Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reminiscin Japan

Last year, during these times, I was happily making the most out of my brief stay in Japan. I just want to look back and reminisce my Japan experience…
It’s really such a beautiful country. My friends and I saw Mt. Fuji at the viewing site in Hakone. It was magnificent and the Japanese were so proud of it. They always remind us to see Mt. Fuji because they respect and adore it so much. When we finally saw it, most of my Pinoy friends secretly said that our very own Mt. Mayon was more beautiful – sans the snowcap. Haha.. Love your own! At least we were patriotic.
I ate the Black egg (supposed to add 5 years to your life…haha)
and rode on the pirate ship

and on the ropeway…
..and the giant wheel
..and roller coaster!

We also went to see the Tokyo tower, and Sea Paradise.
And of course, shopping! Thanks to our generous Japanese sponsors..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

5th and Last USEP Monthsary.

The Fifth and the Last...

Life is really full of surprises. Of twists and turns. I never thought my stay with USEP would be brief. I once wrote on my journal that my vision is : to be one of the best IT educators/practitioners in Davao City... I wrote that with a promise in my heart that I will be with a university in Davao that will help me fulfill my vision.
USEP has not failed to teach me the things I needed to learn. It was not a smooth ride right from the start. I had to adjust to the new environment, the culture, and the people around...

Though it was really a brief stay, I will still miss the people who made my life easier - my officemates and students. Some of the students may hate me for failing them, for not being able to give my hundred percent, or for notbeing able to meet their expectations.

I admit I was not at my best this semester. I was stressed and tired almost everyday that I had to literally drag my feet to my classes. Every time I see or notice disappointment in the eyes of my students, I always felt incompetent and unworthy to be standing in front of them. I felt that if my previous students could only see how I performed here, they wouldn't be so proud of me anymore...Haha. I tried my best to regain my strength and show some enthusiasm but I failed many times. If I have one regret in my stay with USEP, it is that I wasn't able to really give the best of me coz I allowed stress and pressure to get in the way.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How to Secure Clearance from CHED

Last year, I had a terrible and traumatic experience with the Immigration officers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). I was told by the officer that I could not board the plane to Japan for my ENIT training because I was “hit”. Being “hit” meant that I was in the hold-departure list. At first I thought someone with the same name as mine had criminal records… but then, a realization struck me! Those horror stories were true… One of my classmates in my Master’s in IT who was also on CHED scholarship once told me that he was held at the airport because of CHED’s hold departure order. I kept this story in mind but was relieved when I got my NBI clearance without being “hit”. Yey, I was not on the list! And I thought I'd live happily ever after. Haha.

But, alas, doomsday came. I panicked and thought about what could be the reason why I am being held… could it be the DOST (PhiSci) scholarship or CHED? However at that moment, I didn’t have the luxury of time to assess whether it was DOST’s or CHED’s ghost chasing me. I only had to focus on how I could board that plane… Luckily, the immigration officers told me that I could ask my friends at MSU to send my travel order through fax since I reasoned that I will only be out of the country for a 3-week training. Good thing I had a bunch of reliable and helpful friends at MSU-GenSan who helped me and I was able to successfully get on board to Japan.

Until now, I could not forget the faces of the immigration officers and NAIA guards. The stern look on their faces warning me that it was my first and last time to go abroad without any clearance from DOST or CHED. They gave me a sermon on how iskolars ng bayan (scholars) should pay back to the government after having enjoyed the benefits of the scholarship. So, now that I am about to go abroad again, I BADLY need that CLEARANCE!!! I called Pisay Davao to ask how I could get cleared from my obligations to Pisay and DOST. Our sweet registrar told me that Pisay has already lifted our travel ban a long time ago. Yes! DOST-PhilSci eliminated from the list of suspects! Hehe.. And that leaves CHED as the primary suspect. Aha!

So I went to CHED (Davao)’s office last November 5, 2010 to inquire about how I could get my clearance. Fortunately, the people there were friendly and accommodating. One of them gave me the email ad of the contact person in Manila who knows the requirements for the clearance. And these are:
1. request letter
2. certified true copy of diploma and TOR
3. certification of completed return service obligation duly signed by the head of office of the sending institution.

Whew! I didn’t know there were a lot of requirements. I thought I only needed the certificate of employment. Huhu.. Poor me! So, I got to go now and try to satisfy all the requirements. By the way, you have to submit these documents to CHED 2 weeks before departure date…

Here is CHED’s address:
Faculty Development Program-II
Commission on Higher Education
Ground Floor, Higher Education Dev’t Center
Corner University – C.P. Garcia Avenues,
University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
(02) 441-1192

Good luck!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Sometimes, in life, there are just things that are hard to accept, such as things and people that are just not meant for you. I've been very lonely for quite some time and I took comfort in the "friendship" of a person who held a very special place in my heart. I tried to convince myself that it was OK to still have contact with him because after all, he is the only person in this world who is capable of making me happy without exerting much effort.

I was lonely because I was struggling with my new work load, new work environment - with no friends to comfort me. I was always sad and his texts were the only things that could cheer me up.

I took the chance to be with this person for several stolen moments because I knew that I would be happy when I'm with him. But the pain of separation was always a lot more difficult each time - for me. I have often wondered why God allowed our paths to cross - because ever since I've known him, I have always longed to be with him.

