Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Top Ten Reasons To Smile :D


Note: I saw this article on the Net and I took the liberty to repost it in my blog.



Smiling is a great way to make yourself stand out while helping your body to function better. Smile to improve your health, your stress level, and your attractiveness.

1. Smiling makes us attractive.

We are drawn to people who smile. There is an attraction factor. We want to know a smiling person and figure out what is so good. Frowns, scowls and grimaces all push people away -- but a smile draws them in.

2. Smiling Changes Our Mood.

Next time you are feeling down, try putting on a smile. There's a good chance you mood will change for the better. Smiling can trick the body into helping you change your mood.

3. Smiling is Contagious.

When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them. Smile lots and you will draw people to you.

4. Smiling Relieves Stress.

Stress can really show up in our faces. Smiling helps to prevent us from looking tired, worn down, and overwhelmed. When you are stressed, take time to put on a smile. The stress should be reduced and you'll be better able to take action.

5. Smiling Boosts Your Immune System.

Smiling helps the immune system to work better. When you smile, immune function improves possibly because you are more relaxed. Prevent the flu and colds by smiling.

6. Smiling Lowers Your Blood Pressure.

When you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Give it a try if you have a blood pressure monitor at home. Sit for a few minutes, take a reading. Then smile for a minute and take another reading while still smiling. Do you notice a difference?

7. Smiling Releases Endorphins, Natural Pain Killers and Serotonin.

Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Together these three make us feel good. Smiling is a natural drug.

8. Smiling Lifts the Face and Makes You Look Younger.

The muscles we use to smile lift the face, making a person appear younger. Don't go for a face lift, just try smiling your way through the day -- you'll look younger and feel better.

9. Smiling Makes You Seem Successful.

Smiling people appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted, and more likely to be approached. Put on a smile at meetings and appointments and people will react to you differently.

10. Smiling Helps You Stay Positive.

Try this test: Smile. Now try to think of something negative without losing the smile. It's hard. When we smile our body is sending the rest of us a message that "Life is Good!" Stay away from depression, stress and worry by smiling.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ISGC 2009: International Symposium on Grid Computing, Taipei, Taiwan

Call for Participation & Abstract
International Symposium on Grid Computing 2009 (ISGC 2009)

16th-23rd April 2009
Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan

It is our pleasure to invite you to participate in the International Symposium on Grid Computing 2009(ISGC 2009) to be held on the 16th - 23rd April 2009 at the Building of Humanities and Social Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.

ISGC is one of the most significant annual grid events in the Asia-Pacific region which brings together scientists and engineers worldwide to exchange ideas, to present on challenges, solutions and future development issues in the field of Grid Computing. Promoting the awareness of the global grid operation and collaboration between the Asia-Pacific region and the world, the ISGC provides an excellent opportunity to learn from the latest achievements not only in Asia-Pacific but worldwide.

The theme of the 2009 symposium is the celebration of new scientific advances being enabled on grids in the Asia Pacific region and how the many types of resources (volunteer grids, production managed grids and cloud systems) are being used to support these advances.

The symposium covers a variety of presentations ranging from applications in High Energy Physics, Biomedicine & Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, Environmental Monitoring & Disaster Mitigation, Humanities & Social Sciences, Grid Activities in Asia-Pacific, as well technical developments in Grid Operation & Management, Grid Middleware & Interoperability, Grid Security & Networking, Digital Library & Content Management, and Grid Computing & Cloud Computing.

A Volunteer Computing (Asia@ Home) Workshop, EUAsiaGrid ( project meeting, EGEE Tutorial (, and iRODS workshops ( will be organized in conjunction with ISGC 2009. Collaborating events will take place from the 16th ~20th April 2009. For details of the program please refer to the ISGC website at

By sharing experiences from a variety of Grid systems, ISGC provides the potential grid providers, developers and users with invaluable insights for developing grid technology and application. We look forward to seeing you at ISGC 2009!

