Tack så mycket, Stockholm

Walking through the centre of Stockholm, I get this sudden feeling of happiness -- a sense of belonging and at the same time gratitude.

This Swedish capital may not be as big and famous as Paris, London, or New York, but it definitely has captured my heart. ❤️

Tack så mycket Stockholm for showing me I can fall in love again! 🇸🇪

Dear, Mr. Cameron

Mr. Prime Minister, members of the House of Lords, and the House of Commons, you owe it to the people of the European Union to depart swiftly and cleanly. You must invoke Article 50 as soon as possible and without hesitation. There is no need to wait for October and the dissolution of Parliament.

The Parliament also owes it to the people of Scotland and Northern Ireland, who hugely voted to remain. England must not drag them out. Allow the Scots another referendum for a free Scotland, let the Northern Irish call for a united Ireland, and let them maintain their European interests.

England wants to go back to Little England.
The British people have spoken.
Britain must leave the Union.



Update: While I am deeply saddened and disappointed with the outcome of the referendum, I believe that there are no other ways but to move forward with this decision. It is imperative that the United Kingdom and the European Union must act in accordance with the will of the people and come up with an agreement that best serves the interests of both British citizens and the citizens of the EU.

Klaar voor Europa

Ready for Europe.

It's been more than three years since I last visited the European Union. I wrote a rather verbose article about my preparation for that Eurotrip in late 2012, and why you should never get your Schengen visa with the Italians. That was a fun, sort of romantic, forty-five days back then.

This time, though, I'm flying out for a different reason; I'm moving to Amsterdam as a highly skilled migrant and (hopefully) integrate with the Dutch way of life. Can't wait, really, for becoming a European resident, and of course traveling around the Schengen area.

And oh, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland granted my wishes of long-term validity visit visa. It won't be my first time with the Brits, but I'm still excited as hell to visit London. Just short of an Irish visa, I should be able to cover all of European Union, the European Economic Area, and good ol' Switzerland too. 

I will definitely write up more about Europe soon! Ciao, for now.

Je suis Bruxelles

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Brussels and victims of this evil act. I hope the perpetrators are brought to justice swiftly!

The bombings happened in the capital and heart of the European Union. While the world is in shock of what has occurred, being only few months after the attacks in Paris, I do pray that EU and world leaders will not use this tragedy to engineer partisan arguments of anti-refugees, anti-immigration, and other tactics of political distraction.

Violence, fear, and discrimination have no place in achieving anything. Stay strong, Brussels.

Here's to moving on

Over a year and a half after moving to Manila, I am excited to embark on yet another crazy adventure, new chapter of my own novel called life.

I am joining a team of young hackers and entrepreneurs as a Senior Software Engineer of a promising YC startup, Impraise, based in one of Europe's most beautiful cities, Amsterdam (The Netherlands). Can't wait to hop on the next flight to Europe and hack its new economy!

My stay in Manila has been quite a crazy ride, full of its ups and downs, successes and heartbreaks, invaluable lessons learned along the way. Manila is truly unique, one of its kind, but it is about time to move on.

I will still be in the metro over the next few weeks, maybe a month or two (give or take), while I work on the logistics and wait for the big move. But before that, I'm definitely down for coffee and talk about the future. Hit me up!

A Year of Books et al.

Joining the bandwagon of new year's resolutions, I have two challenges for myself this 2016.

First, I will read a new book every month -- focusing on learning about different people, cultures, politics, philosophies, love, and, of course, technologies. I have not planned a list of books yet but I already picked one that I am going to read for January -- Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton. It is a memoir of the former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton giving her account of her tenure in the State Department from 2009 to 2013.

In life, we are faced with so many hard choices. We have to decide where to go to college. Picking a college major for the next four years. Finding a good job, or what to do if you lose it. Starting a new romantic relationship -- or ending one. Life is about making such choices. For leaders and nations, they can mean the difference between war and peace, poverty and prosperity. I am looking forward to get an inside look at the choices and challenges Mrs. Clinton faced while serving as America's top diplomat and one of the most influential figures of our generation. We may be able to apply some of her insights in our daily normal, humble lives.

Feel free to suggest books you think I must read!

Second, I am going to go vegetarian this year. The idea came out of a random thought over the last two weeks of December. It is an ambitious one but where is the fun without any challenges, right? So to make it more worthwhile doing, I have made a sort of win-win "penalty" scheme. For every day I cheat, I am going to put 100 pesos (roughly $3) to a "cheat fund" that I am going to establish. At the end of the year, proceeds of this cheat fund will go to a charity to be determined later -- good cause for every time I fail to meet my challenge. I already had a good head start over the last two days, so let us see how far I go until the first hundred pesos.

So that, my friends, is the year I look forward to.  363 days to go. :)