Tuesday, June 30, 2009

STI College Balayan - Ready for HRM

After not making it to the Parada ng Lechon last school year, I was in a bit of a shock when I saw some improvements in the Balayan campus of STI. One of the in demand courses nowadays is the course of Hospitality and Restaurand Services and Hotel and Restaurant Management and one of the major improvements of the Balayan branch was its adding its HRS and HRM labs, kitchen and hotel simulation room.

Here are pictures of the Restaurant Lab that STI College Balayan made. The combination of the colors that they picked is nice and pleasing to the eyes.

The chairs and table cloth used as shown above shows the classiness of the restaurant. If you were to see through it one would think that this is a famous restaurant in Manila.

The Hotel room was a notch better. As STI College Balayan President Kristy Dimaano would put it, the image of the hotel room is a combination of all the hotels she has seen and her personal touch. Looking at it would remind you of beds and rooms of five star quality. Its a thing to behold.

So if you have friends from Batangas, let them enroll at STI College Balayan if they want to get the course of HRS. The facilities alone is enough to say that they are in good hands.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen

ACTION PACKED! Those are two words that best describe the second serving of Transformers. This much awaited movie here in the Philippines has really made a lot of people troop back to the movie houses and watch it in full dolby surround audio to make it more exciting. The movie is one sequel that is definitely better than the previous one.

Back from the first movie were sweethearts Shia LaBeouf and the sexy Megan Fox who I shall start worshipping starting today. I will create an altar for her in my room for me to worship everyday. Her stunning beauty and great acting in this movie made me a believer. Besides seeing her in the movie, what made it all the more special are the duels between Optimus Prime and MEgatron. Also, the involvement of additional Autobots and Decepticons made it all the more exciting.

The beauty about sequels is that there is usually another fictional story which is continued from the previous one. In the movie, it was said that the Transformers were actually in the planet as far back as the 1st century and even before that. Ancient Eqypt is once again summoned as scriptwriters who write about ancient civilization always make the Egyptian timelines seem as though they were the only people back then. - why not invent. The Egyptian flash back seems a little bit the same as the movie Stargate.

What makes a sequel quite exciting is the introduction of new and important characters who will portray important roles in either thickening the plot or just confuse audiences on who the enemy or ally is. Another female star had an unforgettable run in this movie as Australian actress Isabel Lucas plays the spoilers role as Mikaela (Megan) catches Sam (Shia) and Alice (Isabel) smooching. Again, the plot thickens! The other new star in the movie are Ramon Rodriguez who is Shia's room mate. Other roles were filled by the same actors from Transformers 1.

Its nice to watch a good movie every once in a while. I just hope that seeing MEgatron flee together with star scream in the end will make them reunite once more for another transformers movie. That is my only wish for Michael Bay.,

A tribute to a legend

When I was in first year high school, the British Invasion made its mark in the Philippine music scenes as the airwaves were filled with music from UK. I remember those years, British Bands were a hit namely ABC, Depeche Mode, the Human League, Orchestral Maneuvres in the Dark and Spandau Ballet just to name a few. The ruins of punk and the chic regions of synthesizer pop needed a new makeover and a multi-talented Pop icon who grew up in Indiana changed all that. But all their combined efforts were not a match to the vocal versatility and dancing prowess of Michael Jackson.

If you look at all the best selling albums of all time, Michael has five of them the list namely Off the wall (20 million copies) History: Past Present and Future (20 million Copies), Bad (30 million copies) Dangerous (32 million copies) and the best selling album of all time which we believe won't be surpassed in two lifetimes, Thriller which sold a whopping 109 million copies sold. Imagine the influence Michael had and I believe that with him passing away his work will be selling like hotcakes again. Memorabilia.

For me, Michael Jackson is the greatest performer of all time. His Billie Jean act in the Grammy's was the best single song and dance act performed. Everyone was left in awe when he danced the moonwalk and his other signature moves which is now copies by millions of dancers all over the globe. His dance moves in his MTV is so precise that you will always see his back up dancers perform well also. In the concerts and MTVs I have seen him perform, you can just imagine the level of perfection he demands from people who perform with him. My only regret is that I wasnt able to see him perform live. To MJ, thanks for the inspiration and for all the songs and dance numbers you performed, you will always be in our hearts and never forgotten.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

School of the Arts Photo Shoot

Chef Ingrid share baking tips to Mo and EJ

Excerpts from the photoshoot I had for the STI Center of Arts. Photography is just a hobby of mine that is why coming out with photos as good as these make me consider taking up photography seriously. You be the judge.

