Thursday, January 26, 2006

S&W TMC Meeting : January 25, 2006 : Speech Audio Recordings

It's so nice to have attended again the Toastmasters Club meeting. I was so excited to go to the meeting today that I even told my PM/TL yesterday that I will be on night shift today because I need to attend the meeting. After I had dinner at Gateway Mall in Cubao, I ride the train to Buendia and took a bus ride in a gloomy and rainy afternoon. As I rushed to the venue at 1.01 MSE San Carlos, I'm already late when I entered the room and they already started the program. I noticed that everyone is being asked to introduce themselves and when it's my turn already to speak I don't know what to say as I'm still gasping my breath. So, I asked Nats, the President, who is currently acting as the Toastmaster's for the evening, to repeat the instruction and so I learned that I need to complete the phrase "I am nearing the end of....". The funny thing is that I said "I am nearing the end of my childhood..." (and suddenly everyone is laughing), "... I mean I am now changing into a mature individual as I now concentrate on my work in Accenture and my goals in life...". I can't believe it that what I've said is humorous!

Here are the recorded prepared speeches this meeting...
Note: Download an AMR player to listen to this.
This can be a Nokia Media Player or similar...
Click "Save as..." first and open it with Nokia Multimedia Player or upload it to your phone!
This were recorded using my Nokia6230i.

Cherina Go -- Speech #? researching on the topic.
Catherine's Speech #2 for organizing speech
Jap Constantino for Speech#6 for Vocal Variety

My scheduled speech is on February 8! Im excited for my first speech after 7 months of membership!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

We work for the people!

Life is really just a matter of choice! And I think, I am now on that point where I should choose where to go. Am I just gonna be an ordinaryperson who will just be contented of living in this world without contributing any part to my field of scpecialization or to any field which needs improvement or somehow make a difference with the people?As I listened to the talk of Prof. Jun Murai (WIDE-Japan Chairman) this morning, I learnedso many things. I learned that as researchers, we didn't work for a company, government or organization..... WE WORK FOR THE PEOPLE!

>>Read diary

Looking back and comparing the Philippines

The following was written by INTEL General Manager Robin Martin
about the Philippines.

Filipinos (including the press, business people and myself) tend to
dwell too much on the negative side and this affects the perception
of foreigners, even the ones who have lived here for a while. The
negative perception of the Philippines is way disproportionate to
reality when compared to countries like Colombia, Egypt, Middle East,
Africa, etc. Let us all help our country by balancing the negative
with the positive especially when we talk to foreigners, whether
based here or abroad. Looking back and comparing the Philippines
today and 1995 (the year I came back), I was struck by how much our
country has progressed physically.

Consider the following:

1. The great telecom infrastructure that we have now did not exist
in 1995. 1995 was the year the telecom industry was deregulated.
Since then billions of dollars have been invested in both fixed line
and cellular networks producing a system with over 5,000 kms of fiber
optic backbone at a world competitive cost. From a fixed line
capacity of about 900,000 in 1995 we now have over 7 million.
Cellular phones practically did not exist in 1995; now we have over
11 million line capacity.

2. The MRT, many of the EDSA flyovers including the Ayala Avenue
flyover), the SKYWAY, Rockwell and Glorietta 4, the Fort, NAIA
terminal 2 and most of the new skyscrapers were not yet built in 1995.

3. If you drive to the provinces, you will notice that national
roads are now of good quality (international quality asphalt roads).
I just went to Iba, Zambales last week and I was impressed that even
a not so frequently traveled road was of very good quality.

4. Philippine exports have increased by 600% over the past eight
years. There are many, many more examples of progress over the last
eight years. Philippine mangoes are now exported to the US and Europe.

Additional tidbits to make our people prouder:

1. INTEL has been in the Philippines for 28 years. The Philippines
plant is where Intel's most advanced products are launched, including
the Pentium IV. Philippine operations are expected to be Intel's
biggest assembly and testing operations worldwide.

2. TEXAS INSTRUMENTS has been operating in Baguio for over 20
years. The Baguio plant is the largest producer of DSP chips in the
world. DSP chips are the brains behind cellphones. TI's Baguio plant
produces the chip that powers 100% of all NOKIA cellphones and 80% of
Erickson cellphones in the world.

3. TOSHIBA laptops are produced in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

4. If you drive a BENZ, BMW, or a VOLVO, there is a good chance
that the ABS system in your car was made in the Philippines.

5. TREND-MICRO, makers of one of the top anti virus software PC-
Cillin (I may have mispelled this) develops its "cures" for viruses
right here in Eastwood Libis, Quezon City. When a virus breaks in any
computer system in the world, they try to find a solution within 45
minutes of finding the virus.

6. By the end of this year, it is expected that a majority of the
top ten U.S. Call Center firms in the U.S. will have set up
operations in the Philippines. This is one area in which I believe we
are the best in the world in terms of value for money. (my comment:
One is Inter-Continental Hotel's Group headed (& corp hand-picked) by
a Filipino expat.

7. America Online (AOL) has 1,000 people in Clark answering 90% of
AOL's global e-mail inquiries.

8. PROCTOR & GAMBLE has over 400 people right here in Makati
(average age 23 years) doing back-up office work to their Asian
operations including finance accounting, Human Resources and payments

9. Among many other things it does for its regional operations
network in the Asia-Pacific region here in Manila, CITIBANK also does
its global ATM programming locally.

10. This is the first year ever that the Philippines will be
exporting cars in quantity courtesy of FORD Philippines.
Next time you travel abroad and meet business associates, tell them
the good news. A big part of our problem is perception and one of the
biggest battles can be won simply by believing and by making others

This message is shared by good citizens of the Philippines who
persevere to hope and work for our country.

>>Read more

Candidate Speech: Lord, Please help me find my original self.

Where do I want to go? Why do I live in this world? what should I do and whatI should have done? what's the significance of my life? Is there something I ammissing which makes it so difficult to advance to next phases of my life?When I was a child, I dreamt of just being a teacher.... now Im an engineer!when I was in high school, I asked God, please let me be a valedictorian, andHe did made me one. I promised this is the last thing I will ever ask.But when I graduated in high school, prayer and faith in God saved me. Godgave the scholarship... maybe its the answer my prayers. I often said to myself"Kung gusto talaga ako ng Diyos na makatulong sa pamilya ko...". I often silently say this whenever I feel hopeless to reach my dreams in life. But Godhas been so nice to me. When Im in college, I asked God to make me a Cum Laude...He did helped me again. Though I promised thats the last thing I will ask fromHim, He still give me more and never returns my promises. During those hardships,I often say "Lord, kayo na lang po nagmamahal sa akin." I often feel reliefwhenever I virtually accept that there is still someone loving me which is God.But then, after graduation till now, my life has changed. Before, I was sodependent on God's comfort through prayers and meditation, but I even hatelistening to his words. Before, I love to read the bible hoping it will help mefinish my studies, but now the bible I used to read has been covered with dust.Before, I always think for the welfare of my family and I even dedicate to them why Im doing all this, but now I am more on working just for the happiness andpleasure of myself. WHY????????????????????????? I want to change and go back tomy old self... HOW????????????????????? The people, the workplace, the influences,the technologies, the culture and everything has engulfed my original self andhas transformed me into a little devil which is slowly growing as each day passes.Im so afraid about what my life will be. Im happy to what Im doing right nowbut I think I will be more happy if what Im doing is what Im supposed to bedoing based on my original self. Lord, Please help me find my original self. >>Read diary

Friday, January 20, 2006

What's better than...?

