Friday, March 27, 2009

Davao Writers Guild

Since I moved back to Davao three years ago, I've been actively involved in the Davao Writers Guild. I don't normally go for socio-civic organizations -- something to do with the loud personalities that predominate in discussions -- but the Guild is right up my alley. It's small, no more than twenty or so members; it doesn't demand too much by way of time or money; and it's all about a field that appreciate and enjoy.

I'm quite grateful that I bumped into the Guild. Writing may be solitary work, but the life of a writer doesn't need to be. The Guild has given me a small community to bounce ideas off, to celebrate achievements with, and to learn more of the craft from.

The bulk of my activities with the Guild involves Dagmay, the Guild's literary journal. Dagmay has gone through several incarnations but its most recent form is that of a weekly one-page supplement to Sun.Star Davao. Each week, Dagmay features one or two stories or essays and up to three poems.

Since Dagmay's aim is to promote Mindanaoan literature, the main constraint is that the writers have to have some association with Mindanao, either by birth or extended residence. It's a constraint that has borne fruit: so far, Dagmay has featured works from over 160 mostly young writers from the region.

Dagmay is one of the few -- if not the only -- regular multilingual publications in the country today. Our three main languages are English, Tagalog, and Bisaya, but we have featured works in Mandaya. We look to publish works in other native Mindanaoan languages.

Since I came onboard, I've been a semi-permanent editor on Dagmay. Guild members usually take turns editing the journal, but since I'm the one who's always eager to volunteer, I end up with more than my fair share of turns. I was also the one to put up Dagmay on the web, and I maintain the site on a weekly basis. I'm quite proud of the results -- our archive stretches back to September 2007 and we have close to 250 articles as of this writing.

Dagmay does take a fair bit of my time but I feel that it's an important platform for finding new talent. Nothing encourages a writer so much as to see his or her work in print. Dagmay may be a small and limited venue, but I like to think that for many it's the first step towards an active writing life.

By compiling all the contributors to Dagmay, I've also managed to form the Young Davao Writers. It exists primarily as a mailing list where I send out announcements for contests, workshops, and solicitations. It's been slow going at first -- Davao students are notoriously shy about actively participating in interschool activities -- but we've finally had some minor breakthroughs by way of Poetry Nights, our public poetry reading sessions. I hope that out of this, we'll be able to form a regular ongoing writers group.

So much for the things I'm doing for the Guild. What has it done for me? Because of the Guild, I've begun to have my stories come out in mainstream publications. The encouragement was not overt, just a friendly suggestion here and there, but as with many things, the first step is always the hardest. Because of the Guild, I have a greater awareness of the need to write local stories, and in Bisaya, too. I still have a long way to go in this direction, but I guess the important thing is that I've already started.

But most of all, the Guild has diminished for me the inaccessible mystique of the writer and writing. I the past, I think I may have been put off by the aloof nature of The Writer As Moody Inspired Artist, and such misconceptions have driven me to the sidelines. That image is finally giving way to real people working hard at a craft they love. That's an image I am quite happy to associate with.

A Time for Dragons


Sunday, March 29, 2009, is the book launch for "A Time for Dragons", an Anvil book edited by Vin Simbulan.

I'm really happy that this book is coming out, and it's not just because I have a story there. It's been a long time coming -- about four years by my count -- but as they say, good things come to those who wait. Kudos to Vin for keeping the flame alive!

That beside, Andrew Drilon's artwork is just gorgeous!

Details of the book launch:

March 29, 2009 (Sunday) 3:00 pm: Shangri-la Mall Grand Atrium

Join the book launch of A Time for Dragons, edited by Vincent Simbulan. This book is a collection of new dragon stories by Filipino authors to present the dragon in new and inventive ways, and renew and refresh the dragon for a more sophisticated and mature audience. Don’t miss the parade of dragons at the launch in Shangri-la Mall.

LitOrgy tickets / stickers


Combination ticket and souvenir sticker for tomorrow's LitOrgy poetry performance event. The idea and execution came from Chi and her friends; I only printed and cut them.

Bukambibig on the Air


I was on radio last Wednesday as part of the Davao Writers Guild's Bukambibig. I was with DWG President and NCCA Commissioner Ric de Ungria; our host was Nitz Escarpe of DXRP Radyo ng Bayan. Owing to time constraints, I was only able to read two poems (but each one in both English and Bisaya, so it should probably count as four), but I thought it was a good program overall.

