, it is very difficult to me to apply for one. And because I do not have any credit card, I had again the difficulty in applying for mobile subscription plan.  So, I really value that lesson of my life.

Going back. By February, we know that this is the Love month! And yes it is but I feel really depressed for a week or two. Many of my batch mates in the office tendered their resignations. Our batch is gradually declining in terms of member counts, which made each one of us sad and uncomfortable to continue working. But I must hold on and continue doing my best for the company. At this time also, the company staffs - Harada-san and Miwa-san, talked to some of us (Gaylord Vargas,  Hermie Mangao, Joyce Cabalsa, Angela Mercado, Janell Ilagan, and me) for the possible deployment to AEON Bank in Japan. Fortunately, I was one of the two employees selected to be deployed in Tokyo; the other one is Janell.

By March, one of the busiest month of my year, I had prepared different documents needed for the application of the Japanese Visa - Passport, Transcript of Records, Diploma,  Certificate of Income Tax Return, and the most memorable in all of them, and I believed to be one of the most important possession that a Filipino citizen must have  - the UMID Card.

UMID, or the Unified Multi-Purpose ID, is the single ID card of all SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG members (details, here: http://www.gsis.gov.ph/umid/). So why very memorable? Same experience had happened to me when I applied for my passport. You need to have a very open and relax personality for you to survive the test of patience! Same in DFA, you need to find yourself falling in very long, complex, branching, spider web-like lines. Hahaha! These things did not really made me amazed. For 12 times, I fall-in also in more complex, branching, trunking, spider web-like, truncating, and really exhausting lines in my life. And these things had happened to me for every semester during my stay in the Polytechnic University of The Philippines. PUP is jokingly augmented as “Pila Uli, Pila” (Fall in line, once again). Patience is a real virtue, indeed!

Going back again, by last week of March, we received our Japanese Visa, which granted us to stay in Japan for 90 days! This is such a privilege for us. We talked to Harada-san and Miwa-san and they gave us advices and common manners for us to observe and follow during our stay, I really like this one, 郷に入っては郷に従え, which literally translated as, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Afternoon of the 29th, the airplane brought us to Narita Airport in Tokyo, and I cannot explain the moment when I am hearing Japanese people speaking in their very own language! This is now the truest test of adaptability! I am excited to try if my Japanese skills will work in Japan, and I believed it worked!

For 90 days (March 29 to June 27), I really enjoyed every things that happened to me/us when we were in Japan. And I detailed my experiences in my other work. Japan is indeed, a very wonderful country - very disciplined, organized, and timed. I really want to go back there in the future if there would be of any chance.

It is already July, and two weeks after my deployment in Japan, I was sent to Indonesia, together with Alejandro Gerangco (Drew, as I call him). We are going to support the Go-Live of the ACSI’s Total Credit Card System. Running until 4th week of August, we were the primary representative and support of the FEP Team; Karen Samontanez and Ryan Jimenez were the support for CCSD.

During this period, I realized the value of collaboration, establishing relationship, and most of all standing on what you believe is right, even if it means of standing alone. Everything were challenged to me - guiding my junior, my communication and negotiation skills, trying hard, resiliency, and smiling in the midst of difficulties. This is one of the tests of Integrity and Dignity. Work-related issues arose, personal problems occurred, and the issue of giving trust were tested here. Reason itself really manifested to me at this time. Negativity striked me for two weeks. Fortunately, the Total Credit Card Solution project is now in production, and the ACSS’ Indonesia Team already harvested the seed we planted for the project! Thank You Ms. Jhoycee for the support you have provide to us! Those were really appreciated!

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy."

I also celebrated my 25th birthday outside the country, for the first time! :)

September marked by my 3-week deployment to Malaysia! Yes, in Kuala Lumpur, with Sir Reagan Garcia, Ms. Charm Dionisio, Lester Corrales, Karoll de los Santos, Carla Sampaga, and Rhodel Siaotong. In flight, I’ve been also with Nick and Six Hombrebueno.

When I accepted the challenge, I am very afraid at that time because I will be part of the team supporting the Production Server during the Go-Live of the ACSM’s Acquiring Project, and my first time to be deployed in MY. But at the back of my mind, I am very happy because I already have now the opportunity to go and visit the LEGOLAND in Johor! However, it did not happened. I am very sad. I can’t go there because there are issues that needs to be fix, and the team really needs us to support the on-going activity of that time. There is an ad hoc team which passionately resolving the issues related to Counter Loan, Cash Disbursement, and Quasi-cash Transactions. We sometimes went to work in weekends. Testing for the fix of CL were completed in the onsite verification server and I returned back to Philippines. Unfortunately, our team retested everything and started again from the ground up because there is a need to embed the code of CL on top of Acquiring module sources - different and previously-fixed issues were again manifested, and thank now the CL and other modules were tested and deployed in the production.

I met my batch mates also in MY - Janell, Emil, Onel, Von, Six, Calai. I am also thankful to Jerico Flor, Angel, Nick, Kuya Raffy, and John Lee for entertaining me, cooking the food for the onsite team, and being invited always to watch movies!