Speech to the UP graduating class of 2003 by Butch Jimemez, Jr... What's better than...? Posted:11:35 PM (Manila Time) May 31, 2003 By Butch Jimenez, Contributor Inquirer News Service Butch Jimenez, head of PLDT's media and strategic communications department, delivered this speech at the UP Diliman Class 2003 commencement exercises AS college students, you're just about to set sail into the real world. As you prepare for the battleground of life, you'll hear many speeches, read tons of books and get miles of advice telling you to work hard, dream big, go out and do something for yourself, and have a vision. Not bad advice, really. In fact, following these nuggets of truth may just bring you to the top. But as I've lived my life over the years, I have come to realize that it is great to dream big, have a vision, make a name, and work hard. But guess what: There's something better than that. So my message today simply asks the question, What's better than...? Let's start off with something really simple. What's better than a long speech? No doubt, a short one. So, you guys are in luck because I do intend to keep this short. Now, let me take you through a very simple math exam. I'll rattle off a couple of equations, and you tell me what you observe about them. Be mindful of the instructions. You are to tell me what you observe about the equations. Here goes: 3+4=7, 9+2=11, 8+4=13, and 6+6=12. Tell me, what do you observe? Every time I conduct this test, more than 90 percent of the participants immediately say, 8+4 is NOT 13, it's 12! That's true and they are correct. But they could have also observed that the three other equations were right. That 3+4 is 7, that 9+2 is 11, and that 6+6 is 12. What's my point? Many people immediately focus on the negative instead of the positive. Most of us focus on what's wrong with other people more than what's right about them. Examine those four equations. Three were right and only one was wrong. But what is the knee-jerk observation? The wrong equation. If 10 people you didn't know were to walk through that door, most of you would describe those people by what's negative about them. He's fat. He's balding. Oh, the short one. Oh, the skinny girl. Ahhh, 'yung pango. Etc. Get the point? It's always the negative we focus on and not the positive. You'll definitely experience this in the corporate world. You do a hundred good things and one mistake-guess what? Chances are, your attention will be called on that one mistake. So what's better than focusing on the negative? Believe me, its focusing on the positive. And if this world could learn to focus on the positive more than the negative, it would be a much nicer place to live in. We have always been told to work hard. Our parents say that, our teachers say that, and our principal says that. But there's something better than merely working hard. It's working SMART. It's taking time to understand the situation, and coming out with an effective and efficient solution to get more done with less time and effort. As the Japanese say, "There's always a better way." One of the most memorable case studies I came across with as I studied Japanese management at Sophia University in Tokyo was the case of the empty soap box, which happened in one of Japan's biggest cosmetics companies. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a box of soap that was empty. It immediately isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soap box went through the assembly line empty. Management tasked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast. But a rank-and-file employee that was posed the same problem came out with another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soap box passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line. Clearly, the engineers worked hard, but the rank-and-file employee worked smart. So what's better than merely working hard? It's working smart. Having said that, it is still important to work hard. If you could combine both working hard and working smart, you would possess a major factor toward success. Better than dreaming big I will bet my next month's salary that many have encouraged you to dream big. Maybe even to reach for the stars and aim high. I sure heard that about a million times right before I graduated from this university. So I did. I did dream big. I did aim high. I did reach for the stars. No doubt, it works. In fact, the saying is true: "If you aim for nothing, that's exactly what you'll hit: nothing." But there's something better than dreaming big. Believe me, I got shocked myself. And I learned it from the biggest dreamer of all time, Walt Disney. When it comes to dreaming big, Walt is the man. No bigger dreams were fulfilled than his. Every leadership book describes him as the ultimate dreamer. In fact, the principle of dreaming and achieving is the core message of the Disney hit song, "When You Wish Upon a Star". "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are; anything your heart desires will come to you. If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme. When you wish upon a star, as dreamers do," as Jiminy Cricket sang. But is that what he preached in the Disney company? Dream? Well, not exactly. Kinda, but not quite. The problem with dreaming is if that's all you do, you'll really get nowhere. In fact, you may just fall asleep and never wake up. The secret to Disney's success is not just dreaming, it's IMAGINEERING. You won't find this word in a dictionary. It's purely a Disney word. Those who engage in imagineering are called imagineers. The word combines the words "imagination" and "engineering." In the book "Imagineers," Disney's CEO, Michael Eisner, claims that "imagineers turn impossible dreams into real magic." Walt Disney explained there is really no secret to their approach. They just keep moving forward-opening new doors and doing new things, because they are curious. And it is this curiosity that leads them down new paths. They always dream, explore and experiment. In short, imagineering is the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how. Eisner expounds on this thought by saying that "Not only are imagineers curious, they are courageous, outrageous, and their creativity is contagious." The big difference with imagineers is that they dream and then they DO! So don't just be a dreamer, be an imagineer. You must have all been given a lecture at one time or another about the importance of having a vision. Even leadership expert John Maxwell says that an indispensable quality of a leader is to have a vision. The Bible also makes it very clear that "Without vision, people perish." So no doubt about it, having a vision is important to success. But surprise! There's something more potent than a vision. It's a CAUSE. If all you're doing is trying to reach your vision and you're pitted against someone fighting for a cause, chances are you'll lose. The Vietnam War is a classic example. Literally with sticks and stones, the Viet Cong beat the heavily armed US Army to surrender, primarily because the US had a vision to win the war, but the Vietnamese were fighting for a cause. In the realm of business, many leaders have visions of making their company No. 1, or grabbing market share, or forever increasing profits. Nothing really wrong with that vision, but take the example of Sony founder Akio Morita. He did not just have a vision to build the biggest electronics company in the world. In his biography, "Made in Japan," he reveals that the real reason he set up Sony was to help rebuild his country, which had just been battered by war. He had a cause he was fighting for. His vision to be an electronics giant was secondary. What's the difference between a vision and a cause? Here's what sets them apart... No one is willing to die for a vision. People will die for a cause. You possess a vision. A cause possesses you. A vision lies in your hands. A cause lies in your heart. A vision involves sacrifice. A cause involves the ultimate sacrifice. Just a word of caution. You must have the right vision, and you must be fighting for the right cause. In the end, right will always win out. It may take time, and it may take long. But if you have the right vision and are fighting for the right cause, you will prevail. If not, no matter how sincere you are, if you are not fighting for what is right, you will ultimately fail. Allow me to end with two quotes that I have lived by ever since I stepped out of UP. The first comes from the Bible, which says, "To whom much is given, much is required." Having been given the opportunity to study in UP, no doubt, much has been given to you in terms of an excellent education. Don't forget that in return, much is now required of you to use that education not just for yourself, but for others. And as you move up and start reaching the pinnacle of success, even more will be required of you to look at the welfare of others, of society and of the country. Though I have often dreamed of addressing any graduating class of UP Diliman, I never really thought it would happen. This brings me to the second quote I have held close to my heart as I traverse the destiny God has laid out for me. "There is no destination beyond reach of one who walks with God." My standing in front of you today, as the youngest commencement speaker of this esteemed university in 92 years, is proof of how true that quote is. A final review: * What's better than focusing on the negative? Focus on the positive. * What's better than working hard? It's working smart. * What's better than dreaming? Imagineering. * What's better than doing something for yourself? Doing something for your country. * What's better than a vision? A cause. * What's better than a long speech? Definitely, a short one. Thank you and congratulations, UP Diliman graduating class of 2003. >>Read diary

