Starting your Starbucks Card Collection [Yoda Style Jedi Training] (December 31, 2017)

Clockwise: Just some of 30+ cards that I have in my personal collection. | My last Frap for the year…and until November 2018 for that matter.  They got the spelling of my name wrong but it’s all good.

During the latter part of 2017, I noticed that I’ve slowly amassed a stack of Philippine issued Starbucks Cards.  It was never my intention to collect them–it just happened.  But I am getting ahead of myself; for you guys to understand the genesis of this collection, we need to go back to the beginning.


Four years ago, I purchased the first two local card designs released in the country with the intention of maximizing their new My Starbucks Rewards Program.  The rewards program offered a number of enticing incentives such as a free drink–of the patron’s choice-when they registered their Starbucks Card over at; a free Grande drink for every accumulated twelve (12) Beverage Stars; the option of pooling all of your future Starbucks Cards into a single account; and a free slice of cake during the registered card holder’s birthday[i]. Continue reading “Starting your Starbucks Card Collection [Yoda Style Jedi Training] (December 31, 2017)”

Not a popular opinion: My take on Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 13, 2017)

Star Wars Movie Night: We caught the 4:00 pm showing on Day 2 of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. | The Skywalker Genogram: Prior to watching Episode VIII, I explained the lineage of Ben Solo with the help a Genogram.  In hindsight, I should have also put in Anakin’s Mom–Shmi Skywalker Lars and her husband Cliegg Lars.  If it were to be even more detailed, Owen (Cliegg’s only son with his late wife Aika) and his wife Beru would also be included.

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, don’t read any further.

Are you sure you want to know what I think?

Well, you have been warned.

The Internal Debate

Before I begin, I just wanted to say that this was probably one of the most difficult posts that I’ve ever written to date. Largely in part to the fact that I’ve broken the first rule in blogging—I stopped writing solely for myself and have taken into account what others may feel about my opinions on the film.

And there have been many. Continue reading “Not a popular opinion: My take on Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 13, 2017)”

First day as a Ph.D.’er


Walking into my Final Defense felt somewhat like this…

Reflecting on the past

Below are some of my thoughts during the day of my final defense–June 19, 2009.

First day as a Ph.D.’er

June 19, 2009

Woke up early today to put the finishing touches on my PowerPoint presentation that was due a month ago.  In total, I was staring at 56 slides and only had about 15 minutes to go through all of them (I ended up being given 20 minutes).  As soon as I was done, I rendered it onto a blank disc (with an extra copy to boot) and headed off for breakfast with my mom at Coffee Bean Tea & Leaf.

In Coffee Bean Tea & Leaf, I was planning on doing some last minute reading but my mom–in her infinite wisdom–told me to “just forget about it” because if I didn’t, I would just “drive myself nuts.”

And she was right.

Nothing can really prepare you for a day you thought may never come…

The Final Defense

As one of the first parties to arrive, I went down to the library in order to make the necessary arrangements for a computer and projector.  It was 9:30 in the morning and my defense was set at 10 AM.

Lots of time.

Or so I thought.

10:15 AM rolled by and the projector was no where in sight.

My saving grace at this point was that my panel chair hadn’t had yet to arrive.

But this provided little comfort as my tension was slowly rising with each passing second.

As luck would have it, I found out that the technician set up the projector one floor BELOW my assigned room for the defense!

But all was not lost as the College of Education stepped up to the plate and supplied me with their own personal computer and projector.

Thank you College of Education!

The Main Event

Of course I was nervous.

I started with a prayer and thanked everyone for making the time to come over and be a part of my paper.

I was also informed that I would have twenty minute to go over my presentation.

Lots of time.

Or so I thought.

Next thing I knew, I was down to three minutes.

I rifled through numerous slides and finished off with my post conceptual framework.

At that point, I wasn’t too confident.  But I thought I did ok.

Deafening Silence

12 noon.

After being asked to step out of the room in order to give the panel and opportunity to deliberate on my paper, I was left to sit in the waiting room of my department.

It was silent.  It was agonizing.

To think, I actually fell asleep waiting!

How embarrassing!

Not long after, the panel finally called me back in and asked me a series of questions regarding certain aspects of my paper.

My mentor told me long ago that if she didn’t speak up.  That it would be a good sign.

And I am happy to say that she didn’t have to speak on my behalf until the very end.

I really hope that I did her proud.

The Final Verdict

I was again sent out into the waiting room for the panel’s final deliberation.

This time around, the wait wasn’t as long and I was immediately called back inside.

The verdict: Pass with minor revision.

I was numb.

4 1/2 years of work flashed before my eyes.

The time I had always dreamed of was now here.


I was truly humbled and grateful to everyone.

Counseling Psychologist. Sport Psychologist. And now, Jedi Knight.

Jedi Knighting Ceremony

My journey reminded me of Anakin Skywalker’s ascension from Padawan to Jedi Knight in the original Clone Wars cartoons Knighting Ceremony wherein Yoda said:

Step forward, Padawan…by the right of the Council, by the will of the Force, I dub thee, Jedi (cuts braid) Knight of the Republic.

I guess, this was my right of passage as well.