Filling the Bare Space

Filling the Bare Space

Today marks the finality of the need for me to move on with life after college. I had to finish packing all my clothes and books. When I arrived in Manila in 2009, all my things could fit in the Samsonite luggage I brought along. But earlier today, I saw that it took 2 luggages, 3 boxes and 2 bags to contain the most of the things I have in the dorm. I can’t believe the number of books I have accumulated during my stay in the Ateneo (both text books and fiction). As I was putting my clothes in the luggage, each piece told a story. I remember occasions when I wore them. I saw the org shirts I was able to collect over the years, especially ARSA shirts (OrSem, ARSAFest, IAC, etc.). I still have a few things here in the dorm with me but I was already able to bring most of my stuff to Ninang Bevs’ condo with the help of Manong Pete. (Thanks, France and Kurt for helping me load my stuff to the car!)

I also explored the area in Paco, Manila (near Paco Market) to procure some necessary furniture (i.e. bed, table, chair, etc.). For the first time, I get to decide on what furniture to get and create my personal space. I am not good in interior design but I did try to picture out in my mind how I wanted my new “home” to feel and look. After consulting my mom regarding which furniture to procure first (and a tiring walk to canvass), I was able to decide to get a sofa bed, a study table, a swivel chair and a couch. The couch is set to be delivered tomorrow.

P.S. Since the walls are painted white, I am considered a black and red ensemble for the furniture. But since the store only had a chocolate colored study table, that would have to do. Budget constrains, too. Practicality over aesthetics.

Happiness in Silence

I take this opportunity to filter out the noise and listen. I listen to silence, the sound of solitude. But in solitude I seek for meaning. In solitude, I seek comfort. In solitude, I seek God. 

In a few hours, I will be attending the silent retreat together with a bunch of graduating seniors and super seniors. I will not have access to any form of communication, including direct communication with another person in the retreat. If you do get to read this post, may I for a favor? Please pray for me and my fellow retreat participants that we may have a meaningful retreat. Please also pray that the God will also bless the people who are organizing the silent retreat.

4. Stand by me still

4. Stand by me still

I attended mass at the Church of Gesu and decided to not sing with the choir and listen as part of the congregation instead. I sat at the far end just enough for me to see their expressions and hear them as they sing. I’m glad I sat out and heard DMC sing the a cappella version of Take and Receive for offertory, Pag-ibig Ko and Love is the Answer for communion. But I just couldn’t help but sing with the choir when they sang Stand By Me Still for the recessional. Kudos to DMC for sounding so good today, I hope the music you made brought the congregation closer to God as they prayed. 🙂 

On another note, it is such a blessing to get to sing songs of praise and worship with people who practically become your family. #TFTG

“God’s way is my way.God’s love surrounds me. God’s hosts defend me saving from ill.

Angels of heaven drive from me always all that would harm me. Stand by me still.” 

3. Afternoon with the A Team

Apparently it has been almost 3 years since the A Team had our little adventure in Singapore and Malaysia. Adrian and Audrey are both in Metro Manila for their internship and it was just great to finally have spent an afternoon together. Finally our schedules permitted us to visit the Mind Museum, take a stroll around BGC, pig out in SM Aura and shop in Market! Market!.

Home for the holidays

If there is a season that I would always look forward to, it would always be Christmas. It is a season to celebrate the birth of Jesus, a time of giving (and receiving..Hahaha!), a time when we sing and hear carols, a time to be in the presence of loved ones – friends and family alike.


As a kid, I remember Christmas as a time when I would often be asked: Have you been naughty or nice? I used to look forward to opening the gifts that I received. My family would often go on a trip to Bais or Tanjay to see their Christmas parks with giant Christmas trees. But even as a child I remember Christmas as a time that is spent with family.





After all the adventures and misadventures this year, I’m glad to be back home for Christmas. Nothing beats getting to spend the Christmas with my family here in Dumaguete.

No cakes, no presents, just great company

When I got my Starbucks planner last December. First thing I did was mark “important” days (i.e. my birthday, mom’s and sisters’ birthdays, crush’s birthday, close friends’ birthday, ect.) The planner had tasks printed on random days. It just so happened that for my birthday weekend the Starbucks’ planner said: “Spend quality time with your family this weekend.” I seriously wished I could have gone home. I haven’t celebrated my birthday with my family in five years now. But I did spend my day with my family in the dorm — former roommates (Gem, Joey and Noreen) and current roommate (Angela).


Gem happened to drop by the dorm. We had lunch at Fresh Selections and she bought me ice cream from Dairy Queen.




Joey called to greet me. Yay! Birthday greeting all the way from Zamboanga! 😀 Enzo, Gab, Kayvee and Boc (C114 boys) called and greeted me over the phone, too!


