Blog Archive

Monday, June 29, 2009

Emergency! I’m a compulsive digital fiddler : Control Halt Delete

My regular workday starts at 8:00 a.m. Last Monday, I tried going to work earlier than 8 o’clock hoping to get the week off to good a start, but I found myself reading blog entries, leaving comments, browsing news articles, downloading free MP3 of a cool song I heard over the radio and reading Jim Paredes’ blog entries. It eats up a nice chunk of my precious work hours. I end up procrastinating online. Consequently, by Friday, I got a truckload of tasks. Not often, but it happens.

I know I always have a choice as to what I give my time to but I don’t have a choice as to how much time I have. No matter how hard I try, I am not be able to squeeze anymore than 24 hours out of my day.

I think about it over the weekend and realized that I have to eliminate my compulsive internet fiddling at work. Every time I catch myself staring to that Firefox icon or that sad YM icon on my task bar, I have to remind myself of my goals and tasks for the day. Thanked goodness I am not into gaming.

It’s really true – the more I kill time, the more time will kill me. My thesis needs revision and I have to beat work deadlines. Hence, I have to take drastic measures to eliminate time sucks and spend less time on unimportant internet fiddling.
Maybe you too sometimes find yourself compulsively surfing the web. Any personal tip to avoid it?

Thanks in advance.
Let’s bring balance to the Force!
Image source : ENNERGI

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What type of blog hopper are you?

I really got serious about blogging just a few months ago. At first, I just want to try it, thinking that it will help me in my research project, which it did. I was just throwing bits and pieces of my thoughts, notes on my barkada gigs and school stuff, how I survive a toxic day and other sentimental raving. It makes me smile when I’m browsing my old posts. Now, blogging really got into my system and quite addicted to it.

The other thing that really hooked me are those inspiring blogs I accidentally came across during blog hopping. There are blogs that inspire me, make me laugh, keep me updated on current events and a lot more – blogs that definitely have a space in my google reader.

Recently, my blogposts are finally receiving comments from fellow bloggers. Thank you, thank you guys, I sincerely appreciate it.

Blog hopping makes me discover other people’s colorful, inspiring and sometimes sad life – and came across other “hoppers” too. I noticed that there are various types of blog hoppers and “commenters.” Like our friends in the physical world, they can be: (1.) a friend for pleasure, you are friend so long as the relationship is entertaining and fun; (2.) a friend for convenience, where people make friendships to gain favors, a friendship that lasts when the usefulness of other person ends; (3.) a true friend, where mutual respect and admiration exist.

Likewise, we make online friends for different motives.

Blog hoppers, who are blogger themselves, can be categorized as follows: (in my humble opinion only.)
1. Hopping for pleasure. I will add you and visit your blog so long as your blog is entertaining and fun.

2. Hopping for convenience. I will visit and link your blog as long as you link and visit mine. If you didn’t visit mine or didn’t put comments on my blog I will not read and visit yours. (Common for those who are monetizing their blog.)

3. True hoppers. These are bloggers who are really committed to help or hoping to find lasting goodness on both sides. I came across a lot of this type of blogger in our fellow Filipinos abroad. Some of them even ends up in marriage.
Well, I admit sometimes, I am a combination of these three.

Maybe we can add “annoying hoppers” or those who keeps on leaving their links on our comment boxes and message board saying nothing but “check out my blog at “” Then when you click on the link, you will be bombarded by dizzying animated ads, ads at the header, sidebars, ads inserted on every other paragraph of their copied article - calling it strategic ad placement. There’s nothing wrong with monetizing a blog or promoting it but a blog littered with ads with no original content is really annoying.

Enough of my rants. I just hope I will gain more friends here, share my ideas and yours, discuss our frustrations, voice out our thoughts and beliefs without being harmed. Isn’t it that what is personal blogging is all about?

Happy blog hopping! Thanks in advance and may the Force be with you!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Have you ever wished for a heavier traffic?

Have you ever been inspired and entertained by taxi driver?

I do, but it took me two bastards before I got lucky. I am in a hurry and decided to take a cab instead of commuting. I was in Mandaluyong City and needed to go to Tomas Morato Avenue, for some gig after work. The first cab driver told me he couldn’t take me there because he is actually on his way for dinner.

I just said “Ok,” but I’m cursing him inside my head – What the hell! Why stop at waiting passengers? Just go directly to your damn dinner, for crying out loud! But I know better than to argue with him.