Bukambibig is DWG's public poetry performance series. It's been going on for a while, but this year saw some new innovations such as the radio broadcast and the dance interpretation.

Nitz was a very lively host, so there was never a dull moment.

I'm not quite sure of the feedback from the program, but I hope it got some more people who don't otherwise think about poetry consider it.

Spell it right, darn it!

After my "stock file" post, here's a couple more taken from around Davao.



Unemployment Insurance (Kuno)


This was the headline from a few days back (I only managed to upload it today). I don't know why, but when I first saw it, I thought it read:

"P6-B insurance fraud for unemployed eyed"


Then again, the way things go in this country, that planned insurance just might be a setup for that. Fertilizer, anyone?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sa Pagabot sa Human sa Panahon

My translation of my poem At Season's End. I'll be reading this later this afternoon at DXRP (675kHz) as part of the Davao Writers Guild's Bukambibig project.

ug karong naabot na ang human sa panahon
ato nang ipahimutang
ang atong mga espada ug sagang
atong hubuon
ang atong mga taming ug sarok
atong hukason
ang mga bisti ug korona
ug atong ipakwadra
ang atong mga kabayo

wala nay mga sombrero
ug mga pistola
ug mga tartanilla
ug wala nay mga turong
ug mga pana
ug mga pintados
ug mga tolda



ato nang itugyan
ang atong mga tsapa
ug mga batuta
ug mga maskara
ug mga sako sa kwarta

ato nang pagngon
ang atong mga jet pack
ug mga ray gun
ug mga robot
ug mga rocket ship

atong isulob
ang atong mga ligdong nawong
ug magpaaron-aron ta
nga mga Mahinungdanong Hamtong
ikaw magpaingon nga Mama
ug ako mapaingon pud nga Papa
ug kitang duha magpaningkamot kunuhay
gikan sa alas nuebe hangtod alas singko
para mabayaran
ang atong mga utang
ug makapalit ug nindot nga butang
para mapahambog sa atong mga silingan

mopalit ko ug kartera
ug ikaw mopalit ug tsaketa
magdimdim ta ug mahalong kape
ug mabulakong bino
para ambungan atong dagway
ug makangisi ta
sa atong tuskig nga mga ngisi
kay
"the customer is always right"

ug atong itan'og sa baul
ang atong mga dulaan
ipatulog nato sila
didto sa kangitngitan
diin sila gahulat
sa pagabot
sa panahon
sa pagdula
nga walay kahumanan

pero makahinumdum pa kaha ta?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

LitOrgy


Following the success of our Poetry Nights comes LitOrgy, an evening of music, poetry, and visual art. LitOrgy incorporates these disparate forms into a fusion of collaborative performances from the young artists of Davao City.

LitOrgy happens on Saturday, March 28, from 8:00PM to 10:00PM at the Durian Bar, Madrazo Compound. There will be an entrance fee of P50.

If you are interested in joining LitOrgy, please sign up at the Facebook event page.

Socrates sa Ngitngit Nga Pasilyo

My Bisaya translation of "Socrates in a Dark Alley"

Pagbantay aning karaang tinungyanan sa kinaadman
Nga ana-a sa kataas sa iyang galamhan
Usa siya na napatumba sa iyang alak

Pagbantay atong mga hingpit nga matang murag parol
Nga tunhay nagapangita
Sa mga talahurong mga tawo

Pagbantay sa iyang hingpit nga dilang pilak
Nga makasamad gamit ang gahum sa katinooran
Wala'y kalooy nga tagapasaag sa kabataan!

Sa iyaha, tanang yuta mabungahon
Wala'y balaanon, wala'y lingkawas
Sa tabo-an man, o sa plaza, o sa templo

Pagbantay niatong kusgan nga mga kamot
Nga mokab-ot ug musikup
Para sa mga maalaot sa iyang mga paagi

Ug dala sa kabisog sa usa ka sundang
Iyang ilabnot ang tubag sa pangutanang pangkinabuhi:
"Your money or your life?"

Didto sa Hardin

My Bisaya translation of my own poem, "In the Garden".


