Friday, March 30, 2007

Sukeban Boy

I was able to attend Weng-sensei's Jap10-11 final class session for this semester. I actually arrived a little late that the people are already videoke-ing. I was able to eat pancit and also had a slice of cake as well. The Jap class was supposed to present their final film project this day, however they lacked time for editing. Instead, they showed some raw and unedited clips which served as trailers for their film.

After the 'party', we proceeded to Det's home which is just a walk away from AS (and is actually near EEE). We ate Earl-san's (aka 'Claire-chan') homemade mango float (crema de fruta?), in his absence. For some weird reason, Det-san made us watch Sukeban Boy. At first we thought it was a Battle Royale type of film, but the heck, it turned out to be ecchi. I could not help but laugh about how stupid the movie is. It just shows how perverted Japanese people can be, and how low they treat women. The plot is so weak; the camera is repeatedly focused on female topless nudity. This is not actually anything like hardcore porn, but rather more of adult slapstick comedy film. Det-san, what were you thinking? Weng-sensei watched it with us! hahahaha! Was it a feel good movie? My answer: "nakakatawang nakakainis!" hahahahaha!

====

I promised BiT Micro and SMART that I shall give out my decision by the end of the month. It's the end of the month already! Help! hahahaha! I'm still undecided, actually. And there are several opportunities surfacing up along the way. I'm still waiting for the offer that I can't refuse. ;)

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posted by ScIoN 8:26 PM |


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ureshikute Subarashii

It had been a wonderful day today.

I got to play tennis with Christian, a labmate and current batch head for this sem's TennisUP application. It had been weeks since my last tennis game. I think I have not played tennis ever since I came back from Japan. Who would have thought that after the tennis game and a shower, my blood pressure regularized to about 130/90? Ganito ba ako kaadik sa tennis? Tennis lang pala katapat ng high blood ko e hehe. Well, this is still in the prehypertension area but at least I was able to lower it down from 140/100. I hope I would be able to lower it more these coming days.

After lunch, I went to EEE and claimed my salary check from IEEE-Philippines. Ipod o kaitai desune. Ikura? hehehe. Went to IML in order to synthesize my shifter block for the CoE113 Final MP. My partner Maurice's block seemed to be unsynthesizable, or probably there's something wrong with his testbench. There have been errors in the waveform outputs. As soon as I used my shifter design and my own testbench, the generated waveforms now have been ideal. Yeah! With regard to our MIPS processor, all of the instructions had been tested individually though we still need to test it with the complete program flow. We used Maurice's design since he already had a headstart. There had been some minor flaws in his design, good thing we started early so now we had it fully functional already. Hopefully we would be able to 'perfect' this MP, once and for all!

Late in the afternoon, I jogged around campus. IML cool guys: Bryann, Gian and Dean actually jogged earlier, and I was able to catch up with them during my first half of a lap. Dean and Gian already slowed down because of Dean's knee. Since they were just walking, I continued with my own pace.

I forgot to mention before here in my blog that I found a casio watch in my room at the Toshiba guest house in Japan. It's a Casio JC-11, and its special features are specifically for jogging/walking. It's cool since I am able to use it, now that I would consider jogging as a habit. My pacing is usually different from other people, it may be faster or slower. I get tired easily when I am with jogmates who have a faster pace, so I usually would want to jog alone at my own pace. With the pacemaker, I am able to maintain a constant pace suitable to me. This is good since having constant pace would make you feel comfortable and balanced all throughout jogging. With tennis and jogging in the list of my activities, I should be able to normalize my blood pressure in time for my follow-up med exam. I'd like to thank Charity for the sphygmomanometer she lent me. Because of that, I am able to monitor my BP regularly. I'm quite surprised with myself because I get to learn new things lately. Just last week, I was able to learn how to bike, and now I already know how to measure blood pressures. When I measure my own BP, I don't even need a stethoscope! haha. Before, I had to rely on my room mate to measure my BP. Now, people have been lining up requesting me to measure their blood pressures.

I think my spirits are getting high up again. ;)

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posted by ScIoN 9:56 PM |


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Health is Wealth

I've been too busy lately that I no longer had any physical activity for the past few weeks. Usually it should have been tennis, but I guess I had been preoccupied lately with my pending job applications. 2 weeks ago, I had my medical exam at SMART wherein I found out that I have high blood pressure. My hypothesis is that I am just stressed. I do hope it is only stress, because if not then I might have other complications in my organs.

Just recently, I invited my blocmate Bevan to jog at UP. I guess this would be my very first physical activity for the last few weeks. Jogging is not really my habit since I do have tennis as a sport, and that I'm not pressured into losing some fat. Usually, people who like to jog want to stay and look fit. In my case, I already feel fit. Though I really don't know why the heck should I have high blood pressure, unless the main reason is stress. With regard to fat, I actually need some since I noticed I became a bit thinner than usual because I usually skip meals.

Aside from having Bevan as my jogmate, I invited him because I wanted to know more things about BiT Micro, the company where he works at. Actually, I wanted him to convince me. Up to now, I am still undecided so I really have to gather more information. As of now, 3 of my bloc mates are already under BiT Micro (News: CarloLara already signed up), aside from them there are already dozens of UP EEE alumni.

Funny, since I am not used to jogging I got easily tired compared to Bevan who I think is a gym freak nowadays (hehe). We had more rounds of walking instead of jogging. Through the walks, we talked about mature stuffs specifically about work. I know, my BiT Micro bloc mates are anticipating my decision on whether I join them or not.

For this day, I had slept well (12am is already early for me), woke up at about 9am. Jogged around campus at about 4pm. Later, I'm going to check my blood pressure again, and see if I am still stressed. I'm crossing my fingers on this one.

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posted by ScIoN 10:00 PM |


Saturday, March 24, 2007

On a High

EDIT: Included pics from Bryann's blowout

I'm getting worried over my blood pressure. For the last few days, my average blood pressure is 140/100, and it is already at the high blood region. I was only able to know this because of my medical exam for SMART, and now I am quite pressured in lowering it at the soonest possible time.

Having high blood pressure means that I am not fit. This surprises me since I feel just normal, with no complaints. I don't even look like a person likely to get high blood. Perhaps I may just be too stressed after all the job interviews I went through, the QC-Taft/Ayala trips and also because of this end of sem madness.
-------------

Yesterday, the cool guys together with IML faculty went to Bryann's house due to his invitation for dinner. Sir Bryann just received his delayed UP instructor's salary and so he decided to sponsor some sort of dinner bash.It was pretty nice to have some bonding moments again with the IML faculty, although SirRichard is no longer present since he is already puruing his Phd studies in the UK. We played poker with Ma'amJoy and Ma'amTess, while SirMarc jammed with Arnold and Gian in the background (with the use of 2 acoustic guitars and a K-hon), Ma'amTata and SirFranz just observed the poker game.

