This Halloween post was posted originally on October 26 2006.

halloweenIt was my dear husband who reminded me to dress up the little girls into witches for Halloween. “Halloween?” I thought Halloween was only done in the Western countries. ” Yes you have to dress them up as witches”. As a little boy in the late sixties, he pranced around the neighborhood begging for candies and yelling “Trick or Treat” . According to him, the Halloween “Trick or Treat” originated in the Philippines in the sixties when the Americans living in the village started the tradition. In the early nineties, Halloween was not yet commercialized. The Trick or Treat was limited to Ayala Land villages, where most American expatriates lived. There were a few masks and simple decors in National Book store but that was it. No costumes. I had to be creative. I designed a witch costume with yellow piping and a dressmaker executed it. A balikbayan sister from San Francisco brought in the hat, the candy corn candies, the fangs gum for props.

2.jpgWe drove all the way to visit the kid’s grandparents in Alabang just for the spooky Halloween experience. As usual, the beaming stage mother dressed up her adorable girls as cute little witches. The Trick or Treat party at the club was fantastic. The kids were dressed in typical Halloween costumes like vampires, ghosts, witches, and devils or even pumpkins.The eerie decors added to the thrilling experience.

halloweenThe Trick or Treat adventure in this swanky Alabang village is something else. The houses compete with each other on the scariest theme. Most of these houses had tricks. In one house, the kids were terrified of the candle-lit pathway that led to a vampire rocking on the chair. Complete with spine-tingling music as you walk towards the vampire, it even freaked me out. Four year old M scurried as soon as she saw the ghoulish figure. For many years, the girls spent their Halloween with their grandparents in this Alabang village until Luijoe arrived in our lives.

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The countdown to the world’s population is expected to hit seven billion soon. I want to reflect on how I fit into this story of human life. After growing very slowly for most of human history, the number of people on Earth has more than doubled in the last 50 years. I feel quite ambivalent about these figures. While it it means people are living longer and more children are surviving worldwide, not everyone has benefited from this achievement or the higher quality of life that this implies.

7 billion and me

By filling out the number in this calculator, I see myself fitting in the world’s population.

In 1500, the population is estimated at 500 million but in 2011, it is 7,000,000,000

When I was born, I was the 2,873,706,564th person on Earth and the 76,375,542,810th person to have lived since history began.

The figure is an estimate of how many people were alive on my date of birth. It is one possible value based on global population figures and estimates of growth rates over time. Data before 1950 is less accurate than figures after that date. The second figure includes calculations based on the methodology of scholar Carl Haub, who estimated how many people had been alive since 50,000 B.C. His calculation has been amended by the UN to include additional points in time.

I’d like to take you further through the UN Population Fund’s detailed population calculator, 7 billion and me to see more.

On the same day I was born 278,627 were born throughout the world. It is interesting to add that on the day I was born, 910,171,342 were living in cities and towns

1,963,529,226 were living in rural areas
1,433,951,908 were women
1,439,748,660 were men
1,041,043,490 were under age 15
and 226,759,928 were over age 60

How does the world population of 7 billion affect me?

On the day I was born , 2,873,700,568 people were alive and 6,839,911,966 were born since then. Sadly, 2,713,691,135 people have died since I was born. As a result, the population today is 6,999,921,400

The Philippine population

The Philippines population is pegged at 93,800, 552. Every hour, there are 265 births, 60 deaths with an average yearly growth of +1.7%

In developing nations, where improvements in health care and sanitation are seeing death rates fall, birth rates still remain relatively high. This is leading to rapidly rising populations. In fact, 97 out of every 100 new people on the planet are currently born in developing countries. Qatar – which has a large immigrant workforce – has seen its population rise rapidly in recent years. In richer economies, although death rates are also low, widely-available birth control and a desire for smaller families keep birth rates subdued. Fewer babies ensures populations level off or even decline. Moldova, although poor by European standards, has seen its population drop mainly because of emigration.

The average life expectancy in the Philippines is 67.8 years with female at 71.3 on average and male at 64.5.

Japan’s high life expectancy has been put down to a combination of a healthy diet and good public health provision, which includes regular check-ups. The low life expectancy of those born in poorer countries, such as the Central African Republic, is explained by a number of factors, including poverty, conflict, poor access to health care and the high prevalence of Aids.

What’s next?

The global population will continue to increase during my lifetime and beyond, reaching 10 billion by 2083. It is expected that the rate of growth will slow down. Most of the current growth is happening within the developing world.

