Saturday, July 28, 2007


Before I started this blog, I just only thought of blogging as a form of an online journal where one can write and tell a story about his weekend getaway into some beach, how many pairs of shoes she keeps in her closet, the tragedy of being dumped by a girlfriend or describe how delicious the food she ate at last night in her 18th birthday with pictures to go by.

But in the course of a life long learning everybody partakes, I realized that blogging is very much more than that.

I see and read a lot of blogs taking a life on its own. It has the power that move and inspire people. It connects people from across the world. A not so long ago, it is quite impossible for someone living in London to know something about the Philippines that is likely to see print on any book or magazine, or broadcast in radio and television.

Blogging has become an institution in itself. And to put it more aptly, blogs are as influential as the conventional media to everyone hooked to the internet.

In about 1 hour preceding the time this post is published, the effort to acknowledge the top 10 emerging blogs of 2007 will be closed. This project was created by the Digital Filipino lady, Janette Toral to honor blogs that are recently making an impact, thus, influential.

I would like to pitch in my own version of influential blogs that, in one way and another, have continually drawn me a smile, thought of an idea, made me excited, inspired me do things not for my benefit but for others, made me hungry, pushed me to love photography, and basically, influenced me the way I see the world.

Julia in the Philippines
I know she's dead, but Julia's blog keeps her alive. As of this writing, her last post entitled Buhay Pa Tayo, has already 324 comments, most of them are words of felicitations and thank you. The legacy she left us all Filipinos is truly amazing and inspiring. She volunteered for the peace corps and has helped a lot of our countrymen which I think cannot be rewarded by any amount money, power or fame.

Inner Sanctum
I first saw Gerry's blog, when Ely Buendia was on the brink of succumbing to heart burns. Since then, I've been reading his posts, rants and thoughts about the world and beyond, which I think are witty, funny, sometimes weird but generally not-your-ordinary kind of writings for a guy who works for the advertising industry. I think he don't like Orange and Lemons and other cover bands who don't have a talent to write original songs and lyrics.

Flickers Photo Club
This is the blog where a group professional, amateur and hobbyists photographers called Flickers Photo Club put their best photos on a weekly basis. And through the extraordinary and all thumbs up photos can described how active the group members are, in terms of camaraderie and helping each other develop their skills through friendly photo-shoots and similar activities.

Inverse tutuldok
My office desk used to stand right in front of this man. He is still a co-worker but the title can be reworked into co-writer because he writes to his heart's content. Edong, a co-engineer never fails to put a funny line in his essays that would definitely put your gums out and exposed. A family man who loves to spend quality time with his wife and two daughters.

Another co-engineer. The good thing about blogging is that you will have the chance to explore a blogger's mind through thoughts written on posts. And Jamie Jean is one of a kind blogger who muses about her niece, her friends particularly those who have left in search for greener pastures and her upcoming wedding. Probably the best thing she shares to her readers is that she blogs about having a life.

I usually find her in the pages of SIM (sunday inquirer magazine) telling where the best food in town can be found. And when she announced her blog to the world, it was packaged in a simple template but elegantly composed of essays about eating.

Iniibig Ko Ang Pilipinas
We have a sitting president with a questionable mandate. Nurses, doctors are leaving for abroad in search for better lives, causing the brain drain. These and among other issues concerning the Filipinos are the subjects of this blog. I don't know the name of the person behind it and only described himself as Pinoy in his About Me page. But he is one of the few who still believes that the Philippines and the Filipino can change for the common good. I think the title of his blog was taken from the second line of Panatang Makabayan.

This is my list of emerging influential blogs for 2007.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


July 21, 2007.

If there's a specific Saturday I'm sure to remember for as long as I live, this would be it. Simply because this day is phenomenal for those who love to read.

Reading, I believe, has become least of a habit when it used to be the 'in' thing, ages ago. In the coming of radio, television, movies, the internet, and other forms of media, the exercise of reading has gone deeply into the doldrums. Rare do I see children hook up on reading books, magazines, newspapers or even comics, but most probably one can find them addicted to computers, or game consoles.

