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Growing up in a religious town in northern Philippines, my early involvement in science was relatively modest, but a jeep accident and the advent of the jet era changed my career path. I did a few years of particle physics research before joining the cryosphere group at NASA/Goddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences (GLAS) and got involved in the analysis of satellite data, field programs and process studies that led to many breakthroughs in our understanding of the role of sea ice and the polar regions in our climate system. I will also talk about my recent experiences as a coordinating lead author in the upcoming IPCC/WG1/AR5 report and the educational outreach I have been doing in the Philippines.