Despite me having the high blood syndrome, I did not stop myself in eating lechon from the dinner table. The food was actually plenty for all of us to eat, too bad I was a bit restricted at this time.

After the faculty left, we jammed with Bryann's karaoke machine. I think this was the very first time I indulged myself in Karaoke singing. Perhaps because all of us were guys, that it's okay to sing wildly. I really had fun last night. Although that event cost me precious sleep time, I felt unstressed. I really believe that having fun would give me my best medicine. I'm really really looking forward for more 'outings'/bonding moments such as this.

Friends, where art thou? Let's get it on and have some unadulterated fun!

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posted by ScIoN 7:29 PM |


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bicycle

I am conquering my frustrations in life one by one. First, I wanted to learn how to swim. Last semester, I enrolled in a swimming class (PE) then by the end of the semester, I can do different strokes, one of which is the difficult 'butterfly'. We were fortunate that our instructor was Prof.Rivera, the very coach of the winnable UP Swimming Team.

Just recently, me and my labmates' (Elma and Yugs) plan of having a biking session had finally pushed through. Of those present were Yugs, Elma and me of IML, Argel and Jeric of CNL, Danes of DSP, and (Ma'am) Roma of WCEL.

We had planned a biking session (and skating too) at the QC Circle because I was still inexperienced in riding a bicycle. Although I knew how to skate so I can teach Elma and Yugs in return. However, due to lack of time, the skating session was postponed.

I'd like to thank my 'master', Jeric the Joketh, since he was the one focused on teaching me how to properly ride the bike. Jeric gave me the right orders and tips while I was able to understand well what he meant so it became relatively easy for me to adapt. I'd like to give credit to each of our own kind of athleticism. Both of us are very much involved in sports, so I guess it was easy for him to teach me, and for me to learn from him.

I'm proud to say that I was able to learn this biking 'skill' more or less in 20mins (well, that was what I promised to Yugs and Elma during our planning session). However, this does not mean that I could be a daredevil already. Perhaps, on my next trial... I'd be good. :D

I'm really looking forward to ckt barkadahan outings, yep I miss you guys (yo! '01 peeps! g23 blocmates!). In less than a month's time, I may be immersed into the corporate world already. We may all slowly drift apart...

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posted by ScIoN 8:40 PM |


Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Waiting

Just recently watched the Frank Miller film, 300, with Det-san and Tsen*-san. Actually, there were 2 Tsen*-sans because Fem* brought along her sister. This movie outing had been planned as a Jap12-13 class get-together wherein we also invited Weng-sensei. This is in celebration of our passing the JLPT Level 4 exam. The results of the exams were delivered to us individually, and as far as we know, everyone in our class passed. Save for Divina-san, she took the JLPT Level 3, and yes she passed. :D すごい ね.

Unfortunately, it was only the 4 of us who showed up at SM North. Weng-sensei texted us that she'll be coming from Ortigas, and would definitely catch up. Jerick-sempai, Det & Fem's * Jap10-11 classmate who just came from a 1-year scholarship in Japan, had not shown up or rather couldn't be located because he doesn't have a cellphone.

While waiting for the others, we decided to eat our dinner at Mcdonald's. Feamor's sister was a bubbly type of person, and she had been revealing too much information about her sister already. They were like twins who are eternal companions from sleep to work (Both work at Net25). At one point, she asked to look at my palm, and she just gave an approving nod. I thought she was getting superstitous or something, until Feamor told me that she can 'see people'.

Apparently, Fem's* sister had a reading, and that she revealed it to me later. She told me that 'I am currently 'considering' someone right now though I really don't plan making any move. I should not worry, since someday I would meet/be with this SOMEONE (probably the person I am considering right now, or somebody else).

I was caught off-guard regarding her statements. I did not expect her to 'read' me, especially when the topic became something related with my nonexistent love life. What she said struck me since there is some truth in it. I've heard Feamor's testimonials about her sister's ability, and some of it were freaky. Her gift is not mainly involved in love matters. Some are serious ones. Most 'seers' would say vague things that apply to the general public, however in this case she got it right and is quite specific. At least she was right when she assumed that I am not seeing anyone right now or that I don't have any girlfriend. Most strangers would be surprised when they would learn that I don't have a gf and I actually never had one. Jeff even thinks I'm a chickboy/playboy.

I am in a waiting status. There is no need to rush. The woman whom I consider to court would be the woman I consider to marry some day. I don't need a gf just for the sake of companionship. I always observe people and their behaviour. I had seen many couples who had fun with each other in the beginning, but eventually split up in a couple of years; usually because they got bored or one of them found a bigger fish. I don't want to be one of those hypocrites pretending to be falling in love today, then wanting to fall out in due time.

I always think long term. Right now, I would like to focus on my career paths, to prepare for the future. Right now, I strive hard in improving myself. At this point in time, I wouldn't make any move on any woman I like. Not because I like her means that I need her (thus, must have her). I still have to establish myself. I may be able to offer her fun and laughter today, but someday it's just not enough. Reality will eventually sink in.

If ever I'm going to court a woman, most probably we already know each other. My idea of courtship starts when the intent had been made known. There should be no more major convincing on my part; by then, she should have known me enough and would be able to gauge how worthy I am for her. There should be no need for me to put my best foot forward since I want her to evaluate me based on who I am and not on what I can be (since it can only be temporary). I could never see myself courting a woman I have barely known. I am no Johnny Bravo.

This post could also be the ultimate answer to the questions people usually ask to me on why I don't have/ never had a gf. Perhaps I just believe in soul mates. If people are meant to be, then they are meant to be. Tsen*-san's (sister) gift did not really show me specifically that something will happen, but it did help me realize what kind of person I am and my way of thinking.

On who could be this someone I am waiting for, I really don't know. I am just hoping for the best.

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posted by ScIoN 12:36 AM |


Friday, March 16, 2007

Medical

Stress is taking its toll lately.

Yesterday, I went to PLDT MGO office for my medical examination for SMART. My blood pressure was high according to the doctor. It was at 140/100. I was shocked because I didn't expect I would have problems with high blood pressure.

The night before medical, I stayed up late as usual. The morning after, I rushed towards Ayala; thus, was not able to eat breakfast. Perhaps these are the reasons why my blood pressure rose that high. Not to mention that commuting from QC to Makati is also a stressful one. I just hope I wouldn't fail the labs. Hopefully my only deficiency would be the high blood pressure which I can retake once I get back.

