Friday, February 24, 2012


The days pass by, so quickly. Just 5 days to go and the once in a lifetime experience comes.  Things are a bit set, but important stuffs must be polished first before facing the panel of PhDs. It is a dream I never dreamed of, but yes, its here, right in front of me, and it feels so damn good.

I was once a consistent representative of my intermediate school with regard to academic competitions. Every time my teachers say "Hey little boy, you will be representing our school in a certain event", I always feel the excitement of participating in these contests. My parents are very supportive, which makes me feel comfortable and optimistic, instead of being scared and think negative thoughts. Also, my only sister always tell me "You can do it, man. You're good at it. Just enjoy the moment, win or lose, okay?". But suddenly, these kind of opportunities got absent after my elementary years. Thus, these moments are nostalgic, because I wasn't able to experience these things in my high school years and also in my college years. It is indeed a deep nostalgia - the support from my parents, from my sister, from my friends, the experiences and honor of competing for your school, the awards you get, and so on. Now, these are only memories, and the frustrations after my elementary years should be buried.

Out from nowhere, a new door opened - an opportunity to carry the banner of your school, once again. Just like the old times, the initial reaction was purely excitement because I never knew that I would be able to experience the same honor I've missed several years back. It is a blessing because I never had imagined that this 3-unit subject *SP - Senior Problem (as what others call it. LOL!)* would serve as a door for new experiences. I never thought that this "burden requirement" is not really a sort of a BURDEN, rather served as a "bus ticket" heading De La Salle - Canlubang.  Man, who would have thought that an average, underground, unknown, low-profile programmer of his batch will be accepted for oral presentation in the 12th Philippine Computing Science Congress? 

After conducting series of researches about the said event, the excitement turned to a fearful mystery - a tremendum. I felt the goosebumps when I was able to see the names of the officers, organizers, and the panelists. I never thought  that many  PhD degree holders will be present in the said event, and man, not just the ones in the Philippines, but Asia *waaaaaaaaa!!*. It is scary indeed because I will be presenting my project in front of the ELITES of the industry. I'll just hope that there are no mental blackouts, and that I would be able to deliver stuffs in my slide show presentation well, so well *hahaha! LOL*. Please, please, please, pray for me guys. I need your holy intervention *LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!* :))))))))))

 SP Title:        Generating Screened Manga Sketches from Colored Photographs
 Authors:        Raphael Henry Garay and Allan Sioson 
 Field:             Digital Image Processing (Computer Vision) 
 Language:     C++ OpenCV

 Legend:  colored images = input,   black and white images = output
                (colored images are taken from the Internet)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Expect the Unexpected

It was indeed a weekly routine for Naguenians (term used for students of Naga City Science High School) to lead the flag ceremony every morning. Citizenship Advancement Trainees (CAT) do the flag raising, we, the Drum, Lyre, and Majorette Organization (DLMO) play the national anthem, and class representatives present any intermission number at the end of the week. It was a sort of a task given to us by a teacher, and this task is performed by a section, and after a week, the task is passed onto another section. This was the cycle, or should I say the "rotation" so that all sections would be given a chance to lead the flag ceremony.

Each section has their own class president. The class president's task is to say any sort of a "speech" about their section, and if he/she wished to, he/she can also say something about their batch. When I was in 3rd year, it happened to be that my guy best friend in our class was our president. Well, he is just a simple, silent guy, and I think most of the words that come out from his mouth mean a serious matter. Before the flag ceremony, I was thinking about what would this guy say about our section, knowing that this guy speaks not that often. And yes, during his speech, he spoke a little, and his ending line is "Well, just expect the unexpected from the Osiris batch". After all, it's just a statement to me, a simple statement indeed. It is because I treat it as a tagline derived from somewhere, and I think that this is just a paradox which will just complicate my mind. Nonetheless, I never knew and never expected that this simple statement would say hello to me, and make a great impact in my life.

