January 20, 2015

Takbo.ph 20-Miler Run 2015

After months of not running, I was finally able to run (and finish the run) again. My first run for the year was at Takbo.ph 20-Miler Run 2015.

(Photo from Takbo.net)

Takbo.ph 20-Miler Run 2015 was held in Bonifacio Global City on January 18, 2015. I registered for the 16k (10-miler) run. It was my first 16k run after more than three years. The last time I ran 16k was during Takbo.ph RunFest 2011. I finished the run and got another finisher medal after the run. This was also the first time I got a finisher shirt.

This is the first time I used Moto 360 to track my run (via the Runtastic Android Wear App). From being fully-charged when I wore it before leaving for the run, it became low batery after more than two hours of running.

The official race results are 2:18:04 (Gun Time) and 2:17:46 (Chip Time). Based from the Runtastic records, I ran 17.26 km in 2:18:21. It was a lot slower compared to my run at Takbo.ph RunFest 2011 (which was less than 106 minutes) but it was faster compared to my only practice run in Ayala Triangle a week before (more than 147 minutes for a 15+ kilometer run).

Over-all, the run was good. The route was from BGC to Buendia and back. I only hate it when runners have to stop for a few seconds to let vehicles cross the road. There were enough hydration but I feel bad because the water provider was Manila Water. There were Pocari Sweat hydration stations, but there were only two, I think. Aside from the drinks, there were banana and a bite-size packed adobo pie.

Hopefully, I can run more this year.

Android Fundamentals Study Jams

GDG Philippines is organizing a seven-week Android Fundamentals Study Jams on February-March 2015. This is part of the Google Developers Study Jams, free series of global, community-run, in-person study groups. The first jam session is presented in partnership with Udacity and will follow their Android Fundamentals curriculum. This series will be led by certified Google Developer Group facilitators.

Google Developers Study Jams is the first of its kind for Google Developer Groups (GDGs). Last year, GDGs were asked who are interested in hosting these Study Jams. GDG representatives were required to finish Udacity's Android Fundamentals Course and earn the verified certificate from November to December 2014. They will in turn be the ones who will be facilitating the Study Jams in their respective GDG chapters. I signed up for GDG Philippines, finished the course, submitted my final project, and got my verified certificate on January 7, 2015 (It was still January 6 in the US when I got the certificate, thus the date is January 6).

My Verified Certificate of Completion

For the GDG Philippines Android Study Jams, there will be a total of seven Saturday sessions (Every Saturday from February 07 to March 21). The first six sessions will be for the six lessons of the course (one lesson per week). The seventh session will be for the presentation of final projects. To know more, please check the blog post at http://blog.gdgph.org/2015/01/android-fundamentals-study-jams.html. If you are interested in joining the Study Jams sessions, you should sign up early before slots ran out.

January 19, 2015

Taal-Tagaytay Trip

On January 16, 2015, while most people are in Manila for the papal visit, Wayne (and his family), Chelle (and her family), Celine, Michelle, and I went to Taal, Batangas and Tagaytay City for a day trip. Our first stop was in Mushroom Burger in Tagaytay for breakfast. We tried the Crunch Burger and Mushroom Fries. Afterwards, we traveled to Taal. We went to Basilica of St. Martin de Tours.

Basilica of St. Martin de Tours (Photo from Celine)

Our next destination was in Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio Ancestral Mansion.Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio is a forgotten heroine of the Philippine revolution. We also saw Ilagan-Barrion Heritage House/Galleria Taal, Leon Apacible Historical Landmark, Goco Ancestral House, Villa Tortuga, Marcela Agoncillo Historical Landmark. We then had lunch at Don Juan Boodle House.

Our lunch (Photo from Celine's Foursquare account)

After lunch, we went to Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay. We also went to the miraculous well nearby. We went back to Tagaytay. We had a quick stop at Sky Ranch before going to Rowena's. Unfortunately, there were no stocks of buko pie and most of the items are already sold out so we weren't able to buy something.

At Skyranch Tagaytay (Photo from Celine)

On our way home, we had a stop over at Nuvali for dinner. We ordered food at John Bamboo. While waiting for the food, Celine and I walked arouond the area. It looks like a cool place. We should go back there sometime!

Our dinner (Photo from Celine's Foursquare account)

After dinner, we went back to Manila.

January 16, 2015

Two Days in Legazpi City

From January 7 to 8, 2015, I was in Legazpi City. I was invited to speak in the Legazpi City leg of STI 20th National Youth Convention. The event was held in Hotel St. Ellis.

Howard Go (Mochibits Co-Founder and Game Developer), Gian Javelona (Orange Apps Inc. CEO), and I, the three speakers for the morning ICT session, went to Legazpi City on January 7. There were only a few people in the plane and we arrived twenty minutes ahead of schedule. We rode the hotel van and met with the STI NYC team. We had lunch in the hotel's Crossroads restaurant. We tried their Crispy Bicol Express and Laing.

Crispy Bicol Express

After lunch, I went back to the hotel room to charge my phone, research nearby interesting areas, and update my slides. I then walked to St. Raphael Parish Church.

