Tuesday, January 30, 2007

February Stars

Finally I'm free again! CoE113 MP1 is finally over; thus, I have time all by myself again. I felt some kind of satisfaction with HDL coding and Synopsys; perhaps just reminiscing my thesis days (which was just last sem!). Prior to our 113 class, I went straight to IML to standby. I didn't want to repeat my absence last week due to oversleeping at dorm.

Last Sunday, I had my first interview at Toshiba. Today, we were hoping Toshiba would duly notify us for the 2nd interview. Not receiving a call means you're out. It was already late in the afternoon when I received a text message from Allan Gordon, "Toshiba hahahahahaha". He was scheduled for a job offer at Soluziona that time, so I knew his text meant that he already got a call from Toshiba. Next came Argel who briskly went out of 113 class to answer a phone call, apparently from Toshiba. "Shoot. I got skipped", I thought. The three of us had the interview on the same day. Allan's interview was at 9am while Argel had been the interviewee after me. Class had ended and still I had no call.

Went up to IML to gather some things. As we (Dean, Eugene, Al and I) were about to leave the lab, at last my phone rang! "Toshiba na to!". It turned out to be my mother calling, which is pretty unusual since she is currently out of the country. Instead of being very happy with my mother calling, I was still thinking of Toshiba to call me. False hope. hahaha.

Then at the EEE parking lot, I received another call and at last it was from Toshiba. A sigh of relief thinking that the chance to go to Japan is still within grasp. Actually, what made me anxious of being called for a 2nd interview is that the 1st interview was a breeze. All we had with the Japanese HR was just small talk. It was like a "getting to know you stage". So if I was not called, where did I go wrong?

As far as we know, the 3rd interview would be the "free-trip-to-Japan" as we are to be brought to the Rising Sun. The 2nd interview is said to be technical, and we were asked to bring all our thesis paraphernalia. I guess this is it, the "laglagan" phase. I'm just hoping we could still pass through not only towards the 3rd interview but also for the job offer. As of last year, I think only 5 UP students were able to reach Japan and eventually none of them were hired in the end. 2 of those were Kelly and Emil, my batchmates at EEE. Since it is an international hiring, competition is indeed tough.

Right now, I'm just happy that I still have a future with Toshiba. Chance that is. The other reason that made me happy is that my mother called because she will finally go home this February. I may be a 'single' having no special someone, but for sure there is one woman that inspires me, and that would be my mother.

I would say I'm already quite excited to what the month of February has to offer. EEE days - for sure I'm going to compete at Ping Pong. UP Fair - at last I'm going to attend (!), and in fact Beta Epsilon would be sponsoring the friday night (though I'm not really ecstatic about this one because this means work and stress). Feb 26, my mother is scheduled to be here in Manila! And if I am invited to the 3rd interview, 日本 へ 行きましょう!

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posted by ScIoN 11:41 PM |

Friday, January 26, 2007

I Feel So Busy

How come I'm so busy, when I only have 3 units? Well, next week (wednesday) would be our first Machine Problem (MP) deadline for my Computer Architecture subject, my elusive 3 units. I don't think I'm in a cramming mode this time. I would just like to ensure that I am doing everything according to specs.

I have to finish this MP asap, as I need to attend other scheduled engagements these coming days. In fact, I am going to take the Accenture exam this 9am at the BahayNgAlumni. Today's also the last day of the University Job Fair, and I have not floated my resumes yet to any of the new participating companies. I plan to reproduce more copies of my resume, and also have a haircut.

I hope my semi-kalbo hair had grown enough for me to have a normal barber's cut. I need to look decent on my upcoming first interview with Toshiba this Sunday. At first, I felt ecstatic when I got a call confirming my schedule of interview. I don't know if all those who applied at Toshiba are given at least a first interview. If I'm not mistaken, the 3rd interview would be my free ticket to Japan, and perhaps a future career as well.