Noreen and I had some fries and wicked oreos in Flaming Wings.


Angela and I were supposed to watch Despicable Me 2 in Eastwood but we weren’t able to get seats. So we decided to have dinner at Bigoli and walk around for a bit. We took pictures with the mimes and stopped by the Candy Corner. Ange bought me a bag of Candies. Hurrah! 😀  We also bumped into my foster brothers, Jeff and Paul.

IMG_9435   IMG_9434

IMG_9455 IMG_9450 IMG_9447 IMG_9439   2013-07-06 23.17.36

So, nothing fancy for my birthday. Just a day to enjoy the company of friends. 😀

P.S. One of the greetings moved me so much that it made me cry :’)

Jakarta: The Competition (a.k.a. the “nerve-racking” part)

In my previous post, I have allowed myself to indulge in my tendency to be a “girly girl” by posting an OOTD for the event in Jakarta. (Outfit of the Day – Jakarta: May 16, 2013) Now, allow me to share my experience after being all dolled up for the event.

13th to Present           ???????????????????????????????

I was already expecting a long day ahead considering that we were set to be the 13th presenter. The competition was set to simultaneously take place with the Xperience Efficiency Jakarta 2013 at The Hall, Senayan City.


We had to set up and test our prototype so we can detect if there are glitches.

???????????????????????????????             The Indonesia version of the prototype

One funny story that I would have to share is how my head was aching so bad because I was already hungry. I really wasn’t able to stand it so I asked Ms. Geri if there was food. She asked some one from SE Indonesia if I can get some food. They gave me a bowl of soup :)))) I was so nervous because we are supposed to present in a few hours and my head was aching. Thank God I felt a little better before we presented. On another note, when I was presenting, that was the first time I was literally shaking because I was too nervous! >.<


When the winners were announced, I was just really speechless and I was about to cry when they announced that we won. It has been my long time dream to go to Paris!

Jakarta: Getting there and “The click! “

What makes Team East Asia (comprised of Team Philippines, Team Singapore and Team Indonesia) different is that we have gone through a regional finals. The East Asia Finals of Schneider Electric’s Go Green in the City  was held last May 15 – 17, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Schneider Electric Philippines flew us to Indonesia in style via Singapore Airlines.


We had to stop by Singapore before we headed to Indonesia. It was nice getting to walk on Singaporean ground (again) for a bit 😀 Ms. Gerilyn Baltan of Scheneider Electric Philippines was with us on our trip to Jakarta.


Considering that I wasn’t able to sleep prior to the flight, I was generally awake the entire flight. I made the most out of the perks of being in an SQ flight. Hahaha! That includes food  and drink. I even had a sip of Chardonnay.


I had my Ateneo Resident Students Association (ARSA) jacket to keep me warm 🙂

Ms. Arifa Lubis of Schneider Electric Indonesia welcomed us upon our arrival. The first new set of friends we made were from Team Vietnam.


Friends from Vietnam (from left to right): Thiên Minh and Thái Xuân Hồng Nhật (with legs raised) and Trần Hải, Trang Hoang, Phan Thị Thu and Do Ly Na (2nd row).

We then headed to Hotel Mulia where all the participants stayed. I kind of tested the feel of the bed before heading to the lobby to meet up for dinner. >:))))


Schneider Electric hosted a welcome dinner Kembang Goela. I say that this was when “the click” happened. We sat with Team Malaysia and it just snowballed after that. 🙂 I can’t explain it but we just got along so quickly. 😉


Dinner with Team Malaysia (Daniel Yong, Loh Hong Khai, Chloe Yap, Ting Ching, Ms. Geri and Enzo (not in the picture). Wei Han Ngan and Ong Chun Keat from ONE Team are busy eating at the table behind Ting Ching. As well as Adam and Mita of Team Indonesia. 🙂

We were then brought back to the hotel. Team Philippines prepped until around 2 am.


P.S. I was not mad but I was just a little groggy because of the lack of sleep! :)))))

What kept me busy…

You might have thought that like my previous blog, I have let this one die. Wrong! :)))) As much as possible, I would like to keep this alive. What stalled me from posting the things I wanted to share was a mix of catching up with academic work, a long exam about Control Systems and a review session about Laplace Transforms. Here is a cheat sheet I prepared for the exam about control systems featuring my barely legible handwriting. Image

I also got myself into new organizations this school year — Gawad Kalinga Ateneo and Ateneo Special Education Society (SPEED). More on this later. The next few posts will be about the East Asia leg of the Go Green in the City sponsored by Schneider Electric.

