Friday, June 26, 2009

Will the Philippines be great again?

"This nation will be great again", according to former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, when she ran for Presidency many years ago. My father also told me that this was a very famous line from the speeches of the former President Ferdinand E. Marcos who ruled the Philippines for 20 long years.

I personally believe that our country could be great again. However, this will not happen overnight. Even the next President, if there will really be elections in 2010, would probably have difficulty in making this thought a reality. Others even think that life is hopeless and that they will just die living in a third world country.

Is our country already hopeless? Can the government help us survive in this very competitive world? Or we just have to face the reality of living alone and hoping for nothing from our government?

From the very beginning I have believed that we should never stop from hoping for what is best. Everything happen for a purpose. We can only change our country or even the world if we will start from ourselves. Our value orientation will for sure have a big impact. And so if all of us will change our value orientation then there will be a domino effect.

We are always faced with a question of what is the best solution to the problems of our country and I have come to realize that the best solution is "us Filipinos". If we will only love genuinely our country then we will do only things that would benefit the majority. Moreover, going back to basics just like paying our taxes promptly, following traffic rules, implementing properly the law, and by just being fair to our fellow countrymen, will really be a BIG help.

We should not wait for another problem to come our way. Let us all start changing our country by changing ourselves for the better. Hence, in the coming elections, let us all vote for whoever is the most deserving to lead us. He/she may not be the most intelligent candidate, the most charming, the richest, or the most famous, but he/she should be able to manage our country fairly.

Remember, there should be no room for mistake. If we will elect the wrong national leaders, then we will again suffer for the next six years of our lives. That is, if we are still alive.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is Discrete Mathematics a useless subject?

What is Discrete Mathematics?

Discrete Mathematics is the part of mathematics devoted to the study of discrete objects. Here, discrete means consisting of distinct or unconnected elements.

Why study Discrete Mathematics?

There are several important reasons for studying discrete mathematics. First, through this course you can develop your mathematical maturity: that is, your ability to understand and create mathematical arguments. You will not get very far in your studies in the mathematical sciences without these skills.

Second, discrete mathematics is the gateway to more advanced courses in all parts of the mathematical sciences. Discrete mathematics provides the mathematical foundations for many computer science courses including data structures, algorithms, database theory, automata theory, formal languages, compiler theory, computer security, and operating systems.

Goals of a Discrete Mathematics Course

A discrete mathematics course has more than one purpose. Students should learn a particular set of mathematical facts and how to apply them; more importantly, such a course should teach students how to think logically and mathematically. A discrete mathematics course blends and balances these five themes.

  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Combinatorial Analysis
  • Discrete Structures
  • Algorithmic Thinking
  • Applications and Modeling

There are no useless subjects. Every subject offered in a college or a university has a purpose. Even the one-unit PGP subject offered by NDKC has a significance.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Oracle profit, sales beat the street

Profit margin hits record. Shares pop in after-hours trading.
Last Updated: June 23, 2009: 5:47 PM ET
CNNMoney.com

BOSTON (Reuters) -- Oracle Corp's quarterly earnings beat market expectations as profit margins hit a record high and software sales fell less than anticipated, sending its shares up 2.5%.

The No. 3 software maker said Tuesday that it gained share from SAP AG in the market for business management software, a sign it may be continuing to weather the economic downturn better than its main rival.

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt said he believed Oracle (ORCL, Fortune 500) is also winning share in its database business, where it competes with International Business Corp. (IBM, Fortune 500) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT, Fortune 500)

"If they are able to gain share through the downturn then they will have stronger customer relationships as the economy improves," Holt said.

Oracle had helped set analysts' forecasts in March, when executives warned that the recession and strong dollar would take a substantial bite out of profits.

Since then, the economy has stabilized and the U.S. currency has weakened, setting Oracle up to beat those conservative estimates.

New software sales, a closely watched revenue measure, fell 13 % to $2.7 billion in Oracle's fiscal fourth quarter ended May 31. Analysts were expecting them to decline about 18%.
Oracle reported profit, excluding items, of 46 cents per share, beating analysts' average forecast of 44 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

"It's all about expectations. Everything looks good across the board," said Goldman Sachs analyst Sarah Friar.

Oracle, led by billionaire Larry Ellison, said its adjusted operating margin was 51%, up 2.4 percentage points from a year ago.

Its margin rose on an increase in revenue from its highly profitable software maintenance business. Its costs also benefited from the decline in new software sales, because the company paid less in commissions to its sales staff, whose bonus targets were set a year ago when the economy was in better shape.

Oracle reported that net income fell 7% to $1.9 billion, or 38 cents a share, from $2 billion, or 39 cents, a year earlier.

Shares in the Redwood City, Calif.-based company rose to $20.37 in extended trading. They had fallen 0.5 % to $19.87 on Nasdaq.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Remembering Maam May Santillan

About eleven years a ago, I met a teacher whom I admire the most because of her positive attitude towards life. She is Miss May A. Santillan, my professor in Data Structures and Algorithms, C Programming, and Artificial Intelligence.

