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Check your email everyday — you might get a big surprise

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Because of several online accounts that I have (not to mention Facebook eating up most of my online time), I hardly check my emails nowadays. That is why when I opened them up yesterday morning, I was in for a big surprise:

I didn’t even know I was nominated, LOL! Yeah. LOL. But this time around I didn’t get to have the last laugh.

Another LOL to that.

This blog, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES, was nominated for “Society, Politics, and History” category.

My other blog ALAS FILIPINAS, on the other hand, was nominated for two categories: “Filipiniana” and “Bloggers’ Choice

I was elated and disappointed at the same time. My blogs made it to the finals, but lost. On a lighter note, being nominated in The Philippine Blog Awards is already a huge feat. What more if your blog is chosen as a Finalist? Truly, it’s a great honor. And I thank the organizers of this annual event for having given my blogs a chance to shine even for just a brief moment.

Too bad my wife and I weren’t able to attend the ceremonies. Lesson learned: always check your emails everyday because we’re now living on a fast-paced online world.

Congratulations to this year’s winners! More power to Filipino blogging, the new journalism!

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New and improved FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES!

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It’s official: starting today, my age is no longer included in the calendar…

Boo!

Whatever.

Anyways, welcome to the new and improved FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES!

Yehey! (clap! clap! clap! clap!)

So, as a shameless birthday gift to my fabulous self, I have decided to change the theme of my blog. The WordPress theme/design that you now see is called Liquorice. True to the themes’ stated deliverables, Liquorice waxes a bit “poetical” with its nostalgic light “sand-brown” mood with a clean motiff, thus making the text easy to read. The pictures appear bigger and the captions are no longer stressed. Even quoted texts appear to have a life of their own.

But wait! There’s more!

Not only have I changed the design of this blog. I also had the header personalized!

The header is designed by blogger and fellow hispanista David Salcedo Sánchez of Ciudad de Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental.

Due to a sorry lack of technological know-how, I initially commissioned my best friend Arnaldo Arnáiz of WITH ONE’S PAST to make one for me. For those of you who may not know yet, Arnaldo was the one who designed the banner of my other blog, ALAS FILIPINAS, more than three years ago. He did make a header for FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to finish it due to his busy schedule. And since I made today —my thirty-second birthday and this blog’s second anniversary— as my self-imposed schedule (told ya: I’m so finicky with special dates), I thought it best to seek David’s assistance whose header in his own blog FILIPINAS ¡QUÉ HERMOSA ERES! is as impressive and creative as it can be!

The images that David used for this blog’s header are a combination of Spanish and indigenous images. Truth be told, these icons are just perfect for my blog’s chosen theme: Philippine Identity and History (or —like what I always brag— true Philippine History). The mixture of Spanish and indigenous cultures is what makes up our identity as Filipinos.

David is but one of a handful of young Filipinos today who had take off the blindfold of ignorance. This is what he has to say regarding our national identity:

Indigenous Culture + Spanish Culture = Hispanic

In the case of our country:

Malay/Indigenous Culture + Spanish Culture = Hispanic Filipino/Filipino Culture

Sample:

La mano = The hand

PagLAMANOhay = to shake hands with

In Latin America:

Aztec, Mayan, Incan, Moche, Taino, Arawak etc. (Indigenous Culture) + Spanish Culture = Hispanic

Mexicans are as hispanic as Venezuelans, Argentines, Puerto Ricans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Guatemalans, Cubans etc. Hispanic as Filipinos? Yes! =p

Although Hispanicity was also derived from something Spanish, it’s a different identity.

So with whom you share culture & history with?

Being mestizo is not something bound with genes alone. Our country is mestizo. Our culture and history is mestizo. It’s not only in our languages but it’s almost everywhere! Why hate that part? It made it whole after all.