In my recent blogpost, I have mentioned about my Senior Project as an entry for a certain event called Philippine Computing Science Congress 2012 (PCSC 2012). I have also stated that I have just accomplished the documents for the very first step, which is the application process. Me and my project adviser have worked for those, hoping that my Senior Project would be accepted for oral presentation. A notification mail will just be sent to us which will determine if we made it or not. We have to wait for 24 days before we can celebrate, or before I can hear my adviser say, "Hmm, okay. Better luck next time, raffy." *hahaha! LOL!* This 24 days seem to be too long in such a way that I'm having countdowns in my head every after a day pass by. Yes, I am so excited because this is a big event, I mean BIG event, and the opportunity is so rare. *deep sigh* 

The judgement day came. Actually, I wasn't expecting for anything. It's just a sudden feeling that "Oh, it's February 3! And so?". I was quite nervous, but I tried to divert my emotions via negation. I'm just thinking that "oh, I won't be there, that's why there's nothing to be nervous about." I kept this mindset because I am not really confident about my SP getting into a certain event, most especially the kind of event that we had ventured. I am also not the brightest programmer in our pack, and I have not achieved any recognition about my programming skills. It was during night time when I was able to open my gmail account for some conversations with my adviser, not for the PCSC 2012 thing. I've checked my inbox, and it says I have one new message. As what I have said, I have pending conversation with my adviser, and of course, I am expecting that that one new message is from him...........

I was stunned after reading the content of this only mail that I have received during the day. It was mixed emotions, knowing that I didn't expected for anything. I was reminisced by the quote of my friend, to expect the unexpected things in life. It was indeed a blessing from God; an answered prayer.

*credits to all of my IT friends (nikko, neithan, marlon, tope, and all other IT buds) who helped me in this project, most especially to those who prayed with me (laika, zyra). Huge credit for my project advisor, Dr. Allan A. Sioson. This is for you guys.. Thank you very much... :D

Thursday, January 26, 2012

20-day Winning Streak

Getting on top of all is a great feeling. Winning is the biggest thing for most people because all sacrifices and hard works had paid off, and most importantly, all desires and goals are met. Just like in a basketball game, the winning team celebrates after the final buzzer sounds. Team manager smiles, coaches do the victory punch in the air, a star player shouts and taunts, and the mammoth crowd go nuts. Just like what the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers felt when they bagged the record for the longest winning streak in NBA history. They had 33 straight wins, and man, this is epic!

Though I am just a normal person, I also have my own winning streak, in the span of 20 days. I consider it a winning situation because I've achieved several goals in these days, and the feeling was awesome. The feeling got even better when I was able to help and support others because of a certain activity happened inside this incredible 20 days. Yes, the harvested personal goals are self-fulfilling, but the highest satisfaction is when we extended our arms for others, being able to see the smiles in their faces and being able to feel their thankfulness.

My recent project defense was last January 6. This is my scheduled preliminary defense for my Senior Project. I was shaky because our last defense before this was still last year, and I feel that I don't know how to be in a defense anymore (*hahaha! damn*). I'm feeling nervous because 5 hours before judgment, I'm having trouble with my documentation in Latex formatting. Since the last time I had this stuff was last year, I can't figure out why I can't import pictures (e.g. diagrams, input and output images, etc.) which are necessary for documentation purposes. I even asked a friend how to do this, but still, we can't figure out what the problem is. We even tested my codes in his laptop, but still, shit happens (*WTH man! hahaha!*). Well, as a result, and as what is expected, I was not able to deliver my documentation during my defense. Nevertheless, I just let the bad feeling slip away so that my presentation would not suck. Luckily, the defense was a success (*looks up, do the sign of the cross and say thank you Bro*). And the biggest part of it was when I looked up my recommendation sheet, and the things written their are just about my final documentation and some sort of refactoring.