Chef Jethro smiles as he gives more info about leaves

Chef Dindo shows off some fancy slices

Marvie strikes a chord

Marvie shows 'em how

Friday, June 26, 2009

50th PARADA ng LECHON: Balayan Fiesta

The STI College Olympians

During the time of the Spanish regimes, an old custom was passed on from generation to generation as the once poor and depressed areas of Balayan would honor their patron saint in a form thanksgiving. During that time, the best form of showing your thanks was parading lechon in the town plaza as a form of thanks to St. John de Baptist whose feast day is commemorated every June 24. As years passed, the once poor town of Balayan had more people become more successful which eventually translated into more thanksgiving and more lechon parading.

My Allstars Ge-ann, Rynee and Kath

In 1959 the elders of the kanluran district of Balayan organized the Brotherhood of St. John the Baptist which was tasked to oversee the celebration which eventually became known as the Parada ng Lechon sa Balayan Batangas. Because of the entry of the brotherhood into the fold, the simple thanksgiving was revolutionalized and the once one day event became a two week celebration with the parade as the culminating activity. As years passed a lot of people came to know the event and even became a national fixture as television networks would visit and cover the event. This year, the Parade celebrated its 50th anniversiary with a grand one week celebration with the "Parada ng lechon" as the culminating activity.

Olympians rejoice

A decade ago I remember watching the news and was quite amazed by the wonderful celebration since I saw the roasted pigs being paraded in various ways. Most of the roasted pigs wore clothes depending on whose group was parading. I remember the Lechon being dressed as a Policeman or even an Old lady and one time dressed as transformers. What they wear depends on the theme that year. I was intrigued on what happened and was hoping I would be able to grace the occassion one day.

Fiesta Galore

One of the perks of being the Events manager of the STI Education Serviecs groups is that a lot of STI branches invite you to their various events. I was so happy six years ago when I got invited to this annual merry making. Walking the streets of Balayan together with the STI College Balayan community was really an experience that is undescribable. I may have talked about it to many people but being there and being thrown water at and drenched under extreme heat and once under the rain was an experience one wont forget. I am happy that the invitation this year was also extended to our STI COllege Olympians Seniors and Juniors teams. They themselves were very happy with the experience.

Fiesta Galore also
To our gracious hosts, Paolo and Kristy Dimaano, we thank you for your generosity. STI is happy that partners like you are very succesful. Like what the parade stands for, we wish you more blessings so that your participation in more lechon parades would be thanksgiving for the yearly growth of STI College Balayan. Hope we get to be invited again next year. Viva San Juan de Bautista!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Welcome the STI Center of Arts

The past few years saw the STI Education Services Group grow by leaps and bounds. STI Campuses are now being built, various courses are now offered and Filipinos now have seen the true value of an STI education. Before, COmputer Science and Computer Engineering where the in demand courses that STI offered, now it has ventured into various disciplines like Nursing, Hotel and Restaurant Management and even added some Business Management courses. Since the construction of the STI Academic Center at the Fort in Global CIty, STI has opened its doors to new partners once again in creating the STI Center of Arts. There will be four course offerings with noted personalities leading the different dsiciplines.

The first course that was launched last summer is the Photography course which has been getting a lot of attention to many people nowadays specially with the influx of various Digital SLR cameras in the market today. Leading the classes is reknowned artist, singer, composer and now photographer Jim Paredes. That is just for starters because I believe if the course becomes a good fixture then STI might invite other people to join the ship.

So if you know anyone who has just purchased a new Nikon or Canon DSLR from Quiapo and is serious in learning the basics of photography, then lead them to the STI Center of Arts. The photography studio will definitely help them come out with great pictures may it be portraits, macro shots, sports or whatever they want.

Trumpets President Audie Gemora
with me & Vix Madlangbayan
Just recently STI partnered with the Trumpets Playshop, one of the reknowned group in the country that trains would be artists in the field of music, theatre, dance and a lot more. Partnering with them definitely shows the seriousness of STI to give another venue for would be artists to get the best education when it comes to the fields mentioned. Multi-awarded thespian Audie Gemora leads the Trumpets playshop and they are very excited about the project and are raring to start training kids and adults in the field of theatre and others. At the ground floor of the STI Academic Center is a 200 seat theatre that will be at their disposal.

