Roadtrip to Colorado Springs

We decided to go on a road trip for our 4th year anniversary. Was a mix of fun and stress. 14 hours of driving was a tad bit too much for Derek and Myka. I was fine though.

It is still a good experience for us as a family.


Job Hunting Series vol.3

So I got some good news from my bosses. I am being extended in the project for another month. I am the only one they are extending so… whoa, lucky me!

My boss said people in the project love me and they want to keep me. Blush. Well, that’s good. And I was told that the extension should be good for more than a month. This is really good because we get to stay in Austin and I get to relax a bit and not pressured to look for another project right now.

BUT. I need to continuously learn new stuff like new features of Java (this is like my knife if I was a chef so I need to keep it sharp), new aspects of the system like Online component (I’m going to fix some Online defects moving forward), learn Angular JS, Big Data, Hadoop, these buzz words… New IT that interviewers look for.


Job Hunting Series vol.2

Topics I need to Review:

  1. Core Java
    1. OOP (Encapsulation, Inheritance, Polymorphism)
    2. Design Patterns (Singleton, Factory, Builder, Strategy)
    3. Generics
    4. Concurrency API (Thread)
    5. Collection API (List, Map, Tree)
    6. Algorithms, Regular Expressions
  2. Java Testing
    1. JUnit
  3. Server Side
    1. Servlets
    2. JSPs
  4. Spring
    1. Dependency Injection
    2. pom.xml, web.xml
    3. Spring MVC
  5. Hibernate
  6. Web Services
    2. WSDL, UDDI
  7. Maven, Git

Job Hunting Series vol.1

I have been with my current project since December 23, 2013. So that’s almost 5 years ago. This project is the reason why I was sent to work onshore by the company.

I have been promoted in this project in 2016 from Team Lead to Associate Manager. I have been recognized for being a consistent performer and even got Recognition points (around 200 + 100 + 50 + 20 + 10).

I did not worry about being rolled off because my roll off date in the job site was 2022. So I was caught by surprise when I was told a month ago that I am rolling off from the project by the end of October. Well, I take it back. When I heard that there will be a ‘massive’ roll off because of budget constraints, I already had a hint that if there will be a second batch, I will be one of them. I had that feeling because I am performing the same responsibilities with my boss. And he knows more than I do so it doesn’t make sense for both of us to stay in the project while other people are getting rolled off.

So here I am now looking for the next project. It’s been the 2nd week since my ‘active hunt’. And I have been invited for interviews both within and outside the company.

My very first technical interview was a shocker. I wasn’t prepared at all. They required for me to have a webcam so I bought one from Walmart the night before. I did dial in almost an hour before the interview and setup the camera and made sure it was working. But it didn’t work with the meeting room they gave so we had a bit of a delay until they just agreed and continued on with the interview (with me showing my video using Skype settings).

Anyway, they asked me about BASIC JAVA stuff. Stuff you would need to know to pass a Java certification exam (which, by the way, I did pass in 2012). Immutable? Serialization? ArrayList vs LinkedList, HashTable vs HashMap, HashSet vs TreeSet? Hmm… so I know these concepts but at that moment I couldn’t answer! Ugh. Stupid me. I never thought I would be asked these kind of questions. I needed a refresher! I needed to review! 😦

Okay so I failed miserably in that part. And then came the coding interview. I was also not aware that this was part of the interview. The recruiter never gave me a heads up. Oh well.. so I didn’t have an IDE installed in my computer but I didn’t really need one because they gave me a link to a collaboration site.

Test 1: Implement hashCode and equals for the given class.
Test 2: Given an array of numbers and a target x, find the numbers in the array that sum up to the target.

Whew. I did not fail completely in these coding tests. I was able to show them that I could code but my code had errors! Ugh! This was done without an IDE so I realized I had to train myself in coding without an IDE from now on. I can’t rely on Eclipse to do the imports for me, highlight the syntax errors, etc! Wow. So this is what it’s like doing technical interviews…

It’s a good start and I am now reviewing and trying to re-learn some concepts that I haven’t used for so long. I realized that being in the IT industry means you never should stop learning! And always try to keep up with the new technology otherwise, you could end up being jobless… and that is not a very good place to be.

Little Improvements

Today is a good day. I got enough sleep the night before so I was energized and inspired to do a 10 minute workout. Samsung Health has cool programs btw. So I didn’t need to pay for a subscription for an app (was considering 8fit for a while) every month to get some workout routines.

I think I also did a good job at work and was able to focus on the important things on my to do list. I realized slowing down and listening intently to meetings instead of multitasking works!