By this month also, I decided to put my hard-earned USD to the bank. This is is my first time of opening a Passbook Account, and in the foreign currency; and trying to be part of the online Forex trading.

October to November. There were promotion interview and salary increase by these times.

December. I received my 13th and 14th month premiums. Realizing the the long-term benefits of investments and the values of diversifying personal portfolios, I decided to open up Passbook Savings Account in BDO. I declined on the banker’s offer of having a supplementary ATM card, because at that time and until now, that is the only solution I found to lessen my withdrawals on that account. In the end, it would be very beneficial to me during the time I will again apply for a tourist visa, if the country that I would be traveling in the future needs a visa grant. I also enrolled my PHP Passbook Savings Account to BDO’s EIP Plan, and I planned to be in the program for 5-10 years. The 20th day came. That is ACSS’ Christmas Party, happened in Aberdeen Eastern Hotel. Everyone were very happy. Foods were abundantly served, soft-and-alcoholic drinks were also provided. Out of 12 contestants, I am one of the 3 winners who won the beer drinking contest! Hahaha! and the most memorable part for me was the recognition of being a member of the President’s Awardees. Congratulatory salutations and greetings were every where. I felt mixed emotions! I really don’t know what to do back then.

Contemplating and realizing these things that happened to me for the year 2013, made me appreciate the human values. I actually did not have any wish for myself to have during the Yuletide Seasons, but I do have this so-called continuous wish for everyone - relatives, friends, family members, workers, as in everyone - the existence of personal serenity. I am a strong believer of the Existence of Personal Serenity. Man, as I observed even before, will work and reason out towards the things that will make him happy, even if this mean of leaving out his comfort zone. Attaining this happiness, harmonizes everything that may affects him or the things that he affect in return also; happiness, like truth, is such a subjective phenomenon. It is happiness to me, may could not be the happiness for others. But peace is somewhat generic in every endeavor of life and sciences. We all love peace - peace of mind, of heart, of soul; we love peace because we don’t want war, we go for peace because we believe that peace could bring us joy, and peace builds relationships!


I listed down my goals for 2014, and I will to go back in this blog to revisit. New Year’s Resolutions are somewhat difficult to follow and obtain. But goals progressively irritates the one with goal, and consistent reminding him/her that the goal must be finished and bring to the very sweet end.

[1] I will continuously study languages. This is for me to build my Unified Statistical/Probabilistic Model of Natural Language Parser.
[2] I will start to rebuild and remodel again my very own Design and Implementation of 8-bit Microprocessor.
[3] I will create a program for my library of books.
[4] I will find ways how to integrate my hobby of playing tennis again.
[5] I will save and invest more for my future and for the future of my own family.

At the end of this post, I am very happy that I shared these things. I will close this by 2 things that I always append for every important life-reporting articles of mine - Desiderata and Serenity Prayer; And from now on, I will also append Soren Kierkegaard’s famous quote, and an English-translated Japanese saying.

[DESIDERATA]
ni Max Ehrman, isina-Tagalog ni Rafael Pulmano

    Humayong payapa
         sa gitna ng ingay at kaabalahan
    At alalahanin
         ang kapayapaan sa katahimikan
    Hangga’t maaari
         ay maging mabuti sa kahit sino man
    Bigkasing banayad
         at nang buong linaw ang katotohanan
    At ang sinasabi
         ng iba ay iyong dinggin at pakinggan
    Sila man na walang
         lubhang nalalaman ay may kasaysayan.

    Umiwas sa mga
         taong mapamilit at lubhang mapusok
    Sila sa kalul’wa
         ay pawang ligalig ang idinudulot
    Kung ang sarili mo’y
         ihahalintulad sa iba ng lubos
    Magiging palalo
         at maninibugho ang sariling loob
    Sapagkat lagi nang
         mayroong lilitaw at mayro’ng sisipot
    Na sa iyo’y lalong
         dakila o lalong hamak at busabos.

    Sa iyong tagumpay
         at mga balak man, lasapin ang galak
    Ang pagkawili mo
         sa iyong propesyon ga’no man kahamak
    Ay panatilihin,
         iya’y pag-aaring totoo at payak
    Sa pabagu-bagong
         kapalaran nitong panahong nalipas
    Sa pagnenegosyo
         dapat kang magsanay niyang pag-iingat
    Sapagkat sa mundo,
         mga panlilinlang ay lubhang laganap.

    Ngunit ito’y hindi
         sa iyo ay dapat bumulag tuluyan
    Ng kung ano na nga
         ang mayroon ditong mga katangian
    Sapagkat maraming
         nangagpupumilit para lang makamtan
    Yaong simulaing
         matayog na sadya, at saka ang buhay
    Ay lipos na lipos
         ng kabayanihan. Ikaw’y maging ikaw.
    Mas higit sa lahat,
         ‘Wag pagkunwarian ang gawang magmahal.