Dance lessons, music lessons and even band lessons can be taught. The venue also has a recording studio so that a group who wants to immortalize their songs can record their compositions or renditions in the click of a button. The Music room has other break out rooms if ever students would want to enroll in voice lessons or learn to play various musical instruments.

Another form of Arts that is very popular in the country right now is what we call Culinary Arts which is also set to be taught at the Center for Arts. Culinary Arts as we know centers more on cooking and becoming a chef. This should not be confused with the regular HRM or HRS courses offered by STI also since both have different outputs but are someway related to each other.

The last ingredient in the school of arts is Fashion Design. The last I heard after talking to Jaeger Tanco who is on top of all the things done in the cente for arts, he is currently talking to top fashion designer Rene Salud to spearhead this project. For those who don't know, the first uniform of STI designed in the 90's was a done by Rene Salud. That alone gives class to the students of STI.

STIers at ang grupong Pakakak..in English Trumpets

The STI Center for Arts is located at the fifth floor of the STI Academic Center right across Market Market Mall and Every Nation churcn at the Fort in Global City Taguig. If you want to know more about the course offerings just call 789-3099 or drop by STI College Global City. When all of these disciplines are in place, a grand launch will be done in August this year to market the courses I have just mentioned. For the meantime, cheers to the future of Arts in the country, we hope a lot of them will find their roots in the STI Center of Arts.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

A big shout out to all the fathers out there. Here is a video of a father i surely envy - Dick Hoyt. He together with his son Rick form one of the best father and son teams and all of this is possible because of the love of Dick Hoyt on his son.

To know more about Dick and Rick Hoyt, click on this youtube video to see their journey towards what they have become. I pray that this videos would inspire all the Father's out there. Happy Father;s day to all.


St.Scho DWTL Planning Session

In an effort to further enhance, improve and make the St. Scholastica's College Days with the Lord more sustaining, members of the SSC-DWTL Core group set up a planning session to be able to address certain concerns that has stunted the growth of the St. Scho Days. I am quite happy that the old core members called me up to help out. Six years ago I left St. Scho Days mainly because my work became so demanding it was quite impossible for me to serve the said community. Fortunately now my sked is quite flexible.

If there was one thing unfortunate, it was discovering that the problems that saddled the DWTL of St. Scho 6 years back are still the problems that continue to haunt the "Days" weekends. One thing nice about the planning was that the girls were very receptive and open minded. They were all animated during breaks but serious when the DWTL manual was being talked about. That what something that I liked very much.

In the end all the concerns were addressed and the most difficult task lies ahead - the implementation. In our country alone, the laws are all there its just that at times it is not being implemented well or everythying is subject to interpretation. Those are the problems that usually misunderstood. But now i am confident that theses set of core members will do good and help each other in making the St. Scho Days with the Lord the way it should be.

The event was done at the Villa Rosario in Tagaytay. Cathy Vasquez of HS 2000 was the gracious host for this occassion and what a nice weekend it was. The place was very nice and the view of Taal lake was great. I hope that more and more meeting will occur in the future for the DWTL to prosper. GOod luck gurls

Google Seminar @ Ayala Technohub

An empty lot just across the University of the Philippines has been transposed into an information technology hub that is the best in the country. The imposing presence of the University of the Philippines Ayala Technohub alone is enough for geeks to make it their haven. The Ayala Technohub is the best place for Globe Telecoms and Google to come together and invite techno geeks to listen to what they have to offer.

Not only are they the WOrld's best search engine, they are also the world's largest platform for developing huge web based applications. First to speak was Globe Labs iCenter Evangleist and head of Google Labs who happens to be my batchmate from the Ateneo, Blue de Venecia. Blue set the tone for the event as he gave the people a glimpse of what Globe Labs has been doin and what to expect. He invited everyone to send applications to globe with the first five receiving a big treat from Globe.

Google country manager Aileen Apolo was there to see to it that all her friends and registrants get Google giveaways and register. I for one was very happy with the google stickers given away together with the ID holder. It was a cool nice afternoon to learn and know more about the latest in technology. French Google Software Developer Patrick Chanezon was the Google evangelist who gave samples and demos on variouos applications one can use to maximize web development. His various demonstrations gave me a nosebleed since he was talking mostly about programmer's language which I believe I cannot dissect in a thousand years! Hehehe. Good thing though I understood some. Some is adequate.

