On Social Media

I have a love-hate relationship with social networking sites like twitter and facebook. I usually get those “I think I saw you on Facebook” and “Hey, you deactivated your account? How come? Are you recovering from a bad breakup?”

Well, thanks a lot to MATURITY that I now know how to handle social media.

Years ago, I had a small fight with my childhood friends. I posted a stupid status against them and BOOM! It’s Civil War! People use to say that don’t use social media when you are sad or angry. Some people even suggested that don’t post status updates if you are happy. Each status updates should be assessed before posting. And I find all those advises really really wise.

I recently had a 3-month fast with all these social networking sites because I felt the need to assess myself if I can still handle these “modern ways” of connecting to people. I have to promise myself that I’m going to be really careful and be really mature if I want a social media homecoming.

In just one month after my comeback, I was able to appreciate what Social Media has to offer although there are still annoying things happening such as the very evident narcissistic tendencies of people which I am tempted to do as well. #Selfie

I fell in love with twitter once again because I followed the right people and organizations that deserve a place on my tweet feed. @rapplerdotcom sends important news making me updated on what is happening in and out of the country.  @IJM sends updates regarding their fight against injustice. Choose who to follow. Last week, @rapplerdotcom had this sort of live feed interview with the Senate President of the Philippines. Rappler asked the netizens to post their questions to be answered by the SP. I was glad that my question got into the list which was practically answered by the Senate President himself.

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Prior to our President’s State Of the Nation Address (SONA), Rappler also asked netizens to send pictures of the “real” status of the nation in the eyes of ordinary people. I sent 3 pictures and one of them was included in the very beautiful collage of the Philippine Map.

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Courtesy of Rappler.com
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I sent this picture because “Interfaith” is close to my heart. I am glad that we live in a country where all Religions can live in haromony. Can you find this picture in the collage?

So my point is, let us use social media wisely in such a way that it can inform us or probably contribute something in the society and in our relationships . If you can’t set aside your superficial life (sorry for being blunt), try a 3-month fast. It really works!

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Best Productivity Apps Out There

What is time management if you lack the right apps on productivity? Let me share with you some of my favorite tools that will make your day more organized. I am not an agent whatsoever, but I just want you guys to have a glimpse on my organizational system. These are all free and simple online/offline apps perfect for windows and apple gadgets. 

1. Trello is the best to-do-list application so far. You can make a “board” and add “notes” on it. I personally have 3 Boards–one for my work, one for the church and one for my hobbies. My Work Board is divided into 6 columns representing my 6 major tasks namely Trade Fairs, Shared Service Facility project , Trainings, Reports, SME-Counselor and Information technology. I have added another column for the accomplished tasks which I named “DONE”. The notes are drag-able making it easier for the user to move them from one place to another. You can also add some labels on each note to track whether the task is urgent or not. Be creative with it. Here’s my Work Board as of July 25:

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Red labels? It means that the task is very urgent. 

2. Have you seen the grey elephant with green background app? That’s Evernote. The application is basically used for note-taking (e.g. typing, drawing and voice recording). This is not your old-school word processor because this little app can sync and save your files online. Personally, Evernote serves as my online/offline journal where I put random stuffs, ideas, copy-paste articles from my favorite sites and…practically everything! You can create new notebooks and name them according to their function. It’s up to you!  

3. Google Calendar comes with your gmail account. Easy right? Again, one thing I love about Google Calendar is that it syncs with your apple/android default calendar. You can also add labels for easier tracking. I have blue for work stuffs and green for personal stuffs. The app also reminds you of your tasks by sending you email notices. It’s like having a personal assistant! 

4. If you like reading online articles but have no time to read as of the moment, you can download the POCKET app. Pocket is a read-later application which downloads the offline version of the article you like to read. If you were able to buy some precious time, you can open the application and read for the queue of articles you have saved. Since it downloads the offline version, you can read with or without a wifi connection.  

As I have mentioned earlier, I have a crappy internet connection and it’s difficult to find a not-so-crappy internet connection in the City. But Pocket was able to answer that problem. Since we have a good internet connection at work (which is outside the city), I just download the offline versions and read them later at home. 

Find time to check these 4 useful apps/sites/programs because I guarantee you that it will save you more time! It’s like finding time to get more time! Buhbye!

