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I remember being in high school when I found out about the rising popularity of “going green”. There were designer bags that said “I am not a plastic bag” made of eco-friendly materials. Various brands adapted this theme with lines of eco-friendly products and more people participated in different activities like the Earth Hour proving the efficiency of what I call the “green virus”.

I took advantage of the “green virus” by recommending my group mates in our physics investigatory project to do a study for the best substitute for plastic bags discovering alternatives and doing strength and water resistance tests. The project was a success in terms of innovations in testing but more importantly in my own personal realizations.

When I do a project, I get into it so much that I usually talk about it to various people, even those who aren’t field experts since there is a probability of gaining knowledge from anybody and everybody. So as I was talking to my Tito about the “green revolution” and saying how we Filipinos are gaining awareness on plastic alternatives, he made a point by saying that we did not need the popularity of going eco-friendly since for the longest time, we Pinoys have used the “bayong” for our wet market shopping. Those who use this reduce plastic bag consumption since the bayong can handle anything from vegetables to fish. This made me realize that we’ve had junk shops and “bote dyaryo” for the longest time as well that promoted convenient recycling and earning for all.

This made me realize that like a virus, our concept of recycling could possibly be contagious. When the world promoted recycling, we’ve been doing it. When the world promoted less consumption of resources, we were doing it unconsciously. And though there are multiple factors that should be considered, it would be nice to think that we promoted the concepts mentioned. But of course, much research is still necessary to prove it.

In the case of Unilab’s Ideas Positive, with the slogan “Are you CONTAGIOUS?”, it is essential to ponder on the thought that the teams who joined proposed a project that only had a hundred thousand peso seed money to change the community. The government has spent millions trying to change a community (though it is quite doubtful if the millions really went to the communities) and yet we barely see any change. And here are groups of students who believe firmly that they could make a big difference with only a small parcel of what the government spends.

I believe that it is the passion that they have that makes them contagious. I personally think that a trip to Bora is not enough motivation to spend countless hours researching not to mention future grilling. They wanted to make a difference.

I distinctly remember one of the judges questioning the social media marketing strategies of one of the groups. The group wanted to show the youth in particular what they were doing to promote awareness on the issue. I think that in doing this ,they can inspire as well.

I distinctly remember last year’s Ondoy, it was the youth who moved (not the government); Facebook was filled with invitations and updates on various relief operations encouraging volunteerism and action. And like a virus, many students volunteered and helped make a difference. And I believe that this is not a bad strategy to promote a health project as well. Because as Ondoy proved to us all; the effort to help, is indeed very contagious.

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While this blog was still a baby, I posted a blog entitled “Charice is on Glee… SO WHAT!!!”

Well, I guess me writing a blog to begin with showed I cared, even if I said I didn’t (I’m trying to justify myself to show that I didn’t sell my soul).

First let me tell you about the day I saw Charice on Glee. I was on my way to meet my friend Justin in her office. On my way, I saw banana-q and remembered she asked me before to bring her some but I didn’t; so to make up for that, I took time to buy some and wait for the freshly cooked ones even if I knew that Glee was about to start and I could watch in her office. I just didn’t want to see a false sense of nationalism in people watching the show only because she was there.

But I reached her office and there was Glee. I was happy to see Sue again in her usual sweat suit and attitude. I was also happy to see Finn and his new hair color among other things; hey I am a Gleek!!! Nonchalantly, I asked Justin if Charice went on already, and Justin said yes. I jumped for joy since I thought I wouldn’t see botox girl anymore. To my surprise, she was made to sing a full song. And… and… I… dare I say this… I liked it!!!

And I was not the only one who taught of it that way; while watching Glee, Justin had her Twitter and Facebook pages open and all of her online contacts said this and that about Charice. All of the posts were about Charice. Even Justin tagged me on a post that was about Charice… and the banana-q I brought her 🙂 .

I am not like many who are into liking her to spur the false nationalism they feel for seeing a Pinay talent, I liked it because I actually saw real talent.

