Aug 072015


Is that an oxymoron?

My relationship with Facebook has been love-hate at best. I’ve left it and come back so many times. The last two times had to do with life changes I did not want played out online. I needed new boundaries for this new space I was in that hadn’t quite defined itself. And Facebook is lousy at that. I couldn’t go to it without being pulled in different directions. I left and it was good.

It’s been a little over a month since my last deactivation and I have been enjoying the quiet. But I enrolled in an online course with a Facebook support community that I thought would be worth the return. I was also starting to miss the access I had to writers, poets, and other healers and personalities whom I respect and follow. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:23 pm
May 022014


I’m so tempted to post a candid, really horrid photo of me here, just to prove a point.  I almost did, until I saw the scratches on my arm, blemishes on my face, remembered how I over-trimmed my eyebrows and well,  I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I was also at my heaviest (not pregnant), my hair was limp and unstyled, and of course I had the worst expression ever: bored, zero energy, definitely anemic–basically, an unthreatening zombie. I could not post it. Not even for that point. I have to say that I look more like that most days before, during and after obsessively scrubbing my shower stall, cooking, exercising, doing the laundry, not cleaning my study–just being myself, and not appearing in selfies. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:23 pm
Jun 082010

I remember the first time I was introduced to Plurk. It was at a weekend planning session two Decembers ago. The group was talking about Facebook and Twitter, when the youngest of us said Plurk was the best. It was real-time, interactive, micro-blogging. PLURK?! To begin with, what kind of name was that? The last thing I wanted was one more reason to STAY online. But pretty soon two laptops were up and running again and two people in the group were typing away. And giggling. Typing. Laughing. Before the night ended, we all had our laptops open and an online conversation was in full swing, in separate rooms. Ok, so that’s a bit scary, given we were in the same house, but it was fun!! Thus, our little Plurk community was born.
What’s interesting is that it has morphed into a virtual office for our group. Plurk has become more than just a space for idle chatter–though sometimes it is that–but a platform for virtual meetings. We’ve had a lot of “aha” moments chatting online that have led us to pursue certain new paths in our line of work (social transformation initiatives). We set meetings and make plans there and update each other on our joys and sorrows as well.
Plurk has been so useful also when we travel. There was a time two of us were California, another was in New York, and the rest of the team was at home in different parts of Manila. The work continued to flow, as our friendships did, and we continued to update each other on our lives and our work. You open your Plurk screen in the morning, and there everyone is.
Some people keep their Plurks open to the public and have fans. I’ve made a conscious choice not to do that and to limit my community to work, family, plus. That’s one of the things I love about it: I can define it. I know what I want to use it for and that’s what it has been for me.
I recently left Facebook, am trying out Twitter (so far, it doesn’t do anything for me), but Plurk has remained my constant online window to a relevant world I have defined. I love the way it is organized (you have to experience it to understand what I mean). I love that you can really feel community there. It’s one way I’ve kept in touch with a sister who lives in California, so that when we do see each other, it doesn’t feel like we were apart at all. You can have silly chatter, but you can also have locked exchanges and have serious conversations, as many of us have.
I’ve accepted that it’s impossible to be free of online social platforms, but I find that so far only Plurk gives me what I need–a true community, albeit online–that is safe, fun, and really useful.
If you have something to say online and don’t need to shout it out to the often murky online world, Plurk it instead.
 Posted by at 9:54 am
May 162010

Yes, I committed suicide. One of my first entries on this blog had to do with Facebook. It took me some time before I jumped in because I felt it was a waste of time, but D. and I thought it might be a good way to get our advocacies across. It turns out it wasn’t. Not really. Though we enjoyed it when we were there, appreciating some connections made and fretting over others, we realized that the only time it was really a socially RELEVANT tool was during Ondoy. That was awesome use of Facebook.
From the get go I gave myself a May 10, 2010 deadline. There were times when I felt I would probably stay on but as the date loomed, I felt myself warming to the thought of freedom from Facebook. Part of me felt that it was too much of a false community and it was starting to take over actual human interaction. Facebook gives you a sense of connection that isn’t really there. At least I don’t think so.
A nephew joined one of those groups on Facebook called, “Yes we’re Facebook friends so why is it so awkward in person ?”. Or something like that. That sums it up for me. I see people in person and realize I know too much about them, without really knowing them. That gives me the creeps.
I was very careful about my privacy settings, but if you’ve been in Facebook long enough, you know there is no privacy there. Privacy on Facebook. A friend says that’s an oxymoron. I have to agree. And if you’re so worried about privacy, why are you on Facebook?
As May 10 loomed, I thought it might be too early to sign off. I wanted to see the after-elections updates. But did I really? On Facebook? Not really. So before I knew it, I left. And I haven’t looked back.
I’m hoping 2010 will be a zero-catastrophe year so that I don’t have to re-activate it, because Facebook makes it so easy to activate your account again. In the meantime, I’m free and loving it. I’m actually writing more–creating rather than lurking.
Isn’t that something?
 Posted by at 8:01 am
Mar 242008

