Summa cum laude

Omigosh! This is definitely the stuff of dreams. And this is such fresh news. I am feeling giddy with happiness. I just got my digital diploma and transcripts from the school, and imagine my shock when I read at the bottom of the diploma the following line:

Distinction / Mention : “ First Class / Summa cum laude (with honours) “

These are the sweetest words I had been waiting for since I started my master’s degree in autumn of 2021. All my hard work, blood, sweat and tears summarized in that lovely font, in one line of ascii characters, which could have practically spelled, “happiness” or “you did it”. 😀

Once upon a time, I decided on taking a random university degree that was not offered in our province so that I would have an excuse to study in the capital city. And what a fruitful future blossomed out of this total randomness. BS Computer Science was definitely not my first choice at sixteen. I wanted to enroll in Fine Arts. But that was not my calling. And who knew I would be able to practice art and fulfill my destined calling in tech at the same time! Everything in life falls right into place at some point.

After taking this course, I have a renewed appreciation of my experience and skills in the field of Information Technology. I have also developed a lot of interest in different fields of technology, like Artificial Intelligence, Data Engineering, Cloud Tech, etc. It made me realize how far I’ve come. And although, along the way, some people discouraged me, and a lot of people didn’t believe in me (including myself, at times), all it took was a handful of quality people to give me their complete faith for me to be able to have faith in myself.

Faith can really do move mountains.

I should end on this note coz I’m starting to ramble, and sound cheesy and all…

Lastly, I just want to say that my (real) friends and family (especially the hubs and the daughter, my number one fans) are so proud and happy for me. So am I. So please, indulge me with this extraordinarily in-your-face brag post. 😀




Eat, paint, travel in San Sebastian, Spain

In this youtube video, I take you to one of my favorite cities in the Basque Region — Donostia, San Sebastian, Spain. I was there a couple of weekends ago, to break the monotony of cold, gray, wintry weather in Toulouse. And also, to get some nice dose of Vitamin “Sea”. We were blessed with a superb sunny weather, and a lovely AirBnB apartment with a huge balcony overlooking the city center, which inspired me to paint plein air.

And so, I share with you a very quick and loose watercolor urban sketch of the view of San Sebastian’s rooftops in its city center, where you can also see the gigantic statue of the Virgin Mary, looking over the beautiful city. I also had some opportunity to visit a small art supplies shop called, La Casa del Artista.

I used my usual Silver Brush Black Velvet brush, and Da Vinci Casaneo brushes. And for pigments, I used Holbein Watercolors, and my trusty Portable Painter Micro to hold the pigments. For the sketch pad, I used my mini sketch pad from Moleskine.

Thanks for watching! 🙂

My online shop on Zazzle for shopping my original Filipino themed artworks

Nice restos in San Sebastian:



Watercolor Snowdrops, and some updates

Hello out there! Been quite some time since I updated. I wanted to share a video of painting Snowdrops in watercolor but I messed up the recording. I feel so annoyed with myself. LOL. I’m still sharing it here anyway. Just a warning, I did not really manage to show the whole demo. I only got to show the part of drawing, putting the masking fluid, painting the background wash, and the finishing touches. Sorry, about that. I did mention this at the very beginning of the video.

I was thinking it would be so timely to create this watercolor painting of a flower in season! Also, I’ve been going back to botanicals lately. Trying to gain back my courage to trust the artistic journey I really wanted to take in the very beginning before I got into the habit of trying to avoid making my painting look like other people’s paintings, especially when those people seem to copy my style (intentionally or unintentionally). There’s nothing wrong with that. But if it distracts you, you should distance yourself from whatever is dampening or hampering your self-discovery or unique art journey, or you’ll never be able to discover your own style. I was always trying to create something original, and in the course of trying to avoid making my painting look like somebody else’s, I have deviated too much from what I wanted to do in the first place. I was sad about this for a while, but lately, I’m starting to feel enlightened. 🙂

I haven’t uploaded some video in a long time since I’ve been so busy at work, as usual. My second project with the big aeronautics company client started immediately after the first one ended first week of January. But at least, my generous company gave me some time to review for my AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification. Which I passed on the first attempt, I’m so glad! It was not very easy! You need to know all the technologies, networking, cyber security, databases, resource management, devops, etc. It’s also a requirement of my school for my Master’s Degree, in order to get a mention, “Bien”. I’m not really sure if that means “Cum laude”. But I hope so. Haha! Also, I’ve been taking on some bigger roles on the job now. Moving on from plain Full Stack Dev. Yay!

Anyway, I’m happy to announce, I’ll be graduating in a month’s time. Can’t wait to get that shiny new diploma. I’ve always wanted to get a Master’s Degree, and what more, one from a French technical school! I feel kinda proud of myself.