Call for Abstracts (submit at

ISGC invites submissions for papers on:

Applications on High Energy Physics
Applications on Biomedicine & Life Sciences
Applications on Earth Sciences
Applications on Humanities & Social Sciences
Applications on Environmental Monitoring/ Disaster Mitigation
Grid Operation & Management
Grid Middleware & Interoperability
Grid Security & Networking
Digital Library & Content Management
Grid Computing & Cloud Computing

Authors will have the possibility to submit full-length papers which will be considered for publication in a book to be published by Springer.

Important dates for abstract submission

Abstract Submission Deadline: 20th February 2009
Notification of Acceptance: 5th March 2009
Confirmation of attendance: 12th March 2009
Abstracts (within 150 words) must be submitted directly via the website at:( ) by the 20th February 2009.

Confirmation of acceptance will be announced via email by the 5th March 2009.
Abstracts will be reviewed by Session Chairs.


Registration and hotel reservation is now opened, please refer to the attached registration form.
(On-line registration system will be opened shortly)

The early bird registration fee is USD 60/ NTD 2000 (before the 10th April 2009).

Detailed program, information about registration, visa and travel to Taiwan, please visit the ISGC 2009 website at

ISGC 2009 Secretariat Contact

Vicky HUANG , Academia Sinica Grid Computing (ASGC)
Jill LIN, Academia Sinica Grid Computing (ASGC)

Looking forward to seeing you in Taipei Taiwan!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Faculty Research Meeting, School of Science and Engineering, Ateneo de Manila University


Dr. Greg Tangonan with SoSE faculty

Dr. Ninette delas Penas, Dr. Fabian Dayrit with SoSE Faculty

(L) Dr. Tess Perez and (R) Dr. Felix Muga

(L) Dr. Nat Libatique and (R) Dr. Rafael Saldaña

(L) Dr. Greg Tangonan and (R) Dr. Rafael Saldaña

Note: Today, 17 January 2009, Saturday, I attended a research meeting in the Shcool of Science and Engineering of Ateneo de Manila University.

Below are some details:

Ateneo de Manila University
January 17, 2008
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
JG SOM 106


9:00 a.m. Opening and objectives of the research meeting
-- Dr. Fabian Dayrit, Dean, School of Science and Enginering (SoSE)

9:30 New opportunities in research, innovation and collaboration
-- Dr. Greg Tangonan, Director, Ateneo Innovation Center

10:00 Summary of SOSE research survey: what's holding us back?
-- Dr. Ninette de las Penas, Research Director, SoSE

11:30 Break

11:00 Case Studies
a. Collaboration with industry: TendMicro -- Dr. John Paul Vergara
b. Building a research network: Rain project -- Dr. Nat Libatique
c. Addressing a national prioprity: Algae for oil -- Dr. Tess Perez

11:30 Open forum, discussion

12:00 Closing and lunch

To see a video clip of the event, click on the link/s below:




Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Homily for Fr. Joey Fermin

Fr. Joey Fermin, S.J. used to hold regularly Sunday Mass at the Boys' Residence Hall of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) in Diliman, Quezon City when I was still the Campus Director of PSHS. Fr. Joey and I both graduated from the Loyola School of Theology (LST). Fr. Mario Francisco, S.J. gave a homily during the funeral mass for Fr. Joey at the Church of the Gesu in Ateneo de Manila University last January 9, 2009. Fr. Mario was my professor in one of my theology subjects in LST.

From the Ateneo Blueboard:

January 9, 2009
Church of the Gesu
1 John 1, 5-7; Lk 12, 2-4

Jose Mario C. Francisco, S.J.

Cryptogenic: I first encountered this Greek-derived word meaning of "unknown
origin" in reference to Joey's liver cirrhosis a year ago. The usual suspects
for such a condition proved innocent in his case --no traces of the different
hepatitis forms, cancer or the effects of excessive drinking. (Yes, Joey
enjoyed a shot of scotch but only on occasion.) From that initial stage of
diagnosis through the transplant and after, this struggle with the unknown
characterized each step of the way. With the competent skill and dedicated
service of his doctors (Dr. Vanessa de Villa and Dr. Janus Ong), we -- his kin and
Jesuit family as well as Joey himself -- navigated these twists and turns until
last weekend.