One funny moment at the medical exam was when I was given a plastic cup for my urinary sample. There was already a desire for me to pee at that time. Since the plastic cup couldn't handle all what I can offer, I peed on the toilet bowl first and tried to catch what was left in order to avoid overflowing the cup. The transition was smooth, however I was only able to put less than half the volume of the cup. By the time I submitted my sample, I was told that it should be filled by more than half. They asked me to redo it, and ordered me to throw the sample. I had to start again from scratch. I was like a poor guy who didn't know where to get money in order to pay for his dues. There was a time that I tried to take my sample, but then I couldn't fill the container. After that, I went up to the cafeteria and drank lots of water. After about an hour or so, I was finally able to produce. What a success! ;)

I've met interesting people yesterday along the way. First was this Asian who asked directions towards Makati Ave. Since I was heading towards PLDT MGO, I tagged him along. At first, I thought he was Japanese and I was quite excited to test my Nihonggo skills, however he told me he was Chinese. We conversed along the way, and I've learned that he came here to the Philippines in order to find a place to stay for retirement. Actually, this guy had been in Thailand for 7 years already. He was good in English since he graduated from University of California-Berkeley; he had been an accountant under a large firm. Wow, he's big time. I really enjoy talking with foreigners especially when they become interested with the Philippines. I remember Jie Cui of Singapore when we had a taxi conversation at Japan.

He was originally asking if the jeepneys available in the area would bring him to Makati Ave. I explained to him that I really was not familiar with the area, that's why I just walk. I told him that I was there for my job applications, particularly with SMART where I am scheduled for my medical exam.

There may have been a reason why I met this man. Maybe God's way of relaying a message to me. I am currently facing a fork along the road. Here is a man who had been big time in a company, yet he did not enjoy. Now, he wants to enjoy life to its fullest. He told me that in work, "it's not all about the money. You have to go find where your passion is." As we reached Makati Ave., we bid our farewells. "Good luck on your career young man!" And all I could say to him was, "Enjoy your stay ". He was a stranger, yet he saw the potential in me. We were like old friends, too bad I was not able to get any of his contacts. If ever he'll need some help here in the Philippines, I'd be very glad to help.

At the MGO Building I saw Adrian, who was a co-worker before at ePLDT's Teleflora account. Both of us were taking the medical exams. Apparently, he was there because he had applied again at ePLDT, and now the account he'll be handling will be Mitsubishi. Now, we are taking different paths as I'm being considered at SMART as a Developer, and for him, still a call center agent.

In the afternoon, I went to BiT Micro for my final interview under the CEO. We were scheduled for an interview at 2pm, however it was only about 345pm that the CEO arrived. We were 7 in the batch which includes CarloLara and LeiManio from UP. I hate it when we were always asked to wait at BiT Micro.

During the interview by the CEO, I've learned that his wife is a top executive of PLDT. Funny, because I now have to choose between his company or his wife's. I am actually torn in between. BiT Micro is the company where my background is very related to, which is on hardware design/ R&D. SMART offers very good compensation packages, and is focused on software design. In a week's time, I have to hand in over my decision.
Destiny is NOT a matter of CHANCE, but a matter of CHOICE

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posted by ScIoN 7:20 AM |


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

SMART Offer

Yesterday, I slept too late (2am) because we had been playing Yugi-oh: Power of Chaos, a software trading card game which we play via our dorm LAN. I really have to be at Ayala by 9am, since I was scheduled for a psych and medical exam at SMART.

I had set my cellphone alarm at 6am. Woke up only at 7am thanks to Wena's text. Took a quick bath, changed and rushed towards the MRT station. At about 8am, MRT QAve had been filled with people. We even have to line up through escalator, and at some time the train station had to deny entry until the volume of people already inside got lessened. Aside from the queue for going up, I also have to queue in for my MRT pass since I only usually buy single-fare tickets. Waiting for the train is another pain in the ass since trains were already full-packed by the time it reaches QAve. One has to squeeze in.

I arrived at the SMART office at 930am. Thankfully, nothing happened yet, and we still actually waited for the HR, Ms. Ruby. First, we were given the psych exam. I got scared a bit when Wena told me that her friend eventually did not get accepted because of his psych exam. How could you fail an exam which has no right or wrong answers?

After turning over our psych tests, we waited a while until I was given a Logic exam. After hearing Wena's story, I got a bit paranoid. I was the only one given a Logic exam, while Wena was called towards the HR cubicles. I even thought that one of us might have failed the psych test. It just turned out that while I had started the logic exam, Wena had been invited for a short talk with the HR. After her interview, she also came back carrying the logic exam, and I'm next in line for the HR interview.

After the short talk with Ms. Ruby, I had to go up the 31st floor where the CPG (Convergent Processes Group) work. Sir Mike (my 3rd interviewer - and CPG manager?) was on leave so I was relayed to Sir Chino, a Supervisor. Sir Chino actually didn't know what to do with me. He called 2 of his colleagues and gave me a technical interview instead. As usual, I told them that my background is in hardware programming, and hopefully Sir Mike knows where I should be placed if ever I join their group. Too bad sir Mike was not around, he's actually the person who wants to hire me.

Our job offer interview and medical exam was scheduled in the afternoon, so we had the chance to eat at the cafeteria located on the 4th floor. We were surprised because the food there were cheap! I ordered Sinigang na spare ribs which was only 30 pesos! Sulit talaga! I'm happy, since if ever I get to work there, I won't have problems spending money on food. Take note, they're in Ayala, Makati. Probably, the food is subsidized, or maybe it's just okay for the caterer to lower their prices since they have monopolized the whole building (SMART tower).

In the afternoon, Wena and I got our respective job offers. We were supposed to have our medical exam at the PLDT MGO office, however cutoff time was 230pm. So I still have to wake up a little bit early again tomorrow for my medical exam.

Tomorrow at 2pm, I'm going to have my final interview with the CEO of Bit Micro. Afterwards, I'm expecting for their offer. So it's really going to be BiT Micro vs. SMART to me.

Let's Get It On!

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posted by ScIoN 9:10 PM |


Monday, March 12, 2007

SMART IT Summit

Last Friday, I had received the regrets email from Toshiba. I had decided ever since that if I'm not shortlisted for Toshiba, then I'd attend the SMART summit which was scheduled the next day. Good thing, I had prepared myself for the worst case scenario, so at least I'm moving on pretty well.

The IT summit was actually SMART's own job fair. Since I still don't have any official offer from any company, randomly applying wouldn't hurt. "Sige, apply lang ng apply" became my motto. Invitation letters had been actually distributed weeks ago, good thing I was able to preregister online. Before, I was just concentrating on my Toshiba interviews, hoping to nail their elusive jobs. Now, at least I did not regret preregistering online.

I really had no intention applying at SMART because my background as a Computer Engineer is in hardware programming, not software. The IT industry here in the Philippines usually need proficiency in at least C/C++ and Java. My C/C++ background is only limited to what I had learned in my basic CS subjects.

But where should I go if I am going to pursue hardware design in the Philippines? My only choice would be Bit Micro. Because of this, I had to prepare myself in case I would shift to software programming. With Toshiba already out of the list, it's Bit Micro vs. others (pertaining to IT companies like Soluziona, SMART et al).