    Huwag ka rin namang
         maging mapangutya hinggil sa pag-ibig
    Sapagkat sa harap
         ng kawalang-sigla at ng pagkabatid
    Sa katotohanang
         nagbibigay-laya sa ligaw na isip
    Ito’y magtatagal
         kagaya ng damo sa paligid-ligid
    Tanggaping magalang
         ang payo ng mga taon, na kalakip
    Ang may kasiyahang
         pagsuko ng mga bagay na pampaslit.

    Mag-ipon ng lakas
         ng yong espiritung maisasanggalang
    Sakaling sumapit
         nang bigla sa buhay ang kapahamakan
    Datapwa’t sarili’y
         huwag bagabagin ng maling palagay
    Pangamba’y malimit
         bunga lang ng pagod at ng kalungkutan
    Sa kabila niyang
         isang pagsusupil na sadyang mainam,
    Sa iyong sarili
         ay maging banayad at maging magalang.

    Ah, ikaw ay supling
         nitong sangsinukob na hindi hihigit
    Sa puno at bit’win…
         may katuturan ka dito sa daigdig
    Kaya ipanatag
         sa piling ng Diyos ang sariling dibdib
    Maging ano pa man
         ang larawan niyang mabuo sa isip
    At kahit na ano
         ang mga nasa mo’t pagpapakasakit
    Sa sadyang magulong
         kalituhan nitong buhay na sinambit…

    Ay panatilihin
         ang kapayapaan sa kaluluwa mo.
    Kasama ng lahat
         ng pagkukunwaring tinataglay nito,
    Ng mga gawaing
         nangakayayamot sa puso ng tao,
    At maging ng mga
         nabigong pangarap na pira-piraso,
    Dapat mong isipin
         at sa iyong puso’y itanim na husto:
    Ito’y isa pa ring
         pagkaganda-gandang masasabing mundo.

at ang

[SERENITY PRAYER]

    Almighty God, our Heavenly Father,
    take and receive my liberty, my memory,
    my philosophy, my understanding, and will,
    all that I am and have Jesus Christ has given me.

    Grant me the Serenity to accept the things which I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    taking as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

    Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will,
    that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him forever and in the next. Amen.

———————————————————————————————
… when something has a history, it becomes more beautiful. True beauty lies in the finest details - forged by time and molded by tradition.

Bonum certamen certavi. Cursum consumavi et fidem servavi.

(I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.)

Aug 18

When Something Has History, It Becomes More Beautiful

Isa-isahin ko man sa akda kong ito ang mga bagay na aking natamo at natupad mula nung huling kaarawan ko hanggang sa ngayong araw na ito, wala parin sa nakaraang taon ko ang hihigit sa kabuuan ng dalawampu’t limang taon akong nabubuhay.

Mahirap ilarawan ang mga bagay-bagay na nangyari sakin mula nung una akong nabigyan ng hininga, natututong lumakad at tumakbo, maglaro, magsalita, hanggang sa nag-aral ako at nakatapos sa kolehiyo, nasubukang magtrabaho sa isang kumpanya, at higit sa lahat matutunan ang mga bagay-bagay na hindi naman kayang sukatin - ang mga abstraktibong kaisipan tulad ng makisuyo, makisama, magmahal, mag-isip, magtiwala, at marami pang iba.

Kahit kailan, hindi sumagi sa isipan ko na magkaroon ako ng para bagang kapangyarihan na magsasabi sa akin na kung ano ang mangyayari sa akin sa hinaharap, ngunit may iilang mga bagay lang ang alam kong siguradong may kinalaman sa kung ano ako ngayon at kung magiging ano o kung ano pa ang mga matatamasa ko sa hinaharap - yun yung mga pangarap ko.

Kung papipiliin ako ng mga pangyayari sa buhay ko na gusto kong tanggalin, isa lang ang gusto kong matanggal na, yung oras na naisip kong magtanggal ng mga pangyayari sa buhay ko na kagaya nito. Bilang isang tao, wala akong karapatang mamili ng mga bagay na gusto kong tanggalin sa aking sariling kasaysayan, yan ang paniniwala ko. Kung hindi dahil sa kasaysayan, malamang hindi ko naiisip ang mga bagay na ganito - mga bagay na alam kong kakaiba sa tingin ng iba, at yun mga bagay na alam kong kaya kong panindigan at masasabi kong kaya kong ipaglaban.

Pinili ko rin na isalaysay ang pasimula ng akdang ito sa wikang Filipino, hindi lang dahil buwan ng Wikang Pambansa ngayon o dahil lang Pilipino ako, kundi dahil habang tumatanda ako, naniniwala ako na mas lalong gumagaling at nagkakaroon ng karunungan ang isang tao kapag ginagamit nya ang wikang nagmulat sa kanya sa mundo, sa lagay ko ngayon, yun ang Filipino.

