Forever young

I have no issues growing old.

I will not close down this blog just because I’ve already crossed that threshold. I will have to look for a better tagline.

Or, I will just keep the line because no matter how many years are added to one’s life he remains that young man in his twenties who dreamt of changing the world (but ends up changed instead by the world and holds on tightly anyway to that remaining sliver of himself that stubbornly stays in that exciting but mostly confusing years of his twenties).

After having abandoned Facebook, I do not have to dread facing the barrage of birthday greetings from people who barely know me.

As one ages, what matter on his birthday are those sincere messages from his family, really close friends, and perhaps a wonderful breakfast after a morning walk under a light drizzle.

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Likes

The much, too much a cacophony of noise on my Facebook page brought me back here on my blog to write again. To do the quieter act of writing that I miss a lot. A writing that’s less angry and bitter. I have gone sick of what seems to be a pressing need for everyone on my Facebook news feeds in expressing his thoughts on almost everything.

Nowadays, one’s silence is considered scandalous, the highest and the worst form of apathy. No one has the right to be quiet anymore lest this silence be interpreted as complicity. Of not doing anything to correct the wrong. I suggest we stop or slow down a little, and ask ourselves where this loquacity has led us. It has made us too busy to listen, too self-conscious, too full of ourselves; oh how we enjoy staring at ourselves being reflected in our witty Facebook status. Our Facebook status has become the quickest way for us to be heard, perhaps the only one thing that empowers us in this space that functions best at deadening our senses. Our only pathetic agency. And the likes are concrete indicators that somehow, somebody’s listening, reducing us all to likes, reducing all existentialist questions to questions of likes.

This ephemerality of our chosen medium, of posts being covered, superseded by other posts supposedly more important than the ones before, not necessarily contending against each other but definitely competing for our fleeting attention, has been a bane to us. This ephemerality has brought us nowhere. Although we have this comforting feeling that as a species we’ve made giant progress, in truth we’re deeper into the void we’re made to feel we have escaped.

We’re still lost, maybe even more lost this time. We’ve lost touch of what we truly value. Reflectiveness is a forgotten value of our time. We’ve all fallen victims to the medium. We fret about concerns of deciduous significance. The present is the only thing that really matters to us. We’ve lost hold of our past. And how we dread the uncertain future. The only thing that’s real is this invented present.

All this because of our grinding desire to be heard now, of a want to express what’s currently in our mind lest it obsolesces the next minute, where we are currently at lest time steals it away from us, who we are currently with lest this person abandons us, what we currently eat. Now this is truly sad. Everything is too important, too important we cannot entrust them to our memories.

Perhaps, this is why I am back here now. I want to relish this page and its beautiful silence that I missed so badly.

An old photo

Thanks to Facebook and its subscribers who almost instinctively upload pictures unearthed from their files or old family albums and tag everyone in the picture, I am happily reminded of how malnourished-looking I was when I was very young, how my older sister was much taller than I and darker-skinned, how my younger brother was so fat and cute, and, most importantly, how straight my hair was. It was shiny and straight then, now it’s nothing but frizzy and thick and can only be controlled by having it shaved too close to the scalp.

This picture was taken during a birthday party of my second cousin, the kid in blue shirt at the center of the picture. My sister and I always looked forward to his birthday because it meant balloons, spaghetti floating in sweet ketchup sauce, and lots of sweets and toys given away. Images of that party, far removed from my memory until now, is very vivid I can almost taste the fruit salad, pancit, and lechong baboy; hear the laughter of children my age and the conversations of adults; feel my childhood that passed me by so fleetingly.

And see the piercing look of my sister if she finds out this impertinence–my posting here of this horrifying reminder of a past best kept hidden in memory.

Pinoy Blogfest 2.0

Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 advocates social media for social good

With Filipinos once again acknowledged as among the most active social media users — via FaceBook, Twitter, Multiply, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, etc. — Filipino bloggers are challenged to explore the potential of social media as a transformative force in Philippine society.  “Social media as an agent for change” will be the theme of Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0, happening on Friday, 05 August 2011, at the TriNoma Activity Center in Quezon City.

Leading the discussion will be prominent social media activists Usec. Manuel (Manolo) L. Quezon III and Ms. Gang Badoy, who will share their thoughts on these two basic questions: How can we harness the power of social media for the social good?  Can bloggers become positive change agents through social networking?

Both Usec. Quezon and Ms. Badoy will be the main speakers during the Blogger’s BIO (By Invitation Only) programme, scheduled from 7:00 to 10:00 pm as the culminating activity of Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 on Friday, 05 August 2011.

Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 is a whole-day event, with several Social Activities targeted at various audiences.  These are open to the public, as follows:  10:30 am to 12:oo nn – The New Workplace; 01:00 pm to 02:30 pm – It’s A Digital Life; 02:30 pm to 04:00 pm – Photography; 04:00 pm to 05:30 pm – Healthy Living.  With expert resource persons for each of these social activities, the public will surely find the sessions both educational and entertaining.  On-site registration will give the audience a chance to win raffle prizes and other give-aways.

Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 is organized by GADGETS Magazine, with the support of The Coca-Cola Export

The Facebook monster

While almost everyone, those individuals who wanted to be seen as erudite, passionate, un-apathetic, a rebel-with-a-definite-cause, or those who are genuinely involved and are wanting to voice their opinions out on this divisive debate, rants about the perceived lack of insight the Catholic Church in the Philippines is making rather too obvious as regards its stand on the RH Bill, although not a few are inundating the site with remarks that border from the harmlessly banausic to the noxiously annoying.

But all of us being, members of this free virtual site, are left with no option but to ignore the refuse some people mindlessly spew on the walls, or because we have relations with these people that is beyond the virtual, connections that bleed to the real, we obligate ourselves to click ‘like’ button even though we know in our greenest gut that this is an act as horrendous as devouring somebody’s puke.

While these social networking sites, facebook and its countless copies are giving us ‘choices’, these are as artificial as artificial can be, a consolation for our being subject to their surreptitious manipulation, artificial choices that they can easily take a way at a whim. And we, being too accustomed to their presence, would rather make do with what they provide than to wallow haplessly like heroin addicts deprived of its paradisaical kick.

First, it was television that I slowly, steadily, and successfully eliminated from my routine, but with some symptoms of difficult withdrawal syndrome. Now, this facebook thing, an entity that initially presented itself as a benign diversion, is now turning into a malevolent monster eating anyone it has lodged itself in from the inside out, including me.

Tell me, how do I get out of here?

Sleepless for seven days…and counting

People nowadays think in Facebook status mode and manifest these  bursts of thoughts in sentence fragments and ambiguous one liners. They say things in the shortest possible way, choosing the wittiest possible expression of ideas that are more commonplace than eating vanilla ice cream in a diner at a corner of a street or lodging a complaint to the world about a prick of an office mate that keeps them from their ascent to both social and economic superiority. People seem to wallow and enjoy thoroughly this exercise in triviality. The days of the rhetorician or the writer of lengthy discourses are numbered. Behold the dawning of the age of the impatient writer!

I’m sleepless.