It was a last minute decision for me to go to the IT summit. I texted Argel the night before and asked what time shall they meet (CNL guys) at the QAve MRT station. I even stayed up late despite the fact that I had to be there at the station by 7am (which means I have to get out of UP earlier than that).

At the summit venue, I did not expect my fellow Toshiba interviewees from Ateneo to be there. More so, Wena who will be receiving a job offer from Toshiba was also present in the event. Ateneans actually have no more academic work to do at school. They're actually just waiting for graduation to come, so they now have ample time to concentrate on job applications and interviews.

The whole morning of the summit was dedicated to some testimonials coming from SMART employees. After the talks, it was time for their InfoQuest challenge where Argel was the UP representative. Argel made it to the final round, earning him a 1GB flash disk. Too bad, he was really close into winning the top prize, a bnew 3G phone, which was eventually won by someone from La Salle.

Interview sessions were scheduled in the afternoon. SMART really had a very efficient way in handling their interviews. Even though there were many interviewees coming from various schools, everything was well organized.

For my first interview, I was assigned to an HR lady. The HRs, being nontechnical people, were most likely instructed to screen in only those proficient in software programming. Since it's not my background, I was nearly booted out. I knew I handled the interview pretty well, however SMART really don't have a position for guys like me accustomed in microprocessor design. All they needed were Java or C/C++ programmers.

I was told that I would be put into active file, in case there would be an opening relating to my skills. It was already a sign for the end. Before my interview ended, the HR asked me if I had joined any other summit or company event relating to job applications. The latest, I told her, which was actually my recent stint at Toshiba-Japan. Within that instant, she paused for a while and excused herself for several minutes. When she finally came back, she told me that she referred me to a project head who is willing to accept people like me (I told them I am willing to shift from hware programming to software).

It was a guy for my 2nd interview. Still the same, he was asking me questions about my background in software programming, and I can't impress him about my experience in hardware programming. He then explained to me the different departments at SMART, and gave me a choice where I think I could fit in. I told him that in case I would really shift to software, I prefer to be a hardcore C/C++ programmer. Then again, I was referred to another interviewer.

I thought my case was funny, because I felt I was just being passed around. My companions at the summit only had one interview, while I am going to have my 3rd. I still had no idea, where I'm heading at. A few moments after my 2nd interview, my name was called again.

For my 3rd interview, it became quite a bit different. The interviewer became a bit more interested with my background (particularly in multicore systems) and did not expect much of my software programming skills. After some time, I've realized that it was already him who does most of the talking. My interviewer described in full detail the organizational structure of the SMART IT department. He is a member of SMART's Convergent Processing Group (CPG), the division responsible in handling new technologies and processes. He actually told me that he IS convincing me to join SMART. I did not expect that.

I don't know if the info about my coming to Japan was carried over to him. I'd say it's still a blessing. All throughout the interviews, I had never packaged myself as a software programmer, and still here I am having the possibility of working under SMART. Mr. Luwalhati told me that they had been acquiring multicore systems such as the Niagara T2000 and that is where I could fit in. Perhaps I may be involved in the applications of multithreading and other stuffs concerning computer architecture. Perhaps, I would be the first guy in their department who is involved in the field of digital design, and so that is a good thing.

After my 3rd interview, I was told to wait again. I thought I'm going to have a fourth interview. During this break, I was able to talk again with Wena who had also applied. She still would want to explore other opportunities here in the Philippines, but I doubt any other local company would trump out her Toshiba slot. Eventually we were both called and it turned out we are already shortlisted for SMART. If I remember it right, the next phase should be a medical and psych exam. Wena and I decided to have the same schedule and we chose Wednesday.

----
This monday, I got an international call from the US. It turned out that I was called by BobBianchi, President of Agilynx. His company is based in the US and he is in need of a VHDL developer. Another who would've thought moment for me. Actually, his offer was just part time, some sort of freelancing work and that all I needed to do was just code and send it via internet. However, it seemed he needed the help asap. I told him I could only be available some time April, since I'm still a student and the finals are underway. I'm quite excited for this one because I can use what I have learned in school.

After the Toshiba interviews, I thought I could never find a job suitable to my background except that of Bit Micro. I'm happy that at least I'm not yet that lost.

When a door of opportunity closes, 2 new doors open... and still counting.

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posted by ScIoN 10:29 PM |


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Opportunity Awaits

The results for the Toshiba-Japan final interview had been released yesterday. We were all contacted via email; unfortunately, I am not going to be offered a job. I was kind of hopeful of being considered because my final interview went well. However, there may be other factors to consider why I am no longer chosen. I am still waiting for Jie Cui's reply if she got accepted. But basing on our respective interviews, I knew that mine was better. However, there were hints that the business unit we were applying at didn't necessarily need to open slots.

I've always wanted myself to prepare for the worst to come. Based on experience, I had better results when I didn't expect much on 'winning'. I really thought that Toshiba is the opportunity I have been waiting for. Everything seemed to fall into place. Even when I got back home, I just received my JLPT level 4 certification.

The Japan experience was really something I did not expect to happen in my life. Who would've thought that I would someday be able to make use of my knowledge in Nihonggo. One of my personal trademarks is for having a 1-hour advance configured watch. And Japan is notably 1 hour advanced from the Philippines. So when I got there, no need to reconfigure!

In one of our essays at the Toshiba interviews, there was this question, "What is a happy moment for you? Describe one happy moment." My specific example was the whole Toshiba-Japan excursion. No one can blame me: It was my first time to ride a plane. It's an international trip to Japan, a country I admire. Ideal job. Both me and my mom came home at the same time; even though we came from different places. How common is that?

I may not have made it for the job offer, but still I am happy for those who passed. Last year, 3 were offered a job; however, only 1 pushed through. Hopefully this year, all 3 would accept the job offer.

Congratulations to JmerConcepcion (MatE) and MichelleOngkingco (CS), both are from UP. Congratulations also to Wena from Ateneo, who really was the unanimous choice under the Industrial Systems of Toshiba. I'm happy I've met new friends through these interviews.

And I quote,
“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” - Alexander Graham Bell
Moving on...

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posted by ScIoN 7:01 PM |


Thursday, March 08, 2007

It's Not Fun Waiting

Hi.
I am also anticipating the results and it's not fun waiting. For now, I'm still praying for favorable results for the Phils.
And...guys I'm also excited to see all of you and share stories and hear your experiences and see ALL YOUR PICTURES.I hope that we can all get together next week when I get back from my out of town trip.
Take care everyone and God bless!
Best Regards,
Ms. Arleene
She is one of the Toshiba-Philippines HR people who had helped us all throughout the whole Toshiba interview process. She's correct, it's not fun waiting, especially when it's a probable career that is on stake. Just like I had stated in my earlier posts, I enjoyed my interview and never got any negative hints from my interviewers/panel.

I've been back to the Philippines since Feb 28, and the results will come out the latest on March 9. That is about more than a week of torture on our part. On some days I've felt positive, while some other days I was a bit down. I'm being haunted by this whole Toshiba thing.

