Oct 25, 2010

A Fight Well Fought

Early this evening, the election results were out. And dad didn't make it. But he fought a good fight and I am still proud of him.

It's okay, dad. Being graceful in defeat made you a winner in my book.

Much love,

I Voted!

'Tis my first Barangay Elections, and I wholeheartedly went to the precinct at 9AM to vote for my dad. I was even wearing a yellow shirt, because it was their party's color. Talk about being supportive. Hahaha.

Ooooohhh.. I didn't know my camera can focus pretty well! :)
But yikes, I need a manicure. Haha.

It was surprising that I was done voting in 15 minutes, faster than using the PICOS machine last May. This, however, is nothing short of a typical Philippine elections - school grounds filled with trash campaign paraphernalia, people whispering their candidate's name to you just before you enter the precincts,  and lots of kwento about flying voters and vote-buying. Onli in da Pilipins :-|

Despite the classic process, I chose to be positive. I hope dad wins. Cross your fingers too, will you? :)

Oct 22, 2010

A Daughter's Note

For the past couple of weeks, I have been acting like I don't care at all about Dad running for Barangay elections. He lost twice already so when I found out that he's running for Kagawad again, in my mind I was like, "Haven't you gotten tired of it yet?" So while they campaign - my sisters and my mom included - I stayed inside my room and found myself other more important things to do.

I went on with my life. Everyday on my way to work I walk past thousands of posters and streamers of other candidates. Dad has some too, only fewer. I kept murmuring to myself that I need not do anything because after all, he won't make it. Because whether we like it or not, Philippine politics has never been about looking at what the candidate can do for his constituents. It's never been about vision and a genuine desire to serve. Popularity is the name of the game, and only the wealthy and famous wins.

In 4 hours, I am leaving for a 3D-2N trip to Puerto Galera with my college friends. I'll be back Sunday night and the next day is Election Day. Something inside me is telling me that I can't just leave without doing anything for my Dad. So with my amateurish Photoshop skills, I came up with this:

Background photo credit: http://crazyaljery84.deviantart.com

I realized that at the end of the day, the affection of a daughter prevails. Whatever happens, I'll be in deep content because I know that I did my part. Now the rest is up to the Mighty One up there. I pray that He bless Dad in his pursuit for public service.

A Happy Long Weekend to one and all :-)

Oct 21, 2010

And Another One!

This blog has been receiving some love in the past couple of days. First is the Blog with Substance Award. Then I got a heart-warming comment from Jaq and a moral boost from high-profile blogger Orman of Ganda Ever So Much. And then recently, Mei of Cravings of the Newlyweds and A Match Made in Heaven gave me this:

I can't thank you guys enough. Because of you I am totally geared up to write more entries. I'm actually considering quitting my day job to be a full-time blogger! Hahaha. Nah, kidding aside, I am enjoying writing now more than ever. And this new award is just awesome because it gave me a chance to share random things about myself - something that I haven't done here yet. Read on...

1. I comb only once - after taking a bath, that is - and survive the rest of the day just by running my fingers through my hair.

2. Ask me to combat cockroaches and I will do it in a heartbeat but please don't make me get near dogs and cats. Yeah, I'm weird like that.

3. I have tried to shed some pounds but fail miserably when faced with a sizzling bowl of Pork Sinigang.

4. I love the number 4! 'Nuff said :P

5. People think that I can do a lot of things but I actually don't have a talent. I suck at singing and have two left feet. I cannot act nor draw. I can't even play a single musical instrument. I always get compliments for my penmanship but that doesn't count, right?

6. I dream of becoming a wedding planner. In fact I have been planning my wedding for the longest time - a wedding that's still set to happen on 2016 (because I want it on a Saturday and don't want a different anniversary date). Jhay, however, doesn't like the idea because he's 31 by then. I always tell him that I'll marry him anytime, provided that he has a million to make my dream wedding come true. Bad ba ko? Hahaha.

7. Apart from having a wall that boasts of diplomas and graduation pictures of 6 beautiful young ladies, my ultimate dream is to travel the world. I keep believing that one day I'll get the chance (and more importantly, the resources) to shop till I drop in NYC, sunbathe in Santorini, boat in Venice, pray inside Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona, walk the Great Wall, and capture in photograph my life's sweetest kiss with the magnificent Eiffel Tower in the background :-)


Now I am tagging Jaq and Sinthea because of 2 things:

1. I soooo wanted to include them in my previous list but it's against the rule (by the way, please check out the rules for this award too, it's here :))
2. They are versatility personified.