My first experience of THAT BLOG was when a friend sent me the link, asking what I thought of it.  It was a good few days before it exploded into mainstream media. I could not read through it; one can only take so much hatred and malice. I told my friend it gave me a headache. I will not comment on the lurid details because everyone can make an intelligent guess about what’s true and what isn’t, but mainly because it really is none of my business.  The only phenomenon that is worth noting is the number of hits it’s getting–most of them negative. As my partner, Dale, rightfully expressed: “Ang dami-daming problema ng bayan na mas matindi diyan!”Can you imagine if those bloggers — half a million or more by now — instead directed their energies towards creative and positive blogs? Wow. That’s the kind of energy that could truly turn this country around. Blogging is a way to be heard. I resisted it because it’s also a lot of work to keep it fresh and updated, but now I am thankful for the possibility. Here, I need not worry about being edited by people with their own agenda. But, when there is freedom there is much more responsibility. Every blogger should hold his space sacred and not let it be a medium for malice, hatred and contempt. Be the change, diba?  I know paulit-ulit na but if that’s what it takes, di ulit-ulitin! We have to behave and live by the changes we want to see in the world. If we don’t want to see lying and cheating, we have to live that. If we don’t want people to behave abhorrently towards each other, we have to treat everyone with kindness and respect. I know it’s difficult, especially in our country. I’ve been terrible this week. I’ve vented my anger at suppliers because of their inefficiency and I really attracted more like them. Though they are all still inefficient and so totally frustrating, I decided not to be in the same place so that I am not caught in such a web of anger  and frustration that I lash out and make people feel inadequate and small–even if they have behaved so terribly. Until that part of me has been totally transformed (hay, good luck nalang sa akin), I just have to keep away first. Luckily, my partner has taken the cudgels for me and is dealing with all the suppliers and laborers from hell who have to realize how valuable a good work ethic is. The internet is a place for information. We are seeing that there’s a lot of junk and trash out there so bloggers have to be part of a higher order of information. There is a lot of work to do in the Philippines, for it to become the country we all dream of, but like I always say, the work begins with us and we have to make the changes manifest wherever we are. If we are on the net in any form, we have to behave responsibly. If we are outside, we have to do the same. If we know that people look up to us, we have to really think about what we are putting out there in word and deed and strive to be both positive and authentic. Blog away, but use your space to help build a positive world.

 Posted by at 3:17 pm
Nov 272007

Not that I haven’t tried it.  Not that I’m not there.  It’s a great networking tool but–and don’t bother sending me hate mail–a rather juvenile one. It’s made for teens I think, but lots of, er, oldies are spending a lot of time on it, sending each other cyber-food and I don’t know what else!!  I took some of the tests. I’m right-brained AND I’m Rachel in FRIENDS.  Not particularly life-changing discoveries there, though I thought I would definitely be Monica. 

People find people they haven’t seen in decades on Facebook, which might be the attraction for us Pinoys, who so love living in the past.  Cyber re-connections are made and people spend hours sending each other silly virtual tokens.  All in good fun, I suppose. Still, I worry about virtual relationships.  I really do.  I think people should take the time to catch up with a friend over coffee if they are sincere about re-connecting. I bet people get a kick out of seeing old classmates and acquaintances but would instantly freeze and back off at the prospect of physical meetings. Am I right?

I wish there could be a more productive use for such a tool–perhaps to further social change? If we could all harness something like this to swell up to the tipping point of change in this country then WOW!  Now we’re talking.  If every Filipino used his Facebook time, energy, and network towards manifesting change in our country, can you imagine the groundswell????

In the meantime, I limit my participation to checking in with a few friends and family members whose photos are the reason I joined.
 Posted by at 10:28 am