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Holiday Staycation Ideas

What am I gonna do today on a holiday staycation?

  1. Remove Snap.do malware from my computer. I’m really annoyed by its presence.
  2. Download and listen to audio books.
  3. Help Laiza plan out her strategy for Data Structures class.
  4. Tidy up my room.
  5. Optimize my computer – make it run faster. Remove unnecessary startup programs.
  6. Reflection on audio book.
  7. Go to the gym and join Zumba class.
  8. Meetup with Angem, my friend from Gensan.
  9. Join online call with business.
  10. Copy audio books to phone and tidy up computer and phone storage.
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Eat, pray, meditate

The only way to predict the future is to invent it. – Anonymous

I had a relaxing and refreshing day on my personal retreat. I’ve decided to take this because I’ve observed that I’m getting too tired a lot lately and it seems that I don’t enjoy all the things that I do anymore. I knew I needed time to think about my life.

When I got to the office last Friday, I received an email invitation for an overnight retreat at Antipolo Prayer Mountain. I was amazed and overjoyed because on my way to the office, I ‘ve been thinking about where I’m going to stay for my personal retreat. I immediately responded to the email and informed the organizers that I was coming with them.

However when I woke up on Saturday, I realized that what I needed most was an alone time to be with myself and with God. I didn’t want to go through the activities that the organizers have prepared. I didn’t want to exert any effort to mingle with the participants. It wasn’t what I needed at that time. So I texted the organizers again, apologizing that I won’t be able to come. I knew it won’t affect their retreat because I only asked to be added to the participants, my absence won’t really hurt.

I then decided to search for a nice garden near Metro Manila where I could do my soul searching. I really want to commune with nature, see some greens and get out of the cold stone walls around me. I was amazed to know that there are actually many nice gardens in Metro Manila. I zeroed in on La Mesa Ecopark because it seems peaceful. I was getting ready to leave the condo when I heard loud roars of thunder. Mother nature isn’t cooperating with my solo adventure. The sky was dark gray when I looked at it from my window. Uh oh…

A few minutes later, I saw the sun shining and I quickly left and rode on the MRT. However when I was already in Cubao station, it rained heavily and it was already quite dark at 2pm. Good thing I remembered that there’s a garden at Trinoma and I could still gaze at the greenery.
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I was pleased to find the perfect location for my personal retreat. Or maybe it’s more fitting to call it my thinking-slash-reflection time. The ambience was perfect! The rain has drowned the noise of the city. It was cold and I was alone with my thoughts. The cake and the hot chocolate served at Tokyo Bubble Tea were also perfect. And to add more perfect-ness (no such term) to my day, there was a chapel near the tea place. Amazing!

I was able to commune with God while the wonderful music of the choir enveloped the place. It was soothing, calming, and refreshing.

This was a very nice experience for me. To pause and think. To ponder and plan. To evaluate and correct. To eat. To pray. To meditate. ūüôā

Searching for the right shoes

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I’ve been searching for the right pair of shoes for my dear feet but i want it to be comfy so I always end up buying platforms. But then I also want to wear sexy-heeled shoes.

And I found this! Well, technically, my friend picked it for me. I bought it for only 450 – discounted by 50%. I’m crossing my fingers on this one. I sure hope this pair would be a darling.. ūüôā

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Creating My System

This year I want to establish my personal system of doing things. Lately there are things that I really want to do such as:

  • paint
  • exercise
  • read/increase proficiency in Java
  • read other interesting books
  • cook
  • go to work early
  • blog

It’s a good thing that I’m assigned at Makati right now and we need to be in the office by 9am because I’ve trained my body clock to wake up at 6:15 and doze off at 10:30 to 11pm.¬†And I’ve also de-toxified¬†by cleaning up my room and getting rid of some excess baggage in my life. I am also freed off from my extra sisterly duties like sending money to my siblings¬†because my brothers are now earning for a living. Yey!!! Good for me. ūüôā

My week starts on Sunday. Since I am now committed to serving at the Ortigas feast both as an usher and as a teacher at the Awesome Kids Ministry, I usually wake up at 7:30 to get ready, clean my room,¬†and have some time to eat my breakfast. I have to be at Robinsons Galleria by 9am and greet the Feasters. I serve at the Awesome Kids ministry every other week so during those times, I have to attend the Monday feast. The Feast usually ends at around 12:30 and if there are no meetings, I get to have my lunch at Greenwich, Chowking, Bonchon or any other fastfood that I want. After which I do my grocery or shopping. ūüôā When I get home, I store my groceries in their proper places and rest for some time before I do my weekly planning. I prepare the¬†clothes that I have planned the previous day (Saturday) by ironing and hanging them. I would also have to prepare my¬†footwear for the week.¬†Next, I plan my activities at the office for the¬†upcoming week and prepare whatever documents or materials that I would need. In the evening, I would cook my baon for the following day.

