Me at the dorm This picture was taken at Ipil Dormitory at University of the Philippines, Diliman (sorry for the poor scan quality). If I didn't cut the picture, you would have seen how messy the room was. :) I have stayed for a few years at Ipil and gained a number of close friends there. When I finished my Masters, I was very hesitant to leave the dorm for it felt like home to me already.

I'd love to fill this page with self  trivia but I just realized that there's nothing much about myself  that would interest anybody. One of the most memorable highlights of my life was when I was given the "Most Courteous" award in kindergarten but again, even my closest friends are not as impressed about it as you'd expect good friends to be.  So see?  It's really difficult to talk about oneself . What is important to you could just be a piece of cake to the next guy. 

I got my Bachelor's Degree  from Mapúa Institute of Technology. MIT is a difficult school.  By tradition or just to make students' lives miserable,  instructors there are not generous with grades. During our time, you'd be singing hallelujas if you received a passing 3.0.  The school gets its reputation from flunking students I think, and surprisingly, those who flunked but graduated, are rather proud of it. And having said all that, I'm pleased to declare that I'm a proud Mapuan...he he...(no, I didn't flunk but I did drop a drawing subject after accidentally spilling ink on my template).

I took masteral studies at U.P. not because I like studying but for more practical reasons like scholarship stipend, cheap lodging, good friends, etc.  Student life here is also difficult. What's different is that professors would cheerfully give you a 1.0 if you deserve the grade.  Because I waived my U.P. Diliman slot in favor of Mapúa for my undergrad, I'm thankful that I took my post-graduate here, for this where I found my favorite professors. I feel really lucky having studied both here and in Mapúa because they're both excellent schools with widely contrasting environment and culture. 

I finished schooling through scholarships - meaning that I came from a family that is somewhat "challenged" financially.  If not for the grants I received in college, I'm sure my parents couldn't have afforded to send me to Manila. I remember that when I took the licensure exam, I felt really depressed because I answered one big-point problem incorrectly.  My mother, perhaps afraid that I'd lose my marbles , borrowed some money and encouraged me to go on vacation to the place of  a classmate in Zamboanga.  It was a very memorable experience and thankfully, I was able to repay Ma by passing the exam and by dutifully not going nuts. 

One of my sponsors in college was Atlas Mining and Development Corporation.  As stipulated in my scholarship contract, I worked for the company's Masbate Gold Operation (MGO) after graduation.  Working in a mine was quite a job, but I had real fun there.  I was a contributor to our quarterly newsletter and I'm posting one of  my unpublished articles here.  It is a true story of one of  the fatal accidents that occured at MGO (see Stories).

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