Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

February 5, 2010

Trying to write again, after a year. This BlackBerry app for WordPress should help – I usually feel like writing when I’m far away from the computer.

I have been trying to reboot my writing, but nothing comes. Hope 2010 would be a more cultured year.


January 18, 2009

Now I think I’ve been hard on myself in getting myself to write in this blog. Hard on myself, like I am on many other things. So I’lll relax a bit, and be happy even if some of the stuff I’m writing remains in drafts. I should be satisfied that I get to empty my head.

I saw my psychiatrist last Saturday. (It’s a “checkup” for most doctors, but a “talkup” for those like me who can’t be examined with physical evidence.) I told him about some recent problems with obsession. I was fanatically obsessed about being perfect in something. I was getting very angry with myself for falling short.

So in writing, I shall let go.

wanted: writing help
January 11, 2009

11 days into the new year, and I’m struggling. I need your help in getting my blog started again.

I know I have a lot of things to write about, but I need more convincing. Or encouragement.

If you know me, please suggest a topic that you know I could write about. Or ask a question.

Help me remove my self-censorship filters, too.

A better reader than writer
January 26, 2008

I’ve been a better reader than writer.

After reading about personal essay writing, I still haven’t felt inspired to write. Perhaps I don’t have the inspiration – do I need more drama?

I wish I could write personal narratives about the tech stuff I do. I’m not working on personal products, as much as I want to get back to open source development. I can write my opinion on tech happenings, but I reallly want to write original material.

There is a lot of interesting tech at work, but I won’t say anything about it.
Fortunately, I’m able to share some of the good stuff with PinoyJUG, the Filipino Java Users Group. Perhaps I could develop my posts into articles.

I’ve been reading a lot of tech, blogs and books. The most noteworthy book is O’Reilly’s Beautiful Code. I bought the PDF edition, the only way I can easily get books when I’m working abroad. I was hoping for inspiration. And I got it. It’s among the most artistic books you can get in the field of Computer Science.

I have also been reading books on testing – an important part of software development that I’ve been taking seriously in the past few months.

The paper books I want to read, I just add to my Amazon wishlist, until I either get to buy them from Amazon or find them in the Philippines.

December 9, 2007

I used to be a music lover. I used to play in bands. But no more.

I have no iPod – no portable music player of any kind.

I have to play music out loud. That often is socially unacceptable.

Ear pain is to blame. I can’t stand sound piped into my ear. I no longer tolerate amplified music. I had my hearing checked – it’s fine. So I don’t know for sure what causes my ear problem. It could be the side effect of the lithium I take.

Sometimes I just want to listen, so I have to make a sacrifice. The listening is fine; the pain and ringing comes after.

Writing Roadblocks
November 24, 2007

These are some stumbling blocks to writing better and more often. I need to resolve these issues to move forward.

  • I feel writing about myself is vain.
  • If I share my feelings, they would either be egotistical or self-pitying.
  • I don’t want to share some things about myself. I’m embarassed.
  • I don’t want to talk about other people. I have no right to share things about them to the world, no matter how incidental.
  • My life is boring, there’s nothing to blog about unlike others.

To get some help, I asked my friend who specializes in these things. So, I’m now starting on Creative Nonfiction, A Manual for Filipino Writers by Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo.

Writing better, writing more often
November 3, 2007

So I’ve been going emo over my lack of innovation. I have figured a way out. A workaround.

I’ve been frustrated over what I couldn’t do in the tech field. A solution is to find something else to do. Something related to this blog. Writing.

I haven’t been writing much prose. I only write technical specifications for work, and blogging for you, the reader. (And of course I haven’t been blogging enough.) My technical blogging is limited. I don’t want to blog anything remotely related to what I work on. Instead, the tech I blog about is stuff that I find fun or significant. I moved the “hard” topics to another blog. I want to keep this blog for personal insights. And for essay-type blogging.

That is the main reason why I haven’t been blogging here enough. I wanted to reserve this blog for article and essay-type posts. I wanted to reach the level of the influential bloggers and tech essayists whose works stand the test of time. But now, I realize I’m not there yet. I need to improve.

I got some writing help. Hopefully, this blog will show results. This blog should warm me up to writing longer pieces, more literary, even.

The first piece of advice in essay writing I got was to write the essay as if it were a personal letter to myself. I’ll apply that to the blog. As a letter, I should be more casual and just let the words come out. I am doing that right now, instead of carefully considering every word. But, I can’t sustain writing like this if the limit is the time I’m on the PC.

I need to take down my thoughts and write down notes. The writer spends their waking time thinking of what to write about – in the same way the programmer thinks of new ways of solving problems.

