Torn between the feels and le facepalm

Empire State Building lit up in colors of the Philippine flag as skyscraper looks to bring awareness to the plight of Super Typhoon Haiyan victims Read more:

Empire State Building lit up in colors of the Philippine flag as skyscraper looks to bring awareness to the plight of Super Typhoon Haiyan victims
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First of all, thank you. The feels have been nothing short of awesome. It doesn’t matter how “big” or “little” you’ve done compared to what your neighbours have given. We all act according to what we have, so don’t feel bad. Each helping hand deserves the same amount of gratitude. Thank you, humanity. So much feels.

Unfortunately, in spite of all the overwhelming awesome, stupidity persists. I’m not even going to talk about this, this, or this. The news has got those covered well enough. I’m talking about ‘ordinary’ people on social media.

The sanctimonious minding of other people’s business is not awesome

Yes, it can be a touching symbol of solidarity to abstain from non-typhoon relief related matters on social media, but don’t push it. I love symbols–don’t get me wrong–but we shouldn’t be confusing the symbols for the actual goals. The goal here is to help out. If you decide to fast on instagramming or taking a ridiculous number of ‘selfies’ a day whilst helping out, that’s perfectly fine and good. Remember that your goal is to help out and not changing your profile picture into a map of the Philippines. So, there’s no need to go about being an arsehole by telling people they should do what you’re doing, too. Let them decide on the symbols they want to carry. Besides, who says you can’t help out and enjoy the rest of your day in some other way?

On a similar note, there is no need to apologise for posting non-relief related matters for reasons already mentioned. If anyone tries to stop you, kick their arse. You’re allowed to live your own life. Again, you can help out as much as you can without denying yourself a life outside helping out (but you are certainly free to do so if you wish, Gods bless you).

Resilience and the greatest nation in the world

Filipinos are a resilient people, we know that. I hate that we have to constantly bug the world with a ‘selfie of resilience’. They know, we know, let’s get some work done. Yes, we’ve been dirt poor for decades, butt-raped by imperialists for centuries, and battered by typhoons for much, much longer–and yet, here we are despite all that. But this “resilience” has more to do with human nature than our ethnic makeup, really. I’m not sure if “Pinoy Pride” actually helps feed the hungry, to be honest. I bet it’s good old human altruism, nothing less.

Yes, resilience is an admirable trait, but if we really want to actually live, we should be banking on other values, too. I don’t know, maybe a thirst for knowledge? Disaster preparedness? Indignation? An actual cohesive identity? There are a million other things to live by alongside resilience, because that alone isn’t going to transform us into better people.

Shut up and help

It goes without saying that criticism and humanitarian work are not mutually exclusive. For one, if there’s something wrong, you need to say it. You need to point it out, so it can get fixed if necessary. That’s certainly one way of helping out clear the rubble, and you can certainly do both.

The theology of natural calamities

Anyone who’s been saying the storm was a heaven-sent opportunity for the world to know that the Filipino is strong, that humanity is one (etc.) deserves to get their arse kicked. That we are helping out each other is a response to the calamity. The calamity didn’t happen that so we can help out. Trust this animist when he says that storm-gods don’t do that shit. If you don’t trust me, there’s always science to point that out for you. It’s not a hurricane’s business to check on who needs the most reminding if they’ve been naughty or nice.

Speaking of ‘facepalming’ beliefs, there’s also the “prayer is the best/only thing we should depend on“. Erm, no. Prayers are really nice things to have (I should know!), but you can’t buy food with prayers. I really wish they could, but they can’t. Prayers can be a great way to start up a mood or move someone to action, but they can’t actually move mountains. Sorry, but I’d rather have inconvenient truths over inspiring lies, and you’re talking to a devotee of a dozen gods.

Well, I think that’s about it. I certainly don’t hope to write some more. I don’t enjoy ranting, but thoughts are better said than tucked away. Now, shall we return to work and make more awesome feels?


Reblogged: Hail You, Guardian of the Road!

Because I was so chuffed trying out Kindle for the first time and finally purchasing a long desired e-book, I wrote about it. Hail Hermes of the Intarwebz!