The next cab driver, who looked bored and problematic took me in, but after a few blocks he asked me, “Sir, which street should we take, I don’t know how to get there.”

“Huh? I’m not actually familiar with streets, that’s why I took a cab and, sir, you don’t know that major street in Quezon City?” I inquired, astonished by his dumb alibi. I casually asked him to let me out. I know these scheming bastards are just looking for extra money from their passengers.

I almost lost my temper, but no, these bastards are not that important to make me upset. I decided taking a bus but I don’t know which route so I patiently waited for another taxi - just one more try.

The third cab driver just asked me where I want to go and took me, no questions asked, not asking for additional payment and I felt his enthusiasm. He was silent at first, and I prefer not to talk too. Trust is something you really can’t instantly give in Metro Manila nowadays. After a 20-minute silence, his A.M. radio announced the total cases of A(H1N1) in the Philippines.

“You know what, they are just over reacting and some politicians even used this issue to get emergency funds for them to corrupt,” he casually said. At first, I don’t know if I should react or just ignore him. I decided to give a short “U-huh” followed by “well, that’s possible,” just to be agreeable.

“It’s very sad. It’s hard to trust strangers in Manila nowadays. Everyday I am seeing people walking on the streets, constantly afraid,” he said out of nowhere. I instantly felt his sincerity and decided engaging into conversation with him, which I seldom do – just hoping for a little wisdom from an experienced cab driver.

First, he shared his amusing story about how a couple, the woman pretending to be pregnant, had successfully robbed him. Then, a father with his small kids managed to run away without paying him.

“How could a father do it in front of his children?” he sighed, concerned about the children’s values when they grow up. He also shared his experiences as an orphan, first adopted by a businessman who make him work in a swine farm, decided to leave them, then adopted by a foreigner managing a nightclub and a casino. He said he dreamed of becoming a lawyer someday, but his circumstances are against it. He worked in a casino as a slot machine technician and observed the life of a gambler, “always miserable,” he said.

“If you have an enemy, and you really want to make his life miserable, teach him how to gamble,” he advised me, laughing.

He continued his story when he got arrested and jailed during the Marcos regime, befriended an Arab, who turned out to be a high ranking official in UAE’s embassy in Manila and offered him a job in Saudi. He finally got married, blessed with a son and a daughter, both graduated from the University of the Philippines, with honors, currently had a high paying job. His daughter further pursuing her studies by taking up Law. Upon hearing this, I inquired why is he still driving a taxi?

“Son, here is a piece of advice I will give you when you have your own family. Strive hard to make your children have a better education, because you love them, not because you are expecting that someday they will make your life financially easier when they are already working. They will have their own family and millions of priorities other than you. Strive hard to have your own money for retirement and live a simple life. I am blessed with a grateful son and daughter and I know they will not forsake me because they know that money is not my sole reason in helping them to become successful. They will always understand why I am still a cab driver, I love this job and this is how I explore life,” he said with conviction and sincerity."

This totally astounded me. Some parents require their children to help them financially when they have their own work. This is an unwritten rule in a typical Filipino family. Some sons and daughters do it as forced obligation, as a personal responsibility driven by social norm, not solely for gratitude and love.

His name is Winniefredo Yaon, the taxi driver who gave me the best one-hour taxi ride of my life. He showed me the realities of life, the value of service, honesty, love of work and perseverance. He perfectly reminded me of Wally, the cab driver in the story “Are you a duck or an eagle?”

I was inspired, entertained and amazed during that short one-hour ride.

That is the first time I wished for a heavier traffic.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Where Does Personal Responsibility Ends?

The story of my brother

My brother called me last night, asking if he can borrow some money. He said he finally got a job and needed to rent a room in Manila but he does not have enough money yet for the advance payment and for his daily expenses.

“What work is it this time?” I inquired like a growling dog.

I stressed “this time” because he previously worked as a data encoder, he finds it boring so he resigned and became a tambay. Then he worked as a “bagger” in SM supermarket, he said he loves the job but SM doesn’t renew contracts, so he became a full time tambay again.

“Sales staff in a Dunkin Donuts shop somewhere in Sta. Mesa,” he simply said, trying not to show his bitten feelings, but I felt it.

I know I hurt him. Unspoken feelings behind a casual question can really hurt.

I ignore my brother. Saying that I’m broke too, which is true. I am saving for my thesis and for whatever reasons our mid-year bonus wasn’t released yet, so I have no extra money for him.