By tomorrow, I shall be at peace whether I get to be offered a job or not. The suspense is killing me. I may be hopeful but I'm not expecting an immediate offer either. Based on experience, it's better for me to expect for the worst to happen. Lately, I have tried distracting myself by attending to the interviews I had been invited to. Elma, Yugs, and I even planned to have some biking/skating session today, however it didn't push through because Elma had some homeworks to finish. I had to play tennis instead just to keep my spirits high.

I had recently joined the Toshiba Global yahoogroups set up by one guy from Singapore. Just this morning, I read a message coming from a member announcing that he had already been contacted by the Power Systems Company. This afternoon, about 5 more posted about their results... so far none yet from the Semiconductors company.

When people ask me when shall I know the results, I always say "on or before March 9". So yeah, they have already started announcing today, the 8th. So far, I have not been contacted yet. I'm not yet giving it up. Not till the official letter/email had been sent to me, or not until I have been called by any Toshiba personnel about the results.

Funny, I've set my stealth settings on my Toshiba ym friends to invisible status. I don't want to hear some news yet. I can't help but read 2 of my colleague's status messages. One read: moving on, while the other has a lengthier version: i'll keep on waiting...waiting on the world to change...

This just means that they also don't have any results yet, and are also waiting. And it hurts. Wena, who seemed to be a shoo-in for Toshiba, only has a blank status message so I don't know. I'm hoping that the Philippines still have no idea on who passed or not. haha.

The suspense is killing me. Tomorrow's going to kill me more.

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posted by ScIoN 5:26 PM |


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Toshiba Chronicles IV

Feb27:
I woke up at about 630am. I went out of my room and realized that the others had already gone and probably boarded the bus towards the airport. My final interview is scheduled at 1030am at the Toshiba - Oita Prefecture, still within Yokohama. My call time at the lobby was 9:15am. I noticed that I was the only one wearing business attire that morning. Most of my colleagues' interviews are scheduled in the afternoon, if not the next day.

The schedules for the final interview was given the night before. Jmer and Sheila, had no scheduled interview for this day so it was their free day. As for me, I shall be free only in the afternoon, after my interview. The next day, those who no longer have interviews on the 28th are scheduled to go home.

Sheila had a relative who is actually a 'TNT' in Japan. Since it was their free day, they had the luxury to wander around Japan with a guide. I actually told them to wait for me till the afternoon so that I may be able to join; however, Sheila was not sure about their itinerary and it would depend on her tita.

In our schedules, Jie Cui of Singapore and I have the same time slot of interview at the Toshiba in-house Semiconductor company. I was able to talk to Jie Cui the night before and we compared our fields of specialization. She is mainly involved with Analog Mixed Signals, and is also knowledgeable in using Cadence tools. We were not sure if we were competing for the same job or if our job applications just fall under one department.

I waited for Ryo-san at the main lobby. He gave me a printed copy of the map towards Oita which would be given to the taxi driver. I had to go alone to Oita since Jie Cui already has another interview prior to our 1030am schedule. At least she has another interview, while I only have one shot. Ryo-san showed the map to my taxi driver and gave him some sort of taxi ticket.

Taxis in Japan are far different from what you see here in the Philippines. Drivers are well-dressed and very courteous. I was amazed since the taxi has a GPS monitor inside. My driver just inputted some details based from the map given to him. All throughout our trip, the driver was relying on his monitor as it gave directions. Probably, the GPS monitor gives out the optimized path towards our destination. It even indicates what U-turn slot to go, and every toll gate and traffic light is also registered in the monitor. I enjoyed the ride despite having a near car collision on the way. How dare did I even think that experiencing an accident in Japan is high end.

After about an hour, we had finally reached the Oita site where I shall have my final interview. I looked on the taxi meter and it registered 7300 yen! That's already thousands of pesos! Good thing Toshiba still paid for it.

I was greeted at the lobby of the microelectronics center of Toshiba. The receptionists knew how to speak English, which is very rare in Japan. I was told to wait for my interviewer. I was expecting that it would again be a panel interview, just like in the first phase.

Mr. Takao Ito, met up with me in the lobby and ushered me into an empty conference room. It turned out that he would be the one interviewing me. Mr. Takao Ito is the senior manager of analog design CAD department, System LSI second business unit, Toshiba Corporation Semiconductor Company.

Jie Cui hadn't arrived yet, so while waiting, Mr. Ito gave me a 4-question exam. After I turned over my exam, we then proceeded with my presentation. Again, I had presented our thesis project to him, one way of showcasing the skills I had learned in the university. I was aiming for the job wherein they have preferred skills in Cadence, VHDL/Verilog-AMS, EDA tools, etc. I would say that my interview went fine, since I got no negative hints coming from Ito-san. Btw, Ito-san is quite adept with his English. I didn't have to try some Nihonggo on him.

Jie Cui finally came when I was about to end my presentation. After my interview, Ito-san called and introduced me to a Singaporean guy who was just a new hire (last November). I think he works under the EDA tools department, hopefully where I may be assigned if ever I am to be accepted. I was then given a tour at the offices, while Jie Cui had her interview.

After my office tour, our taxi was already waiting outside. Jie Cui's interview had to be cut short by Ito-san. It turned out that the Singaporean guy knew Jie Cui because she was his senior back at NTU. Ito-san also told us that we had to catch up with our lunch at the guest house, so we really had to get going.

In the taxi, I had some bonding moments with Jie Cui. She is a Phd Candidate at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, about 5 years my senior. She told me she was a bit frustrated because her interview got cut short. For the 1 hour ride back to the guest house, we talked about lots of things. I explained to her the current situation in the Philippines. I told her about our politics, wherein actors become politicians and eventually win. I gave her an idea about the relatively high cost of living in Japan compared to the Philippines. I also told her that the Philippines only have few design companies. If ever I would not be accepted by Toshiba, I would probably work under a company wherein I could not apply what I had learned in the university. She felt sorry for me (haha! nagmukha ata akong kawawa) and did hope that both of us would be accepted.

We ate lunch together at the Guest house. By that time, 3 of my Filipino colleagues arrived at the Guest house, carrying shopping bags. It turned out that they just came from Yokohama, about 4 train stations away from Shin-Yokohama. Too bad I was not able to join them because of my interview. That afternoon, it would be their interview as well, but they will be going to Tokyo.

I was left all alone. I had no other Filipino companion since they all have their scheduled interviews that afternoon. Jmer and Sheila had not been back ever since, and I've heard they already went to Tokyo. I planned to go to Yokohama all by myself so I walked all the way towards the Shin-Yokohama station.

On the way, I saw Junior High students in their uniforms. I really wanted to take a picture of them because they really look like those shown in anime. These Japanese girls are indeed pretty, and are wearing above the knee skirts despite the cool temperature of 3-10 degrees. This was the only closest pic I could get. I didn't want to be too obvious taking pictures of Japanese women. They might think of me as a pervert and call the cops. I took shots while hiding my camera beneath my jacket; I really had no idea on how to get a good picture of them. Syet, I was a stalker.