Why long-term travel is not for me (as of this moment)

I have hosted a lot of travellers in my couch. Yes, I am a couchsurfer. I have experienced the best of both worlds of being a host and a surfer. But I am more of a host.

I have hosted Ksenya, a Russian from USA, who left her life in Portland for a spiritual journey around the globe–we are talking of 60+ countries. I have hosted Stuart who left his comfortable life in Missouri to teach kids in Surat-Thani, Thailand…full time! And there’s the Argentinian couple who left the posh life in Buenos Aires to break the barriers between the East and West. Not to mention my recent guest from Vietnam, who quit his 8-5 job as a sports journalist to practically travel.

How about being an expat? I have my own set of friends who are now in UAE, Cuba, Australia, UK and Canada.

I am a bit envious about their stories. I want to see the world like them. I want to experience being immersed in a culture for a long period of time…where time is never a problem.

Upon reflection, I realized that it would be very possible for me to travel the world (even twice), but not as a full time traveller like my couchsurfing and expat friends. Here are the main reasons why:

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1. I have an awesome job. Yeah! Even though I consider my job as one of those 8-5s, it is a cool 8-5. I get to meet cool people, get to see local places, get to talk a lot, get to inspire people, get to see people getting richer, etc.. And the best thing about my job is that I get to serve the country, even in my own little way.  Though my job cannot really fund a long term travel, I can still save a few bucks for short term trips. Bragging aside, In the span of 3 years being with the best government agency ever, I was able to travel half of the Philippines, explored 5 countries and expecting 3 more countries in the next few months. It’s cool. If you think you have a cool job, why quit? Some 8-5s are undoubtedly good.

2. I am an only child. Yes, what a crappy reason right? But for me, it means a lot. I’m coming clean: I cannot leave my parents for a long term travel. Probably this is the side effects of growing up as a spoiled brat. On the other hand, I am not forced to be with them. It’s just that I love them and they are more important than my travels. At the end of the day, it will always be family; it will always be relationships. Last year, my parents bought some backpacks and traveled with me in Cambodia and Thailand. Can you afford to leave such cool parents? Not me.

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Sometimes, I just can’t organize my thoughts. I say things out of the blue. “Mom, Dad, I am going to work abroad. I don’t know where, I don’t know how, but life is getting harder everyday. My work cannot fund my travels. My friends are all out there. I am 23 and I need to go on with my own life. Blah. Blah. Blah.”. After saying it, I feel horrible. It doesn’t feel right. I think its because life is not really that hard. I am lying to myself, or probably trying to compare myself with friends who are out there, having the best time of their lives.

Don’t go with the flow. Listen to yourself. You have your own story to tell. 

Probably my travel story would be unique. I don’t know. It’s going to be a surprise. But for now, long-term travels is not for me. See you in Hanoi this September!

My Frustrations with Angeles City: WIFI

I just had a frustrating “search” for a good place with WIFI in Angeles City.

Saturday is a special day for me. It is “Me Time”. It is my time to reflect, to write and to plan. Unfortunately, our internet provider called bloody COMCLARK is not your ideal server (and who wants to spend the weekend at home?). Ironically, I am using the said provider to write this post.

So, every Saturday, I am forced to go out of our house and spend it in a cafe for a hassle free net. Unfortunately, my goal for a “hassle free” net is only but a dream.

I was thinking of going to Starbucks earlier but they have a paid wifi on top of the price of a very expensive coffee. It is not accessible as well. Although of course, STARBUCKS will always be the best coffee/tea shop in town.

Generally, Marquee mall is not a wifi-friendly place unlike SM. My favorite cafes/restaurants with good ambiance have no wifi connections like Xtremely Xpresso. Yoh Froz, my favorite yogurt shop has a fast wifi connection but its near the cinema, making it difficult for me to reflect. SM Clark on the other hand has a free wifi connection, but the ambiance sucks. The Starbucks in SM Clark is located at the heart of the mall which is really noisy–and I mean realllllly Noisy!

500 meters from our house is a high end food strip. So I expected that it would be easier for me to find a good place. 2 weeks ago, I spent the whole afternoon at Kcafe which has a good wifi connection but have the lamest tasting coffee and appetizers. So that shop is out of my list.

