Let’s Get It On, Boston!

For someone who is from a tropical country and who might be currently experiencing the summer heat, the weather in Boston is quite the opposite. It was about 55°F outside when Lorenz and I decided to take a walk towards the Boston Aquarium where we would meet up with people from Schneider Electric, Andrea Franco and Dan DeLuca. We decided to walk along Washington St. and see what we would find there.

We saw that the theater district is quite near the hotel. Just at the intersection near the hotel, the Boston Opera House is located. I was personally fascinated by the architecture of the buildings in the vicinity. I am amazed at how old the structures must be but still there is beauty in it. There are even some restoration works ongoing.

We strolled further towards School St. where the Boston Irish Famine Memorial is located. Just across the street the Old South Meeting House, which is both a Museum and a Historic site, can be found. We were just passing by when we saw that admission today was for free. Since we still had time, we decided to enter the museum and learn some historical events that occurred there and in Boston in general. In memory of the bombing the occurred last year, the admission to the museum was for free, in the hope that people who would visit the site would use it as a reflective environment to think about the past events that took place in Boston.

After the stop at the museum, we passed by a shop called Cakeology. I was mainly attracted by the cute design of the store and the giant panda stuffed toy displayed inside. But we were also starving and decided to grab something to eat. Lorenz got a Pink Lemonade Cupcake while I got a Magic Bar, which is a bar of chocolates, caramel, desiccated coconut and peanuts.

We scurried towards State St. since it was already raining. The stroll in the park kind of walk just wouldn’t do. It was like in a snap of a finger, the weather changed. The winds were really strong and the rain kept pouring. Thank God I brought an umbrella with me! It was also a good thing that the guy from reception area of the hotel was kind enough to lend Lorenz an umbrella. But both our umbrella’s got beaten by the strong winds. If Lorenz and I were lighter in mass, we would have been carried by the wind with our umbrellas and fly like Mary Poppins.

We hurriedly walked towards the Boston Aquarium and decided to eat at a restaurant located near the Aquarium. The place is called The Legal Seafood. Lorenz ordered for some gumbo while I got crab meat cake. After lunch, we were finally able to meet Andrea and Dan.

Andrea planned to take us on a Duck Tour around Boston. But due to the inclement weather, the tours were cancelled for the day. We decided to head to the Museum of Science and spent the afternoon there. The museum had a couple of exhibits like the Hall of Human Life, the displays about computer science and robotics, the theater of electricity, the optics display and many more.

After going around the museum we headed to the North End for dinner at an Italian restaurant. But prior to heading to the restaurant, we walked along Hanover to see the churches and gardens. We also walked around the block and passed by the Paul Revere house. One thing that can be noted also was how the road near the Paul revere house was still made of cobblestone. After going around the area, Andrea took us to a place called Pagliuca’s where we enjoyed some scrumptious food. Lorenz had his fill of clams and other seafood served in a broth with pasta. Dan had roasted veal with potatoes. Andrea had some pasta (ziti) with chicken. I ordered Lobster Fra Diavolo. It was taxing to eat the lobster since it was covered in red sauce and to add to that, it was so big and was served with pasta.

We shared stories and got to know each other a bit over dinner. We discussed with Andrea and Dan our project and also talked about specific contributions in the process of completing the project. We also shared our experiences in Paris.

Although the weather was not in favor to what was originally planned, it turned out to be a great day. We really appreciated the time Andrea and Dan took to accompany us in going about the city. Today was about being immersed in a beautiful city with rich history, having great company in getting around and sharing a great meal at the end of the day.

Smitten by the beauty of Boston,
Alyssa

P.S. More photos can be found on my Facebook page. (Click here)

Across the Pacific Ocean

For the next couple of blogs, I will be reposting blogs I wrote while on the Go Green in the City Winner’s Trip sponsored by Schneider Electric. There were days when my teammate Lorenz wrote the entries for the official blog site so I will write about those days from my perspective. Here’s the first one from the bunch. Hope you enjoy and please do let me know what you think. 

Lorenz and I were set to fly to Boston but our point of entry was San Francisco. It is interesting how flying all the way to the other side of the pacific shows the interplay of time and space. After being aboard the plane for approximately 11 hours, we finally arrived in San Francisco.  What is interesting though is that after travelling more than 6,000 miles it seemed that we have gone back in time. We left Manila on Tuesday night, April 14 and arrived in San Francisco at around 7 PM, Tuesday, April 14.

