Tuesday, August 23, 2011

RECONQUERING MANILA | Series 20 | Inside the University of the Philippines - Diliman

When there is opportunity, grab it and enjoy its benefit. - Fr. Savio of St. Benedictine of Transfiguration (Monastery). 

This is one of Father Savio's passage in his homily delivered in one of Sunday Masses in Monastery that we  attended last time. Opportunity knocks once on your door. 

This is what I've felt when I read the memorandum that was routed in our office last time, requiring all in-house appraisers to take the Real Estate Appraiser's Licensure Examination as required by the RESA Law or R.A. 9646-entitled the Real Estate Service Act of 2009, if not qualified for the grandfather's rule. For those who has 10-years appraisal experience were not required to take the board examination anymore as required by the said Law and this is also called as "The Grandfather's Rule. On my part, I only have to take CPE or Continuing Professional Education as required in Section 20 of the said Law.

Rare Opportunity :

Opportunity to visit the top and prestigious school in our country, the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City for a career advancement program is really a most rewarding moment in my life as an individual. Rare opportunity of this kind is really a blessing to me, because it was my dream to study in this school  way back in my high school days. But because my parents were not that so blessed in terms of financial capacity, I was not able to pursue that dream after graduation in high school. Blessing in disguise, I still settled in one of competitive schools in the Philippines.
Jogging at the Academic Oval early in the morning together with my colleagues
Entering the U.P. Diliman Campus :

After visited the SM Mega Mall and the Shangrila Plaza at the Crossing on the 13th of March, I took a bus ride and disembarked at the Philcoa near the entrance gate of the University. I then boarded a passenger jeepney in front of a 7-11 convenience store branch in Philcoa, bound to U.P. campus with a signboard of U.P. Ikot.  I boarded that jeepney at around 7 in the evening. Luckily, the lady seated beside  the driver is his wife and seemed like they were in their early 60s. Since the passenger front seat is vacant, I opted to seat beside that old lady. I got a chance to ask them if from that jump off point to the campus is just a walking distance? As a word of concern, maybe they thought of that I planned to just walk to the campus at that moment, then they advised me not to try for security reason. 

From that point, I felt so blessed with people like those couple who gave some advises and tips in going to the boarding house where we have booked our stay and to a stranger-looking-guy like me and seem like new to that place, it was really a big respite on my part. I chose to ask rather than pretending that I am already so familiar with the place. I remember the word of my professor during my college days. He said, "The best thing to learn is to ask-where ever you go."

And in less than 30 minutes, I found the Benitez Alumni Hostel without experiencing much difficulties in locating the place. I am so glad that I encountered people like those couple that night and thankful that I arrived safe. 
jogger's / biker's lane
Uncomfortable Stay :

The boarding house is so simple in a sense that it is made of wood. The lodging fee is so cheap at around P250 per day, but I  am uncomfortable during my stay there. Not only that I am not used to that place but also because of one of my roommates who snored so loud. The space is so crowded for  3 persons in that room that adds to my unrest nights of stay.  I have no choice since the person who snored so loud is my immediate supervisor. So I have to bear his snoring style. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

With only 3-4 hours of sleep. I got up before 5 o'clock in the morning on the first day of class, and went out with my officemates for a jogging exercise. I've just walked and jogged and have the chance to see the academic oval of the university. Haven't noticed that I finished 2 rounds or a total of 4.4 kilometers. 

While walking, I've got a chance to take some snapshots and captured this sun rising that time.
beautiful sunrise in the University's Academic Oval
Another thing I've noticed during my short walk was the road system around the oval. The jogger's or the biker's lane. A system is so simple and yet so functional and useful for those who really like to take some physical exercises like jogging, biking and for those with low stamina, walking is advisable.  

I've just remember the discussion with Mr. Noel Silan, the school director of my kid's school, a good friend of mine and an alumni of this university, opined that if all the road system all over the Philippines is patterned of this kind, Philippines would somehow shifted to non-smoke-puffing vehicles and less accident would happen on the part of motorcycle drivers.
My backdrop - The U.P. Engineering Building
You could just imagined that in this institution, they produced lots of topnotchers not only in Engineering but also in other courses. If i could go back in time through a time machine, I would still chose this institution to pursue my Civil Engineering course. 