I first noticed Maam May's goodness when I saw her one morning of June, 1998 at the College Canteen. She was so happy to meet all of her old friends because she just arrived in Kidapawan after finishing her Master of Science in Computer Science degree at the Ateneo De Manila University. I admire her speaking skills. Discussing about almost anything under the heat of the sun is effortless because she has a very good command of the English language.

I formally met her when I visited her office to inquire something about my schedule. She was very accommodating that you will feel very at home with her company. Maam May along with Maam Moling (Mrs Romula Oyao) encouraged and inspired me to perform well in my academics and extra-curricular involvement. And so I persevered and was able to finish college with flying colors.

Maam May is also a very good friend. She also shared with us some of her good and not so good experiences since childhood. I have also seen some of her former students coming back to NDKC to visit her. She treats every teacher and every student as part of her family. I personally have met her immediate family. I even call her mother as nanay and her siblings as ate and kuya. I feel that I have been a part of their family that is why I often visit Maam May at their residence in Crossing Mangga.

However, there are harsh realities of life that we have to face. Maam May passed away last January 2001, two months before we graduate. She is really a big lost to the Notre Dame of Kidapawan College. We did not only lose a very good teacher but a very dear friend as well.

Maam May is literally a big woman. But her heart is bigger than her size. NDKC has already moved on but her memories still live in our hearts.

I am dedicating the song "What Matters Most" to Maam May. It's her favorite song.

I love you Maam May and I miss you so much!

WHAT MATTERS MOST
Kenny Rankin

It's not how long we held each other's hand
What matters is how well we loved each other
It's not how far we travelled on our way
Of what we found to say
It's not the spring you see, but all the shades of green

It's not how long I held you in my arms
What matters is how sweet the years together
It's not how many summertimes we had to give to fall
The early morning smiles we tearfully recall
What matters most is that we loved at all.

It's not how many summertimes we had to give to fall
The early morning smiles we tearfully recall
What matters most is that we loved at all.

What is Influenza A(H1N1) Virus?

Influenza A (H1N1) is a new virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in people in April 2009 in the United States. This virus is spreading from person-to –person, probably in much the same way that the regular seasonal influenza viruses spread.

Signs and Symptoms in Humans

  • Similar to the symptoms of regular flu such as fever, headache, fatigue, lack of appetite, runny nose, sore throat, and cough
  • Vomitting or nausea
  • Diarrhea

Mode of Transmission

Exposure to droplets from the cough and sneeze of the infected person. Influenza A (H1N1) is not transmitted by eating thoroughly cooked pork.

Prevention

  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
  • Always wash hands with soap and water
  • Use alcohol- based hand sanitizers
  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Increase your body's resistance
  • Have at least 8 hours of sleep
  • Be physically active
  • Manage your stress
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Eat nutritious food

From http://www.doh.gov.ph/swine_flu

Saturday, June 13, 2009

URGENT HIRING! NDKC Needs a Full-Time CS/IT Faculty

The Notre Dame of Kidapawan College (NDKC) is in need of a full-time faculty to teach CS/IT subjects.
  • Graduate of an IT-related course preferrably BSCS/BSIT
  • Preferrably with Master's degree in Computer Science/Information Technology/Information Science/Information Management
  • We are also inviting exceptional fresh graduates and those with Master's degree units in CS/IT/IS/IM to apply provided that they are willing to finish their Graduate degree in a given span of time.
  • Can teach a wide-array of professional/major subjects in the BSCS/BSIT programs

Interested applicants are requested to come to the Notre Dame of Kidapawan College as soon as possible. Submit your application/resume to:

Bro. Manuel V. De Leon, FMS
President
Notre Dame of Kidapawan College
Kidapawan City

Thru:

Bro. Briccio J. Baynosa, FMS
OIC-President, NDKC

You may contact the College Dean - Dr. Gerardo Rigonan or the Associate Dean of the Engineering and Technology Department - Engr. Felix Suizo (09192948340).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Is President Arroyo the "Bagong Pag-asa Mayor (played by Albert Martinez) in Real Life?"

Last night's episode of "May Bukas Pa" showed that the Bagong Pag-asa Mayor, played by Albert Martinez, is taking advantage of a situation that has been thrown against him.

Is President Arroyo the Bagong Pag-asa Mayor in real life when she asked her allies from the House of Representatives to put CON-ASS on hold?

That question just popped in my mind after reading the news item below.

****************************************************************************************************

Arroyo to House allies: Put con-ass on hold

GMANews.TV - Friday, June 12

MANILA, Philippines — A day after a massive protest rally against renewed efforts by administration lawmakers to rewrite the Philippine Constitution, a Cabinet official on Thursday said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has asked her allies in Congress to put House Resolution 1109 on hold. Without saying that the massive rally affected the President’s decision, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said in a press conference at Malaca┼łang that HR 1109, or the measure seeking to convene Congress into a constituent assembly, was among the bills that Mrs. Arroyo wanted to set aside to prioritize other measures that would provide more revenues to the country. Among the revenue enhancement measures were: the proposal of Quezon City Rep. Danilo Suarez to impose a five-centavo tax on telecommunication companies through metering, the rationalization of sin taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, and the Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme (SNITS). On Wednesday, protesters from various political groups marched to Ayala Avenue in Makati to denounce what was perceived to be a ploy of the President’s allies in the House of Representatives to extend her term of office beyond June 2010.

