Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why Blog...? (...when it's as obsolete as mIRC?)

Sigh. Why risk being called a tech dinosaur? After all, there have been numerous well-based predictions that Facebook and Twitter, what with their ease of usage and accessibility, will slowly put blogging into extinction.

It is not actually a question of whether I like to write. There is, indeed, no question that I like to write, as I find this method of communication more effective for me than talking. I did not learn to talk till I was 4 to 5 years of age, but at that very same time I was constructing sentences and doing a lot of drawings. I grew up always bringing with me my "magic slate" (y'know, those things you write on and eventually erase when you lift the translucent gray film off the black base), eventually replaced by a small notebook and a pen where I can write random thoughts and ideas. It is one of my many personal attempts to put some semblance of order into my cluttered mind.

(Ideas as cluttered as wisps of cloud. Hong Kong skies, 2007)

One of my first reasons why I started blogging is to address a need, so to speak.

When I started my first proper blog called Trash Radio Manila, my initial goal was to write about the music that I like and how the local underground scene is like from my viewpoint. These are the very things that I want to read about online and yet I do not get to read much. Apparently, there are some people who would want to read about the same things that I am interested in.

Then I realized then that blogging allows for a sharing of opinion even from strangers - people whom I would not dream of adding in my Facebook account.

You see, sometimes, there are just some things that I just want to write about and see what people think. When you want to determine a particular opinion, oftentimes you get the more objective ones from strangers. I can explain a certain issue at length, without being interrupted, and then see what they have to say. It is like allowing a good friend to talk about a problem that's bugging her and what he plans to do about it without interrupting him, then when he is done talking you can give your thoughts.

I certainly believe that good communication even with people whom I never know at a personal level is possible, and this does not require Facebook.

I have always regarded Facebook as a phenomenon yet not without its limitations. Facebook has made communication too personal. Honestly, it irks me a bit to read those status that change every hour - and people wonder why stalkers abound. Sometimes - my apologies for having to state this - some friends will breach the boundaries of "personal space", at times invading your Facebook wall with their issues that you have absolutely nothing to do about. Facebook is like being in a noisy bar: people move about you, brushing your arms and shoulders as they move about, breathing behind your necks ... does this sound like I am experiencing some form of online claustrophobia here?

This is also the same reason why I do not hang around much in Twitter, either - I only use it for networking purposes, just like my Facebook account.

Blogging, well ... call me old-fashioned. Blogging is like being in a coffee shop with a friend. Communication is unhurried, you can both stay up all night, and go home to your respective places without one needing to know what the other person wears (or does not wear, perhaps) when sleeping.


This is my submission to the May 2011 edition of The Blog Rounds. Yay, Bonedoc, we're back! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Be Cheerful, Strive To Be Happy (In Memory Of A Father)

Photo from

[Note: I have never known my father, who passed away last April 26, to be the literary sort of guy. Which is why I will never forget the time when he quoted the Desiderata when my sister and I were once bickering inside the car so many years ago when we were still kids. I thought - wow, Dad is actually quoting Desiderata?! Correctly at that! Now I guess I can best sum up how I would like to remember my father by reprinting The Desiderata. I know, this is so trite, our relationship was far from perfect, and I wasn't exactly the nicest child that a father, and even a mother, can have, but I miss him, as early as now, just as I miss my mother.]


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Father's Day, Four Years Ago

I am reprinting this post that I made at my Multiply site in memory of my father, who passed away last April 26, 2011. You can find the original article by following this link.

This was written when I was in Hong Kong, doing my post-residency training. I kind of feel a tad guilty that I have not written about my father so much.

I wish for him to be happy, wherever he is now.


from, photo from the same site
(June 17, 2007)

I just did, through SMS. Sending him e-mail from my part of the world would not be feasible, since he never uses the computer, much less surf the internet.

And what did he say in return? His response was very typical of him, being a man of a few words: Tnx.

At 66, my father is not as young as he wishes to think he is. (In the orthopaedic world, however, 66 is still young. Trust me.) It’s all in that face of his. In spite of the fact that he had a stroke 8 years ago, his demeanor, save for minor wrinkles and alternating white hair, remains as youthful as ever. The world turns at a rapid pace, but the world that he knows takes it easy, and for him it seems that the only reminder that time goes by is the tome of photographs of people, living and dead, who surrounded him at any given point in his life. Nothing wrong with that: people do tend to be nostalgic (he always does) especially when there is a lot to recount in the past.

I just wish that he’d stop smoking like a fiend….

It is Father’s Day today, and next month it’s going to be his birthday. For geographic reasons I will not be able to visit him this year. I now owe him some visits. Should pay him one as soon as I get home.