Before voting for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the president, you might want to consider 3 more things

Before voting for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the president, you might want to consider 3 more things

Just to make things clear, this is not in any way an article to dissuade the supporters of Mayor Duterte from voting him in the next election. Our vote is ours to make, but we have to be unified to some degree if we want to make a meaningful impact.

Recently there has been a lot of talk about mayor Rodrigo Duterte and how he’s now becoming the people’s champion against crime. I was almost at the point of going all out myself and campaigning for Mayor Duterte as my president but then along the way I found some things that made me think twice.


I just want to share legitimate concerns with all of you, and this is also for myself to find peace with my own vote and to spark intellectual discussions about the issues at hand.

  1. About the possibility of killings

    We’re about to elect someone who might be willing to go out of his way to punish (even kill) the law-breakers. News flash people: That’s almost all of us! YES! Let me ask you the question: Kelan ka huling tumawid sa tamang tawiran? Kelan ka huling bumaba sa tamang babaan?

    It’s easy to say that killing someone is fine if it’s some distant person from you, the typical drug addict, the common criminal. But what if there’s more to the story? What if it was the father of your friend? The mother of your classmate? How about a member of your family? Your wife or husband?

    A lot of people have also been saying that this is exactly what we need to remove criminals from our society. I don’t agree, Haven’t we had enough death on our hands already with the typhoon Yolanda and the SAF encounter? Naniniwala ako na hindi natin kailangan pumatay para baguhin ang bansa.hate begets hate
    A person’s life is not ours to take. If you fight hate with hatred, you get more hate. There’s only one way we can all win, and that’s with peace and love. Are we really able to throw out compassion, peace and love out the window just to arrive at…

  2. Instant Solutions

    Mahilig ako sa instant na solusyon! I admit it, I would love to be able to change this country with one vote, one election. Done deal! But that’s when I started thinking, sometimes when it’s to good to be true you have to look again and I did. What will happen if we all relied on one person to change this country?

    This kind of pressure that will be placed on one man who will go to his limits in implementing his own justice system might just spark more violence and fighting amongst ourselves.

    I believe that right now the change that we Filipinos need, is something that will come from each and everyone of us and not just one man. This Messiah complex might run us down as a country even more. We all the need to realize that the solution for our country is not external, but internal. Being able to follow simple traffic rules individually and helping each other out day by day.

    Which would you prefer? Taking steroids and getting big immediately or going to the gym and working hard for the kind of body you want? If we want to build a strong nation for our children. Then we need to work hard for it, we need to do it brick by brick, each and every one of us.

  3. Are we really ready for his type of leadership?Again, it’s not Mayor Rodrigo Duterte I’m worried about. He seems like a very capable man, a great leader, as this infographic shows but the thing that scares me is us. Are we ready to bend, because with someone like Mayor Duterte as president, it’s either we bend or we break.

    Let’s ask ourselves, are we really willing to throw out our good ideals for a quick solution?Some videos circling online involving an interview with Mayor Duterte cursing the pope (I’m not Catholic, but that man is a good man) and about a couple of affairs are making me question his ability to set a good example too.

    Mareklamo ako, ganun din ang pamilya ko at mga kaibigan ko. Every issue na maririnig sa balita, sa presidente ang sisi or sa gobyerno in general. Let’s say Mayor Duterte wins the 2016 elections, I don’t think he will be gracious enough with those who will try to oppose him. Check and balance might just go out the window when it is needed the most.Symbol_Justice

Decide for yourself who to vote for. I’m not saying that I’m not voting for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, I’m still considering all the facts available to me. Writing this article is also one avenue for me to ask your opinions and discuss with you these things. You can also check the sources and please do. This is our right, so let’s use it. This is the time of our generation to speak out. More than just voting, we can join meaningful discussions, learn more from each other and reach a certain degree of unity with our voices. Let’s all take our time to research and find out more about the candidates. We get the next choice after six years.

When all is said and done, whoever wins the next election, it will not just depend on them to change our nation, it will be in my hands, yours, each and everyone of us. This is our country, our home. If we can’t believe that we can change it, then who will?

Here’s a song I composed with my friend, just a simple message to all my countrymen who desire change as much as I do.

I just had to speak out and find the answers I’m looking for from my fellow Filipinos who are going through the same problems everyday. What do you think about these issues? Who do you think will be the best qualified leader to lead our nation? Hit the comments section below!

Image sources:

– Image of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte: Taken from sunstar, photo by Froilan Gallardo

Be more efficient in website design and development: Acquire the skill of frameworks

Be more efficient in website design and development: Acquire the skill of frameworks

Expectation Level: Beginner-Moderate

Why use frameworks?

