April 2007

A Day In a Life of A Blogger

No, today is not the usual routine I normally have. It was a long, tiring, fun-filled yet rewarding day.

At 9:00 AM , I attended the recognition ceremony of the digitalfilipino.com Web Awards and claimed the trophy as winner for Blog – Personal Category . Marc Macalua teased that I got a “grand slam”. Mixed feelings washed over me like do I really deserve this award? There are so many other blogs with great content that deserve this recognition. Don’t get me wrong. I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  
web award
I have been blessed beyond measure. This award affirms that my son continues to live in me through my words, through my actions and through my blog entries. A month from now it will be my son’s 7th death anniversary. I know now even if he is not here with me, his spirit lives in my heart. It’s just that I hope other blogs get recognition too.

Blogger Friends who won the digitalfilipino.com web awards are Marc Macalua (Community Category) and Abe Olandres (for Tourism category). The rest of the winners can be found here

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How Personal should a Personal blog be?

“Mom, my friends read your blog”

I was surprised. “they do? how did they find out? I always refer to you as M in my entries”

“Mom, duh, you place photos of me and besides word spreads around in the local blogosphere. Your sex education entry made them laugh that I just had to read it myself.”


(Hi M’s friends *waves* to M’s friends)

My daughter M is a very private person. Though she owns a blog, she keeps it in a private url for 5 close friends. Soon, she might start a public blog showcasing random photos or anything under the sun.

“Just make sure you write nothing negative about me” she continued on. Then added “and make sure I look good in any photo you post. My _____ happens to read your blog. ”

I assured her, “Ah I don’t and besides I am not about to wash my dirty linen for the whole internet to see”

It got me thinking , this blog belongs in the personal blog category. It revolves around my life, the travails of my grief journey and the road to recovery. My family is also my life and naturally I will mention them from time to time. When I started this blog, I felt squeamish about revealing the sordid details of my life . But how else will readers empathize ? I needed to write on a personal level.

If there are lessons to be learned in my 14 months of blogging and getting more exposure is that sooner or later , intrigues arise. Take for instance, a certain blogger might read entries about your spirituality and starts judging your character. Or someone criticizes your writing style. Do you think blogs are read because they convey journalistic or linguistic appeal to readers ? Blogs are not newspapers. If they don’t like how bloggers write, grab a newspaper or magazine, for crying out loud. Better yet, close the browser and blog about how crappy we are in their own blog.

Anyway, I digress.

A personal blog is personal. I go out of my way to relate relevant experiences and include the advice, lessons or gifts learned from it. If my readers didn’t care about my opinion , would they be reading my blog? If they didn’t care, they’d hop on to the next blog. Reading the human emotions associated with the blogger and the interactive discussions is what separates blogging from traditional media.

Aside from common-sense , avoidance of personal attacks and posting non-bloggable items, how personal should a personal blog be?

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Job Hunting Blues

airportLauren will arrive at the ungodly hour of 4:00 AM tomorrow. I hope she’s all revved up, motivated and raring to get back to job hunting. The couple of days before her short vacation in Singapore, she kept on whining how difficult it is to look for a job. How bored she is etcetera. How depressing it is etcetera. There is nothing more annoying than to hear a bored child‘s rant. So I have been asking my friends if they know of job openings for fresh graduates.

The problem is not the lack of job opportunities. Blogger-Friends in the publishing industry like Cathy, Jayvee and Annamanila have asked for Lauren’s resume.

The problem is , she doesn’t want to get a job because of connections.

Sighing, I explain ” In Filipino work culture, most employers look for referrals or recommendations. Sometimes a job requires someone they can trust. Besides they will still have to look at your qualificiations.”

She muses “I will think about it”

I told her as I drove her to the airport last wednesday “Let me tell you… how I ended up in the best job I ever had.”

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The Couple that Blogs Together Stays Together

bloggingThe couple that blogs together stays together. I’m just kidding of course. Aside from reading books, Butch and I surf the internet together, share sites of interest or we go blog-hopping before we call it a night. I think it’s really sweet that my ex-technophobe husband took an interest in my hobby turned business venture. Who would have thought he’d be blogging today? A few years ago, he snickered at the internet saying it was a waste of time. I’m beginning to think that people who scoff at it are just intimidated or clueless of technology. It took a lot of love and patience to teach him to turn on the computer, firing the browser, surfing the net and posting an entry. And today, we enjoy a common interest- blogging or reading blogs before we sleep. I know… how boring.

