Along Came You

A day before the Valentine’s month ended, it is but a ponder to express our feelings.

Though life and future brings a lot of uncertainties and questions, there’s always that moment that you will cherish for something and someone to think with.

Here’s a poem of thanks I created for that somebody whom I think about and frequently missed:

 

Along Came You

(by Chic Pencil)

 

Each night ’tis your name whisper

before my eyes close to sleep,

Wishing when I woke up

thine face is beside mine,

As by surprise we found each other

and sparkle like wine,

Merry roses glistened

as we caressed the summer sheep.

 

Many wonders love brings

as we whisper flowers bloom,

But alas it is stained

by people’s greed and loom,

Four years of sleep is over

of maturity and self healing,

Stars allowed and fate abide

for purity and keeping.

 

In the merriment of circumstances

our existence perceived,

In the midst of crossroads

a chance for paths to meet,

I thank heavens for allowing

such person as you,

To come and walk in discreet

in bringing the reason to believe.

 

A big thanks for mine found

in the fast pace of life,

Along came you…

 

I always believed that people comes and they will always go in our lives. They always play a role and lessons to reflect with. However it is the footprints they left and will leave behind is what varies. In the constant changes in life, it is always that feeling of affection which gives us the motivation to our journey.

Here’s one of the band from home singing one of my fave songs. The music video is a bit crazy as the band is known to be the alternative cool in their songs.

 

Life is like a car traveling in roads. At night we wouldn’t see what the road looks like as the world is at dim. However we have the head light of the car which guides our way. It’s like the faith and hope that we carry and we have the love that we always cherished.  ~ Chic Pencil

And another song which didn’t fade even two decades has passed. Currently reflects me after the recovery from a rather painful relationship almost five years ago, jumping back to a relationship will need some time. I would rather enjoy the view of my current journey of life.

Til next time. Au revoir.

 

 

What’s The Implicit You?

Culture plays big role in determining the association of individuals towards characteristics. A  group or population behaving the same specific manner to different criteria defines the cultural characteristics of such population.

The study of culture has been done by sociologists in order to differentiate the behavior of nationals from country to country. Different cultural models has been developed as the outcome of culture study. In this arena, we can always remember the names;

  1. Geert Hofstede on his cultural dimensions designating each country to have specific behavior based on the study he developed.
  2. Trompenaars 7D Cultural Model giving more differentiation and a wider behavioral approach to Hofstede’s cultural model.

Aside from cultural aspects, ethics does play a big role to culture. Bribing for example is a big no-no to other countries but to some countries it is accepted and is called ‘token’ or ‘gift’.

From culture and ethics influence of society, an individual does behave is also depending on his upbringing and his experiences.

All of us have our own bias in our personality. Out of this bias behavior comes our preferences in our choices. We have to acknowledge our personal bias and managed it as well in order to avoid being ‘stereotype’.

When we see colors, how do we associate them? Is white associated with good? Is black associated with bad?

In terms of gender, do we perceive men are career oriented? Do we perceive women to be family oriented?

At work when we asked a woman colleague for help and we got turn down, do we perceive that woman colleague to be unkind and not considerate? Do we perceive women to be more helpful at work compared to men? When a man colleague turn down our request for help, do we just accept it because he’s a man?

It’s due to these preferences and bias that studies conducted through surveys portray different results.

University of Chicago conducted the study and found based on responses that men and women react differently to jobs with wages based on competition with coworkers which can explain as to some extent the aspects of wage inequality between men and women.

Interestingly enough, I wonder if this study conducted by University of Chicago will give the same result if they expand the variables of study to not only gender but also include the race?

In such behavioral responses, it still attune to our personal bias.

Most often than not, we always wanted to be neutral and project to the world that we are not bias and we do not have preference. We wanted to be –> good. And politically correct.

Contemplate. Photo taken at Al Mugsail, Salalah Oman. December 2010.

Are you towards football? A close glimpse and shot of Lukas Podolski (German football player) in Cologne Germany, July 2009

However, our preference and prejudice are what defines us. Culture, ethics, politics and other aspects of society influence our behavior to some extent but we have our own individual preference which make us unique.

What’s the implicit you? When you tell someone you are not bias towards gender or race or color of skin, is it really true?

In order to know what’s the implicit you, I recommend for you to try the Implicit Association Test (IAT) developed by Harvard. The demonstration test would require approximately 15 minutes. There are various topics that you can take in order for you to identify your association to different subjects. Most of us defines explicitly that we associate women with family but surprisingly our implicit preference tells us that women are towards career. Now there’s the conflict between our implicit and explicit preferences. We have to know ourselves.

As such, after taking the IAT demo test, what’s really the implicit you?

Til next time. Au revoir.

Citations:

  1. Geert Hofstede Cultural studies
  2. Trompenar’s 7D Model
  3. The University of Chicago News
  4. Implicit Association Test (IAT)

 

 

Ramon And Jovita

World War II started in 1939 and ended up on 1945. During the war emotions are at the weakest while everyone is struggling for survival.