Well, since last year, I was given an opportunity to get enrolled in distance learning module in U.P.O.U and have finished two courses in Real Estate Continuing Professional Education. When I've got my certificate of completion of that 2 courses, I am so grateful of the people who gave me this rare chances to be with this institution. Last year, my former President Dra. Mary Gaw So of Philippine Association of Realty Appraisers, Inc. gave this opportunity to become one of the scholars of the first batch of Land Laws and Planning for Development. On March this year, I was again invited to take the 2nd course and eventually finished it just last month. And this was the reason why I stopped my blogging for awhile. 
International Valuation Standards, sponsored by our partner organization, IPREA
After the enrollment in U.P.O.U last March this year, I was able to join the other appraisers in taking up another CPE in U.P. Diliman, with a topic entitled, the International Valuation Standards. I also would like to thank my boss Joen Faune in allowing me to join the group and my regional head, Mr. Cesar Magallanes for their selfless recommendation, thank you so much.
U.P. campus so far has the same environment with Malaybalay City except the cold climate. They still preserved the green environment amidst the fast urban development in Metro Manila. The danger here is transforming the campus into a commercial development. Hopefully that the U.P. administration would still consider the preservation of the green environment. 
The monument of the Father of Labor Union in the Philippines
The building where we held our training workshop-I know The PinaySolobackpacker can name this building
since I forgot it.
Our lecture room
In this campus, I saw some of the unique and rare structures which I considered as my inspiration to replicate in the future. One of these structures is the above covered walkway with cantilevered structural support  that was made of steel. I took photo on it in anticipation that I might replicate it and construct one in my front yard connecting to my entrance gate. :-).
So far, the best among of the speakers we ever had during our training workshop, Dra. Lim, former Museum Curator
Feeling Alumni talaga.....
Under Restrictions :

One of the highlights of my con touring around the U.P. Campus after every class was to take photos with the "Oblation"--- The famous landmark of this institution. I wonder why one of the guards apprehended me not to take pictures on this famous landmark per instruction allegedly by the school president and further stressed-out that some of the photographers were accordingly do some earnings  out of the photos. Since I was not satisfied with his statement, I asked the two guards I spotted not so far away from the one I first asked permission. I was shocked since these 2 guards allowed me to take photos on it.
It is not because sometimes I am stubborn if I am not satisfied with the answer but because the oblation itself symbolizes --"Continuous Discovery of Wisdom and Truth, Excellence in Workmanship, Love of Country and Service to the Nation and People" (thanks to PTB Guys for the translation-kudos to that). 

My intention in taking pictures on the oblation is for my own personal consumption only and for musing purposes.


One of my favorite subjects in photography is taking pictures of this kind---taking pictures of trees. I really love nature. That is why, I am that at home in the campus.

At least, I felt that I am now part of the history with these people (engrave on the tablet) who have been the prime movers in Philippine politics and economy.
"The physical state of the pictures can be paid by money as the direct monetary value but the memories and time spent in this institution has distinct value----the KNOWLEDGE that I gained during my studies in this institution is considered to be with INFINITE VALUE" - Con Tour.

You might like to read my other series : Happy Travels.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My 7 Links : My Own Simplest Way in Thanking

As a busy employee, I can't no longer have some time to update my blog. I even have a little gap in blogging because of some personal reasons. The top reason is being a family man. I really have to adjust my blogging time and schedule, to give some time with my kids and family. I even thought of putting it aside and just glean it at times when it is needed. Honestly, I have to slow down.

Last Month, I was just surprised that two of my fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers nominated me to join this prestigious "My 7 Links" project. Tina of The Frustrated Traveler and Xavier Chin of www.juanderfulpinoy.com  nominated me to join this blogospheric chain blogging in a week apart. And for this, I am so grateful to that. Thank you so much since you ignite back my interests in blogging.

This "My 7 Links", was started by tripbaseblog, with a goal to unit bloggers from all sectors in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to be revisited and rekindle the exploration, the overwhelming experiences have made and a no-holds barred exposition to the planet.  

To participate or take part, a blogger shall be nominated and tagged you and then publishes his/her 7 links to his/her blog. I would like to thank again Tina and Xavier Chin in nominating me;

To start with, here are my 7 links;
My Most Beautiful Post :
Figuratively and categorically speaking, Agora Market and Terminal has a significant transformation from  an untidy place to a classical one. I would say that this post is considered as the most beautiful post I ever had because of its physical transformation.

My Most Popular Post 
Indeed it is my most popular post in a sense that History begins here. All over the country and the whole world knew about the Rizal Park even some people were not yet able to visit this place.

My Most Controversial Post 
Controversies made us realized something, and we also learned something out of it.

My Most Helpful Post

Blogging is sharing to the whole world all information in the net.At times, fellow bloggers learned each other through their respective posts. In this post, it gave tourists a comprehensive guide in going to this spot.

 A post whose success surprised you 
Have tried the Pinoy Travel Blogger's monthly blog carnival for the month of May. As my first entry to the carnival, I was surprised not with the success but with the sincere comments made by my fellow PTB  bloggers. Kudos to that. It made me continue to share my travel experiences through blogging.

