Back from Bali

I was wondering where everyone was going to go for their Holy Week and for some reason, most of my friends whom I polled just said they would stay home. It seems everyone was either trying to enjoy the Holy Week break in the Philippines where all traffic just disappears or everyone was reserving their vacation leaves and/or plans for LaBoracay (the long weekend that sandwiches May 1 every year that serves as an excuse to go to Boracay). I’ve been to Boracay before, during and after Holy Week and essentially – no one is there from Manila before Maundy Thursday, people you hang out with in Manila are there from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday and then the people from the nearby provinces descend upon Boracay starting on the eve of Good Friday. They all miraculously disappear after Easter Sunday. I’m guessing it’s the same experience without of course the Holy Week subtext. So when Diana Vodden and Kamrin Klauschie said there was going to be an AngelHack Ambassador Retreat during Holy Week in Bali, Indonesia – who am I to say no?

I tried to post via the wifi spots in Bali and figured out later it might be easier if I just get a Telkomsel SIMPati card and just use it to post on social media. The downside to deciding late to do this was that I wasn’t able to cross-post a lot of my pictures on Flickr.com and had only two nice  photos – one was Sabeen (the CEO of AngelHack) with one of the beach dogs and a nice sunset at Batu Belig Beach from Mozaic.

Sabeen and the Dog

Beach and Sunset View at Batu Belig from Mozaic

Here’s some photos via Instagram

and just before the Ambassadors were leaving –  I bumped into IAM’s May Flores and her friends Priscilla & Dr. Richard -

I initially stayed at Ketut’s Place just at the back of Ubud Palace with Kris Marganti. It was a great place to be introduced to Bali and Ubud – it was a home stay place and our room overlooked a balcony on a ravine with a river at the bottom and the forest just across us. It was non-stop white noise from then on and we were even forced to open the windows and the doors the first day since the aircon was on the funk. It turn out to be a blessing in disguise as the Bali breeze was really perfect. When the Ambassadors arrived we moved to a new hotel called Inata Bisma – new as in it was a new hotel and even the locals didn’t know it was already open. I wanted to extend at Inata but I got an offer to stay at Batu Belig and so decided to do just that.

I’ll update this post later but all in all – Bali is a great place just to take a vacation from the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila. Imagine if the whole Cebu were all Boracay establishments? That would probably be Bali on a very rough scale. Visit it if you can – there’s a direct flight from CebuPac from Manila although for some reason, I went there via Singapore via Singapore airlines which was very tiring but I missed Changi Airport anyway haha.

How did Ashton Kutcher prepare for his role as Steve Jobs in the new movie Jobs?

Answer by Ashton Kutcher:

I spent about 3 months preparing the character.

I started by consuming content about Steve Jobs. The script was a fantastic resource but after reading it I was left with as many questions as answers as to why he was the way he was and why he made some of the decisions he made.  I started by watching documentaries and interviews Silicon Valley Historical Association about him and collecting youtube content Inspired By Jobs: Technology and Soundcloud files on jobs.

This was to try to understand some of the broad themes of his persona.   What I was looking for was patterns on consistent behavior and ideals.  I heard him repeat his story about a computer being a tool for the mind and that we should all be bold enough create the world we live in.  I also picked up on his value for diverse education through experience.  I then started to dissect the nuances of his behavior, the walk, the fact that he has an almost imperceptible lisp, his accent that was a combination of northern California and Wisconsin, the way he paused before answer, and nodded in understanding, the way he bowed in namaste when receiving praise, and stared with contempt when in conflict. I noticed how he used his hands to talk and how he counted with his fingers (pinky finger first), how he used the word "aaaaand" and "noooow" to think about what he was going to say next.  But I quickly found that learning "how a person is" ultimately is the the key, you have to learn "why a person is".