We would have loved to check out San Francisco but Boston was already beckoning us from East Coast of the United States. We took another plane ride to Boston (approximately 6 hours). What was cool about the plane ride to Boston was having a female pilot. It was my first time to see and experience riding an aircraft that had a woman as a captain. Coincidentally, it goes along pretty well with the vision of Go Green in the City regarding the participation and role of women in society nowadays.

Once we landed at the Logan International airport and got our luggage, we were picked up by a chauffeur. Schneider Electric prepared all the bookings for us including the car service from the airport to the hotel. It was a short ride from the airport to the hotel. But we managed to get a glimpse of Boston. We can’t wait to explore the city while we are here! Please join us in our adventures as we travel around USA and Denmark through this blog.

All the best,

Alyssa

P.S.

On our way to the hotel, we passed by buildings with flags half-masted. It was the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing that happened last year. Our prayers go out to all who were victims of the bombing.

 

Along the River Seine

After all the hard work we put into our presentations, Schneider Electric took us to Paris for dinner. Michel Orlhac, SE’s VP for Marketing, acted as our tour guide as we drove along the Champs-Élysées. We were along the Champs-Élysées when I caught my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.  We also passed by the Arc de Triomphe. But what took my breath away was the sight of the Eiffel Tower as we drove by. Someday, I will be back to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. But for now, it shall have to wait.

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Once we got to the docks the riverboat was not there yet. We took the time to get to know more about the other participants and the people from Schneider Electric. We could not mask the excitement that we have while we marvel at the scenic  view.

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The riverboat finally arrived and we found ourselves aboard Le bateau-mouche Capitaine Fracasse. We wined and dined while we cruised along River Seine. The sun sets really late in Paris but when sun did set and the moonlight shone, Paris was simply a breathtaking sight to behold.

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We passed by Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre, Notre Dame and many more interesting architectural structures. But perhaps one interesting thing that I noticed were the young Parisians who were sitting by the river, holding a bottle of beer, enjoying chatting with friends and just having a good time. It must be good to be young and feel young in Paris. One thing I wish I could do is just blend in and get lost at the heart of Paris. But nevertheless, I feel blessed to have been given the chance to cruise along the Seine.

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The Indonesian Vibe

http://youtu.be/MI4F-O8aF1c ??????????????????????????????? Nothing beats good company, good food and good music. Schneider Electric Indonesia organized an appreciation dinner to culminate the Go Green in the City East Asia. We got the opportunity to converse with Zeljko Kosanovic, East Asia Zone President at Schneider Electric. We know a bit about his background and work at Schneider Electric. But more than that we are able to know a little bit about the Indonesian culture through music.  The dinner featured an interactive entertainment. The band played familiar tunes using traditional Indonesian instruments. Each of us got a chance to play a note using an angklung. The angklung is a musical instrument made of two bamboo tubes attached to a frame. One hand holds the middle of the frame and the other hand holds the end of the bottom frame and shakes the instrument to produce a certain note.

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I got to use an angklung that produces a higher C note. Other participants held angklungs that produce different pitch to complete the octave. The anklungs were numbered and the conductor used hand gestures to indicate which angklung should be played. To add to that, we all got to keep the angklung as a souvenir. ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? P.S. The video on this blog was originally uploaded by a fellow participant from Malaysia, Ong Chun Keat on his Facebook page. 🙂

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.

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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.

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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! >.<

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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!

Outfit of the Day – Jakarta: May 16, 2013

When conceptualizing a presentation, I believe that it is necessary to consider the aesthetics of the slides and the visual appeal of the presenters. Since I cannot alter my physical attributes, the next best thing is to find clothes that would look  good on stage or in front of the audience. During the Philippine stage of the competition, we have chosen to wear our school color – BLUE. We have decided to wear of the same color scheme in Indonesia for Schneider Electric’s Go Green in the City – East Asia.

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The search for the “perfect” dress… It was Bea Lozada, a co-intern in PLDT, who braved Trinoma with me to look for that single dress. She found what seemed to be the perfect dress in People are People. Thank God for her eye for dresses! 😀 I matched the dress with a pair of nude colored shoes. I tried to achieve a more natural look in terms of make up. (It was all my make up skills could do. LOL!) I wore the Guess watch I got as a present from Tita Grace for my High School graduation and the pair of dangling earrings that I wore on my 18th birthday. To complete the outfit, I wore a Philippine flag pin.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. >:))))

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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. 😉

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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.

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

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.

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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.

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

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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. 😀

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: http://www.gogreeninthecity.com and http://www.schneider-electric.com

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