September 2006

Desperate for Power Supply and the Internet

Along with power interruption, the internet service also got disrupted in the aftermath of typhoon Milenyo (international codename: Xangsane).

When your business is dependent on internet service, a day without it is problematic. Two days without it gets to be “near critical”. Where does one get an internet connection when the whole city has no power?

Go to the nearest Starbucks or coffee shop with generator power and wireless internet

Not just any coffee shop. Earlier in the day, I went to Figaro branch at Salcedo Village to go online. After 3 hours, my battery was dying. Looking around the corners, I was disappointed to see power outlets taped over with a sign “do not plug in here”. Grr, I was willing to pay for the charge. Without electricity, how can I get online? A coffee shop must be generous enough to allow me to charge my macbook and avail internet wi-fi connection. I found a friendly Starbucks Coffee shop at the Walter Mart branch. Apparently, Makati residents also thought of the same idea as I did. The place was crowded. All 4 power outlets were occupied with cellphone and laptop charging. It took me 30 minutes to get a seat near a vacant power outlet. Great! The free Globequest internet wi-fi access (given to me by Globe-Innove last month) came in really handy as I got a fast internet connection.

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My daughter and I took turns working on our sites while my patient husband read a book. It usually takes me 2 to 4 hours to work on my sites but I didn’t plan to stay that long. See, a lot of laptop users were eager to go online too and I didn’t want to hog even one precious power outlet. Look at these people huddled in the corner working feverishly on their laptops.

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Typhoon Milenyo Aftermath:Deaths due to Fallen billboards, trees and electric poles

Note: View My PHOTO GALLERY of Typhoon Milenyo (international codename [tag]Typhoon Xangsane[/tag])

At 8:30 am EDSA, on the way to pick up my daughters
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(Enlarge) The heavy rains woke me up and my thoughts turned to my daughters holed up in their dorm in Quezon City. Butch and I quickly turned on our TV sets and heard that “[tag]typhoon Milenyo[/tag]” would be the strongest to hit Manila in 11 years. The typhoon was expected to arrive at 12 noon. It was 6:00 AM and the perfect time pick to them up in Quezon City. Feeling worried over their safety, my main concern was to bring them over to our home in Makati City knowing they would be safe with us. On the way to my daughters’ dorm in Katipunan Avenue, the empty trusses along EDSA is a rare sight to behold. I thought, “good thing. it’ll prevent accidents“. On the way home, we passed along C-5. Ah, it’s an amazing treat to see the landscape devoid of the tarpaulins click here.

At 11:00 AM, at our house in Makati City just before Typhoon Milenyo
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(Enlarge) A few leaves are strewn all over the front lawn. We prepared for the inevitable wrath of [tag]Typhoon[/tag] Milenyo and shut all the doors and windows. The electricity had already been cut at 9:00 AM. Shortly after 12:00 noon, I heard metal screeching and crunching somewhere. I thought “uh-oh there goes my roof!” I expected a gush of water to pour down our ceiling. Looking out of the window, a gigantic branch from the tree outside suddenly looms outside our living room window. The branch broke from the tree outside , landed on the fence, broke it and ended up on the lawn.

The fallen tree branch in our front lawn
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(Enlarge ) It was a relief that it wasn’t our roof that got blown away. What could we do now? I knew there were more damage and injuries outside our village. We were grateful to God for the safety of our family, a strongly built home, ample food, fuel and water. The only other inconvenience was water dripping on L’s room. The strong winds blasted all the rain water towards the upper balcony, creating a pool of water which overflowed to L’s ceiling through a crack on the second floor balcony. Removing the flooded waters in the balcony was futile as the strong gust of wind literally blew us away to the wall. We ended up placing cardboards on the balcony floor so we could elevate the flood waters. I haven’t felt these strong winds in years. Although we had no power, we still had a gas range that would enable us to cook for a candle-lit dinner.