As web developers part of our job is to use the tools available at our disposal to create amazing work.

Clean and tidy code

Standardizing the way we do web design

The main goal is to make the process more efficient. Efficiency is different from the word fast, because efficiency is about doing things faster but also providing a better overall result.

Exp: I entered a phase back in college when I didn’t believe in frameworks. I made excuses not to use one. I would rather create my own from scratch! I thought those who use frameworks are  not at all that great. It felt like cheating to me. I wanted to learn the basics from scratch. In the end I learned but not as efficiently as it would have been if I used frameworks.

Using frameworks is a step to being a better developer. It’s not cheating, it’s humility. You humble yourself enough to use other people’s work, to study it and get what you can from it. Website development can’t be done by one person. Just as scientists rely on each other’s research as basis for their own research, web developers and designers must learn from each other to advance together.

“Don’t just aim for becoming better, aim for versatility”

Being well versed in frameworks will give you more options for your projects. More options mean you get to shift gears when needed, you provide your clients with the best set of tools for their particular needs.  So in short:

“Don’t Re-invent the Wheel”

Things to consider in selecting a web framework

  • What you need
  • Speed of Execution
  • Versatility of Functions

List of web frameworks

  • Bootstrap
  • WordPress
  • MVC – Codeigniter

Questions to ask when using frameworks

  • How to acquire?
  • How to install?
  • What are the features?
  • How can I use this with my development style/process?

Case Study: Bootstrap

  • CSS solutions
  • Javascript Functionalities


  1. Sample websites made from bootstrap

Creating frameworks from frameworks

You can create your own tools from existing frameworks. Based on your way of doing things you can either select a base framework add part of your design process to it. In this regard the possibilities are limitless.



Skill Acquired: Frameworks (Active)

Skill Description: -50% on time spent on projects. +50 project efficiency. +2000 experience acquisition. +20% resources for allied units.

There is no best framework out there. There are great frameworks to be used for various situations. Don’t stick to one, try as many as you can, as early as you can. This will allow you to arm yourself with an array of tools that will make you a versatile web designer. So keep working on yourself, stay humble empty your cup and walk forward with others, before you know it you’ll be creating your own framework.

What kind of frameworks would you like to learn? Tell me in the comments section below!

Where this 20-something entrepreneur finds himself after one year of starting his own business.

Where this 20-something entrepreneur finds himself after one year of starting his own business.

I would like to share with you my experience so far, 1 year into starting my own business.

What business you say? Changing the World (I know it’s cliché but we’re dead serious about this). After I graduated last year, my friends and I decided to put up our own tech company called Potatocodes. This is our story:

We started off with very little. We had twenty five thousand pesos in savings from odd jobs and freelance work from college. I could’ve played it safe, found a job at a big corporation and earned a fixed income. But we decided to take a risk and use our savings to get the necessary papers to start our own company.

A lot of people were asking us why we decided to register when we could avoid the tax and just become freelancers. During that time I had recently encountered my Lord and Savior, Jesus. I knew back then that if I was going to push through with this I needed to establish a strong solid core and I knew that placing God at the center of our startup company was the only way to go.

Placing Him in the center of it all, I got to know Jesus more

Our effort and resources were not wasted. Later on it proved to be necessary for large organizations and businesses to avail our services because they needed the official receipt for their expense records.

After 2 weeks of going back and forth the Manila City Hall, BIR and SSS the business was official. We had our very own “Potatocodes Web Development and Designs”. I did all the legwork under the heat of the Philippine Sun and this made me appreciate what we are doing more. Even if I had to wait for hours in the long lines, I knew what I was fighting for.

The four of us decided to give it our best shot and work full time.

We were an odd bunch of kids. I’m Juan Miguel Alvarez, a passionate web designer by heart. There’s Mhariell Mosqueriola, also a lively and talented designer. John Dominic Dasig is my mentor and our Head Website Developer. One of the designers, Mr. Aaron Marzan, was even still in college.

croque grandopening
Four Potatocoders with two clients from Croque Makati in the middle. From left to right, Mhariell Mosqueriola, Juan Miguel G. Alvarez (me), John Dominic Dasig, Aaron Marzan

Together, we decided to put me in charge of all administrative dealings and name the sole proprietorship of the business to me. I consulted a lot of credible people in the business (most of them advised me to stay away from partnerships if possible, especially with my friends and family) and I did all my research. I heeded everyone’s warnings and I shelled out my own money to put it up and took the responsibility of heading our startup. Once everything was settled with our team infrastructure, we took the leap.

Things were slow at first.

We mostly worked on branding our image and readying the tools we would need for the work ahead. We wrote letters to all the colleges of the University of Santo Tomas (our Alma Mater and our first clients as website developers during college). We waited patiently.