Come to think of it, Dean and Allan, my thesis mates are also up to it (I don't know if Wilson had also applied). We're like going to be competitors having the same research background. Competition for this international hiring is tough; as of last year, no UP graduate was eventually hired in the end. We just don't know what they are really looking for. All I can say is that I would definitely pursue a hardcore engineering career if I would be accepted in Toshiba. Who wouldn't?

On monday, I am scheduled for an exam at Azeus. Now, I am having second thoughts here since I was not really trained to be a hardcore software programmer. I have been contacted by the HRs since Christmas break, but then I have denied their exam schedules except for now. I guess this would be my last chance to finally take the exam.

These job hunting experiences are still part of my college life. I guess still being a student gives additional stress in job hunting. This is because you still have to take care of that last academic load you are carrying while enduring all the physical and emotional stress you get in trying to capture that dream job/career.

I know working folks would normally miss their schooling days, probably because they all look back at those fun times. The problems of a student are no longer problems to be encountered again; thus, become negligible in the real world. As for me, I already feel that I have explored enough of the aquarium I am in. I am looking forward to enjoy life in the outside.


posted by ScIoN 2:12 AM |

Monday, January 22, 2007

Room Mate

At the start of this semester, I had been very happy with regard to my living conditions. I am a dormer, accomodated in a 2-man room in which I have no room mate. This state of solitude gave me the privacy a typical dormer covets.

In having a room mate, you should be able to get along with him/them. For the record, I had about 15 room mates for the past 5 years and I'm proud to say that I had survived their company (or was it the other way around?). There was even a time that I had 3 homosexuals as room mates (and the opposite room full of 'their kind'), but that didn't make me go find another room for safety.

Just recently, my solitary privilege seemed to be on its end. One wing-mate knocked on my door (and woke me up) and asked if It would be ok for me to have a room mate. "No," I said. Since the dormitory did not fill its capacity due to its impending reconstruction, there were vacancies in other rooms. I pointed him to some 4-man rooms at the first floor where there were only 2 residents in it. However, he said that it was a 2-man room that 'his friend' prefers'. "No".

Eventually, he readily admitted that it was he who wanted to transfer. Wow. As if he is not from a 2-man room himself. In fact, he is just 3 doors away from mine. It turned out that he and his room mate were not in good terms. Since I am a 'tambay' at the room next to theirs, I was aware of their quarrel. We heard some shoutings one time while my companions were watching 'Prison Break. I just never thought I would someday be affected by their hate relationship.

This 'guy' almost pleaded on his knees, explaining that he could no longer concentrate yada yada... he's graduating...blah blah. Great. Now I had to sympathize with him. "Bakit di na lang kayo magbati?", was the only thing I could say; a futile attempt to save my sole ownership of 'my' room.

"Sige na, madali naman akong kausap". Yeah right. I had already said my "No's" and yet you are still there pleading. In the end, I just gave in. He promised that he would transfer to a house in time for graduation anyway, by March, I'm expected to have the room all by myself again.

Sigh. Ever since I had no room mate, some part of the room got a bit messy with all my boxes and stuff just placed on top of the empty bed next to mine. At least he offered to do the fixing. He owes me anyway for allowing him in. Well, I guess one thing good about having a room mate is that I get to fix my things again out of respect to them.

I just hope he won't give me a headache. He's an econ student, probably he knows most chicks there. I am thinking positive here.


posted by ScIoN 8:33 AM |

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Engineering Job Fair 2007

This day's gonna be my first day for the Eng'g Job Fair. It was only today that I was able to float my resumes to different participating companies in the job fair. I was not able to do so earlier because I had prepared for the first exam, of my one-and-only-subject-this-sem, which was yesterday 4-530pm.