Next, I would like to thank every person who became part of my life, since then. And I don’t want to enumerate them all, napakadami. But I want to share every part of them na nakaimpluwensya talaga sakin. Simulan natin sa pamilya - basically, bilang panganay samin, sa akin dapat magsimula ang mga mabubuting asal na dapat nakita ng mga kapatid ko, pero parang baliktad ang mga nangyayari - ako mismo ang natututo sa kanila - after I graduated, ang tingin ko sa sarili o nun eh, I can stand now on my own. Pero mali ako. Nakita ko sa mga kapatid ko na kulang pa, at hindi ko pa kayang mag-isa. Araw-araw nagbabago ang pagtingin ko sa kanila, at lalo pa akong napapalapit sa kanila, dahil nga nakaka-relate na ako sa mga pinagdadaanan nila sa eskwelahan ngayon. And I thank God at may mga magulang ako na tulad nina mama at papa na handang gawin ang lahat, liban sa kasamaan, para samin.

To my parents, I am very thankful to have both of you po. I just realized what could happened to me and to my other siblings, if we were not disciplined in the way that you want us to be seen in and by the society… mabuti nalang at sumunod po kami sa inyo. Kung ano man ang meron ako ngayon, hindi yun sa pagtsa-tiyaga ko, un eh dahil sa pagtsa-tiyaga nyong hulmahin kami sa nakikita nyong mas tama at kung saan kami magiging mas maayos para sa hinaharap din namin. Ang pinakagusto kong ipagpasalamat sa inyo is, yung pagiging magalang ko. Tama nga kayo, mas maganda sa paningin ng ibang mga tao ang pagiging magalang ng isang bata. Ngayon, nakikita ko rin na ang isang taong magalang, manipestasyon din pla ng kanyang mga naabot at higit sa lahat ng kanyang natamasang edukasyon, hindi sa pamantasan ngunit sa loob ng isang tahanan. Sana nga lang alam ng ibang tao ang ibig sabihin ng edukasyon. And this is what I called enculturation. Maraming-maraming salamat, talaga.

Sa mga kaibigan ko dati at mga nakilala ko ngayon, Ipinagpapasalamat ko na nakilala ko kayo, dumaan kayo sa buhay ko, at higit sa lahat naging parte kayo ng kung sino ako ngayon. Hindi ko kailangan ikaila na naapektuhan talaga ako ng mga taong nakapaligid sa akin. Pero, ano naman, tama? By its very nature, man is a social entity. Kung hindi ako nakikisalamuha sa inyo, baka hindi ko rin natitimbang at nalaman kung sino ang handang tumayo para sa akin, at handang ipaglaban ako sa iba. Maraming-maraming salamat, talaga. Gusto ko lang din ipabatid sa inyo na ang pakikipagkaibigan nyo sa akin ay hindi nasayang sapagkat kung kaya nyo akong ipaglaban at tayuan sa harap ng ibang tao, kaya ko naman kayong samahan hanggang sa huli. Hindi ko kayo iiwanan, sabay sabay natin tong lalampasan. Kahit gaano na kahirap ang isang sitwasyon, hindi yun mahirap malampasan basta nanjan kayo. yun nga lang habang tumatagal, kumokonti ang mga haligi ng isang bahay lalo na sa panahon ng kalamidad.

    You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. So, the true test of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of conflict and great strife. And that, any man can win when things go his way, it’s the man who overcomes adversity that is the true champion. A true friend is one who can be a “Zhengyou”, that is a partner who sees beyond immediate benefits to the broader and firm basis for continuing profound, and sincere friendship… :) Sa inyo, Mraming maraming salamat. :) Masaya ako at nakilala ko kayo.

Sa aking mga naging guro, professors, at sa ibang nagtuturo sa akin, maraming maraming salamat sa inyo at patuloy nyo parin akong ginagabayan. Sana, patuloy parin nyo akong tuwirin at hulmahin sa nakikita nyong tama.

    Those who know, do. Those who understand, teach. Salamat po ulet.

Sa aking mga tito, tita, pinsan, ninong, ninang, iba pang mga kamag-anak, mga lolo, mga lola, at sa mga hindi ko pa nababanggit. Maraming salamat din sa inyo kasi ipinakita nyo sa akin na tiwala kayo sa pamilya na hinulma ng tatay ko. Maraming salamat po sa tiwala nyo samin. :)

At higit sa lahat, Sa iyo po God. Maraming maraming salamat. Kung hindi dahil sayo, malamang wala ako rito sa mundo. Sa lahat ng blessings, sa talino, kaalaman, at karunungan na meron ako ngayon, ipinagpapasalamat ko ito hanggang sa huli. I believed that God exists!

    Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

Muli, maraming salamat sa isang taong nagkamasa-sama tayo at magpatuloy tayong sumulong hindi lang para sa sarili, isama na rin natin ang bayan, ang kapwa, at ang ibang mga taong nangagailangan pa ng ating mga tulong. :)

Alam ko wala kayong time para magbasa ng mga napakahabang mga tula or whatever ang tawag sa kanila. But this poem, really makes me calm.