Candidate Speech: Losing dreams

Alright, why is it that Im again writing my diary? Well, Im quite confused on whatto prioritize in my tasks. I was so confused on what to do... especially with theInternet Mapping of the Philippines. It's not only the work that's bothering me a lot -- my love life, my family, my future career, and everything!!! So whoami? Well, Im still the ordinary personwho graduated from college with the help of DOST scholarship. Im still the guy who have lived a spartan life just to finish my studies... Most of all, Im stillthat simple person who has been accustomed to an ordinary life way back when Istill don't have a job. But now, there are so many things that pre-occupies mymind and it seems not necessarily needed... things which I can also live withoutbut graving to have and do it...Just last week, I spent my money to buy a refrigerator. I spent the money only tonotice that my family is much more in need than a house appliance. Im quite sadto know that my mother has been longing to have our own house in Bicol... but howcan I build a house in just a small monthly salary? Whenever I think of my incapa-bilities to help my family and my luxurious and easy life here in Manila, I couldn't help but cry or stay freezed looking very far away...I know I should not be asking too much when in fact I don't deserve to have it.If God wants me to help my family, He will help me. The desire to be a worthychild and worthy researcher lies beneath my hear but I just can't grab it easily.There are so many factors like self-desire (wasting money without good reason).One thing I also notice in myself is that Im losing my dreams. Before, my brainwas filled with hope and dreams, but now its filled with selfishness and unnecesarrylucrity. Whenever I reminisce my past, I feel so sad thinking I can no longer getback my old self. Oh my God, am i really destined to have this kind of life? when I was still in high school, I always pray that I God would permit me to bea Valedictorian, I would be very happy, I would be a good child, I would love myfamily, and I would surrender myself as one of His servants. Time came when I wasalready struggling college, I said "Lord, last na po talaga itong hihilingin ko...makatapaos lang po ako ng college, happy na po ako." And I got what I asked forand much more than that. But still, I want to experience new things so I said "Lord, sana po payagan nyo ako ma-experience ang magandang buhay kahit sandali lang".Now, I thought I've somehow got what Im looking for but I can no longer controlmy self now. Now, what would I say to God? When I guested at 32nd MHS Graduation Exercises, I have come to realize my goodold dreams. I realize what Im doing right now is not leading to those goals thatonce helped me persevere in my studies. These are:1. Send Rammel to college.2. Build a house in Manito, Albay.3. Establish an ECE/IT related business in Manito, Albay.4. Dobate a building in Manito High School.So now I know what to ask for... >>Read more

Thursday, January 19, 2006

If Americans have atomic bombs & the Internet... Filipinos are very far behind to catch up in any field.

If Americans have atomic bombs & the Internet... Filipinos are very far behind to catch up in any field." >>Read more

Candidate Speech for "Inspire the Audience": WILL I BE ABLE TO GO TO ORLANDO, FLORIDA, USA?

