Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Graduation Party

I had just attended UP Eng’g 2007’s Graduation party last Tuesday at Absinth Greenbelt 3. This party was hosted by Inhinyero 2007 as part of its yearbook package. Being part of the Inhinyero staff for 2 years, I’d say grad party was the better idea over a grad ball.

Grad balls are something too cliché, very much similar to a high school promenade. You see your batch mates try hard to look formally decent as imposed by the cocktail dresses and formal attire. It was the ladies who really had to prepare so much as they tend to wear so much make up and even have their hair curled. At least for the guys, all they have to worry was to get their best polos and slacks accompanied with a decent pair of leather shoes.

Last year’s grad ball turned out to be just one lavish dinner out for the batch. The venue was at the Manila Yacht Club, where the view was quite picture worthy especially with the sunset. There were parts where one could smell the stench of the bay though. I think the main event of the night was the dinner; afterwards, nobody cared about the rest of the program – most of the people would have probably thought of their own plans on what to do after the ball.

This year, Inhinyero 2007’s grad committee pushed through with a party. 3 hours of an open bar with light snacks and the whole Absinth bar exclusively for the UP Eng’g batch, it really was not a bad idea. This is in fact the way a typical young adult would celebrate. Drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), food, music, and some dancing. After semesters of uncertainty at the university, all they really needed was to have real fun.

The theme of the party was “Hollywood”. Basically you just have to look presentable, feel comfortable and be yourself. The whole event started with some Levi’s ramp modeling, participated by some chosen graduates of the batch. After the short program, I guess the whole floor was already given freely to the graduates. With the help of some alcohol, most of the people were freely dancing with their friends despite the elbow-room situation in the bar.

All throughout the night, I had been with Yugs, Cholle, and some inhinyero people. Norman and some younger circuit people were also able to find their way into the guest list. I’d say the night was enjoyable. One thing was lacking though, the people around were not my crowd. My batch mates during graduation are still different from those people I grew up with in my whole stay in college. I was with my G-23 bloc mates and EEE friends then. I was able to enjoy last year’s ball not because of the event, but because of the company.

By 12mn, I had to go home. I believe the real party have just barely started. With my current limitations in drinking alcoholic beverages and to have ample rest just to appease my high bp, I really had to go. I am also currently staying at my bachelor uncle’s unit. Being unemployed (for now) gives him some responsibility over me. One respectful thing for me to do in return is to at least refrain from going home at unholy hours.

Kudos to Charity and Joel, for they were the ones responsible for setting up the party. I’d say the party was worth attending to (if it were a ball, I would have not come). Yugs on the other hand, may had skipped a lifetime’s worth with some chick. Ezmo (Circuit) told me about this chick (a companion of an event photographer) who greeted (the moves?) Yugs with a ‘hi!’. They were all alone in the couch area at that time. Yugs became quite frozen of what had happened. All he did was to look back and see if the greeting was directed to somebody else. The end. (hahaha!) I told Yugs that these were the times when a wink could be handy. Too bad, he does not know how to, and never thought any of its practical use. Maybe next time! :P


posted by ScIoN 7:32 PM |

Monday, April 23, 2007

Graduation Day

April 7, 2001 – High School graduation. Graduated with honors, 3rd in academic rankings for the special science curriculum of a private Catholic all-boys school in Baguio (famous alumni: Rustom Padilla; famous kickout: his brother, Robin). It was a great day as I stood proud and confident, and so were my parents who were seated on the row with other honor students’ parents.

Aside from being an honor student, I was awarded the Gerry Roxas Leadership. This was a surprise award since it was only given and announced on the graduation day itself. This award had been special to me since I had not expected it to come. It was the only leadership award given at my school (we have no PGMA leadership award), for years it had been always ‘issued’ to the graduating CAT corps commander. This time, it was given to an Eagle scout.

