Friday, June 29, 2012

No photos and videos allowed?

I just realized that am consistently writing and blogging my thoughts without any photos or videos attached. I don't know if am already violating some blogging manifestos or rules in the cyberspace. Or if am already giving disturbing and uncomfortable experience to readers.

I am really sorry for the misgivings. But I think am just not ready to click that attach or upload multimedia button. In my experience with my previous blogs, I feel that the time spent for the act of selecting and editing photos takes a huge amount of time, nearly equivalent to the time I spend editing my blog and making every post as presentable as possible. Besides (which is another excuse), I think that it is a responsibility on my part to ensure that photos and videos to attach must be originally-developed or produced by me. If taken from the Internet, the approval or permission from the original copyright holder must be obtained first.

So please bear with me. I hope that I will gain the proficiency to do all these works relative to blogging, and I will become more confident in using this medium.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Postgraduate studies and life questions

I've been thinking of pursuing a postgraduate education for quite sometime now. But am divided on the whys and hows (add the 'what for'). Or another way to frame it is: what to do with it now that am past my calendar years and all my experiences, outlook, ambitions, and life philosophies of 5,000 days ago have been undergoing tremendous changes each passing moment of my life.

Of course my perspective in life is different than when I was starting my studies. When I was a six-year-old kid, all I want is to finish the race to my elementary years so I can enter high school. The same thought remained with me when I was getting my secondary education - to get out of school and enter college. Although I have silently projected that I will become an astronaut when I grew up, but that dream faded through the years (I realized astronauts are math and science wizards).

What is your dream job? But even after completing college, I am short for answers for this compulsory question. I really can't mine an answer. Is it possible to not have any, even one at least. How about the answer to what is the meaning of being a successful person? That without the drive or ambition one is doomed?

It is not that am becoming blithe of education or studying or of life in general. I am just looking for some convincing reasons about my enrolling in graduate schools and the opportunities I can earn from all the efforts.

Lately I realized that it is one's having a purpose not ambition that should be regarded as more important. To at least have a purpose, an intention how one wishes to spend his life with or without a degree, should be a barometer of one's success. And since I also find spiritual guides vital for my decision-making, I checked what the most educational blogger says about getting an education.

And with renewed insights, I believe some of my life questions will find their answers naturally in due time. I hope for what it's worth, and with God's help, I will soon learn several more answers to my questions.

But for now, I think a postgraduate studies will bring me a new universe to explore where I can meet new friends, have same-minded people to share knowledge with, learn new and deeper meanings of things, work together for a pet project that can be beneficial to other people, and experience school again. It's a thought with infinite possibilities. But making some plans turn into a reality is another story, because sometimes, we must accept that some things happen for a reason.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blogtrotting and Filipino bloggers worth following

For this third blog post and even though I have previously opened and launched but never really pursued my former blogs (guilty as charged!), I still feel like a neophyte blogger. Up to this time I feel am still bereft of what I can call inspiration.

Until while writing this, one uninvited question bugged me for a second and demanded an urgent answer. His question is: What really makes a blogger blogger?

Then this question prompted few more questions or answers, such as: Is it the technical know-how, the number of pictures to post, the stamina to create one inspiring post after another? Or is it pure passion that is needed or even faith?

For starters, anyone with an email account can register a blog and become a blogger right away. But it is not very easy to keep the label blogger attached to someone who will just leave the platform after one or two posts of photos in the beach or that one unforgettable excursion photos while sipping frap at Starbucks with friends.

To find answers to my question, I searched for some blogs that promise interesting content and tips on blogging.

I first checked Paulo Coelho's blog because his name brings to mind a very good novella he wrote, The Alchemist. I happened to read this fable a few years ago and I thought Coelho might have few writing or blogging tips for a blog starter like me.

Guess what I found? Yes Coelho did share to me something and for someone with a strong global following, I find the world-renowned book author to be gracious and honest. He even finds time to blog and credit one of his latest article to a Filipino fan who collected the prolific book author's quotations on tips about writing which he now packaged as 8 Tips on Writing. Aside from those writing tips, the lesson here is to pay courtesy to whom credit is due whoever he may be. 