As for my exam, err...I just don't know what to say. I just hope and pray that I could maintain a higher-than- passing grade; to be able to seal my coveted graduation. Yes, I know I really should pass it because it's a retake, I took a graduate course related to it, and that we made good in thesis. The pressure is on me. All I can say is that it would be hard to ace it. The style of the exam is just not favorable for me. Not to mention the limited time to be able to think clearly.

Anyway, as for the job fair on a wednesday, not all companies opened booths. It's ok since I still have thursday and friday to give my resume and other application stuffs. This is my first time in a job fair, so I can't even compare the previous ones to this year's. However, I had been quite critical on CAPES, the Eng'g Student Council (ESC) auxiliary arm responsible for campus recruitment and career development.

Publicity for the event was weak. Eng'g job fair was made known only a week before. How could one be prepared for that? I even thought job fair's on Feb. Now I am sporting a 'grown' semi-kalbo cut, thinking my hair would grow back in time for a February job interview. One needs a TCG on most applications. You'll only get a copy after applying a week before. Because of the late notice, I'm going to get mine on Friday - the last day of Eng'g job fair.

What irked me most are the release of schedules. The planner that I am, I wanted to know when, what time, and where the company talks are to be held. I had an exam yesterday, that I wanted to know what talks I can sacrifice not to attend. I've waited for email announcements (which should have been standard procedure of info dissemination) but to no avail no one had an idea; not until the day of the job fair itself.

I already have preferences on what companies I want to apply at. P&G is on top of that list, but their standards are way too high. I've tried their online exam and it's based on determining one's characteristics and leadership qualities - nothing technical. I am quite confident in my leadership skills since I've tried all sorts of things, particularly with the organizations that I had been an officer of. But man, they have some sort of filter, only looking at the past presidents (or at least vice) of organizations. If you have seen a copy of their list of qualifications, this filter was clearly written.

As if I would like to shout discrimination(!) for all the other potentials not having those appellations. I had seen a poster of P&G's UP hires, and darn I know most of those people. They were the org presidents, year after year. So for the lower years reading my blog, vie for org presidency. It's a boost for a future career, I tell you.

Aside from my preferred companies, I also have the 'snubbed' ones. Take for example TI(Texas Instruments). I know, TI should have been ideal for me since I'm from Baguio. Compared to Metro Manila, Baguio has only TI for a (big time) company where I think I could fit considering I am to graduate from UP EEE. Much to my dismay, I had known how much they give as salary, and it is too damned low. I tell you, even the call center agents would earn better than you. In a way, I think the low pay is an insult; shows how most Philippine companies treat its engineers. Cheap labor, huh? We are so exploited.

2 days more of Eng'g job fair; I hope I would be enlightened on what my future holds. As a UP student, it's really quite assuring that any job can be readily offered to you. The dilemma only starts upon reaching the fork that makes you choose on a career track you plan to pursue. Would it be worth it?

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posted by ScIoN 8:30 PM |

Monday, January 15, 2007

Jeff and Dyan's Birthday Bash (and Bevan's)

Jeff and Dyan deserve today's post since they have just hosted a birthday blowout. Dyan's (my G23-2001 blocmate) birthday is actually every January 13; however, since Jeff's (Circuit '01 kabarkada) birthday is on the 15th, it's very practical to have a joint celebration instead.

After some deliberations from the experts (c/o May), we eventually ended up in Sbarro. Dyan correctly predicted that the typical choices of bday blowouts would be on these kinds of fastfoods. No loss for me since this was actually my first time in the pizza-pasta establishment. In fact, anywhere is fine since today was a Sunday, meaning there was no paid dorm food waiting. So I get to have free dinner! Good timing, hehe.

So we ate pizza and pasta. No further explanations. Except that CL and I became a bit shy on ordering. We followed May and Nino's style of 50/50 for each pizza and pasta; the others were able to order a whole of each kind. Jeff even exclaimed that he did not become scared of our orders. He had high expectations that we might order too much, but we didn't. Taga-UP kasi e, hehehe, tipid.

