Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Love of Baking, Baking for love

This Summer I got to enroll in a Basic Baking class at a vocational school, it ran for a whole month with 30-hour class per week. I got to bake cookies, brownies and bars, buko and egg pies, tarts, emapandas, butter macaroons, chiffon cakes, brazo de mercedes, a to-die-for dark angel cake, ensaymadas, sweet rolls, basic breads and even pandesal. We even had lessons on basic cake decorating, it was expensive but worth it :-)

As far as I can remember I always love to cook and bake. During my teen years I was in charge of the kitchen every weekend where in I subject my family to my "experiments". Most of my experiments came from TV cooking shows and recipes cut out from magazines.

There was even a time that I even baked a chocolate cake for a friend in college who lived in Antipolo, it was a 12-inch round cake with a chocolate whipped cream icing and nips for decoration. Our barkada traveled from my home in Cubao to their place for a lunchtime celebration and when I opened the cake box upon our arrival, all the icing melted at the bottom of the box(imagine riding a patok jeepney at nearly 12 noon - there was no FX then) . The cake was ruined but we still had fun eating it.

When I started working fulltime after college, cooking and baking was set aside for a more active corporate work, so many overtimes and social activities for a yuppie like me, I only go home to sleep and change clothes.

I rediscovered cooking again when I got married, believe me it was touch and go for the first few months, I still can't remember to this day how the dishwashing paste found its way to the newly cooked rice and the husband asking if I was trying to poison him early in the marriage or how could I burn and ruin a non stick pan in a short amount of time.

Three months into the marriage I re-acquired my cooking skills again and have the healthy body to prove it. Who would not when all you do all day is to cook breakfast - lunch and dinner? I got to experiment again :-) , Alfredo fettuccine, carbonara, lasagna, etc. My husband loved those candlelit dinners.

I started chocolate molding in 2000 as gifts for our friends at christmas. As my chocolates became popular, my friends started requesting for baked chocolate products like brownies and cakes but have no time to take up formal lessons on baking since I was still taking my masters degree at that time. I finally enrolled this summer and enjoyed every minute of it.

Baking in summer in a non air conditioned room from 8am till 6pm is no joke but the smell of baked goodies are worth it. My instructor in baking class was very strict, she told us that
"In baking you must have disciple and common sense".

Baking I realized is not easy, sweating it out while kneading dough in your hands, getting your hands burned in the oven and standing all day(we are not allowed to sit down when baking for we might not get up again, which is true because as you sit down you get to feel how tired you are). There were days were most of our work got burned(the day the wall clock in the room stopped with nobody noticing), times when we did not have the energy anymore to continue and it is only 3pm. We were taught to bake manually using only wooden spoons to mix the ingredients and were only allowed to use an electric mixer when baking cakes. This was done in order for us not to be dependent on a mixer while baking and be conscious on how we mix our ingredients.

Baking is a precise. Everything in baking must be exact, from the ingredients to the oven temperature and baking time if you want to have the perfect bake goodies. It also takes patience and focus for one wrong step and the baked goody might be ruined and you have to start all over again. It is also a very physical activity I lost a few pounds that summer and still continue to lose them as I continue to bake once a week :-)

Baking might be tiring but it is worth it! In order for you to continue to bake you really must love to bake(why bake when you can buy it in Goldilocks or RedRibbon?). The joy of baking for your loved ones can't be compared to those store bought goodies. Baking is rewarding and now I get to earn from it. (Please continue to visit my blogsite as I will launch my chocolate and baked goodies in the next few weeks)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Yes Master!

That's what my husband calls me these days, eversince I graduated last wednesday, May 10 with the degree of Master in Information Technology(MIT), all our conversations end with "Yes Master!".

I know it is his form of endearment and at the same time it tells me how proud he is of my achievement. Looking back I try to remember the reason on what made me pursue a masters degree, it started on 1999 I was still single then having taught for a year in PUP. The first reason I remember in taking up my masters was for professional advancement and my friends invited me to enroll so that we can be classmates.

My Stint in UP . . .

I first enrolled in UP in 1999 taking up Masters of Science in Computer Science, unfortunately I
stayed there for only a semester, it was hard for me commuting to UP in the afternoons and going home at night on a rainy season, its difficult to get a ride in a jeepney and the school calendar is identical to the one where I am teaching. Imagine having to take you midterm exam at the same time your students are taking theirs? And your not present to supervise their exam. I decided to stop my studies after the semester since I was already becoming busy with my wedding preparations.

Looking back I realized that at that time I was not really serious in pursuing my masters and that I was not mature enough to accept being a student again and dedicate myself to really studying hard. I can also say that maybe at that time all I could think of was my wedding and about being in love.

After two years, I again took up my masters studies this time in PUP with the degree in Master of Science in Information Technology(MSIT). It took me a while to finish (five years to be exact) but for me it was a choice, I did not enroll during summers and I took a break for 2 semesters, one when I was pregnant and another when my son will be having his first birthday, I concentrated on his big day and did not want to risk failing my compre exam which was also on the same week. So I postponed taking my compre, and waited the next semester to take it. One regret I have though is not having my thesis, I realized that it will take time and money and I don't have plenty of those.

Lesson Learned:
Taking up a masters degree made me who I am now
  1. I learned to be humble, I know that there are people that know more than I do and I have to respect and learn from them.
  2. As an individual we must always strive to learn new things, it does not matter if its not related to your field or work. (I enrolled in baking class this summer and it was great!)
  3. Always be ready to share your knowledge with others, what we know is a gift from God we can share to people to enrich their lives as well as your own.
  4. Be open to new ideas and discoveries. It helps to be always updated.
  5. Being in the IT industry means you have to keep up with the technology, learning is non stop if you don't want to be left behind.