Since I was not able to get a clear picture of the girls, I tried to use the zoom features of the digicam and directed it towards some other girls in the bullet train station. As soon as I pressed the button on my digicam, a bullet train appeared covering the girls. Anyway, at least now I have a picture of the famous shinkansen.
After my failed attempts on the picture taking, I went to the train station. I no longer pursued going to Yokohama for the fear of getting lost. I didn't even know how to operate the ticket issuing machine, and I didn't want to look clueless about it so I had cancelled my original plan. Instead, I went to an electronics store and bought myself a laptop protector.

Since I was not able to go to Tokyo or even Yokohama, I had limited choices for omiyage. I indulged myself in using all my 100yen coins in those egg machines. Since I have yet to give omiyages to my lady friends, I chose the Disney keychains. Elma told me earlier that she wanted origami paper. Thinking that origami paper is consummable, I bought a spongebob keychain (with eggnogs) for her (I made her choose between Disney and SB anyway).

I also have a souvenir for myself. If you are familiar with the anime Shakugan no Shana, I bought 2 figurines via the egg machine. The characters are female, and the figurines are cute... and sexy, hehehe.After buying those omiyages, I went back to the guest house. Darn, I really was the only Filipino 'finalist' who was not able to lurk around Japan, particularly in Tokyo. Poor me. Among the finalists, I am now called the Shin-Yokohama expert, because I had already familiarized myself with the outskirts of the area. Anyway, I should not worry because if ever I shall be accepted, Japan would be a commonplace for me.


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posted by ScIoN 9:01 PM |


Monday, March 05, 2007

Toshiba Chronicles III

The night of the 26th, end of the first phase of interviews, results shall be announced on who are going to stay for the final interview/s. All of us surrendered our plane tickets in the morning. The default date of return was set on March 1. From now on, we would all have different dates of departure from Japan.

After the first phase of interviews, everyone went back to the guest house or to the cafeteria. Rowena (Ateneo) forgot her groceries at the waiting room so she went back. From there, she had met her interviewer from Industrial Systems and she had been tipped that she shall continue towards the next phase. She was giddy during dinner time, while all others had butterflies in their stomachs. It was after dinner time when all went back to the waiting room. The Philippine delegates already had changed into their casual wear, in preparation for a pass or fail night outing. That night was the last chance to have one final bonding moment because for tomorrow, some would already go home.

While waiting, people were trying to lighten up a bit by taking pictures of each other. At one point, Jovilyn (from Ateneo) took a picture of an Indonesian guy at point blank range without even saying anything. She did this because for one: the guy looked like one of their professors, two: her Taiwanese crush was behind the guy (probably she took a decoy shot towards her crush). Since she had not said anything prior the shot, the Indonesian crowd interpreted her for liking the guy. The Indonesian delegates were composed mainly of guys so the two of them were constantly teased upon. They became the main attraction for the waiting period.

Ryo-san, the Deputy HR Manager, finally came into the room. All of us went back to our seats just like elementary students do when their subject teacher enters the room. This is it. They are going to announce the results. We are all in a job screening process, nobody wants out. How many shall they consider out of the 55 candidates present in the room? Is this reality tv?

They started calling out names. Those who were called were instructed to proceed to a designated room. Nobody knows yet if those who were called were the ones who passed. It is probable that those who shall remain in the room are the passers. The Filipinos have a clue, and it was Rowena, but she was not called yet. Candidates were called according to ID number. Candidates coming from the same countries have adjacent ID numbers. One by one, I had studied the faces of the candidates who were called. Do they look like the probable passers?

Then, Rowena got called. Some Filipinos got called. Then I got called. I proceeded to the room containing those who were called. One by one, some other Filipinos came. Sheila (UP EEE) was the last. Others got skipped.

It was until then that they had congratulated us for being able to make it through the first phase. It was a relief, we've made it. However, there were those who weren't able to. Out of the 13 Filipino delegates who came together to Japan, we were reduced to 8 inside the briefing room. It was kind of hard because there were those who were left behind.

Rowena & Jovilyn and Jmer & Rushel (UP) were thesis partners; however, only Rowena and Jmer made it. Jaafgie (UP) almost seemed to be a shoo-in, but he did not make it. Gimel (Ateneo) seemed to be very concentrated during the whole screening process, he actually knows better Nihonggo than I do. Josh (LaSalle) was actually kind of expecting that he couldn't make it since his major was BS ChemEngg; though I knew he proved himself well during the interviews. They all proved themselves well.

Our plan of having a night out was jeopardized when we were told that we had to go back to the briefing room on 9pm. Curfew at the guest house is 10pm; the gates automatically close by then. Since the 8 of us were unable to go out, we had agreed to chip in about 500 yen each for some chips and booze. I think it is very typical for Pinoys to have a kampaian session.

We were given our final schedules and my interview would be the following day already. It also meant that I am to go home the day after my interview which would be on feb28. We had the privilege to call back to the Philippines. Actually, that privilege was good for only one call and I used it to call my Uncle who is my guardian in Manila. I dared to call again and it was to my mother in Cyprus. I told her the good news, and it turned out that she is also going home by feb28. I thank the Lord. This was a happy moment for both of us.

Back at the guest house, the others were able to buy the things we needed for the night. We converged towards Jmer's room and started playing games. Our first game, conceptualized by Jmer, was like a high-endedness game. Each player would state his/her experience and if all others had never experienced it, then they would lose a counter (in our case, we used our fingers... a total of 10 counters). The winner would be the one who still has the most number of counters left.

Our next game was the 1-2-3 pass game. At the count of 3, each of us discard and pass 1 card. Once a player is able to complete a card set (ex: 4 Jacks), he/she lays down his/her hand ANYWHERE. The last person who reaches the pile of hands would be the IT, and would have a shot of alcohol. This game made others scream and shout due to excitement, especially on the part where hands are piled. We had been so rowdy that the dorm manager knocked on the door. As soon as we heard the knock, all of us tried to find a place to hide even in such a small room for 13 people. Jmer had no choice but to answer the door.

The next game, we played cops, killer, nurse, victim and judge. This game is quite new to me. We were randomly assigned roles and these roles remain to be anonymous. This was a "quiet" game, all you have to do is wink. ;) The killer kills a person with a wink. The nurse resurrects a person with a wink. The cops and judge finds the killer. If the cops or judge captures the wrong killer, then he/she gets a drink. Likewise, if the killer gets captured, he/she drinks. If the judge gets killed, the cops drink. The number of each roles depends on the size of the group. As you may have noticed, it was only the cops, killers and the judge who have active roles. After each drink, roles randomly change again.

