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If you’re looking for an avenue for expression of care for the community, and a means of purporting change through pragmatic means via the development of one small seed of an idea for change, then, you better watch out next year, youth. For Unilab has promised us that most likely, their recently concluded Ideas Positive Workshop just might happen again.

What exactly is being Ideas Positive?

Directly from their website, here is what Unilab has to say, aside from the fact that this campaign was initiated by none other than my OC 152 professor, Sir Barry 😉 :

As a culminating event, last September 25, Unilab held the last day of their campaign at the Unilab Bayanihan Centre, after screening teams that came from different universities. These teams were tasked in bringing their ideas while wishing to implement a distinct change on the lives of a certain community, with a solution put as a foundation for their platform. After posting their videos on the Unilab site, the top 5 teams, out of the total of 21, with the most ‘likes.’ reached the final screening and judging.

With hosts Riki Flores and Job de Leon, the positive and competitive tension was distinct as, one by one, the teams presented their proposals to the panel of judges that were called, as to quote, “it seemed that there was more than one Simon Cowell.” They are none other than Dr. Nina Gloriani, dean from our very own UP Manila’s College of Public Health, The fierce Dr. Ed Morato Jr. from ABS-CBN’s Bayan Foundation, entrepreneur Mr. Mark Ruiz from Hapinoy, Dr. Oscar Tinio from the Philippine Medical Association, Mr. Randy Aquino from the well-known PR firm Ogilvy & Mather, and Mr. Bert Manlapit, directly from Unilab.

Who were the final 5?

Teams were the following:

  1. The PET Society with Adopt-a-PET
  2. SERVE with “Ugnayan ng Nagkakaisang Inisyatibo, Layunin, at Adbokasiyang Pangkalusugan Barangay Sta Mercedes, Maragondon, Cavite”
  3. UB and G with “May Papel Ako”
  4. Team BIGGKAS with “Buklod Bukid Sowing Nutrition Reaping Hope”
  5. CLPH with “Mamamayang Ayaw sa Dengue”

And the winner is… Team BIGGKAS, notably from University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)! 😀 Hopefully, your proposed movement for efficient greenhouses will truly render an effective impact for the propagation of vegetables the in the Filipino child’s diet.

We hope to reap more ideas soon. Positive in ideas, positive in action. 🙂

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I never forget her. Never have, never will. I may be distracted by the toxicity I face in school, may be distracted by the happiness of being with people who make me happy, may be lost sometimes in my thoughts that even I cannot fathom. But forget her? Pfft. Never.

I smile, I laugh. Which is really good. But at night, when I’m alone, whilst I’m looking at her picture… Yeah, the usual. I cry. I used to wail (silently), you know? Like bawl out, screaming without a sound, asking disbelievingly why she had to go. Seems unreal that’s it’s been a year and a month, and 16 days since I last heard her voice and saw her still, cold body and face.

I could still remember what people kept on telling me after what happened. I’m so sorry, life goes on, you’re the mother of the family now, she loved you so much, you were her reason for surviving, etc.  Yeah, she was mine, too. That’s why I wanted to die when she left. Left this world. Left my Dad, my then 9-year-old brother. Left me.

Hey, this is not an emo post. I’m actually glad tears aren’t falling down my face as I’m typing this, unlike last year, just a mention of the word “Mom” makes me depressed and want to throw myself into the pits of hell, wailing in agony and grief. But a post regarding her is quite connected to new social media, so don’t go chewing me off yet.

Here goes my “what if” list. Out of the many.

1. What if she had a Facebook account?

I’m quite envious of some of my classmates and friends who have their parents on their “Friends” list (though it really sounds weird). Up to some point, it seems nice. Until they see that tagged picture of you in a sexy pose and a drink in your hand while in a party hosted by your organization. Gee, that scenario is so great.

But I do think about it. What if she had an FB account, and she invited me to be her friend? What if she had a Twitter account, and she started following me? It would seem that the online world would not have much hold on me since I’m quite limited in my online actions. She was very strict and conservative. But, I remember her allowing me liberties since she trusted my rational, responsible, intellectual mind. That I am old and smart enough to know the consequences of my actions.So, then again, it might be fun to have her online.

And so the question continues: What if?

