Friday, January 25, 2019

From Pisay to NASA

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, January 25, 2019
Josephine Santiago-Bond (Photo from Spot.PH)

Another source of Filipino Pride is the current head of the Advanced Engineering Development Branch of Kennedy Space Center (KSC) which is one of the sites of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the US.

Josephine Santiago-Bond belongs to a select group of women in NASA that is a traditionally male-dominated agency as per its history and she is a Filipina.

It has come full circle for Josephine who was born in the US during the time when her parents were conducting their Ph.D. studies. They eventually returned to the Philippines when Josephine was still an infant.

She related that the first defining moment for her was when she left her family at age 12 when she was accepted as a scholar at the Philippine Science High School (PSHS). According to her, it sharpened her skills in science and mathematics since the curriculum was heavy on said subjects.  As per her contract for her scholarship, she had to take up either science, mathematics or engineering courses.

Although urged on by her family to take up a science course, Santiago-Bond took up Electronic Engineering at the University of the Philippines, Diliman campus. The course was also composed of predominantly male students. But her perseverance prevailed and she was able to obtain a degree in the said course.

Another crossroads was arrived at when she had to choose between her dream job at a telecommunications company or pursue further studies.

Having come from a family of doctors and scientists, she told that they helped her in making a decision. When she went to the US, her intention was to work for technology companies but there was a downturn in the demand for such workers then early in the 2000s. But she eventually first worked at Daktronics, Inc. as an engineer that designed scoreboards.

Her place of work proved crucial since it was only 2 miles from South Dakota State University (SDSU) where she eventually attended post-graduate studies. With the intention of defraying part of her tuition, she took up a job as a teaching assistant and then as a research assistant for NASA’s Space Grant Consortium.

This further opened up an opportunity of spending one summer at the KSC by performing experiments for SDSU which was available only at KSC. After that, she applied and was accepted at the cooperative internship and after graduation from SDSU was hired by NASA to be an electronics engineer at KSC.

KSC being in Florida also made Josephine comfortable with her place of work since it was very similar to the Philippines with its beaches and palm trees.

Josephine disclosed that she contributed to the design of new technologies, space shuttle ground operations systems, Constellation subsystems design, and even the RESOLVE lunar mission.

“I have experienced first-hand how an impressionable child can grow to love science and engineering by simply being exposed to it. I believe that encouragement to pursue these careers from family and other institutions go a long way, and so does awareness of one’s capabilities and potential,” she said.

“I am the youngest child in a family of doctors, where being a contributing member of society is mandatory,” Josephine added.

It has been a long way for Josephine but the journey has far more to go for this Filipina.





From Diliman to Kennedy Space Center

Posted By: The Mail Man - Friday, January 25, 2019
Josephine Santiago-Bond (Photo from Spot.PH)

Another source of Filipino Pride is the current head of the Advanced Engineering Development Branch of Kennedy Space Center (KSC) which is one of the sites of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the US.

Josephine Santiago-Bond belongs to a select group of women in NASA that is a traditionally male-dominated agency as per its history and she is a Filipina.

It has come full circle for Josephine who was born in the US during the time when her parents were conducting their Ph.D. studies. They eventually returned to the Philippines when Josephine was still an infant.

She related that the first defining moment for her was when she left her family at age 12 when she was accepted as a scholar at the Philippine Science High School (PSHS). According to her, it sharpened her skills in science and mathematics since the curriculum was heavy on said subjects.  As per her contract for her scholarship, she had to take up either science, mathematics or engineering courses.

Although urged on by her family to take up a science course, Santiago-Bond took up Electronic Engineering at the University of the Philippines, Diliman campus. The course was also composed of predominantly male students. But her perseverance prevailed and she was able to obtain a degree in the said course.

Another crossroads was arrived at when she had to choose between her dream job at a telecommunications company or pursue further studies.

Having come from a family of doctors and scientists, she told that they helped her in making a decision. When she went to the US, her intention was to work for technology companies but there was a downturn in the demand for such workers then early in the 2000s. But she eventually first worked at Daktronics, Inc. as an engineer that designed scoreboards.