It’s really that simple. At di dapat icagalit ni icahiyâ ang parteng yaón ng ating nacaraán. 🙂

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you (conti lang namán cayó, eh, ¡hehehe!) who regularly visit this humble site of mine. I want all of you to know that I do read all of your comments, and sorry if I’m unable to answer all of them; I’m a second-rate, trying-hard married historian with four kids to feed and raise, thus my day usually ends with drained and saturated energy. But I am hoping to one day buy my whole time from capitalist enslavement in order for me to write full-time.

My apologies, too, if sometimes I sound too cranky and proud on some of my replies. I’m trying my best to avoid it. It is unnecessary and unfriendly, I know.

Once more, thank you for the visits, the comments, and the criticisms. May God bless us all!

Life goes on

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I haven’t posted anything for a month. It’s either I got burned out, or my grandmother’s death shocked the wits out of me, or both. All I did was toy around with Facebook and Twitter. I didn’t even read books.

In my last blogpost, I wrote that I will write more details about my grandmother’s passing in the coming days. But I thought it best to cancel that. Life must go on. We will never be able to bring her life back. Even if I cry every time.

But on the other side of things, I must be happy for her, because she is no longer in a tremendous amount of pain. Something that even the best doctors in the world will not be able to remedy.

So what have I been doing aside from doing nothing? I just stayed at home, doing nothing. I attempted many times to read and write, but failed. This blogpost is an attempt. Another attempt to get rid of this numbness of the mind. And my mind feels like a sponge. But I did visit Señor Gómez these past two Saturdays to discuss and debate on a lot of things. Yo hasta traté de bailar flamenco en sus clases aunque tengo izquierdos dos pies.

Life must move on, I guess. I have my grandmother as an inspiration, anyway. I will never forget that day when she declared that she’s proud of me for putting the Spanish language back to the family, for continuing the family heritage.

I will never allow that torch to be extinguished. Sigo la lucha.

More “new propagandists” to the Filipino cause!

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It has been a little over a year since I quixotically boasted of a new “Filipino supergroup”, a group of “new propagandists” who will face the leyenda negra that has been twisting the minds of millions of chicharón-munching Filipinos. We had talked and agreed of consolidating our ideas, our advocacy, into one coherent and compact body whose nucleus would be a website with a search-engine-attractive name (yeah, something with the name “Filipina” in it — porn surfers beware!). But, as mentioned, it has been over a year…

So where’s the multi-zillion-euro website that I’ve been tellin’ everyone?

Due to time constraints, lack of technical know-how, personal matters, paella fever, and finances (contrary to popular belief, we’re not made of money), this cute little project of ours kept on stalling like MRT coaches. But the dream hanged in there, like a trapo politician.

Then suddenly, one very cold December morning, I bumped into a rocker dude (through a mutual friend who’s actually the niece of a living legend in Filhispanic literature), and he’s into designing and developing webs! The rocker dude is Santos “Tuts” Trangía. His cool-soundin’ last name, aside from complementing his cool attitude and friendliness, reminds me of Old Manila’s Frisco-like tranvías (makes me wanna wish that my last name’s República). He’s an axeman for the indie rock band At Helen’s Wake, whose first EP will be out soon. And whoever Helen is, I have no idea; I’ll ask Tuts when I get the chance. So at gunpoint, I was able to make him agree to help us out with this website once and for all. We hope to begin this weekend.

Another good news: I finally found someone! And man, that did knock me off my clammy feet! And that someone is someone who is feared by many WASP-educated “nationalist kunô” UP historians et al. who shamelessly worship images of Zeus Salazar inside their respective toilets. Without further adieu, this someone is none other than controversial historian, the great Pío Andrade, Jr., “the Scourge of Carlos P. Rómulo”, the número uno investigative historian, the next big thing in Philippine historiography! Yes, sir Pío has promised yours truly a few days ago to deliver the goods once our website is up and running (hopefully on or before this summer).