St. Raphael Parish Church Altar

I went to a nearby chapel, St. Jude Thaddeus. On my walk there, I also passed by the Battle of Legazpi Paylon Monument in the rotonda. Unfortunately, it is under renovation so I wasn't able to take a good photo of it.

St. Jude Thaddeus Chapel

On the way back to the hotel to finish my presentation, I went to LCC Supermarket in LCC Mall to look for food I can bring home. I was able to buy some pili nuts and pili tarts. Later that night, our dinner was in Seadog Diner. We ordered Seadog Special Pizza, Ginuobatan Longganiza Meal, Pinangat, and Tablea.

Ginuobatan Longganiza

The next day (January 8), I woke up early for the 06:30 AM English Mass in St. Raphael Parish Church. I arrived a minute earlier but it was already starting. I went back to the hotel and had breakfast in Crossroads. After that, we went to the Hotel St. Ellis Ballroom for the STI NYC event.

The morning session (ICT) was attended by ICT and Engineering students from STI College Legazpi and STI College Naga. I was the first to talk with the topic "Going Mobile: The Power of Mobile Application Development" Gian was the next speaker with his talk about "App-titudes: Fundamentals of Mobile Application Development." Howard with "Apps-Start: Your Success in the Mobile App Market" was the last. There was a raffle of three phones after the talks.

We had lunch in Crossroads again. Gian, Howard, and I packed up our stuff after eating and went to the airport to go back to Manila.

January 3, 2015

2014: The Year That Was

A lot of things happened in 2014. Here are some of the highlights of the year that was.

Local Travel

From January 18 to 19, we went to Nueva Ecija, Tagaytay, and Manila. Wayne, Celine, Mama Chelle, Amit, Josh, Jona and I went to Nueva Ecija on January 18 for the Nueva Ecija Technologies @ Work (NETWORKS) Student Developers Day event. I did a talk about the basics of Android apps development there. The next day, Celine, Mama Chelle, Amit, Josh, Jona and I travelled to Tagaytay (People's Park in the Sky, Starbucks, Rowena's). After that, we visited the National Museum. It was my first time to visit there and it was a great experience. We then went to Intramuros and had lunch at Coco Bango Cafe. Afterwards, we went to San Agustin Church.

Celine and I went to La Salle University in Ozamiz City for the 5th ICT Youth Convention on February 27. I did a talk about Google Developer Tools and Technologies in the morning and conducted an Android Workshop in the afternoon.

Wayne and I went to Angeles, Pampanga on June 7 for a GBG Angeles-GDG Philippines Developer Meetup there. I was able to try Marco's 3-way Tinapa-flavor pizza and Pacencia a Kapampangan mom's sweet recipe pasta in Historic Camalig Restaurant. During dinner, I was able to try tilapia and chili frog in Apag Marangle, and Kabigting's Halo-Halo in Marquee Mall.

I followed Celine in Cagayan de Oro during their two-week work there and spent the weekend (October 10-12) with her. On October 11, we went to Camiguin Island and visited Katibawasan Falls, Ardent Hot Springs, Old Volcano, Sunken Cemetery, and Guiob Church Ruins, Soda Swimming Pool, and Sto. Niño Cold Spring Resort. In CDO, we went to St. Agustine Cathedral, Gaston Park, MacArthur Memorial Marker, and Capitol Grounds.

We went to Ilocos on December 2-3 for the Google Philippines and Philippine Science High School event. Our technical talks were in the afternoon of the second day so we were able to do a quick side trip to Vigan (and eat authentic Vigan empanada) in the morning.

International Travel

Celine, Mama Chelle, Mitch, Wayne, Jerome, and I went to South Korea from March 21 to 24 for a short vacation. We met with the GDG community managers there for dinner and also had lunch in the Google office. We visited Nami Island, different palaces, temples and other historical/cultural places there.

This year, I was also blessed to receive a US VISA so I was able to go to the United States for the GDG Organizer Summit (June 23-24), Google I/O 2014 (June 25-26), and a short trip to San Francisco, Oakland, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.

Personal Apps

Sweldong Pinoy apps were updated based from PhilHealth Circular 27 s.2013 and SSS Circular 2013-010. The tablet-optimized version of the Sweldong Pinoy Android app has also been released. Sweldong Pinoy was updated for Government employees (computing GSIS contributions instead of SSS contributions) and RHQ/ROHQ Employees (computing corresponding tax, deductions, and net pay). Check the Sweldong Pinoy Blog for more details.

I have also developed Thirteenth Month, a tool for Filipinos in computing their 13th-month pays. Thirteenth Month has a website/web app at http://13thmonth.sweldongpinoy.com and Android App.


I bought a Nexus 5 on February to replace the Nexus S that already stopped working. I also received an LG G Watch and a Moto 360 from Google I/O.


My only run for 2014 was Takbo.ph RunFest 2014 (July 13). On 2015, I am hoping I can do more runs, probably one per quarter. I had already registered for Takbo.PH 20 Miler Run 2015 (10 Miler/16k) and Condura Skyway Marathon 2015 (10k).