2. What if UnliCall arrived way earlier?

Telebabad. That’s what. Every minute I’m out of the classroom.

I’ll be honest: I didn’t reply that often to her text messages containing “Haus ka na?” It’s one of the many things I truly regret. I kept turning it in my head how much she wanted to hear from me more often than I updated her back then. I feel that I am such a bad daughter because of that. I should have. I could have. But I didn’t.

Oh wait. No what if’s here. Just regret.

3. What if Heaven had Wi-fi?

She still wouldn’t be able to contact me. Did God give her a laptop? A desktop? A netbook? I sure hope He did.

But now that I think about it, she still wouldn’t be able to surf the Internet well. She doesn’t know how to do so! *chuckles* I can still remember when she would shriek at me, “Anak, anong nangyari? Bakit nawala? Ay, bumalik! Ay, tatay mong kalbo, nawala ulit! Ayoko na!” Don’t worry. The computer’s fine. She wasn’t.

One more: What if God taught her how to now that she’s up there? That would be cool. 😉

Mama, my beloved Mama, you are always in my heart, my mind, my memories. I wish I had the chance to teach you better how the Net works, or show you games other than Zuma (which you loved tremendously). I wish I was there when you were in pain. I wish I was there when you breathe your last breath. I wish I was holding your hand while it was still warm with life that was slowly ebbing away from you. I wish you’re still alive to finally see your wish fulfilled: that of me graduating on time. I wish. I hope. I pray.

19 years later, you're still as beautiful. 🙂

I love you. Always.

Finding the One. Being with that person. Is it something that should be forced? Maybe, sometimes, you have to let fate take the wheel… and take you to him/her. On its own, on the street or the mall one day. Or maybe on a randomly-generated online chat room.

One of the prettiest and sexiest girls in my batch, Ms. Patricia Sy, introduced me to this site, omegle.com. Basically, it’s a site that allows you to chat one-on-one with someone named “Stranger” and you (who is also called “You”) can talk about anything under the sun or the moonlit night (and by that, I mean anything). You can just type, or have a video chat, and if you find the “stranger” boring or offensive, you can simply disconnect. With or without saying good-bye.

I’ve tried it once, just for the fun of it (so that I’ll be credible enough to blog about it). Not too bad. I’m just glad I’m not the same 13-year-old girl that shrieks at the sign of any word that can be interpreted in a sexual point of view. Yes, somebody tried to engage me on that level. That’s why there’s a “disconnect” button. Regardless, the website is genius. Created by an 18-year-old. Darn money-making teenagers who have time to do these stuff.

Virtual world gone (more) vague.

But omegle isn’t the only one that does random meets a.k.a. speed dating online. Another website offers this feature that makes the whole find-mr.-right chase easier. Chatroulette.com’s difference is that it disallows obscenity (though this is not really well-checked), and video is mandatory. Ugh. I tried it (again, credibility), and of course, I didn’t know how it worked! It was a good thing no one was on the other end of the cam, so my identity is safe. 😀

This site is simple in nature. All white, mic and camera controls, it even has buttons such as “complain”, “stop”, and “switch”, which I think are all equivalent to “disconnect” in omegle. You can even give feedback *claps*. On the lower part of the site is the link “meet someone.” Hn. Tempting, but no. With all the harms that we know of in the Internet, I’d rather be a non-risk taker than be surprised by something I never wished to see.

Hey, that’s just me. If you’re that adventurous, why don’t you try the two? Maybe your “stranger” is just waiting for you to go online and turn on your webcam. 😉

Er. That sounded wrong. 😀

Nope. Not heroin. Or coke. Or opium. Could be chocolate.

I have found something new that I can divulge in, with easy access. And… my professor Barry introduced it to me. Required it, in fact.

My group and I did a workshop on it. 😉

Finally got it, didn’t you? Yup. I am currently into, none other than… Podcasts.

You all already know this (due to the fact that we lectured about this as well), but podcasts were previously known as “webcasts,” before Apple took them and made them exclusive to iTunes. Since iTunes links with your iPods, it was then named what it is called today.

Yes, the most well-known podcasts are found and downloaded on iTunes. I’ve had iTunes for quite some time now, but I didn’t know about this feature, even the fact it is free (the main reason I never go to the “Podcasts” section is because I thought I would have to pay a fee or something).

