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Showing posts from September, 2012

a 27-hour trip: Manila

September 10, 2012. Manila.

Since the first leg of my overseas journey was scheduled to fly a bit after 6:00 am, I had to be at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport pretty early. And so at 3:00 am, my trip from Calamba to New Orleans began.
As I walked with my luggage into the terminal, I was relieved to see that there was no queue at the first security check (as people enter the departures area at the airport). The guard, however, dampened my happy mood by mentioning that the Delta check-in queue was already long inside.
If the check-in queue at Delta was long, the line snaking towards the immigrations counter was even longer: so many pre-dawn flyers and only three immigrations officers were on duty as I took my spot in the queue. After some time, the queue moved a bit faster as more officers opened more counters; just the same, I wasn't able to eat breakfast before take-off.
But before I say that this trip was off to a slow start, let me put a positive spin on things. Thanks t…

NB: travel posts coming up in the next days...

During the past three weeks, I traveled to three cities. I took quite a few photos along the way but not as many as I would have liked (I wasn't on photo walks too much, thanks to my injured foot and knee). I'll be sharing these photos plus a few stories from my trip in the next few days.
Over the course of my trip, I was introduced to Flat Stanley and am now participating in the "Flat Stanley project" for a grade schooler in New Orleans.
Then there's the food. Travel, for me, is incomplete if I don't try out the food in the new places I find myself in. But I didn't limit myself to restaurants I haven't been into before. I also tried out establishments that have branches in the Philippines just to compare the food and to see what's inside.
So there. Travel posts coming up in the next few days. :)
(Plus the occasional Multiply blog export. I just learned that there's an export tool now available)

the many faces of anna

She likes to take self-portraits on my cellphone while passing the time in the car. So why put the photos to waste, right? This is the perfect occasion to publish some of her shots.

Happy birthday Anna!!

surviving a high school science project defense

I was at the science project presentations at the San Pablo City Science High School earlier. It's my first time to sit at a judge's panel for project defenses; the only other time I had been in one was during students' research proposal presentations... the same students who had their project defenses yesterday. 
As the students went through their slideshows, I listed 10 ways to get through the defense based on how the students performed (in the hopes that this list could help someone someday). The rules of graphic design apply to scientific presentations. Read: use pictures as much as possible; avoid long sentences and paragraphs; present statements as bullet lists; and the list goes on.Don't start a presentation with "The problem of our project is...". This tip I've heard previously from Nelzo (when he presented his research during a seminar).Pace yourself during the presentation and during the question/answer portion.Remember this: you know a lot more…

I felt like I were a talent show judge today.

Last year, I attended the research proposal presentations of incoming fourth year students at the San Pablo City Science High School. After a semester of working like bees on their science projects, the students have finished writing their manuscripts and were supposed to present their work. I was invited by Dennis Tuyogon to join him in the judging panel to see how the students' projects fared.
I can only say one thing: I now know what it must feel like to be judges in talent shows. American Idol, X-Factor, The Sing-Off, The Voice... It must be difficult to grasp for something positive to say about a performance that is subpar. Poor Paula. But I digress.
The difference in my case is that I was tasked with grilling students not about their talents, but specifically about their project results. And there's no recording contract at stake.

Manila, by train.

While I was still in a bus en route to Manila, I saw that the Philippine National Railway (PNR) train was jam-packed in the Buendia station. I thought it would be cool to try that on my way home to the province later in the day. But after my morning in Manila, I decided to go to Greenhills, San Juan to apply for an international driver's permit at  the Automobile Association of the Philippines. And because I wanted to be there fast, I decided to take the elevated railway system.

My trip via the elevated railway systems felt like being packed in a can of sardines from Point A to Point B and being on a long queue each time I had to change trains. Despite being cramped the whole time, I was happy because I got to San Juan City in an hour and a half. I don't know how much time it would take if I had ridden the bus. Also, the whole trip felt like an impromptu field trip; I've never been at Doroteo Jose before and it's been years since I was at the Araneta Center, Cubao in …

Review: Who enjoyed the APO rom-com-eoke? I-do-bidoo-bidoo-ooh!

Once in a while, a light-hearted Filipino film gets enough positive reviews and praises by word-of-mouth or through social media that my interest is piqued. One such movie is this year's I Do (Bidoo Bidoo): Heto nAPO Sila. It's romance. It's comedy. It's signature Pinoy song-and-dance spectacular all rolled into one. At the core of the movie are the music of one of the Philippines' most prolific musical acts, the APO Hiking Society. Actually, the group's songs proved to be the force driving the plot along. 
Young love? There's an APO song for that. Rekindling fading marriages? There's an APO song for that too. Illustrating how love keeps a family together during challenging times? There's an APO song for that as well. Problems in school and at home? There are at least two or three APO songs for that. And I'm just talking about the soundtrack of the movie. APO Hiking Society has a whole lot more songs not covered in the film.
The wonderful thing…