    DESIDERATA

    ni Max Ehrman pero isina-Tagalog ni Rafael Pulmano

    Humayong payapa
         sa gitna ng ingay at kaabalahan
    At alalahanin
         ang kapayapaan sa katahimikan
    Hangga’t maaari
         ay maging mabuti sa kahit sino man
    Bigkasing banayad
         at nang buong linaw ang katotohanan
    At ang sinasabi
         ng iba ay iyong dinggin at pakinggan
    Sila man na walang
         lubhang nalalaman ay may kasaysayan.

    Umiwas sa mga
         taong mapamilit at lubhang mapusok
    Sila sa kalul’wa
         ay pawang ligalig ang idinudulot
    Kung ang sarili mo’y
         ihahalintulad sa iba ng lubos
    Magiging palalo
         at maninibugho ang sariling loob
    Sapagkat lagi nang
         mayroong lilitaw at mayro’ng sisipot
    Na sa iyo’y lalong
         dakila o lalong hamak at busabos.

    Sa iyong tagumpay
         at mga balak man, lasapin ang galak
    Ang pagkawili mo
         sa iyong propesyon ga’no man kahamak
    Ay panatilihin,
         iya’y pag-aaring totoo at payak
    Sa pabagu-bagong
         kapalaran nitong panahong nalipas
    Sa pagnenegosyo
         dapat kang magsanay niyang pag-iingat
    Sapagkat sa mundo,
         mga panlilinlang ay lubhang laganap.

    Ngunit ito’y hindi
         sa iyo ay dapat bumulag tuluyan
    Ng kung ano na nga
         ang mayroon ditong mga katangian
    Sapagkat maraming
         nangagpupumilit para lang makamtan
    Yaong simulaing
         matayog na sadya, at saka ang buhay
    Ay lipos na lipos
         ng kabayanihan. Ikaw’y maging ikaw.
    Mas higit sa lahat,
         ‘Wag pagkunwarian ang gawang magmahal.

    Huwag ka rin namang
         maging mapangutya hinggil sa pag-ibig
    Sapagkat sa harap
         ng kawalang-sigla at ng pagkabatid
    Sa katotohanang
         nagbibigay-laya sa ligaw na isip
    Ito’y magtatagal
         kagaya ng damo sa paligid-ligid
    Tanggaping magalang
         ang payo ng mga taon, na kalakip
    Ang may kasiyahang
         pagsuko ng mga bagay na pampaslit.

    Mag-ipon ng lakas
         ng yong espiritung maisasanggalang
    Sakaling sumapit
         nang bigla sa buhay ang kapahamakan
    Datapwa’t sarili’y
         huwag bagabagin ng maling palagay
    Pangamba’y malimit
         bunga lang ng pagod at ng kalungkutan
    Sa kabila niyang
         isang pagsusupil na sadyang mainam,
    Sa iyong sarili
         ay maging banayad at maging magalang.

    Ah, ikaw ay supling
         nitong sangsinukob na hindi hihigit
    Sa puno at bit’win…
         may katuturan ka dito sa daigdig
    Kaya ipanatag
         sa piling ng Diyos ang sariling dibdib
    Maging ano pa man
         ang larawan niyang mabuo sa isip
    At kahit na ano
         ang mga nasa mo’t pagpapakasakit
    Sa sadyang magulong
         kalituhan nitong buhay na sinambit…

    Ay panatilihin
         ang kapayapaan sa kaluluwa mo.
    Kasama ng lahat
         ng pagkukunwaring tinataglay nito,
    Ng mga gawaing
         nangakayayamot sa puso ng tao,
    At maging ng mga
         nabigong pangarap na pira-piraso,
    Dapat mong isipin
         at sa iyong puso’y itanim na husto:
    Ito’y isa pa ring
         pagkaganda-gandang masasabing mundo.

at ang

    SERENITY PRAYER

    Almighty God, our Heavenly Father,
    take and receive my liberty, my memory,
    my philosophy, my understanding, and will,
    all that I am and have Jesus Christ has given me.

    Grant me the Serenity to accept the things which I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    taking as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.

    Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will,
    that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him forever and in the next. Amen.

—————————————————————————————————-

… when something has a history, it becomes more beautiful. True beauty lies in the finest details - forged by time and molded by tradition.

<chrismsawi>

Jul 07

Jun 26

Trip Where The Sun Rises

The sun rises as early as 4:30 in the morning, a clear sky, the land of the rising sun indeed. This is truly Japan.

Every part of Japan have trees. Urban areas like Jimbocho, Akihabara, Asakusa, Odaiba, Roppongi, Ebisu, Shinagawa, Shinjuku, Harajuku, Hibiya, Kashiwa, and Matsudo consists of apartments, commercial establishments, trees. Areas, like Nikko and Yokohama owe their fresh air from surrounding trees and flowering and non flowering plants.

Some of the houses have photovoltaic panels. In Nikko, I saw a factory which have voltaic cells installed. In Tokyo and Chiba, some of the houses also have solar panels.

