January 29, 2013

A Weekend in the North

Last weekend, I went to the Northern part of Luzon. Around eight in the evening of January 25, we went to Cable Tours bus station for our almostn twelve-hour bus ride to Bontoc. It was a pretty long travel. In the morning, we had the chance to view the Banaue Rice Terraces from the bus.

Before nine in the morning, we arrived in our destination. We took the tricycle to the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College where the first meetup of GDG Halsema will be. I talked about Google Developers Groups (GDGs) and GDG Philippines. The other talk was an introduction to Google Apps for Education by Celine Barrozo. Theofrenz Cayambas, the community manager of GDG Halsema also talked about future plans for the group.

After having lunch, we walked near the bus station bound for Baguio. I had the chance to play Ingress because there was a portal in the Rizal monument there. There was a nearby church (I am not sure if it's the Santa Rita Cathedral) so we decided to go inside. We then went back to the bus station.

It was already late when we arrived in Baguio. We had dinner first at Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant then took the cab to Hotel Elizabeth. A few minutes after laying in bed and I was already asleep. We woke up early in the morning and after having breakfast in the hotel, we went to Good Shepherd Convent. After buying some food, we went to Mines View Park. I was able to try their strawberry taho there.

The strawberry taho tastes good

We took a look at the Mansion House then went to Wright Park. After that, we went to Burnham Park. We then decided to check out the Baguio Museum.

The stairs going to the museum

We walked to O' Mai Khan for lunch after going to the museum. I had Kublai's Dream (grilled porkchop with ham and omelet and some vegetables). We also tried the Chocolate Marble cake. Then, we took the cab to the hotel and checked out. We went to the Victory Liner bus station and rode the bus to Cubao.

It was a good weekend and I hope I can be back in Baguio and in the other places in North Luzon soon.

January 19, 2013

DLSU-D Android Talk

Stratpoint was invited by the Computer Engineering Program Council of De la Salle University-DasmariƱas to give a talk about Android apps development on their CPE week. I was the one who was sent to give a talk to them. The event, which was attended by BS Computer Engineering students, was held in the Alumni Auditorium, Alumni Building inside the campus.

Here is the slides I used in my talk:

After the slides, I also showed them some cool Android apps made by Filipinos. I also did a quick demonstration on how to start coding and using the emulator. The students were pretty interested. They had a lot of questions too. I hope they got inspired and motivated to go into Android apps development.

At the end of the talk, the organizers gave me a certificate, a DLSU backpack and a DLSU jacket. It was my first talk for 2013 and I am hoping I can do more soon.

The certificate from DLSU-DasmariƱas

January 3, 2013

Twelve Months of 2012

Another year has passed. It was one of the busiest year I had but it was good because I also accomplished a lot. Here is the list of some of the things I did during the twelve months of 2012.


Not much happen during the start of the year except on January 9 when I got my NBI Clearance. I attended the Philippine Android Community meetup for the first time on January 21. On the last day of the year, the GTUG Philippines (now GDG Philippines) show-and-tell meetup for 2012 was held at the O&B office. I presented the Pinoy Jokes Android App which I just published to Android Market (now Google Play) the day before. I continued working on the app and it also reached the following accomplishments: Top Free Apps #15, Top Free Applications #7, Top New Free #5 and Top Free Entertainment #2.


On February 6, I attend Mobile Monday Manila (MoMoManila) for the first time. Unfortunately, this was also the only time I was able to attend a MoMoManila meet up in 2012. Celine, her best friend Deci, her college block mates and I went to Gandiva Archery for a few hours of Archery lesson. On February 11, we also went to the 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta and Zoobic Safari. GDG Philippnes also had the Global Android Dev Camp, a global Android development hackathon, from February 17-19.


On the first day of the year, we were invited by the College of Computer Science of University of Makati to be the judge in the Android competition in IT Olympics 2012. It was my first time to judge in a contest. After judging the apps and having lunch, I was also invited to join the Board of Arbiters in the IT Quiz Bee. On March 3, we watched the Pyromusical competition with China and Netherlands at SM Mall of Asia. I also had my first 10k run for the year (Run United 1) on March 4. We also attended the Google Map Maker Manila Workshop at Asian Institute of Management Conference Center last March 17.


April is one of the busiest month of 2012 for me. We had the Pre-Startup Weekend Manila Bootcamp on 14. Then we went to GenSan for the Mindanao leg of the Map Maker Summit. It was my first time to ride a plane and first time to be outside Luzon! From April 27 to 29 was the Second Startup Weekend Manila. Celine and I also walked at the Hyundai Fun Run on April 29. Despite being busy, I was able to develop the web app, Chrome Web Store app and the Android app of Sweldong Pinoy (then named Filipino Salary Calculator)


May was when I started to work at Stratpoint as an Android apps developer. I've been busy with work this month. On May 5, we also went to Cebu to help out with the first Pre-Startup Weekend Bootcamp.


June was another busy month at work. On June 17, I had my second 10k run in Run United 2. GDG Philippines also had the I/O Extended viewing party and it was held at Payroll Hero's Dojo.


On July, we had the Google Apps Challenge Meetup/Hackathon in Manila (July 6-7). We also went to Bacolod for the Google Apps Challenge Meetup (21-22). The slides I used in my talk about Google Drive even got featured on Slideshare on July 13!

Celine and I also went to Singapore from July 27-30. It was my first trip outside the Philippines and we went to the Harry Potter Exhibition. We also visited the Google office, Merlion Park, Sentosa and Universal Studios.