"What? It's your first time to attend an international conference and you are
going as far as the United States!", my friend Lim said in his email one month
before my travel to Orlando, Flordia, USA. Actually, this is not just my first
time to attend an international's also my first time to present
a research paper in an international workshop... it's also my first time to ride
an airplane in my whole life! Sounds interesting, right? Well, you might be
wondering why Im travelling as far as the United States?
It was late October in the year 2002 when Sir Denis came back from Bangkok after
the AI3 (ey-triple-ay) Spring Meeting. AI3 is a collaborative project in the
Asia Pacific region which conducts research in satellite networking technology.
Sir Denis then emailed us about the "Call for Workshop Papers" for the 2003
International Symposium on Applications and the Internet Workshop. "This is
now your chance to go Orlando, Florida", he further said in his email. That is,
if I can submit a paper and it is accepted, I will be able to go the United
States specifically in Orlando, Florida. I know it sounds like impossible
dream to be able for a poor researcher like me to be able to go the United
States. I have no money... have not been to any country... have not ride in any
airplane even in a Philippine domestic flight.. and most of all, not have
written many researches execpt the first paper submitted in APAN2002 Shanghai
Conference which was presented by Sir Denis. Since, Im a project contractual
Im not entitled to travel and present the paper.
But this SAINT 2003 Conference is quite different and I really felt I have a big
chance of going to Orlando, Florida especially when they said that AI3 of Japan
will be funding all travel expenses for the authors of accepted paper. This
chance becomes an opportunity for me to be able to see what's in the other
world. I reall feel excited about it! Now, the only problem (big problem) is
what paper Im going to write? With sir Denis' suggested topics, I decided to write
a paper on Network Measurements in the area of network monitoring of the
satellite-based AI3 network. With a Japanese friend's suggestion (Tomomitsu Baba
of AI3 Japan), I did came up with an abstract of the paper entitled "Characteriza-
tion, Analysis and Visualization of Traffic in the Asian Internet Interconnection
Initiatives (AI3) Research Network Test Bed". With barely one month to finish the
paper, I already have a plan on how this paper will be accepted by the Japanese
screening committee as worthy of presentation and publication to the SAINT2003
Workshop proceedings on January 27, 2003 in Orlando, Florida. Personally, I
started to write the paper day by day and night by night while my suppose-to-be
co-authors don't believe on what Im doing or merely not interested. They just
don't realize that I have a secret plan and winning formula for this particular
paper. Anyway, if the paper will be accepted, I will be going to USA! Actually,
the travel is not the only battery that powers me up but also my desire to
perform research and my determination to show them that I can do this thing which
they suppose as impossible especially for a research not so good as them. But,
I just didn't mind them. What I did is that I worked secretly overtime for the
paper gathering some suggestions from Baba-san, Sir Denis, Carla and other
co-authors. I think I started to write the paper by mid-October 2002. The deadline
is October 31. Imagine a rush paper like that! Pressured by the time constraints,
I worked overtime to fill its contents little by little until I was able to finish
a draft of it by Oct 15. Tere and Mam Beth has been so greatful in editing my
grammar and the flow of the paper. Also, carla my co-author suggested some inputs
while other co-authors did not get interested with my paper.
Here comes Oct. 31, my paper is not yet finished. The good news is that the submission
is extended to Nov. 5. I think with carla's help, we were able to fill-in the
technical content and its now ready for submission. After one week, the acceptance
of paper comes in. I was so glad about it. But, the paper did not end here. I still
have to re-edit the paper by passing it to Japanese proof-readers. Then after it
has been proof-read, it will have to be converted to IEEE Latex format. Good thing
Baba-san helped in making the Latex format. so here comes Nov 11 & the paper has
been submitted to the SAINT 2003 Workshop for publication to the proceedings and
for presentation to the workshop by Jan 27.
The acceptance of the paper gave me an assurance that one of its authors must go
the United States to present it. Sir Denis convinced me that I must be the one
to be sent to present it despite of the problem on who will fund my travel. Luckily,
Prof Jun Murai, head of Satellite workshop committee, assured of an AI3 travel
support including VISA application, registration fee, hotel fee and round-rip
airfare except per diem. wow! with this good news, I was powered up somehow to
continue what I have started. What I need to do right now is to arrange & coordinate
with Funya and Husni of AI3 Japan who are the workshop organizers. With at least
one month to process my travel requirements, I planned personally the steps to do.
First thing, I need to apply for a US Visa with passport as pre-requisite and an
invitation letter from US is required. The payment of the registration fee is the
most difficult just as it involves money which must be paid first personally
from a credit card on-line. But I dont ever have a credit card not even a big
savings. The fee is P30,000 or $600. This is one of the most challenging part of
my travel, begging and asking somebody to lend their credit card to me. And Mam
Juvy saved my day! She is an angel to me... Imagine she let me use her credit card
and used up almost half of her Standard Chartered card credit limit. She was so
nice to me, of course, with the help of Sir Denis in convincing and justifying her
what the foolish thing Im doing... Next thing is the Visa!
During this time, I dont even have an idea of what a Visa is? Resourcefulness and
determination is the one that powered me to get on with this thing that I've started.
There are times when Im feeling regretful of being so ambitious even if this thing
seems impossible for me. Applying for a US Visa, as other said, is really difficult.
Actually the US Visa is the one that grants a person like me an opportunity to
enter the US. With a passport secured from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA),
I now proceeded to the US embassy. I was so excited to go to the US embassy hoping
that my Visa will be easily approved. But then I was wrong! The first time I went
there I almost shrunk in shame and tiredness. I did not want to describe anymore
those bad things that happened thinking those are just normal procedures. After
the third time I returned to the embassy, I got my Visa approved. Thanks to Mam
Odette for helping me with the necessary documents like the Travel Authority which
is one of the requirements fpr the US visa. Of course the Visa application is not
as easy as it seems, you have to pay a non-refundable pay of P5400 and reserve
for an interview in a hotline which has a 25 per minute cost. Anyway, this visa will
be re-imbursed by Japan. However this expenses does not diminish my spirit to
continue and keep fighting for my US travel. On January 17, my Visa has been approved
giving me a chance to make my US travel a dream come true. But my sacrifices does
not stop here, I still have to arrange for my airplane tickets, hotel reservation,
and many others which involves a big amount of money which I don't honestly have
even a bit of it. Truly, if you are really destined to something, things will go
smoothly and unexpectedly. My hotel reservation has been arranged by Haruhito in
Japan using his own credit card. My airfare from Narito to Orlando has been arranged
by Sayaka in Thailand. But the Manila to Narita airfare must be reserved by me
which needs at least P30,000. Where will I get this money? Japan has been so
steadfast in providing all their support to me especially husni, haruhito, and
sayaka. Frankly speaking, during this time, I almost gave up and regretful on
what this thing I entered. But with God's blessings coupled with self-determination
and other people's help, I was now able to reserve a ticket with the help of Mam
Lala's P20,000 and mam Odette's P9,000 which Im going to pay when I have received
the money from Japan hopefully before I left for the travel on Jan 25. It seems
I am already all set and one last thing that worries me is the money that I will
be spending for food, personal clothes, etc to adjust with US climate. Up to last
one week before my travel, my mind was really full of worry but my spirit feels so
good especially when I see the many helps that others has given me. Mam Beth was
one of the persons who talks to me and motivates me to pursue this SAINT thingy.
The Visa now has been delivered, hotel has been reserved, presentation has been
prepared, and all people has been showing excitement for me because of what Im
experiencing with my life. Here comes January 24, a day before my departure for
Manila-Narita flight, Narita-Chicago flight and Chicago to Orlando flight. I haven't
rehearsed my presentation coz my teammates are so busy to even comment on my
presentation or even my email regarding it. Anyway, I understand them coz its
ASTI anniversary preparations. If there is someone to feel guilty its me coz
I am supposed to be helping the team for the upcoming PREGINET activities.
Fortunately, with the savings I have from the 2002 thirteenth month pay, I was
able to buy some new wathc, new clothes and shoes etc. Yanyan also let me borrow
his black jacket which asks me for a pasalubong which I really can't buy. Of
course I can't tell him, "Hey Yanyan! I can't buy your pasalubong.", he might not
give his jacket which i think is very important in the place where Im going to.
Its January 24 afternoon when I went home early to prepare my things. Of course
I just couldn't leave ASTI without saying goodbye to those people who really
helped me pursue this once-in-a-lifetime dream. At home, Dondon offered to
rehearse me in my presentation and gave me some good presentation tips and tech-
niques. During this night, I have no more time to sleep coz Im still ironing
my clothes and packing up my things making sure that nothing gets left behind
since I cannot get off the plane in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As of this
moment, my excitement has superseded my worries and fears. All I feel is that
"Im going to cross the Pacific Ocean and the planet for the first time!". Its
really very exciting...
Its already 3:00am on Jan 25 when I have finished packing up my baggages. Mam Lotus
lend her maleta and Rey's jacket. Mam Lotus and Mam Noliet has been so greatful
to me not only because we are boardmates but because we care like brothers and
sisters. Its 4:15am and Im in a taxi going to the international airport. "How am
going aboard the plane?", the question that really bothers me. At the airport's
entrance, I pretended as if Im not an innocent traveler, so I followed other people
falling in line. At NAIA, I fall in line where they inspect my passport and my
baggage. To make sure everything I did is right,I just asked the airport employees
coz I reall don't know the steps. To enter the boarding area of NorthWest Airlines,
I passed first to the Immigration section which requires a payment of P550 for
whatever purpose that maybe. Now, my money has been reduced with even if Im not
yet in the US. Actually, I only have $165 at hand and some P1000 cash. The dollars
I have was exchanged in a money changer near the Farmer's Plaza. With this little
money I have, what Im planning to do is to skip meals during my stay in the hotel,
anyway, I brought some ready-to-eat foods like noodles, biscuit etc. Im now waiting
in the borading area of Northwest Airline's flight NW028 leaving at 7:25am. Now,
every passenger must pass through an inspection area. The funny thing is that they
will check your bag, ask you to remove your shoes, take-off your jacket, remove your