I used to wake up at around 7:30 when I was still reporting at Eastwood. Commuting was not a problem then. But¬†now, I have trained myself to wake up at around 6. I say my morning prayers, read the Bible (please do this!!!),¬†drink my pure kalamansi extract for my Vit. C and check if rice is cooked by my housemate Jo; otherwise I’d do the cooking. I’d take a bath, put on sunscreen and other vanity stuff, get dressed, prepare my baon, and I’m good to go. In the office, I’d check my emails first for the first 15mins of uninterrupted time – no chats. Respond and act on urgent/important mails. Then I’m ready to¬†do the tasks for the day. This year, I’m going to make it a practice to write a 15-minute blog before I leave the office. I’d have to sum up all the things I’ve accomplished for the day, list action items to improve my system, and create a to-do list for the next day. This is something new and I’d like to do this through my private blog in the company.

I resolve to go to the company gym twice every week. I’d spend 1 to 1.5 hours in the gym to keep me fit. I would love to do Zumba at home, if there are no people at the sala. During the times when I won’t be going to the gym or having Zumba at home, I’d be painting! ūüôā I hope I can blog everyday at my public blog, but maybe I’d have to allot a budget – time and money – for that. Cooking will always be part of my evening routine, except when I don’t have to bring baon the next day or if there’s extra food in the freezer.

Fridays would be my time to watch movies – both in the cinema or in DVD. It’s also the time to meet up with friends or family.¬†I can also do some shopping or some salon time during these days. Usually the malls give big discounts during this time, especially it’s payday weekend. This time I can stay as late as 11:30. ūüôā

Saturdays would be my chance to stay in bed longer…yesss! I can have trips or long road trips during this time. But mostly, this would be time to clean up my room, do some laundry, and plan my food/clothes for the week. Based on the planned food, I have to do my groceries or go shopping. I can also have time to surf, blog, and go to other social networking sites. This is my time to splurge on reading! I’d have to read at least one book per month on Java, and another on anything else.

Well, this is my system for now. And I’d try to see if my processes work well and tweak if necessary.

Even Streetchildren are Our Future

I had a fulfilling Saturday afternoon last Oct 15. I spent it with some of the street children in Manila. Instead of just staying at home, watching TV and wasting my time away, I went out and met these kids.

I signed up for Accenture’s volunteer program for teaching street children, partnering with ChildHope Asia Philippines and now I have a wonderful chance to reach out to these often neglected and misunderstood members of our society.

Prior to our immersion in the field, the staff of ChildHope Asia Philippines oriented us about the organization, their advocacy, and their activities.


Christian, one of CHAP’s staff, is asking the children to illustrate their "pangarap" (dreams) on a piece of paper.

One of the children shares that he wants to be a football player or a policeman someday so that he can help his family. He said that he will only be able to achieve his dreams if he can finish his studies.Kuya Christian tells them a story of a man who was able to achieve his dream because he had confidence in himself. And he shared to them inspiring stories of Henry Sy, Isko Moreno, and Manny Pacquiao. Simple, poor men who believed in their dreams, worked hard, and are now successful. He encouraged them that someday, they can also be like them.

 

We also went to another site, a park in Manila to observe another group of street children. When we arrived, kuya PeeWee, one of CHAP’s teachers, introduced as to the children and they all flocked to us para mag mano. On the picture below, the children are watching a short film on the mobile classroom of CHAP – a part of their values formation.

I really admire the people behind ChildHope Asia Philippines. Its organizers, staff, and volunteers are all working together to help make a difference in these children’s lives. Some of us may get easily irritated by these kids begging on the streets or in jeepneys and consider them as eye sores but if you really try to see beyond what your eyes could see, you’d discover that these are just children, hungry for the society’s love and acceptance. As the song goes, "I believe that the children are our future, teach them well, and let them lead the way… Show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride…"

Even Streetchildren are Our Future

I had a fulfilling Saturday afternoon last Oct 15. I spent it with some of the street children in Manila. Instead of just staying at home, watching TV and wasting my time away, I went out and met these kids.