Go girls! :D

Oct 19, 2010

The WordCamp Story

*This is 2 weeks late but still I wanna share my WordCamp experience :)*

I rarely get to meet-ups on time. Even in the office, since we're on flexi sched, I come in when most are already having their lunch. So for me to get to the venue at exactly 8AM despite the fact that I only got half an hour of sleep, WordCamp must really be an event extraordinaire! :D

Rocking the chic stilettos that I don't usually wear because I prefer slippers over high heels, I entered the theater and got myself a seat. I admit I kept looking around hoping I would see bro-in-law-to be (BIL2B) and in no more than 15 minutes I succeeded. There he was, near the stage, chit-chatting with fellow organizers. Of course I didn't approach him. I actually tried hard not to get his attention because I don't know what to say to him first. But as I was staring at the empty stage, a light pat on my shoulder brought me back to reality. He said, "Bakit hindi mo kasama si Jhay?" and while trying to keep my composure I answered, "Ay, may sakit eh." He knows that too so he just agreed and with a smile that seemed to be conveying See you around, he walked back to his peer group. And that, my friends, was my very first encounter with BIL2B. Hahaha.

It took almost an hour of waiting before the event finally started. And when it did, I was surprised because Kuya Migs wasn't simply an organizer, he was the host! And I must say his skills was nothing short of impressive. He handled the audience well with his witty and humorous remarks.

As scheduled, the morning session comprised of 3 breakaway talks that we chose weeks before the event. Being a blogging newbie, it was a wrong move that I enlisted for talks on the "Advanced" track because they were more technical than I thought.

The first one that I attended was SEO, Optimizing Ads and Blog Flipping. It got me interested because I wanna know how to effectively increase my page rank and be on top of Google results but I almost fainted due to excessive nosebleeding as I listened to the interaction of the speaker and the other attendees. Boy, it was like alien language to me! LOL

Stats, Hits and Likes: Semantics and Sentiments in Wordpress was my next session. I was able to comprehend here better than the first one because the speaker (who looked more like a rockstar) discussed how important measurements are for a blog. And thank you so much he used English. Haha. Seriously though, even if it's for the experienced blogger still, I learned a thing or two. Let me share with you my takeaway for this talk:

Statistics teaches you the discipline to write quality articles.

Short yet says it all. Agree or agree? :)

The last talk that I signed up for was Photoblogging with Wordpress. I love taking pictures thus I wanna know if it's easier to create a photoblog with the said platform. However, much to my surprise, it had not been the core of the discussion. It focused on famous photographers, their masterpieces and what type of cameras were used to capture them. It got me a bit sleepy but the speaker amused me everytime he takes one vintage camera after another out of his pockets. He has around 8 but this one stood out for me because it doesn't look like a camera at all!

We were still having Q&A but an event marshall had to cut it short because it's time for lunch (oh I remember how my sleepy eyes twinkled upon hearing that! haha). The registration fee is inclusive of coffee, snacks and this:

The food was okay, although it could have been better if it were served hot. Chicken cordon bleu is one of my favorite dishes but the cream that came with this one I didn't like much. Beef with gravy, on the other hand, was tender and yummy :) The dessert tasted good too, but I was already too stuffed to finish it. My overall verdict? 3.5 out of 5 :)

After the meal, we went back to the main theater for the plenary session. To start off, we were asked to look under our seats for stickers. The prize is no less than 1 year Basic Web Hosting Plan courtesy of solidhosting.ph. Oh how I want one but I wasn't lucky enough. Other freebies included Microsoft shirts, Wordpress pencils and the most coveted... Krispy Kreme GCs! Sadly though, I wasn't able to get any because I was too shy to do something as simple as stating my name and my URL. Hahaha.

And then the major talks started. Among the hour-long discussions that I found very substantial was "A Blogger's Obligation (Notes on Blogging Ethics) by UP Journalism Professor Danny Arao. He reiterated on how bloggers should be responsible for the content that they post online and how bloggers, just like journalists, should help in raising discourse to a higher level.

Succeeding Prof. Arao was one of my blogging inspirations, Google Country Consultant for the Philippines, Ms. Aileen Apolo-de Jesus. She is as bubbly in person as she is in her writing :-) She tackled various Google apps, most of them I didn't know existed even if I am Ms. Google-It. Looks like I have been missing on a lot of helpful tools on the web!

To keep the audience active and in high spirits, prizes were given in between talks to those who have creative URLs. Mine was so plain so I still remained in my seat but let me share with you some of the well-applauded ones:

(yes, the person behind the awesome blog was there! :))
and the runaway winner...

The organizers indeed saved the best for last because WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg was the final speaker. He was so cool, not a hint of geekiness when you look at him. And I admire him for being honest and straightforward in answering the crowd's questions. Well, yes, he is good-looking too! ^_^

 Photo opp with Mr. WordPress

After Matt's open forum, it was time for wrap-up. That moment I was already texting Jhay that the event was about to end and that I hope it's okay with him that I wasn't able to take home any prize (because he insisted on paying for my registration fee). At just about the same time, BIL2B asked 9 people to come up to him - no criteria, no URLs needed, not even an introduction! So without thinking twice, I walked ran to the front and I was successful! Just when I thought I won't get anything, I got this:

Ain't it just the sweetest finale? :D Now I have been stressing myself out for a unique and catchy URL for an upcoming blog. I'd appreciate suggestions :)

Wordcamp Items :)

 Of course a souvenir shot with Kuya :)

Me sporting the shirt, beside it was the camper's badge
 A few minutes later, all the prizes were given out, sponsors were thanked and WordCamp Philippines 2010 was officially brought to a close. For a first-time camper like me, it was one hell of an experience. Not only did I get to rub elbows with the Philippine blogosphere's finest, I also gained a lot of blogging know-how straight from the experts. Till WordCamp 2011!