Little did this girl know that her YouTube video would go viral leading her to Ellen to Oprah and to Glee. This is how I see the future of talent scouting. If in the past, one has to go to recitals with hopes of having a single talent scout in the audience increasing probability for stardom; now, upload your video on YouTube and you are have the world as your stage. If you deserve to go viral, you will get noticed. If you have real talent, you will get a record.

Social Media created a bigger stage for talents. A stage that they once never imagined. If concert grounds allows you to be watched by thousands, YouTube allows you to be watched by millions. So friends… watch out for my version of Paparazzi, who knows;  I can be on Glee one day… hahaha!!! 😀

My OrCom 142 class requires a book report. Fortunately, my friend Vistal recommended the book Inside Steve’s Brain by Leander Kahney. And not only did I understand the interesting person that Steve Jobs is but I was able to grasp what Apple is.

More on Steve later as I will paste my personal insights on the book in this entry, I’d like to focus first on Apple as I was able to actually take a bite on the company that revolutionizes technology.

I prefer not to use Apple because I couldn’t afford it and because I find it difficult to use. I would often say that “wala naman yang right click” even if eventually I found out that it actually had a right click. But I realized through the book’s clear description of what Apple products are. The products are simple and easy to use in such a way that once you start using Apple, you’d never want to use anything else. Not to mention that it continually gives products that are of cutting-edge technologies that people see it as a necessity instead of a luxury (people swear that they “need” an iPod).

I distinctly remember that immediately after I graduated high school, my high school had a computer room built with only Apple computers and gadgets in it. Most of my batch mates clamored over the fact that the school was unfair for waiting for us to graduate before the project happened, I was happy because I loved using the right click button in my regular computer.

But what I realized is the fact that I am afraid of change. I am used to this computer that I have grown accustomed to and consider it user-friendly because I got used to it. But really, as the objective point of the view shows, Apple will play a vital role in our future. It is the company that provides technology unimaginable in the past. And my high school made a right decision in setting up that computer room to better equip the student for what the future brings.

So unlike the oldies who prefer to stay in their time, not learning what the future holds for us, I plan to learn how to use that Mac’s right click function. Hey, we have to start somewhere…

Here are my personal insights on the book, though it’s more about management, I am including it in this post as well. It’s interesting enough I think:

Though the book described jobs as a “passionate asshole” I see him as a bitch. But before one gets too carried away, let me describe what a bitch is in my opinion. A bitch to me is someone who ensures that s/he gets what s/he wants when s/he wants it, in whatever way possible.

Steve wanted perfection and he got it. He was a bitch in the process, yelling and screaming giving Regina George of the Mean Girls movie a run for her money. He wanted a line of computers and eventually gadgets that worked seamlessly into the lives of people. He got it. All because he was a bitch, a passionate bitch.

He did not settle for anything that was not close perfect. He ensured that if he was not given perfection, one was not escorted out of the door but was thrown out of the door. The result of his bitchyness was that everyone in Apple knows that they were hanging on threads; they could be the hero today but still have the vulnerability to be fired tomorrow.

He got what he wanted, he changed the world through technology that people deem as overpriced but highly functional. He did it by being a bitch; he never stopped until he got what he wanted. And in our world where mediocrity has become the norm and with people who are not working as hard, it is safe to say that at this point: bitches are essential.

We agree to disagree.

We argue nonstop.

It never ends.

That’s why we love each other.

I first met Angelica Cruz in class amidst a sea of smart intarmed students (who we loved by the way). We were a minority who preferred to live in a world that is as far from the hospital as possible. And like the Asians in Glee, the non-health sciences students decided to group together. Fortunately, we’ve all remained friends. And though Angelica transferred to Diliman, we make a constant effort to visit each other. Primarily to debate and argue.

We argue about everything; politics, other friends, enemies, closet queens, education, and possibly any topic that any person could take a side. And one of the major topics that we fight about is the concept of social networking.