I could not even blame him for taking advantage of me. I was lonely and vulnerable and I needed him. I was a very open target for anyone who needed something to play with. I'm hurting but I pray that God will heal me and give me peace.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Fourth at USEP


My little cubicle is a mess. Yes, I'm happy that I no longer have to prepare for my six different subjects but I've got a lot of papers to check before I can finally say that the sem's over. Sigh. I wish I could just skip the checking part and just call the random function to generate the students' grades. Haha..

Ayy.. four months..

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Happy with my students' mobile projects

I'm really quite impressed with the projects presented by some of my students. It's really great. I am glad that despite the very short time that we were able to discuss about midlets, they were able to come up with original and entertaining mobile applications.

Hopefully, they will not forget what they have learned about J2ME and be able to make use of the skills that they have acquired and later on make money out of it.

However, there are still those that disappointed me a lot. There were students who presented mobile applications that they have downloaded from the Web. What irritates me most is that they don't even understand the code! Argh! Good thing that (so far), those who made original projects outnumbered those who just downloaded source codes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

HowTo: Install Java J2ME midlets on your mobile phone

This is for the students taking up CS210 or Programming 3. Please read this article on how to install J2ME midlets on your mobile phone. You can find there all the instructions on how to upload your applications to different brands of mobile phones (Nokia, LG, Sony Ericson, and Motorola)... Take note, however, that your phone must be Java-enabled... :)

I will give bonus points to those who can run their applications on a mobile phone. If your phone is not Java-enabled, you can install it on your classmate's phone... NOTE: You still have to show and defend your codes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teaching Servlets with NetBeans 6.x & TomCat 6.0

I was a little embarrassed with myself when I discovered what went wrong with my NetBeans-TomCat-servlet application. My gosh! How could I have not known that?! Gosh, after years of teaching Web development.. Hehe.. It's really funny. But anyway, what matters is that I was able to realize my mistake. Handling too many subjects has left me with only an hour (mostly) to prepare for my subjects. I know it's not something to be proud of. And I'm really disappointed with myself because I wasn't able to foresee these problems when I accepted the subject load. Anyway, I just want to document this learning so I'll avoid committing the same mistake in the future.

I already installed TomCat 6.0 on my machine but I didn't start it from NetBeans. Instead, I opened my html file from where it was saved (somewhere in my local disk). Anybody who has had a background on Web development knows that you have to execute your html files from the server (ex. localhost) and not from where it is saved so that you could execute the scripts, or in this case, the servlet.

I was now confused why my html file could not "see" or locate my servlet. So I tried: removing and adding my TomCat server in NetBeans, and duplicating the servlet class in the different directories of TomCat. Nothing worked.

When I realized that I hadn't started TomCat from NetBeans, I tried to start it but now NetBeans would tell me that it failed to start TomCat because port 8080 is already in use. Argh!!! I searched the net for some answers and I learned that the error was due to multiple instances of TomCat that are running. I tried looking at the connections on my machine using netstat, and indeed, port 8080 was used. Whew!

I restarted my machine hoping that the service using 8080 would terminate. But, still I got the same freakin error! I was fed up and just tried using another port (8089) and when I started TomCat (inside NetBeans)... it worked!!! When I tried running the project, the browser was automatically invoked and the servlet did its job. Yey!!! Haha.

After all the confusion, my servlets are now running perfectly well.. :)

3rd Monthsary!

Wow. Three months have gone by and the semester is about to end next month! I really feel like I have grown so much as a teacher because of the experiences I had this semester. There were a lot of struggles, yes...but I believe I made some great achievements as well. There were major major mistakes I've made and I felt embarrassed in class (especially in Statistics), which made me hope that the earth would just swallow me alive. Haha. I really felt so dumb during those times. But well, I have forgiven myself and have gotten over it. Good thing the earth didn't swallow me at all. :D Now I have a chance to do better. Pain is really necessary for growth. As they say, "No pain, no gain.. "

This month I'm proud of myself because I de-cluttered my cubicle. Student papers are now neatly filed inside envelopes. Yey!!! :) I have 2 envelopes for each of the subjects I handle - one for the checked/recorded papers and another for unchecked papers. You'd probably think I'm weird. Hehe.. But you know, this is already a great achievement for me. I was able to organize my stuff - student papers for the first time in the n years of teaching. Haha.. My table is a little organized now.. Hooray! It helps me have a clear mind too...

Another great achievement is that I have checked almost ALL papers...thank God for the holiday (end of Ramadan) and being stressed-free, sick-free, and problem-free last weekend. Though I wasn't really able to prepare my lessons. Well..that was a tradeoff I had to risk.

I have also posted partial/final (Prelim/Midterm) grades using Google Documents. I just LOOVVEE Google! It makes my life so much better. I use Google Site to post my subject references, programming exercises, and other subject materials. I use Google Documents to save and post my grades. I also used Priority-based Inbox of Gmail to de-clutter my mails. 2 thumbs up to Google! Gosh. Do I sound like a Google fan? Haha.. I guess I am. :)

But as usual, Statistics and Trigonometry are giving me headaches. Grr.. I don't wanna dwell on that.

The sem's about to end!!! Yey!!! I'm so excited for the sembreak. I'm just not so sure if my students would be happy to receive their grades.. :( Did they learn something from me this semester???