Longer lives: Death rates and birth rates are falling in my area. This means working-age people like myself will be supporting increasing numbers of older people during the next decades. By 2050 , there will be just 4.6 working-age people for every person aged 65 or above – a decrease of 63% from 2000.

Battle for resources: It is estimated that the richest group of countries consumes double the resources used by other areas of the world – including the Philippines. The UN estimates that if current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030s we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us.

Wow, those statistics are frightening.

I believe that the youth hold the key to the future, with the potential to transform the global political landscape and to propel economies through their creativity and capacities for innovation.

““But the opportunity to realize youth’s great potential must be seized now. We should be investing in the health and education of our youth. This would yield enormous returns in economic growth and development for generations to come.”

Did you know? Every day 1,000 women die giving birth – one every 90 seconds.

And 4,991 people is the amount the population has grown while I have been working on these stats?

Ensure every child is wanted & every birth is safe.

The clock is ticking. 1 day to 7 billion.

Where do you fit into this story of human life? Put your birthday in this calculator.

“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”~ Charles Darwin

David Hatcher’s email popped up on my iphone as I stopped to read my inbox while stalled in traffic. He said he was working for the GIZ, a German development organisation that is facilitating a meeting about Social Media Strategy on behalf of ASEAN on October 27-28 in Jakarta.

Whoa, I had to laugh. Two weeks before a meeting? He must be kidding. This must be a scam. I couldn’t resist being more investigative.

Curious about the GIZ, I fired up my browser and read the website. It seemed GIZ was legitimate and impressive. Okay, I could risk talking to David via Skype as he suggested. Well, well…David called via Skype and a smiling handsome German appeared on the screen of macbook laptop. I instinctively fixed my rumpled hair as I talked to him. Funny I did that. Our 20-minute conversation convinced me even more that this invitation was not a scam.

I asked David how he found me because I never get invited to blogger forums or workshops abroad. He said he did a search using various metric tools. They were looking for power users in social media. I wonder what those tools were. I agreed to be there at the meeting to share my experiences.

Let’s face it , Social Media is everywhere today. Social media is being social but I like that it has also influenced positive change in the community I live in. Stories that traditional media picked up from my twitter timeline and that first broke in Twitter include many relevant issues”

The 1st ASEAN Social Media Exchange and Social Media Communication Strategy for ASEAN became a reality as I flew in Jakarta on October 26. I warned David that I have no abstract theories about social media. Everything I learned about social media came from my own mistakes, the engagement and just being true to myself. Sharing my experience is definitely something I can do but don’t ask me to talk about principles of social media.

Lessons learned in social media

I cannot share the discussion in this meeting. Suffice it to say that the overall objective is to facilitate a reasonably informal exchange about Social Media Strategy for ASEAN. It is likely that various formal outcomes and implementations would emerge from the meeting and be rolled out in 2012, probably as a suite of related projects which may include internal training at ASEAN, follow up initiatives addressing topics that emerge from the meeting, etc.

Being there with other social media personalities in the ASEAN region was a learning experience. The sharing meant also an exchange of ideas that can be also replicated in my sphere of influence. What did I share? There is no secret to SOCIAL MEDIA except to listen, connect, share and engage and be passionate about the topics shared. The informal meeting also inspired me to consider writing more about the ASEAN instead of just concentrating about Philippine issues. The progress in ASEAN integration and the ongoing community building efforts is something that everyone should know.

There were many insights I shared along the way.

1. Action speaks louder than words. . Walk the talk. All those tweets and status notes are utterly useless without action. Actions and hard work speak for themselves. At the end of the day, these matter because they are what people use to judge you. The rest does not matter.

2. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Always take the high road even if someone is rude to you. Mistakes happen but be willing to acknowledge them and try not to repeat it again.

3. Be interested in people’s lives. Create bonds between your social media friends even if you think this is just an online friendship.

4. Continue learning from your own mistakes or from others.

5. Forget the numbers. Forget quantity. Real influence is measured by the way others look up to you.  No matter how big or small your circle is. ( I didn’t know quite how to phrase this but I found tips from How do I become influential?)

One cannot claim to be influential unless others tell that about you.

ASEAN: ““One Vision, One Identity, One Community”

“Asia is a major driver of global growth, and ASEAN is right in the center of the action. Our countries offer complementary advantages to businesses, and a neutral core around which the rest of Asia can build economic ties, and a regional framework of cooperation. To sustain this, ASEAN has to become more integrated and cohesive. Only thus can we keep up with larger and stronger economies like China and India,” said Singapore Prime Minister LeeHsien Loong when addressing the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit held here on Nov. 17.