Oftentimes, it’s the little things that matter in a relationship. Let me count our simplest pleasures.

1. Sending email or chatting via Google talk at any time of day. I always close my email or chat with “your loving wife”, or “love and kisses” or “your sexy wife” “love you”. In turn he affirms my email with “Dear Loving Wife..” or ends our chat “see you , dear or I love you”. We never tire of saying sweet nothings to each other.

2. Gazing lovingly at each other. Someone told me that my daughter is so obvious with her crush because she kept staring at him. Guess where she got that quirkiness? From her dad! To this day, my husband gazes at me lovingly (on random moments) as if it’s the first time he met me. As if I am the most attractive woman in the world.

3. Buying me Flowers when there is no occassion. Butch rarely buys me flowers but there are those days when he buys a bouquet just because.

4. Saying affirmations to each other. There are those gloomy days that just get in the way of positive thinking . One way to empower the good in ourselves is through affirmations: the positive statements we make to each other : “I love you”, “You are good enough”, “Our life is good”, “I’m glad I have you”. Positive thinking doesn’t mean we think unrealistically or revert to denial. It’s just we don’t dwell on the negative parts of our experience.

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The Troubled Mind of the Virginia Tech Shooting Suspect

My heart goes out to the victims in the Virginia Tech mass shooting incident. So many young lives wasted, so many tears, so many questions. WHY? WHY?

I can just imagine the grief and hoplessness the victims’ families are feeling right now. What boggles me is the mental state of [tag]Cho Seung-Hui[/tag], the 23-year-old suspect in the [tag]Virginia Tech[/tag] massacre that left 33 people dead and others hospitalized.

What troubled him?

Take a look.

On Tuesday, authorities identified as a senior undergraduate English major at the school, where officials have said that Cho’s creative writing was so disturbing that he was referred to the school’s counseling service, the Associated Press reports.

“He was a loner, and we’re having difficulty finding information about him,” school spokesman Larry Hincker said Tuesday. Police and university officials, however, could not provide any reason for why he might have been responsible for the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

Still, the Chicago Tribune reports that Cho was becoming increasingly violent and erratic, and that he left a rambling note in his on-campus dormitory room in which he railed against “rich kids,” “debauchery” and “deceitful charlatans” at school. The paper, on its Web site, also said he recently set a fire in a dorm room and stalked some women.

Source: Virginia Tech Suspect Called ‘A Loner’

I agree with Cathy that bullying can be a culprit or some childhood abuses might have aggravated his state of mind. A high school classmate says that Cho Seung-Hui was bullied by fellow high school students who mocked his shyness and the strange way he talked.

His professor had concerns over his creative writing and who described Cho as “troubled.” Apparently he was referred to the counseling service, though the results are unknown as of this time.

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Travel and Online Friendships

In a few hours, Lauren will be on board the plane for Singapore with 2 guys (both brothers) *gasp* . One of the guys is Lauren’s band manager. I didn’t know she was travelling with 2 guys. The mother of the guys called me up and assured me that Lauren will be in safe hands. That was sweet of her to call me but I trust Lauren knew she would be in good company. At the last minute, the female companion backed out.

She loves the excitement and the adventure of travel. The travel itch started at the age of 10 years old when I “forced” them to join a cultural exchange program (choir tour) in the USA and Canada every summer. Those were my stage mother years where the girls were caught in the hustle and bustle of stage performances. During those travels, I taught the girls every immigration , travel and plane procedures because I knew they’d be travelling almost every year and I wasn’t sure if I’d always accompany them. I didn’t know it then but today, they tell me that their travel experience is something that they will always treasure.

While at Singapore , Lauren will meet up with a few Singaporean bloggers who have been her readers for the past decade. Imagine that!? During the early days of the internet, I was often questioned why I allowed my children to get online.

Questions often asked were:

Am I not afraid of pedophiles? Am I not wary of the pornography ? What if the online friend is really some serial killer?

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