Doing things right is better than checking off things on my to do list!

I need to make this my motto in life because I tend to try to multitask so much that I let some things slip. And sometimes it is the small tiny details that matter most.

My plants are getting lesser every day. Well, winter is coming in about 2 months so I am not so worried about it. I just hope my grape and moringa trees survive the winter.

Daughter is also doing well. She started having a favorite movie, Moana. She watches it at least 3 times a day. She sings, dances and acts like Moana. When monsters come out, she also gets scared, runs to me, and bury herself in my arms. She amuses me.

Husband and I still need to spend some alone time together, just us. We need to have date nights but we just haven’t found someone to entrust our daughter to.

Our Family’s Journey to Wellness

My 2018 is all about overall wellness for our family.


  • Derek to feel more healthy, no emergency care visits, no more throwing up, no more stomach pains
  • Derek to sleep better, lessen dependency on sleep aids
  • Derek to feel happier, less anxious
  • Derek to gain weight
  • Mylene to sleep better and feel better
  • Mylene to lose weight, exercise and eat healthy
  • Mylene to find new dentist
  • Mylene visit derma and find a new OB
  • Mylene to take more PTO
  • Myka to eat healthy food

I will start to track our progress along with the bumps we encounter along the way.

Thinking About Weekly Meal Planning

I tried to include overnight oats in my weekly meal plans but I still could not get myself into liking oatmeal.

So now I am trying to look for other easy meal recipes I can use.

My friends gave me a big zucchini and some large tonatoes last week so I looked for a recipe to use them and found Cheesy Zucchini Tots.

I forgot to do one important step though… to drain the zucchini! So they did turn out soggy.

This is how they turned out.. not so pretty but they taste fine to me.

I also tried to make marinara sauce from the tomatoes because they are so ripe now and I would hate for them to go to waste. Followed this simple recipe.

Child Development @ 19 months

Communication – still refuses to say mama but says others words like shoes, toes, head, foot, dog, dad or dada, no, hello and haha. She also uses hand signals for more, food, and no.

Socialization – she is better with being around people. Gives hugs and kisses to close family members, waves good bye to friends we occasionally meet and lets other people hold her after she warms up to them.

Food and feeding – she eats a lot and is not picky. She likes feeding herself using her hands, spoon or fork. She also tells us whenever she wants to eat or drink. She would come to us and point to the food or take our hand and pull us to the place where we usually put her food.

Motor skills – she started walking when she was around 13 months old. Now she loves taking walks around the neighborhood. She would take her shoes to me and say shoes shoes! And after I put them on her she would drag me to the door.

Sleep – she wakes up around 9 to 10am during weekdays and takes a nap around 3 to 4:30 or 5. Then goes to bed at 10pm. She does pretty good, sleeping throughout the night but I tend to sleep with her, mostly because I fall asleep when putting her to sleep.

Play – she loves watching and singing/dancing along with nursery rhymes on YouTube. We sometimes let her use her tablet during weekends. She also loves building blocks, and playing with her other toys. She is not yet interested in playing with kids her age. But loves to play with me – usually building blocks and Ring Around the Rosy

Emotional – She wakes up happy, smiling from ear to ear when she sees me or her daddy. I think she is a very happy baby. She is also very sweet. She likes hugging and kissing me and her dad, and also her dolls. She likes playing pretend with her baby dolls too. Putting them to bed or putting them in her toy cart, like how her dad puts her in the cart when they go grocery shopping.

Reading – she is interested in books but gets easily distracted or bored. She likes books that she can touch and feel.

Questions, Answered Part 2

  1. What are my long term goals?

My long term goals include settling down with a responsible, loving and faithful husband who will serve with me in The Feast. I still have to meet this lucky guy though. Hehe. I also wish to homeschool my would-be children until they turn 10 and then they can go to a regular school. I also dream of going back to Davao and live in a home with a beautiful garden. 🙂 Another long term goal is to develop our tiny farm into a farm resort where we can rest and commune with nature. These are more of big dreams than long term goals.. 🙂

  1. How can I improve my processes?

Hmm. I could be more systematic and organized. I could document and take note of the things that worked for me (and why) and those that weren’t effective. I think it could also help if I choose my activ

  1. How can I get better?
  2. What are the things that I should continue doing?
  3. What is blocking me from doing what I really want to do with my life?
  4. Am I really happy?
  5. Am I making a difference?
  6. Have I been loving myself or did I try to please people in the expense of my own happiness?
  7. Am I learning new things?