And speaking of announcements, I’m also letting you in on a little secret… I’ll be attending a week-long watercolor retreat here in the beautiful south of France on the last quarter of the year. It’s a week-long, day-to-day watercolor sessions with a famous YT artist. We will also have visits around the lovely town close by where we’re staying, see some museums, do some wine tasting, eat at restaurants, and stay all week at a gorgeous manor with a huge orchard! I can’t wait to meet my favorite YT artist and gain some new friends! I’m so excited about it!

Here’s to bright and cheery times ahead, folks! Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

Happy Holidays 2022

Hey there! I know I’ve been slacking on posts lately. My new job has taken over most of my time lately. But since, it’s the holiday season, things are getting a bit more slow-paced at work starting this weekend. So I’ve taken the opportunity to post a watercolor painting demo, finally!

In this video, I was inspired by the Christmas lanterns that I found in Ikea here in France. They remind me so much of the Christmas lanterns that we have back in the Philippines (Parol), I just had to make a watercolor version of them in a Christmas greeting card.

Since I’m always missing the tropics, especially, the beach, I’ve created this tropical themed greeting card. If you guys are interested, I sell some greeting cards, and other gift items with my original watercolor prints on them on Mostly, Filipino themed. This year, I am so happy to have sold quite a lot! I’m finally going to be able to cash out my earnings! 🙂 What a treat. Thanks to those who patronized my humble artworks.

Hope you have a great holiday. Cheers!

My Birthday in Paris and Yoyo Ma Concert, etc.

Last month, I celebrated my birthday in Paris with the hubs and some friends. We stayed at one of our friends’s very lovely apartment, which overlooks the Eiffel Tower. It was wonderful!!! I didn’t wanna leave the room with the view. 😀

We also saw Yoyo Ma at the Philharmonie de Paris. We booked the ticket early this year, and it was almost fully booked! We were still lucky to get seats third row from the stage, facing the front. Here is a video of some of snaps and video shorts I took during the mini-breaks in the concert.

The Philharmonie de Paris was majestic outside, but a bit disappointing inside. But I still had fun watching the concert. It was a birthday gift from my wonderful husband. We had a great time despite the noisy people in the audience violently coughing and sneezing all the time. It was so nerve-wrackingly distracting. I do not know how Yo-Yo Ma managed to keep his calm and cool throughout all the noise. And having said that, I think it will be the last time I will be watching him live. It was too distracting. But it was a real pleasure seeing him live in the flesh. Best birthday gift ever!

Lastly, a bit of update on the job hunt: before going on this trip, exactly a day before, actually, I received a very good news from one of the companies I have applied to. I started working two weeks after this trip. I was ecstatic!!! I have been on the job for two weeks now, and so far, I’m still not disappointed. It’s a great company, one of the biggest French IT Consulting companies, and my client is the biggest aviation company in Europe. Also, I’m working on their big data platform, doing Data Engineering until the end of this year. After that, I might go into another project, of which, I do not know yet. 🙂 I am quite happy. C’est fini, la tristesse.

Cheers, and have a good week ahead!

Fiesta Filipiniana in Le Triadou, France

My friends and I, together with the Philippine Honorary Consul to Occitanie, Jeffrey Cabuay, went on a trip to Le Triadou, in the South of France to attend a Filipiniana Festival and Art Exhibit. This is a Philippine Festival featuring a programme with Philippine folk dances, and folk songs. There was also an art exhibit, where my artist friends and I contributed some artworks.

The event was organized by the Filipino association, “Tanglaw” (Guiding Light), with members mostly living in Montpellier, France, and around the area.

It was very refreshing to see young people (Filipino students) being very active in the event. There were also some participants and guests from surrounding European countries. It was all very entertaining, relaxing and enjoyable. Even the variety of Filipino food being sold at lunch time were delicious! I had such a great time in this event.

Here are the watercolor artworks I have submitted for the exhibit:

You can get more information about them here:

Also mentioned in my vlog: for shopping online Filipino items for shopping my online Filipino themed artworks

Thanks for dropping by and have a good day! 🙂

Arch Art Supplies San Francisco Haul Unboxing

Hey guys! It’s been sooooo long! I had been so so busy with my Master’s degree, especially the last three months! It felt like ages since I last posted here. And it felt like I have aged five years the last three months due to my overly hectic schedule and overwhelming course projects, assignments, exams, etc! But my classes finally ended last June. And although I still have some projects and exams to accomplish, I managed to squeeze in a couple of weeks’ holiday with my family.