Angelica only has e mail and YM. And at times, when I want to tag her a post or PM her a photo, I’d have to bring her to an internet shop to show her. Though I am not really a social networking junkie, since I only have Facebook and defunct Multiply accounts , I’ve been forcing her to make a Facebook account. She persistently says “no”. I’ve begged and pleaded, still, she said “no”.

When asked why she is so against social networking, she said, “I don’t like the idea of being in a community with absolute strangers. I don’t want people to think they know me, or even just a semblance of who I am, by looking at my profile. I don’t want my friends to judge me just because I posted some wacky or kitschy photos for fun. I don’t want to be part of a culture that says you have a healthy social relationship with the world and life, because you have so many friends.”

OUCH!!! ARAY!!!

She always hits me where it hurts.

Instead of rebutting her arguments, I think it’s important that I take a step back and think. Yes, I am friends with absolute strangers. Yes, people think they know me by seeing my wall. Yes, I’ve been judged for my posts. Yes, I wanted more friends to show that I had a healthy social life.

Though I admittedly never buckle down in arguments with Angelica, maybe I should think about this one. The use of social networking indeed needs a lot of discernment. People should know what is really important, with knowing who their real friends are because they could never literally live in the world of Facebook.  People should think before they post, because as a friend mentioned, “lahat ng issue, galing sa Facebook.”

So to my dear friend Angelica, I give up. I will just keep on loading my phone so I can text you. I will stop forcing you to make a Facebook account for my sake. Because this time, you really won the argument.

In my interpersonal communication class last semester, our teacher asked us what we do when we’re mad at somebody. I immediately answered “paringgan mo sa Facebook”. Laughter followed and my realization that that was indeed my personal situation.

I am not an attention whore. Though at times, I think I have a high propensity of being one, I still don’t do anything that blatant to actually get attention. Except if you see my Facebook wall.

A good friend once confronted me about my status message that read, “you have NO right to laugh at me!!! alam ko lahat ng sikreto mo! LAHAT LAHAT LAHAT!!!” and told me napaka-contrabida ko. With this was the curiosity to know who I was fighting with eventually lead to a lecture on how I should confront people if there’s an issue.

Well, I do confront people I have issues with, if and only if they matter. Because if they matter, I’d want to mend the problem. Otherwise I say it on Facebook. The following are status messages I made aimed to bitchslap the reader I was making “parinig” to:

·        “insecure people will always try to dampen the confidence of someone who is secure”
*sorry insecure people, you can only try because you cannot do any better… kawawa naman kayo… don’t go out of the house na lang…

·        nakita namin ni Andrian Alarcon Alfonso ang kapatid ng isang closet queen… and we were VERY tempted to make sumbong… wink wink…

·        saw piola… oh i mean piolo pascual… and i can’t help but wonder… bakit shaved yung legs niya??? ay… alam ko na pala yung sagot… hahaha… DINGA!!!

·        Kris Emmanuel Villongco ‎: sis, ano siya, bading ba siya o mabait lang?
Andrian Alarcon Alfonso: MABAIT NA BADING.

·        overheard: “that’s what’s friends are for’s”
*hindi ko siya friend… don’t worry

·        Jose Mateo Dela Cruz, nakita ko na yung pinag-tatawanan natin kangina… hahaha… the fact na mabaho paa niya… what i saw now lang was just epic!!!

·        ‎”YOUR TIME IS ALMOST END” sabi sa akin ng computer sa internet shop… sagot ko “TANGA MO!”

·        tolerance is the reason why closet kings/queens exist… solution: pilitin silang umamin… if that doesn’t work… well, it’s their loss…

·        you think you’re ganda?! sorry baby, you’re not…

·        “natatawa ako, iba kiasi talaga pagka-closeta niya!” – Cristine Lopez
*ate tin, hwag kang mag-alala, hindi man siya umamin alam na natin yung totoo… hahaha… gugustuhin pa kaya niyang makikagat sa pastry ng iba?

