September 2006

Most Inspiring Techno Entrepreneurs in the Philippines

One of the highlights of the Techno Negosyo Expo (which by the way ends today, September 15) is the recognition of the 10 most Inspiring Filipino Techno Entrepreneurs. See, I went to the Techno Negoso yesterday to keep myself abreast with the recent technologies or e-commerce solutions. My husband thinks I can be the next technopreneur (in his dreams. hehe). Yet, I wanted to see the brillant minds behind the Philippines Information and Communications Technology if I can be inspired to go beyond my small and medium business frameset into the realm of high technology.

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Awarding of the 10 Most Inspiring Technopreneurs in the Philippines:
1. Diosdado Banatao (Computer Chips- Mostron and S3)
2. Nonoy & Ben Colayco (Online Gaming- Level Up)
3.Joey Gurango (Software Development- Webworks OS)
4. Danilo Manayaga (Biotechnology- Servac Philippines)
5.Dennis Mendiola (Wireless Technology- Chikka Asia)
6. Manny Pangilinan (Telecommunications- First Pacific, PLDT,)
7. Dr. William Torres (RP Internet Pioneer- Mozcom)
8. Peter Valdes (software development- Vinta Systems )
9. Orlando Vea (Mobile Communications/New Media – SMART founder, MediaQuest)
10. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II (Diversified IT investing-iAyala)

Enlarge photos here, here , here and here

For me the most brillant of the lot is Diosdado Banatao, better known by his nickname, Dado. Why? It was Dado’s genius that gave the world the first Ethernet controller chip that enabled computers to link up and communicate with one another (our internet cable for one) and the first chip set that significantly reduced the complexity of the personal computer. In short, Dado’s innovations made computers cheaper ,faster and more people-friendly.

Why am I impressed?

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One Web Day: How the Internet Changed My World

OneWebDayIn celebration of [tag]One Web Day[/tag] on September 22, , I am going to list down “about the ways the web has changed your world.” Having been online since 1995, a lot of changes has happened in my life. Janet Toral started with her entry, How the Internet changed my world

Here is my list:

1. The [tag]internet[/tag] brought me business opportunties , such as e-commerce and problogging.

2. With my affordable webhosting packages for the Philippine market, I am able to help small and medium businesses promote their products or services 24/7 . This gives me such a rewarding feeling.

3. Because of reason no. 1, my online business brings flexible working hours. In fact I don’t need a physical office since a virtual office will do. I can bring my work through my macbook in any part of the world as long as there is internet connection.

4. Initiated a grief support group , The Compassionate Friends Philippines to help bereaved families cope with the death of their child or sibling. When grief support was unavailable in the Philippines in the yar 2000, I found grief resources which provided me with great comfort.

gtalk.jpg5. Instant messaging keeps me in touch with loved ones. Even if my kids are in their dorm, I can still chat with them through Google Talk or Yahoo Instant messenger. I can also give advice in homework or relationship problem. “MOOOOOOOOOMMMMM” is the most frequent word in my chat box, followed by “You there, mom?” Sometimes, I also “poke” my husband when I see him online, checking if he’s stressed or not from work or just exchanging love notes.

6. Paying bills online via BPI Express Online is very convenient. It beats going to the bank and filling up a deposit slip then falling in line which can reach up to one hour if the bank is full of depositors. When the kids need money, I just transfer funds online. No waiting time.

7. I can still see and chat with my siblings in the states using the webcam or skype. Of course, email and instant messaging forms part of our daily chitchat. My siblings often get jealous when I show myself on the cam eating ube ice cream or some other Filipino food not available in their grocery. My bad!

8. Through the magical powers of google, the internet reconnected me with old friends who I haven’t seen in years. Hi Betty. Hi Bing.

9. It paved the way for new hobbies: amateur photography and web development . These hobbies kept my sanity intact during my grief journey.

10. Lastly, a memorial site for my son, angel-luijoe.net was one way to unleash my grief into something creative. Through this memorial site, it brought some comfort to other griveing parents with similar situation as mine. The only help a parent can find when they are grieving the loss of a child, is in the company of another who fully understands that loss.

What about you? How has the internet changed your world? How do you intend to celebrate One Web Day?

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The Taboo on Grief and the Filipino Culture

butterflyA few days ago , a friend ( a member of The Compassionate Friends) and myself agreed to have an interview with Sociology students from the University of the Philippines Diliman . They are currently taking the course Sociology 182 on Qualitative Research Methods. As part of their requirements, they were tasked to accomplish a research paper with a topic of their interest. They chose the topic, “Death and Dying: The Experiences of a Mother at the Sudden Death of her Child“. That’s not a usual topic that students might choose and I was pleased at their choice. Five of us at the Compassionate Friends agreed to help out with their paper. I learned that two members of INA Foundation also participated .