After that moment of bliss, where to go now? It snapped on me that I need not go farther to look for tips from some more popular bloggers outside of my country. In the first place, the Philippines is not only rich with natural resources but its people are the most amazing find in the world - talented, resilient, God-fearing and hospitable. Many too are prolific bloggers!

Yes, there are many Filipino bloggers who are carving a name for their eclectic choices of topics and sensible insights on matters worthy to please netizens for their creativity, intelligence and even humor.  In the process I realized the deeper essence of why blogging can also be considered a discipline.

Now, here's my partial list of Filipino bloggers worth following. Of course, I don't have the means and time to scan and filter the whole wide web of all Filipino greats in blogging. But I am confident of the best three whom I believe deserve to be mentioned:

No. 3.  Mga Kathang-isip ni Kiko blog
Literature, especially in the vernacular, is sweet-sounding as it is romantic to the ears. Yes I love English language literature, especially poems. But there is something striking and appealing when you read or hear poems in your own language. I did not originally discovered this blog, and from what I gathered, the blog is being maintained by Francis Morilao, whose poems are often described as inspirational, imaginative, and smart. Read one of Morilao's post, Bakit nga ba Cinderalla? Hats off.

What I learned: Literature or Philippine lit is still in, as in something worth spending your time to blog about if you are an aspiring writer or sucker for works of fiction or poetry. Even though there are very few of them nowadays, still struggling, but at least there are those who are still trying, and making wonderful works to be read and shared with people. What is more admirable is that they are doing this labor of love at their own expense.

No. 2. Steward of the Secrets of God
Real life stories of people whose lives changed after learning of the Truth are what this collective provides readers. There are stories of former drunkards, drug addicts, prostitutes, hit men, drinking buddies with priests and believe me, they all tell their stories as it is, no faking! Their stories are real and could even be a rich mine for a study of our decaying society in general but these people stand up and never looked back to their former ways because of the new-found faith they have. Thankfully to God in the process, these people find peace of mind and hope after becoming Christians. Ever heard someone mention shouting at the background, life is sometimes stranger than fiction? Well, that is an understatement, just say miracles do happen.

What I learned: Faith stories can be inspirational even without the aid of a script doctor the way they present stories in movies or TV. For every story published in this collective, there is consistency to commend. In all, the blog reflects true to life stories that feel real and close to home. A lesson for bloggers like me is to be as honest and sincere with your  purpose and to extend that honesty to every single post to your blog.

No. 1. Bro Eli Soriano blog
Simply titled esoriano, there is so much to admire in this award-winning blog which earned the Most Educational Blogger to Follow honors from Pete Cashmore-organized's 2009 edition of Open Web Awards. Bro Eli is the phenomenal radio and television host of Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) whose very popular segment, the live format Itanong mo kay Soriano is always well-attended to by people from all walks of life to listen to him speak and ask the preacher questions.

This time, Bro Eli extends his religious public meetings in the cyberspace with this blog platform. Among the most visited blog articles that Bro Eli posted include his expose of the doomsday preacher, Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda who prophesied that the world will enter Armageddon on June 30 this year. Other popular posts by this award-winning preacher is his blogs on whether it is a sin or not to masturbate and the one titled From dusk to man: a scientific proof.

Although topics are approached using the Bible, Bro Eli has mustered enough versatility to really nail different subject matters using a style and tone that are neither offending nor alienating to people who are not really into religion. Readers only need to be open-minded to pick up the gems and pearls from what the blogging preacher is discussing. Check him also via Twitter at @BroEliSoriano.

What I learned:  Your blog must be educational, well-intentioned and well-researched. Responsible blogging requires discipline, commitment and honesty.

Some honorable mentions include:
- The Culture Shack
Although a personal blog, he's got a good collection of past and present pop culture items. Here's his take of Vice Ganda's jokes.

A dynamic fan-generated blog, admirable for how Charice Pempengco's rabid fans from the Philippines and other parts of the globe are taking part to build a very solid fan website for their idol, one product of the social media explosion.