Even when I was still studying, reading was such a dreaded exercise for most of the students across the university.

That's why my hats are off to JK Rowling for genuinely creating Harry Potter and his wizarding world. She has done the unimaginable and brought back people both the young and old all over the world, to exercising their eyes and reading books again.

Her books have been sold in over 93 countries with a record of 325 million copies. This number is of course expected to rise when book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hit the bookstores last weekend.

Rowling has resurrected the excitement that was lost back from the ashes, just like a phoenix.

In the US alone, 8.3 million of the total 12 million copies flew off the shelf in just about 24 hours.

It even defied religious traditions. In Israel, business establishments and stores alike are supposed to be closed on Saturdays, in honor of the sabbath. But last weekend, Harry Potter made an exemption.

In our country, Filipinos are quite silent about the mania over Harry Potter. I was expecting National Bookstore to throw some gimmicks for its thousands of patrons but I got disappointed.

For several months now, my girl has been eagerly awaiting for this day to come. She can't wait to put her hands on the last novel of Harry Potter and she's already finished with the book even before I ended this post.

With three version covers, I have yet to read the Order of the Phoenix, and Half Blood Prince before finally savoring the last Rowling serving.

US and Elsewhere Version

UK Child Version

UK Adult Version

And in every story, there is always the good and evil. JK Rowling's version of You-Know-Who are spoilers who tried to mar the release of the final episode. They came in different sizes and versions.

Whenever you're about to watch a very good movie, and somebody told you the gist of the story, the fun is already destroyed. Spoilers are just like that. They are quite similar to those who make and sell pirated material, or maybe even worse.

Spoilers are losers. They tend to bring down the excitement of knowing the story's ending at the most proper manner and time.

Prior the official release, reviews came out from newspapers disrespecting those who would wanted to know the essence of the Harry Potter by reading the book. There were even photographs of the full 700+ page circulating the internet.

But the good triumphs over the evil. Even these spoilers weren't able to suppress the force behind Harry Potter. It's simply, phenomenal.

However still, I need to finish the book 5 and 6 before I can get my hands on this last book.

So let me just disapparate...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Back to the Sketch Pad

WHEN WAS THE last time you got sick? I mean really, really sick that you can't even go to the bathroom and pee without causing pain in yourself.

About six days ago, I found myself awake at the most upsetting time in the morning, half naked and my body was trembling terribly I can't put it in words.

Doctors are supposed to tell a patient if he's okay and not the other way around.

I thought I was just having a bad case of sleeping without a shirt. As soon as the sun blinded my eyes on a Friday morning, I got myself up to the same daily morning routine of heading to work even if I was already feeling bad and high on paracetamol. Later that day, the fever took a toll on me. I was already wearing a jacket on top of another jacket besides the fact that I was also working under the cold shudder of an air-conditioning about a meter away from my head. So I guess that made the matter worst.

My eyes felt like they're about to fall off and my knee caps were on the verge of collapsing when I decided to have myself checked by the company clinic.

They took two basic measurements before they let me inside one of the cubicles where the doctor was sleeping waiting. One nurse immediately embraced a cuff around my arm, put her stethoscope and pumped air into it before releasing it gradually. Then she took the digital ear thermometer and pushed it gently into my left hearing organ. The clicking sound signaled that my temperature is gauged and ready to be announced soon.

"36.7 degrees po" said the nurse-wannabe who appeared to be a student and is actually on her task to completing her time being an apprentice.

"Ha! Seryoso ka ba?" my cheek was flushed with red when I mumbled these words.

Later on, I was already sitting inside a four walled box with the top side exposed and conversing with the doctor, like I was being judged for a crime and penalty was being cooked for dinner. She asked me if I was feeling okay. I told her I have a fever.

"Pero wala ka naman lagnat oh, 36 lang yung temperature mo eh", she muzzled these words like a painful shot right in my face.

