Saturday, May 29, 2010

Team Carnival asks: my view on social networking

This week's topic is pretty interesting: all about my opinions on social networking. And why shouldn't it be interesting? Admit it, you've signed up in at least one.

As for me, I'd admit I have signed up in numerous social networking sites. Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk -- I have them. I could say you can easily find me online (provided you know my real name and/or oft-used username. The main reason I signed up for them was 1) my friends invited me and 2) I thought that it was a good avenue to finding people I have lost contact with through the years, especially that I'm almost always online.

But with the advent of these sites also came certain issues like privacy and identity theft. As of late, Facebook has been in the news about their privacy settings. That's why a lot of people think that social networking sites pose a threat to people's lives, in one way or another.

In my opinion, social networking has its advantages and disadvantages. Sites that promote social networking keeps you in touch with people that matter. But it also may be abused by people. I think, like in everything else, when joining social networking sites, you have to also think about protecting yourself to a certain extent. It's fine to update your status once in a while and let people know how you are and how you feel at that certain moment, but you also have to think of not giving away too much, Besides, that's the purpose of a site's privacy settings.

As for me, I continue to use social networking sites, but I make it a point to draw limits on how people can view my profile and personal information. In that way, I protect myself and get to enjoy the site's benefits more. Remember, social networking may be a two-edged sword, but you can use it to your advantage if you know how to use it properly.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

F. Sionil Jose's open letter to Noynoy

Lifted from the online version of his HINDSIGHT column in the Philippine Star, released last Sunday, May 23.


Dear Noynoy,

You are now swamped with suggestions and advice, but just the same, I hope you’ll have time to read what this octogenarian has to say.

You were not my choice in the last election but since our people have spoken, we must now support you and pray that you prevail. But first, I must remind you of the stern reality that your drumbeaters ignore: you have no noble legacy from your forbears. It is now your arduous job to create one yourself in the six years that you will be the single most powerful Filipino. Six years is too short a time — the experience in our part of the world is that it takes at least one generation — 25 years — for a sick nation to recover and prosper. But you can begin that happy process of healing.

Bear in mind that the past weighs heavily on all of us because of the many contradictions in it that we have not resolved, whose resolutions would strengthen us as a nation. This past is now your burden, too. Let us start with the fact that your grandfather collaborated with the Japanese. Your father was deeply aware of this, its stigma, its possibilities. He did not leave any legacy because he did not become president. He was a brilliant and courageous politician. He was an enterprising journalist; he had friends in journalism who can attest to his effulgent vision, who did not profit from his friendship, among them Nestor Mata, Gregorio Brillantes — you may consult them. I cannot say I did not profit — he bought many books from my shop and when he was in Marcos’s prison, your mother brought books from my shop to him.

Forgive me for giving you this unsolicited advice. First, beware of hubris; you are surrounded by panderers who will tell you what is nice to hear. You need to be humble always and heed your conscience. When Caesar was paraded in ancient Rome before the cheering multitudes, there was always a man chanting behind him: “Remember, you are mortal.

I say to you, remember, the poor — some of them in your own hacienda — will be your ultimate judge.

From your comfortable and privileged cocoon, you know so little of our country and people. Seek the help of the best — and the best do not normally want to work in government and neither will they approach you. You have to seek them.

Be the revolutionary your father wanted to be and don’t be scared or wary of the word “revolution.” It need not be always bloody. EDSA I was not. Your father wanted to destroy the most formidable obstacle to our progress — the Oligarchy to which you and your family belong. To succeed, you have to betray your class. If you cannot smash the oligarchy, at least strive to have their wealth develop this country, that they bring back the billions they stashed abroad. You cannot do this in six years, but you can begin.

Prosecute the crooks. It is difficult, thankless and even dangerous to do this. Your mother did not do it — she did not jail Imelda who was the partner in that conjugal dictatorship that plundered this nation. Watch her children — they were much too young to have participated in that looting but they are heirs to the billions which their parents stashed abroad. Now the Marcoses are on the high road to power, gloating, snickering at our credulity and despicable amnesia.