- Robbie Off Duty
This blog by Robbie Becroft, a Filipino-Australian model/actor/photographer has proven once again that you can be presentable without spending much (did I just said presentable? to be more politically correct it is fashionable and trendy, but the face and body of Robbie is absent in my physique, so I used the term that would suit me). His tip is to learn how to mix and match and you are already fine.

- Irvin Arenas blog
A personal blog that should really take me fast time to describe, but always left me short for words to call it. He talks about his artistic, musical, cultural and photographic adventures, which am a sucker of. Best of all his compositions, well in a photographic sense, which am unsurprisingly dying to imitate! Where did he learn all these things? Am willing to be a student of his photo masterclass.

How about you? Who are you following in the blogosphere?


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chances are, time is golden

Today I have a problem. And I am still lost for words to express it. Perhaps by blogging about this, my mind and body might be eased of the tension and pressure of a chronic problem called procrastination. Here it is.

I don't know if it is the lack of inspiration, not being in the mood, or it is the critic inside me that is stopping me from writing. I just can't move my fingers to start with a simple writing project. Yet, I can't begin.

I work as a freelance writer for more than a decade now, with God's help. Since this is my choice after leaving my former employer based in Manila as a business journalist, I believe the independence that I sought and finally achieved automatically excuses me from complaining. And blogging seems but another outlet or a means to excuse myself from really doing the more essential side of my work.

Cramming looks more and more attractive during this phase or period. I have also used all available reasons to excuse and request for time extensions. This should already be manageable because I've been in this business far more than I can remember every waking days. I also have many successful attempts at stopping procrastination from entering my routine. Yet am again struggling. It's like a love-hate relationship that is often on and off, on and off.

I know many are like me who are feeling this whenever confronted with multiple bags of works to do. As the work loads pile and pile, the more that it becomes too tiring to even think about starting or beginning from page one.

My time is running out and yet am still breezing away with my new companion (right, this blog). The time's brilliant eyes are staring my face. You must fight it, I heard the watch clocking a whisper to my ears.

Yes I know. I must start now so I will be closing this post with a quick shot of advice derived from Seth Godin's blog with the title, "Opportunity Cost." At least here's an advice that is not out to advice me the same obvious tips like focus, concentrate and don't read the emails in the morning, etc. In this short blog, Godin said straight to my face: "Clearly, the stuff you miss has a cost."


Monday, June 25, 2012


There are so many things worth talking about and discussing on the Web. Humanity, life, literature, media, politics, relationships, science, society, technology. And the list can go on and on.

Come on, these subjects have been earning tomes of spaces in paper, radio airwaves, television feeds, and more. And as endless as the topics may be, readers too may seem to have grown an insatiable appetite to learn and consume information.  Add what the Internet has been continuously doing for us.

There is an almost unstoppable beat of demand for more knowledge via the cyber highway. There is no such time in human history when the flow of information to the nerve streams of people's brains may be considered this untiring.

For a very long time these ruminations are stirring some thoughts.

My heart was asking, how about putting into words what I have been thinking or seeing or observing? Could it still possibly be needed? My rational mind would bug me and discourage me of pursuing.

Sustaining a blog is not easy though. One must have to have the spark, creativity and genius to quickly say something or share some worthy ideas that can at least contribute to society or the future of the next generation. Or, at least one must have the time to do responsible writing.

Occasionally I think I can build some spark, but most of the time am short of creativity and genius to tell people something that is really compelling. Almost always short for words most of the time to express myself to relay clearly what's on my mind, I am in the belief that I am the last candidate likely to begin this blog then. That's what I thought.

Then these deep thinking lead me to my next question: what will this blogging provide blog-trotters? I am not a scientist, not a writer, not an inventor, and never an expert at things people would die to listen to or give their time to read on matters which may be personal only to me.

But still I am going to give it a try and hopefully manage to share few observations, insights and commentaries on matters that might be striking or relevant to me, and to us who are all in the same page of the history of humankind. Quite ambitious it is but I am publishing my first post and hope you'll welcome me in this virtual community.

Thanks be to God for my first published work.