Traveling in Japan is quite easy and convenient. Trains made the vision of unity-through-connectivity bridge the gap between regions and cities - majors and minors. The Rail System consists of local and privately-owned trains, traversing their subway lines via different stations. Subway maps indicates not only the fare, but also the line of the train you must ride on. Ticketing system is not limited to tickets, there are tap cards (like SUICA), discount tickets, reserve tickets. Trains’ announcing system is user-friendly, it tells you the details of your route - “from” station, next station, your rail line, where the train is bound for, the possibility of transfer from one line to another line, and what door it will open upon its arrival in the next station in English and in Japanese. The monitoring facilities graphically show the stations that the train passed by and will be going to. Trains like those in Yokohama line, indicates delay <if there is>. So convenient that you just need to ride the train. Tokyo Metro for example, has its homepage in the internet that calculates your fare, the shortest route, number of transfers that you may undergo before reaching your destinations, and even the time the train will come - the moment you check the details of the train. and it is important to know that time is the essence. There are also “Coin Lockers” in some Transfer stations.

Technologies in Japan are undoubtedly very good. They use IC cards in stored values like SUICA, and this can also be use not only in trains but also in buses. Tablet PCs, laptops, and smartphones’ specifications, created by Fujitsu or the others, and distributed and offered in by pre- and post-paid companies like Au, NTT DOCOMO, and Softbank, are competitively comparable to that of Apple, Asus, HP, Samsung, and the likes. Cashiers have these machines that automatically dispenses your change and receipt upon the insertion of your bill. Toilets are also automatic. And the moment I ride in the elevator of Tokyo Skytree, I was really amazed > the speed of the train is very fast, ultrafast, travelling the 350m height. @49m the speed is 403 m/min, @62m the speed is 537, @192m the speed is 600m/min, and then it slows down upon reaching the height of 350m.

Smartphones are very common to see in the public. Every student, employee, a parent, has their cellphones or smartphones; and gadgets can be seen in every places with only one storekeeper. I had a chance to saw a store near Kanda station with no storekeeper. It means that you can just have everything you want to buy in that store and just leave your payments there. If you have a change, you have to have your change by yourself. This is subscribing to honesty.

I saw a student who, instead of using his high-tech gadget to play the music, used his personally-built electronic radio-music player to do so. An old woman doing paper folder, origami. I also saw a student, maybe reviewing for an exam, used a red plastic to cover up the answers in the book. A blind man walking independently in the station, of course guided by path. A kid going to school and riding in train independently.

Majority of the the wall clocks and wristwatches are synchronized to radio-emitter companies like Casio. So precise that the second hand in your wristwatch is the same as the secondhand in the wall clock, and also your digital clock, time monitoring extends also in the television. The moment your wristwatch and wall clock ticks to 12:00AM, expect that the time in the television ticks also to 12:00AM. I witnessed personally how my wristwatch’s time, date, and day of the week says the same thing as that of my room’s clock and television, and the office’s wall clock. This is precision indeed!

I always see three rivers upon passing from Kashiwa to Shin ochanomizu, the Edogawa, Nakagawa, and I don’t know the name of the river between Ayase and Kita Senju.

By 5:00PM, places like Kashiwa, Kanda, and Akihabara bells “Yuyake Koyake” to signify that there’s also a life after working hours. And for children, this is the indication that they must return now to their respective houses.

Garbage are color-coded according to its type: combustibility, recyclability, collected faithfully according to time and schedule. Proper segregation is a must! This is subscribing to cleanliness and punctuality.

I don’t know how intelligent or knowledgeable the students here but, I strongly believe that majority of them have the sense of camaraderie, sportsmanship, and athletics.

Reading a book is the common activity of the passengers riding in the train or returning back to their home. Some are playing games on their smart phones, some are listening to music, others are watching videos. Sleeping in the train is also common.

I did not saw any Carabaos in our way to Nikko. Tractors are common means of farming.

There are ladies and women wearing kimonos. There are also men wearing yukata, and a monk in Asakusa.

The red color dominates the temples and Tooris. And Chinese characters, the kanjis, were written on every part of the totality of the temples, guard stones, walls, gates, etc.

TV programs focus on other countries’ culture. NHK programs have language learning segments; Arabian, German, English, Korean.

Mild earthquakes are also common.

There are three common bills in Japan: the 10,000 Yen bill, the 5,000 Yen bill, and the 1,000 Yen bill. But upon knowing that there exist a 2,000 Yen bill is fun. Coin denominations are 1 Yen, 5 Yen, 10 Yen, 50 Yen, and 100 Yen, and 500 Yen.

I try to taste the beers of Japan, Kirin, Asahi, Sapporo, Chuhai and Non Aru Kinun of Suntory.

Sadly, I was charged of 21K in my first 2 weeks by Smart, hitting my postpaid’s credit limit, and making my line disconnected for a month, in which made my phone to act as simply mp3 player, ebook reader, a sound or video recorder, or just a camera.

Above all, I thank my smartphone for servicing me its intended purpose  to capture moments and most especially to connect me to my love ones and friends.