It was almost like prying open the dark secrets of the flesh. We remain in the
dark whether there was obstruction in the bile ducts or narrowing of the
hepatic veins. We will never know the cause of the unusual hyperacute rejection
of the liver graft nor the ultimate origin of his disease. This wrestling with
the unknown has made his passing on more difficult to bear. We do not even have
the comfort of being able to name the culprit. What took him away from us, his
family and friends, at such an early age of 46?

But there are things that we do know. About Joey: born November 25, 1962,
raised in F. Icasiano St., Paco, bused to Loyola Heights for Grade- and High-
School, began Engineering in U.P., joined the Jesuits in 1986, finished his
undergrad at Ateneo, taught at Xavier University 1992-94, continued studies at
LST, ordained in 1998, assigned for two years at Subanipa in Zamboanga del Sur,
and appointed (Ateneo Grade school) Headmaster from 2001-2007.

Through these dates and places weave our memories and associations of Joey—
expressed since Tuesday in the insightful homilies of Frs. Rene Javellana, Ben
Nebres and Art Borja, in the spirited conversations of family and friends and
in the silence of our hearts. They capture the same picture of Joey -- a reliable
presence punctuated by flashes of temper, characterized at-times by sphinx-like
reserve. This Joey we know, we who are a gathering as motley as here today:
friends at work or classmates from long ago, lovers of his dogs Frankie,
Samantha and Motley or not, a mother insistent on visiting him just to say how
he changed her son or an Assumption high school girl writing him a love-letter
last Sunday; we from the different places and phases of his life who stayed
with him along the tortuous path.

What draws us to this presence is what came to light during his illness. No, he
did not change. His sting was even aggravated by the physical and emotional
effects of disease that poor sister Anna often bore its full brunt. What came
to light was the depth of who he was, best described not by qualities but
through stories. Allow me three short ones.

First story: On New Year’s day, fully aware of his grave condition, Joey sends
me this text message: ”Mario! Favor, kindly ask fr. candy [Fr. Luis Candelaria]
for one labrador pup for mrs. Chona siruno of the grade school as a favor for
me. Grandpups ni sammy [his dog Samantha], good line.”

Second story, actually a series: My conversations with him about his illness
and the critical medical and spiritual issues that had to be faced. In early
2008, Joey was still in denial. Though increasingly weak, he resisted going to
hospital as needed. One evening after he failed to turn up for dinner, I found
him trying to clean up his mess in the bathroom and told him he had to go to
the hospital. Thereafter, he took every effort to make our conversations
easier, though they remained heart-wrenching. He had definite ideas about what
he needed or what should be done, but he would always say without reservation
that he would follow what Danny [Huang] or Jojo [Magadia], his superiors,
decided this till the very end when he expressed his final wish for no further
major intervention.

Third story: When I visited him last December 31, Joey shared his desire to
come home. Home for a Jesuit, according to Part VII of our Constitutions, is
where he is missioned. It is common that when a Jesuit leaves for a new
assignment, he writes a note to the community he leaves. Often such notes say
three things: ”thanks for my stay in the community, sorry to those I have hurt,
and pray for me in my new mission.” These were exactly what Joey asked me to
tell Fr. Jojo. We could not control our tears. Sabi niya, mahal niya tayong

On the way home after, I caught a rock song on the radio that seemed
appropriate, that Joey would like: ”I’m going HOME / back to the place where I
belong / And where your love has always been enough for me.”[”Home” by Chris

Now that Joey has gone to his final mission, we realize, more than ever, how
much we know of Joey. We know him, but we got to know him more profoundly this
past year. In trying to pry open the dark secrets of diseased flesh, we, all of
us and Joey, gleaned something of the mystery of spirit. And what was hidden
through years of quiet service suddenly took on a flash of transparency.