Once armed with this external impression I wanted to get a better feel of why he saw the world the way he did.  I wanted to know why he liked what he liked and pursued what he pursued.  So I started to consume what he consumed.
Books he read: Autobiography of a Yogi : Paramahansa Yogananda,Mucusless Diet Healing System: Arnold Ehret, Be Here Now: Ram Dass.
Researching the artists he admired: Bauhaus, Folon, Ansel Adams
Eating the food he ate: Grapes, Carrot Juice, Popcorn
Studying the Entrepreneurs he admired: Edison, Edwin Land

Then I met with the people that he knew and worked with to unravel some of the subtle quarks and conflicted decision making that I couldn't rationalize. Alan Kay, Avi Tevanian, Jeffery Katzenberg, Mike Hawley, and many others were phenomenal resources.

I then worked with my acting coach Greta Seacat to relate his emotionality and behavior to my own.  She helped me make it personal and authentic.

But in the end one of the greatest tells of the man were his creations.  They were elegant, intelligent, thoughtful, precise, artistic, bold, visionary, complicated, efficient, fun, entertaining, powerful, imperfect, and beautiful on the inside and out…. Just like Steve.

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It’s Angel Hack Manila #AngelHackMNL time!

angelhackbanner

Just in case you missed it – AngelHack is now in Manila!

The EventBrite Page is here!

Coverage

InterAksyon http://www.interaksyon.com/infotech/angelhack-silicon-valley-awaits-manila-winners-of-global-hackathon

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/business/2013/05/20/smart-ideaspace-invite-devs-hack-their-way-silicon-valley-283216

Blogs

http://renz15.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/angelhack-manila-2013/

http://www.benteuno.com/2013/06/angelhack-manila-what-hack.html

LifeHack #1337: How to get your CSB Faculty ID activated ASAP

Commented on RJ Dy’s comment that her DLS-CSB faculty wasn’t yet deactivated with Lifehack #1337:

after the guard let’s you in – immediately proceed to registrar & show your load form so your ID can be activated

of course, there’s no LifeHack 1 to 1336 (okay there might be a #42 but I have to find it). So I guess I need to enumerate my lifehacks so I can remember it. Maybe I’ll just update this blog post :)

Here we go:

#1 When running long distances (32K and ultramarathon distances), it helps to have a cap – not only can it be used to block sun glare but if you have a very thin plastic bag – you can insert ice bags into it and use the cap to put the “ice bag” in place. It helps lower your core body temperature actually.

#2 if you find yourself opening the same website everyday – try finding an RSS (feedproxy?) feed and put it on an IFTTT trigger and have it email to a unique GMail account that you can access via your smartphone. Not only will you have a niftier browsing experience (no lag!) but it saves you all those minutes waiting for the browser to render the pages. Limit this to one or two sites you really like. Mine is http://news.ycombinator.com

#3 When you think you’ve run out of ideas – just go to http://yclist.com and see if you can localize one of their concepts.

#4 If you want to see how the YCombinator guys actually push for product development on their sites – again, browse through http://yclist.com

#5 need two-factor authentication like they use in GMail? Try http://authy.com

#6 Haven’t activated your 2-factor authentication in GMail – you should! It’ll give your peace of mind that you’re the only one that can access your GMail. Here are two posts that might help you: http://readwrite.com/2012/08/07/how-to-enable-2-factor-verification-on-gmail-and-avoid-getting-hacked and http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-two-step-authentication/

#7 Need data sets to practice Matrix Factorization algorithms like SVD (single value decomposition? Try Kaggle.com (Try the who will survive the Titanic disaster contest)

#8 The EASIEST way to SHOW SVD: http://www.puffinwarellc.com/index.php/news-and-articles/articles/30-singular-value-decomposition-tutorial.html (bonus: Tiger Woods is in it!)

#9 How to use the Golf SVD tutorial in R – http://datascientistinsights.com/2013/02/17/single-value-decomposition-a-golfers-tutotial/

#10 Okay – you don’t want to install R – online version? http://www.math.montana.edu/Rweb/

#11 R via Sage and Online (see 2nd comment): http://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/9699/using-r-online-without-installing-it

#12 List of R tutorials: http://www.r-bloggers.com/list-of-free-online-r-tutorials/

#13 “Hello World” in Malbolge http://ideone.com/k9xmtO via Matthias Ernst http://www.matthias-ernst.eu/malbolge.html#generate_printing

 

Where and How can you find the perfect tech start-up co-founder in Manila?