Later in the day, I texted him asking how much does he need and asked him to meet me at my boarding house. I know the feeling of being on that helpless situation. He is still my goddamn brother anyway.

My older sister and I supported my brother during his college days. My sister paid for the costly tuition and I gave him his daily allowance. Like most of the families in the province, it is an unwritten rule – to support your younger brother or sister after you finished college. My brother first took up Political Science and after a few semesters, he finds it boring so he shifted to I.T. We agreed, and painstakingly paid the expenses, always hoping that he will finish the course.
Six years passed by and, “Jesus H. Christ!” he was still in third year – irregular student. He said algebra is too tiring, he didn’t like the schedule and other obnoxious alibis.

I quit. That is too much! We told him if he really wants to finish college, he should work. Maybe that way, he will understand the value of hard work, but he chooses not to finish it, believing that not all successful people have college degree.

Our efforts and hard work was not given importance. It really hurts. My sister cried hard. I am very disappointed. We all felt that feeling of failure – we failed ourselves and we failed him. We sacrificed some of our happiness and comfort for nothing. Maybe that is how “family” works; we just hope our small brother is right but despite that, we still love him.

I tried overcoming my disappointment by thinking that being in a position of giving help is better than the one receiving it. At least we tried and did our part, or that is what we think.

Where does personal responsibility ends?

I believe that having a sense of personal responsibility over something, a person or a situation is base on our sense of morality and acquired values. Morality is subjective and therefore sense of responsibility is subjective. It is perceived and phenomenal, always affected by personal views, experiences and family background.

Maybe I am wrong in doing my responsibility as an older brother because in doing so, I am teaching my brother to become over dependent thus depriving him to learn the value of self-reliance and perseverance.

Maybe Jose Rizal is wrong in doing his responsibility to our mother land to the point of sacrificing his very own life because nowadays, we Filipinos, are always searching and waiting for another martyr, another hero to unite us. Maybe the Filipino’s natural instinct of unity and patriotism was unconsciously frozen and crystallized by this event over a hundred years, making us wait for another hero to thaw our sleeping senses and unite us once again.

Maybe our government is wrong in continuously promoting and marketing the Filipino talents abroad for the sake of dollar remittances to help the economy because it violates the very basic principle of a healthy community, which starts with a complete family. Maybe the Philippines, in further endorsing and supporting work migration, in fulfilling its responsibility to sustain the economy, is actually worsening it by dividing Filipino families.

Maybe some OFWs are wrong in leaving their families for the sole purpose of comfortable living and better education, or maybe they are right because when we make big decisions we gamble on our personal relationships. We are not always sure if we will receive resentment, indignation, hurt feelings, anger, gratitude, reciprocal love or forgiveness particularly from our loved ones when we make big decisions, especially if it means leaving them for the sake of personal responsibility.

Personal responsibility, then is a burden for the over-critical and reactive and for those who require love in return. Nevertheless, it is a blessing for the compassionate.

So where does personal responsibility ends?

Maybe in the end, love is all that matters.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Filipino Patriotism

Today is Philippine Independence Day so I decided posting some inspiring Filipino qoutes. Mabuhay ang mga blogista!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Volunteerism: The Cure for Routine Life

"The activist is not the man
who says the river is dirty.
The activist is the man who
cleans up the river."
- H. Ross Perot
Nobody wants to live like a fish in aquarium – bored and thinking that it is all there is to life. Hence, I find ways to avoid routine and do something I believe and I like. Two months ago, I applied to be a Greenpeace volunteer. I am an activist during my college days and I learned a lot about life’s realities from that experience. It’s been a long time and I want to wake up the activist in me again. I know it will bring a lot of fun and opportunities plus that great feeling of being able to do your part.

Today, I received a text message and e-mail from Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines confirming my application as volunteer and inviting me to attend their “New Volunteer Orientation”

The e-mail reads:

Thank you for expressing your interest in becoming a Greenpeace Volunteer. The time has come to orient new souls and kindred spirits on the ways of being a volunteer. As the heart of our activism, please join us for a...

Activity: Volunteer Orientation
Date: 17 June 2009, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Venue: Greenpeace Office -- Room 301 JGS Building, #30 Scout Tuason Street,1103 Quezon City, the Philippines

... to witness breathtaking actions and hear testimonies from activists. It will be a night of sharing and solidarity. It will be our great pleasure if you can participate in this gathering.

