Canada work visa questions?

Applying for a Canada work visa could sometimes get confusing. Sometimes reading and re-reading the Canada Immigration Center guide for foreign workers is not enough. A lot of questions about your Canadian work visa sometimes can only be answered by someone who went through the same process. Misery loves company, so they say.

After a discussions with my wife and her cousing, we decided to create a question and answer site dedicated to Canada work visa applicants, would-be-applicants and just plain curious Georges. It is similar to a regular forum – members gets to ask their questions and other members gets to answer, and then some. What’s good about this Q&A format is that members also get to vote for the answer that they think is the most helpful. The most voted answers then get the top spots in the thread and not buried deep in the topic conversation 3 pages back.

Need help with your Canadian work visa application? Or you just want to know what to put in Line xx of your application form and do not want to bother and pay an immigration consultant? Maybe it’s time you pay the Canada work visa Q&A a visit.


Visualizing the Philippine election scene Part 2

via Twitter SteamGraph

The chart shows how the frequency of the words change over time. This gives you an idea on what people are talking about over time.

via Twitter Spectrum

The chart shows the words commonly associated with Villar and Noynoy. Words at the center are common to both candidates. Look how the words ‘magnificent’ is commonly associated with Noynoy while ‘mudslinging’ is for Villar. Of course, this chart simply shows how many times the words were mentioned and not the context. It’s amazing that ‘#erap’ is at dead center. Does this mean Erap can still influence the election?

via TwitterVenn

The chart above shows the frequency of the words ‘villar’, and ‘noynoy’ as well as the overlap of the two in a single tweet. From the looks of it, Villar and Noynoy don’t come together that often. The chart also shows a word cloud of the most common terms related to Villar and Noynoy.  Just like the spectrum chart, Erap is frequently mentioned along with the top 2 presidential candidates.

The following charts were created using Jeff Clark’s visualization projects. Here are the links to TwitterVenn, Twitter Spectrum, and StreamGraphs. Since the charts depend on the latest tweet, you may get a different result.

What do Filipinos think? Visualizing the Philippine election scene Part 1

Some people when they get bored, they go to the mall or play video games. For me, my solution to boredom is to write code unrelated to my current job. I admit this is not exactly what most people’s definition of fun is.

Anyway, last night while I was scanning Twitter for something interesting, I noticed a lot of posts about the Philippine presidential election, which is less than 2 months away. I guess things are heating up en route to the big game. Hmmn. I been studying data visualization recently, so why not take a shot at these Twitter posts and see what I can find. After a few hours of trial and error, I hereby present a visualization of the Philippine election based on Twitter posts.

Step 1: Click the button below:

Step 2: The fun part
Type keywords ‘Villar’ (without the quotes) and press Enter

You can enter 1 or several keywords and it will show you the context in which those keywords appear. For example, if you enter ‘Ruffa’, you will see the image below. I don’t know the issue between Ruffa and Noynoy Aquino but apparently her mother (as usual) is involve.

When I tried ‘Kris’, I learned that Noynoy’s survey ratings dropped. OK, enough with the spoilers! I suggest trying out different keywords and share what you have discovered.

You can also click on the keywords on the chart. This is cool for exploring the different posts available.

Now, for some geekspeak.

The chart you are using is called a word tree. A word tree allows you to search for words or phrases and present it to you it a tree-like structure. Notice some words are larger than the rest. The size of the word represents how many times the word was found. In essence, the largest word is the most talked about topic related to Villar and Noynoy during the past 4 days.

The cool thing about Twitter is it is programmatically easy to get tweets by people a few days back. First, I tried to pull tweets as far as Jan 1 but unfortunately, Twitter has an artificial limit of 1,500 tweets only. As of this writing, I was able to collect posts between Mar 7-11 only. The date range wasn’t intentional by the way.

The charts was created using the Many Eyes website – a visualization project sponsored by IBM Visual Communication Lab. You can try their visualization tools for free and all data sets are widely available. You can find my Twitter data sets here.

I will continue collecting data until election is over (or maybe until the new president is proclaimed). I am thinking of creating charts on a weekly basis instead of lumping everything because I think it is fruitful to get a visualized snapshots of the election on a weekly basis.

What do you think? Please leave a comment for any suggestions and violent feedback 🙂

Update: The chart doesn’t load on Chrome/OSX but works fine in Safari and Firefox (both on Mac). Sorry, I haven’t tested it in IE and no plan to do so 🙂


1st Philippine Open Education forum

The mini-conference aims to inquire upon the feasibility and development of private initiatives to contribute in the Philippine educational or learning system, as alternative else collaborating actors in this matter.
Philippine Commons

23 April 2008

830-900 :: Registration

900-915 :: Invocation

915-1000 :: Introduction to Open Education
Speaker/org: Creative Commons Philippines
Atty. Jaime “Jimmy” Soriano
1000-1015 Q&A

1015-1030 :: Break

1030-1115 :: Creative empowerment and liberal education
Speaker/org: Friedrich Naumann Stiftung fur die Freiheit
Mr. Sigfried Herzog
1115-1030 Q&A

1130-1215 :: The public direction of Philippine education (primary and secondary)
Speaker/org: Department of Education
Atty. Geronimo “Indy” Sy
1215-1230 Q&A

1230-130 :: Lunch Break

130-215 :: Private initiatives towards open education: International/Local
Speaker/org: Creative Commons Philippines
Atty. Michael Vernon “Berne” Guerrero
215-230 Q&A

230-315 :: Private initiatives towards free and open books
Speaker/org: Bayanihan Books
Mr. Greg Moreno
315-330 Q&A

330-345 :: Break

345-430 :: commercial/business reaction to open content
Speaker/org: Vibal Foundation
Ms. Kristine Mandigma
430-445 Q&A

445-500 :: Closing remarks

Bayanihan Books: Together, we will solve our textbooks problems

Last December I wrote an essay on how to solve the quality and shortage problems in public textbooks as a starting point for a project. After a number of suggestions from friends, we decided to call the project “Bayanihan Books”. “Bayanihan” is originally a Filipino tradition wherein neighbors would help a family relocate by carrying their house it to its new location. More generally, the word has come to means a communal effort towards achieving a noble goal.

Bayanihan Books has a blog and a mailing that has 43 members currently. Two books are now available for editing and volunteers have already started writing the outline based on learning competencies outlined by the Department of Education.

I would like to thank all volunteers who believe in this project and the people spreading the word and recruiting more volunteers.

Bayanihan Books has also been mentioned in other websites as well:


school's vision and mission

school and teacher