The vision of “One Vision, One Identity, One Community” benefits all the ASEAN neighbors but how many of us know exactly what ASEAN stands for. It is about time ASEAN reaches out to the member states. Social media is still a new way to communicate. One has to jump into the pool to be in it. It is just natural that people who are in the institutions have a natural fear of it. But the scary part is not being there at all.

Pete Cashmore once shared that “We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look set to capture the most value.”

To achieve the historic collective leap of ASEAN countries towards ASEAN’s goal of “One Vision, One Identity, One Community” starts from communicating this charter acros the ASEAN.

How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?

I believe ASEAN needs to be there, to be seen, to listen and be heard in social media. It might seem overwhelming but baby steps will do at the start. Even those delving in social media still know nothing.

#Twitter is where 40% of users spam, 5% share/interact & 55% are social media experts.

I continue to learn about social media.

“Social Media is about being open, being a connector, being supportive and being yourself.” ~ Michael Q. Todd, @mqtodd, 12Most

Thank you for the company and the experience, my fellow co-participants:

Durudee Sirichanya, Assistant Director, Head of Public Outreach and Civil Society, ASEAN:,,!/ASEAN2015

Nuraini Soulisa, Public Outreach Officer, ASEAN

Chris Tan, consultant, ASEAN Web team

Delwin Keasberry, Brunei’s most prolific tweeter:!/BruneiTweet and Founder of

Prof John Ure, Economist and consultant based in Singapore with consultancy in Hong Kong:, also Executive Director of the Asia Internet Coalition,

Melina Chan, Founder of Kinyei in Cambodia:, extensive experience with development, peer-to-peer education, unconferences and social enterprises

Ong Hock Chuan, Technical Advisor at Maverick, protagonist behind Pesta Blogger and this year’s ON|OFF:, and

Danny Butt, Member of Editorial Board at Digital Review of Asia Pacific (joint project of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the ORBICOM Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communications, Member of Creative Industries Advisory Group for Auckland City:


The loss of a child is unlike any other loss. I don’t know how I lived through the pain but I did…it’s been 11 years.

My good friend, Cathy Babao-Guballa probably knows this by now. Nine years ago, in the midst of my deepest sadness as I grappled with the pain of my son’s death, I came across a newspaper article about the loss of her son, Migi. Wiping the tears from my eyes, I felt a twinge of envy. Her grief journey seemed smooth sailing to me. The burden of my grief took a toll on my heart and probably wrecked my family life. I wanted to recover from this pain. She ended her article with “email me if you have questions”. That sounded reassuring. I cut out the article and folded it neatly in my folder. I was too shy to send her email. In my mind, I knew I could never attain the things she was doing for Migi’s Corner, a play area for sick children in some hospitals. I knew I was going to do something in honor of my son’s memory one day… I just didn’t know it yet.

Cathy has been such an inspiration to me and perhaps many bereaved mothers who have lost a child. In December 2005, she helped me initiate The Compassionate Friends , a grief support for parents who lost a child.

Today, Cathy continues to reach out to other bereaved mothers – women now taking the journey that she once set out on without any roadmap. Through her book “Between Loss and Forever”, Cathy hopes it will serve as a roadmap of sorts for others who are new on the journey – one that provides hope, comfort and guidance for the long road to healing that lies ahead.

In the excerpt of her book , Cathy gives a short introduction about grief. “The celebrated American author and poet, Maya Angelou, once wrote, ““There is no greater burden than bearing an untold story inside you.”

The death of a child goes against the natural order of the universe and the strangeness of the event is a major stumbling block for the bereaved mother who cannot comprehend why such an event had to take place. The loss of a child shatters every mother’s worldview of a world that is secure, safe and in order. The bereaved mother, on her own, can take no solace in the incomprehensible loss that her child has gone on ahead of her. ”

Writing the story of my grief journey brought tears and pain in my heart but I always thought of that fateful day I read Cathy’s article, and how it lifted my spirits. Who knows a bereaved parent may learn a thing or two about my grief journey?

My sister Lorna and Cathy

Cathy had asked me “did you keep Luijoe’s room the way it was for many years after his loss? How long before you re-arranged it? How did you go about moving his things? What things of him, if any, have you kept and/or given or shared with the girls?” This was my response to that question and is now an excerpt of “Remembering and Rituals” in the book “Between Loss and Forever

During the first year, I kept it as is. Even the clothes that hung from his room. It was like a sanctuary for me. Just being there, smelling his clothes, seeing his toys gave me comfort.