Mrs. Arroyo's tumultuous nine years in office are scheduled to end with May 2010 elections, but her allies in the House of Representatives initiated moves last week to open the Constitution to amendments, leading her opponents to charge that term limits may be scrapped.

Philippine presidents can serve only one six-year term, but Arroyo has been able to serve an extra three years because she took over the term of former President Joseph Estrada in 2001 after he was toppled in a military-backed revolt for alleged corruption. She then won her own term in 2004.

Her spokesmen deny that she plans to stay beyond her mandate.

The opposition-dominated Senate has rejected calls for constitutional change at this time, but Speaker Prospero Nograles says lawmakers can propose amendments without the upper chamber, setting the stage for the case to be decided in the Supreme Court. - Aie Balagtas See, GMANews.TV

Organizational Culture and Execellence

I attended a lecture given by Bro. Briccio J. Baynosa, FMS, the OIC-President of the Notre Dame of Kidapawan College, about how we can achieve excellence through a commendable organizational culture. I got to realize that there is much to change in the culture of NDKC for it to really pursue University status in six years (Bro. Briccio's personal goal).

BusinessDictionary.com defines organizational culture as pervasive, deep, largely subconscious, and tacit code that gives the 'feel' of an organization and determines what is considered right or wrong, important or unimportant, workable or unworkable in it, and how it responds to the unexpected crises, jolts, and sudden change.

If you want to improve your organization then study the culture of that organization. There's a close relationship between culture and performance and so it implies that whatever culture an organization has will have a significant effect in its performance. It is the culture that yields the dividends although structures and processes are important in maintaining the organization.

Manifestations of Culture

  • Tacit Assumptions
  • Shared Values
  • Behavioral Norms
  • Stories and Ceremonies
  • Visual Manifestations

Culture and Worldview

Culture provides the paradigm that governs our perception and planned way of living. It patterns our perception of reality. A people's worldview is their "basic model of reality."

Worldview Components

  • Cognitive Dimension
  • Emotional Component
  • Motivational Dimension

Five Functions of Worldview

  • Explanation
  • Evaluation
  • Psychological Reinforcement
  • Integration
  • Adaptation

Correlates of Effective Culture tells us what to take into consideration for us to know if our organization is in the right track. The ten correlates of effective culture are as follows:

  • Vertical Team
  • Vision
  • Collegial Relationships
  • Trust and Support
  • Values and Interest
  • Access to Quality Information
  • Broad Participation
  • Life-long Growth
  • Individual Empowerment
  • Continuous and Sustained Innovation

Dimensions of Leadership Forces

  • Technical Leader
  • Human Leader
  • Educational Leader
  • Symbolic Leader
  • Cultural Leader

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Culmination of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Marist Presence in the Philippines

With the theme "Loving remembrance of the past... Joyful thanksgiving for the present... Daring commitment to the future", I was lucky to have joined the culmination of the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Marist Presence in the Philippines held last Saturday, June 6, 2009 at the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU), Gen. Santos City.

I learned that 60 years of existence of the Marist Brothers in our country has brought a lot of blessings to the people. I am happy to say that I am part of this 60 years when I entered as a college freshman in June, 1997 at the Notre Dame of Kidapawan College (NDKC), a Tertiary institution run by the brothers.

I'm with Bro. Damian (left), one of the first four Marist Brothers who came to the Philippines 60 years ago and Bro. Pop (right), the first and oldest Filipino Marist Brother, taken at the NDDU, Gen. Santos City

The Marist Mission in our country began when four American Marist Brothers went to the Philippines 60 years ago as a response to the invitation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Out of the four pioneering brothers, only one is still alive in the person of Bro. Joseph Damian Teston, FMS whom I was able to meet during the said affair in NDDU. Some of the American Brothers who were also assigned to the Philippnes and are now based in the United States were also present during the celebration.

NDKC Moves Opening of Tertiary and Graduate School Classes to June 15, 2009

Dr. Gerardo A. Rigonan, the College Dean of the Notre Dame of Kidapawan College has issued a memorandum dated 9 June 2009 postponing the opening of classes from June 8, 2009 to June 15, 2009 in the College and Graduate School Levels. This is pursuant to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Memorandum dated 5 June 2009 signed by Chairman Emmanuel Y. Angeles.

The following were the reasons for the said postponement as stated in the CHED Memorandum:
  1. Many foreign students studying in the Philippines are still coming in, in time for the opening of classes. Some of them have come from countries where there are confirmed A(H1N1) cases, thus, the rescheduling of the class opening will give them time to self-quarantine;
  2. The inclement weather being experienced in the country now has caused street flooding, and traffic congestion which is not conducive for both the students and the higher education institutions relative to the opening of the school year; and
  3. It has been observed that most parents are not yet financially ready for the opening of classes for SY 2009-2010. This rescheduling will give them ample time to prepare and look for some other resources to enable them to send their children back to school.