January 8, 2023

Toll Pinas Android App

In the past few months, I have been updating my apps and decided to work on a new application. The app, called Toll Pinas, is now available on the Google Play Store.

Toll Pinas Feature Graphic
Toll Pinas is an app that you can use to find out the toll fee you need to pay for expressways in the Philippines. Toll data were taken from the Toll Regulatory Board website. The app includes toll data for the following expressways:
  • Apolinario Mabini Superhighway (formerly known as STAR Tollway)
  • Cavite–Laguna Expressway (CALAX)
  • Manila–Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX)
  • Metro Manila Skyway
  • NAIA Expressway (NAIAX)
  • North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)
  • Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX)
  • South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)
  • Muntinlupa–Cavite Expressway (MCX)
  • Tarlac–Pangasinan–La Union Expressway (TPLEX)

To use the app, you can select the expressway, the entry/exit, and the vehicle class to compute the toll you need to pay. You can also share the output afterwards. Here's a sample video of how the app works.

Check out the app on Google Play Store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tigcal.apps.toll and let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions.

December 31, 2022

Top 22 for 2022

A lot of things have happened in 2022. Here are the 22 highlights of the year for me.

App Development

* My new book Simplifying Android Development with Coroutines and Flows has been published this year. You can check out the book on Packt and on Amazon.

* We have updated Boto Ko for the 2022 Philippine National and Local Elections and we have started an unofficial survey called Boto Ko Polls for the national positions based on anonymous user inputs. Boto Ko is an application for Philippine elections where you can list, update, and share the candidates you want to vote for.

* Boto Ko was featured in Youth for Truth, a youth-oriented program of the Presidential Communications Operations Office. You can watch the interview which aired live on May 7 on Facebook and on YouTube.

* We have updated Sweldong Pinoy and Budget Pinoy for 2023. The tax deductions will decrease but the contibutions for PhilHealth, SSS, and Pag-IBIG Fund will be higher. Sweldong Pinoy is a salary calculator for Filipinos in computing net pay, withholding taxes and contributions to SSS/GSIS, PhilHealth and PAG-IBIG. Budget Pinoy is a tool for Filipinos in finding out how much their asking salary should be based on their budget.

* I worked on a simple Android app for a client who will be using the app as a demo/prototype for presenting to their potential partners and investors. Most of the things I did involved adding animations and I used MotionLayout for them.

* I developed a simple Exchange Gift Generator using Google Forms/Google Spreadsheets and Apps Script.


* I ran my first half marathon at the BMO Vancouver Marathon 2022. It was the 50th anniversary of the Vancouver Marathon. I ran the 21.1 km run in 2:27:11.

* I ran my second Half Marathon at Great Trek 2022, the 100th anniversary of the event. It took me 2:27:55 to finish the 21.1 km run.

* I ran at least once a month this year with a total distance of 356 km based on Strava, more than a half marathon more than last year's 327 km.

Travel and Tours

* This year, we visited the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, and BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. We also went out of town to Tsawwassen Mills to visit the Stargazer Exhibit.

* Celine's family (and I) went to Squamish (with a day trip to Whistler).

* for the first time, we went outside the province! We went to Ontario and had a tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls. The highlight of the trip was the Hornblower Boat Cruise.

* We stayed in Toronto for a few days of vacation and went to CN Tower, Ripley's Aquarium of Canada, Distillery District, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum, and St. Lawrence Market.


* This year, we watched more games of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. We watched 12 MLS games in BC Place.

* We watched the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in their Canadian Championship Preliminary Round game vs Valour FC (they won 2-0) and in the Canadian Championship Finals vs Toronto FC. They won 5-3 on penalty shootout (after a 1-1 90 minute game) and got their second Voyageurs Cup.

* We also watched a Vancouver Canucks game for the first time. It was our first time to watch an NHL game in person and was also our first time at Rogers Arena.

* We watched the Canada Women Football Team's National Team Celebration Tour, a friendly game vs Nigeria. They won 2-0!

* We watched the Canadian Mens Football Team during their CONCACAF Nations League match vs CuraƧao. There were two other games which we paid for and could have also watched if they had not been cancelled.


* I continued to use Duolingo to learn French. My stats for 2022 are I'm a top 1% French learner on Duolingo: 66611 total XP, 16993 minutes spent, 3896 words learned, 1989 longest streak. Here is the full year in review (video):

* After a very long time, I finished first in a Diamond League in Duolingo . The Diamond League is the "highest" league and it was always hard to even stay on it. It was also the first time I topped a Duolingo leaderboard so I got both the Winner and Legendary achievements.

* We were invited to the St. Paul's Lights of Hope Donor Celebration before the lighting ceremony. After the program, we went outside for the lighting ceremony.

* I donated blood twice in 2022: first in June and the second in December.

October 22, 2022

Half Marathon at Great Trek 2022

After my first half marathon at BMO Vancouver Marathon 2022, I was looking for another run for the year. I was originally looking for only 10k but then I found out that the Great Trek will have its 100th anniversary. Since I ran in the Vancouver Marathon's 50th, I decided to run another half marathon instead in the Great Trek.

Great Treak (formerly The Fall Classic) pays homage to the Great Trek of 1922 in the University of British Columbia. It is a jaunt through Musqueam Territory.

Great Trek was was my first run in the UBC Campus.I woke up early on October 22 to go there for the event. It wasn't raining (the day before and the next few days have rain in the forecasts) but it's still a little cold. The first few kilometers of the run was fine but I started feeling tired after the 16th/17th kilometer so I was mostly walking. Near the finish line, however, I did find some more strength to run towards it.

I finished the 21.1 km run in 2:27:25 (21.59 km in 2:27:30 on Strava). It was a few seconds slower than my finish at the Vancouver Marathon last May but I was a bit surprised because I thought it would take me longer.

Overall, Great Trek 2022 was a good experience for me. I am not sure though if I can do it again soon. October is a little too cold for me and the chance of rain is high.