things in your wallet while your body is searched by a metal detector. After this
inspection, Im now ready to board the Northwest Airlines. Wow! This Boeng 747-100
airplane is quite large, with at least 200 passengers, equipped with LCD displays,
with comfortable seats and air-conditioned cabins. I am really ignorant with
riding an airplane, so I just observed things while Im seated second to the last
row near the window in the last cabin. Flight attendants are very very courteous
with English/Japanese instructions demonstrating safety features of the plane. Its
about 5 minutes before the departure time when the plane started to fire its loud
engines and started positioning its wings and body to the take-off runway. The
captain now announces "Flight attendants prepare for take-off!". I was now feeling
so unease and nervous as I pray that this trip and all my trips will be safe and
free from danger. Wow! The airplane now is soaring high above the skies like a
eagle... its truly amazing as I observe the grounds below becoming smaller and smaller,
and the plane goes above, and above, and above the ocean of clouds. As I observe the
sky, I cant help but admire God for its unsurpassed power to create this very big
planet making man appear as a single tiny organism here on earth that nothing can
be boast of before Him. Right above the sky, the clouds forms like an ocean silently
floating in the sky as the airplane traverses its magnificent beauty and mysteriousness.
Enough of the view of the window, here comes the food being served by very corteous
and polite flight attendants. I can no longer what food they served but all I can
say is that i reall feel like dreaming while up in the plane devouring delicious as
you observe the breath takig skies. Approaching the Tokyo-Narita Airport, I can't help
but admire the beautifl landscape of Japan. Its like an Integrated Circuit (IC) with
the little houses and building as the electronic components, roads as the electronic
wirings, and cars as the electrons. Its really wonderful!!! Now the plane is already
30,000 ft above the ground, started to descend in preparation forlanding to the Narita
airport. You can feel the air pressure in your ears as the plane descends to a lower
altitude. Good thing there is a video showing the flight's path information.
Observing the beauty of the plane's wings moving synchronously to prepare for landing,
it really takes my mind out of it. How does a very heavy airplane be able to fly
like a bird in the sky carrying tons of baggages and hundreds of passengers. Its
amazing to see the plane's wings flaps in and out just a real bird's wings guiding the
plane's body and positioning it to the runway. At about a couple of minutes the plane
has touched the beautiful and large runways of the Narita airport. Its very beautiful!
After the plane has stopped, the passengers started to get off. I was fascinated with
Narita's clean, large and sophisticated airport facilities. I think this is the cleanest
and secured airport I've seen. With its very large area, it takes about ten minutes
before i reached my next airplane going to Chicago. As I waited at the United Airlines
boarding area for flight UA884, Im also watching the Japanese TV program in a large
TV screen. I don't understand Japanese but I also laugh with what they are doing.
Now its boarding time for UA884 flight to Chicago, 10 hour non-stop flight. At the
boarding gate, you will also undergo same strict inspection as in the NAIA airport.
As you enter the cabin of the plane, you will feel the very cold aircon as if it were
the cold wind in the US giving you a sample of what the US weather is. The plane is
larger than the Northwest Airlines. It was a Boeng 777 which can seat at least 500
passengers. Each row has 9 seats with at least rows per cabin for each of the 5 cabins.
It was a very high-tech airplane where in each seat in the economy class has a video
terminal with selectable radio and movie channels. After take off, It was really
amazing to observe the as the land and the seas becomes smaller and smaller making
look like just a painting into your imagination. Of course the food served is really
great and the best I have ever tasted... beverages, juices, asian cuisines, cookies,
fruits, salads, teas, chocolates, noodles, pastas, beefs, etc etc. I think If Im
going to travel everyday, I will gain a body mass especially as you seat silently in
your way crossing the Pacific ocean. Its a night time flight so what you can only see
is darkness and a flashing light in the plane's wing. Kinda bored of darkness, I
just sit back and relaxed throughout the flight. The next morning it will now be
Chicago Airport. With at least 7 hours or so, I will now be breating an American air,
see handsome and beautiful americans and experence what its like to be standing in
an American soil. Well, Im right! Approaching the Chicago Airport, the view from
above shows the prosperity of the United States of America... beautiful landscapes,
long and wide highways, snowing and freezing lakes, and very cool environment.
As the plane starts to descend for landing in the Chicago O'hare Airport, the ground
grows larger and larger like a painting of the reality. The Boeing has now landed,
and the Americans are now very visible busy working in th airport. Imagine seeing
a cute and white American in their work uniforms carries your baggage from the plane.
Its really unbelievable! These kind of people which I describe as the most superior
human race, which I only see in movies, which I really admire for their boldness
and united spirits, is now a real thing in my eyes.As I entered the large Chicago
O'Hare International Airport, I get on a shuttle train and find my next flight to
my final destination -- Orlando, Florida. Now Im waiting at the boarding area of the
United Airlines flight to Orlando when a certain Chinese man appeared as if I knew
whim. Im thinking to greet him coz I thought he is Lim Seow San of Singapore who is
also a participant in the SAINT Conference. Lim is someone Im expecting to meet coz
we have been emailing each other before the travel. He invited me to go to Disney
Land thru email. He even bought a ticket for me. That's why Im kinda close to him
even if I havent met him. I did not talk to him until we are already boarded the
plane going to Orlando airport. I was so happy that I will have a friend in this
strange land of America. Mr Lim Seow San is an experienced researcher in Temasek
Polytechnic in Singapore. At the Orlando airport, we waited together for our baggages
in the Baggage claim area where we had the chance of talking to each other. I think
he is a very kind person and not like what I really think of Singaporeans. While
waiting for the taxi going to Worldgate Renaissance Hotel in Kissimme, he told me
he can pay the taxi by himself because he is sure he can re-imburse it. I was so
happy and feeling proud to offer my $5 to him. I was really ashamed when I found
out that the taxi fare from Orlando airport to Kissimme is not $3.25 but $50.
Oh my God, if Mr. Lim is not there, I will be spending that large amount of money.
Mr Lim is so articulate in English while he and the taxi driver talks about anything
where I couldn't insert my conversation. But he is not a boastful person. He is
a truly professional Singaporean. At the World gate Renaissance Hotel, we check-in
together but in different rooms. But, my check-in procedure is quite delayed cos
I have no credit card. Good thing Haruhito Watanabe had already advise the hotel
staff that my hotel will be shouldered by Haruhito. Mr Lim is in Room 447 while Im
in Room 546. My room was too big with two large beds, a large bathroom with shower
and bath tub, two table with lamps, two phones, a coffee maker, an iron with stand,
alarm radio and of course a large colred TV. The temperature outside is as cold
as 12 degrees celcius. At this time, I was able to sleep but awaken at 11pm -- my
regular bath time in the Philippines before I sleep. Wow! I feel so special as I
enjoy this large room as if Im a rich person. Mr Lim called that his friend has
arrived using the voice mail feature of the hotel's phone. I think Lim's friend who
also a Singaporean is taking a Master's degree in University of Florida while
Lim has finished his Master's in Australia. Good thing they are not boastful.
The next morning which Sunday, one day before the SAINT workshop, Lim, his friend,
and Ms Yoo of Thailan and me were about to experience an adventure in the
Disney Land's Epcot center.I think Lim and Yoo knew each other already and I think
they have met Sir Denis also.
At the Epcot's entrance, you can see the very beautiful view of the large golf-ball
like building. Mr Lim's ticket from Singapore is already expired so we decided to
buy our own tickets worth $50 -- a one-day ticket to all Epcot's thrill and adventures.
With this ticket, I only have $100 left in my pocket. But this doesn't stop me from
enjoying this Disney adventure. I decided to take some pictures but when they take
out their expensive and high-tech cameras, I feel I don't want to use my camera
any more. I really feel so small and poor during that time considering we are all
Asians. Amidst this inferiority, I feel "Who cares!", anyway, they already know
that Philippines (Filipinos) are really poor people. By the way the Epcot center
is a very very large park in Disney Land. Epcot is a showcase of human's existence,
a collection of Scince and Technology at work, a glimpse of the past and the future,
and the a never to miss adventures waiting to be experinced in just one day! One day
is not enough to see all the parks has to offer... a separate diary deserves to be
written about Epcot. After our Epcot adventure, we went home already without buying
any souvenir item coz its very expensive. We decide to go to McDonalds near the hotel
inorder to eat our dinner before sleeping at the hotel. And you know what? You
cannot eat all one serving of fries and the large drink is like a 2 large drinks
combined compared to McDonalds serving in here in the Philippines. Truly, Americans
have large food servings that's why they grow tall and big. However, one McDonalds
order would cost you at leat $6 or almost P300 -- equal to seven times eating to
McDonalds in the Philippines. After me and Lim have finished eating, we decided to
go to the souvenir shop or factory outlet near the hotel in order to buy some
pasalubong. I still have $90 and I only have one more day of stay. Im confident to
buy this money coz Im not spending anymore and hoping the items there is cheap.
Having bought all the pasalubong, I have no more money left except the american
coins. The problem now is I have no more money for taxi from hotel to airport on
Tuesday going home. I started to worry but I just prayed that Lim will pay the
taxi again. I'd better stop worrying about it coz I still have to prepare my
presentation tomorrow.
January 25, my third day in Orlando, is the SAINT 2003 workshop. I was qite late
as I entered the SAWGRASS conference room seeing the Japanese seriously listens
to the second presentation as they seat in front of their sleak and high-tech
laptops, I am ashamed to take out my laptop, but who cares, I have nothing to do
with it. Based on schedule, I will be presenting at the afternoon. Instead of
taking my lunch (which I couldn't reall take coz I have not a single dollar left),
I decided to return to my room and return at 1:00pm. I was quite nervous at the
start of the presentation but I managed to deliver my research properly and
effectively. Although, there are some questions especialy from Prof Jun Murai, AIT
computer science head, and other people but I still was able to do it. Im proud
that I was able to answer their questions and I reall deserve an applause from them.
By the way, as I write this diary, Im already at the plane going to Narita from
Chicago. And Mr Lim did saved my day again. I never asked that he again pay the
taxi but he did. He is so courteous and professional-- a person that makes one
of Singapore's intelligent beings. Hope we still meet again so that I can repay
everything... and also i wish i can repay all the people who have made my travel
God knows... SAINT 2004 in Tokyo is just near!