It was a tiring wait – a dry spell. It reminded me of one of my favorite movies – “Facing the Giants.” There’s a part where the character tells a story. “2 farmers were praying for rain. One of them went out and readied his fields. Who do you think trusted God more?” To have faith is to also prepare. And so we did the same. We readied our fields because we had faith. Then the rain came…

Some colleges contacted us and set up a meeting, they were delighted to see such young people going into business right after graduation. After presenting to them what we could do, they agreed to let us work on their websites. It was a start! And business started to get better. Little by little, our income increased. We shared equally what we earned and gave a percentage to tax and the company. All was good until the “ber” months came.

We got hit with problems left and right. Some of us had personal issues. Others were being pressured to look for a more permanent job by family and friends (A typical startup can’t really compete with other companies in terms of salary). Our team started to break apart. After consulting with the team, Aaron had to focus on his schoolwork and Nikko went to look for another job. Suddenly, there were only two of us left.

During these tough times, we decided to push on despite the external pressure of the world. Why? Because we trusted in God and that we loved what we are doing. We wanted be witnesses to how God can turn things around for people, especially for people who are down in the dirt and seem like they can’t fight anymore. So we pushed through.

It wasn’t easy for us financially, mentally and emotionally. There came a time that demand was so low that we had to bring down our prices just to be able to sustain our personal needs. It was really hard. There were some times that we had to walk to client meetings, as we had no more funding. I had to hitchhike in the back of trucks to get to places. A lot of times I almost gave up.

Around mid-December last year, we decided to make some changes.

We prayed and we fasted. If God is not giving us any projects, maybe He wants us to do something different. Thus Ideastalk Philippines was born. This would be the social platform for our company. We worked on blogging and writing, and we worked on photography and the arts. We were able to share positive ideas to people. We said yes to more opportunities. We attended seminars as speakers; we went to album launchings. We partnered with people, and talked to random strangers. It became an adventure for us. We met a lot of great people and their wonderful ideas. This gave us a bigger perspective to things.


We attended seminars as speakers, wanting to share our experience and what we’ve learned so far


Ideastalk ended up giving us a wider reach and more network. Unexpectedly it helped revive the demand for our company. Slowly but surely, our phone started ringing again.

I wrote about my own personal experience on how God changed me from being a lost-depressed young boy to an entrepreneur. People started talking and we were even featured in some blogs. People called in wanting to document our story and we went ahead and shared with them our experience in the hopes of inspiring people and sharing how God has been so great to us.

We got calls from people who need websites. Suddenly, our business was back up again. Students started emailing me if it was possible to apply for internships. We accepted them in the hopes of inspiring them and sharing with them what we had learned. We had our first batch of eight interns from PUP. I named them “Kairos” which means “God’s most opportune time.“ I learned a lot from them. I learned that through God, it’s not too late for our country. I saw in their eyes the same fire that took my heart when we first went on our journey to change the world.

More calls came in after they finished and we started to worry about being able to meet the demand with only two of us. Outsourcing would take time and money, resources we have just started regaining. Taking another in house personnel was out of the question. Again, we did what we could do in these circumstances. We prayed.


A Hackathon at HQ in the middle of Potatocodes Internship Ripple Program

Students again started to email me asking for an internship. They were third year college students from our own Alma Mater, UST. I believe God brought them to us for a reason. Thus I called them “Ripple” simply because I had faith that they will make waves later on. In the end our problem with personnel was solved. I had to give a lot of time in training them and they proved they were worth it. Not only were they able to help us with the projects during that time, but they also inspired us by their determination and their faith.

Just before the second batch of Potatocoder Interns were finished,

Potatocodes reached sustainability. We are now planning to scale our business because of the surprising demand that came in. We went from sole propriety to incorporation. Potatocodes Web Development and Designs became Potatocodes Inc.


Potatocodes Incorporators

Soon we will be able to handle more projects, go into mobile development and systems development later on. This was all made possible with the help of everyone who believed. Sponsors, Partners, Interns, Social Media Supporters, Ideastalkers, Ideastalk Readers, Piso Project Heroes, Friends, Family and of course God, without whom we couldn’t have done anything.

This article is for you.

You who believed with us. You got us this far, and we will soldier on no matter what. Yes it has been really though putting up a business when you’re unexperienced in the industry compared to the big corporations who have already established a foothold, but if David can become King, and if Mary can be chosen to be the mother of our Savior, then anyone can be used. So don’t let anyone ever tell you,

“you can’t do anything, just give up!”

If we had given up, we wouldn’t be here. There are still the big giants standing before us, but we are not afraid. David had his sling, and we have our little mouse and keyboard.