Some people think that the unknown is what is most fearful. What we know of
Joey and of God through him is what makes the unknown bearable, even

In this church at Fr. Honti’s funeral Mass almost exactly a year ago, the gaunt
figure of Joey inched its way to receive Holy Communion. This morning as we lay
him to rest, let us turn our tear-filled eyes from the darkness of the unknown
to the light of the Paschal Candle.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Homily: "Remembering Fr. Joey" by Fr. Ben Nebres, S.J.

From the Ateneo Blueboard:


Wake Mass for Fr. Joey Fermin, S.J.
Ateneo Grade School Chapel
Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rev. Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J.
Ateneo de Manila University

Last night Fr. Rene Javellana gave a beautiful and moving homily, remembering Fr. Joey from his high school years to the years of friendship and shared passion for Japanese anime, tales of the samurai and the code of the warrior, to Joey's illness and entering the journey we all must take some day. It is a homily only a brother who knew Joey intimately could give.

I know Joey from a different perspective and, in some ways, at some more distance. We first got to talk around year 2000 when he was planning to take physics courses in Ateneo college in preparation for moving into science education. I was very happy to chat with him and discuss future plans for an area, that is very important for Ateneo and for Philippine education. As it turned out, this interest and the year he spent studying physics helped when the Ateneo Grade School began to embark on strengthening our science program with the help of Dr. Achoot Cuyegkeng and others in Ateneo College.

A year later we were in search of a new Headmaster for the Ateneo Grade School and a fellow Jesuit talked to me and said that I should consider Joey. I thus spoke to him and also asked Fr. Provincial if he could be considered. It helped the Search Committee, of course, that they remembered him as a Grade School Student. (The picture on his coffin was when he was in Grade 7). Ixie Alejo, who was in grade school at the same time (not at the Ateneo, of course), remembers tagging along with her father, Jess Palma, on the annual camping trips of the boy scouts. She recalls, "Dad and mom thought we could be useful serving the boys their meals.
Fr. Joey loved the longganisa I was assigned to serve at breakfast and would keep coming back for more..."

I spent many sessions with Fr. Joey, going through concerns of the Grade School and the challenges he faced as a young, inexperienced leader. It was an important period of growth and change for the Ateneo Grade School. In his term we saw the full implementation of the division into a 4-4 system, a 4-year Primary School and a 4-year Middle School so as to be able to attend better to the different development needs of the boys. We introduced a Crossing Over ceremony to mark the transition from Primary to Middle School, which is also a transition from childhood to young adolescence. Important initiatives like the Reading Programs, Class Teacher Scheme, Collaborative Lesson Planning and benchmarking with Singapore strengthened academic performance.

The Bigay Puso and other programs for formation of the heart were continued and strengthened. In some ways, his final contribution was the construction of what is now Fermin Hall, home to Grades 4 and 5, allowing us to give distinct spaces for the Primary and the Middle School. We are so happy that he was still well enough to attend the blessing of Fermin Hall and the inauguration of the Grade School Heritage Room last December 2.

In the process of preparing for a new Headmaster, when his term was ending and he was due to leave for tertianship, our process team held FGDs with different groups. Bopeep Franco, who is with us tonight, shared a note she wrote to Fr. Joey at that time. I do not think it would violate confidentiality at this time if I quote from it: Bopeep wrote to Fr. Joey: We did the FGD for all faculty, administrators and parents. We asked many questions, but what I found quite significant in their response was their mention of several "strengths" of the Grade school that the parents want to see continued. First, they said, you had very good rapport with the boys at all levels. They appreciate that you are approachable and accessible to the students. What they hear from their sons, is that Fr. "Joey is like a friend, and he even shares his dog with us"!. The parents said that when your dog was lost (?) many children were very sad and upset. (His love for the boys and ease of interaction with them is remembered by the whole community.) Second, they like that you have communicated and instilled a sense of "simplicity" among the students. I asked how you were able to do this, and they can't really pinpoint what you have done to achieve this, but they like the fact that the boys are conscious that they should not be too materialistic and "mabongga". They hope that the AGS education will foster this value so that their sons will grow up being "grounded" Third, they also highlighted your focus on the environment, specially waste management. The parents say that this is something that is difficult to learn at school, but during your time, they noticed that you gave this emphasis, and it was effective. Lastly, they also mentioned that along with your visibility and accessibility to the students, they also noted your constant concern about the surroundings and facilities. Some said that it was more likely that they would find you walking around checking on the facilities, and it gave them a good feeling that you were very hands-on! Bopeep ends: "So, there..just in case you have any doubts in your mind about the "impact" you made on parents while you were Headmaster - I hope this note lifts your spirit and make you smile." Thank you Bopeep for sharing this memory of parents.