Under Two Trees

Because ordering paperback can be extremely expensive (and frustrating!) for me, I decided to finally try out Kindle today. I can’t believe I’ve been a Neanderthal all this time, not knowing this beautiful magic.

Well, what better way to be thankful (and auspicious) than to have a Hermes devotional as my first purchase. It is super. Thank you, Lord, for the Internet and all these neat things!

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Friendster to say good bye on 31st of May. Not just a rumour.

It’s a bit sad, I admit, but I’ll get over it. Definitely exporting my profile tonight.

Farewell, old friend! I had a great time.

MANILA, Philippines — Social networking pioneer Friendster has advised its millions of users to take their files elsewhere, or face oblivion by May 31, when the site begins a reincarnation of itself as a non-Facebook-competing, “entertainment and fun” service.

TechCrunch, an IT-website, has reported that “Friendster has advised registered members to install a custom application that will export all their profile data as most of it will be deleted on May 31, 2011.”

The report, along with several others that discussed how Friendster planned to stay relevant in the age of Facebook domination, has sparked rumors of a winding down or at least a reinvention that will see the destruction of a social networking site that has connected people and made them friends.

But Friendster itself has explained to its users in its help page that the removal of all users’ information — blog, photo, profile — is to pave the way for the introduction of a new Friendster.

“We are introducing a new and improved Friendster in the coming weeks that will be focused on entertainment and fun. There will be new features that will leverage on your online activities and will enable you to connect with friends or engage new friends with similar interests.”

Friendster said the “improved site is designed to create new profiles that allow you to connect differently with people and do things differently than other networking sites. Basically, the new site will complement your existing online presence in other social networking sites.”

To do this, Friendster will retain users’ friends lists, basic profile information, wallet and games.

Attempts via phone and email by to get more details about this from Friendster failed.

TechCrunch described the impending move “exactly like Myspace when they started feeling the Facebook heat for real.”

This observation comes against a backdrop of intense attrition for social networking sites.

“Tech industry analysts comScore say figures show MySpace lost more than 10 million unique users worldwide between January and February… Year on year the site has lost almost 50 million users, down from close to 110 million in February 2010,” BBC reported in March.

Yet, in a ZDNet Asia report just this month, Friendster CEO Ganesh Kumar Bangah may have hinted how his company views this kind of brand reinvention.

In that report, Bangah pitched for a unique value proposition in an attempt not to be sidelined by a global social graph dominated by Facebook.

“Friendster… will be re-launched as a social entertainment site that will leverage the global social graph using Facebook’s “Connect” feature… will not compete with but instead will complement Facebook,” ZDNet Asia quoted Bangah as saying.

A preview of what the site may have in mind may be the announcement last September that it is launching social media portals for music and social gaming fans in Asia.

Friendster claims to be a leading global online social network with 95 million members worldwide.

Someone’s Incompetence At My Expense?

Obviously, I’m still offline. I’m on my 19th day without any internet connection. I’ve literally got hundreds of messages to read (and reply to) in my inbox and dozens of blog drafts itching to be published. I’ve got tonnes of material to research on, too! Not to mention, I’m absolutely left out on all the intarwebz updates. How long does it bloody take to transfer accounts?! The old house is just a few blocks from the new one! Gah.

Why am I raving on “incompetence”? Kasi nung pinuntahan namin ang buwakanenang (toot) na iyan, pagkatapos ng 11 araw, hindi pa pala nagalaw iyung transfer papers?! And now we wait for another 10 days?! Gahhhh! I swear, if they hit on 20, I am so going to transfer to another provider.

Just ranting—in an internet cafe with abysmal speed. Ack.

Internet Hell!

“Hell”, some philosophers say, is the separation from god or atman (or whatever you want to call the universal bond of kinship).

Yes, I spoke too soon. I have not been liberated from the ‘internet hiatus’ yet. I have been in Web Hell for almost two weeks now, separated from my all-knowing god, the Intarwebz. I trust that I do not need to mention the name of my internet provider. If yours is working fine then we do not have the same one.

I am really cheesed off.

On the other hand, I can still smile because I can play The Battle for Middle Earth II now. Weeeeeeeeeeh! I just need some patches to fix all the crashing. (Help, anyone?)

P.S. I am squatting on someone else’s Wi-Fi.