Then, she prescribed me to take ascorbic acid once a day for the colds, and continuously eat paracetamol tablet for the fever every four hours. And if ever the fever doesn't subside, she advised me to better have my blood tested for a possible dengue virus infection. She let me out without touching any part of my body nor use any instrument to hear my heart beat, or check my eyes and throat, the way I expect doctors would do to a feverish patient.

Sunday. If I was kid, I would be filling the pail of tears because the needle suddenly has transformed into an enormous child-eating monster. But I am no longer a kid so this description fitted that of the boy who almost pulled his mother's arm and turned it into a missing Lego part of some mannequin, when she helped the nurse draw drops of blood from his tiny finger. When it was my turn, it was fairly easy as if I just wore away an ant bite. They used a sharp lance powered by a spring launcher that appeared much like a ballpen.

However, I thought that was the end of it. Later on, the doctor in the emergency room persistently asked if my eyes were yellow colored, or if any of my friends had told me my eyes are not as clear as white but resembles that of a ripen banana. She really thought they were not as white as they seemed, so she told me I'd better take the Hepa test. It automatically meant another trip to the laboratory but this time, with the syringe woman.

She wasn't as lovely as I've thought her to be. She was silent and too damn busy with her paperwork that if I interrupted her from her peace with her writing all sorts of lab results (and who knows what else), I might have awaken a sleeping fire breathing dragon. I kept my silence instead and waited.

Judging by her looks, I thought she have a light hand. Because for the first time in history, I have to endure the most painful injection of a needle in my right arm. I tried to sound like it was nothing but it was really painful as if my bone was just pressed with its tip sans the pain reliever. I wanted to cry but I couldn't. I must have forgotten how to leak my tears when pain consumed the rest of my body.

The results were up few hours after lunch time and thank God all tests yielded negative. I don't have a Dengue. My blood is free of Hepa. Not even the common UTI was spotted in my system. It turned out that I have a severely infected and swollen tonsils.

I went home and spent the next 3 days recuperating and rediscovered the fun in reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Thanks to that defective digital ear thermometer, I re-learned a new few things:

  • Don't sleep naked and without any cover while the blower is fanning your back.
  • Syringe, when injected by a careless woman in white robe is a pain in the ass.
  • Digital ear thermometer must be calibrated over time especially when it is being used in a clinic whose patients go beyond a hundred every day.
  • Doctors are supposed to tell a patient if he's okay and not the other way around.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


IF THERE IS one word that could describe the silence creeping in this blog, I can't think of any other term other than the title of this post.

After 5 months of relinquishing my first position in my company, I've been focused most of the time with system administration tasks for a set of processes here in my company.

And two weeks ago, Mexican supporters came in. They are currently on a mission to bring in some new technology, in which I am not in liberty to discuss in detail, for it may jeopardize my employment. Nonetheless, it carried additional assignments because I'm part of the group in charge to catch the knowledge they are deemed to transfer.

The opportunity may be viewed as added burden but I see it differently. It brought me the chance to commune with people that uses the language the Filipinos used to speak more than a hundred years ago - Español!

Mucho gusto.
Buenos diyas, Alejandro!
Cómo estás Mario
Muy bien senior Victor! Si
Adios Benjamin!
Uno, dos, tres!

And somehow, I found useful tools, here and here, to aide me in comprensión y entender these guys who are very jolly and happy people. They work like everything is okay and laughs everytime they make a mistake, and laughs again when they solve it.

I managed though to still write something about my favorite past time - sports and the Team Pilipinas quest to Olympic glory - to slip into my somewhat "busy" time.

Véale más adelante!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Blog Addiction Metrics

87%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?
HERE IS A clever way of measuring if you are inflicted with what they call "blog addiction".

With Technorati at hand, I've searched the top 3 blog addicts of the millions of blogs in the internet. Surprisingly, a Pinoy blogger placed third in the list. Maybe, I need to run this search again the next few days.

98% Cartoon Barry Blog
94% The Social Life Of The Freethinker

The survey or test is composed of 13 questions that would determine how addicted a user is. The result is shown in a graphical way by drawing out a syringe and incrementing the amount of the red color as the questions are answered.