Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hiatus @ Japan

Yep, I'm still in Japan. :D It is unfortunate that our internet lines inside our rooms have limited connectivity. This is the reason I was unable to update this blog regarding this Toshiba Japan interviews.

Anyway, I had passed the first phase of the interview yesterday; thus, I had been extended for another day for my final interview. I just had the final interview this morning, I hope I would really be accepted. Since I no longer have pending interviews after this, I am scheduled to go back to the Philippines tomorrow morning.

I had said earlier that my mother is going home at Feb28. So do I. I'm happy it's going to be one happy family reunion for me. :D

Results of the interview would come out on March 9. I hope and I pray that I would be accepted. May good tidings come! ;)

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posted by ScIoN 5:47 PM |

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Japan, Here I Come! [日本 へ 行きます]

At last, I now have a passport containing my Japan Visa. I finally feel settled, now that I'm eligible to travel. I was able to hand over my passport to Ms. Arleene of Toshiba just in time for them to process our Japan Visas. If I had not given them my passport last Friday, I may have not been included in the delegate list because my visa application might not be processed in time for the scheduled flight. I think I am now paranoid when it comes to processing documents. I just hope from now on, I shall experience some smooth sailing.

I'm going to depart this Friday. Funny, this would be my very first plane ride and it's international! Lucky, hehehe. We'll be flying towards Narita Airport, then have a train ride to Yokohama where Toshiba is.

Since I plan to bring my laptop to Japan and that they say there is internet access in our rooms, I'll fill in the details later. ;)

Please pray for my good health. :D


posted by ScIoN 9:19 PM |

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Beta Epsilon's Rockestra

Last night was our Friday Fair night, the Rockestra 2007: Fake Sound of Progress. I would say our event was a HUGE success in terms of ticket sales. Imagine, tickets were sold out by 11pm! This is really a record breaker for all fair nights. :D I'm not sure how many had attended the night, but it was announced onstage that the approximate was 15 thousand.

It was in 2001 (or 2000?) that Beta Epsilon had hosted a fair night. I remember 3 years ago, I was among the bidders for the fair '04; we won the bids from monday to thursday but lost for friday. That time, EMC+CE gave a very high bid which was unexpected even by the USC. Eventually we backed out on the other nights since we are Friday or nothing. Ever since, the bid for Friday night had been that high.

Hosting a night in the UP Fair is not one of the fraternity's annual projects. We actually already have so many projects that we don't even need to aim for a fair night. It just so happened that the brods became interested in hosting this year's friday night.

Ironically, it is only this year that I was able to attend the UP Fair. My first was the LoveRage concert. My roommate who is a CE (Circle of Entrepreneurs) member, hosts of the last 2 years' Schizofairnia, told me that their previous friday nights sold about 12 thousand tickets. Basing from what I heard, LoveRage seemed to have gained friday night sales since they were able to reach about 11 thousand. This year's Schizofairnia (wednesday) suffered from LoveRage's pre-Valentines lineup.

I did not expect that Beta Epsilon's Rockestra would have overflowing audiences. I was at the ticket booth the whole time, and man, there really were too many people! After tickets were sold out, we still tried accepting people by issuing them stamps and invisible inks. Eventually, the fair grounds could no longer accommodate all the people who want to come in. We had no choice but to close the gates and no longer accept new entries.

There have been ticket scalpers who bought bulk tickets from us, and eventually sold it at a higher price. We only realized this when someone asked us if the tickets being sold by those scalpers are valid. It turned out that they were being sold at a price between Php100-300!

The fair grounds was like a movie theater having standing room only. Even at about 4am, there were still too many people inside. As usual, the so-called Urukhai/orcs had been a headache in terms of security. Since we already denied entry, these orcs even tried to destroy the fences. I feel sorry for the others who did not make it during the cut-off. For sure, I prefer them over the orcs to be allowed inside.

The main act for the night was Parokya ni Edgar and Kamikazee, which was accompanied by an orchestra from the college of music. I know, some people were a bit dismayed because it seemed that the orchestra became overshadowed. Maybe others also wondered why the orchestra got to play just 2(?) songs. As far as I know, the orchestra practiced with the artists for a specific number of songs (not just 2); however, PnE and Kamikazee became deviant with what we had planned.