It didn’t last long when Lauren moved in there. She wanted her own room. I can’t recall if it was a year or two after.

It was four years after when I started giving away his clothes to my helper’s son. My helper, Maan was Luijoe’s yaya too so I felt Luijoe might want if his clothes went to his son who by that time was already 6 years old.

When we moved out of Makati to Pasig, I still had his things..books signed with his signature, his favorite toys and a few of his clothes..just 10 or so pieces. You know, memories are all I have left of him so I needed just a few of these physical things. Below his memorial table is a green box, where I place his love letters to me , the “I love you so very much mama”, the little flower vase that I used to hold the wild flowers he picked from the park. These flowers always came with “I love you very much mama”

These are all so very poignant and it even tears me as I write this.

All the other things are kept in “Luijoe’s room” . It is the extra room at my home. I arranged the room in such a way that it is a “reflection room.” with a mat and pillows on the floor. The colors of the room are splattered with orange and green. The walls are decorated with posters such as the “serenity prayer”, the news paper clipping when we first introduced Compassionate friends. I have photos of my family and Luijoe in that room too. I have a bible, quotes from Buddha, angel quotes and other books to read when one just wants to relax. Butch reads here a lot here. He sort of made it his little nook too.In the past, he would stay here if we had a fight. I call it a “cave” but since 2009 he has stopped retreating here and using it as a “cave”.

Luijoe’s toys are kept in one shelf. HIs story books in another shelf. He is still so much a part of our family. He has a room always in my heart and in my home. Very alive in our hearts and in our mind.

Where am I now in my grief journey?

I often wonder how he would look like today. Would he have been taller than my husband? Would he have the same gleaming smile? Will he still give me a bunch of flowers with an ““I love you” note? I can’t imagine because I will always remember him as an innocent and beautiful 6 year old boy whose death changed my life in positive ways I never could imagine. I still miss him but the pain is not heart wrenching. I long for him especially during birth and death anniversaries or when I see a boy similar to his age.

““I don’t know how you’ve survived. It would kill me to lose my child.” Oh, to have one peso for every time I heard that sentence! I’d spend every one of those pesos for an answer, for you see, I don’t know how I’ve survived. What choice did I have? Each transition has been work, hard work, sorting through what it means and learning to function in the face of these circumstances not of my choosing. My new life as a blogger served me well: my role as a bereaved mother is no longer the first way I define who I am, but it is ever-present in my life and cannot be separated from all that I am . . . for the rest of my life.

Me, with Cathy and Julius Babao

There are more stories from 17 other mothers. There is Thelma Arceo who lost her eldest son Ferdie, 21 to the military in the dark ages of Martial Law in Iloilo in 1973. Alice Honasan, whose youngest son Mel, died after a brutal and senseless hazing in 1976. Lissa Ylanan – Moran who lost her infant daughter a few months after EDSA. Mothers who whose children perished at the prime of their lives in car accidents – Raciel Carlos, Jo Ann de Larrazabal, Isabel Valles Lovina and Mano Morales; mothers losing adult children to illness like Baby Tiaoqui and Fe Montano, and mothers who lost their children all too suddenly, like Beth Burgos Adan, Aleli Villanueva, Monique Papa Eugenio and Aileen Judan Jiao. And mothers like Alma Miclat and Vivian dela Pena whose children felt that life was too painful, they chose to end their suffering.

Meet the mothers in “Between Loss and Forever”

My sister Lorna and Dr. Honey Carandang

There can be no better guide to coping the death of one’s child than someone who has been there. My friend Cathy took up grief education and studied the stories of these 18 mothers. It was important for Cathy to capture the very essence of each mother’s story-telling as they spoke and wrote about their loss. She explains that the “breadth of emotions and anguish expressed were impossible to quantify, the experience of listening with one’s mind and heart, of transcribing and writing it all down, was to say the very least, exhausting. No amount of ““formulaic” structured questions could grasp the feeling, the emotion, the very core of each mother’s unique grief experience. ”

This book will certainly help other parents and even those with similar losses.

“Between Loss and Forever” will be available at National Bookstore and Powerbooks beginning 23 October 2011

I feel bad when I leave my hubby at home whenever I travel. Not that he doesn’t want to travel with me, it is just work sometimes prevent him from being with me. Well, no excuse this time because my next adventure is just around the corner. It feels like an out-of-town trip considering the one hour travel time.