Anyway, here are some pics taken from Norman's camera (I guess, along with the laptop, he had requested these items from her mom for thesis use. palusot, hehehehe)

(L-R: May, CL, Bevan, yung maliit na nasa likod di kasali sa pic, Dyan, Jeff, Elma, me & Nino)

Introducing... the latecomers Norman(1st row-far left), Ivan(2nd row-far left), Carlo and Karlene(magsyota - far right) Not in picture: Liz who was very late and ate in Mcdonalds instead.

Nice pic. Sbarro in the background, a balanced picture, and me in the middle. :D

Last week, January 6, it was Bevan's birthday and we were invited for dinner at his home in UP BLISS. Among those present were Elma, Norman, Dyan, Allan Gordon and me.

(L-R: Norman, Elma, Dyan, me, bday boy Bevan and Allan Gordon. Not in pic: CarloLara who came in late)

お誕生日 おめでとう ございます!
ベヴァン―くん と
ダヤンーちやん と

(trans. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bevan, Dyan and Jeff!)

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posted by ScIoN 12:10 AM |

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Jobba d' Hunt (Interview at Trend Micro)

I am not a bum. I am just waiting for an opportunity (job) while being a student. This employment hiatus gives me ample time in choosing for my future career paths. I am expecting action starting next week as this month is when the Eng'g and Univ Job Fairs are to be held.

Just recently, I had devoted this day solely for Trend Micro. Starting 9am, I went to the P&G room where the seminar was held. Dropping by the BE tambayan, I used the stairs up to the 5th floor. I forgot Eng'g already had its elevator functioning.

The Talk
The morning session was dedicated to a talk from the HR, a testimonial from the Head Engineer of the AntiVirus(AV) group, and a technical talk from one AV engineer. The Head Engineer was a graduate from UP Engineering, particularly from EEE. In fact, he was also from UP-IML and was part of the team who worked on the DLX III. He stressed out that the culture we have in UP EEE is not far from what they have there. Even though being an AV Engineer means dealing mostly with software programming, he is a proof that it was not hard to adjust from hardware to software programming. The company would provide all the necessary training and would even shoulder expenses for certain professional certifications.

Most of the attendees at the talk are EEE students. Even the 190ers were there. There was a funny moment with AllanOstrea because he was sitted alone on the front. He still has the habit of jotting down notes! Complete with matching doodle of Trend Micro logo! haha. The time came when there was a question and answer portion, for which you have to enumerate your answers. Allan was a shoo-in to answer all the questions, as if he had copied all the powerpoint slides into his notebook. Who would have known, the prize for answering those questions earned him a boxed set of PC-Cillin Antivirus! His diligence surely payed off! woohoo! MarkDespi got the other boxed set - well what would you expect? Despi becomes hyperactive and all-knowing when it comes to things related to computers. hehehe

The Exams
Anyway, we had 3 sets of exams. First was the IQ test. Darn, when you say IQ test, it is great pressure enough not to fail it. Especially when almost all the people taking the same exam know you! The exam was to be done in 30 mins. First, I just answered slowly and tried to be sure, until I realized I may not have enough time left. One part of the IQ exam was driving me nuts, this involved the pattern finding of a series of shaded/unshaded,small/big shapes. I thought I became dull, but I realized at the end that all of us had a hard time on that part. Whew! Good thing everybody passed (and was saved from embarassment).

Next came the technical exam. They gave 3 algorithm questions. Basically that's just it. The exam was bearable though unlike the others, I got careless so I was not able to ace it. Anyway I still passed. One thing I've noticed is that I answered rather slowly, till I eventually rushed in the end. Rushing due to lack of time is bad. One couldn't think better. It's either I was not psyched up enough for the day or my brain needs some sharpening. Actually, I've even enjoyed the Canon exam more than this one. I guess this may also mean that I am more fit into hardware rather than software programming - which is good, since I'm trained to be a hardware engineer anyway.

