Helping a Gaijin

Last Sunday, after attending church service at CCF, I went and stayed at Starbucks Tiendesitas. The guy beside me was looking for an outlet when he noticed that his plug isn’t compatible with the PH type (he was using European type). Right there and then, I figured out he was a foreigner (he looks Korean). He then whispered softly to me if there’s available wifi at Starbucks, I told him to give me a second to check. Unfortunately, there was none. He then asked if he could use my laptop to search something over the internet. I noticed him searching for NH280 flight schedule, Manila Terminal Fee and Travel Tax, Manila Guesthouse, and Toshiba laptop price Manila. He also kept grumbling and murmuring “I hate the Philippines. I’m never coming back. Bad people, but not you.”

Continue reading

Investing in Bitcoin

Today, I decided to cash out a fraction of my Bitcoin (BTC) earnings. I invested in Bitcoin August last year and it has dramatically increased 5 times already. I bought BTC valued at $500+/- last year. It’s not that I’m short-sighted on this investment, I just want something tangible that will materialized the initial investment that I had.

I bought BTC via, it’s one of the fastest and most trusted BTC exchanges in the Philippines. You can easily cash in your peso wallet via 7-eleven. The cash out is also quick and easy. I used their Security Bank cashless transaction. The only drawback is that there’s a transaction maximum limit of 10,000 pesos for this option. So I had to do mine in 2 transactions because I needed to withdraw 16,500 pesos. Here’s the article on how easy it is to cash out.

I finally bought the Samsung Gear S3 to pair up with my Samsung S8, thanks to Bitcoin! How about you? Have you started investing in BTC already? To get you started, download the app and get 50 pesos.

Zend Certified Engineer

Passing the PHP 7 Zend Certified Engineer Exam

Last May 26, I have successfully passed the 2017-PHP Zend Certified Engineer Exam. I crammed my review in a month, but was still able to keep up my pace. You can view my profile at the Zend Yellow Pages as I am now a Zend Certified Engineer.

When I graduated in college way back in 2007, it was already one of my goals “to take” the certification. Not necessarily pass, but just to take and see for myself. Fast forward 10 years, I was not only able “to take”, but I also passed it.

The journey began when our training budget for fiscal year 2016 was allocated for the Zend Certification. I felt a bit sad because that would mean no more training/conference outside the country. My company has been very generous and proactive in keeping their engineers trained and up-to-date.

Continue reading

Upgrading to PHP 7.1 on MacOS using Brew

So today, I finally decided to upgrade my laptop to the latest PHP version as of this writing, which is 7.1.4. Now, some people were wondering why they skipped version 6.  When I went to the PHP Conference Asia 2015 in Singapore, Rasmus Lerdorf himself told us in his keynote speech that they intentionally skipped version 6 because they don’t want to have PHP 6.6.6. It’s more of a superstition rather than a business/technical decision.

Continue reading

Software Developer at 31

As my birthday approaches and as I’m nearing 31, I was reading about Software Developers on their 40s up and found this interesting article.

I witnessed how my father wrote programs when I was young. He would blankly stare at his laptop for minutes, writing things, then deleting them, repeat & rinse. I thought it was stupid. He would also tell me to “give me that <color> book with a name <title and version>” or “return this back to the 2nd shelf, 3rd from the left.” He was very particular with the order and placement of his books.

Continue reading

Shirakawa-go Village by Bus

Overnight Bus

Visiting Shirakawa-go village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been one of my places to visit in Japan.  The village can easily be accessed when you have a JR Pass. You just need to be at JR Takayama station and from there, you can ride a bus going to Shirakawa-go village. For us though, we didn’t have a JR Pass. So what we did was we booked an overnight bus from Yokohama to Nagoya, then from Nagoya directly to Shirakawa-go village. The bus from Yokohama, which is conveniently located at Yokohama City Air Terminal (YCAT), departed at exactly 12:40am. The bus also offered free neck pillows which was really very convenient on a night bus. We arrived at Nagoya Ekimae at around 6am. The bus bound for Shirakawa-go was at 8am and is located at the Meitetsu Bus center.

Continue reading

Laiban Circuit in Tanay, Rizal


Lubo Range, Ngusong Kabayo, Tangwa Peak

Last weekend, I hiked the Laiban Circuit trail in Tanay, Rizal. In this trail course, you get to summit 3 mountains and descent 4 waterfalls. The first ascent is the Lubo Range, then Ngusong Kabayo (Horse’s muzzle), and lastly the Tangwa peak. After assaulting these peaks, you need to descent 4 waterfalls. They say that the difficulty level is 3/10. It felt like 6/10 to me.

When we started from the jump off point, the ascent was already at 45 degrees, passing by the houses of the residents. It didn’t take long when we started to see some sea of clouds.

Continue reading