Tag Archives: Javier

San Francisco Javier y Castillo de Javier (Navarra)

El pasado verano de camino hacia Francia hicimos una excursión en Navarra, con parada en Javier, donde se encuentra el Castillo de Javier y donde nació San Francisco Javier el 7 de abril de 1506.

Castillo

La construcción del castillo se inició a finales del siglo X, en tiempos de Almanzor, como torre de vigilancia para defender el valle del río Aragón. Con el paso de los siglos se añaden estructuras hasta que en el siglo XIV se edifica el “Palacio Nuevo”, siendo propiedad de la familia Azpilicueta.

Escudo

En una de las salas del castillo se muestra un árbol genealógico con todos los “Señores y Condes de Javier” desde el siglo XII, comenzando por Aznar de Sada (1194-1203) hasta el actual Javier de Urzaiz y Ramírez de Haro (1975- ). San Francisco Javier, con el nombre Francisco de Jaso y Azpilicueta al nacer, fue el quinto hijo de Juan de Jaso y Atondo (Señor de Javier) y María de Azpilicueta y Aznarez de Sada (Señora de Javier).

Arbol

A los 19 años se fue a estudiar a la Universidad Sorbona de Paris, donde conoce a Ignacio de Loyola, junto a quien, entre otros, fundaría la Compañía de Jesús en 1534. En 1540 parte a Lisboa para luego seguir con su viaje como misionero a Mozambique, la India, las islas Molucas o Japón entre otros. Es por ello que en 1927 se le nombra como patrón de las misiones católicas en el mundo.

Painting

En el pórtico de la basílica que se encuentra junto al castillo, construida en 1901, se mencionan todos los lugares que visitó, junto con una cita del evangelio de San Mateo (16:26) “¿Quid prodest homini si mundum universum lucretur animae vero suae detrimentum patiatur?” (“¿Porque qué aprovechará al hombre, si ganare todo el mundo, y perdiere su alma?”).

Basilica

Portico

Dentro de la basílica se puede contemplar una losa que marca el lugar donde nació Francisco, dado que esa parte de la iglesia anteriormente formaba parte del Palacio Nuevo, derribado parcialmente para levantar la basílica.

Nacimiento

Javieradas. Fuera del castillo, unos paneles explican en qué consisten las Javieradas: unas peregrinaciones que se realizan en honor al santo desde 1932 por iniciativa de Camino Jaurrieta Muzquiz, rescatando una primera peregrinación organizada en 1886 en agradecimiento porque Navarra no había sido afectada por la epidemia de cólera de aquel año. Las peregrinaciones se realizan en el primer domingo entre el 4 y 12 de marzo, y al domingo siguiente.

Javierada

Por último, la festividad del santo se celebra el 3 de diciembre por ser la fecha en que murió el santo en 1552 en la isla Shangchuan (China), a los 46 años de edad. Sus restos se llevaron en 1554 a Goa (India) donde fue enterrado.

Libros

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Start blogging

Today it’s been a year since I started this blog. I wrote the first post on February 9th 2010, and went live a few days later. I had been musing the idea of starting it for some months plus some people close to me encouraged me to do so as well.

In the end I decided to give it a try. Initially, I took it as a learning process: It would force me to learn what that of blogging was, some etiquette about them, etc… Few days after the starting the blog I created my Twitter account and gave it a try with some other tools… still, there are many other tools and applications that I still have to learn and use.

During those days I had the simile in my head of our previous generation: some of them are not even using the internet for as little as 10% of the things we use it for (buying things, social media, reading the papers, watching videos, etc.). It all started because some years ago they did not push themselves to try it, when it was all starting. This was what moved me to start. Who knows how the Internet will evolve from now to 10 years time? But what it is sure is that it won’t go backwards, so we better do as much as we can not to stay behind.