We did not plan the merging of PnE and Kamikazee, aka Parokya ni Kazee. Their performance with the orchestra should be separate from each other. PnE and Kazee seemed to be in a jamming mood as they no longer followed the real program flow. Both bands performed as one and jammed to their hearts delight. I'd still say the crowd enjoyed it, since they were able to play about 8 songs together. It was just that, the main point of having the orchestra was defeated.

Still, I think the night was an enjoyable one as proven from the crowd presence even at 4am. Only those who rooted for the orchestra gig could have been disappointed. I could not blame them since our event highlighted it. However, the show was already in the artists' hands (PnE and Kamikazee) once on stage. In fairness, Parokya ni Kazee did entertain the audience well with their wild antics and gimmicks. So generally, the show was still a success.

I am happy for the fraternity since we were able to pull it off. We were initially worried that we might only get a break-even. It wouldn't be worth the sweat if we even couldn't earn from such event.

Another happy moment for me that day was that I was finally able to get hold of my passport. :D However, for now I don't have my passport with me since I handed it over to Ms. Arleene of Toshiba for my Japan Visa application. Tomorrow's going to be our predeparture orientation; hopefully I would know our itinerary by then.

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posted by ScIoN 9:20 PM |

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's 2007

Not your ordinary Valentine's post. (expect no mushiness)

I really had no plan of attending the LoveRage concert because ideally I should concentrate on my studies prior to my business trip to Japan. However, since most of my EEE batchmates/ barkada are attending the event in support for UP CIRCUIT (co-sponsor), I decided to come and join the reunion.

With whom did I spend my Valentine's with? I guess it fits to say that I spent that day with my EEE barkada. We were there when the clock struck twelve for Feb 14. My companions for the night were: Ige, Elma, Fil, Kelly, Liz, Jeff, Dyan, Nino, Argel and Jeric. Dean, my thesis mate tagged along since he was a loner (haha). Danes was actually one of the hosts/emcees for the night, while May had been with her officemates; thus, was not able to join us.

I'd like to thank Elma, who was sweet enough to give me a flower. Actually, it is a Kawasaki Rose Origami; thus, unperishable. She said it's for us to give to our respective Valentine's date(s). Since I have no V-date, then it's officially mine for the taking. hehe. I'm 1 of 6 recipients of the Elman rose. I hope it's not a sign for being marked because of a personal vendetta ;). Elma knows that I get to feel awkward carrying something with a lover-boy effect. I guess it's part of the fun in her giving. ほんとう に ありがとう ございました、 エルマ ーチャンMay you shower me more of your blessings (gifts).

I'd also like to thank Ige, for giving me a Singapore keychain, which was only intended as pasalubong for the ladies (none for guys). Cha, if you are reading this, I know you are happy since the Singapore keychain you gave me already has a partner; not only that, the partner is Ige's. So that makes you(r keychains) a couple! :D

I was able to go back to the dorm at about 4am. Got some sleep, and immediately (9am) went to NSO QAve to fix my birth certificate problem with DFA. The person in charge told me that the earliest date of release for the new BC would be on Feb19. I have to have a passport ASAP because there is still the Japanese VISA to fix for (c/o Toshiba).

Went back to DFA after lunch. Directly proceeded to the Passport Directors' Office (what's this? the 5th time at DO?). The good thing was that my Passport Director finally gave me the permission to process my passport (rush processing = 2 working days). However, I still have to procure the new BC and show it to them upon release of my passport.

Right now, I'm crossing my fingers... I'm expecting that the BC that is going to be released on Feb19 would now be barcoded and all. Or else, it's going to be another torment in hell.


posted by ScIoN 7:36 PM |

Monday, February 12, 2007

I Still Don't Have a Passport!

Inasmuch as I would like to celebrate my recent inclusion in the Toshiba lineup, I am going to rant my dismay over Philippine Agencies that are involved in my much dreaded passport application.

Where do we apply for Philippine passports? The answer is in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) office located along Roxas blvd., Pasay City. For starters, beware of those damned fixers in the streets, right before you enter the DFA compound. These sonuvabitches are disguised as DFA helpers, who would 'assist' you at the start of your journey.