·        the biggest insult you could ever give anyone who betrayed you is immediate forgiveness… just because immediate forgiveness shows that you weren’t expecting much… just because anger will just show that you actually care…

·        you’re made of plastic… as in recycled plastic (because producing recycled plastic creates more pollution than making new ones) to show na peste ka talaga sa mundo!!!

·        i can only HOPE that one day you acknowledge the fact that i was there for you when you needed me, bonus na lang talaga if you say “thanks” since i know that you realizing my importance will forever be JUST A DREAM….

·        stupid conversation sa MASIKIP na LRT:
girl 1: grabe sched ko sa college, 12 to 6 klase ko!!!
girl 2: grabe nga yon, 7 hours klase mo…
KRIS: (sumabat) hindi ka ba tunuruan mag-count sa elementary? (sabay baba ng train)

*sorry, i have a very low tolerance for stupidity and tight spaces…

You be the judge if I was successful or not.

All I know is that Facebook changed the way I bitch. If in the past I had to ensure a safe distance to avoid a literal slap, now I can slap and slap.

Every time there is a viral video to be presented in class, I enter like Venus Raj and Janina San Miguel’s son; filled with so much confidence in spite of being unsure about the video and its viral potential.

With this confidence comes cockiness in thinking that my group has the best video even if I know that my classmates’ are just as good if not better.

But our viral video for Manikako was entirely different. It was creative and artsy, just the way we wanted it. I was jumping up and down when GJ and Angel showed it to me, I knew that we did something right.

Fortunately, we presented first. I was happy. It was a success!

Little did I know that there was a video that would shock and make its viewers think. You see, I often see things like these as a mini competition and I think some (like me) are really pre conditioned to like our product only.

But I fell in love.

The video “kilala mo ba si nena” for ECPAT had all elements needed to make a video viral! It was artistic, disturbing, and most importantly: viral.

Presenting an idea that is not new but making it fresh made it succeed. I was speechless after seeing the video.

I see the concept of viral videos as the perfect marketing strategy because it’s cheap. I mean, companies pay to have their commercials shown but imagine the brilliance of video commercials that people would want to search, share, and talk about spreading it like a, well, virus.

I can only remember a few viral videos in the Philippines that are company related. I mean, we have the usual talent videos that caused the stardom of Rin on the Rox, Hitmanbrakeroftheye, Lady Gagita, and of course, Charice. But company commercials that tickle the imagination should be taken into consideration.

So I’ll go into specifics. McDo has made commercials that went viral. The first example is the commercial where a little girl was being asked where she inherited good physical traits by her mom and dad to which she perpetually answered she got it from dad as the camera zooms down under the table only to find out the dad was giving her French fries every time she answered “daddy”. This caused a moral uproar with the church saying that it showed wrong values etc. The thing is this gave McDo so much publicity as the video was talked about in the news to church services. And this was free! And if we go by the dogma that bad publicity is good publicity, the video, virally speaking was a success.

The second example is still the best local viral commercial video I’ve seen. Also by McDo, the “Lolo, Karen po” commercial is still the best. Set in Mc Donald’s, Karen brings food to her Lolo who perpetually calls her Gina due to old age (“ulyanin”). And as she is about to get disappointed, the Lolo splits his burger saying “ito ay para sa paborito kong apo na si Karen.” Brilliant! This garnered a lot of buzz. They were applauded for giving importance to Filipino values and everything. In this case, good publicity was really good publicity. This video even launched the career of Karen delos Reyes the “Karen” of the video (I wonder if she just adapted that name since the commercial was so popular). And was spoofed by Bubble Gang (when it was still a hit) even long after the commercial went out of air.