My father even became prouder since he too was a GRLA awardee. I remember when I was little, my father showed me his GRLA Award which was framed along with his high school photo. He got it for being a CAT officer, athlete and a scholar. I did not dream of following his footsteps. I wanted to create my own. Thus, the GRLA was never included in my high school goals. Heck, during first year I was even afraid of being booted out of the science curriculum (I think drafting scared me back then; but now, ES 1 is a piece of cake).

End of high school. Start of ‘new life’. Graduated top of the science class; 99th percentile in NSAT; eligible for DOST scholarship (but did not accept). I seemed to be a very promising student indeed. At the end of the school year, people had already been calling me “UP Boy”. So far, I was one of two accepted at Diliman, coming along with the prestige of making it into a quota course which is Computer Engineering. The others got accepted at UP Baguio, while most of my schoolmates had not even tried taking the UPCAT. St. Louis University had been the top ‘default’ university to go into especially if your high school carries its same name and tradition.

April 21, 2007 – College graduation. Graduated (PERIOD). It was a great day as I stood proud and confident, and so were my uncle and mother who were seated in the back row of the theater, just like most of the UP graduates’ parents.

Being accepted at UP is one thing, graduating is another. I’ve met lots of new people – fellow students in UP. All had entered the university having the same buoyancy as I had. Everyone was good. Graduating from a special science curriculum (or its equivalent) seemed to be a minimum requirement. Valedictorians, honor students, GRLA awardees, math Olympiad quizzers/winners; you name it, they’re everywhere in UP.

6 years in college? Who cares. Besides, my year of delay was only eaten up by just 8 units. I had the time of my life. I am very much convinced myself that I did great, even without achieving the typical academic awards. Talking about resume, I may not have that line stating ‘cum laude’, but at least I’ve got lines referring to my organizations, experiences and other achievements.

I never had any regret in studying at UP. I made my stand before when my parents almost did not allow me to study in UP due to locality. Now, I proved them right. I think it was my very first major decision in life. And ever since I entered UP, I was already on my own; it’s my life anyway. My independence was just.

End of college. Start of ‘new life’ (again?). UP Engineering graduate. Maintaining to be the person I aim to be. Looking forward to the future.


My ‘Mom’ (grandmother M-side) was very eager to see me (and UP) at my graduation however she just had her biopsy and was advised by her doctor not to travel. Original plan was for her to hire a private van then tag along anyone in our family who would want to come for a round trip ride. Since my family is based in Benguet, only my mother came to attend my college graduation (along with my QC-based uncle).

We came to the UP theater at around exactly 730am. Just quite in the nick of call time. I guess I had missed a lot of EEE picture takings with my 2007 batch mates at the front lobby who may have been there as early as 630am. Inside the theater, I was at the aisle seat with unfamiliar people at my front and back. I had Josiah and Rose at my right to talk to though.

Right after the recognition rites, I was rushing outside to avail of my EXPO photo shots. Me and my mother had some pictures taken at some spots in UP (Bahay ng Alumni, Oblation etc.). I just feel bad, I think I only have a few pics all in all with other people (batchmates, bloc mates, teachers et al) at the college rites.

For lunch, my uncle brought us to ChinaTown restaurant located somewhere at Banaue, QC for an Eat-All-You-Can Buffet. The amazing thing was that you get over 70 items to choose from. I just don’t know if I was able to eat at least Php430 worth. Not to mention I had been warned about my blood pressure. Since I kind of missed vegetables, my favorite was the Taiwan Pechay. Ice cream and black gulaman came in last.

We don’t know where to go afterwards. Since it’s hot, we decided to cool off at the mall. Went to Mall of Asia and was finally able to try the IMAX theatres. Too bad, spiderman 3 was yet to be screened on May and there were just two choices left. T-Rex andSpace Station 3D. We watched the latter since it has the earliest start time. I’d say IMAX really redefines movie experiences. I love my mother’s reactions on some scenes inside the movie house. And those were just trailers. Space Station 3D was actually a space documentary narrated by Tom Cruise. As I had been watching the film, I remembered my childhood dream of being an astronaut. It came out like a Discovery channel feature, and soon I noticed that my mother and uncle dozed off a bit. The documentary ended in about 1 hour. There went our Php200. I’d say IMAX is great! But it requires cash. You have to watch action-packed films in order to enjoy those 3D views at its fullest.