This was the final night we were to be together in Japan. The one final Japan bonding moment for the Filipino delegates. By the following morning, the 5 should take the bus towards the airport starting 630am. As for me, I shall prepare for my final interview scheduled on 10am. (another to be continued...)

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posted by ScIoN 9:02 PM |


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Toshiba Chronicles II

It was about 11pm when we had reached the Toshiba Training Center and Guest House. Upon reaching our respective rooms, I had immediately dumped all my baggages on one side and brought out my laptop computer. Instead of eating dinner, to connect to the internet was the very first thing that came to my mind. My colleagues went up to the 6th floor to eat some noodles from the vendo while I briskly brought out my laptop and connected to the internet.

Remember when I dropped my backpack at the Centennial airport? When I opened my bag, I noticed a crack at the back of the lid. OMG, I just hoped that it will still run since I brought it mainly to present my slides. The crack had an effect on the CDROM drive, as it could not be opened readily. I had to remove the cover since something seems to be clipping the cover, preventing it to open. So now, my laptop has a bare CDROM drive and a crack nearby it. I just shrugged it off, since at least the laptop is still working in good condition. "What the hell, I'm in Japan. I don't care if there's a crack. Just make sure it works."

At about 1am, I couldn't access my webmail account. I thought it was blocked or something. I didn't know why but I thought they had a curfew for the internet there. I had no choice but to sleep. After all, I had to wake up early because call time the next morning was 730am. This just shows that I really have been internet dependent lately. Who wouldn't if you have been enjoying unlimited internet 24/7 back in the Philippines.

FIRST DAY HIGH: (feb 24)
Feb24, the Singaporeans came alongside with the Indonesians. We were all in all 55 candidates at Toshiba. We were actually the 2nd batch. A week before us, Malaysians and Thais comprised of about 20 had been there already. The Singaporeans came out strongly as some of them wear jackets of NUS (National University of Singapore). NUS is among the top 10 technological universities of the world. Not only that, most, if not all are MS students already.

We boarded a bus towards the Toshiba dormitory which was less than an hour away from the training center. Our group was comprised of Filipinos and Taiwanese. Inside the bus, we had short introductions of ourselves. The Taiwanese people also turned out to be MS students already. One was even already 30 years old, and married. We were accompanied by 2 HR's namely, Sherry-san and Sawai-san. Sherry-san had been one of the HR interviewers back in the Philippines. The HR people speak english and act as facilitators for the whole interview event.

We were given a tour of the Toshiba dormitory. It would be the place to stay once we are to be accepted. Toshiba is a big name in Japan. In the guest house and the dorm, ALL electronic devices have Toshiba as brand. TV, hair blower, bulb receptacle, washing machine, microwave ovens, outlets, etc. Here in the Philippines, we only see Toshiba for the TVs and the laptops.

After the dormitory tour, we were dropped off at Family Mart, a convenience store in Japan. It was just blocks away from our guest house; they brought us there so that we would know where to buy just in case we would go out. My Atenean companions were amazed with what they saw inside. In the magazines/manga section, there are one too many rated R mags. Convenient nga! One even bought 3 magazines worth 1k yen each. The mags contains DVD inside. I've also browsed through one of their mangas and I could see some hentai manga strips. I'm not sure about what's taboo in Japan but for sure sex isn't.

I have seen condoms displayed in the store, then I remembered AllanGordon's request. He wanted condoms to be his omiyage because he is curious about its sizes. He assumes that the Japanese has tiny members. Since I bought a box of 12, I thought that this is going to be my omiyage for males. I don't know with the others, but I couldn't dare buy a condom in the Philippines. Especially when the cashier/attendant would be female, I'd surely get the malicious stare. But at Family Mart, I had to buy this, or else I won't have any omiyage's to give. My Atenean companions went in line to buy those R magazines while I followed them in line to buy the condoms. The cashier was a 'lolita-type', the typical japanese lass portrayed in cute animes, them having those high pitched voices. With my companions buying smut and me buying condoms, we looked like a bunch of perverts.

The afternoon session was dedicated to the presentations of each Toshiba in-house company. Toshiba's structure is that it had been divided into 9 different companies, having their own CEOs under one umbrella organization. Each company had presented what they do, and what skill sets they needed. Basing from our first 2 interviews in our respective countries, we were then referred to certain companies. I was referred to the Semiconductor company, wherein I had chosen Job #16.

For the first phase of interviews in Japan, at most we would have 2 interviews from different companies. We were given the chance to choose and prioritize a number of companies according to our liking. My first choice was still Semicon, 2nd was Digital Products, 3rd: Corporate Software Engineering Center, and the 4th was in Industrial Systems.

DAY 2: (feb 25)
It was only the next day that the schedule of interviews were released. I had 2 interviews scheduled for this day. 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. My first was under Semiconductor. This was the company I was actually referred to during the Philippine interviews. I had presented our thesis project relating to the design and implementation of a dual-core DLX microprocessor. I had about 9 people in the panel. The interview went quite well since I am confident with what I had presented. My choice under Semiconductor company is in Design and EDA.

The 2nd interview in the afternoon was with Industrial Systems (under Infrastructure Company). This was actually only my 4th choice from yesterday. I guess there were already too many in Digital Products and CSE. They prioritized those referred to by the per country interviews. I chose Industrial Systems because accdg to their presentation, they needed global sales engineers. This became my fallback choice if ever I could not be accepted in my first choice. Our thesis regarding Microprocessors is quite far from what the Industrial systems specialize in, but I had emphasized in my interview that it was the technical sales aspect I wanted in their company. After all, among the delegates who came, Filipinos have the greatest advantage when it comes to communication skills, specifically in English.

We were given essays to answer in between interviews. Thus, we were just in the waiting room the whole time. For Feb26, I no longer have a scheduled interview, but I still have to answer those essays. After the essays, we may have some free time, but we should always go back either by lunch time or dinner time. Since we didn't have internet in our rooms, there were available LAN cables at the internet kiosks. It was the only time we were able to use the internet so we used up most of our free time there. I needed the internet badly because my roaming was not activated. Phones should be quad-band in Japan. Apparently, the SMART lady misinformed me of using at least a triband phone. Good thing there is chikka, I get to text those in the Philippines, though I don't get to receive any text on my cellphone at Japan.

Overall, the whole Toshiba interview experience was like one big Psywar for me. You don't know if they needed your skills. You have to choose and emphasize on the skills you think would fit their needs. The panelists even are poker-faced so you don't know if you really did good and are acceptable to them. We were 55 candidates from the Asia-Pacific Region. Competition is indeed tough. At this phase, you don't even know who your competitors are. One would even feel low from all those MS degree holders, NUS/NTU people, and all other mature advantages over us. So far, there is only one Filipino working under the Toshiba technological companies.

