Have you ever wondered what will happen when you die?

27 April 2007     •     8 Comments
Daily Dose

I have. Actually, I thought about this about a week ago when my dad’s photographer friend asked for help in transferring his studio’s domain name info to his daughter. The domain is under his late son’s email address (unfortunately, they have no idea what his password is), and he was asking for help in domain transfer and updating his web site. Luckily, my design company’s web host is owned by a friend, so I didn’t feel too weird asking them what to do in such an odd circumstance.

The death of my dad’s friend’s son was totally unexpected—that’s why my dad’s friend had the domain registered under his name. As I remember hearing from a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation past episode… “Children aren’t supposed to die before their parents.” But it happens. And when it does, we’re usually unprepared for it.

The Light

I guess that’s one of the things about us “young people.” We know that we still have a whole lifetime ahead of us, and thinking about death is something far from our mind. I heard my dad tell an aunt once that he was finding it difficult to accept the fact that he’s nearing the point of his life when he needs to start thinking about what will happen when he’s gone. I never thought I would too, honestly. It never really occurred to me until my dad’s friend brought up his domain problem with me last week. Read more

Of family reunions, shrimp paste, and green mangoes

24 April 2007     •     5 Comments
Daily Dose Family Stuff

I love green mangoes, but I can’t eat it without at least a pinch of sweet and spicy bagoong (shrimp paste) on top of a tangy slice. There are green mangoes that are already “on the verge” of becoming ripe—but I don’t like those. I think take they the “fun” out of eating a sour, green mango. Semi-ripe mangoes are already a bit sweet, and I don’t like that (but my sister does). For me, green mangoes are sour. And this sourness, coupled with the sweet and spiciness of the bagoong (I don’t like the salty bagoong on my green mangoes that much either), makes every bite worth the funny face you make every time you eat something so sour.

View my gallery for more photos. My dad took the shots that’s why he’s not in any of them.

* * *

Last weekend, I went with my mom’s side of the family for a swimming outing in Pansol, Laguna. Marc couldn’t come with us (the unfortunate guy had a work shift), so it was basically just me, my parents, my sister, three aunts, an uncle, two cousins, two drivers, a maid and a cousin’s boyfriend. It was indeed a very intimate gathering.

You see, it’s been a long time since we had an outing like this. I think the last time was when my grandma was still alive. My mom had three brothers, each of them having two to four kids each—you can just imagine the fun when you have so many kids in one place swimming at the same time. My grandma would rent a private resort in Laguna (they weren’t too fond of beaches, it’s in our blood to painfully burn like toast when out in direct sunlight too long), and the entire clan would meet up in a gas station along the highway to travel as a convoy all the way to the resort. That was the time when mobile phones were just for businessmen and rich families in hilly villages, so you can just imagine how difficult the logistics was when one of us cousins needed to pee-pee along the way. Read more

Fear of the unknown

20 April 2007     •     8 Comments
Daily Dose

I remember watching a Discovery Channel special on sharks—an hour of close-up videos showing huge fangs and a voice-over emphasizing that sharks are “beautiful, misunderstood creatures.” The host (sorry, I’m not good with names) said that sharks aren’t really evil; people just fear them because they don’t know anything about them. Maybe it’s true, but I can’t swim so I really don’t think I’ll be coming across a shark soon (unless it’s safely inside an aquarium).

Shark silhouette

Is lack of understanding (or knowledge) really the reason why we fear the things we’re scared about? Very few people know how deathly afraid I am of snakes—I can’t take seeing them, I freak out even if they’re just on TV. I cover my eyes whenever I stumble upon a TV show about them. There’s just something about a snake’s eyes that really scares me (probably because I’ve been almost bitten by one during my childhood). Is it because I just don’t understand snakes that’s why I fear them? I guess so, but knowing this still doesn’t take out the fear in me. Read more

Real-life passion and blogging

18 April 2007     •     5 Comments
Tech Things

I know it’s been nine days already since my last post. My husband has been blogging more frequently than I’ve been. This is probably the most used excuse ever, but really, I have been very busy. Too busy to write on my own personal blog. It seems that I did stand true to what I told Abe before: designing will always come first before blogging.