Well, this is great. I’m really looking forward in meeting fellow activists again. I can really feel the sense of belonging and camaraderie when I’m with this kind of people.

My fellow blogger, if you want to do your part, please check out their website at:

Friday, June 05, 2009

Blogger’s-block – The Evil of the Blank Blogpost

The angry rain decided to punish Metro Manila last night, sending its army of billion droplets zipping like kamikaze pilots. The deluge caught me while I was on my way home, but I was not frustrated because my mind was busy writing – trying to record the conversation of me and my mind, myself talking to myself. Out of nowhere an idea kicked-in, it makes me excited so I hurry up not minding the crazy rain.

I immediately grab my laptop and dried myself while its booting. I changed into comfy and warm clothes and face my laptop, ready to fire up all my ideas into written words.

But… Damn, I can’t get it out. I lost it! My cursor was blinking for hours and I haven’t written anything. Surely a case of a mental-block, or writer’s-block or should I say “blogger’s-block”. Maybe the mad rain washed it out.

It’s really goddamn awful how it feels not to be able to write or get your ideas out of your fucking head or, in my case, losing it. It’s frustrating, for crying out loud!

Tired, cold and frustrated, I decided to grab a book and sleep.

Today, I woke up late, the sky is clear and the sun is suspiciously shining, mocking me - as if saying, “Good morning, Loossser!”

But hell no! I have to do something about this blogger’s-block phenomenon that haunted me last night. I think about it all day and came up with this theory:

The best way is always to stop when I am going good and when I know what will happen next. If I do that every day … I will never be stuck ... That way my subconscious will work on it all the time. But if I think about it consciously or worry about it, I will kill it and my brain will be tired before I start.

I also checked the know-it-all Mr. Google and gave me some unconventional tips such as:

  • Drinking a little whiskey before writing -- (like a drunken master eh? Or drunken-blogger, he he he… maybe I should try it.)
  • Make a list, or a draft -- (well, mind-mapping technique works well for me.)
  • Have sex? – (this one is suggested to clear your mind before writing, but I guess If you are writing about clitorology and kama-sutra, you should write your article before having sex… ha ha. No other human being willing to share your frustration? Well, just do the “do-it-yourself” technique. Wash your hands!!)
  • Read something you hate – (suggestion to generate more ideas… a-huh, will not work for me I guess.)
  • Run like hell – (suggested if you’re really burnt-out, sort of like taking a break and having fresh air.)

Any other personal tip? I will appreciate if you can share it in the comments section.
Let’s blog, Vamos!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Taste of Banzo's Sword

Matajuro Yagyu was the son of a famous swordsman. His father, believing that his son's work was too mediocre to anticipate mastership, disowned him.

So Matajuro went to Mount Futara and there found the famous swordsman Banzo. But Banzo confirmed the father's judgment. "You wish to learn swordsmanship under my guidance?" asked Banzo. "You cannot fulfill the requirements."

"But if I work hard, how many years will it take to become a master?" persisted the youth.

"The rest of your life," replied Banzo.

"I cannot wait that long," explained Matajuro. "I am willing to pass through any hardship if only you will teach me. If I become your devoted servant, how long might it be?"

"Oh, maybe ten years," Banzo relented.

"My father is getting old, and soon I must take care of him," continued Matajuro. "If I work far more intensively, how long would it take me?"

"Oh, maybe thirty years," said Banzo.

"Why is that?" asked Matajuro. "First you say ten and now thirty years. I will undergo any hardship to master this art in the shortest time!"

"Well," said Banzo, "in that case you will have to remain with me for seventy years. A man in such a hurry as you are to get results seldom learns quickly."

"Very well," declared the youth, understanding at last that he was being rebuked for impatience, "I agree."

Matajuro was told never to speak of fencing and never to touch a sword. He cooked for his master, washed the dishes, made his bed, cleaned the yard, cared for the garden, all without a word of swordmanship.

Three years passed. Still Matajuro labored on. Thinking of his future, he was sad. He had not even begun to learn the art to which he had devoted his life.

But one day Banzo crept up behind him and gave him a terrific blow with a wooden sword.

The following day, when Matajuro was cooking rice, Banzo again sprang upon him unexpectedly.

After that, day and night, Matajuro had to defend himself from unexpected thrusts. Not a moment passed in any day that he did not have to think of the taste of Banzo's sword.