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posted by ScIoN 10:36 AM |

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Schooling’s over, for now. Here I am currently waiting for certain events to settle down. I am in limbo right now and I do hope I could get out of it at the soonest possible time. I’m just taking my time, before actually reporting in for my very first job.

I’ve been quite a bum lately. Well, I had no other things to do except to lower my blood pressure ASAP. The job offers still keeps pouring in, however my current considerations still lie between BiT Micro and SMART. For now, it’s a 60-40 in favor of SMART. It is with SMART that I have to lower my bp after all. But who knows what would be my decision in the end; as of now, nothing is final yet.

I’m currently residing in Cubao, at my Uncle’s “Town house unit”. Once I get to work, I am surely going to find my own place to stay. Although it would cost me money, I really would like to take my independence back.

So far, I’ve contacted Yugs to be a potential housemate, though we really haven’t started finding a place to stay yet. Both of us would hopefully start working this May. Ideally, I want to be live near UP so that I can jog once in a while, play tennis at the courts and perhaps attend some UP events. However, if we are to work at the Fort area or at Ayala Avenue, it’s still quite a long ride for us to take. Therefore, I think it’s a bit impractical. So I guess halfway between Makati and UP would be a good place for us, hypothetically speaking.

So what to do while I’m in limbo? Hmm… well almost everyday after doing some minor errands, I drop by at IML to escape the summer heat. My main concern nowadays is on how to lower my BP, and for sure the heat is a High BP factor.

Recently, I bought myself a 30GB iPod video. This gadget is also part of my own therapy. In cases when I have no one to talk to, or when I want to concentrate or when alone (e.g. long commute, studying, waiting) I now have something with me; music(or a video) would fill the gap. I do become impatient when waiting for someone/something, just like when I am waiting for my turn in the medical exams at SMART.

Not because I was able to buy a laptop and an iPod that you can say I’m a rich kid. Mind you, these came from my Student Assistant salaries, and I bought these gadgets because I needed it. Of course, it’s also some sort of reward to myself.

After my graduation (which is this Sat), I have about a week left to pass the bp scale in order for me to be able to work starting May (1?). I do hope I could put an end to my dilemma, in order for me to finally move on to the next stage in my life.

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posted by ScIoN 9:27 PM |

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Last Resort

Last weekend, I went out with my '01 batchmates (since Jeff and CL was not around, it really was an '01 outing). Some of my batchmates took the ECE board exam during that week, so the outing served to be like their isolation night in preparation for the upcoming results.

The outing was set at any resort in Rizal. Our first option was the Casanjo resort which was just a trike's drive away from Elma's home. The said resort was already a bit jampacked when we had arrived. I think it was really quite small considering that it is a public resort. Our group of 16 would not really be able to fit in. It was already about 9-10pm at that time.

Our next option was the Loreland Farm Resort which was really a huge one. Several groups had already been lined up outside when we reached the place. We were still able to get in and rent 2 shades, quite near the shower room yet a bit far from the pools.

It was already way past 12mn and we were still sitting under the shades. Until finally, A few of us decidedly led the way to find a good pool. Norman wanted to be in the pool with some ship structure but there seemed to be lots of people in it already. We settled into a pool which was 5ft deep all throughout, all because there seemed to be some space left for us to swim in. May and Marien just slept while the rest of us maximized the space the pool can offer.

There were too many people in Loreland during that time. Since it was a summer weekend, it was definitely peak season for that resort. The resort is indeed big that it was able to accomodate our group; however, with all other people around it made the whole resort a cramped place.