The aftermath at around 2:00 PM
The good old reliable radio was our only source of information and link to the outside world. No power. No internet. No TV. We heard that the southwest part of Metro Manila had a direct hit and sustained more damages. Makati City, our place of residence is one of these places. I immediately took photos of the typhoon Milenyo aftermath.

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A Mother’s Dream

I grew up in a family surrounded by music. Every morning, mom played her Bach or Chopin concert pieces to our delight. We often danced like awkward ballerinas or sat beside her, mesmerized by the melody of her piano pieces. Naturally, she wanted us to learn the piano. With 7 siblings taking up piano, organ and guitar lessons, our parents imposed nightly concerts after dinner. We actually had fun showing off our pieces. As we entered college, our passion for music diminished. Only a brother and a sister continued to hone their musical talent.

Then I got married and had 2 girls and a boy. In 1989, my dad surprised me with a piano . “It’s my Christmas gift to your girls. They should be playing the piano.”

I was so touched by his generosity. My father at that time was disabled and unable to work but he had significant savings to tide him over. He mumbled “One of your girls might have your mom’s music genes”. I remembered that my sister, B started piano lessons at the age of 4. Maybe L, my four year old daughter might be interested to study the piano.

I was amazed at L’s chubby fingers as she nimbly played complicated piano pieces at the age 4. Maybe she will be a concert pianist one day, the stage mother in me mused. She continued playing the piano and cultivating her other artistic talents during her growing up years. Then on her sixteenth year, she asked for an electric guitar.

My husband coughed ” I imagine you wearing a beautiful gown sitting on a stool while you play the cello

My daughter laughed “That will not happen dad. I want to be a “rock star”“.

My concert pianist wants to be a rock star. I grimaced. Pooof, she’s not going to be a concert pianist after all. As a mother , it’s natural to have dreams for our children but I would never impose my own unfulfilled dreams on them. I decided I’d be supportive.

I remembered that Butch’ family had a 1960 red vintage Eko guitar stashed away somewhere that belonged to his grandmother. She bought it from a garage sale of an American leaving the Philippines and used it to attract crowds during her husband’s campaign for Congressman in the sixties. With a few repairs from a Raon st. shop, the guitar sprang back to “life” as L strummed the night away in her sound-proofed bedroom.

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Shopping for a new Cable Broadband Internet Provider

mydestiny_flyer2.jpgMy family is moving to our new home in the Pasig-Markina sometime next year. It’s an exciting move and something to look forward to. One of the things that I will miss in Makati are the array of Cable Broadband Internet providers and free wi-fi hotspots. I just realized how fortunate Makati residents are when it comes to broadband providers. I have been spoiled by Destiny Cable my primary broadband provider since 1999 which provides us with no speed limit at a reasonable rate of 1688 pesos a month. And this includes TV cable as well. In fact the speed falls to 386 kbps, the support service is sent to the house. Now, I also have Smart Bro which is incredibly slow. If you are spoled with 2MBPs internet speed by Destiny Cable, you will scoff at Smart Bro’s dismal less than 200 kbps speed. It’s supposed to be 386 kbps. Speed and reliability are important to me because I am a netrepreneur and derive income from my e-commerce sites.

When I started to ask around the area of our future home, disappointment overcame me when I found out that my trusty cable provider did not have any service there. I need 2 cable broadband internet providers for redundancy measures. What choices did that leave me?

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Philippine Idol Wildcard Performance & Results Night

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I can still feel my heart pounding–kabog-bog-bog. My husband and I were seated at the left side of the spectacular [tag]Philippine Idol[/tag] stage, just below Mel Villena and his band. Gosh, the bass sounds made my heart go thumpity-thump after the show and my throat searing with thirst. As a live audience we are constantly reminded to continue the rooting, raving and cheering throughout the show. I don’t think we have to be reminded as the fans were screaming their heads off. The Wildcard performance photos will explain more on the inside story of the live show as I am already sleepy and tired.

My favorites are for the girls:
IRA and MAU while for the guys, it’s GIAN and ONYX

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View the behind the scenes Philippine Idol Wildcard Performance photos and if you missed watching it, here are some youtube videos

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