Your friend,
At the middle of the pacific...
Aboard Flight UA883 (chicago-Narita)...
11500 miles from the US...
6 hours from Japan...
11 hours from Philippines...
What a wonderful life!
Thank you very much!!!
Travel funded by AI3 of Japan.

Taken from this

Candidate Speech for "Vocal Variety": 1947 Old Apartment

Im having a problem with the house we are renting. We are planning or actually alreadyagreed upon to leave by December 15, 2002. I was hesitant to leave the house coz I now feelcomfortable with that apartment coz its large and silent not like in any other places. Theonly thing we're complaining is the big amount of rent we're investing evry month. So, Lotushave planned to buy her new house and Noliet have planned to come with her relatives's. This really bothers me. So, yesterday Noliet's sister and bayaw went to our house coz theywere invited by her. They told us to come with them in Mandaluyong where they saw a housewe could rent and its quite expensive at 8T/mo compared to our present apartment at 6T/mo.Unfortunatley, we were not able to see the house coz the owner wasn't there. So me and Noliet went home right away.Lotus who went to a "lamay" the whole day and saturday night was already at home. We wonderedwhy she does not go upstairs and she waited for us. Yun pala, there is something horribleand scary that she would tell us. When she went to a "lamay" in Binangonan, she met her friendwith third eye. She told many proof's of her friends "third eye" seeings. She told that herfriend can see dead people or ghosts which she and her barkadas have believed to be true. Shesaid her friend can also see things in places even if she haven't been there. She then consultedour old house where we are renting. She asked her "third-eyed friend" if there is also alost soul or something in the old 1947 apartment. She said there is no lost soul or dead people inthe house. I was quite relieved but she said there is something in the house. "Its not daw asoul of a dead person but a "dwende" or dwarfs." she said. I was horrified to death that I felt that "tumataas ang balahibo" ko. So, I laughed to convince her that I do not believe in her joke.But, since her friend really sees things like that I should believe it anyway. "The 2 dwarfs coloredblue and white daw is somewhere in this house", she further said. So, I asked "Where?". "Talaga? Youreally want to know? You will not be afraid", she asked. "Oo, para ma-avoid natin diba or wecould take precaution diba?", i explained. "Its in the basement cabinet...", she softly answered.Oh my God, I felt like i was weakening due to that. You know why? Becuase, the cabinet she's referring to is the cabinet inside my room! Whahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... I couldn't scream but I really want to scream! But then it seems true. That's the thing we usually hear day and night somewhatlike walking or playing by the stairways. That maybe the one disarranging my antique jars placed nearthe cabinet. It maybe true. I know its so frightening, but i couldnt do anything about this. So what I did is that I re-arranged my things neae the cabinet and removed my things in thecabinet. While Im doing this Im crying as if asking those friends in my room to forgive me ordont harm me. I cried in the room myself coz I already loved staying in the house, now I have tofind another boarding house, now I have to live with this under world creatures, now I have to suffer and scare to death when Im alone in the house. I cried not only because of that. Itsbecuase my mother has a diabetes and she needs more money for her medication. And now I have tosend her some money while Im saving for a downpayment for the new house which I still have tosearch for. That was really self weakening. I cried and cried as if my friendly room mates wouldhear me, to give me some luck or some power. I wish they are not bad spirited dwarfs. I left thelights turned on in my room. I couldn't sleep til the morning comes. I woke up at 5:30am, so Iwent to ASTI very early in fact I was the earliest in CED. Now, I have to continue working as ifno one has happened last night. I have to work for myself and my family especially my mother who had been so kind to me.

>> Read original article from diary

Realization of who I am, where I am going and what should I do

As i go to work today, I was feeling so lonely. Aside from the reason that Im feeling sick because of slight throat infection, there are so many things that bothers my mind.And these things that bothers my mind are not making me feel good. I feel like there is something lacking in myself that I can't figure out. There is something I want to dobut I can't do. My dreams... my goals... my education... my professional growth and my lovelife...All this things makes me feel so small as if Im not a significant human anymore. Butthis things makes me realize who i am, where Im going and what should I do.> Im Edwin D. Viñas - an ordinary person from an ordinary family.> Im a successful student once and has been a model for perseverance -- making great things or accomplishing great things out of nothing.> As being a person of simple origin, I should not be expecting too much. I mean If Im going to dream -- it should be something that's realizable and wouldn't make me feel greedy of something. I want to reach my dreams in a natural way -- living as what I am before -- simple and humble and persevering...> What I should do is to "Do whatever I can do... based on the abilities and gifts given by God and those nurtured by my environment.> With so many things that's lacking in me, I should not feel lonely. I should make as my challenge to strive better.> As my saying goes "Kahit ganito lang ako... I want to show them that I can also do what great persons can do.. but of course, with the blessings of the God Almighty". As I read through my diary archives, I found one thing that really makes me feelso unhappy. Lord please help me cope up with the current situation... help me view the world withpositive attitude and please bless all people with your unending grace, power andgood thinking so that we may be able to live harmoniously in this world as we journrytowards your eternal kingdom in heaven.

>>See also this "Rediscovering myself..." diary

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Speech Project 1: My Seven Goals & Wishes in Life

My fellow Toastmasters, good evening!

As I read my diaries last night, I have come across this page which was written four years ago. It's about my seven goals and wishes in life. As I saw again these seven simple dreams from my online diary archive, I only felt two things, happy and motivated. I felt happy knowing three goals have been actually fulfilled and also I felt motivated because at least I am still living, with full of hope, and still capable to continuing with my humble and challenging life. You might wonder what my seven goals and wishes in life are? Honestly, in those seven simple wishes, I'm not actually asking to become a rich person someday, nor to be a handsome guy, nor be a real man, nor to be a well-known person, all I humbly ask are seven simple dreams that touches my heart -- seven dreams that I really felt the only things that could make my life worthy. Those seven goals are (1) To be able to graduate successfully; (2) To be able to find a good job; (3) To be able to help my family; (4) To be able to develop a new system of education; (5) To be able to develop new technologies; (6) To be able to publish books; and (7) To be able to clarify and understand the mystery of the world.

I am so happy that my first goal of graduating successfully is already a dream come true. I think what i mean with "graduating successfully" is having graduated with flying colors. The second goal looks nice to me as I have now found my third "good" job as a Software Engineer in Accenture. The third goal which is to help my family is already in progress wherein aside from giving them a monthly support, I am also sending my brother to college. The remaining four goals are still in the hands of God and destiny. I'm sure, you wouldn't be able to understand what those seven dreams mean to me if you don't know my life's story...

Did you know that I am just an ordinary person who came from a very simple family in the remotest mountainous place in Bicol province? But, how did I get to live and work in this city? How did I get into to this big company? I think that in this room, I’m the only person who actually lived in a mountain! Imagine living in a mountain where you can only hear owls at night and no near houses! Pretty scary, but that’s the kind of place where my family lived when I was still a kid. If you see the landscapes in the movie “Lord of the Rings”, that’s the kind of place where I have lived --- trees, rivers, forests, carabaos, farms… this is the kind of place where I first see this world. I am so lucky to have experienced living by nature and see how it differs with living in the city.

As someone who came from a place with no electricity, no jeepneys, no TV and no money, and with all the achievements in my life right now, I can't help but smile when I imagine myself as a boy coming from the remotest mountainous barangay who has now gradually climbed up and surpassed enormous challenges and finally graduated in college successfully and now part of very competitive outsourcing company. There are times when I just cry whenever I trace when I came from, remembering that very far away barrio called Banao. You might wonder where that place is? To give you a hint where it is, from Cubao you ride a bus for 13 hours going south till you reach the end of Luzon island, ride a jeepney for 2 hours going to the town passing through the Albay Gulf, and ride 2 hours again going to the barangay passing through rough roads and lastly, walk 2 kilometers to reach my birth place. My family was then contented with an ordinary living through Kaingin farming, illegal logging, and coconut planting in our small farm. Everyday, I will wake up early to take a bath in a spring a kilometer away from home together with my brothers and cousins. This scarce and poor type of living in our barrio helped strengthened my perseverance and to strive hard in studying. Everyday, i used to walk two kilometers from home to school with my "baon" wrapped in a banana leaf and with my thin slippers stepping on rough rocky roads. My family's life seemed so miserable during those elementary days that my family even went to Manila to find work. I studied in Manila during my 5th grade. But since my parents and my siblings didn't have a job, we returned to the province in my 6th grade to go back to ordinary farming such as planting root crops and coconuts. This poor type of living is not only the one that affected me most, my life has been under a family which doesn't have enough happiness and caring. My father has always been my nightmare! He's more of a shame-causing and doesn't take responsibilities in raising us as he is always drunk every second of his life.