I saw Joey as a younger brother. He saw me as coach and mentor. In the second half of his term, we were more systematic about coaching and Bopeep Franco and Gina Hechanova from CORD helped me to do this mentoring and coaching for our young leaders in the grade school and high school. What I valued most with Joey was his openness. He could accept feedback well, both positive and negative. I sometimes find it difficult and awkward to give feedback. But with Joey I could always be relaxed and forthright. We could talk openly and honestly about things. He was quite self-aware. He knew he enjoyed being with the boys, would stop and talk with them anywhere. He was happy about being close to many among the faculty, especially his administrative team. Helen Amante recalls: "He easily connects with our young children , faculty and parents. He is in the know of many personal details about us. where we were born, the job of our dads, how was our childhood, our family life and new things about us. And he succinctly remembers all these details." He also realized that he may not have reached out sufficiently well to some members of the community. He knew that he had a temper and would catch himself getting angry. Sometimes he would say, "I guess I am my father's son."

Like all of us, there were many sides to Fr. Joey. He had his tough side, but also his soft and caring side. He could give space to grow and discern and make decisions. But he could also be quick to admonish. One would not miss what he approves or disapproves of. When he was reflecting on what he had learned about leadership from his Grade School Headmaster experience, he said: In my younger days, my role model was General Patton, no nonsense, decisive, tough but caring. I realize now that leadership is multi-dimensional. People are diverse but you have to move them towards a common vision and mission. In our years of working together, I saw him growing and learning. I am saddened that in his last year as Headmaster, illness was already beginning to take its toll - on him physically and even on his temper and on his work. I am even more saddened that he never had the opportunity to move to new levels of leadership, which his insights were bringing him to. Around 9:30 pm last Saturday night, Karen Cardenas texted me "Just came from Fr. Joey. We had a long chat about his feelings on dying." Then a second text, "I think he has embraced going." I asked Karen last night if she would share more with me about Fr. Joey. She emailed me, I got to know Fr. Joey (who I always called Moises) when he started consulting on publication projects. Soon he was dropping by just to chat after President's Council meetings, or late in the evenings or during holidays when he would be jogging and he would see a light in my office when I'd be working overtime. He'd come in and spook me about ghosts on campus. Soon I was lending him my Sandman collection and we would talk about books we had read.Joey once asked her if she had watched "The Bucket List." I had not, so I had to check it out on the internet. I realized then that indeed Joey had made his own bucket list in the coaching sessions he had with Bopeep. Among them, he would have liked to travel, to see the world, to discover things, to walk through history in Greece and other places. Bopeep said she was sad that he never fulfilled his dream of walking through Greece.With me, we spoke of his dreams of doing further studies, a PhD or MS in Science Education or Basic Education, or to do more studies in Financial Management. To Fr. Jojo and Fr. Bobby Yap, one of the things on his bucket list was to learn more financial management for the Ateneo or the Province. He said, "I want to make money grow."In particular, we talked about the fact that in many ways he really is an engineer. He liked to build things, to organize things. You could see that when he would stand outside the Grade School gate and direct and organize traffic. In fact, Bopeep told me that she was here when his body arrived yesterday morning and people were taking so long trying to position the coffin that she thought Fr. Joey would stand up and give them directions. In one of our last conversations, Joey and I agreed that he might be best and be happiest working with Lee Miralao in the Ateneo Physical Plant. This was in his bucket list and he was looking forward to that. He would text me about it and Anellin in Mr. Miralao's office says that he would tell her that he looked forward to working with them. I feel sad that he never had the chance to live these dreams. Karen says that Joey told her, "Mumultuhin kita." I do not know if he has done that yet. But early Monday morning, Helen retells: 'Hey Helen!' , he woke me up from my sleep. It was an unwelcome visit which caused me to tremble but I saw his youthful face , happy inside a white and golden radiance. It was 2:35 am, a few hours after the demise of Fr. Joey.