I brought along three friends from STI College Cubao who are Computer Science students. Rezyl, and the two David Garcia's listened intently. I just don't know if they were like me or they understood what was being talked about. I later took pictures and got off. Needless to say I am looking forward to another Google seminar. Lets bring it on guys.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Google seminar at STI Academic Center

Yours truly with Dan Delima of Google Japan

When one talks about GOOGLE, the top of mind answer is always SEARCH ENGINE. But unknown to many, GOOGLE is beyond Search and is one of the best companies in the world because of their proactive stance in constantly improving the various products that they have. I for one witnessed the vast number of products that Google has to helps us connect, communicate and control.

Dan explaining GWT

To be able to capture a big chunk of Filipinos to use Google’s mail platform Gmail, Google Country Manager for the Philippines Aileen Apolo partnered with schools so that students today will be seeds that will eventually grow and make Gmail the most preferred email for us Filipinos. Yes, a rival email was first to make it big but there is a difference between the first one and the best one. Two years ago, the STI Education Services group became one of the partners of Google. STI students now have an STI Google mail that they can access through their school’s unique URL. These mails can also be upgraded to Google accounts and then you can start using Picasa, Blogger and other Google Products.

STI Faculty members listen intently

In an effort to give STI students added knowledge in programming, Aileen brought to the new STI Academic Center a Filipino software engineer working in Google Japan to give STI Students and faculty members added knowledge in the world of Google API’s. The guest, Dan Delima has been in Japan for five years and has worked for Google for one year already. He is one of the top engineers from Google Japan and even came went to the Ateneo to give the same talk to Ateneans. Imagine Google’s partners in the country, Ateneo, UP and STI.

Dan doing a demo of Google App Engine

The one thing nice about Dan’s presentation was that it only had six slides but lots of demonstrations. The more than 50 students who packed the classroom where Dan lectured were all eager to tryout what they have just learned. Dan started his talk with Google Web Toolkits and then talked a lot about Google application engines which is popularly known as Google App Engines. Eventually he dwelled towards different ways to be more efficient on the web and then ended his 2 hour talk with a glimpse of Google’s forthcoming baby Google Wave.

I was happy since a lot of students were interested and asked lots of questions. Faculty members also clarified some terms, procedures and applications and were all eager to see more demos and learn. Aileen assured my boss that in two months time she will be bringing in another guest to further boost the partnership between STI and Google. With Google on our side we can definitely say that the search is over!

Monday, June 15, 2009

2009 NBA Finals: Destiny's Child

Kobe, 4th Championship, 1st Finals MVP

This time everything was written according to the script and there was no room for last minute comebacks or teams rising from the game and Kobe Bryant made sure of that. The Los Angeles Lakers copped their 15th overall NBA title as the team from Hollywood closed out the Orlando Magic with a 99-86 win. Smarting from their embarrassing Game 6 loss to the Boston Celtics last year, the Lakers responded with four routs in all their close out games including this one, the sweetest for Kobe Bryant who finally proved critics wrong when he was the one left to carry the franchise after Shaquille O’Neal was traded five years ago.

Andrew Bynum wore down Dwight's might

Finally playing a full year with the Lakers, Pau Gasol proved to be the immovable force in the middle as he silenced his critics with a solid 14 points, 15 rebounds, 4 shot blocks performance. Gasol together with Lamar Odom and Game 4 hero Derek Fisher were more than able back ups as they chipped in double figures in points as their steady play gave the Lakers different looks in offense. Gasol flexed his muscle as he outplayed Dwight Howard who was very tentative and never really got his game going.

One of Howard's rare field goals

The Lakers used a strong second quarter to break away from the Magic and repulsed their every rally as the Magic’s inside and outside game was not in sync. Dwight Howard was prevented from getting the ball inside while Rashard Lewis was still off the mark which gave the Lakers a 56-46 halftime lead. Lamar Odom waxed hot in the third quarter while the rest of the Lakers supported Bryant’s cause for another title by hitting the needed baskets everytime the Magic came alive. With five minutes left in the game, what Orlando needed was more than magic, what they needed then was a miracle to be able to come back. And as previously mentioned, the Lakers closed them out and never gave them a chance to come back.

One of Kobe's easy shots in the series

Kobe Bryant can now be included in the elite list of Laker top guns that includes George Mikan, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy and 2000-2002 teammate, Shaquille O’Neal. On the other hand Phil Jackson is now the winningest coach in the NBA for he now boasts for a ring for every finger he has. For the Lakers, Congratulations, you serve as a great inspiration for every basketball player here in the country. As one scribe put it, Phil Jackson usually wins titles three times in a row, so look for better things for the Lakers in the next two years.

Was his return for the better or just made matters worse