#Startups

Answer by Paul Amerigo Pajo:

Ten Other Ideas

1. Teach in a tech school – some of our students were actually doing their second degree.

2. Get outside of you national capital's CBD – if you're seeing the same people, it might be that you're attending the same scene. I didn't nearly see the same people that I met in dev events in Laoag, Lucena, Davao, Bacolod and Cebu in Metro Manila and vice versa. Hey, it's time to have more dev events in Boracay, CDO, General Santos City, Batangas, Vigan, Dumaguete or even surf-friendly Siargao.

3. Post on HN or other startup-related boards. I'm sure there's someone out there wanting to try out Asia. Chile seems to be very good in pitching that startups move to South America. Canada with their newly minted startup visa might take a page from the Chile startup playbook also.

4. It's a numbers game – if 8 out 10 startups fail, you'll get to the 2 successful startups soon enough. Are you on Startup #5 already? ;)

5. You might not even need a co-founder – check out Unofficial Y Combinator Company List – pick a startup from Summer 2012 or even Winter 2012, ask them if they want Southeast Asia representation and localize their startup for the Philippines or Southeast Asia. Voila! You're practically a co-founder if you're Employee #xx ( < 99 )

6. Start your own Startup event but do it in places where they don't normally have it in Metro Manila: Startup Pateros anyone? Startup Paranaque? Startup Caloocan? Startup Valenzuela? You can even go for Startup Ayala Alabang (hey, that's never been done before!). You'll probably attract startuppers who don't frequently venture outside of their North or South urban/suburban enclaves.

7. Manila is 15 million people by day and about 12 million by night – why? About 3-4 million people commute in and out from the nearby provinces. Why don't we have a startup event in Bulacan or even Laguna? (That's near enough Manila too!)

8. Run the Manila version of App Academy – you know those people who frequently attend technopreneur bootcamps? There might just be a technical co-founder there somewhere? You can find out in nine weeks? Just rent an internet cafe for nine weeks :)

9. Run a KickStarter / Indiegogo: An International Crowdfunding Platform to Raise Money campaign – there's a lot of success for game startups in these platforms and De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde is graduating their first batch of Game Designers & Developers. If you can raise the money maybe they'll join you?

10. Is there a Korean or Chinese service that can be run more cheaply here in the Philippines vs. in South Korea or China? An inspiration for this would be http://popupschinese.com by David Lancanshire.

Happy Startupping! :)

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The Greatest (New Year’s) Resolution One Can Ever Make

My apologies to Dr. Mark H. Creech:

“To live righteously before God is the greatest resolution anyone can ever make in life. Such a resolution begins with repentance of sin and turning to Christ for forgiveness.”

And just because my name is Paul – I love how Dr. Creech quotes George Burger:

“I will like Paul, forget those things which are behind and press forward; like David, lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help; like Abraham, trust implicitly in my God; like Enoch, walk in daily fellowship with my heavenly Father; like Jehoshaphat, prepare my heart to seek God; like Moses choose rather to suffer than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; like Daniel, commune with my God at all times; like Job, be patient under all circumstances; like Caleb and Joshua, refuse to be discouraged because of superior numbers; like Joseph, turn my back to all seductive advances; like Gideon, advance even though my friends be few; like Aaron and Hur, uphold the hands of my spiritual leaders; like Isaiah, consecrate myself to do God’s work; like Andrew, strive to lead my brother into a closer walk with Christ; like John lean upon the bosom of the Master and imbibe of His Spirit; like Stephen manifest a forgiving spirit toward all who seek my hurt; like Timothy, study the Word of God; like the heavenly host, proclaim the message of peace on earth and good will toward all men; and like my Lord Himself, overcome all earthly allurements by refusing to succumb to their enticements.

Realizing that I cannot hope to achieve these objectives by my own strength, I will rely upon Christ, for ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’ (Philippians 4:13).”

So there. My friend Justin Alexandra has a very nice video where she elaborates that 2012 was transitioning and 2013 is IMPLEMENTING. I love how she wants to be better. Time to PR (personal record) our lives and GET AFTER IT! Have an awesome 2013!

One last thing, this got re-tweeted several times (14 as I’m posting this), so here goes:

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream – C.S. Lewis