When I woke up in the morning of January 7, I still have a sort of hangover because of what happened. I was very happy indeed because the pressure was diminished. Though my SP is not yet finished, I think this is already the time that I should award myself because of the hard work exerted. And guess what, the very first thing came into my mind is to reinstall Warcraft 3 in my laptop because my hands are already itching to play DoTA (*jyeah!!*). Because of my SP, I have decided to delete ALL games in my laptop so that I can concentrate on developing it and writing my documentation. I have decided to deprive myself in playing computer games because I have realized that all that I can get here is pleasure, and the long time spent is just a waste. But, since the status of my SP is a bit better than it was before, I can play games again (*yeeeeey! cheers!all smiles!*) :D

After 2 days of gaming, I was shocked when I saw an email from my project advisor. The mail contains a message from him, saying that I need to finish my documentation because we will make an article format of it and submit it in a committee which handles a yearly seminar/congress about computing science. Since I already heard the said event because a friend of mine was a participant last year, I had goosebumps because I can't imagine that my work could be an entry in this big event. Yes, it will undergo first an initial screening, but man, I can't even imagine that my work deserves an initial screening in this momentous event! For further information, I searched this event in the Internet so that I would be able to know the important dates that must be noted. And the very first thing I saw is the deadline for the submission of papers, and it says "JANUARY 10, 2012, before 12 mn". DAMN! (*heart palpitates*) Because of this, me and my adviser rushed finishing my documentation. All I can remember is that I am in front of my laptop for the whole day, doing just one thing that must be submitted urgently.  Luckily (*i was lucky AGAIN. LOL! :D*), we were able to submit it on time, I mean, an hour before the deadline!

January 11 comes, and I started playing games again in my vacant hours. I was in addict mode again, because I already finished the required documentation, and also because I miss Counter Strike and DoTA so bad. I was so hungry for this kind of excitement because of the deprivation I have issued to myself for the sake of my project. It was fun, though I play like a noob because I have not played these games for a long time. Furthermore, the feeling was different compared to what I felt the last time I played these games because I can't feel the guilt anymore, I mean, I don't anymore have the feeling that the long hours of playing are just wasted times. 

Aside from gaming, I also gave time for my group mates in planning sessions about our outreach activity and legacy project. These two are requirements for an incomplete 9-unit subject, thus, we really have to pick up the slack because the completion date is near. Again, we had cramming moments finishing the documentations and the overall flow of the outreach activity which was held last January 21. We sacrificed leisure times and several sleeping hours in order for us to be able to serve our objectives for the beneficiary school. (*insert haggard face here*) Nonetheless, we ended with a successful outreach program which was conducted in my Alma Mater. The event was so good because we were able to share our knowledge in our field to those senior high school students (*deep sigh of relief*). Also, It was a great feeling for me because it feels so good to be back in the school you've spent your 4 high school years. It was a deep nostalgia, and I was very happy because I came back here not just as an alumnus visitor, but as a speaker of an event.  

These happenings brought so much fulfillment to me, thus, I consider these as notable experiences. I have gained many learnings and realizations from these. Indeed, I was able to prove that all hardships will be paid off, and all sacrifices will turn to great, notable results. We should never forget to reward ourselves with something which makes us happy so that all haggard moments would turn into joyful events. Currently, we are aiming for the legacy project which is due this Saturday, December 28 (* worried :| *). Since it would be so aching if we end up failing this 9-unit subject, so I have decided to end this 20-day winning streak. I think that I already had enough prize for the current success of my SP, and now, I think this is already the time for more academic endeavors, because the doors of March are already knocking.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Alright, bring it on, come on!"

Steve Mazzagati is a professional referee of the most famous Mixed Martial Arts league named Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He's been in this discipline for many years, but unfortunately, he was named the worst referee in UFC history by UFC president himself, Mr. Dana White, together with the fans of the said league. Nonetheless, he became an influential guy to me because of his signature lines "Are you ready? (*pointing the fighter in the blue corner*) You sir, are you ready? (referring to the other fighter) Alright, bring it on! Come on!" As a huge fan of this sport, I have watched many bouts, and I have also watched some fights mediated by him, and he's always saying these lines before the fight starts.

