January 7, 2024

MP2 Calculator

I have been working on a new application in the past few weeks and I am happy to announce that new app, MP2 Calculator, is now available on the Play Store and online.

MP2 Calculator is an app for computing how much your MP2 (Modified Pag-IBIG 2) savings may grow based on actual dividend rates. The MP2 Savings is a special voluntary savings facility with a 5-year maturity, designed for active Pag-IBIG Fund members who wish to save more and earn even higher dividends, in addition to their Pag-IBIG Regular Savings.

I have built the MP2 Calculator Android app using Kotlin and Jetpack Compose and the app is now my first to be developed using 100% Jetpack Compose. The web application, meanwhile, was built on top of Sweldong Pinoy.

December 29, 2023

2023: A Year of 3s

2023 has been a very unique year. The first three months was good but the remaining 3 quarters was not as good. Speaking of three, I have noticed that a lot of things related to the number 3 to me happened this year. Here are some of them:

Third Continent

After living and touring around Asia and North America, we finally visited a new continent this year: Europe. I was invited to the PE Summit 2023 in London, England and we toured around a few days before the summit. We went to the Prime Meridian, ate English breakfast, and went to Sherlock Holmes Museum, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter, British Museum, and more. I also got to meet my three co-authors (who are all based in England) for the first time since we started working in 2019.

Book #3

My third book, the second edition of our book How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin, has been released last May. It is available on Packt and on Amazon. The first edition was published on February 2021 and there has been some new changes with the new one.

Three Runs

I ran thrice this year: a half-marathon at BMO Vancouver Marathon 2023, another half-marathon at Vancouver Half Marathon 2023, and a 10k at Under Armour Eastside 10k 2023. My half marathon at the Vancouver Half is now my fastest (so far) at 2:16:41.

3 Other 3's

  • Third Year of Blood Donation: This year marks the third consecutive year that I had donated blood.
  • Three Visits to the US: We went to the United States thrice this year: a weekend in California (March-April), a day trip in Seattle (June), and another weekend in California (November).
  • 3 VWFC Games: We watched 3 Vancouver Whitecaps FC matches at BC Place this year:
    • March 8: CONCACAF Champions League game against Real Club Deportivo Espana. Whitecaps won the game 5-0. It was our first time to watch their game where they scored more than 3 goals.
    • August 4: Leagues Cup Round of 32 match vs Tigres UANL. The final score was 1-1 but they lost on the penalty shootout 5-3
    • November 5: MLS Cup Playoff First Round Game 2 vs LAFC. They lost 1-0 and exited the playoffs

3 Honorable Mentions of Non-3 Things

  • After more than 8 years, I was finally able to replace my Macbook!
  • I joined two organizations this year and have already volunteered twice for each organization.
  • We watched our first NFL game in person in November, the Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium.

October 24, 2023

Trip to London

As a Platinum Product Expert for Play Developer (Play Console), I was invited to the PE Summit 2023 in London, England. It was our first time in London (and in Europe!) so we decided to stay a few days before the summit to tour around London.

The Product Experts (PE) Summit was held in Hilton London Metropole from October 16 to 18. That was my first time to attend this event. I met fellow product experts, community managers, and Googlers. It was a great experience and I learned more about the PE program, Play Console, and other Google products.

One of the few places I wanted to vist is the Prime Meridian in Greenwhich. The prime meridian indicates 0 degree longitude and separates the east and the west hemispheres of the Earth. We went inside the Royal Observatory and learned about the longitude and time. Afterwards, we took photos in the prime meridian line.

Me in the Prime Meridian

Since my three co-authors for the two editions of our Android Kotlin book are all based in England, I sent them a message so we can finally meet up in person. It was the first time all of us met after we started working late 2019.

Celine and me meeting with my co-authors

We were able to do a lot of things and visited many places despite the short time in London. I was finally able to try full English Breakfast in England (after ordering one last year via delivery and not getting the full breakfast). We rode the red double-decker bus. On our way from Greenwich, we also took the riverboat on the Thames.

We went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum (in 221b Baker Street) on our first day. Celine and I also visited the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter. We also went to the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels. The day before the summit, we went to the British Museum (and saw the Rosetta Stone, Easter Island Moai among many other things). The PE Summit closing was at Madame Tusssauds so I was able to roam inside and take photos.

There are still many more places that I haven't visited and food we haven't tried. We would love to go back there soon!