These fixers would claim that your passport ID isn't right, then would lead you into having your photo taken at their studio. It's really very insulting to see people trying to dupe fellow Filipinos for the sake of business.

Ok, so for my first day at DFA, I was able to pass by windows A and B for records verification, though I was referred to the Passport Directors' office because I was listed among the DOST scholars (I DID NOT avail DOST scholarship). Since I don't have the original certification that I'm not a scholar (My brother only sent me a photocopied version!), I had to go back on a separate day, to bring that original document.

Today was my 2nd day at DFA, and I was able to fix my DOST problem in a breeze. I am like a seasoned applicant as I already knew where and what to do at DFA. I've seen SheilaBaticulon (one of my toshiba companions) and gave her instructions on what to do because she seemed lost at first.

As soon as I've reached the processing section, there was another line for another records verification, and I got blocked out because of the birth certificate I am submitting. They claim that my BC is not a valid one because it does not conform to their NSO standards. This shocked me because I just got my BC at NSO East Avenue only last May! I had argued with the supervisor lady until she just referred me back to the Passport Director (again!).

Being referred to the passport director automatically charges you of 2 hours in waiting. Actually, this made my stay at the DFA dreadful. Imagine, I went to the Passport Director's office thrice already! I have to go back there again once I get a new copy of my birth certificate.

I got stucked not getting my passport because of stupid reasons, and for these reasons it is clearly not my fault. First of all, I was able to fix my DOST scholarship status (wherein I am NOT a scholar!) through the NBI last May (when I applied for my NBI clearance). I should not have done it again at the DFA! These government agencies should have some connection of some sort. I should have been cleared automatically. Next, I had applied and paid for a Birth Certificate at the NSO East Avenue last May (too!). When it came to DFA, they even dare say that it is not an NSO document. WTF?!

I guess you guys already have an idea on how the Philippine system sucks right now. Going to the DFA is not an easy thing for me to do. I have to commute all the way from QC. Instead of focusing on my studies and projects prior to my business trip, I am stuck at DFA worrying if ever I could get my passport done as soon as possible. Toshiba would not wait for me to finish my papers. I'm not wasting this golden opportunity just because of a stupid system.

Tomorrow, I shall go back at DFA and apply for a new BC at the nearby NSO office. I hope I could get the accepted BC on the same day, in order to finally finish everything.

So help me God.

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posted by ScIoN 7:37 PM |

Sunday, February 11, 2007

ScIoN Goes To Japan! [日本 へ 行きます」

Last Tuesday night, while filling in my bids for PX's Stock Wars, I suddenly noticed a new message in my inbox coming from Toshiba Asia Pacific. I got alarmed since I did not expect the results to come out this early. The first paragraph read:

Dear Everyone,
Congratulations! You were selected as one of those chosen few whom we will send to Japan for the final interview and examination on Feb. 23 - 27 (subject to change).Please have the following documents (all original) ready for submission by Friday, February 9, 2007:

--message truncated--

I made it! Woohoo! I was all alone in my dorm room as all my other dorm mates were in the Girls' Lobby for the dormitory Bingo game. I felt like shouting but I thought I'd just be stupid doing it all alone. I immediatelyIMed the good news to Elma, Charity and Alou who were all online on that moment. I felt like winning the jackpot prize in the Bingo. Heck, this is better than winning the dorm bingo. It's a free trip to Japan!

So now, I have to fix my papers prior to our scheduled flight. I had trouble with regard to DOST at the DFA office. I am still included in the blacklist even though I DID NOT AVAIL of the DOST Scholarship. I have to go back again at DFA, and show them an original document that would certify that I am not a DOST scholar. Hassle! I thought I had this already fixed when I applied for my NBI Clearance almost 6 months ago!

I am 1 of 13 students who passed the 2nd interview at Toshiba-Japan. 1 of 6 from UP Diliman. 1 of 3 from the Department of EEE. I should not put this opportunity to waste. I aim to nail that job offer.

Last year, about 7 UP students were able to reach the Japan interviews; however, nobody got accepted in the end. I don't know why. I've heard that there were only 2 who got a job offer. I think they were from Ateneo and DLSU. Eventually, one declined the offer in exchange for an internship at US. So far, there is only ONE Filipino working at Toshiba Japan. I hope I'm next.