The Philippines have undergone few colonizations and liberalizations:

  • Spanish regime (1521 – 1898)
  • American period (1898 – 1946)
  • Japanese occupation (1942 – 1946)

Ramon and Jovita met during their teenage years within the circa of World War II. In their hometown whilst the country is under the Japanese occupation and war, they fell in love.

Jovita is arranged by her parents to a man who is capable of raising family. She was only in her teens. Ramon’s family is not well to do but he is determined to accomplish for a better life. However, during the war, the primal duty is to survive and bring the family to safety. They were not able to complete their education. Ramon finished primary school that is until 6th grade while Jovita completed until 5th grade.

After the Japanese occupation, their love blossomed. Jovita’s parents disapproved. But Ramon is determined and fought for his love and won Jovita’s heart. The couple eloped until their parents approved of their relationship. They won over their parents and got married during 1950s; Jovita is 19 while Ramon is 20 years of age.

Reality started to kick in when Jovita delivered their first born son. Since the couple did not achieved higher education levels, finding a job wasn’t easy. Ramon undergone multiple jobs to support his family. The first born was followed by a daughter. The second born was followed by another daughter. And the kids keep on increasing. Both the couple are struggling to support the increasing household. Ramon’s jobs include gambling dealer, carpentry, and later on foreman. Jovita performed part time housekeeping to families in order to help Ramon.

Like any other normal couples, their relationship wasn’t smooth sailing. They also have undergone fights, disagreements especially when the kids are also suffering since it is hard to make ends meet. Ramon made a strategic decision pertaining to the kids education. He knows that he cannot support all his eight children’s education so he decided to prioritize the sons and have the sons complete at least diploma education. His main reason is that the sons are the ones who will be supporting their own family in the future so it is worthwhile to be that way. They raised their kids in the traditional discipline adhering to the saying ‘Spare the rod spoil the child.’

Life wasn’t easy but Ramon and Jovita stayed together through hardships. When the kids grew up, the kids started to help the family.

Ramon in his 60s was hit by cancer. He died in 1993 leaving Jovita and their kids. Jovita decided not to remarry and focused her attention to her family. Needless to say, her heart and love still belongs to Ramon.

Right now, Ramon and Jovita’s children are grown up and have their own families except their seventh and their youngest daughter.

The family started with a poor background. And even though few of the children were successful, they still remain to be humble and attached to the family’s love. It wasn’t a smooth sailing in their family but there’s still joy being with one another.

The heart as they say is a river of mystery. Being in love is the greatest happiness. In our ever changing world whereby our emotions are afflicted by the pressures of society, our hearts tend to go astray. However, no matter how chaotic the world can be, there is always that someone in our heart whom we cherish, we protect and we whisper the name before we sleep at night.  ~ Chic Pencil

I will never forget Ramon and Jovita’s story. I am very proud of them. I’m very thankful of them as without their love, I wouldn’t be here.

Today is Valentine’s day and also Jovita’s birthday. Every Valentine’s day I always remember their love story.

They, Ramon and Jovita have their song which I always treasure and play…

My parents Ramon and Jovita. Photo taken during my primary school graduation as valedictorian.

Jovita at 78. She’s the most beautiful woman in my world. My Filipina-Spanish mum, my Valentina.

Special thanks to my eldest niece Geraldine for posting the pictures.

Another special mention to Arab Face for sharing.

Til next time. Au revoir.

The Value of Complex Event Processing (CEP) & The Story of Alice in the not so ever Wonderland

Once upon a time there was a lady (let’s call her Alice) who was very practical that she has her fixed deposit – FD savings in tact in the bank. The bank is very happy with her savings as it would give the bank the assurance and increase in their wealth management for greener investments.

The bank is equipped with a high-end infrastructure in analytics and sophisticated business intelligence (BI) system giving their business analysts and frontline business professionals flexibility in their quantitative analysis, trending, and forecasting.

The BI infrastructure of the bank is still using the traditional approach. Incremental and delta data changes will be extracted by the ETL, that is, Extract, Transform & Load the data to their target analytics engine. Or the approach can be  ELT, that is, Extract, Load, & Transform the data to their target analytics engine. Once all the transformations are complete, the data that are once OLTP in nature now becomes OLAP and is ready for analysis and ready for usage of the bank’s downstream systems.

The service level agreement (SLA) of the bank’s IT department to the business is 12 hours. The extraction of data up to the completion of all the transformation jobs needs to complete at 6AM everyday. Previously, the SLA was 15 hours since the decision systems environment is free by 3PM. But due to ever changing demands of business analytics, the SLA is now reduced to 12 hours and the IT department is having tough time coping up because their analytics database engine is starting to suffer from performance degradation.

The bank’s business analysts does collect their data everyday but their method of analysis based on the business process is within 1 week worth of data. There wasn’t a near real time business process to analyze the behavior of account holders.