Still more good tidings! Tourism expert —and our group’s dearest online friend from dear old Spain— Juan Luis García (not related to fellow propagandist José Miguel García, a full-blooded Filipino guerrero) is now part of our “online clique”, le guste o no le guste, ¡jajaja!. Juanlu has been very supportive of our group and our advocacy since day one. Also, he has a couple of tourism projects in mind for our country (this he discussed personally with José Miguel when he visited the country last year) — and all this being thought of by a Spaniard, for crying out loud! So what better way to gift him than with a “free membership” into our group? And this free membership comes with a freebie as soon as he comes back to the Philippines for a visit: a Regular Yum with Cheese value meal from Jollibee courtesy of Arnaldo!

Coincidentally, today marks the first year anniversary of Juanlu’s pro-Filipino blog, VIAJAR EN FILIPINAS! Congratulations are in order!

We still await for Chile-based writer/historian Elizabeth “Isabel de Ilocos” Medina‘s response. She’s a distant relative of both Arnaldo and Señor Guillermo Gómez Rivera. Also, another heavyweight scholar will join us. But that’s for another blogpost, folks!

Fun days are expected — on our part, that is.

WASPos, anti Filipinos, “Abakada” Pinoys, and all the others who like to go back worshipping trees and scribblin’ on tree barks… your happy days are numbered.

Because THE TRUTH is on our side.

Y todo esto es para el gran honor de Dios, el fuente de nuestra identidad verdadera.

SEO is the key!

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When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. —Paulo Coelho—

World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer Bret “The Hitman” Hart‘s saga is truly an admirable case. Years after the Montreal Screwjob courtesy of WWE owner Vince McMahon, he’s now back in ring action much to the delight of pro-wrestling fans. And he has buried the hatchet, too, with his on-screen and real-life rival, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels. Bret has learned to forgive and forget. And Vince, his ex-tormentor, has been so remorseful for the evil that he did to “The Excellence of Execution”; Mr. McMahon is now giving back to Bret all the honor and opportunities that “The Pink and Black Attack” rightfully deserve — a spot in the Hall of Fame (for both Bret and, quite recently, for his legendary dad, Stu Hart of The Dungeon fame), a fifth United States Championship, prime matches in pay-per-view and house events, etc.

All’s well that ends well for both wrestling icons.

I mention The Hitman here because like him, I was also screwed out of my job. Just last month. That incident I now call the Alabang Screwjob, LOL! Also, there is a striking similarity between these two screwjobs that had happened to both me and Bret: The Excellence of Execution was excellently screwed in a French-speaking city; me? I was screwed by the Frenchies themselves. Bret was able to forgive and forget. I can turn the other cheek, too. But I will never forget. Ever.

Now, looking back to the complete history of my being a wage slave is not something to be proud of. Whether or not I have made accomplishments in the various trades that I have worked for is not really the point. Besides, I have never made any major impact nor effort in building my “career” because my heart is reserved for another passion (followers of this blog and ALAS FILIPINAS know exactly what I’m talking about). But I did make a lot of friends, and I was able to support my family without bugging my folks. Those two reasons alone make just compensation for compelling myself to work for multinational whorehouses.

Several months ago, I wrote about my plans of escaping this sick, profit-driven society without jeopardizing my financial responsibilities to my wife and four kids. But I failed in that department. So now I’m back to square one. And if I fail again, I will not give up. Because I am really fed up of being a wage slave for the rest of my life. Other than that, I believe that I am not really cut for vocation. Just take a look at these instances:

1) In my very first job, I somehow learned how to dodge punches and coins. I learned a few Karate chops myself, kicking my way out from being beaten up by crazed motorists.
2) In my second job, I turned our company kitchen in Forbes Park into one whole swimming pool, much to the irritation of some of my colleagues (e, sa hindí acó marunong maghugas ng mga plato, eh).
3) Next, I came face to face with the devil himself.
4) In my fourth, I came to realize that a “teacher’s pet” exists not only in school but also in the workplace.
5) The fifth company I worked for was filled with so many cretins that it literally bloodied my lungs.
6) My sixth should have been paradise, until I saw that empire itself crumble just like ancient Rome. I thought it best to leave. But it turned out to be one of the worst decisions I have ever made because….
7) Finally, with my recent employer, I learned that the French pronunciation of the English word “justice” is actually “just us”.