I’ve had so much work backlog since organizing the Philippine Blog Awards. Kind of like the unwashed laundry, which kept on piling up the more I try to forget about it. I have to tie loose ends before I leave for Bohol next week. I’ve learned my lesson—I’m not bringing my work to the beach like I did in Puerto Galera. Doing so really took the fun out of a much-needed break.

Anyway, I wasn’t able to attend the first day of iBlog3 last Friday because of work—I was only able to attend the second one when I also I had my talk in the afternoon. And since I didn’t get any sleep at that time, I spent most of the morning getting coffee from a nearby kiosk—I couldn’t afford to doze off while giving my talk. Although most of what the other speakers said just breezed through my head, I was able to do was I was there for: network! Read more

How do you blog?

9 April 2007     •     22 Comments
Tech Things

Last Wednesday, Sasha and I had a little talk over iced tea while everyone was playing badminton. We were discussing blogging nuisances when the topic of speaking and blogging came up. But since we were so fired up with the nuisances, we weren’t really able to discuss it more in detail.

Sasha said she blogs the same way she speaks, and I think even The Jester-in-Exile agrees to that. But me, I can honestly say that the way I speak is very different from the way I blog.

You see, I had a bit of journalism and creative writing background in me. I took up an elective in Creative Writing under Danton Remoto and had tutelage in journalism from required seminars and my colleagues (under Sunday Inquirer Magazine’s Ruel de Vera’s supervision) during my editorial stint in the school paper. So yeah, that’s one of the reasons why I am able to show a very small fraction of me through my blog, and why I’m able to write long entries instead of short ones.

My blog posts here in Kutitots are similar to editorials, or feature articles. I tried to write like Abe once (you know, short and concise), but it didn’t feel right. I tried Marc’s comedic blogging style, but it didn’t feel right either. It didn’t feel me. Read more

The empty, noisy pail

3 April 2007     •     43 Comments
Daily Dose

The first time I heard about the empty, noisy pail analogy from my dad was 13 years ago. It goes like this:

When you hit an empty pail on the side, it’s noisy. But if it’s full of water, it’s not. It doesn’t even make too much sound.

It’s quite an analogy, even for my dad. And I remember it as clearly as ever just now.

Sometimes I wonder if other people are forgetting that I’m, first and foremost, a designer (and a full-time one at that), and problogging is only a part-time job (if you call it a job). Between the three of us organizers, I think I’m probably the most calloused when it comes to criticism. If I wasn’t, I’d be out of business. If my sensitivity to criticism was similar to that of a Makahiya plant, I’d be bawling every single day I open my inbox.

My clients demand the best service, and that is understandable. They are, after all, paying for my services. So I guess that’s why I take “the header doesn’t look good, I’d prefer it this way” as a venue to improve my work—and not something for me to lose sleep over. But when people cloak personal attacks as criticisms, that’s an entirely different story.

As I have posted last Sunday, we are very grateful for the work done by the volunteers. And the support from the blogging community. And the sponsors. You can just imagine how much it pains me to see personal attacks disguised as criticisms. Sure, it wasn’t directed at any of the three of us organizers. But the volunteers have worked sleepless nights for weeks just to make sure that the Awards Night pulls through. They don’t deserve that kind of treatment. Actually, nobody does. Read more

Big thanks to everyone!

1 April 2007     •     25 Comments
Tech Things

I could have blogged about this soon, but I’ve just woken up from my 16-hour slumber. Yes, I’ve been sleeping for sixteen hours straight. As soon as I got home, I ate a bit (I was only able to grab a bite and a cup of coffee since I had my one-hour power nap after lunch), posted the winners of the 2007 Philippine Blog Awards, and went right to bed. I wasn’t even able to join bloggers at the 2BU after-party (I’m so sorry, Pam!), the fatigue from the stressful two weeks was sinking in. I was just so tired.

I’ll be lying if I say I’m not glad it’s over, because I’m glad that it is. Planning my wedding is probably the only event I can think of that closely resembled the stress I’ve felt (I slept an average of three hours a day too before my wedding), and I was glad when it was over too. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great. Because it was.

The Awards Night turned out better than we expected. It was our first time organizing an event as grand as this (“event planner” isn’t really a job description that we’d give ourselves), and it was quite surprising that we didn’t run into too much snag (which paranoid me expected). There are a lot of things that we can improve on, which is also a good thing for the simple reason that next year will even be better. Yes, there will be a next year 🙂 Read more

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