I just finished reading the book “Todo va a cambiar”, by Enrique Dans (in Spanish; I may write about the book soon), in the last chapters you may read the following passage:

“¿Debe […] empezar un blog? La respuesta es clara y concisa: si no lo ha hecho hasta ahora, sí”

Starting the blog is relatively easy; you just need to follow the instructions of any of the free blogging services. Continuing with it is a bit more difficult. You need to be creative, think about more or less valuable ideas that you want to transmit: During this first year I have written 120 posts, about 10 per month or one every 3 days… behind some of them there are hours, of thought, of calculations, of editing. But it has always been fun (as my brother said “you started it because you wanted to preach freely”).

It is fun to think about ideas, that later may or may not be translated into a post, while you are travelling, reading the paper, watching a video, etc. It is fun to see the statistics (over 8,000 visits during this first year), make calculations with them (for an average of 22 visits/day), it is fun to read and reply to comments, and even better to see someone recommending one of your posts.

There are many, yes, many other very good reasons for writing a blog.

Since some months ago I follow in Twitter and read the blog of Connor Neill, a professor at IESE business school. I had the chance to attend a workshop/conference by him at the Toastmasters District 59 Fall conference in Barcelona last November where he spoke about leadership. One of the pieces of advice he gave was to write every day for some time, be it 5 minutes, 500 words…

You may find a very good post in his blog that describes very well that part of his presentation about the importance of writing, where he gives up to 20 “starting questions to use for reflection”.

Should you start a blog? The answer is clear and concise: if you haven’t done it yet, yes.

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Filed under Books, Personal development & HR, Toastmasters, Twitter & Media

The best (and the worst) of the first 100 posts

Today is a symbolic day for the blog: this is its 100th post.

I started the blog in February 2010 and about 15 posts ago I thought: “what could I write about for my 100th post?”.

A reflection: To be honest, after 100 posts I still haven’t got a clear idea of which post topics you, the readers, like more and which less. What do you think? In this post, I will just give you the list of the ten most read posts and the ten least read ones…

1. An aircraft worth its weight in gold?
2. FC Barcelona copying Real Madrid
3. A Kiva success story
4. Mi adiós a Ibercaja
5. Boeing forecast for A380
6. Most common letters in English and Spanish
7. TEDxMadrid 2010
8. Venture Capital & Crowdfunding
9. 3 wishes to Nosso Senhor do Bonfim
10. My flat-renting decision process

90. Giving feedback at Pixar
91. From climbing to merely walking
92. Sao Paulo from the top of Banespa building
93. How rain determines olive tree economics
94. Nothing like a good red wine…
95. Speech about Minifutbol
96. Three centuries of confusion
97. Opera with subtitles
98. Book review: Pirate Latitudes
99. Book review: La Hermandad de la Sabana Santa

Some stats from this period: over 5,700 visits (~18 per day), being the day I announced that I moved to Toulouse the most visited one.

Let’s see what I’ll write in the next 100 posts…

 

NOTE: the box in the right showing “Top Posts” shows the most read ones in the last week, not the all-time most read ones (the ones above).

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Moving to France

 

My one-way ticket to France.

 

By now, most of you (family, friends and colleagues) know about it, this is mainly for those who did not.

I am starting there sometime in December.

You are invited to pay a visit.

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Meet my avatar

Time ago I already introduced you to my Lego. Some weeks ago during a Gol flight in Brazil I was reading through the in-flight magazine when I found an article that talked about Meez among other things.

I was just playing with it little bit. Please, meet my avatar, “Javier in casual Friday” (just if I wore casual on Fridays…).

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

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“Caimaneando”

Last year Luca and I went to Peru on holidays. One of the places we visited was the Amazon basin, where we stayed some days in the rainforest in a ecotourism lodge (Posada Amazonas) close to the river Tambopata.  

There we spent two days walking around the jungle, watching different species of animals and plants, going out in the middle of the storm, sleeping in the open air… everything in a place without electricity, hot water, internet and some other Western amenities, 3 hours by boat away from Puerto Maldonado the nearest city.  