He learned so rapidly he brought smiles to the face of his master. Matajuro became the greatest swordsman in the land.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Loving the Ropes

It was just a regular chat – nothing serious, nothing so important, just catching up with an old friend.

Then he casually said, “You know what, I can’t imagine myself doing other work other than what I’m doing right now. It is my life and I will be in this field for the rest of my life.” He uttered it with full conviction and enthusiasm.

I don’t know, but I suddenly feel a wave of envy and wish I could say that too. Like a terrible itch I cannot scratch, that feeling got stuck in me, making me feel uneasy for days.

Do I love my job? Am I happy doing this?

There are times when I hate every moment of it. I fill myself with dislike, wishing it was over. I want to be in any place but here. Doing other things but this. A feeling of being like a piece of a tangled yarn – always trying to untangle it, afraid that I will go on doing it for the rest of my life.

Then I end up miserable. Realizing that I waste part of my life to bad feelings.

I then realize that by hating my tasks, time slows to a crawl and I sentenced myself to prolonged suffering. I have to understand and accept the law of cause and effect which forces us take responsibility for our circumstances. I realize that I am where I am as the result of the choices I made, choices that maybe wrong or maybe right, but choices I made nonetheless.

I learned that I can make even a really boring job interesting, if I assert myself. And that I can build relationships & learn things at work that are as valuable as my paycheck, or more so.

I have to remember the Zen adage about “loving the ropes.”

Two people are tied up in chairs with ropes. One person struggles to get free, and ends up bruised, bleeding, and frustrated – and stays just as tightly tied as ever.

The other decides to love the ropes – and the ropes fall right off.

Photo Credit : Katelyn Alain, "Tied" 48x48, 2006

Life Struggles

A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. On the day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force the body through that little hole.

The moth seemed to be stuck and appeared to have stopped making progress. It seemed as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. The man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth; so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But its body was swollen and small, its wings wrinkled and shriveled. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to and able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a small, swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly. The man in his kindness and haste did not understand that the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was necessary to force fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight upon achieving its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Give every opportunity a chance, leave no room for regrets, and don't forget the power in the struggle.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Fighting SSDD (Same Shit Different Day)

I don’t want to watch a lot of television. Watching other people live their fake lives is a tremendous waste of a real one, in my opinion. So, I bought Dan Brown’s “Digital Fortress” last Saturday and finished reading it last night. Really good stuff – kept me awake until 1 o’clock in the morning. Next in my list - Paulo Coelho’s new book “The Winner Stands Alone.” Hope somebody can just lend it to me or can we swap? I’m really broke.

I only got four hours of sleep and feeling a little edgy. While having my mental shampoo, thinking random thoughts – Maricar Reyes… biking…. dance in the rain, nude…. my shoe needs repair… poisoning my neighbor’s noisy dog… what to blog…. fly…... – then I suddenly realize, Oh my gums!! I’m having SSDD again (Same Shit Different Day.)

So before going to work, I think of ten positive things I’m going do today to – at least inspire me – and survive this goddamn crazy toxic SSDD week.

Here’s my list:

1. I must do my best at work. Make today my crowning achievement!! Huh, hard stuff eh. If my boss didn’t even notice it, well I know a day will come when this office can no longer hold me…. and some other boss will beg me to work for them. He he he. I know I will not get a raise next week based on my great performance this week or today, success still demands that I continue to perform daily. Long term reward comes in the long term. Think “Kaizen” yodz, …..kaizen kaizen…. kaizen.

2. Recognize someone else and try to put a smile on some faces. If I can’t make them smile, then it’s their fucking problem!!! not mine!!! Smile! Smile!

3. Take some time off if I need to – there might be some roses around work that need licking, errr … smelling.

4. Find out about someone else… (my new online Multiply friend is kindda cute and intriguing.) Maybe my long wait for a chinita girl will soon be over… hopefully. Huh, this love bug again..

5. Call someone I haven’t talked to in a while.

6. Listen to my 10-minute meditation (via my mp3 player) again. Haven’t done it in a while.

7. Look in the mirror. Take positive affirmations… I’m good, I’m a cool person…. I should recognize it. It’s true… It’s true.. he he.

8. Edit my thesis manuscript – it’s gathering dust you lazy son of a farmer!

9. Look at my victory log – and do something today to add to it.

10. Laugh. – wa ha ha ha, he he he, hik hik hik.
Hmmmm, I love rainy days – never fails making my thoughts go berserk.

About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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