He worries “what if there is a typhoon?” recalling the time Sofitel Hotel got flooded during Typhoon Pedring. I worry too but I have learned to let go, and let God.

So what were we up to?

I normally review gadgets (which I return after a period of a week or two) at my home. This time Samsung thought of inviting us to check in a hotel to review their latest offering: Samsung Smart TV (UA60D8000) and the latest blu ray player (BDD5500). Considering the size of the TV, I think this is a good idea to have the review done in a hotel. I get to focus on the review and have fun at the same time.

While I am enjoying this ultra-slim Smart TV, my husband is mesmerized by the aquarium walls that surround our room .

Our Aqua supreme room at the Hotel H20 in Ocean Park was simply amazing. Our room had no windows except these aquarium walls. Watch this video:

I let him be as I work a bit on my own. We own some Samsung products (we bought all of them in case you are curious…) like kitchen appliances, PC monitors and an LED TV set and I am quite happy with the quality and performance. I knew I will not be disappointed.

It was a bit intimidating at first getting to understand all the controls at the remote. With a bit of knowledge from our own Samsung TV remote, I managed to get the Smart hub. I recalled Jayvee telling me that I can use my iPhone as Samsung remote pad.

For this flat TV segment, connectivity is key. Apart from being able to connect to the Internet and do your standard browsing, you can also use your Android device or iPhone as a remote controller via Bluetooth. If you don’t own any of these, you can also buy a QWERTY remote controller that connects via Bluetooth. That means you can have a QWERTY / smartphone side by side your IrDA remote control.

I will soon find out how to do this.

I have not tested everything yet. I am just getting a feel and if it is easy to set up. My husband wants to nap first before doing anything else. Let me give you just a preview .

I did some tests using Skype calls, ““Social TV” updating my Twitter, and Facebook, web browsing and getting awed with the preview of videos at the Blu Ray DVD.

I called my sister to do a quick skype chat and show off our aquarium themed walls.

Ooops…Time to go (my husband wants to cuddle in bed) …

Butch ended having a nap while I wrote this entry.

A few minutes later, we strolled around the hotel to look for our dinner.

An array of DVD titles were provided but we picked up Resident Evil to try out Samsung’s featherweight 3D glasses converts pictures to 3D in real-time!. For some reason, the 3D image didn’t work so we ended up removing the 3D capability.

I found out there was a switch to turn on right there on the top of the glasses.

Shrek (4th episode) was just so sweet and romantic. I was quite amused at some of the lines uttered by Shrek. It quite reminded me of Butch.

I was about to test more of the Smart hub but the breaking news of Gadhafi’s death was all over the news. Images of a dead or injured Gaddafi seemed larger than life in this 60 inch TV.

There is more to explore in Samsung’s Smart TV like the online interactive media as well as on-demand streaming media. For the kind of online work that I do, a Smart TV makes multi-tasking so much faster. Definitely the TV of the future with the rise of emerging media.

Do you imagine a Smart TV inside your living room?

Read more of my review of the Smart TV in my tech blog , The Samsung Smart TV is beauty and brains indeed.

Watching Yue Yuem , the injured child on the street is too painful..and all those people seemed just heartless to me. The greatest tragedy aside from the first van hitting the child is how 18 bystanders just walked past by.

The synopsis:

Synopsis: October 13th afternoon around 5:30, a car accident occurred at the Guangfo Hardware Market in Huangqi of Foshan. A van hit a 2-year-old little girl and then fled. No passersby reached out to help and then another car ran over her. Over the span of 7 minutes, a total of 17 people passing by failed to extend a hand or call the police, up until the 19th person, a garbage scavenger ayi [older woman], who lifted her up after discovering her but the little girl in her arms was like a noodle, immediately collapsing back onto the ground. The trash scavenger ayi called for help, and the little girl’s mother, who was in the vicinity, immediately rushed over and rushed her to the hospital.The news report video above has been viewed nearly 700k times on popular Chinese video-sharing website Youku since it was uploaded 17 hours ago and currently has over 6200 comments spanning 210 pages. This story is also spreading on China’s popular microblogging service Sina Weibo in addition to receiving a lot of views and comments on China’s major internet news portals and communities.

In addition to showing the little girl, Yue Yuem being run over twice and many of the bystanders who didn’t stop to help her, it also shows that Yue Yue is currently in the hospital in critical condition. Police have already found the second driver but have yet to find the first driver as they were unable to read the first van’s license plate and are calling upon witnesses for help. Yue Yue’s parents are also shown.