For now, I just have to study hard and finish all my academic requirements before I fly off to Japan. This would be my first time riding a plane, hahaha, and yes my first time would be international already! I just hope somebody would lend me a digicam. ;)

I would like to thank the Lord for this wonderful opportunity. I am also happy that on Feb 28, my mother would already be here in the Philippines. I think this would be the happiest moment in my life. PRICELESS. I owe Him for this. :D

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posted by ScIoN 7:39 AM |

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rockestra: The Fake Sound Of Progress

Our lineup already includes the band, KAMIKAZEE! :D


We would like to invite you in Rockestra 2007: The Fake Sound of Progress , which will happen on February 16, Friday at the UP Sunken Garden, starting 6pm.

The highlight of this concert is the performance of Parokya ni Edgar accompanied by an orchestra (13th Ensemble).

Other featured bands like Queso, Slapshock, Valley of Chrome, Chicosci, Imago, Itchyworms, Mayonnaise, Mojofly, Moonstar 88, Silent Sanctuary, Radioactive Sago Project, Soapdish, Rocksteddy, Menaya, Up Dharma Down, Sibuyas Online, Kiko Machine, The Brew, Aizo, La Passionaria, Ang Bandang Shirley, Oi Wag D2, Sacramento, Sandlady, Kampai, and Matilda will be playing too at the concert.

For ticket and other inquiries, please contact me at 09287876287. Tickets are sold at P85.

Buy 10 tickets, get one free! Buy a Tshirt + Ticket Package = Php220!!

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posted by ScIoN 10:46 PM |

Monday, February 05, 2007

Toshiba-Japan 2nd Interview

Yesterday was my 2nd interview for Toshiba Japan. This interview is important because it would lead me to the final string of interviews and hopefully a job offer in Japan; assuming that I pass. The 2nd interview was a technical interview wherein we were to present our research projects to the panel.

Allan Gordon, my thesis mate, had his interview last Saturday, which is a day earlier than mine so I was able to get some info on what to expect at the interview. Since we are going to present our thesis, I have no need to practice. From eee190 up to the EECCE Conference, we had been presenting our thesis so I almost know it by heart.

The day before the interview, I just played tennis and even bought a new racquet (read previous post). It was only at about 12am that I started 'preparing' for the interview. I planned to bring my laptop and use our presentation slides for the interview. I just cut short the slides in order to make the presentation brief and concise and save them from all the other technicalities.

Just as I was about to get my sleep, I suddenly felt cold. I really felt that I was going to be ill. As I woke up the following morning, my throat is already burning. Since I haven't really prepared my things yet for the interview, I only ate an ube ensaymada along with calamansi juice and strepsils for breakfast. My time for interview was 1240pm, so I had to start commuting at about 11am; thus, I also have not eaten for lunch.

I did not bring the strepsils with me because it makes my mouth reddish because of the red coloring. At the MRT, I just bought bottled water to ease my throat pains. I arrived at Dusit Hotel Nikko at about 12am, almost an hour earlier than my scheduled interview.

One by one, other interviewees arrived. I got to chat with an Atenista named MarkWong who seemed to be a bit unsettled and not Atenista-like. Atenistas are stereotypically known for being open and eloquent. For MarkWong, he was the other way around. He says he is not even confident with his english; that he would be happy if the interviewer would be Japanese (also not good in English).

Another came, a guy from La Salle (I forgot his name). Mark and Mr. Lasalista knew each other because they are both reviewees at Excel. So the triad is complete, UP-La Salle-Ateneo. I don't think UST was among the invited schools of Toshiba. So I guess these 3 are considered to be the top 3 schools in the Philippines.

So, I got interviewed at about 1pm. There were 3 other people inside the interview room, a Japanese guy, a motherly Filipina, and a young Filipino guy. The Japanese is the main interviewer, and is involved in the software arm of Toshiba. The motherly Filipina seemed to be a head HR of some sort. I used the adjective motherly because it was very refreshing to look at her. She had a motherly smile and was really kind. The young Filipino guy is actually a Japanese interpreter.