We started August with the GDG DevFest Philippines. We also went to Davao for the Google Apps Challenge Meetup. We had our first (complete) family dinner outside home with the girlfriends of my brothers this month.


On September we attended (and volunteered) for the Globe Labs Developer Day on September 15. The day after, I had my first run in the rain at the Run United 3 in SM Mall of Asia (again). At the end of the month, I volunteered at the next Startup Weekend Manila (28-30).


On October 6, we were invited to La Consolacion College Manila and I gave a talk about WHy you should go into Android apps development. Celine presented our Moochfood app in the first GDG Geek Girls Manila meetup. We also went to Mind Museum and Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street. Globe Labs Developer Relations Manager Anne Michelle Santos and I was invited by ANC Alerts for an interview about the upcoming DevFests in Bacolod and Cebu.


On November we went to Bacolod (November 5) and Cebu (November 7) for the GDG DevFest Bacolod and GDG DevFest Cebu. I talked about Location-Based Services on Android at DevFest Bacolod and my talk at DevFest Cebu was about Google+ and introduction to Google+ Platform. On November 9, we went to Smart DevNet's Appy Birthday Android, which is a simple party to celebrate Android's fifth birthday. Michelle Orosa-Ople of TV5 invited Celine and I for an interview in their radio program Oplan Asenso last November 10. After the radio program, Michelle also interviewed us for TV5 News. This was aired on TV5's Pilipinas News and Aksyon TV's Andar ng mga Balita last November 14, 2012. Before the end of the month, I also published the Pinoy Jokes Chrome Extension in the Google Chrome Web Store. We also joined the Philippine Android Community's Christmas picnic and Kickstart's start-up mixer Christmas Party


We started December with the Sanitation Hackathon, in cooperation with GDG Philippines, GBG Philippines, World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program and Blogwatch. Sanitation Hackathon is a social good hackathon that aims to develop open technology for sanitation challenges. We attended a lot of Christmas Parties this month: Globe Labs Thank You Partee, Mashable TweetMas Tweetup, Ideaspace's Faces of Change, and GDG Philippines Christmas Geekup Party. We also were also invited in PUP Google Fest and I talked about the basics of Android and Android apps development. And we also went to India for the GDG India Summit in Hyderabad, India.

A lot has indeed happen last 2012! I am looking forward to all the possibilities that 2013 will offer. I'll continue to post on this blog the things that will happen soon.

January 2, 2013

GDG India Summit 2012

GDG community managers from Southeast Asia were invited to join the India community managers in the GDG India Summit in Hyderabad (December 29-30).

Initially, all of the community managers from Bacolod, Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Manila and Zamboanga were supposed to attend the summit. However, due to problems in the Indian embassy (they say their machine is not working and they won't be able to process it until the 28th, only five of us were able to join: Chelle, Anne, Josan, Bryan and me.

GDG community managers from the Philippines (Photo by Uttam Tripathi)

The five of us went to NAIA Terminal 1 on the afternoon of December 27. Our flight to KL was delayed and when we arrived there for our connecting flight to Mumbai, we run to the monorail and then to the plane. When we arrived at Mumbai, we processed our VISA. We were informed by Malaysia Airlines personnel that our baggages got left behind in KL and will be delivered to the hotel the next day (December 29 because it is already December 28 that time). It took hours for our VISA to be processed and we went to the domestic terminal via shuttle bus. There, we had a bit of breakfast and rest. We then boarded the plane to Hyderabad.

We arrived early morning of December 28. We waited a few minutes for our cab which will take us to the hotel. It took us around an hour to arrive at Westin Mindspace Hyderabad, where we stayed for more than two days. We informed the hotel that our baggages will be arriving there soon. They were so kind to give us a care package with a shirt, toiletries and other stuff. We rested the whole morning then had lunch with Uttam, Bhumi and Anash. After that, we rested again while Mam Chelle and Anne went for the spa. In the evening, we went to the nearest mall, Inorbit Mall and bought personal stuff at Hypercity. We also bought food at KFC. Their curry chicken tastes so good. After arriving at the hotel, Josan, Bryan and me went for our spa. After that, I had dinner and slept.

The next day was the start of the summit. We had breakfast at the hotel then took the shuttle bus ride to the Google India office. When we arrived, it was almost lunch time and we ate there. After lunch, we went to a meeting room. Uttam welcomed us and talk about Story telling. We had a quick tour of the office then ate the Android cake. After that, the GDG community managers presented about their chapter's past events and future plans. We left before seven in the evening to go to Dhola ri Dhani. It was a pretty good place. We had dinner and it was pretty good! When I got back to my room, I fell asleep easily.

Some of the Indian food we had at Dhola ri Dhani

The next day of the summit was held in Ballroom 3 of Westin. I woke up late and we had a quick breakfast. We went to the ballroom. The other community managers who were unable to present yesterday had their chance to present. Ater that, there were two workshops: public speaking and organizing events. Ma'am Chelle was the one who conducted the events organizing workshop. At around three in the afternoon, our baggages finally arrived. I had a quick shower before fixing our stuff because we need to check out at around five o'clock and go to the airport.

In the airport, we said goodbye to Josan and Bryan who will still be going to New Delhi while Mam Chelle, Anne and I will be going back to Manila. Our next flights are pretty good. When we arrived in Manila, we hurried back home to celebrate New Year's Eve and rest.

It was a pretty great experience despite the long flights, the loss of our baggages, and even if we were unable to explore the city more. I would love to go back to India next time, with Celine.