// Mazzagati's "bring it on, come on!" face.. HAHAHAHA!

As I was thinking about starting my blog, I can't get this line out of my head (*what an LLS [last LINE syndrome]*). LOL! Actually, I really, really want to start a blog several months ago because of my problems about my best bud, sorta disappointments regarding my Senior Project, petty quarrels, and so on. But everytime I try, I really don't know what to say. *facepalm!* Some of my friends who are into blogging keep on telling me "come on man, just say something, anything. It's alright, man. You'll enjoy it eventually!" Also, I really don't know how to make the interface as inviting as possible. But now, let me just take it slow, so slow. (*insert the next lyrics here* - So Slow by Freestyle) :D

// EVERYBODY, please spell L-E-A-R-N-I-N-G! :)

"Bloggers" may have several reasons why they write blogs - a sort of leisure, to meet many friends across the globe, to share various experiences, to promote something, and so on and so forth. I think this is also a way of exercising a person's vocabulary and his/her skill in constructing sentences and avoiding grammatic errors. Since I am not an English/American native, (*btw, proud to be Pinoy. jyeah! \m/), I think this is a "tool" in order for me to exercise my English skills since I am not that fluent in speaking this language, and also my writing skills (*OMG, did I say writing? Or should I say, typing? LOL*). In addition, with respect to reading, I believe this is not just about spending your spare time here because you don't have anything to do, but this is also a tool for learning. We get several learnings when we read books, PDF tutorials, the Holy Bible, fantasy/fictional stories, real-life experiences, and so on, but in reading blogs, we can obtain different learnings from other people. We can also find realizations in life because of a "blogger's" shared experiences.

// very good, fellas! you've spelled LEARNING correctly! :D Now, let's define RELAXED....
      relaxed - a state experienced by a student in his/her senior year


*eeeeennnnggggggkkkkkkkk!!!!! FAIL!!!*

Stereotypically, many say that when a student reach his/her final year in college, that person is known to be a "relaxed" person. It is because that person is already on the top of the hill, at the verge of victory. His/her peers already concluded, saying "hey, you're graduating on March, congratulations! you're so good, job well done! Good for you, you're year is now a relaxed one. So come on man, let's drink, let's party!" But, I am telling all of you now that this is not always the case. Left and right projects, outreach program on Saturday, the legacy system that we will implement for our school department, major exams, completion and compilation of documents, Senior Project refactoring and documentation, AND SO ON! Damn, is this what you call a relaxed year? HAHAHA!! Anyways, just keep the fire burnin' and positivity flowin'. Well, after all of such sacrifices and sleepless nights, *taaddaaaaaann!*, magic. EVERY HARD WORK PAYS OFF! \w/

Luckily, my heaviest requirement in our course comes to a "little bit" close. It's not yet done, but hopefully I will be able to come up with a hundred percent finished Senior Project in mid February. Essentially, after implementing the objectives and functionalities of my SP, I've got a bit of additional spare time. This is a blessing because I can have much more time for myself, chatting and jamming with my friends and colleagues, hanging out with my special someone, watching the current NBA season and latest events in the UFC, playing computer games like DotA and NBA 2K12, and also for studying other subjects I am taking up in this semester. This is also a chance for me to get back in shape, I mean to enroll in a gym/workout class again (*come on Mr. Skinny, BUCKLE UP!!!*) , and most importantly, this is an opportunity for me to study different lessons in Android development (Java), IOS development (Objective C), and Web development (PHP, AJAX, JQUERY, etc.). Ooops, there's one thing left, I've realized that this spare time could also be spent with my new found environment - BLOG! :D

// shout outs to Neithan (, and Nikko (  for the encouragement.. hahaha! God bless, Bros! jyeah! :D

ADIOS! :D *peace*