Aside from the mentioned, Surf’s “Lumeng” allowed us to watch Lumeng in courtship, marriage, and family life; she’s literally aging with us. And who would forget Sprite’s “I loooooove you Piolo” which launched Toni Gonzaga’s career and Coke’s “Ito ang beat sabay sabay” with matching hand moves almost making it as popular as “nanay tatay”. I am quite sure that most, if not all commercials, seek viral potential; but rarely do they succeed.

So from Karen to Nena, I still hope to see more viral videos of top quality.

In a relationship and it’s complicated.

What does this exactly mean?

Currently I am digesting this.

As I have been digesting since the existence of Facebook.

My linguistics professor once brought up the term “it’s complicated” to class and asked us what it meant. And though I admittedly posted this once as my relationship status, I never really knew what it means.

So I decided to squeeze my brains out for a probable meaning not to mention that I asked my friends as well. These are the possible meanings for “it’s complicated”:

  • He loves me but I don’t love him
  • I am her boyfriend but she does not know
  • We’re together but we fight… nonstop
  • MU kami… as in Malabong Usapan
  • Fling?
  • I love him but he does not love me
  • We’re cheating on each other
  • Cool-off
  • Boyfriend ko siya pero gusto ko siya pahirapan
  • I am so in love with him and though he will never love me, I am loyal to him
  • We’re about to break up
  • She always threatens me that she’d break up with me
  • Lesbian ata siya?
  • We’re caught in a bad romance

It is safe to say that on my level, I will never be able to say what “it’s complicated” means. The closest definition I can see is in Filipino and it’s “Malabo” but I still think that doesn’t give justice to the term. What I am sure of though, is the fact that posing this as a relationship status is you telling the world that you have relationship issues.

And this allows us to make our private selves public. What was traditionally private becomes a scream to the world that you are in a messed up relationship.

In most cases, our Facebook friends aren’t really our friends. I mean, can we really have super personal relationships with 500-1,500 people? If we disregard private time then maybe it’s possible but I am iffy about it. And in the case of the mentioned relationship status, you are like shouting any of the possible meanings mentioned to some people who are mere acquaintances.

And it doesn’t end with the mentioned relationship status. I often see people shout out information that is too private for me. Heck, even I place information that is too personal.

So the question is: has Facebook blurred the line of private and public?

We put our stars on such high pedestals. They’re not just treated as demigoddesses but become goddesses to all their fans. We see them as perfect individuals giving them forgiveness even without an apology.

But stars have lifetimes as well. They will not live forever. They are mortals like us. And their persistence that they are also mortals ironically make them shine brighter. I know I am not making any sense yet, so read on…

Sometimes I keep wondering if they’re just bored with their pseudo perfect lives or if it’s a brilliant publicity stunt; but stars are ruling Twitter.

Though I am admittedly not a Twitter fan, I am not ignorant about the site, what it is, what you can do, and most importantly, who is in it. Ashton and Demi ruled Twitter with their posts and strange Tweetpics of Demi’s butt taken by Ashton. Locally, we have Ruffa Guttierez or “iloveruffag” and Kris Aquino or “itsmekrisaquino” in Twitter among other stars. Who post that they’re sick or depressed over a breakup. They post pictures that they also do normal stuff from grocery shopping to cleaning. This shows us that they too are like us not to mention the fact that their followers get it as it happens almost as if they’re close to celebrities.

Though I haven’t really done academic research on it, I believe that making the stars more normal and “regular” not to mention the pseudo closeness Twitter provides can add to the star’s star quality. Seeing them doing normal stuff or their affirmation that they do weird and wrong stuff makes them more charming and endearing. 

And making a “star” human has been very beneficial to many stars. Kate Moss earned more after the drug scandal photos. Naomi Campbell never lost any fame when the world found out that she had a temper. And, sorry for using her as an example again, Kris Aquino is a staple in Pinoy Pop Culture for having an STD and admitting it.

And though Twitter is not as blatant or scandalous as the mentioned, it does make the stars more reachable and human; hence my doubt if it’s a real account or if it is managed by their employees.