You know the biggest crooks in and out of government, those powerful smugglers, thieves, tax cheats — all you really need is guts to clobber them. Your father had lots of it — I hope he passed on to you most of it.

And most of all, now that you have the muscle to do it, go after your father’s killers. Blood and duty compel you to do so. Cory was only his wife — you are the anointed and only son. Your regime will be measured by how you resolve this most blatant crime that robbed us of a true leader.

And, finally, your mother. We loved her — she united us in ousting an abominable dictator. But she, too, did not leave a shining legacy for her presidency was a disaster. She announced a revolutionary government but did nothing revolutionary. She promised land reform but did not do it. And most grievous of all — she transformed the EDSA I revolution into a restoration of the oligarchy.

She became president only because her husband was murdered and you became president elect only because your mother died. Still, you are your father’s son and may you now — for the good of this country and people — scale the heights he and your mother never reached.

I am 85 and how I despair over how three generations of our leaders failed! Before I go, please let me see this unhappy country begin to be a much better place than the garbage dump our leaders and people have made it. You can be this long awaited messiah but only if you are brave enough and wise enough to redeem your father’s aborted promise.

Hopefully yours,

F. Sionil Jose

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Team Carnival asks: my take on online friendships

This week's Team Carnival host Didi asks bloggers of their views on online friendships. This is quite interesting for me, considering that I participate in a handful of forums and online programs.

But truth to tell, since the first time I have joined chat rooms and forums since 2000, I have never met a single online "buddy." I've never been to any eye-ball event ever in my life, even if I have been invited countless times. Why? I don't know. Maybe because I'm too shy?

But do I believe that real friendships can be formed with people you only met in the virtual world? I think so. I've seen proof of that, especially in the forums that I've joined. The way some of them talk to each other, it's like they've already become best friends. Some people even found love on the Internet. So it's possible that real feelings can be formed and nurtured with your online friends.

In my case, though, I'm still not sure. Even after years of being in the online world, I can't seem to let people inside the real me. Maybe because I'm also afraid that the perception my online "buddies" have of me will change once they know the real me. So for now, I'll enjoy how I relate to my online "buddies." Hopefully, though, I may meet some of them -- and also hope that they get to like who I really am.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Full of Glee

I first saw the promo poster for the pilot of Glee along EDSA months ago. I thought it was just another usual light-hearted American series so I just didn't mind it. But when it won for Best Musical or Comedy Series in the last Golden Globe Awards, it made me wonder -- this show must be good.

After watching a few episodes (thanks to a colleague downloading them) and watching the reruns over at Star World, I must say Glee is one of the best series I've watched in my life. Okay, so it may be something like High School Musical, only that the story revolves around an Ohio school's glee club that's made up of so-called losers and mentored by a teacher who's formerly a glee club member himself. Add a nemesis in the form of the Cheerios cheering squad coach, some cheerleaders and football players, and other faculty on the side and you get one heck of a cast. And oh, they sing at least 3 songs in an episode, ranging from Broadway to Top 40, depicting a certain scene. Now isn't that interesting?

After airing the first 13 episodes, Glee is back with a vengeance. As of late, they've done a Madonna episode and in one of the future episodes they're doing songs by Lady Gaga (complete with Gaga-fied costumes). For this week (geez, I have to watch this), the episode entitled Dream On is directed by Buffy creator Joss Whedon and Neil Patrick Harris (for the early 90s peeps he's Doogie Howser, and for hard-core geeks he's Dr. Horrible) guest stars as Will Schuester's old enemy. NPH, aside from coach Sue Sylvester of course, gives me a reason to want to watch the episode now. And also this one:

Yeah, a Jollibee store was caught at the background during Artie's dream dance sequence. I thought it wasn't from the show, but reports have confirmed that the Jollibee store (in California, I believe) was caught on cam.

And one of the things I want to know is the identity of Rachel's biological mother. I believe the people behind Glee have heeded the fans' clamor. Clue: Idina Menzel. I think I'm right about this one (I sure hope so!).