Schneider Electric’s Go Green in the City – Philippines

April 18, 2013 was the day Team Ateneo became Team Philippines. The top 3 teams in the Philippines presented in front of a panel of judges composed of Philippe Reveilhac, President of Schneider Electric Philippines; Martial Beck, VP & General Manager of European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines; and Engr. Homer Martin Ilagan of Schneider Electric Philippines.


One funny thing that happened (that I will never forget) was how I was still in my opening spiel and Philippe kept telling me that I forgot to introduce myself. :))) Team Philippines had a few tricks in the bag that surprised them and made sense at the end of the presentation.



And oh! I got to try sitting on the Philippe’s chair. Tried to feel how it is to be LIKE A BOSS  :))))


Square One

Square One

It was Dr. Reese Macabebe who informed us about Schneider Electric’s Go Green in the City. She thought that Lorenz “Enzo” Payonga and I would make a great team. Enzo has been an intern in Ma’am Reese’s laboratory for quite some time while I also showed interest in the field of renewable energy. Although, it was still our prerogative to join the competition. On a side note, I was at the Rizal Library when I read the e-mail informing us about the competition and reading through the e-mail stating that the finals will be in Paris gave me goosebumps.

The first hurdle was coming up with the idea. Both of us in the team had to think of energy efficient solutions that are feasible. It was Lorenz who had the Eureka! moment and thought of the concept behind Oscillohump. We consulted with Ma’am Reese before to go over our proposed solutions and she suggested we push through with the Oscillohump as our entry.

It was last March 26 when we got an e-mail from Ms. Rachelle Bada of Schneider Electric stating that we were part of the Top 3 finalist in the Philippine stage of the competition. I remember calling Enzo (who was in Albay) as soon as I read the e-mail. We really did not expect to get in.

During the preparatory stage for the Philippine Finals, I was already working as an intern in PLDT. Due to my prior commitment, it was Enzo who spent more time working on the prototype with the help of Mr. Sonny Toledo of the Electronics, Computer and Communications Engineering Department. For my part, I helped in building the business case. Both of us had to learn the technical and the business aspects of the project.

We had our doubts going into the finals but we just
wanted to give it our best. 😀

21 and a day older.

21 and a day older.

Seems like everything conspired just a minute before I turned a year older. I received my pre-birthday gift a week before I officially turned 21. I got to walk in the streets of Rueil-Malmaison, France (as seen in the picture) and Paris. To add to that our team got to bag the first place and I also got to meet new people from all over the world, including the new friends I met in Jakarta. So when I celebrated my birthday yesterday, I don’t know what else to ask for. I am overwhelmed by the support and love I already received.

Who would have thought that a girl who was asking her mom, which Foreign Language and Culture class to take last year (Chinese or French), would end up taking French because of her dream to visit France. A year later, this girl would actually be able to make her dreams come true. (I gotta thank Schneider Electric and Lorenz Payonga, my teammate for Go Green in the City 2013 for this opportunity.) Just on a side note, I was actually about the take Chinese because it was more practical. But my mom and Tito Tanny pushed me to take French because it is “the language of love.” Hahaha! 😀

For the 21 years I have enjoyed living, I learned to dream, hold on and keep my faith. Perhaps, the things I learned in the past year are more important that any flimsy material gifts.

Lastly, I just want to thank everyone who remembered and greeted me on my birthday. I feel so blessed for having a great bunch of people to share my 21 years with. Looking forward to more adventures in the years to come.

Wherever the roads will take me, I pray that God may continue to guide me.

I would like to thank Ms. Gigi Alcala of Essenxa Clothing for my Adore! top 😀

Schneider Electric’s Go Green in the City – Paris

Surprise! Surprise! The first post on this blog is about my recent trip to Paris for the Schneider Electric’s Go Green in the City 2013.

Schneider Electric, a specialist in energy management sponsored Go Green in the City and created an avenue for young innovators to share their ideas. Go Green in the City is an international case challenge in which business and engineering students develop ideas for intelligent energy management. Finalists earn career-advancement opportunities and a chance to win a trip around the world.  – See more at: and

Spoiler alert: My teammate, Lorenz Payonga, and I got to go to Paris for free c/o Schneider Electric. We got to meet a lot of people from all over the world with bright ideas. To add to that, we bagged the first place in the competition.

Sorry for the spoiler but I suggest that we start from the end and then I’ll tell you how we got here.

I would like to share to you the official photo from Schneider Electric of this year’s finalists with Jean-Pascal Tricoire, the President & CEO of Schneider Electric and other top executives of Schneider Electric in Le Hive, Rueil-Malmaison, France.

Go Green in the City 2013 Top 25 Teams with Jean Pascal Tricoire, President & CEO of Schneider Electric

Go Green in the City 2013 Top 25 Teams with Jean-Pascal Tricoire, President & CEO of Schneider Electric in front of Le Hive, Rueil-Malmaison, France