An All-Boys Team and an All-Girls team were sent by the university to compete with 73 teams all over Asia in the 2011 ACM-ICPC Asia-Manila Regionals last Dec 1-2 in UP Diliman, Quezon City. The members of the “Blue Cafe Mocha Boys” team were Reinald Kim Amplayo, Yancy Vance Paredes and Melvin Loquero. Also, from the “Blue Caramel Macchiato Girls” were Felicia Rose Garcia, Ylujean Sarmiento and Darling Cathyrene Villas.
The day before the competition, we got a chance to visit Ateneo de Manila University and travel the streets of Manila with our backpacks and luggage before reaching University Hotel where we stayed for 3 days and 2 nights.
The opening ceremony which was held in the “Ang Bahay ng Alumni” was a fun-filled experience for all of us. We got to see the other teams during the Photo sessions on stage with Mr. Raffy Saldana. While eating our snacks, we were also entertained by two jugglers who exhibited their skills in juggling using balls and hats. Yancy was one of the lucky participants who got a chance to have a one-to-one juggling tutorial on stage!
For the girls’ team, it was our first time to participate in a prestigious programming competition. We all felt not just excited but as well as really nervous as how the competition would turn out. During the practice session which only took an hour, we felt glad especially that the computer units in the laboratory have Ubuntu as its Operating System. (Thank you Sir Dom for teaching us those handy commands, for they surely helped us throughout the event!)
After 5 hours of intense coding, we felt contented for the valuable experience that we gained during that day – the happiness that we felt being able to participate in this kind of event, the feeling of knowing what kind of problems would probably come out and the feeling of helping each other out despite the time pressure. All the time that we gave during our lab practices turned out to be a very productive experience. Since the boys solved 2 problems out of 10, we were hailed 4th Best Local (Philippine) School.
The University of Tokyo emerged as Champions in the competition and will represent Asia during the World Finals on April 2012 at Poland.
A Tour at Network Labs
On our second day in Manila, we were invited to visit the Network Labs (Nokia Siemens Networks). Network Labs is the only company in the Southeast Asia which specializes on researching and improving mobile networking. The lab is still on its early years and has just started its operation a few years ago. The company has been scouting for potential employees that would be able to meet their standard and they have been trying their best to give tests to different regions in the Philippines. After the discussion on the background and aims of the company, we were given a tour around their working stations. Unlike any other working stations, they have a karaoke room, a shower room, and some other rooms which would help their employees rest and refresh themselves. These rooms also provide an opportunity for every employee to enhance their creativity. Each working station follows a theme of a certain country or a place which adds a bit of twist to the place. To sum it up, if there’s a dream work place that you’d like to work in, it’s definitely Network Labs.
On the fourth day, we had a short tour in the campus of the University of Santo Tomas. After which, on our way to Tagaytay, we passed by Far Eastern University, and some famous landmarks such as the Laguna Park, Manila Bay and Cultural Center of the Philippines to name a few. After almost an hour of traveling, we arrived in Tagaytay and ate their specialty, Bulalo for lunch. Also, we took a boat ride through Taal Lake and we had the chance to see the crater up close.