My week isn't complete without Glee. Try watching it and you'll instantly become a fan like me. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Team Carnival asks: my view on rivalries

Yeah, I'm at the homestretch with this one, hopefully I'm not late yet.

Anyways, for this week's carnival topic, Team Carnival asks bloggers the pros and cons of rivalries.

I've never been in any rivalry except probably against schools. When I was younger, though, I thought that I was always in competition with my sister, the achiever, the better one academically. But you know what, the competition was just in my head. And I realized that once I stepped in college, when we enrolled in different courses.

Looking back, I guess thinking about that made me become a better student. Though I knew I could never beat her when it came to our grades (consistent honor student and dean's lister, graduated cum laude in college), it became my drive to study harder so that my parents will also be proud of me. While the only award I got throughout my student days was a loyalty award, it was okay because I knew I did and gave my best.

I guess rivalries have its pros and cons that it brings out the best in each person or team in order for them to succeed or win over the other. Of course, there are its downsides, especially when rivalries turn fanatic. Sometimes people's minds get too clouded and things get dirty.

In my opinion, rivalries are there to make us work hard in order to achieve our goal. Rivalries bring that passion and drive in each one of us. We should remember, though, that when the competition turns fierce, we should still play it clean. Nothing is sweeter than a victory achieved fair and square, right?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Carnival Week 5 roundup: Earning online -- bread and butter or passive income generator?

Last week, I asked Team Carnival members on their insights on earning online. Is it their main source of income or just something to support your day job?

Personally, it was only a few months ago where I saw the potential of earning online. When my company was affected by the recession since last year, I tried looking for ways to augment my earnings. I've been a blogger for quite sometime, but it was only January of last year when I saw that I can earn through blogs. Since then, I've reached $41 in my Adsense.

I also got involved in paid to post for a few months and earned some $30 already. I stopped though because I felt that I should not compromise my day job for it. So for now, earning online through ads is just my way to support my actual income. If you want to learn about the online programs I've enrolled in, you can check out the badges on top and on the side of this blog.

Other carnival members have also shared their views and experiences in earning online.

Mindy has been writing for about 5 years now and is also earning passive income from her blogs.

Shoutingwind is happy to have earned $15 on her blog.

Pinay and Money is happy with the earnings she gets from her online store on top of her main source of income which is her day job.

And Abstract Things hopes that her blog will soon reach its maximum earning potential and even shares one site that pays to write in blogs.

Thanks to all who participated in this week's carnival. For those who want to be part of this weekly roundup or even host a topic, please join Team Carnival. It'll be fun!

NB: Hope you have practiced your right to vote today. There's a saying, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Let's all do our share for a good, rather better, Philippines.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Who's Thor?

Well, we all know him as the Norse God of Thunder. And we all know that Marvel is going to make a movie based on Thor, the comic book character. Question is, who will be playing one of The Avengers' main members?

The guy who gets to be a god is none other than Chris Hemsworth.

Chris who?

Okay, so for ordinary folks like me who have problems remembering names of people, Chris Hemsworth is the guy who played George Kirk, the father of James T. Kirk, captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701, better known as the Starship Enterprise of Star Trek. Whew!

And on your left is a sneak peek on Mr. Hemsworth as the mighty god Thor, courtesy of For some reason, he looks like Aquaman to me in this photo, with the scaled sleeves and facial hair. A far cry from the clean-cut captain-for-12-minutes in the latest Star Trek movie. But hey, it did pique my interest for the film. Hoping to see more photos for Thor soon.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Carnival Week 5: Earning online -- bread and butter or passive income generator?

Yep, I am Team Carnival's host for Week 5. For this week, I would like to ask the members on their views on earning online. Is it just something to support your savings from your day job? Or is it your actual source of income?

I've been noticing that more and more people are turning to the Internet in finding means to earn money. I've seen blogs meant for article writing for paid to post sites and some have ads on them. If you are one of those bloggers who monetize their sites, what is your reason for that?

I also have an answer to that question, but I'll reserve my response at the end of the Carnival week.

I'll be looking forward to your responses on the topic. Will be posting them soon!