The night of the 26th, results would be announced on who shall stay for the final interview, and who shall go home early the next morning. I was no longer contented on just being able to reach Japan. I wanted to stay longer for the final interview. I have to maximize my stay. (to be continued)
Taiwanese (photo taken by Jaafgie)

The Singaporeans (coming from National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University)

The Indonesians
Filipino: "You Indonesians look like Filipinos"
Indonesian: "You Filipinos don't look like Filipinos"

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posted by ScIoN 4:40 AM |


Friday, March 02, 2007

Toshiba Chronicles I

One of the purposes of this blog is to document certain events in my life. The Toshiba-Japan experience is some experience worth blogging for. Since I have brought a digital camera with me, it is easier to document the entire 'event'.

You guys already knew the trouble I got while applying for my passport. Come to think of it, I still have to finalize the 'barcoding' of my Birth Certificate. Hassle. Anyway, at least I finally was able to go to Japan despite all those hurdles, thank God.

The night before our flight of departure, I still have to finish my Machine Problem. The project was due on Feb28 but I really have to pass it early since I'll be at Japan by the 23rd and hopefully be back past Feb27. I started packing up at about 12am already. By morning, I still have to drop by my Uncle's home at Cubao since he'll be driving me to the airport.

Our call time at the airport should have been 12nn. 2 hours away from the actual flight. By 12nn, I was still with my uncle at Cubao. I borrowed his luggage bag, and we still went to Araneta Center to have his nokia phone open-lined. The night before, I called *888 and asked about SMART roaming, the lady told me that I have to have a triband phone. Since my phone is only an 1100, my uncle offered his extra company phone.

Ms. Arleene (or Ms. Lucille?) called and we were still at Cubao. All of them were already there, and were waiting for me. I did not tell my uncle beforehand that we really had a call time. He thought that the timing was just right since it was actually still early to be there 2 hours before the take off. Since they were already waiting for me, we had to rush towards the airport. I wasn't able to eat breakfast, and there was also no time to eat for lunch. I was pretty much ashamed that I think Ms. Arleene got a bit dismayed. It's a no-no to be late in Japan. And this was just the start.

It was going to be my first time to ride in a plane, and wow I'm going international already. hehehe. By the time I was already at the airport, my batchmates had already checked in their bags. Good thing, Ma'am Lucille was there inside and rushed my baggage towards the Toshiba group. If she had not done it, I could have been seated away from them in the plane.

I think I had all the bad luck during that day. First I came in late, then at the embarkation line I couldn't find my embarkation slip. Good thing a Japanese Toshiba personnel, Chiba-san, changed her flight to be with us. I asked her for a new slip, and thankfully she was able to procure one. And then on the x-ray machines, we have to remove our shoes, belts and other metallic devices and put it into the conveyor belt. Since I had been rushing all throughout, I accidentally dropped my laptop backpack and it went down to the floor. Ouch. Geez, a first timer.

Finally, we're just waiting to board the plane. At last, I felt safe then. We, the Philippine delegates were not that close yet. We still have not had any bonding activity yet. We had those idle moments except during pictorial sessions. Since I usually think of weird ideas on anything I see or hear, I started to crack up the first joke. Personnel from the flight before ours were already calling their passengers. "Xiamen, Xiamen!", called one stewardess referring to their flight's destination to Xiamen, China. I imagined the stewardess as some jeepney barker and calling "Siyam-an yan, Siyam-an. Kaliwa't kanan." Everyone lightened up a bit. :D

I thought I had taken a window seat, but not exactly, it was a seat short towards the window. It's still okay since the ws was taken by one of our batchmates, Gimel. We were 3 at the window side, one from each university (LaSalle, UP, Ateneo). hehehe. At least I was still able to enjoy the window area, and it really was just for a short period of time since we were requested to lower down the slides afterwards.

Since this is my first time for almost everything, I had been very much ready with the digicam I borrowed from Teejay. I was able to take shots of every meal I had eaten at Japan, this includes the plane meals. This would be my very first plane meal. Oishii desune.  「おいしい ですね」

Then at last, after about more than 4 hours, we had finally arrived at the Narita airport. Reports told us that it was about 4 degrees outside. Upon our first step outside the plane, we had already felt the sudden gust of cold wind. Since I came from Baguio, it was just a bit cooler for me. Baguio's lowest I think came up at about 6 degrees. So it's just ok. I'm cool anyway. :P At the Narita airport, Ryo-san was there waiting for us while carrying a Toshiba nameplate for us to see. We also had to wait with the Taiwanese delegates so it took us about an hour waiting at the airport.

After waiting for the Taiwanese, we finally boarded a chartered bus towards the Toshiba Training Center and Guest House. It was about more than an hour bus ride from the Narita airport. When we had arrived at the Center, it was really cold and the wind went past through my glasses until my eyes got teary. We thought we had managed the cold at the Narita airport, but we were just actually inside the building. At the center, it was different, we're outside free from air conditioning. Buildings in Japan just have good air conditioning units. You have to be inside to be able to manage the cold.

Once inside the center, we were finally assigned rooms. We Filipinos were assigned at the 5th floor, and I had the room 521. 「ご ひゃく にじょう いち」 I so loved our rooms. It's a far cry from the room I have back in Molave dormitory. We actually have internet connection via LAN however after some days, we already experienced limited connectivity. I think this have something to do with the router settings. We have no choice but to bear not having internet access in our rooms.


Room View

Bed shot



I miss room 521. I hope I'll be back.

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posted by ScIoN 9:11 PM |


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tadaima!  「ただいま」

I'm back! :D

I feel so blessed right now. Since I was able to reach the final interview at Toshiba -Oita, my return trip to the Philippines was set on Feb28. Those who were not able to make it went home a day earlier. I arrived at about 1:20 pm yesterday, it was also the exact arrival time of my mother who came from Cyprus. Because of this, my uncle was able to hit two birds with one stone" in terms of fetching us at the airport. It was fun since we had a mini-reunion at the airport.

Back at my uncle's house, there was a letter which came from the Japan foundation. Results of the JLPT had been out already, and was sent to each examinee. I was hesitant to open it in front of my mother and uncle, since I was not very confident that I would pass the proficiency exam. Finally, I mustered up some courage, then finally opened up the envelope...

I passed! This is the level 4 proficiency for foreign Japanese speakers. Sweet.

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posted by ScIoN 12:12 AM |


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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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Flickr Pic #128: [Showa Kinen] Yellow Bed
Flickr Pic #127: [Showa Kinen] Hello, Idea
Flickr Pic #126: [Kanamara Matsuri] Lady
Flickr Pic #125: [Kanamara Matsuri] Lady in Pink
Flickr Pic #124: [Kanamara Matsuri] For Sale
Flickr Pic #123: [Kanamara Matsuri] Demure
Flickr Pic #122: Sakura 2009
Flickr Pic #121: [Kanamara Matsuri] Say Aaah!
Flickr Pic #119: [Shibuya] Fuji TV
Flickr Pic #118: [Shibuya] Lost in Thoughts

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