I have decided to try the fanciest coffee shop in the strip called Gustav. It is a Parisian inspired shop so I was attracted to it. I was full of hope that the place is a future sanctuary. It is near our house and the ambiance is just perfect. They have a couch too. When I was about to ask for the wifi password, the waiter told me that they don’t have a wifi as of the moment. It would be embarrassing to go out of that fancy cafe so I just ordered a choco mint frappe which tasted like a plastic balloon. Wrong choice for me. I spent an hour there making some plans without an internet connection.

As I walked along the food strip, I saw the Korean restaurant called Jumong. I was there a month ago and they have a crappy wifi connection. In fact, it was not working when I was there. I did not bother to ask the waiters because they don’t look friendly at all.

So, I gave up on that food strip and decided to cross the street to try the wifi connection at B.I.H.O.N., a pasta shop. I used to go there for their Carbonara (which is really delicious) and not for the wifi. Fortunately they have a free wifi. The downside is that you have to pay P50/hour if you want to plug in your laptop. How frustrating. It’s one of those “sigh” moments. I just went out of the restaurant with a broken heart. A fifty pesos is still a fifty pesos.

I went to Nepo Mall, clueless where to go next. Coffee Academy (which serves good coffee and wifi) is not accessible for me. They used to have a branch near Nepo Mall but it already closed probably a year ago.

The frustrating search led me back into our house–back with the “no-choice” internet connection, writing about poor internet connection in the city with an after-taste of the choco mint frappe I just had.

If you are from Angeles City, can you suggest a good shop with a free wifi?  I didn’t know that looking for that “ideal place” is harder than looking for an “ideal girl”..

What I did this week (lame post title for the 2nd week of July)

Hello there blog readers, blog followers and blog walkers! It’s been a week now since I last updated my blog and I apologize for that! It’s been a busy week and I MEAN BUSY! I have been visiting the gym every MWF after work making me a bit tired during the night. And work? Gone are the days when I spend the whole day at the office. I’m back on track and back on field, of course with the attached pros and cons to it. Here’s what happened last week (and I hope you are interested):

MONDAY

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As I have promised last week, I will be adding up work-related stuffs here. So, last Monday, we launched a Peanut Butter Making facility somewhere in Porac, Pampanga for the micro entrepreneurs. Yes! We are giving away free machines for the purpose of developing your products and to streamline your production process. Just make sure that you are a legally organized group. It is our agency’s mandate to assist the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of our country. Got to love my job!

TUESDAY

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From Porac last Monday, we traveled to Magalang to grant facilities for the Ginger Brew Makers and for the Pastillas Candy makers. It was indeed tiring because we don’t usually launch two projects in a day.

WEDNESDAY is office day. Piled up paper works always scare the hell out of me.

THURSDAY and FRIDAY

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To Celebrate the SME Week 2013, we have come up with a 3-day Trade Fair for our MSMEs. It was a very fun day because I got the chance to bond with our exhibitors and not to mention the FREE TASTE of most of the booths. As I’ve said, GOT TO LOVE MY JOB.

SATURDAY (earlier)

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My friend who is working as a DJ at a local radio station invited me to become a DJ for a day. Since this is part of my “things to do before I die” list and to take a break from SME works, I grabbed her offer. The experience was hell of a roller coaster ride. At first, I was hesitant to talk, but after a while, I have learned to love talking that I almost took the microphone away from my friend. All is well!

There you have it! I probably have all the excuses on why I wasn’t able to blog last week. Ciao!

Injustice

Injustice…

Injustice is not part of my vocabulary. It is not an everyday word for me and probably the people who are close to me. Yes, I love talking about ideas, creativity and things that are good but how come the topic of injustice was left out in the corner? Am I becoming apathetic towards this “foreign” word?

3 kilometers from my house, you will find a booming sex industry which became very famous not just in the country but throughout the world. 2 kilometers from my house are informal settlers deprived from a good environment. How about those street kids who are waiting outside Mcdonalds to beg for money? The kid vendors who sell flowers? The naked woman walking in the streets being laughed at?

How come INJUSTICE never entered my mind? How come I never REALLY took action or atleast pondered about these things?

What I do at Work

I was thinking if I’m going to include blogposts about the stuffs I do at work. I just need enough motivation and inspiration to keep up with the roller coaster of emotions of my 8-5 job. Leaving the company is becoming an option now, but not as strong compared to my recent job as a Sales support. I still love my job now. 

I think putting my work stuffs into words might help. 

What do you think?