A post that I felt didn’t get the attention it deserved : 
As a newbie blogger in travel blogging, I don't have yet a DSLR camera. Hence, all my photos captured during the Finale of International Pyromusical Competition held in Mall of Asia last March 12 this year, were all in blurred "effect".  Though I felt that this post didn't get the attention it deserved, nevertheless, my spirit and passion in photography continue to thrive in my heart and soul and it did not stopped me there, instead I embrace the challenge.

The post that I am most proud of :  

Everyone has its own unique way on how we valued the most important days in the life of our loved ones. I first heard this phrase from my former boss in a construction company. He even advised me to remember all these important dates. They are namely; the birthdays, the wedding anniversary and valentine's day. In this event, it was my wife's birthday treat and I was so proud of her since he conquered the Longest Dual Zipline in Asia which I didn't made that time. 

This 7 links project also suggests to tag 5 other bloggers to keep it on. I am tagging and chose seven (7)  people because of what I learned from them, skills to admire with in terms of putting their heart and soul in writing , making the readers felt also what they've experienced and discovered during and after the course of their travels, their skills in photography, and their sense of humility. I chose 7 because for me it is a perfect number. Here they are;

1. En Route                           -  by Ferdz Decena (www.ironwulf.net)
2. Lakwatsera de Primera - by Claire Raborar  (http://www.lakwatseradeprimera.com)
3. Out of Town Blog            -  by Melo Villareal (http://outoftownblog.com)
4. Mindanaoan                    -  by Ms.Irene 
5. Suroy Pilipinas                -  by Earl Bolivar
6. soloflightED.com             -  by Edcel Suyo
7. Langyaw                          -  by Estan Cabigas 

Lots of them are in my mind who really inspired me to write and to blog but I have to choose only 7 as a rule of this Link. This is also my simplest way in thanking my dear friends, my readers, my followers, fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers, Pinoy Bloggers, My Families, my  wife (happy 18th anniversary) and kids who really that so understanding and supportive. Thanks so much. 

Monday, August 01, 2011

RECONQUERING MANILA | Series 18 & 19 | The Place of Refuge

When I was here sometime between 1987 and 1988, that was in my college years, there was no overpass that cross over the highway of EDSA and so with the MRT railway system. I remember also that when we got off here from Muntinlupa and took another public transportation in going to Divisoria, there was still no structure of Shangrila Plaza and the SM Megamall at that time. All you can see in this place  before these structures were built, was  a vast tract of grazeland and vacant land. I can recalled, that there were already a temporary enclosure, an indicator that an upcoming construction activity will be put into place. 

When I came back here in 1991,  as a job seeker, there were already structures built, and these structures were the Shangrila Plaza and the SM Megamall. This was also the time when Ortigas Avenue and its neighbors were in economic boom. Structures like high rise buildings were simultaneously built such as condominium buildings, etc.
From Grazeland to what is now
Before the existence of Mall of Asia (MOA), SM Megamall and Shangrila Plaza were frequented by Mallers from nearby suburbs, including me and my ex-girlfriend, who is now my wify.    

The 2 -malls were our favorite hang-out every weekend to de-stress our routinary and boring job being both as corporate employees-- because  of the proximity of our residence from these malls. 

From Kalentong, our dropped-off point is in these famous landmarks of Metro Manila, the CROSSING or the SHAW BOULEVARD.
Mallers going to SM Megamall
In Shangrila Plaza, this is where they first introduce the sensory powered glass double-swing door.
When I first saw this roof system - skylight.
I stopped for a while, took some snapshots on this beautiful skylight and I  was apprehended by the guard-on-duty that taking pictures here is prohibited.  I asked why is  it restricted,  the guard replied, just for security reason sir. I  then asked an apology on that.  I was thinking about the connection of taking pictures of the facade on why it is prohibited which in fact all the entrance of the mall were equipped with security measures and  well equipped with CCTV Cameras. Granting that someone has intention / plan to do  something  unpleasant to the mall, pictures on the facade are not sufficient to be as their guide but instead they will bring along a spy camera to see the interior of the building.  In my case, I was just fascinated with the design of the skylight roof of the covered walkway because I am a civil engineer by profession, and that is why I took pictures on that.     

A post of one of my colleagues in PTB, Cedric Solidon, last June 22, 2011, entitled, Metro Manila: Land of the Paranoid, quoted the following lines that I would like to stress out further my opinion about taking pictures on the mall's facade,

I do not want to expound this anymore, since this post is all about my past and recent experience of this mall.

So, the feeling in coming back again to this place was really that  inexplicable and baffling.   I reminisced the moment when we were still both single, still young and already taken. Like any other people, SM Megamall and the Shangrila Plaza is our place of refuge, our weekend home and hang-up place after a week of dull and mind-numbing respective jobs. 

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