I signed up for Accenture’s volunteer program for teaching street children, partnering with ChildHope Asia Philippines and now I have a wonderful chance to reach out to these often neglected and misunderstood members of our society.

Prior to our immersion in the field, the staff of ChildHope Asia Philippines oriented us about the organization, their advocacy, and their activities.


Christian, one of CHAP’s staff, is asking the children to illustrate their "pangarap" (dreams) on a piece of paper.

One of the children shares that he wants to be a football player or a policeman someday so that he can help his family. He said that he will only be able to achieve his dreams if he can finish his studies.Kuya Christian tells them a story of a man who was able to achieve his dream because he had confidence in himself. And he shared to them inspiring stories of Henry Sy, Isko Moreno, and Manny Pacquiao. Simple, poor men who believed in their dreams, worked hard, and are now successful. He encouraged them that someday, they can also be like them.

 

We also went to another site, a park in Manila to observe another group of street children. When we arrived, kuya PeeWee, one of CHAP’s teachers, introduced as to the children and they all flocked to us para mag mano. On the picture below, the children are watching a short film on the mobile classroom of CHAP – a part of their values formation.

I really admire the people behind ChildHope Asia Philippines. Its organizers, staff, and volunteers are all working together to help make a difference in these children’s lives. Some of us may get easily irritated by these kids begging on the streets or in jeepneys and consider them as eye sores but if you really try to see beyond what your eyes could see, you’d discover that these are just children, hungry for the society’s love and acceptance. As the song goes, "I believe that the children are our future, teach them well, and let them lead the way… Show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride…"

Struts 2: Interceptors

I am currently following the tutorial on Struts 2 at vaannila.com‚Äč.

I went through the tutorial on Interceptors but I still don’t quite understand the concept fully yet. However, I am now more familiar with using DispatchAction functionality in Struts2. I can put methods such as add, update, delete and execute in one Action file and do the necessary action mapping in the struts.xml file. I also found out that it is much better to use generalized action mapping by using the asterisk and {1} so that I don’t have to map each method to the corresponding action. This is also called Dynamic Method Invocation¬† using wildcard mapping.

I have also done the tutorial on validation in Struts 2. It is quite simple and straightforward. Another way to do it is by using an XML file but I haven’t made it work just yet (saving it for tomorrow). =)

I have learned quite a bit already and I’m excited to finish all the topics in the tutorial so that I could get my hands dirty building my first mini-project.

I still have to understand more about interceptors though. Hmm. That’s for tomorrow. Time to go home.

 

Update on Struts 2

Today I learned about the UI tags in Struts 2. It is indeed way easier to use than building a form from scratch. I also learned about ValueStack and ActionContext – how you could push data to the ValueStack so that you don’t have to explicitly name the properties that belong to deeper classes than the Action class.

I also did some exercises on bean and control tags in struts2. And "refreshed" knowledge of CSS.

In summary, I am now more familiar with using the struts-tags in forms, configuring the struts.xml and web.xml, and using the ActionContext (esp. session) and ValueStack(push method).

 

Workplan Week Starting Oct 10

Goal for this Week: Learn Struts 2‚Äč

Action Items:

– Study Concepts and Do Exercises
– Finish at least 5 topics per day

Friday: Work with Struts 2: Personal Budgeting

 

Scheduled Meetings:
– Annual Review on Oct 13

 

What I have learned today:

Based on the errors I encountered while doing the exercises (or actually, mimicking the code), when using Struts 2, it is important to be vigilant with the proper matching of filenames and configurations in web.xml or struts.xml. In one exercise,¬†I made use of annotations to¬†"customize" the mapping of actions. Instead of¬†implementing¬†com.opensymphony.xwork2.Action,¬†I ended the class name with¬†the ‘Action’ word. I mistakenly¬†named the action in the¬†form (jsp file) to the¬†default¬†class name. So obviously, it didn’t work.¬†Also, it is important to keep files in the correct directories. Like for example, I placed struts.xml in the /WEB-INF directory instead of putting it in the src directory.

I made mistakes to learn from. =)