Boat trip through Amazon basin.

 

We really liked that experience and we look forward to repeat it.  

In this post I mainly wanted to share some pictures of two quite different activities we did there. Fishing for piranhas and navigating down the river “caimaneando” or silently looking for caimans…  

Fishing piranhas.

 

Caimaneando in Tambopata river.

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Aerospace, a high-tech sector in Spain

Two years ago, there was a televised debate prior to the general elections in Spain. I remember I was watching it with friends and the incumbent president said “Spain is the leader country in the technology of air refuelling aircraft”. Since those friends watching the debate with me and I work in the aerospace sector we appreciated the comment.

Many things have happened since them, but one has not changed: aerospace sector is one of the most technologically intense in Spain.

For this post I am using mainly two sources: 2008 annual report from ATECMA (Asociación Española de Constructores de Material Aeroespacial, now replaced by TEDAEAsociación Española de Tecnologías de Defensa, Aeronáutica y Espacio; 2009 report is being cooked) and 2009 report from COTEC (a foundation for technological innovation, “Informe Cotec 2009“).

I already mentioned in a previous post the size of aerospace sector in Spain: 5,577M€ revenues in 2008. In the last 10 years aerospace revenues in Spain have trebled. In 2008 Spanish GDP was about 1,088 bn€, so aerospace sector weighed 0.51% of Spanish economy.

Aerospace sector revenues and R&D evolution.

Regarding the employment, there were 36.160 employees of which over 15,000 were graduates, engineers and managers; 41% of the workforce consists of highly qualified employees. The employment of the sector has been doubled in the last 10 years.

Aerospace sector has presence in 16 regions, with the highest contribution from Madrid (63% of revenues and 57% of employment).

Aerospace sector revenues and employment per region.

There were 335 companies: 6 employing over 1,000 workers and 318 SMEs.

The sector had a positive trade balance of 3.6bn€ (while Spain has a large negative trade balance, of about 100bn$ prior to the crisis, now around 70bn$, 4.5% of GDP).

Aerospace industry is a dual industry: companies involved in it develop both civil and military products. The weight of each depends on the different years, but on average Spanish aerospace industry is 60% civil and 40% military.

After this brief description of some facts (see ATECMA report for a more detailed view of the sector), I want to remark the technological intensity of the sector.

Aerospace sector invests about 10-15% of its revenues in R&D. This is by itself an impressive, figure: Spanish economy as a whole invested in 2007 1.27% in R&D, thus aerospace invests 10 times as much as the economy average. If we said that the weight of the sector was 0.51% of Spanish economy, the aerospace R&D represents 5% of national R&D investments. Even more, if we only count R&D executed by companies, aerospace R&D contributed with 8.5% of total private R&D.

I included in this post the report from COTEC because it makes a distinction among the different sectors dedicated to technology in Spain: manufacturing vs. services, and high technology vs. medium-high. It uses categories derived from INE (Instituto Nacional de Estadística), and there we see 6 sectors classified as “High Technology Manufacturing Sectors”:

  • Pharma
  • Office material and computers equipment
  • Electronics components
  • Radio, TV and communication devices
  • Medical, precision, optics devices and watches
  • Aerospace

R&D investments of high-technology sectors.

Combining the data from this report with data from ATECMA (using 2007 figures for comparison with COTEC), we reach the following findings:

  • Aerospace sector revenues represented 15% of high-tech manufacturing sectors.
  • High-tech manufacturing sectors invested 1.3bn€ in R&D in 2007, this is 4.5% of their revenues, or 10% of total R&D in Spain.
  • Aerospace sector R&D represented 49% of high-tech manufacturing sectors R&D (!).

Indeed, it seems a high-tech sector.

If you wish to compare Spanish A&D with other European countries, please see the ASD reports (AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe).

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