As I continued my miserable life during elementary days, I felt so many personal, emotional, and social changes in my life. People even look at me as a person with no hope but my mother believed in me and supported me as I gathered all the honors and medals in every recognition day. High school days came, and i said to myself i should not let others downgrade me eventhough life is getting difficult for me. There are times that i almost cry because of so many problems that faces my family but i still continued on studying. I even treat my home as my school and my school my home... ignoring my pleasures of living as an adolescent who usually plays and stays with the friends. Hunger for the search for knowledge was my only life during those times. Science books flavored with tons of knowledge & wisdom have been my favorite dish during those days that I've read all the books I could read from my cousins' imported-American-hard-bound books. I don't care about the things i have missed but it never makes me feel regretful because to be able to graduate as a valedictorian is my only wish during that time and my only prayer everyday revolved on how to make myself a difference. I want to show my parents and relatives that even I'm like this, I can really make a difference! I know that if I will be able to graduate with flying colors, it would open new opportunities for me especially the scholarships which is I think the only way I can continue with my studies. But, I haven't heard of any scholarhips in our school. Maybe, i'll just apply in a college in Legaspi City. I did not think of where to study in college... i just did my best in everything and every seconds of the day no matter what. To tell you the truth, God really knows where I am going. I can always feel his love and guidance amidst insurmountable challenges in my life.

During my elementary and high school days, my life revolves in praying, wishing, studying, going to church and avoiding things that would hinder my dreams. Dreaming and wishing are the two powerful batteries that powers me to move on with my life especially in high school. I feel so good when other people talks about me. But, when my mother talks about me in front of other people i feel flattered and somewhat unhappy coz they dont have the financial capacity to send me to college. Eventhough I am now expecting to graduate as the valedictorian in high school, going to college is what really bothers me. A month after my graduation in high school, I realized being a Valedictorian and having many medals are not yet enough. I was already desperate that my only choice to continue with my studies is to enter the seminary. But I can't imagine myself as a priest. So I prayed "Lord, kung saan nyo po gusto ako dalhin at kung saan po tingin nyo ako magiging mas makakatulong sa pamilya ko, kayo na po ang bahala sakin." And as always, God really never let me down and praying has always been my lucky charm... After a month, I received an application form from the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) scholarship. So, I went to Legaspi togeher with my classmate and Salutatorian to take the examination. Luckily, i was the one who passed the exam granting me a full-time five-year engineering scholarship in Manila. I was overwhelmed by the opportunity i got... but, I just dont know where in Manila i'll be studying coz there are no accredited schools in Legaspi that time that offers an engineering course. So my mother and I immediately went to Manila. You know what my first choice of school was? I have Ateneo, La Salle, UST, and other class A universities my first choices of school. I was so excited that I will be the only person in our family to take up college and not to boast of, I will be the "only" person in family generation to take up Engineering. "I will be the first engineer in our generation", i thought as I motivate myself. So we went to the DOST-Bicutan office to sign-up the contract. They suggested that I can take my course in TUP coz it is accredited by the DOST and not to mention it has a very low tuition fee, though it is not a prominent university compared to my "Ateneo" dream or "La Salle"dream. You know what, we even went to La salle to inquire but I almost got a heart attack by the very high tuition fee that time "10,000" pesos. Where in the world would my family get that money if not even a 500 pesos is saved in our pockets? As I learned to accept that I can only study in a state university, i have refrained from dreaming for a famous school. I just thought that the name of the school is not very important as long as you study very well. During this stage of my education, i've learned so many things that powered me to strive further in my studies.

My fellow toastmasters, as I stood in front of you right now, I just want to share to you that "if you want to be successful in life, you must have the art of perseverance, the power of dreaming and the science of praying." To tell you, I have come to realize that perseverance, dreaming and praying is a very powerful set of tools that any person can have. Due to my desire to achieve a specific goal, I always bear it in mind and make sure that it is my focus. I even wrote my dreams in my diary, in my notebooks, and even say it silently and secretly to plants hoping they can hear me and spell a magic wand to make my dreams come true. I even say it to the moon and the shining stars upon the moonlit night. My dreams have persuaded me to study harder and finish elementary, high school and college with flying colors. “I once wished I can be a valedictorian”, and I did became a valedictorian. “I once wished I can be a teacher”, and I did became more than I ever expected as Electronics Engineer and Software Engineer. “I once wished I can be a Cum Laude”, and I did became a cum laude. “I once wished I can travel to other countries”, and I did crossed the Pacific and stepped into the Japanese, Thai, and American soils. How about you, what are your goals and wishes in life?

Good evening, fellow Toastmasters!

>>Read this also


Graduation Speech to the 32nd Manito High School Commencement Exercises
April 10, 2003 / 4pm / MHS Grounds

>> Read diary

I would like to begin by acknowledging those of you, especially the MHS faculty and my mother who made it possible for me to be your guest speaker in your 32nd Commencement Exercises with the theme “Education for the Strong Filipino Family”. Honestly speaking, it is a very stressful opportunity of speaking at a graduation ceremony of the school that once shaped my destiny and contributed a lot into what I am now. I am very much stressed not only because it is my first-time to be a guest speaker but also because I only came from a simple family so I can’t talk much about how education can build a strong Filipino family. But, have your ever thought why our country – the Philippines is still lagged behind in terms of national development compared to other neighboring countries like Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand. According to a survey in Asia, Philippines ranked 4th in terms of population density, ranked 10th in terms of GDP, ranked 8th in terms of land area, ranked 8th in terms of agriculture, ranked 8th in terms of mobile phone users, ranked 2nd in terms of English literacy, and ranked 1st in unemployment rate.

According to an international study conducted by UNESCO, the three main factors that mainly contribute to national development are namely, education, discipline, and organization. You will notice that education is only one of the keys to national development. I can say that our country has been producing thousands of scientists, inventors, engineers, doctors, and teachers every year. Yes Philippines may have been an educated country. But…. do Philippines have a disciplined people? No! Do Philippines have a stable organization or government? No! So, it is expected to see the Philippines as a poor and undeveloped country unless these three components of national development are met.

January 25, 2003 was a very memorable day in my life. With the help of the Asian Internet Interconnection Initiatives (AI3) of Japan, I was able to travel to Japan and the United States where I met fellow Asians and Americans alike. This travel gave me a chance to observe and evaluate what makes us Filipinos different from them. What do Japan and USA have in common? As I observed, these two countries are characterized as super powers due to their dynamic people, advanced technologies and active government. As we all know, Japan is only a very small country which is slightly larger than the Philippines. But then Japan ranks on top together with other geographically large countries like China, USA, Australia, and Russia among others. Let me tell you that the development of any country does not depend on how geographically large a country is. Like Japan, Philippines can also be a super power and a developed country provided that we possess the three main components such as proper education, disciplined people, and a stable government. Now, its up to you, batch 2003 graduates, to decide on what to do to contribute to the national development. If we really want our country to improve and progress, every one of us must really make a difference within ourselves and our family which is the foundation of our society.

But making a difference with your life is not as easy as you think. You maybe asking why I am telling you this! Let me tell you my personal experiences and show you how I made a difference…

I can remember when I was still in elementary, I once dreamed of being a teacher when I grew up. But now, I finished more than that. I realized that wishing or dreaming is a very powerful tool. Due to my desire to achieve a specific goal, I always bear it in mind and make sure that it is my focus. I even wrote my dreams in my diary, in my notebooks, and even say it silently and secretly to plants hoping they can hear me and spell a magic wand to make my dreams come true. My dreams have persuaded me to study harder and finish elementary and high school with flying colors. I really believe in the power of dreaming. “I once wished I can be a valedictorian in Manito High School”, and I did became a valedictorian in this school in 1995. “I once wished I can be a teacher”, and I did became more than I ever expected as an Electronics and Communications Engineer. “I once wished I can be a Cum Laude”, and I did became a cum laude in TUP Manila in 2000. “I once wished I can travel to other countries”, and I did crossed the Pacific and stepped into the Japanese and American soil last January 2003. How about you, what is your wish in your life?

