Archive for September, 2007

My First Encounter with the Internet

To most of us, going online and using the Internet are already second-nature. But do you still the remember the first time you ever went online? Do you still remember the first time you learned about the Internet and your reaction to it? Did you ever believe then that all the things we’re doing online now were possible?

I was introduced to the web in one of my major subjects in college. We had a group report (circa 1994) and the topic assigned to us was ‘Communication Technology’. IBM was the first company that came to mind, so we contacted the Corporate Communication Manager – who turned out to have come from UP too, and was very nice and accommodating. (Thank you, Mr. Marcy Ballesteros – can’t believe I still remember his name). Among other things, he explained the concept of email and e-bulletin board. I remember that I asked to see the e-bulletin board. Silly me, I expected something like a real, life-size bulletin board, only that it’s digital/electronic. He then said that it was all in the computer and proceeded to show us the ‘terminal’.  Non-techie me expected a room full of computers and wires. Instead, we were shown a single computer. I’m guessing now that that’s the server. 😀

We were also assigned to discuss the Internet in our report. I wasn’t really able to totally grasp the idea at that time. I got lost at ‘fiber optics’. So I made a deal with my classmate – I would cover all the other communication technologies, if she would discuss the Internet. She agreed. Funny how things turn out, though. I am now more technically adept than the girl who explained the Internet to the whole class.  Sorry Min! 😀

I surfed the Net for the first time at an Internet café at Robinson’s Galleria, as an activity for another major subject. Our teacher brought us there for a hands-on experience. While my classmates went to the entertainment sites, I looked for travel sites and ended up taking a virtual tour of Dracula’s castle!

I’ve visited countless sites since that first log on (which I think was at Yahoo), but I’ll always remember the first time that a web page appeared on my screen.  How about you, do you still remember your first time on the Internet?

It happens to the best of us

I caught veteran broadcaster Korina Sanchez in a slip-up the other day.  She stumbled over the saying “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  Instead, she said:  “The proof of the cake…is in the…pudding.”  My jaw almost dropped.  This happened during her morning radio show with Ted Failon.  She somewhat stammered her way out of it once she realized her error.  Kudos to Ted for the quick save.  And at least she was aware of her slip-up.

My first instinct was to laugh, but being a Copywriter who still gets caught with grammatical and other language lapses once in a while, sometimes even by the least likely people, sobered me – and comforted me, too.  Even veterans make mistakes.  Nobody’s perfect, and the rules, mechanics and quirks of language are certainly very tricky to master – and that’s what makes it fun! 😉

Waiting for the ending(?)

Or will it really be the end? Tomorrow is verdict day for former Philippine president Joseph Estrada. Having been so dismayed with politics and the justice system, I haven’t really followed the nitty-gritty of this case, my information only coming from those that accidentally or inevitably come my way or those that I choose to listen to/read. Yet I feel a perverse sense of excitement. What will happen tomorrow? Will there be rallies, chaos in the streets? Will I get to witness an important, turning-point kind of event? On a more selfish and worrisome note – will I get stranded in Makati? Or will it just be an ordinary day that just happens to have some big news in the course of it?

What will happen after the verdict is read? If he is convicted and sent to prison permanently, will everything really be ok? Will it actually solve anything? My answer is no.

If he is acquitted, will justice really be served? Will the nation truly move forward? Will it actually prove anything? My answer is still no.

So what now?

On my way home this evening, I heard a song (which I haven’t heard in a long time) that reminded me of our high school pep rallies.  It was the New Wave song, Big Country.  One of our cheers adopted its melody.  The words of the cheer’s chorus suddenly came back to me, as if I was only cheering it this afternoon:

When we cheer MC, MC stays with you

Like a lifted voice coming from all sides

So stay aside…

(sung to the tune of the chorus of Big Country)

 “MC” are the initials of that girls’ school in Katipunan separated from Ateneo only by a foot bridge.  I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who remembers at least part of the words to our cheers, especially when we hear the original songs from where the melodies where taken.  Those pep rallies probably form part of the best high school memories for a lot of us – because we won the cheering competition against such stalwarts as Assumption and St. Scholastica’s!  This was in our senior year so it was part of a great send-off gift for us.  I have sung our school song countless of times, and with the exception of our graduation day, I have never sung it with as much feeling as that day at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

To schoolmates who may stray across this blog…cheers for all the great memories that our school brought us! 🙂

I rarely ever forward a chain email, much less post it here, but I just couldn’t resist this one.  (Guffaw, guffaw!)

Here goes:

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE  1950s, 60s and 70s !!

First, some of us survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. (Sioktong ang inumin)  They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, fish from a can (brand: ligo), and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints, pati na yung laruang kabayu-kabayuhan.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, no kneepads, sometimes wala ngang preno yung bisikleta.

As children, we would ride in car with no seat belts or air bags – hanggang ngayon naman, di ba? (jeep)  Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle (minsan straight from the faucet).  We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. Or contacted hepatitis.

We ate rice with tinunaw na purico (dahil ubos na ang star margarine), nutribuns na galing kay Macoy and drank sopdrinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight kasi nga……WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. Sarap mag patintero, tumbang preso, habulan taguan….No one was able to reach us all day (di uso ang cell phone, walang beepers). And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our trolleys or slides out of scraps and then ride down the street, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms……..WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. The only rubbing we get is from our friends with the words…..masakit ba? Pero pag galit yung kalaro mo, ang sasabihin sa iyo…..beh buti nga!

We play in the dirt, wash our hands a little and ate with our barehands…we were not afraid of getting worms in our stomachs.

We have to live with homemade guns – gawa sa kahoy, tinali ng rubberband, sumpit, tirador at kung anu-ano pa na pwedeng makasakit…..pero walang nagrereklamo.

Made up games with sticks (syatong)and cans (tumbang preso)and although we were told it would happen, wala naman tayong binulag o napatay….paminsan-minsan may nabubukulan.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mini basketball teams had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Walang sumasama ang loob.

Ang magulang ay nandoon lang para tignan kung ayos lang ang bata….hindi para makialam.

This generation of ours has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and managers ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned  HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the government regulated our lives for our own good.  And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!

Laughs aside, it’s all true isn’t it?  Especially the last few paragraphs.  😉

Yes, Virginia, there is a Charlie Brown!  I don’t know if a lot of people know this, or whether I’m the last one, but Charlie Brown of the Peanuts comic strip is an actual person.  I learned this at Mass last Sunday.  The priest was talking about humility and he gave Charlie Brown as one example.

Charlie Brown is a real person, a very good friend of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.  They met at Art Instruction, Inc. in Minneapolis, where they both worked as instructors.  They struck a lifelong friendship.  One time, Charles asked Charlie if he could use his name in a cartoon he was creating. And no, Charlie does not physically resemble his cartoon alter ego.

After leaving Art Instruction, Inc., Charlie became Director of a juvenile detention center in Minneapolis, where he was quite well-loved.  Peanuts went on to gain international fame, but Charlie never once told anybody that he was THE Charlie Brown of the comic strip.

I liked how the priest ended the story:  “Imagine, for 20 years, the children who went to the detention center came looking for Charlie Brown, never knowing that they were indeed getting THE REAL CHARLIE BROWN.”

Read more about Charlie Brown, the person.