I know that having this degree people expect more of me, so what are my future plans?

For starters I plan to pursue my dream on having my own online business. Enjoying my family life. I would also like to try to have some corporate part time work. I miss being in the industry. At time point in my life career advancement would be an additional bonus.

A doctorate degree?

I still have plans to take a doctoralte degree Doctor in Business Adminstration perhaps but not right now. I want my husband to take a masters degree also, and I will be there to support him 100%. After he graduates then I will pursue my next degree and I also plan to take it abroad.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cheers to the Batch 2006 Graduates!

May 5, 2006, 7:00pm
Cheers to my batch mates! Here I am in front of my pc, drinking ice tea toasting to my Computer Engineering students who graduated in Folk Arts Theater this afternoon. (I would love to drink red wine tonight but due to the hot weather I decided to stick to iced green tea even if I still have the strawberry wine I bought from Baguio last January :) )

I usually don’t write dedications or congratulatory messages to my students who graduates, for I see students graduate almost every six months but somehow I felt the need to reach out to them one last time.

I consider this batch special for two reasons:

1. I consider them my batch mates, (whether I like it or not :) JOKE LANG) for I am also set to graduate this May 10 @ 1pm at Bulwagang Balagtas (together with Engr. Tenerife(MIT) and Engr. Abas(MSIT)) with the course of Master in Information Technology. At this circumstance we are forever bonded as the Graduating Batch 2006.
2. This summer graduation also marks the 10 yrs since I graduated in BSCOE(also held in Folk Arts, same time although we graduated April 30 then I think). Hay such SENTI……

I don’t attend graduations, the first and last one I attended as a faculty was back in 1999(my brother graduated then ECE) for I feel its like saying goodbye and I’ll never going to see them again. I usually distance myself my graduating students because as their teacher and being with them for almost 5 years it is really hard to say goodbye. It is specially hard if you are really close to them, when you consider them as you friends and they consider you as their elder sister (me pabata effect pa). I don’t want to say goodbye but congratulations! Keep it up! cyah soon! and goodluck!

I can say that with this batch I saw you all grow from the time when you were very eager to learn new things together with still the childish mannerisms you have when I first met you on your third year to the tough forth year when I saw you tears of frustrations, it is when I slowly began to see your emerging maturity in taking projects left and right and finishing them, some of your works were impressive. And lastly the young adult who takes his/her stand in what you believe in and working for what you want to achieve(like the pictorials and yearbook – kasama ba grad pics ko dun? hehehe), to the sometimes indifference attitude you project when the pressure is too much to bear.

I can’t help but to compare you to what we were, when we were at your shoes. There were times that I ask my self “Makakaya kaya naming sayawin at gawin ang mga pinaggagawa nyo sa Baguio if we were given the change then?”, “ Sila kaya ang magkakatuluyan?” Most of the college sweethearts then made it to the altar. “Ilan kaya ang magaabroad at sino-sino sila?
I see in you such promise, promise of a bright future. Don’t feel bad if you still have not found a job, it will come. Enjoy this time of idleness kasi nde na yan mauulit once you started working. That is one of my regrets then, nag trabaho ako agad nde ko na namnam ang pagrerelax hehehe. There maybe people who easily got jobs, maybe yours will be just around the corner, take this time to learn new thing and enrich your self take it from me, nagbabaking class ako ngayon :) . I will be launching my online chocolates business my October, bili kayo ha.

Always seize the opportunity to learn, our industry is in constant change kailangang lagi ka updated sa changes. We pride ourselves to be hardworking it is one of the assets being a PUPian is known for.

Lastly, wag kalilimutan ang iyong pinanggalingan, remember the time na halos mamalimos tayo ng speakers for the IT Conference? Magpakadalubhasa kayo para next year at sa mga susunod na conference kayo na kukunin nating spearkers!

I will not forget you, madami tayong pinagsamahan, hirap, saya, takot, lungkot at tagumpay. I will always be here you know how to reach me. Welcome to the IT industry my fellow professionals! As graduates many doors will be opened to us(pati ako :)), who knows where will fate bring us? Malay nyo sa states or Australia pa ulit tayo magkita? Hehehe. If you miss us, your professors, just drop by PUP dala kayo pasalubong ha. hehehe

Congratulations! Keep it up! cyah soon! and goodluck!

Monday, April 17, 2006

My First Sweet Blog

It is the day after Easter, I find myself sitting in a room with fellow educators attending a seminar-workshop with the topic Blogging 101. Blogging is a bit familiar to me before this day, although I read and scan other people's blogs and not participate at all and now I can be one of them.

On a day when some people still have hang-overs after a long vacation and here I am exercising my brains on something new thinking what have I gotten myself into?

I reminded myself that I am in a seminar – workshop, looking for its meaning in the dictionary:

Seminar - a form of academic teaching, at a university or offered by a commercial or professional organization, in small groups where students are requested to actively participate during meetings.

A workshop is also a gathering or training session which may be several days in length. It emphasizes problem-solving, hands-on training, and requires the involvement of the participants.

So both activities involves active participation, so here goes my first output for this activity.

As an educator skilled enough in making students sweat when I am teaching something new to them and concepts that they should learn about, I find myself in the their shoes sweating it out in producing my very first blog. Although it is very cold here in Netopia, I think I have to change my expression to working my butt off.

The workshop for me is very refreshing for it is seldom for us educators to be on the other side of the classroom so to speak and it keeps me grounded realizing I still have so much to learn from other people that sometimes you have to be a student to learn new things that would benefit you and your students as well.

Looking forward to my next blog post!