Above all, I thank Janel for listening to my corny jokes and unhelpful comments., I spend most of my daily life eating and working time with her , thank you for cooking the food <at nagpapasalamat ako din ako dahil nakatipid tayo… pero magpasalamat ka rin sakin kasi naghuhugas ako ng mga plato at nagsasaing din ako.. joke lang!> , thank you for going with me on those places that had a big impact on me.

Above all, I thank ACSS and AEON Bank for giving me the opportunity to be deployed in Japan for three months. A great time of spending with the Japanese culture and customs.

Above all, I thank ,y unit in Kashiwa, for handling my things, and making me feel comfortable while sleeping, watching the programs in the television, and surfing the net, and making my place cooler every now and then.

Above all, I thank God for this kind of blessings I received.

Apr 13

One of the things I really like in Japan is its Solar-powered, Multi-band, Atomic Timekeeping watches. Thank You Akihabara, I already conquered one of my emotional attachments. ^_^ (at カシオ計算機 株式会社 (CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD.))

One of the things I really like in Japan is its Solar-powered, Multi-band, Atomic Timekeeping watches. Thank You Akihabara, I already conquered one of my emotional attachments. ^_^ (at カシオ計算機 株式会社 (CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD.))

Nov 05

The Secret Lies in the Software, period

This exposition is dedicated to my FEP Team.

For we are always the one adjusting to the clients call, and relying heavily in the vendors knowledge. By realization, we become more focus on our tasks, and by contemplation we become more knowledgeable.

Contemplation leads me to this path.


Let me list down the following premises, which were gathered from my pasts lessons in Computer Systems Architecture with Assembly Language and Operating System Principles, with reference to our  basic text before, Computer Organization and Design, Hardware and Software Interface, let me abbreviate it by CODHSI, by David Patterson and John Hennessy.

  1. … programming languages allow programs to be independent of the computer on which they were developed, since compilers and assemblers can translate high-level language programs to binary instructions of any machine. (CODHSI1)
  2. Operating Systems are programs that manages the resources of a computer for the benefit of the programs that run on that machine. (CODHSI2)
  3. Bit patterns have no inherent meaning. (CODHSI3) Its meaning depends on how you interpret it.
  4. … microprocessors presenting a low activity will present a too large static power compared to dynamic power… In other words, if a transistor or a logic gate is not switching for a very long period it is not very efficient.4

Let me start with the Hardware.

Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors, I believe, do know that in Computability Theory, there is a hypothesis known as the Church-Turing Thesis, after Alan Turing and Alonzo Church, which states the equivalence between the mathematical concepts of algorithm or computation and Turing-Machine. It asserts that, 

if some calculation is effectively carried out by an algorithm, then there exists a Turing machines which will compute that calculation.5

So what is the implication of this? The answer is just simple. We learned that, all computers are capable of computing exactly the same things. That any type of computer (netbook, desktop computer, automaton, and the likes) with a minimum capability, is in principle, capable of performing the same tasks that any other computer (like supercomputer, clusters) can perform, irrespective of speed, size, or cost.

Another one. Recall the basic statement of professor Andrew Tanenbaum between Hardware and Software?

Hardware and software are logically equivalent. Any operation performed by software can also be built directly into the hardware and any instruction executed by the hardware can also be simulated in software.

I believe, that the meaning of the statement is explicit already. He also added that The decision to put certain features in hardware and others in software is based on such factors as cost, speed, reliability and frequency of change. Now, more or less, I can stand firmly on my beliefs before that machine upgrade is not the solution to the memory issue. One more thing related to this. When professor Tanenbaum said, “Today’s software is tomorrow’s hardware, and vice
versa." What have you observe on our mobile phones before? what about today? Have you carefully observed and asked yourself why is the keypad already replaced by capacitive sensing technology (e.g. iPhones), or resistive sensing (e.g. LG Optimus) controlled by softwares on smart phones? Because, as John Baguley of VMware said, everything that’s currently being done in hardware will eventually be done in software”. And what about Apple?

We will take as our working example the conversion of 16 bit integers to floating point values. On PowerPC, there is no direct conversion for ints to floats in hardware. Everything is done in software. (developer.apple.com)

Enough for Hardware part.

Towards a Software-controlled Everything.

It is in the arrangement and structuring of data - Data Structure and Algorithm Analysis

Do you remember the reasons why we do have Data Structure and Algorithm Analysis, Structure of Programming Languages, and Operating Systems? Because these subjects discusses the importance of careful planning and structuring the data to be process by the computer.

Analysis of Algorithms, is

the determination of the number of resources (such as time and storage) necessary to execute them… [It] provides theoretical estimates for the resources needed by any algorithm which solves a given computational problem. These  estimates provide an insight into reasonable directions of search for efficient  algorithms.

An algorithm is a a step-by-step procedure, finite sequence of instructions, each of which has a clear meaning and can be performed with a finite amount of effort in a finite length of time. Analysing this simple definition, and applying its meaning to FEP, we are already in chaos in terms of determining the amount of effort (i.e. structuring the program modules), and in terms of determining special business processes like what if the line disconnected between modules, or what if a specific module is not yet finish processing the request, et cetera.