This is the video.

WARNING: shocking

The girl passed away in the hospital due to serious injury.

The question is why did these people not stop? A comment in this site may explain :

It isn’t ignoring, it’s not daring. If one were to encounter a Nanjing judge, one would be screwed.

[Note: “Nanjing judge” refers to the infamous 2006 case of a man named Peng Yu who helped a woman to the hospital after she had fallen only to have the old woman accuse him of knocking her down. The Nanjing judge in that case ultimately ruled that common sense dictated that only the person who hit her would take her to the hospital, setting a precedent that continues only further discourages and reinforces many Chinese people’s wariness to help others in similar situations.]

And another commenter added “It can only be said that the garbage scavenger doesn’t read news on the internet.”

No wonder, this garbage scavenger helped out. Still…couldn’t these bystanders just yell out and even run away so not to be accused of hitting the kid. What about the bicycle rider? He could have yelled for help ?

China as a country is not to be blamed. It is the people that were there. Take the case of a girl in New York who was attacked in full view “of a New York City subway clerk, then dragged down the steps onto a deserted platform where she was raped and raped again, the assailant not stopping even when a subway train pulled into the station.”

The victim added that the ticket clerk left his booth. “He could have just gotten over the intercom and said, ‘Hey! Stop what you’re doing! I’ve called the cops!’ Anything like that would have helped,” she said. ““He didn’t have to get out of the booth. I don’t expect him to be a police officer. But he could have definitely said something over the intercom, or perhaps having a quicker system of notifying the police would have been effective, too.””

Have you been in this situation when you saw an accident? My husband and I once saw an accident along EDSA but since we were speeding past it, we were unable to just stop at the scene. We stopped at the next traffic stop to report about it. I guess reporting an accident can be quite a hassle because one will then be called to be a witness.

I cannot begin to imagine the hearts of the 18 people who passed by. It is beyond my understanding. Where is their compassion? Should laws be a bit more compassionate to those that bring the injured to the hospital?

Apply the Good Samaritan Law which are intended to reduce bystanders’ hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death.

My heart now goes out to the bereaved parents. Questions like “If only….someone reported it right away”.

Photo credit :

Steve Jobs leaves an estimated $8.3 billion, which he thought nothing of. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”

Steve Jobs who is only 2 years older than me “died peacefully today surrounded by his family ” His family said “… We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief”.

Dan Frakes says it so well “Part of Jobs’s genius was in showing people what they could *do* with technology. That’s what most people actually care about, not specs.” Let me share how his technology has been so much a part of my life.

I remember him so well in the early 80’s. Their story on launching the first Apple PC from his parents’ garage with longtime friend Steve Wozniak in 1976 was just amazing. Apple clones soon came around with the success of their PC.

Yes , I was one of those that owned an Apple II clone in 1985. My father who suffered a stroke in late 1985 was unable to comprehend oral communication but he could understand if written down. I forgot the software or game that I had but I used it to re-train him to recognize words. Speech therapy then was only done in UP-PGH. Dad soon re-learned some of the words though he was never able to regain his normal brain functions in oral communication.

I will probably remember him more for the Apple gadgets that I have owned since I became a blogger in 2006: the white macbook in 2006, the black macbook in 2007, the macbook air just two months ago . Then there is the IPhone where I get a new model every year now just waiting for the iPhone 4s to be released. The iPhone has been such a great companion for citizen media when I do livestreaming. In fact when Blog Watch interviewed presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino, I used the livestream app from my iphone when our main live stream failed.

Then the iPad as a birthday present to my husband because I could not stand the stacks of books he keeps buying all the time. I thought the iPad can be a space saver. Alas, it has not been so but the iPad serves quite well for ebook versions of newspapers. It surely cut down on piles of newspapers stashed in the bodega.

Now how could I ever forget the iPod?

I recall my teenaged kids just begging to have one of those nifty gadgets in early 2000. I really found them expensive but I managed to buy it for music sake. The success of iPod, revolutionized the music industry eventually leading to a collapse in CD sales and making Steve Jobs one of the most powerful voices in an industry he loved.

Now I have my own iPod in my iPhone. It is always a part of my driving routine. How can I ever deal with the traffic without my favorite seventies music lifting my spirits up?

Steve Jobs, you are just there with me probably in every person who have used your gadgets.

More than anything else, we can learn a lot about Steve Jobs especially on his views about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
Read complete transcript of ‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says

He continues to share more about living each day as if it is your last day:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

I think we should all stop to think as he often did :

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”