By reminiscing on my hilarious work experiences, I have to reiterate that I am not cut for fuck!n’ vocation. And my recent bosses helped me realize that not-so-sad fact in a forceful and devious manner. If I cannot serve kingdoms, why not be the tyrant myself? LOL! But seriously, I am really done with modern slavery. I now refuse to make myself a firewood for corporate chimneys. Waking up to the sound of the alarm is perhaps the most cruel thing a sane person could to oneself. I do not want to grow old and then look back into my youth with disappointment and say “whatever happened to all those precious days? I have wasted all my Mondays-thru-Fridays on nothing!” Whatever talents that I have is rendered useless inside the unforgiving cubicle farms. I won’t have anything of it anymore.

To quote EDSA 86’s rallying cry: NEVER AGAIN!

I prayed to God fervently for help. Ironically, the good Lord provided the help that I needed in the person of the “god of Pinoy atheism” himself — JB Lazarte (indeed, God works in mysterious ways)! Shortly afterwards, The Magnus taught me the whole nine yards of how to comfortably and enjoyably burn my butt right inside my home forevermore.

Heck, I realized that it’s been right under my nose all these blogging years! And the key to this magic is SEO!

Then a few weeks later, adding up to my excitement and zeal, my ever-supportive wife bought me David “The SEO Expert” Viney’s tips on how to conquer Planet Google!

The startup will not be easy, however. It will take me a couple of months to realize my Bohemian aspirations. So in the meantime, I will need to take the blue pill first and walk amongst the apathetic wage slaves. Gotta “pretend” that everything’s normal. But again, it will only be for a few months. Afterwards, the red pill!

There is no more turning back.

In the meantime, back to regular programming. =)

HAPPY FIRST YEAR ANNIVERSARY, FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES!!!

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Ah, this humble blog survived its first year!

It is unfortunate, though, that I was not able to prepare a heavyweight blogpost for this very special day which happens to be my 31st birthday, too (my “last year in the calendar”, LOL!!!). It has been a very busy day because we timed it on the Christening of our two youngest children — Jesús Felipe (Jefe) and Juan Pablo Benedicto (Juanito). Aside from other friends, my brothers-in-arms Arnaldo Arnáiz and José Miguel García were the godfathers (Arnaldo for Jefe, and tocayo for Juanito). The solemn rite was held at Saint Peter the Apostle Church, just near our place.

With Jefe and Juanito's respective godparents. Taken this morning at the Saint Peter the Apostle Church in San Pedro, La Laguna. Behind us is the historic wooden Cross of Tunasán.

Reception followed at Uncle Inong Restaurant in nearby Ciudad de Muntinlupà. More friends arrived. At the restaurant, Arnaldo, JMG, and I got to discuss our favorite topic: Philippine History and related events over bottles of liquor and great food. We also discussed plans of launching our own website to promote our not-so-popular advocacy.

Reception at Uncle Inong Restaurant, Tunasán, Ciudad de Muntinlupà.

Anyway, I’m somewhere in Alabang right now, having a couple of bottles with old friends. I’ll catch up soon. 🙂

Molokai Grill, Greens and Grills, Festival Supermall, Alabang, Ciudad de Muntinlupà.

I’m mighty proud that FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES got this far. Happy 1st year anniversary! Thank you Lord God! And thank you to all the faithful readers! May the good Lord Almighty bless us all and give us more enlightenment!

Start spreading more mirth and love! =)

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES gets a facelift: preparing for 2010!

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I just need a change, hehehe!

Below is how this website used to look like (click on the small box to enlarge):

WordPress is simply amazing!

Off with the old (Ambiru), on with the new (K2-lite) this coming 2010! =)

*******

Happy 15th birthday to my dear sister Jessica! May you have more happy birthdays to come! And stay as youthful and as beautiful as your Kuya Pepe, hehehe!

Jessica S. Alas

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