So I go forward with writing better and writing more often as a goal. I may not declare my 101 goals in public (like Sacha Chua’s goals, assuming even I could even come up with that many. Now if I were as logical as her…)

People are joining the NaNoWriMo this November. Perhaps I should join them, in writing essays. Hope I could do this.

I, Unfilipino?
June 16, 2007

This is a rant about myself.

First, I’m apathetic. I admitted as much when
Nick of asked me to write about Musa Dimasidsing. I didn’t even vote in the last elections (though that’s since I’m out of the country, and not due to apathy.)

I don’t care about Pinoy politics – I find world politics much more interesting and important. Nick did point out it is a social concern. There are some social issues I do care about, and I will post about them in the future. It looks like my blog topics are shifting. I guess there’s only so much I can write about business and tech!

Second, I have a lousy score on Lakbayan.

My Lakbayan grade is C-!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at

Created by Eugene Villar.

On my first take, I got a D. Then I answered it again and remembered some places that I visited before but have long forgotten. The low score is because: I’m not fond of traveling. I really only travel for work. I have only lived in Metro Manila.

I do have plans of improving my score. There are some places I want to visit, more of the historical spots than the leisure places. Some are even inside Metro Manila – I’ve lived there my whole life but I have never been to Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, and Pateros!

On a tech note: I just have to commend Eugene. I’ve been struggling with a web app concept for weeks, but have come up with nothing. Here he comes with something viral!

Feels Great to be Pinoy
May 25, 2007

Nobody has tagged me, but I wanted to answer Marc’s Feels Great to be Pinoy post, now that I’m out of the country.

What are the 3 signs you see happening now that make you say, “it feels great to be Pinoy”

  1. We might feel bad about our country having the same problems over and over again, but when you’re in other countries – hey they’ve got some of the same problems as ours (especially those to do with politics), and some our worse. And some countries like to cause trouble in other countries. At least our problems, we keep to ourselves.
  2. As in Marc’s post, having more work available, whether fulltime employed or DIY. Increasing confidence in the Philippines (regardless of what the US$ PhP rate is) leads to more
    opportunities, as people abroad are willing to send work to our country.
  3. For those who go abroad: for work (OFWs), or migration – many look at the Filipino Diaspora as a bad thing. I don’t. It’s spreading Pinoy Culture and making it more influential. It could be a reason for confidence in the Philippines. Now if only we could make Filipino food more popular -that’s another story!

More replies on the web: Aileen Apolo and Andrew de la Serna.

Band Days
February 16, 2007

I’m almost apathetic about music nowadays. Mostly because it makes my ears hurt. But this pic made me reminisce.

How? No, Chiz Escudero has nothing with my personal history. And I will probably never write about Philippine politics in this blog.

It’s because Mrs. Escudero – Christine Flores, was a bandmate of mine back in high school. Circa 1990-1991.

I was playing drums. I learned just because my friends who played electronic keyboards and piano wanted to start a band. They had no drummer, no bassist. So, they got friends who were game to learn!

I studied drums in Yamaha which then had a branch in Manuela Shaw (now Star Mall). I bought a second hand set from some where, took it apart, and had it painted and chromed. At first I had only the stock “lata” cymbals, but I was able to buy a Sabian hi-hat and Zildjian budget (Scimitar I think?) crash/ride.

Christine was our second singer. Our first vocalist our schoolmate, recruited her when he quit. Our only gigs were: a school “Peace Concert” in early 1991, during the first Gulf War (I remember this was when the “EDSOR Consortium” was formed), UP Freshman Engineering “Maskipaps” when we were freshmen (I didn’t attend UP though); some UP Freshman concert the next year (when the Eraserheads borrowed our guitar cable and walked out mid-performance); and some party in Xavierville (where we played along with Kelts Cross). Our great non-achievement was being the only band who was eliminated during the Xavier Musicfest Eliminations.

The band never broke up, it just faded away. All in all, we had three permanent members including myself, four vocalists, and two guitar players. We played unabashedly commercial showband-quality pop all the way.
That needed a counterpoint. So I had another band in fourth year high school. This was a four-piece punk band, with another of my classmate and two of his neighbors. We had one gig, a punk event in some parish school in Pasay City, where the parish priest shut down the concert to all but a few people in the audience since it was time for Mass. Two years ago, one of them invited me to play with them. It only lasted a couple of sessions since I couldn’t get my groove back.

I also played a few times (3?) in “Jamming EBs” where people met up to play. I also hung out with a friend’s band when they had practice at home.
Somehow I lost interest. It also doesn’t help that I had computer-related wrist problems, and the ear problem. I had myself checked already. My hearing is perfect but the rinning – tinnitus – is annoying.
I was hooked on the electronic drumming game, Percussion Freaks. (And the dancing game, Dance Maniax – another story!) But I have forgotten it already.

I could probably still play, but beatboxing with my mouth is about all the drumming I do nowadays.