Her place of work proved crucial since it was only 2 miles from South Dakota State University (SDSU) where she eventually attended post-graduate studies. With the intention of defraying part of her tuition, she took up a job as a teaching assistant and then as a research assistant for NASA’s Space Grant Consortium.

This further opened up an opportunity of spending one summer at the KSC by performing experiments for SDSU which was available only at KSC. After that, she applied and was accepted at the cooperative internship and after graduation from SDSU was hired by NASA to be an electronics engineer at KSC.

KSC being in Florida also made Josephine comfortable with her place of work since it was very similar to the Philippines with its beaches and palm trees.

Josephine disclosed that she contributed to the design of new technologies, space shuttle ground operations systems, Constellation subsystems design, and even the RESOLVE lunar mission.

“I have experienced first-hand how an impressionable child can grow to love science and engineering by simply being exposed to it. I believe that encouragement to pursue these careers from family and other institutions go a long way, and so does awareness of one’s capabilities and potential,” she said.

“I am the youngest child in a family of doctors, where being a contributing member of society is mandatory,” Josephine added.

It has been a long way for Josephine but the journey has far more to go for this Filipina.






Sunday, January 20, 2019

Sinulog 2019 app now available for download

Posted By: The Mail Man - Sunday, January 20, 2019
Sinulog 2-019 Grand Solemn Procession (Photo from Sunstar)


Download the Android and IOS versions of the more advanced, yet friendlier Sinulog 2019 mobile companion at Google Play and App Store now.

This digital companion shall enchant digital-savvy devotees and revelers of Southeast Asia’s grandest festival said Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak.

“I’m looking forward to new features like getting rewards for posting photos of your Sinulog Moments and the opportunity of users to vote, not only for their favorite festival queen but also their favorite contingent, said the city official, who chairs the Sinulog Foundation Executive Committee.

The Sinulog 2019 app has been so designed so users can continue using several features like checking on the schedules and the maps on Sinulog weekend. They can even vote for their favorite contingents, said Tumulak.

The votes for one’s favorite contingent will load in the app server when cellphone signals return on the evening of January 20. The awarding will be on January 21.

Celebrated annually on the third Sunday of January in honor of Cebu’s patron Sr. Sto. Niño, the Sinulog festival culminates a week full of religious and cultural activities alongside rave parties and concerts.

Millions of devotees and revelers are expected to spill into downtown and uptown Cebu City for the religious procession on January 19 and the grand Sinulog parade on January 20.

Tumulak said the mobile app was created as Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has been pushing for ways to reach out to the younger generations.

The mayor, he added, is also looking forward to the 2021 celebration of the 5thcentennial of Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in Cebu way back in March 1521.






Thursday, January 17, 2019

Almost Century Old Philippine Public Library now 24/7

Posted By: The Mail Man - Thursday, January 17, 2019
CCPL 286% increase in usage. (Photo: Courtesy of Tomas Osmena FB Page)


The Cebu City Public Library (CCPL) is now almost 100 years old. First opened on April 13, 1919, as one of the branches of the then National Library and Museum which is now the National Library of the Philippines, the CCPL is now the only library in the country that operates 24 hours and 7 days a week.

The need for a 24/7 library has been validated by the increase in the number of those who use it and that number is phenomenal. As of the end of 2018, the usage has increased by 286%! CCPL started with lengthening its operating hours from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. from its previous operating hours of until 5:00 p.m. only.

The response was more than what was expected. The clamor reached the Cebu City government wherein students appreciated the extended operating hours but asked that it be further operated on a 24-hour basis, 7 days a week. The students were even offering to pay a minimum rate for the use of the city library.

The Cebu City local government were surprised that such a service was important for its citizens, particularly the students. The students said that instead of staying at fast-food burger joints that operate 24/7, they would rather have a library where they can study and finish research requirements.

In this regard, the Cebu City local government responded by establishing the city library’s operations 24/7 for free. Lighting, air conditioning, free carrier-grade WiFi from Smart, security, and staff were also provided in the service. 

The CCPL has noted the increase of the library usage and is happy to have their project validated by the citizens.

This is something that can be replicated in many local government units as part of its service to its citizens, specifically the youth. Students are given priority and this is a place where the youth can develop and harness its talents in a safe, comfortable environment.

And yes, coffee is allowed inside the library.








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