Earth Hour

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Our office was like an isolated island this day. We didn't have Internet connection the whole day. We were cut off from our email, our contacts, and out sources of data.

We were used to just calling our contacts and asking them to send the data we needed through email. But today, we were back to asking one of our clerks to leave the office and pick up the data. Talk about going back to basics.

While waiting for the ICT guys to get back our connection, my co-workers and I contemplated on our helplessness without an Internet connection. Some say that we have become too dependent on the technology that we are now slaves to it.

As usual, I disagreed. We are merely taking advantage of the technology because it is available and it makes our job easier. We may be dependent on it but we could, if needed be, always use the old ways.

Our day at the office ended and the connection was still out. The tech guys told us that the server conked out and it will take until tomorrow till they can get it running.

By the way, the messenger hasn't returned yet when we left the office.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Last December, my brother installed a new game called Spore in our home PC. The game was created by MAXXIS, the same people behind the hugely popular "The Sims" and "The Sims2", two of my favorite computer games. I immediately immersed myself in the game and found it highly entertaining.

The object of the game is to help your creature evolve into a civilization that will ultimately conquer the universe. You begin as a single-cell organism, spored by a crashing asteroid, and go through a series of evolutionary processes. The creature's brain gets bigger at each milestone until it develops a civilization, conquer nations in the entire planet and so on.

I was so proud when I was able to evolve from a single-cell organism to a land dwelling creature in less than an hour. Before the week ended, I already had a tribe with creatures using weapons, fishing and killing off their rival tribes.

Then my nephews and niece came. It took them less than a day to evolve their creature into a tribe and in less than a week, they conquered other planets. Not only that, their creatures were so beautifully designed and made mine look like a work of a 5 year old kid. My 15-year old nephew even found tricks and shortcuts that I didn't even know existed.

Meanwhile, my creatures are still languishing in their tribal existence. They can't even neutralize the purple tribe which is so treacherous. Adding salt to injury, the inhabitants of my 10-year old nephew's planet came in a spaceship one day, abducted my tribe and summarily dumped them in a sea of lava.


Is rudeness now the norm than the exception in this country?

Last weekend, I went to take a walk in the nearby mall. It was packed with people of all sizes and yet there were some children running around and making a ruckus. One boy bumped into me and even tried to push me aside. I was taken aback and in reaction I looked for his adult companion who was nowhere to be seen. As I walked away, the same boy bumped into me again and this time I told him to stop running around as the place was not a park. Instead of listening to me, the boy tried to push me again, I repeated my request. A young woman approached me and pulled the boy away. No "sorry" or "excuse" and they left without even looking at me.

This led me to thinking: How many times have I been subjected to such rude behavior? Not once, but many times. I am not even sure if I were guilty myself.

Just recently, I went to attend a wedding in a Catholic church and there was this woman who works for the church giving instructions to the people. Being a church worker, you would expect that she would be patient and courteous but no. She was barking at people, treating us like we were some insignificant matters.

There was also this female salesclerk in a computer shop who wouldn't even answer your question about their product simply because she believes you will not buy. I did buy the product from the same store after somebody else assisted me. I overheard the first clerk told her co-worker that I was her client first. I smiled at her and told her that she didn't want to help me so how could I be her client.

I wonder where the boy got the idea that it is okay to bump other people and even try to push them aside when they want to. I just hope that the boy would learn someday how to say sorry or excuse me even if his adult companion do not think it's necessary.

Let's hope he won't grow up like that church woman or that salesclerk.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Update no. 1

A belated happy new year to everyone. I know 2009 is almost three weeks old but I've been quite busy during the holidays. The schedule was quite hectic but fun. Fun because our family got together again after a number of years. We celebrated the 50th anniversary of our parents wedding. Not only was it a reason to have a reunion but it was also a great excuse to dress up in formal wear.

For my sisters who came from different parts of the globe, it was also time for a grand vacation, and it was quite a vacation. For one we travelled 18 hours by road to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, stopping along the way to visit Paoay, Batac, Laoag Bangui and Vigan. I hope the kids learned something about the country of birth of their parents.

The trip also confirmed my belief that the beauty of the Philippines is not in its cities but in the countryside. We were treated with scenes of green rice paddies, flying birds and happy people.

Speaking of people, it seemed that a lot of people from the cities flocked to the northern part of Luzon during the Christmas break. It was a long vacation for many folks so they must have taken the opportunity to pack their bags and go to the North. What happened was during our stay in Vigan, we had a hard time looking for a place to stay. Blame me for not making a reservation before making the trip. Luckily, we found a place to stay in a highway hotel!

After the trip, we promised ourselves that the next time we go to Ilocos, we'll take the plane.