The interview went well, I suppose. Since our thesis project was about Dual-Core technology, the Japanese surely could relate well. If ever I wouldn't be 'promoted' to the 3rd interview, I guess it should be because the position I am applying for (Design and EDA) is really out of reach. I mean, microelectronics education is barely starting here in the Philippines (a first for UP IML), and I may have no chance compared to other countries such as India, Japan and other technological countries. Just as I've posted earlier, this is an international hiring. But, just in case I could not fit for Design and EDA, I hope they would consider me for my other 2 choices which is PC & Networks and Technical Marketing.

One question that was asked to me by the motherly Filipina was "what do I prefer, software or hardware"? I answered Hardware. I hope they know that I meant hardware design/programming and not hardware as related to production/manufacturing. I hope I also don't get negative points from the Japanese who is a software guy. Another minor boo-boo in the interview is that I've kept on using the phrase "As I've said earlier". I don't know if using that phrase is right, I hope I didn't sound inappropriate. I just wanted to point out my previous statements that could answer their question.

My interview lasted for about 40 minutes. MarkWong, who had a parallel interview with mine, was not yet finished. I rushed towards home (dorm) as I feel so weak already. All the time, my throat was burning, good thing I was still able to attend the interview.

My immune system had been weakened, plus the fact that I have not eaten a decent meal yet. Good thing I did not collapse in the MRT. I have my laptop with me, and collapsing in the MRT would lead to its probable loss, hehehe. I dropped by again at SC to buy Tapsilog at Rodic's, then went straight to bed afterwards. I did not eat yet as I was too weak and I was already having a slight fever. As soon as I woke up, I forced myself to eat the Tapsilog I bought earlier. At first, I felt nauseous. I seemed to have no appetite then I remembered my Amoebic days. I forced myself to eat in order to regain strength. While eating I also took in some biogesic to ease my fever. Afterwards, I felt better. Thank God.

byouki ga arimasune. demo ima kimochi chotto yoku narimashita!
(びょうき が ありますね。 でも 今  ちょっと よく なりました)
I have an illness. Though I feel better right now.

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posted by ScIoN 10:03 AM |

Saturday, February 03, 2007

My First Real Tennis Racquet

I had my weekly trainings with TennisUP this morning, when I learned from one of my co-founders (yeah!) that there is an ongoing Racquet sale at Toby's SM North. From what she had said, there is a HUGE price drop from the racquets' original prices.

I currently have a tennis racquet though it's not mine, it's my uncle's. I had been using his Wilson Graphite Quad racquet ever since I started getting serious with tennis. I also have another racquet in possession, a Prince Force Three, which is actually Norman's. This I swapped with my other uncle's (1st degree Aunt's husband) old unclassified Wilson racquet. The Prince Force Three was the racquet I used when I won (eng'g champ) in the Eng'g week '05 Lawn Tennis tournament hosted by UP ACES. I got a bronze medal at that tournament. The gold and silver were non-engg students; thus, I got the full EWOC points for that event.

Having 2 racquets in possession, I really don't need for another one. In fact, I plan to buy tennis shoes. I'm losing the soles of my Umbro shoes, which is not really fit for sports activities. It's just basically sporty sneakers. However, the price drop is simply irresistible. Eventually, I had bought an Php8,500++ worth tennis racquet for an affordable price! Not that I'm buying something redundant, at least this new racquet of mine has different features from my current possessions.

Introducing, the Prince Thunder Extreme Titanium!
Its features:
Titanium: Extra Strength and Stability
Sweet Spot Suspension System: Solid Feel
Morph Beam: Powerful Shots
Shock Eraser Insert: More Comfortable
27.5 Longbody
800 power level
100 sq in MidPlus
Super stiff
GraphitExtreme & Titanium
26mm head/22mm shaft
Lightweight 9.5 oz/270g unstrung

My first two racquets are Oversized ones, meaning having larger net area. My new one is a midsize and a longbody, so I guess I have to adjust my playing style. Really can't wait to test it on the courts!


Tomorrow's gonna be my 2nd interview for Toshiba Japan! I'm hopeful that I'd do good for tomorow's interview. This could be the start of my career, I hope! :D


posted by ScIoN 8:26 PM |

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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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