Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Gabs, Thea and Jobo

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 12:45 AM
Comments: 0


My kids, from left to right - Gabs, Thea and Jobo. The picture was taken in my parents house in Makati on December 1995. At that time they are 11, 3, and 9 years old respectively.

Labels: , , , , ,


A Birthday Greeting Card From Jobo

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 12:15 AM
Comments: 0


Jobo was born in Panaga Hospital, in Seria, Brunei 0n 21 October 1986.

My second son's full name is Jose Bonifacio. His name should have been Andres Bonifacio if not for the violent reaction from our friends.

While at elementary school, Jobo enrolled at Yamaha to study drums. Now, he can also play the guitar. He drew those instruments on a birthday card he gave me.

He is taking up Industrial Engineering at UP Los Banos. An active student leader, he is an executive vice-president of UP Pi Omicron fraternity.


Monday, February 25, 2008


Driving In Brunei with A Proper License

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 11:56 PM
Comments: 0


Armed with an International Driving License, I drove my fist car - a second brown Honda Civic hatchback. The car was loaned by Brunei Shell Petroleum the next Monday after I arrived in Brunei on Thursday, 28 July 1981.

A month after, I got my Brunei driving license. That was well before I got my Philippine Driving License.



GIS - Then and Now

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 11:17 PM
Comments: 1


This was a article I cut out from the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 19 Feb 1995. A few months after this article was published, I visited the Port of Singapore's Geographic Information System Office. As the GIS Consultant for Infoman, I was tasked to evaluate the CARIS and Silicon Graphics installation used to produce Electronic Navigation Charts (ENC). Eventually, NAMRIA bought similar HW and SW as well other IT equipment to modernize its mapping capability.

Then, our GIS is at par with that of Singapore and Malaysia. I have observed that while distributing Silicon Graphics GIS workstation in the Philippines and Brunei and attending SGI's training and business meetings at Science Park in Singapore and KL in Malaysia.

Now, GIS has not moved forward as far as our neighboring countries have reached. One particular reason could be the lack of leadership from the government to pump prime acquisition of new digital maps to build GIS solutions. Vietnam, whose infrastructures were devastated by wars with the French and American are well ahead in the deployment of GIS. Their leaders are well trained. I met the head of the GIS/survey department in Korea in November 2006 and he has a PhD from Bulgarian University.

Tomorrow, we will realize we missed a lot of opportunities and probably some of our sovereign territory due to antiquated GIS and Geomatics infrastructures. But we must act. Now.

Labels: ,


BSRC Photography Club in 1986

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 10:40 PM
Comments: 0


The Brunei Shell Recreation Club (BSRC) was formed in mid-80s. The creation of this club started my life-long friendship with one of its founding officers, Pg Redzuan Bin Pg Hj Abbas. I was the first president and Pg Redzuan, the first vice-president.

On summer of 1986, some Filipino members, including Bruneians went out on a photo session at Lumut. I was at the far right wearing a photovest and at the far left is Mike Basubas, the godfather of my eldest son. Gabriel. Mike used a Canon F1 and a Nikon F3HP for me. I had fixed lenses consisting of Nikkor 24mm, 180mm tele, 105mm and 55mm macro. On my right is Marlon Ordonez who until now loves Olympus. We were then both members of the Professional Professional Association of the Philippines.

Indeed, it was very active club with monthly competitions, photo sessions, contributions to Salam and exhibits.

Being a member of the club and creating "street photos" was a realization of a childhood dream.


The Legend Has Begun

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 9:56 PM
Comments: 0


Thirteen years ago, On February 21, 1995, I saw the movie "The Legends Of The Fall" at Galeria. The movie has an endearing impact on me that the images kept being replayed in my mind for about three days.

Watching a movie is not my interest. However, it was family gathering when my parents would would bring me along to watch Tagalog movies at Gay Theater in Paco, Manila. Those movies featured Fernando Poe Jr, Nida Blanca, Susan Roces, Amalia Fuentes, to name a few. The last time that I saw a movie with parents was when watched a rerun of the "Sound Of Music" at Ideal Theater in Rizal Avenue in Manila.

Movie theater visits stopped when I went to Brunei - there was no decent movie house. Then movies were delivered to our living and bed rooms when Betamax and VHS players replaced the silver screens.

Out of the blue, the "The Legends Of The Fall" came and for over a decade, I kept the ticket stab of the premiere showing of that movie. The legend has begun.


eGov Through The Eye Of A Photographer

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 9:25 PM
Comments: 0


Indeed, I was looking forward to share my "street ph0tography" of the IT and eGov projects in our country.

On February 27, I was given a space to "exhibit my photos" at a Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) General Membership Meeting to exhibit my portfolio of images spanning ten years of capturing fleeting moments of IT and eGov activities.

PHOTO NUMBER 1 - a collage of pictures will be described as:

I believe that MOST IF NOT ALL the eGov projects were outsourced to the private sector. It may not be visible because some of the IT companies do not want to work for the gov't.

Some eGov projects are not successful. And causes are the following :

1. dysfunctional procurement process
2. lack of PROJECT MANAGEMENT mindset in the gov't
3. absence of SCOPE MANAGEMENT
4. lack of incentive in the gov't employees to buy-in to eGov projects
5. lack of staff with required IT skills set
6. lack of Service and Maintenance plan

Those have been my experiences doing eGov projects with the government since I started GSI 10 years ago.

Moving one step forward and being proactive, I am suggesting that the following should also be discussed :

1. technology transfer of the private sectors' IT best practices and project management to the gov't (similar to Singapore & Korea)

2. institutionalization of a functional procurement process (like a selection criteria different from road and building construction)

3. for the government to create a National Enterprise Architecture as well as the NGA Enterprise Architectures. This is to rationalize technology choices, portalization, SOA,interfacing, etc. The eGov projects need these architectures.

4. a creation of PSIA-Private Sector eGov Watchdog to address issues and concerns in the IT procurement process, project development, qualification of IT consultants. ( take note that some fly-by-night developers and consultants are not members of PSIA.)

There are many more of these "pictures" that I will share with you soon.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008


"An Unjust Law is No Law at All"

Posted By: Efren ES Ricalde @ 1:34 PM
Comments: 0


Yes, many months of inaction on my blog. Well do not blame climate change, appreciating peso, oil at $100 per barrel nor the ZTE controversy.

I was just too occupied steering a ship battered by waves bearing unjust law. "An unjust law is no law at all", said St Augustine. This provides the foundation of civil disobedience movements across the globe. If a particular law is not really a law at all, it is argued, one has a right and even a duty to break it. The late Martin Luther King articulated this view in his Letter from Birmingham Jail: "one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws".

Not writing is my form of civil disobedience. I was utilizing all my energies to focus on "communal action" and divine intervention to seek the truth. And we all saw and heard the truth. Some delivered the truth in a silver platter - a miracle.

Now that I have found some ray of justice, I am back!

Labels: ,

  • "MaSci to GSI" is a compendium of experiences from childhood to present. M2G shares my insights and knowledge on education, hard work, integrity, honesty, creativity, transparency, and aspiration of a Filipino. M2G maps my journeys and adventures as a boy, student, dreamer and entrepreneur.
My Photo
Location: Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines

Efren, President/CEO of GSI, is an experienced public speaker and an avid tennis player, photographer, a beginner classical guitarist. He was the former Chairman of Philippine Geomatics Association (PhilGeo) and is an active member of other IT associations. He has a diploma in Strategic Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific, units in MS Remote Sensing in UP Diliman, BS Geodetic Engineering at UP Diliman and an alumni of Manila Science High School.







May 2007
June 2007
June 2008
July 2008

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?