Oct 17, 2010

Back to Blogging (With an Award to Boot!)

Two weeks had gone by since I last posted a sensible blog entry. Everyday I try to push myself to write but I guess it's true that when you don't have the heart for it, you just won't be able to come up with something. So everyday for two weeks I go online only to check Facebook notifications and then open Blogger to watch my stats hit rock bottom. I tried so hard to pretend that it doesn't matter to me but deep down it sucks. Really. I mean, I go green with envy when I bloghop and see others having enough discipline to regularly  post, and post something great. Thus I promised myself that this weekend I'm gonna make it up. This blog deserves nothing less. Its readers, no matter few, deserve nothing less.

So now that I'm back, let me make it official by accepting an award that Jaq of My Way or the Highway had given me. I used to say she's biased because we're friends online and offline but I also wanna think that somehow I have written here a post or two that made me deserving of...

*drum roll please*

And with this award comes the challenge of describing one's blogging motivation, experience and philosophy in five words. It's not very easy but I'm giving it a try:

1. Passion. A Glee character once said, "The only life worth living is the one that you truly are passionate about." And because I do not write professionally, I feel that I am still living out my love for writing through this blog. Each published post gives me a sense of pride. I may not have the best design or the most readership but this little craft gives me happiness and personal fulfillment enough to keep me going.

2. Self-expression. Noticed the blog title? I call this "my avenue" for a reason. This is where I can just rave and rant and let it all out. This is where I let my thoughts flow, where I pour in my emotions.  This is where I share reflections and life's little lessons hoping that somehow I can be another's inspiration.

3. Chronicle. Alright, this doesn't end in "-ion" but I believe it deserves to be here. I have always wanted a personal blog because I want to tell a story -- my story. I want to document my adventures and experiences so that years from now, I can just go online and get an instant trip down memory lane.

4. Information. Whenever I go somewhere, whether on a getaway, a simple night-out, or just trying out a new restaurant or dish, I throw in details of it when I blog. Informative articles in the blogosphere has helped me in the past (it still does, actually) thus I wanted to return the favor.

5. Appreciation. Whoever doesn't want the A word should have himself checked. I mean, really, we all want positive reception in terms of followers, daily visits, links in the blog roll and my favorite of them all: COMMENTS :-) These things boost my desire to put ideas into words. They make me want to blog more and more because I feel that somewhere someone finds my posts worth their time and effort.

There you go. Now it's my turn to confer the award to 10  bloggers who are doing a great job :-)

Mae of A Lifetime of Togetherness
Mei of Cravings of the Newlyweds
Fleur of Mommy Fleur
Chevy Mae of Peace, Love and Candy
Cricket of The Drama Queen Can Tell Stories

-- and people I look up to, people who may not have the time to do something like this but I'm including anyway because they deserve the honor:

P.S. Thank you Jaq. You and Sinthea should be on the list too but you guys are over and done with this :D

Oct 12, 2010

Alive and Tweeting

I have been missing in action for more than a week now and I am most certainly not happy about it. I have a lot to write about but I just can't find the time (and the right mood) to get started. I'm so sorry dear blog, I promise I'll make it up to you this weekend.

Meanwhile, yes oh yes, I already have a Twitter account! After months of thinking and i little pressure from friends, I am now up to being in the loop via micro-blogging! And have you seen my first tweet (right there, at the sidebar)? Shameless plugging, you can call it. Hahaha.

Follow me + follow my blog = Happiness! :D

I'll go back to work for now but I'll be back to blogging really soon. See ya around!

Oct 2, 2010

WordCamp Today!

In an hour I'll be needing to start prepping up for WordCamp Philippines 2010 but I still haven't slept yet. My girls and I went singing our hearts out at a nearby videoke house and right now they've found their own spot in the living room floor and are already asleep. But here I am still posting my first blog for October.

So yeah, Jaq recently got promoted and of course she owes us a treat. Thus, a videoke party. We had like 40 songs including a lot of high-pitched ones which is mainly the reason why we they are already down and in deep slumber.

 My friends for life.

The scenario here right now is much like our thesis days, except that we're not stressed about circuits not working and documentations not even half-done. Right now all we are worried about is how we're gonna fit all the video files (think Glee, Vampire Diaries and Big Bang Theory) into our portable drives! Hahaha. It's gratifying that we're over and done with college kinks but it's kinda hard too that we need to make our schedules match to go out altogether.

I wish we could do sleepovers like this as often as before. It sure is one great way to relax and reminisce at the same time :-) I also wish I could do a lot more kwento but I need to take a nap. WordCamp starts in a few hours! It's my first time to meet bro-in-law and I don't want him to remember me as the girl with big black eyebags. Hahaha.

Will be back blogging tonight, hopefully with fresh ideas from the camp! ^_^

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