What surprised me is that their professor discouraged them at the choice of their topic. In fact, they were told to drop this topic and choose another one. The professor said that they will not be able to get mothers to talk about their [tag]grief[/tag]. She added that grief is a private matter. But these girls defended their topic and believed that they will be able to get the cooperation of bereaved mothers. True enough, they got the interviews from members of INA Foundation and The Compassionate Friends. In fact they got more mothers than they initially planned.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where grief is a taboo topic. People who don’t outwardly show grief are said to be ‘strong’ and ‘brave’ while those who show and express feelings are spoken of in derogatory terms such as ‘falling apart’ and ‘going to pieces’ or ‘breaking down’ etc. “She’s not moving on”…In reality the latter are the strong ones, as they don’t care what people think of them when they are responding to grief in a way that is right for them, (crying or being angry etc.) It takes courage to show our emotional pain in public.

Why was it not difficult to talk about our grief? [tag]Bereaved mothers[/tag] (or even fathers) need to talk about the child they have lost. It not only gives us something to do with the energy of grief, but also establishes the continuity of memory and spirit of one who was so much a part of our lives.

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Diabetes and My Eyesight

eyes.jpgFor the past 3 days, I have been taking it easy by minimizing my online time. I even took a one day leave. See , last Monday after working for two hours on the internet, a hairlike strand just appeared in my field of vision. It felt like I had hair in my eyes which refused to go away. Oh no, I panicked. Am I getting blind? I am aware that diabetics like me are prone to diabetic retinopathy. Everyone with diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy. Regular eye exams when first diagnosed with diabetes, and then at least every two years, will reduce the risk of vision loss and blindness. I couldn’t believe this was it. The start of my blindness. But I protested silently. I just had an eye angiogram 8 months ago and it was normal.

I paid a visit to my Philamacare-HMO opthalmologist who in turn referred me to a retina specialist for a retinal pathology. The opthalmologist saw some fluid in the retina but wasn’t so sure about it as my pupils were not dilated when he examined me. Yesterday, I waited for Dr. Chan at the Medical Center Manila for two hours. While waiting, I befriended some of the patients whose eye problem stories made me even more nervous. A diabetic woman who is a few years older than me is almost blind. She underwent a laser operation to save her eyesight. Before the operation, she could only see headless people . Though she still has blurry vision, at least the people she sees have heads on their shoulders. Eek, I thought. So that’s how it is to be partially blind? I comforted myself with the thought that perhaps my defective eyesight is still in its early stages. The nurse checked my long distance vision and I still had a 20-20 vision. Hm, that’s good news. Then she placed a few eyedrops to fully dilate my pupils. Good thing my husband dropped me off so I didn’t have to drive home with dilated pupils.

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A Unique Shop in Makati: “I love You Store”

I love you
My daughter who is turning nineteen on Tuesday already made plans for a birthday gift. A funky new look from this cool and unique underground basement shop, the “I Love You Store”, new wardrobe, a hair dye and new contact lenses. Friday night is horror night in the streets of Makati Avenue. “I Love You Store” is located in 7849 Underground Pilar Place, Makati Avenue and the hairdresser is only available at night. We travelled all the way from UP Diliman for one hour and a half only to be informed by the charming owner that Maribel, the hair stylist would arrive from a styling gig at 9:30 PM. It was 7:30 PM. Knowing that it would take me another hour to drive to our house in Makati because of the horrendous traffic, I opted to wait . Fortunately, the shop had internet wi-fi and while my daughter shopped for clothes, I worked on my online business.

In the one hour and a half wait, I found out so many interesting facts about this shop :

1. The owners are Fine Arts Graduates. No wonder the place reeks of creativity.
2. Each piece of clothing is one of kind. That’s why each item of clothing is a labor of love. Hence the label “I love you Store
3. The haircut is not really their main source of business. The professional fee of the hair stylist is by donation-basis. Pay what you can afford.
4. The owners are obviously having fun while doing their business. You can see it in the glow of their faces.
5. Every piece of item, the walls and every nook in that store is an art piece. check out the “I Love You Store photos I took of almost every corner of the shop.

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Philippine Idol Top 12 Male Performers Live


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What an exciting night. Tonight was the first semi-finals of the [tag]Philippine Idol[/tag] Top 12 male performers which was held at SM Megacinema 3. Watching it in a live studio setting is definitely a change over watching it live on the TV set. It’s a different form of entertainment. It’s not the same as watching a concert or a movie. This is reality TV entertainment. So my husband and I kept an open mind to this new adventure.

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I noticed a number of ABC 5 staff swarming all over the place. Fans are holding banners of their favorite Idol contestant. Heavy muscled bouncers were stationed at the start of the queue. When the door opened at 7:30 PM, the guard disallowed me from entering because I had a digital camera. Ugh, I wanted to sneak in photos so I wasn’t about to give up my camera. I let the crowd pass before I made another attempt at another guard. Hehe

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