I don’t have an iPod. I don’t really find it necessary (refer to “Blame it on (the) Apple” blog post), but that doesn’t mean I can’t have my dose of fun. Being the cheapskate that I am, as soon as I found out that I could download all the Comedy Central and Dilbert podcasts for FREE *echoes*, well, let’s just say I didn’t hold back.

The important features of a podcast are: fun/informative, easy to download, and hassle-free enjoyment. No more streaming!

No one knows comedy like Comedy Central.

One fun thing is that podcasts aren’t limited to audios; videos exist too. It isn’t specific to one topic or audience; it caters to a lot. A variety of podcasts exist out there, waiting for you to discover them.  Another is that it isn’t limited to iTunes. There are various sites that provide podcasts on their own sites without requiring iTunes (but most do… As expected).

Most fun part? You can make your own! 😀

If you need a podcast that says how to do so, just contact me. I can upload 😉

As Britney Spears sang it, we all have things that we hide, things that other people never thought we would be. Secrets. In that one word, it evokes something from you. A thought that can either be pleasant or unpleasant. Mostly the latter.

We all have the tendency to hide. The tendency to shirk away from the idea of talking about our secrets and sharing them with others, let alone think about them. But as another quote says (which I remember was mentioned by Mr. Weasley in HP Movie 5 — Hello, Movie 7! :-)), “Truth will out.” Unless you’re that good at keeping it, of course. Or you don’t get bothered by the fact that you inadvertently were the reason why someone died or something. Theoretical scenario, of course.

However, if you feel that you can’t just go on with life without letting at least one person know about whatever devastating clandestine fact you have tucked away in your heart and mind, or if you can’t bear it that you just want to let it out, scream it, just this one time… Believe or not, the Internet has a solution for you.

Such an easy step: just post your secret here.

Pooled secrets, yet each are unique.

As you can see, it’s a very literal site. Literary and creative. According to Wikipedia,

The simple concept of the project was that completely anonymous people decorate a postcard and portray a secret that they had never previously revealed. No restrictions are made on the content of the secret; only that it must be completely truthful and must never have been spoken before.

The site, which started as an experiment on Blogspot, was updated every Sunday with 10 new secrets, all of which share a relatively constant style, giving the artists who participate some guidelines on how their secrets should be represented. It recently began posting approximately 20 new pieces each Sunday after a week when Warren mysteriously did not post any new secrets for one week.

It was founded between January 1 2005 – 2007 by Frank Warren, who for me is one brilliant human being that enabled a freedom that cannot be experienced justly through other means.

Frank Warren. The man who showed you could (post secrets).

Honestly, when I first discovered this site, I was a tad scandalized. The first secret I saw posted was of a naked woman, and a secret with something between the lines of “rape” and “avenge.” I was in 2nd year that time, and I wasn’t even 18. But when I started going back to the site (don’t get any ideas), I realized the variety of thoughts these people had, and yet they are able to find people who could relate to and understand them. The comments section allowed efficient responses, especially to those who really needed them. Like this moving secret:

I surely hope whoever sent this didn't do so. 😦

This postcard sparked a movement right on Post Secret. There was a flood of post cards and comments that told the sender, “Please don’t jump!” At first, for any apathetic person, it’s just another being who wants to get the spotlight a.k.a. KSP. But have you ever thought of that person who lives far away, in the middle of a city full of people yet feeling so alone? Everyday he/she passes by the Golden Gate, looks down on the dark waters and contemplates death?

If anything, I thank Post Secret for showing me that there are people out there who have their own dirty laundry, but they still have the courage to admit these even though it’s through a clandestine, beautifully-crafted post card. No matter how weird, scary, or angsty these things might be.

Thank you, online world, for providing us our privacy (still, regardless of the privacy issues right now) and allowing us to voice ourselves and making us realize that in this Earth full of 6.6 billion people (and counting), we can make a change in another person’s life, or be changed by the concern of others.

At times, I’ve thought of sending one. But there’s still the hesitation that my art won’t be as good as theirs, or that people will mock me when they realize that secret was mine. 😦 One day, I just might step up.

Would you care to try? Let me know.

Secretly. 😉

Can you hear (the birds) tweeting?

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