Wednesday, September 5, 2007


chemical city

I am a Chemical Engineer. Twenty years ago, I never imagined being one.

My family has been pre-programming my mind to become a doctor or a nurse or an accountant as I grew up. They claimed that these are just few of the highest paid professions way back then. Of course, they had their biases.

Before graduating from high school, one of our school activities is to let us experience being a college student for a day. I went to the university I planned to go after graduation and tried to sit-in in the College of Business and Accountancy. And man, I found it boring, with all the trial balance and other accounting-related terminologies. It gave me the idea not to be a future accountant even it will break my aunt’s heart.

Weeks before enrollment, I applied for scholarship. Well, I wasn't one of the honor students of our school but I thought its worth trying. I kept mum with my plans and took the examinations. No equations, no vocabulary, but a simple question that requires an answer of not less than 2000 words. The question was “How deep is deep?” LOL. I qualified and was considered as one of the university scholars (naks!). Still my family didn’t know about it. It gave me the power to choose what course I will pursue. Hehe

Its enrollment time and I haven’t made up my mind yet. My feet dragged me to the College of Engineering and I just found myself being interviewed by the Department Chairperson. He asked me what would be my major after two years (in our school, General Engineering are for 1st and 2nd yr). I replied, maybe Computer Engineering. When I went back home, my mother asked me what course did I enroll in, I told her, Engineering! Engineering? They all replied, quite surprised, maybe pissed. Hehehe. I told them that’s the course I applied for scholarship.

When I was in 2nd yr college, I realized that I was not meant to be a computer engineer. How I loathe those computer subjects. I have to decide whether to be an ECE of a ChE, pressure's on me. I tried reading on the curriculum and since I didn’t have any idea on what to take, I thought, its easier to be a chemical engineering student as I have liked Chemistry when I was in high school. Lol. Such a reason!

As days went by, I am beginning to enjoy my course. The subjects were difficult but they are interesting. I have my favorite subjects of course. Three years flew rapidly. I found myself preparing for the licensure examinations and then applying for a job. Having a license didn’t guarantee a quick job. I had gone through numerous interviews, rejections as well as discriminations. I almost stopped but glad I didn’t.

Chemical Engineering has a lot to offer. Initially I thought Chemical Engineers are for laboratories and academes only, I was wrong. There are numerous fields that cater to chemical engineers. I may be working for eight years now but I believe that I still lots to learn about my profession. I have been a laboratory analyst, production supervisor, research assistant, internal quality editor, and a currently, a process design engineer. Being a process design engineer is one hell of a job. LOL! It has the ingredients to make your brains crack or your sanity breaks but I am managing it smoothly. It is a rewarding job and I am not talking about the salary. Hehehe!

One of my professors taught me a lesson that being in a job that you enjoy is way, way more important than having a big salary. No raising of eyebrows, please. I experienced it already.

I am a Chemical Engineer and I am proud to be one.



  1. I'm sure you're a great engineer, Mr. Toto. :p It's great that you really got to know what you wanted to do for a living.

    Yung free (kung anong man) ko sa December/January ah! Hehe. See you in Bangkok!

  2. @benj, thanks. still have a long way to go as an engineer.

    yan na ba ang pambayad sa libre? hehehe. bday ko yung debate nyo.

    nah, not in bangkok, see you in Pattaya. kaya galingan mo

  3. I am a nurse, but am I proud to be one? Thinking of so many people wanting to be in my shoes right now is a great consolation. I may not be proud but I am grateful. I know in my heart that I made an agreement to my creator when He sent me in this world, and it is my obligation to fulfill that. Whatever I do now is a step towards that.

    There are things that we have to do not because we want to, but because we need to. Nursing, I just need to do this. The only thing that made me survive this job, I realize now, is my natural care for people. I don't need much effort to do that. And that's one requirement to be an effective nurse.

    I have tried many jobs to escape from my nursing profession. But in the end, this is the job that made me afford to do the things I really like to do. God has His way to make us fulfill our agreement with Him. Nursing is His way for me.

    We just need to find in our hearts the reasons in what we do to be happy with our jobs.

    Good for you that you have found that. You hold the most important ingridient to success.

    I wish you well ~ Jeques

  4. @Jeques, the important thing is you still enjoy the work that you're doing. because that would be torture if you will work with a heavy heart hehe

  5. It's great to know you've found your calling (nun term haha). You have a very good discernment abilities (nun term again :)) And I do agree that accounting is boring!

    As for me, my career is being a mom :) Too bad there's no degree in motherhood heheh. Comes naturally though :) But it seems like in this time and age, (for women) if not the last, it's somewhere at the bottom of list of priorities to be a mom. Seems like young girls nowadays are trained to be someone but a mom. It's sad.

    I'm glad to know that you're enjoying what you do, and that you find such a great sense of fulfillment being a chemical engineer. There's no doudt you're one of the best chem engineer in the world :)

    Are you going to try applying here in the US? I'm sure there's all kinds of chemical stuff here. What do I know though, I wasn't really good at chemistry :) never failed the subject though. I do know how to mix up things to make great salsa!!! The best in the world, i can tell you! It's funny I turned out to be a great cook after all, never ever did it back in pinas. Life is indeed full of surprises!!!