Bottom line is that people like stars who don’t act like stars. Why do we love tabloids and the Philippine Entertainment Portal? So, will John Lloyd and Shaina admit anything soon? Whatever it is, I am sure it is Twitter worthy.

*wink wink

Bakla bakla eh eh… sabi na… sabi na… talo si Venus Raj!!! (sing to Shakira’s Waka waka)

Beauty pageants are World Cups for homosexuals. Many homosexuals filed a leave, cut class, and even finished exams early to catch the pageant on the internet. Delayed telecast was not an option. The hype was on from the time Venus was dethroned to the time of her major major fail. Miss Universe was a time where homosexuality reigned supreme!!! Because the closest any homosexual will ever get to the World Cup is browsing Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirtless pictures.

Sir Chong once explained to us that the reason why homosexuals are so into beauty pageants is because of hyper feminism, explaining that homosexuals not only want to be a woman, they want to be more than a woman. And aside from the fact that homosexuals are usually campy, beauty pageants are major majorly campy.

At the time of the Miss Universe preliminaries, homosexuals gave WHO researchers a run for their money as they were able to successfully predict who would win. My gay friends’ Facebook walls were filled with the national costumes, insider information, swimsuits, long gowns, anything and everything that bled Miss Universe.

And when the pageant was happening, there was almost like a live streaming of what was happening on Twitter and Facebook. Posts such as “mga bakla! Nakita niyo na manok natin?” were overflowing.

And when Venus entered the top fifteen, the result is a video that went viral:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HePTmrV-og

In the video, after all the screaming and “chorvah cheness” one could see them making it a point to reach their laptops or cellphones possibly to make a shout out.

Likewise, when her answer was personally a major major catastrophe (pun intended), walls were filled as well.

What’s interesting for me is how much buzz Venus was able to create. From local to international media, she was featured at times more often than Miss Mexico (I forgot her name).

And at this point, I couldn’t help but wonder if any Spanish reacted the way the four homosexuals did in the video when they found out Spain won in the World Cup, if ever they did, it’s unfortunate they weren’t able to catch it on video.

In my Anthropology class, we were visited by a young man who has experienced abuse by the military. He was tortured. With his friend, they were thrown to the ground, hit on the head, made to eat rotten food, and placed in a location to be bitten by ants. Fortunate to make it out of this mess alive, he was able to tell the mayor creating a case of violence against the soldiers. Currently, he is being hunted down by the soldiers for squealing. Now, he is in Manila sharing his story to inspire and bring about the issue on military violence.

The issue on the military is very complex for me. I am very much aware of all the issues of the military and minus objectivity and experience, I would feel hatred. But upon meeting a smart general who gave me a book on how he fought the system and after visiting V Luna Hospital and seeing the men injured for fighting for peace, I understand that they are not all bad, and that we tend to see the negative side of everything, especially the issues.

Now how does this coincide with this communication blog? Well, more often than not, people like the abused boy mentioned earlier are accompanied by certain organizations that seek the help of students through volunteerism. This case was different. The org that accompanied the boy wanted his voice heard. And they asked us to share the story through new social media.

We were told to share his story through our Facebook status messages and other forms of social media releases. They wanted our stand on the issue and they wanted it heard by all. And I believe that this is a good way to utilize new social media.

Not so long ago, during and after the hostage drama, my Facebook home page was filled with clamors of justice and a revamp of the police system. A post read “SWAT – sorry, wala akong training” among others similar to that. And this generated a lot of buzz, and hopefully the story of the abused boy brings to surface the issue of military abuse as well.

And at this point, I am sharing that abused boy’s story as I cry for justice as well. Through new social media. I’ve always believed that you can never fix the system by shouting at it. But at this point, a “shout out” can possibly do better. Instead of just being heard by select groups of people as you fight for what you believe in, the whole world can see what you post and possibly get involved as well. But new social media allows us to spread the word about an issue and bring it to the surface making everyone who posts such activists in his/her own right. Because we still fight for what we believe is right.