Seven years ago, I was also like you feeling excited about receiving a high school diploma and awards in your graduation day. My graduation day then is a mixture of happiness and sadness. I realized that graduating in high school is not the end of your struggle. As I stepped into the stage to receive my diplomas and awards, I thought of how I can proceed to college considering that my family does not have the financial capability. So I prayed and prayed and prayed to God to help me. I said “If God really wants me to help my family; He would send me to college”. Ms. Binalla, my best Math teacher in MHS, gave me a scholarship application form from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Fortunately, I passed! We received a mail from DOST instructing me to enroll for a 5-year engineering course with all expenses shouldered by the government. I was then so happy and very thankful to God that he heard my prayers. Going to Manila, I was thinking of enrolling to Ateneo or La Salle University. But, it wasn’t that easy to enter those private universities because of very high tuition fees. I remember me and my mother went to La Salle University in Manila. When we entered the gate of the university, we were depressed by the very high tuition fee which my family doesn’t have even a fraction of it. But, it doesn’t demoralize me significantly but rather I took it positively. As one of the state universities, TUP have been a breeding ground for the thousands of DOST scholars like me. But let me tell you that your success doesn’t really depend on the name of the school where you came from. The success of an individual depends on his own determination and perseverance to achieve success no matter what. As Albert Einstein said “Success comes only to those who are prepared for it.”

So how do we prepare for our success? Dreaming and desire of what you want to be is one of the ways to prepare and achieve your success. With all the experiences I have gained, I can say that “To be successful in life, you must possess the power of dreaming, the science of praying and the art or perseverance.” If you have the desire to achieve a certain goal in life, that desire, that wanting for success, is the difference between dreaming of it and actually achieving it. Desire will lead to perseverance.

In reality, you can’t always be number one. With every winner, there is a loser. But if your Pride, a positive Attitude, the Desire to be successful and a Sacrifice to achieve a dream, win or lose, you will always walk away the better person.

Today, as you leave with diplomas in hand, remember the encounter, good as well as bad, you’ve experienced here at Manito High School. Remember the promises you made to yourself and others. Keep in contact with those who have touched your lives. Come back and visit! I know teachers love to hear from former students, it gives them a feeling of worth or “a reason for being”. Take time today to thank the people who have helped you make this day possible. Treat them as you would treat fine treasured glass.

Finally, I would like to end with a quote that really helped me achieve my goals despite of poverty and simple life. It says “Don’t worry about the persons not knowing you but strive to be worth knowing.”

Congratulations graduates! Good luck!

By Edwin D. Viñas
Science Research Specialist I
Advanced Science and Technology Institute

Preparing my "Ice Breaker" Speech and other speeches

I will be delivering my first Ice Breaker speech project on February 8. I really need to give myself a chance to start the speech projects inoder to get a CTM (Competent Toastmasters) certificate. The "Ice Breaker" is the first speech to be delivered by any member which runs up 10 speech projects to complete the CTM. Now, I'm really confused what to do? Based on the tips for ice breaker speech, this speech is something that you want to tell about yourself. I have been reading about other's ice breaker speeches and some samples but until now I haven't written any introduction not even the title is finished. I think now is the best time to start! I've even schduled my work for a night shift work today just to be able to make a draft and be able to practice it so I can be ready on my first speech day at Toastmasters.

As the tutorial says, an "Ice Breaker" speech only wants to test a speaker if he knows how to construct the three basic parts of speech such as:

  • Opening Statement - a striking fact that audience will be interested about myself
  • Body - three to four points that audience will be interested about me (
  • Conclusion (Ending Statement) - something that could wrap what I have said in the body

The time alotted for the basic "Ice Breaker" speech is only 5-7 minutes.

I need to dig through my diary archives just to get my possible Ice Breaker speech. It's a good thing in writing diaries.... they're not only useful in refreshing your life's achievements and purpose and experiences but they're also a nice resource for composing speeches.

After the first speech I need to undergo the following speech projects:

1) The Ice Breaker
- To begin speaking before an audience
- To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.

- Something that talks about yourself.
- This is to test if you are good in making the three basic parts of speech (Opening, Body and Conclusion)
- Make an interesting opening sentence which captures the audience attention
- Select only three to four points and emphasize them by using examples, stories and anecdotes.
- You should make a point, say it again in different words, illustrate the point, and state it once more to be clearly understood.

2) Organize Your Speech

3) Ge to the Point

4) How to Say It

5) Your Body Speaks

6) Vocal Variety

7) Research Your Topic

8) Get Comfortable with Visual Aids

9) Persuade with Power

10) Inspire Your Audience

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Gay Frog Prince

Gay Frog Prince
By Sherwin Salazar, February 2005

Most of us, if not, all believe the frog prince and his princess lived happily ever after. But did anybody ever wonder what would have happened if the prince turns out to be gay?

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I am the frog prince, constantly embattled why my first love’s kiss turned me into a frog, and no matter where I hop, my fairytale grew from hopeless to pathetic. Mind you, at the age of seven, I already dreamed of my prince in shining armor, who would snatch me from the murky waters of danger, saddle me on his horse, protect me in his castle, and finally vanquish my virginity. I asked my mom back then what virginity meant, and she told me it’s a gift being offered to the one you love. If that’s a gift, then mine would come in a big box wrapped in fancy paper and colorful ribbons. I was so convinced my prince would be happy when he finally opens the box and finds out what I have for him.

But I came to find out that it takes more than virginity to please your prince; that was when Jasper pranced into my life. I was 11 back then, practically a queen, and Jasper my classmate was a star. I invited him over at our house so I could show him my G.I. Joe collection. YES, back in the 80’s boys do play with dolls! There we were playing, when suddenly a dark cloud hovered over me and POW! I kissed him. Jasper was dumbfounded, his mouth hung open. And the highlight of it all was when I said, “Jasper, I love you,” then he finally scrammed out of the door as if he had seen a ghost. And there I was, magically turned into a frog with an acute case of heartbreak

High school came and everything suddenly seem so different, when the most beautiful thing in the world walked in to my life, Benjamin - an eloquent debater, a writer for the school paper and the boy who adores Bonggo, his Dalmatian pet. A talent for gab, a mind full of color and a pet transformed into a fitting substitute for a partner – yes, this one has to be gay, or for those who disagree just can just shoot me please! To cut the story short, Benji and I became close friends. I was almost convinced we were reliving the King David and Jonathan tandem – the first ever recorded soul mates from the book of Samuel. But when I admitted to him I’m gay and I had this tiny little crush on him, he puked, he rolled over, and wailed. He then asked me, “WHY?” “What do you mean WHY?” He just blurted, “WHY do you have to be gay, “WHEN ALL THE WHILE I THOUGHT YOU’LL BE MY PRINCE.” I was like, “WHAT?”

It turned out Benji was crazy in love with me. Love is too much of a commitment for a teenager who excelled in doing anything stupid. I have to admit, I got cold feet over love and over Benji. So, I ditched him flat! From then on, I only had flings. I had no relationships, no commitments, no I-love-you’s. It was a good thing you don’t include these in your resume. Otherwise I wouldn’t qualify for any job.

While all the gays my age mature when they entered college, I got stuck to the ‘happily ever after’ antics of fairytales – the exact antithesis of my existence. The same fairytale which taught me there is hope in 'happily ever after', took that hope away. Besides, it didn't take much longer for Snow White, the Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella to realize they were all married to the same guy, Prince Charming. . For although I am convinced that polarity between homosexual and heterosexual love is pretty obvious, one similarity seem elusive. Love, gay or not is about risks. And all fairytale princesses took that risk. They took a chance with Prince Charming. At the end of the day, they are not so mythical after all; very much the same with that princess who took her chance with the frog prince, no matter how green, filthy and slimy looking frog it was, needless to say, very gay. That’s what it takes to be a princess; having the courage to pour some love, at the risk of it being unwanted.

Now, I’m wondering. Am I willing enough to take that same risk? YOU BET I AM! I am a real princess!! For all the princes and princesses at heart, keep on kissing, who knows, the next one might be the right frog for you.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Taken from:

I saw, I speech, I conquered!

I have been a very shy type of person since I was a kid until now that I decided to conquer my fears on public speaking. This blog will contain my experiences on how I saw toastmasters club, taken a shot on its public speaking exercises and how I aimed at conquering my fears.