Loreland resort was the place suggested by Wena, one of my Toshiba-Japan interview batchmates, for our reunion/blowout. Based on my recent experience, I would definitely suggest an exclusive resort rather than a public one like Loreland. I guess Loreland resort would be a good choice if you are to go there on off-peak periods, since you would be able to enjoy more of the huge place, minus the other people.
The '01 outing was supposed to be a 'reunion', an event for the ECE board takers to relax and the new graduates to celebrate. It was the right time to 'catch up' with '01 batchmates. However, I think these were the things that we missed out when we were there. Blame it on the 6am limit so we were just pressured to swim all the remaining time we have. It just became a night of jumping in the pool (especially on Ghe's case). If only we knew that this would happen, we could have reserved the other Casanjo resort (which was exclusive). We could have shared stories, personal revelations, played games, swim exlusively, etc.

I think I was more stressed, with lots of strangers around the resort. Not to mention the hassle of commuting with all the dirt and pollution. All in exchange for a few hours in the pool? Not my idea of fun and un-stressing. I hope I could get a car of my own as soon as possible, it would definitely raise the 'cool-guy factor' and people would surely suck up for a ride.

**Anyway, congratulations to the new Engineers!
- May, Nino, CL, Jeff and Carlo. Rinig ko meron kayong blowout :P

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posted by ScIoN 3:56 PM |

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Who's Stalling?

Just went back to PLDT MGO bldg today, for my follow-up med exam for SMART. Still, my blood pressure was still high. I'll be going back and forth till I am able to register a normal bp of at most 120/80. Damn. I'm experiencing difficulty here. :-(

The doctor asked me, "ano ba pinoproblema mo?". Ano nga ba? Di ko rin alam e. High blood pressure may be caused by depression. Am I depressed? Deep inside maybe? Darn. Weird. I think I'm getting more depressed as I could not pass that darn 'blood pressure exam'. I feel like I would overdose myself with Neoblocs, however I don't want to do an 'Anna Nicole Smith' stunt in life.

Thanks to JimNill, he sent an invitation for a VHDL/Verilog job in Japan. Wow. As I read the qualifications, it seemed that the job was made for me. haha. However, I do have second thoughts on joining a Jap company, since Jap employers are very much different. Aaargh. Dagdag sa dilemma.

Or maybe the Lord has been stalling me? If only I had passsed the med exam way back, I would be working for SMART. Is this a sign? Dilemma! aargh...


posted by ScIoN 6:24 PM |

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Quo Vadis?

I'd say I have been benefitting from the UP graduate trademark. Job offers have been continuously pouring in my way. However, here comes the dilemma on where should I go? It's not that I am complaining, it's just that I am already quite confused.

I have 2 standing job offers, and my supposed decision deadlines was last end of March. Every time they call, I ask for an extension. I know I can't do that indefinitely. I really have to decide once and for all.

There are new offers coming along the way, and this makes me more indecisive. Receiving calls from different companies had not been fun anymore. It makes me feel guilty. I tend to lie and leave the companies hanging, just to keep my options open. I still have interviews at different companies, and I don't know if I am still interested. I hope it would not backfire on me. I am even afraid that I might lose it all in the end. I am currently experienceing a stalemate.

Perhaps once I am able to pass the medical exam (and prove I am very fit to work), it would be easier to decide. The earliest date I could start working would be on the 16th. For now, I am just looking forward for the '01 outings. :D

Ja mata ne!

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posted by ScIoN 4:31 PM |

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

School Finale

Tonight is my last night at dorm. Packing has been more painful, since I have to pack things accumulated within 4 years. I think I'm going to discard some. Sometimes we try to be sentimental and keep some things, until we eventually realize that some are actually just trash. I remember when I was in first year, I brought home to Baguio my exam papers. Now, I realize that I didn't have to bring that much scrap paper.

Yep. It's final. I am going to graduate! woohoo! Even though I only had 3 units this semester, I still had a hard time with the subject. This was because the exams were too hard; actually it was ok but getting points was the hard part. Virtually it was like a zero-or-nothing type of exam. It was hard to mass up points. Good thing I did good in the MP part which comprised 30% of the grade.