    Hey, I wish you all the best. Continue writing all these wonderful blogs and taking all these beautiful pictures, and playing the flute, writing poems, bowling and all the good stuff that you do, and continue to be a great chem engineer! Take care my dearest dearest dearest friend from afar. :=)

  6. @Karis, wow, im surprised by your visit. its very special and i really appreciate it.

    well, maybe i wasnt interested in accounting then. hehe, im not really saying that accounting is boring hehe

    oh no, im not one of the best, hehe, you know, a starting engineer, and im really amazed with the experience my co-engineers had. i had lots to learn.

    i applied there before but no news regarding my application. maybe in the near future. hehe.

    i believe that you are a great mother to autumn and a loving wife too. hehe. in born talent na siya guro ya hehe. if ever ill go there, prepare one good meal for me, ok?

    thanks kars, wishing you all the best too. :-) (daw ginpahibi mo man ko sa imo nga reply ba)

    halong pirmi

  7. There are times when my job is really toxic - and that's most of the time - But I am consoled telling myself that there is really no such a thing as easy job, only good workers.

    It is our attitude on things that make the difference.

    I wish you well ~ Jeques

  8. @jeques, you're right. there's no easy job. hehe it all depends on how we approach and deal with our respective jobs

    @ayeen, hehe, thanks. salamat sa pagbisita

  9. hey, me blog ka pala!

    i had the same experience way back then. I never imagined to be a Civil Engineer, lalo't highly specialised field pa ang pinasukan ko ( Structural Engineer with emphasis in Earthquake Engineering). I was more inclined to be an architect kasi way back then in high school I had the tendency to be artistic particularly sa spatial geometry and form. Anyways, good luck sa career mo.

    --- faux_ph

    PS May opening ba dyan? he he he...

  10. hello john, why did i just read this very nice blog now at the wee hours of the morning? anyway, am so happy for you that you found the reason to being happy in your career. i agree with you that what is more important is being happy with what you do ( amen to that, i live that to the fullest, hehehe), but i know, one day, with your smarts and talents, you will get there. you see, chemical engineering is very much a highly paid profession, only that it is not for everybody since it is also a very competitive field, but i believe you have what it takes to do really well in the field. but one day, should you decide to be a poet and photographer, hey, i would understand you. fyi, a very popular author, scenic photographer, hiking and geology enthusiast in san diego and SoCal started as a scientist and still is, hehe, he heads the phsyical science department and professor in astronomy and physics. he has authored a book in physics and physical science, yet, i believe, these days his main bread and butter is his books in HIKING and his books in PHOTOGRAPHY. with your talent, i wont be surprised if one day you would be probably like him, an engineer, poet, phtographer all rolled into one. i mean, not for hobby, but for profession. im not only proud of you as my student in chem engg, but actually, i hope you wont get disappointed but i brag about you these days on your artistic writing skills and superb photography. now, i should not forget, you are a process engineer first, or a chemical engineer first. go for it john, i have your full cheer, and am happy for you.

    sya, laba na akon comment, hehe!

  11. @faux_ph, hehe, yun pinagkakaabalahan ko minsan. blogging. di ba, kakatuwa, minsan di natin akalain na magiging ganito tayo hehe

    regarding sa opening, medyo freeze na naman ang hiring dito, nagtatampo ang mga locals e

    @ms beth, thanks for being my friend and my professor. i think its impossible for me being a poet. no more creative ideas on that side. hehehe. yes, chemical engineering is a very competitive field, but, it could only be me but i dont compete with my officemates. hehehe. right now, i just love taking photos. hehe

    thanks. halong pirmi

  12. Of course be proud! The same way you are proud of being Pinoy! :)

    I'm proud to be a computer science graduate as well. :P No fancy title (except "geek"), but I love it! Haha

  13. @geo, that's a wonderful title hehe. yup. be proud of what you do :-)

  14. career tlg? hehe..madalas tlg sa simula, di mo alam kung san ka Nya ilalagay e, sa bandang dulo mo na sya mare-realize kung bkit..ngaun, alam mo na kung bkit out of nowhere, chem eng ang in-enroll mo noon..dahil dun, masaya ka ngaun sa nature ng work mo, as process (chemical) sideline pang photography, san ka pa, hehe..

  15. naks, may blog na sya. hehe oo nga. kaya ok na rin at naging chem engr ako nakapunta tuloy ako sa abroad hehehe.

    photography na lang kaya career ko? hehe

  16. its always interesting to read people's career paths. I studied science and chemical engineering was the aspect of engineering that seemed most interesting to me.

  17. I think it's so important to follow a career you love, no matter what anyone else thinks you ought to do.

  18. Oh yeah, I remember this. One of your first few articles I've read.

    'Tis nice to re-read it and my previous comments.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

  19. Careers are for sure forms of experimentation for many of us. Nice post!

  20. I can relate to this one. Intended to be a nurse, then had my appendix removed. Real fast career change. Mind you, I was only 12 at the time, but it was a culture shock to go in a real hospital beyond dreams. So now I am a high school teacher of many years and still love it.

    A great post!

    Smiles and Light

  21. congrats on being a chemical engineer and being happy with your choice.

  22. We all find our callings. Good thing, you did too!

    get going

  23. how enjoyable it was to read your post... it is truly all abt happiness wherever we are... wishing you the best...


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