The Interview

So "Congratulations, you may proceed to ...blah blah". Alright, I passed again! What a relief! I told you taking exam with fellow UP students gives you a lot of pressure. You don't want to be the 'only failure'. hehehe

When it comes to interviews, I feel a bit confident. Just don't let them ask those technical questions as if I had just reviewed all my past subjects the night before the interview. It's really important to know what type of job you are getting into, so that you know how to prepare yourself. Fortunately, the person assigned to me was the Head AV Engineer (UP IML alumnus). ArmanCatapangan (not yet sure with the spelling) started at Trend Micro on 2003 as a fresh grad. Now, he's the boss of all AV Engineers. He says that the employees in TM are young. After some minor technical questions, the conversation turned to my group's thesis (his thesis was also based on DLX architecture). To sum it up, the interview was fine. It was the 2-hour wait that sucked. hehe

Boon or Bane?

TrendMicro's (TM) research arm is here in the Philippines. Meaning all of the virus solutions come from the Filipino engineer's minds. Arman proudly says that what they do can not be found anywhere in the Asia Pacific region. Travel opportunities are good as Arman's engineers are sent worldwide to train (take note: not to be trained) other TM engineers. In terms of salary ranges, Arman only gave a vague statement: "Pag ikukumpara niyo ang salary namin sa iba, I'm sure you would take ours". I don't know if he is aware of other company's salary ranges, he may have underestimated them. Or, maybe he refers to his salary (which should really be good given his position) as point of comparison. Well, I hope he is right on what he says, surely that would be an eye-opener for us.

The End
Anyway, we ended the day by riding the Eng'g elevator. hehehehe... first time! (can students freely use it, or is it for janitors to carry tables?)

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posted by ScIoN 8:05 PM |

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Last December's underwater earthquake at Taiwan had dealt significant damage to our submarine communication cables. As a result, there is a slowed down connection towards international sites, reduced to about 60% efficiency from that of before.

Such degradation, impedes most of our functions. During the Christmas break, I had a hard time accessing my Gmail account - my primary email address. Who knows how much urgent information I may be losing by the day, especially when I was on vacation? Online entrepreneurs surely had suffered a lot. Students seemed to be in panic mode because of the unreliability with their connection. If this kind of situation happened in other countries, their government may even have declared a state of emergency.

I guess I'm just plain bored nowadays. I have been a sucker for the internet. The internet became a major event in my everyday life. Now that the internet becomes less interesting, I guess it's time to go out and play again. I am like a kid stuck with the idiot box. I am a bum that needs to get moving.


posted by ScIoN 10:15 PM |

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Janus is a Roman mythological entity that is represented as a two-faced doorway, signifying the beginning and the end. "With a dual face, he can look upon the past towards the future" explained by my bloc mate, MarkDespi at a Kas I class during freshman year. Ever since, he was referred to as Janus. It kinda stuck to him for years hehehe...

January, which came from Janus, is synonymous to a new beginning. What makes this month special is that everyone starts the whole year with a fresh new feeling, as if everything just got reset. Thus, it became a common practice for some to state their own resolutions - a promise that they would do just to make good.

As for me, I don't need to compose my own resolution. All I really need are optimism and self-direction. After all, I should own this year, considering that I am expected to graduate (finally!) and seek for employment.

In a way, I am having a good time with my current status of still being a student. My original plans of being employed part-time may be reduced to being a Student Assistant, at least I still have control over my own time. With the extra time in hand, I have the opportunity to learn from different rackets I engage in. At the same time, I also have ample time to map out specific plans for my future. It's just a matter of taking my own time now.

I just hope anything good just keeps going, and going, and going, and going...


posted by ScIoN 10:45 AM |

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Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

ScIoN is a former Systems Engineer in Japan who specialized in industrial imaging and digital hardware design. He is now back in the Philippines pursuing graduate studies in Finance at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.



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