The feeling of finally graduating is great! Priceless. 6 years. Not bad. My delayed year was just 8 units actually, and I had enjoyed a great deal with those extra time. I will graduate. Sweet.

If I were to turn back time and choose between graduating on time and now, I'd choose now. I am quite proud of myself, that even though I got delayed for one year, I was able to convert it into something productive to me. I guess the only thing that I lost during that one year was financial opportunity.

Because of my 1 year delay, I was able to prove and improve myself. This is a Recap:

I had the experience of working in a call center (even for just 10days). Bought my own laptop. I took Jap12-13 and a UC-Berkeley course in Computer Architecture as extra units during my first semester. My thesis group got a 1.25 grade, and we were 1 of 4 nominated for Best Paper at the 7th National ECE Conference. I passed the JLPT Level 4. I made more friends. I taught professors from different universities (UB, USC, CIT, MSU-IIT, etc.) how to use VHDL in FPGAs. I was able to 'enjoy' the job fairs re: applications to different companies. Got to play tennis. Got a sideline (IEEE SA). Got lots of pictures (inhinyero). 1 of 13 Filipinos sent to Japan for the Toshiba Final interviews (and I made it up to the very final interview, way past the laglagan phase). I now have a passport. I am very quite familiar with other places in Metro Manila such as Makati/Ayala. whoo! dami pa, di ko na ipopost ang iba!

If I had graduated on time, it would have meant that I was able to cramp all my subjects into those remaining sems. I would have rushed job applications and perhaps accept the very first offer that I could get. My resume would say that I had graduated on time. Period. I'm not a candidate for honors anyway.

Now, that I am graduating it is very nice to see and look back at what I had accomplished. I now had received a total of 3 job offers, and now 4 more applications are in active status.

Job Offers:
1. Astra Philippines Inc. - was invited for the job offer interview but I did not go. haha. During that time, I was already busy (and hopeful) with Toshiba. :D It's a software design company having the Japanese as its major clients.
2. BiT Micro Networks, Inc. - Subsidiary of the company in Silicon Valley. Sort of like a 'default' place for IMLers like me. Deals with Digital Design, I got the offer for ASIC Engineer which would deal in RTL design up to the testing and verification level.
3. SMART Communications, Inc. - Got it 1 day after the Toshiba results came out. I would be included in the Convergent Processes Group specifically in the Networks division. This would lead me to a shift from hardware programming to software.

1. Chevron - Bought up Caltex and UNOCAL. Just recently, they gave away free parker ballpens and 512MB thumb drives to invited IE students. Means: they have money. IT Career.
2. Canon Information Technologies, Inc. - Just had my HR interview today. Hardware Engineers deal mostly with Testing and Verification.
3. Intel Philippines - Got referred to by Ma'amTata. Position: Senior IC Layout Engineer. Inside info: will be trained outside, high salary grade. I just don't know how high is 'high' in Intel Philippines.
4. Soluziona - Status: no offer yet, but currently being considered. I had been invited to attend boot camps. One was the Informatica training (last week of March) and the next would be COBOL(starting april 23). Chance to work in Spain.

** If I had graduated on time, I would not have this kind of dilemma, choosing over what company I should go to. Not bad being a 'delayed' student ei? Before, I thought that not graduating on time was a sign of my misfortune. It just turns out that God has better plans for us. He gave me a chance to prove myself. Good thing I did not waste the opportunity He gave me. (Reflection: The Parable of the Talents Mat 25:14-30)

Last day of dorm, last day of unlimited internet access. Hopefully, once I would be able to find a new place to stay and be quite stable about it, I'd subscribe for my very own internet access. But I know it would take some time. Expect for less posts these coming days. I may not be online most of the time, but I'm still just a text away.


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posted by ScIoN 9:22 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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