Alice’s FD account has been very good for the last 2 years. She belongs to the demographics of single, female, high income professional, very good standing on accounts, and within the age of 25 to 30.

However changes happened in Alice’s life. In less than 1 week, Alice performed the following transactions:

  1. Withdrawal from FD accounts
  2. Withdrawal from Savings accounts
  3. Withdrawal from Current accounts
  4. Applied for a personal loan

After the above withdrawals (Events 1 to 3), her demographics has actually changed to single, female, high income professional, poor standing on accounts (risk), and within the age of 25 to 30.

When Alice applied for the loan (Event 4), she was surprised that her loan was granted. But of course, she was happy.

Why did the bank approved Alice’s loan?

Simply because when the loan officer saw Alice’s account holder profile, she still belongs to the very good accounts. Though there were withdrawals from Alice’s accounts, the loan approver thinks that Alice may have some investments in the bank that is not visible to the loan officer due to the bank’s security policies.

The loan officer doesn’t know that the demographics profile analysis wasn’t updated yet.

Clearly based on the above scenario, Alice is under the risk of defaulting her payment to her loan and the bank is also under the risk for non payments.

If all the four complex events that Alice did were captured in real time and handled by various business processes or rules, the bank would have the chance to acknowledged the risk of lending the loan to Alice to avoid financial losses.

Alice story is a normal customer behavior.

However, if there are one million bank customer who performed the complex events that Alice did without the bank realizing it, it is not surprising why banks suffered financial losses and can probably attributed to the recent financial downturn that happened globally. The Great Depression of the Financial markets.

After the business realizes their gaps, financial institutions have demanded for real time analysis of events.

Previously, the OLAP is sitting in the datawarehouse and is only accessed and analyzed once a week or everyday for operational reporting, the business demands have changed that they need the events to be processed and analyzed as soon as it happened and entered in the company’s analytics system.

Analytics has evolved. As always.

Complex events processing or greatly known as CEP systems is the analysis of different levels of events that correlates to the business rules or processes.

As soon as the events have entered into the CEP stream, it is analyzed immediately based on the rules thus triggering the different actions as provided by the business logics. It provides advancement and flexibility to the company’s frontline force – business analyst and business support team.

What’s the value of having a CEP system?

(1) It provides an enhanced risk management system. The earlier alert of Alice’s complex event 4 would trigger the bank that her demographics has changed thus the loan should be disapproved.

(2) Fraud detection. When I was in Oman, I purchased the jewelry set and used my Singapore credit card in payment. In less than 5 minutes while I was still in the jewelry shop, the bank called me to verify the validity of the transaction. As CEP systems analyzed the near real time events even in seconds, considering that I was overseas and with few delays due to the network speed, etc, the complex event that I triggered changed my behavior pattern thus it is suspect for fraud detection as I have never been in middle east let alone use my credit in middle east. The good thing about it is that if it was a true fraud, the jewelry shop can hold the person who is misusing the credit card since the bank will reject the transaction. Thanks to CEP systems.

What happens to traditional OLAP models?

Well, the usage of ROLAP, MOLAP, HOLAP, etc is still going to be used by the business for their trending, slicing and other analysis for better business positioning as required by the C-levels of the company. However, the CEP systems is catered for frontline force and business support team for real time business activity monitoring.

Who offers CEP systems in the market?

There are large enterprise vendors offering CEP solutions. Below is the list to name a few and this list doesn’t follow any ranking:

So, next time when a bank calls you to verify your transaction, don’t get annoyed especially if you’re not in the mood. You have to thank your bank that it is investing in this type of technology to better service you as a valued customer. (Wink).

Good morning America. Photo taken in New York, USA. 2005.

Til next time. Au revoir.

Requiescat In Pace

Few days ago a sad news came. The beloved mother of my uncle in Germany has passed away. A very sad news. I am glad that my uncle is recovering well.

Few months back there were clan members of my family passed away. My uncle, my aunt, and a cousin.

Painful, yes it is. To be left by those we love whom we know we will never get a glimpse again.

Family is the blood who mold us on who we are  and what we become. It is a knot, a bond that cannot be broken until we reached our last breath. Though there are waves inside the family which involves emotions and relationships, we were born to a family and there’s a reason for it.

Letting go is not easy. To be left behind by our loved ones will always shed a tear.

Life continues and the journey must go on.

Death is a destination that we cannot avoid.

Dust though art and to dust returnest was not spoken by the soul…      ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We were born with nothing and we will leave with nothing. All of us are equal. The uniqueness lies on how we performed the journey. There’s always hope, there’s always faith. Last and most of all, there’s always love and it makes all the difference in us.  ~ Chic Pencil

To my dear departed love ones, you will always be remembered.

Requiescat in pace. Rest in peace.


A simple whisper of prayer. A guide. Taken at Cologne Germany, 2009.

 

Til next time. Au revoir.