What can you say about our experience? Share it to us in the comments section below!

Potato Diaries: A modern UST Office for Admissions Website

Potato Diaries: A modern UST Office for Admissions Website


It’s been almost three years since we were tasked to do the University of Santo Tomas Office for Admissions Website back when I was in third year college. It was when I started my journey into the world of computer technology and websites. It had been a long way since then and yet we still have ways to go.

I will never forget our office in the Office for Admissions back then, every time our classes were finished I would go directly to the office and start working on the website. We would work tirelessly day in and day out just to deliver an excellent product. We were new to the technology but with the great opportunity of being able to prove our talents and skills with the project, we persevered.


Together with two other students from Engineering IICS and 3 other UST students from CFAD and AB we were able to arrive at the concept of a parallax website. The website was launched in January 2013 and had received good feedback since its launching. That was the moment I knew I had to go into website development. Together with 4 of my colleagues we started Potatocodes Inc., a tech company that aims to honor God and help change our world with smart ways of doing things.

Today we are excited to share with you the experience of being able to go past what we have created back then. We were tasked again to create a modern website that will exceed the last one. This was a real challenge due to the fact that we need to outperform and outdo ourselves. We present to you, the new University of Santo Tomas Office for Admissions Website! (yep! Just click the link)


For the new UST OFAD website we decided to go with the modern HTML5 video capabilities and loop an outstanding video production created by Suncraft Studio. Balaram Ochangco from the original OFAD website team is part of the company together with Russell Pua who’s also a thomasian talent in the field of Video Production. We just knew we had to put the video as the centerpiece for this website.

The vision is to create an admissions website for our Alma matter that will surpass expectations and bring forth a new standard to website design. With the talent and wit of our Head Designer Mhariell Mosqueriolla, we were able to create a new take to university websites as we were able to introduce the Thomasian life with a clean and modern website interface.


The website was launched early last week in the middle of the final preparations for the last USTET. It was a challenge launching the website but the heart of everyone who believed in the project pushed our team forward to persever and deliver the website.

What can you say about our journey with the UST OFAD website? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

The Potato Diaries: How we created a website for the Thomasian Alumni

The Potato Diaries: How we created a website for the Thomasian Alumni

It’s been one year since we graduated from our beloved Alma Mater. The prestigious University of Santo Tomas. We could never have imagined back then that we will be able to put up our own tech company Potatocodes Inc. and serve our alma mater by providing our services to them.

After a year of going into business and providing websites we had the privilege to work with the UST Office for Alumni Relations. We would like to share with you this story.

oar banner

After months of hard work and late night coding, we were able to launch it last September 29, 2015. We were delighted to be able to help the great vision of uniting the Thomasian Alumni in the modern space of the web, we present to you the new University of Santo Tomas Office for Alumni Relations Website! (click the link to go the website.)

It has been a heartwarming experience to work with the Office for Alumni Relations Staff.

Ma’am Fides Carlos and Ma’am Cherry Tanodra the Assistant Director of office has been coordinating with us right from the start. As Ma’am Cherry had put it, the thomasian journey doesn’t end upon graduation. Being a thomasian is a lifetime experience. Everything started with their vision of providing a portal for alumni to be informed and updated with the events UST has to offer.


The website is all Thomasian inside and out! From the clean yellow interface to the inner codings created by Thomasian programmers it’s truly a website for the tiger university. The website was designed by Mhariell Mosqueriola the Head Designer of Potatocodes Inc. Some students from the new UST IICS who interned in our startup were able to help out in the creation of the website.


I couldn’t be more proud of my team, as I know everyone gave all their hearts to deliver the project and to deliver it with excellence.

Undertaking the project was a challenging task for us since we know that fellow Thomasian Alumni will be viewing the site.

In the website you can find latest news and updates, inspiring thomasian stories and some articles to help you grow more in your careers. You can also explore the perks of having a thomasian alumni card, details of different alumni chapters and how you can be part of different projects of the UST Alumni. You can also update your records and share your own story for a chance to be featured on the site.

The website has been prepared for more enhancements in the future, like the thomasian spirit it will keep evolving to address the needs of the Thomasian Alumni.


We learned from this experience how the UST Staff can be all-heart when serving their fellow Thomasians. Everyone just literally gives more than enough to be able to finish the job with excellence. This pushed us to do our part as well and go the extra distance. In the end, UST is not just a community, more than just a second family and home, it’s part of who we are.


Working with technology is hard, it will take a lot of your time and it can be frustrating. But if you really love what you do, you will be able to help more people and give more. The Alumni Website is just the start, we will continuously pray to be able to serve our Alma Mater and our country with what has been given to us.

Share your passion with us. Comment Below!