Improper use of an inefficient algorithm in a project will have a big impact in the system’s performance. FEP is a time-critical and sensitive application. Time-critical because a request must be process as soon as possible, and sensitive since the request and response messages contains information of the credit card holder. An improperly designed algorithm will require an uneconomical amount of computing power or storage in order to run. Therefore we must conduct not only Program Profiling, but also a complete Runtime Analysis.

It is said that even the simplest application on a modern computer would not be possible without algorithms being utilized behind the scenes to manage memory and load data from the hard drive. Let meshare to you what one of the best reasons I found before why analysis of algorithm to be use is a must.

to make sure it will correctly solve your problem. If our algorithm doesn’t work, nothing else matters. So we must analyze it to prove that it will always work as expected. We must also look at the efficiency of our algorithm. If it solves our problem, but does so in O(nn) time (or space!), then we should probably look at a redesign.(wiki.answers.com) 6

And what specific analysis we need to perform?

Sometimes, even if the algorithms used to solve problems were correct, programs are not structured correctly, providing slowness, and not effectivity - not producing a desired or intended result. Then, Data Structuring must be our friend.

According to Paul E. Black, as cited by Wikipedia,

a data structure is a particular way of storing and organizing data in a computer so that it can be used efficiently... Data structures provide a means to manage huge amounts of data efficiently.8

In Java, data structures, known as containers, are the classes and interfaces compactly gathered under Java Collections Framework (JCF). I believe that Java sources for these containers are very well optimized by the Java Specification Committee so no problem on that. But I remember our lectures before that the choice of data structure determines which operations on your data will be efficient and which operations will be slower, and how much RAM will be required to store a given number of data items. Even if we are using the using Java, the best model of Object-Oriented Programming Language, and using its collection framework, if our codes are not utilizing the right data structure for a certain operation or business process, the main memory of the computer (RAM) suffers the most; and I assume this is one of the factors why the memory usage of FEP is still unstable and consistently high. Show me your code and conceal your data structures, and I shall continue to be mystified. Show me your data structures, and I won’t usually need your code; it’ll be obvious (Fred Brooks).

As recommendation, we need to think on how we would like to store our data before anything else in starting a program. It is very important that we store our data in such a way that, it gives us the easiest method to access them when we want to retrieve them in the future. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships (Linus Torvalds).

I am not versed in choosing the right data structures and algorithms to be use in a certain tasks, since I am just in my 2+ years of working, but knowing these things, safely assures me that these things must be considered and reconsidered.

No one consider the how to exploit and use the microprocessor’s capabilities, we just focus on memory issues and thinking that electricity bills will not be our concern because, on the other side,  be shouldered by the clients, though. No one consider the impacts of the upgrades from 32-to 64-bit OS and middlewares, because we are biased on the vendors stands and business backgrounds. No one consider because we are afraid of clients’ fury and flames, and in the end, we, as a team suffers the most of exhaustion.

I will leave you questions for you to think. and I hope these things motivates each one of us to think independently and collaborate effectively in the next.

Curious to know why Oracle’s motto is Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together? What about Apple’s Senior Vice President Scott Forstall, "The seamless integration between the hardware and software makes everything you do on iPhone 5 just feel more fluid, more responsive and fast."

Apple has a wonderful design philosophy which states that the company’s aim is to avoid everything that “does not need to be there”. It achieved Apple that minimalist design that was the reason of its popularity among masses and allowed the company to charge a premium for it.

——————————————

Notes:

1-2: p.8
3. p.243
4. High-Performance Energy-Efficient Microprocessor Design
5. http://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Church-Turing_thesis
6. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_importance_of_analysis_in_the_design_of_an_algorithm
7. Data Structures and Algorithms with Object-Oriented Design Patterns in Java http://www.brpreiss.com/books/opus5/html/page36.html
8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_structure

Aug 21

Brian Kernighan’s Advices

My advice is to leap in and try things. If you succeed, you can have enormous influence.  If you fail, you have still learned something, and your next attempt is sure to be better for it.

Do something you really enjoy doing.  If it isn’t fun to get up in the morning and do your job or your school program, you’re in the wrong field.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have a job or an academic program that rewards them continually, so perhaps your fun will come instead from some outside activity, or friends and family.  But there has to be something that makes your life rewarding.  Be open to as many experiences as you can, to maximize your chances of finding the really rewarding things.  Dick (Richard) Hamming once told me, “Never say no.” That has to be applied with a bit of caution, of course, but the basic idea — try new things — is completely sound

Don’t retire.  Or, more precisely, don’t stop doing things.  Keep learning and exploring.  I retired from Bell Labs 10 years ago and took up teaching; it’s been more fun that I could have imagined and it’s probably added 10 years to my life.  And if I retire from Princeton, I’ll try to find something new that has that same effect — something that keeps me active, involved, learning, and meeting new people.

… But I still think that if I could only use one language, I’d use C, just because I could build anything with it.

(Source: harmonyatwork.in)