We toured the West Coast of the United States, driving from Los Angeles, to Arizona, Utah, Las Vegas and San Francisco. We visited so many, many beautiful places like Venice Beach, The Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona. We also went to Monument Valley in Utah, Bryce Canyon, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite Park, Death Valley, and San Francisco. It was super tiring and hot (like hell). I also had to help my husband drive a bit. It was exhausting. But I loved it!!!

That spot in Monument Valley (Border of Utah and Arizona) where the famous scene in Forrest Gump, where he decided to stop running, was shot

Anyway, I managed to drop by an art supplies shop in San Francisco, called, Arch Art Supplies. It had some good reviews on the internet, and it was not so far away from our hotel, Grand Hyatt near Union Square, which I highly recommend! We had such a lovely time there, especially enjoying the complimentary snacks and drinks at the Lounge Club, and the beautiful view of San Francisco from there and in our own room. I especially enjoyed watching “Karl”, the fog roll in and out of the city.

So here is my video, and I hope you enjoy watching it. I’ve included in it some short clips from our trip.

Thanks for dropping by, and have a great weekend! 🙂

Face Detection App Deployment on Heroku

Yesterday, we had our group’s meeting with our Python Machine Learning Labs teacher to update him with the progress of our project. We are building a Face Detection Application that we could either deploy on the web or as a mobile application. For my part, I used my Data Science (DS) classmate’s model that was pre-trained on SSD MobileNet V2 FPNLite 640×640 with 50000 steps (~0.7s per step)​ for my web app deployment.

Here is a snippet of the meeting’s recording, showing the part where I presented my work on react.js web app that I have deployed in Heroku using Github workflow actions, something we recently learned this week on our DevOps class.

The teacher was not happy with react.js app due to the overhead of the browser. Heroku was also not the best place to deploy the web app. He was also a bit confused about my colorful bounding boxes coz I was randomizing a list of color codes to display it. He thought it was some error with the detection. LOL! He suggested instead that we go with AWS technologies, Lambda functions in particular, and use Python instead. I think that this was a good exercise for me, and the group. Even though, we are not going to use this deployment in our project, it was interesting to use what I have learned this week in our DevOps class on the subject of CI/CD, and using Github workflow actions. 🙂

Here is the link to the Heroku deployment, if you want to check it out:

Note that the app takes some time to load, and you will have to allow access to your camera. Also, sometimes, you might need to reload the page to see the bounding boxes.

Drawing Contest (Concours de dessin) by Art Tea Shop Toulouse

I was surprised and very flattered to be contacted by Art Tea Shop Toulouse for their Drawing Contest. They asked if they could use the photo I took of my watercolor artwork for their Drawing Contest’s flyers.

J’ai été surprise et très flattée d’être contactée par Art Tea Shop Toulouse pour leur concours de dessin. Ils m’ont demandé s’ils pouvaient utiliser pour les flyers de leur concours de dessin la photo de mon aquarelle que j’ai prise.

My original artwork and photo

If you are interested to join, do visit their instagram page for details.

Si vous êtes interessés, consultez leur instagram pour plus de détails.

This artwork was totally not my best but I guess I captured the mood really well. My composition was not bad at all. And overall, everything in the photo looks quite nice! 🙂

Cette peinture n’est pas du tout ma meilleure, mais je crois que j’ai bien saisi l’ambiance. Ma composition n’était pas mauvaise du tout. Et dans l’ensemble, tout ce qui est sur la photo est très joli 🙂

By the way, they also have a nice restaurant / tea shop, where we had one of our monthly watercolor sessions two years ago.

À propos, ils ont aussi un joli restaurant/salon de thé, où on a fait l’une de nos sessions mensuelles de l’aquarelle l y a deux ans.

Art Tea Shop in Toulouse

If you live around Toulouse, do drop by the Art Tea Shop. It’s a really nice brasserie and tea shop with warm, welcoming staff. The place is very cozy and quite original, they have good food and drinks, and they sell artworks from local artists, too. We totally had a good time there. I should go back one of these days. 🙂

Si vous habitez dans la région de Toulouse, ne manquez pas de vous rendre à l’Art Tea Shop. Il s’agit d’une brasserie et d’un salon de thé très sympathiques avec un personnel chaleureux et accueillant. L’endroit est très confortable et assez original, ils ont de la bonne nourriture et des boissons, et ils vendent des œuvres d’art d’artistes locaux, aussi. On a passé un très bon moment là-bas. Je devrais y retourner un de ces jours. 🙂

Moon River on Valentine’s Day

Hey guys! Here’s one of my all-time favorite piano pieces to warm our hearts on this lovely occasion.

We all forget sometimes that Valentine’s Day is not just a celebration of romantic love. For me, it is a celebration of all kinds of love.

Hope you enjoy this one.

Happy V-Day, everyone! 💖