In her last visit, Karen asked Joey, "Are you Sad? Happy? Afraid? Excited? Karen says: "He answered yes to all, and told me why, but he paused longest at "are you afraid" and nodded "I am happy I will see God face-to face but I am also afraid to see him face-to-face. and then said what I will always remember: "I see myself as Frodo Baggins, staff in hand, ready for the final adventure.""

Perhaps this is one way we might remember Joey. He may not have fulfilled the dream in his bucket list of visiting Greece and other places of history. Nor that of making the Province's money grow. But he stood as a good warrior before his final adventure: "I see myself as Frodo Baggins, staff in hand, ready for the final adventure."

Goodbye Joey, dear brother and friend. Thank you for your love, leadership and friendship. May the Lord and our Mother be there to welcome you to your final adventure and home.



Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Requiescat in Pace: Fr. Jose Moises "Joey" Fermin, S.J.

From the Ateneo Blueboard:

Born: November 25, 1962
Entered the Society of Jesus: May 30, 1986
Ordained Priest: April 18, 1998
Returned to our Lord: January 5, 2009

Fr. Joey Fermin, S.J. quietly passed away on January 5, 2009 at 8:35 p.m.

He succumbed to respiratory failure due to pneumonia. The underlying and predisposing medical conditions included: (a) progressively deteriorating liver graft function compounded by an inability to tolerate needed immunosuppressive drugs; (b) an impaired immune system making him highly susceptible to infection;and (c) kidney failure.

In late 2007, Fr Joey was diagnosed to have end-stage liver disease secondary toliver cirrhosis of unknown origin. The best treatment option available at that time was a liver transplant. A brother Jesuit offered to share part of his liver, and all the necessary tests and preparations were done in Manila and in Hong Kong to make both the donor and Fr. Joey ready for the transplant. The technically complicated operation was done successfully at the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong on July 28, 2008.

Fr. Joey had a rough post-operative course, exhibiting signs of an unusual hyperacute rejection of the liver graftalmost immediately after the procedure. He was able to overcome this difficult phase through the use of strong immuno suppressive drugs. He experienced side effects from these drugs including a viral infection and mild kidney damage. Butwith adjustment, he got well enough to be allowed to come back. Feeling well, he arrived in Manila on October 12, 2008.

During the first few weeks after his return, his liver graft function was stable. However, Fr. Joey eventually experienced increasing complications and side effects brought about by the aggressive immuno suppressive treatment. This led his doctors to adjust the dose of these drugs and to try to strike a balance between maintaining liver graft function and avoiding the serious side effectsof the medicines.

Fr Joey's last admission to the hospital was on December 12, 2008. He was confined because of increasing weakness. He had a blood infection which was successfully cleared with antibiotics. During this same admission however, his kidney function deteriorated to a point that he had to undergo dialysis. Then, as one infection cleared, another infection this time, in his lungs set in and required more tests and further treatment.

With the continuing deterioration of the liver graft function, his doctors proposed a series of diagnostic tests to determine the best interventions tha tcould potentially remedy and preserve liver graft function.

After several prolonged discussions with his Jesuit superiors and his family in the last few days prior to his demise, Fr. Joey firmly expressed his desire to Fr. Provincial that no further interventions be made and that he be allowed to go home. Proper arrangements were then made, and his wish was granted.

Barely eight hours after he came home to the Jesuit Residence Infirmary, Fr. Joey returned to our Lord surrounded by members of his family, his sister Anna and his Jesuit brothers.

Requiescat in Pace.