Didto sa hardin
nga asa nato gihimo
ang atong mga panag-abot sa tungang gabii
sa ilalom sa dan'ag sa Bulan
taliwala sa kaamyon sa mga rosas
sa silonganan
niadtong cenador;
karon gibarogan na --
gipalibutan
ug mga amapola
klabel
ug loto
-- ug usa ka laray nga siklat
gipintalan ug puti
murag hingpit nga mga ngipon
sa matinahuron nga pahiyum
(pero ang ilang mga tumoy
gibairan hangtod natalanis)

kabahin sa piyoos sa rosas, wala
mga sapinit lamang

Usa Ka Layo Nga Nasod

My Bisaya translation of my own poem, "Face of a Stranger / A Distant Country"

Mao kini ang kurbada sa aping
Nga akong gisiksik ug halok

Mao kini ang langub sa baba
Nga akong gihuyupan ug hangin
Unsang kaalak akong natimtiman

Mao ni ang bungdo sa ilong
Diin asa gihapaw nako akong kaugalingon
niadtong usa ka way lingaw nga adlaw sa berano
nga gataga-anay ta sa darohan

Mao kini ang mga pako sa tabontabon
nga nagpilokpilok kabuhi
sa akong pinakalumong hunghong

Mao kini ang lim'aw sa mata
diin nalumos akoang kalag

Karon usa na lang ka layong nasod
nga nagkahanap sa panumduman

Monday, March 23, 2009

Battlestar what?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post entitled Battlestar Galactica has jumped the shark. Now that the series has just come to a conclusion, the same post is getting quite a number of hits. Apparently, a lot of people seem to think so, too. (This comment sums it up.)

Yes, I was a fan at the beginning, but after a while it just became tedious, what with its forced political commentary and endless angst. But the crux of it, really, was that it didn't make any sense. Gritty realism, high-tech special effects, screaming and shouting: they won't make a poor unplotted story any better. Especially the screaming and shouting part -- but we know that from Philippine cinema.

The series has come and gone. I want to ask you: did it make any sense? Was it worth the five year wait to bring the story conclusion? In three sentences or less, can you tell me what the frakkin' Cylon plan was?

Or am I supposed to wait for another mini-series to explain it all?

Top 10 IT Locations

Found by way of Slashdot: the top 10 IT locations. Despite the Internet, physical proximity does still matter. These are places for research and for starting businesses, and therefore, also for attracting talent.

The list:

1. Silicon Valley
2. Taiwan
3. Bangalore
4. Japan
5. San Fransisco
6. Zhongguancun, China
7. Finland
8. Fort Meade, Maryland
9. Romania
10. Boston

My complaint is that he list seems to mix up categories. Some listed are cities or states, but some are entire countries. Where in Finland, Japan, Taiwan, or Romania, exactly?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jellyfish


For the most part I think that jellyfish are icky, but from behind an aquarium glass, they look quite pretty. Photos taken from the Sentosa's Oceanarium.





Heh. This would have been my best shot, if the reflection from the sign hadn't ruined it. (Now you know why all the other pictures are cropped.) Loved the detail on the jellyfish core, though, and that's why I'm posting it anyway.

Competitive Advantage

On my last jaunt to Singapore, I met up with an old friend. He had been living in Singapore for the past few years, and he ran the applications management division for a large multinational company. His area of operations spanned across Asia and Europe. I had always admired his acumen. I relished the chance to brush up on industry developments and pick his brain on sundry topics.

As far as categories go, applications management is just another form of outsourcing, but certainly far more complex to manage than your average call center or transcription services. Essentially what my friend's division does is to take over the entire IT operations of a company. It's not just a subsidiary function that they assume, it touches on the core capabilities of the company to manage their data. Very large, very complex, and, very profitable.

So what happens to the operations once my friend's division assumes the functions? As expected, they go offshore. And this was the part that interested me.

"Where exactly does the work go?" I asked my friend.

"Oh, the usual. India. China. The Philippines."

"The bulk of it goes to India, I suppose."

"Yep," he said. "We have 60,000 programmers working there."

"Wow! And how many in the Philippines?"

"Around 800."

"Let me guess: cost?"

"Yes, that's one factor, but not a very big one. The bigger issue is skill set. India just has the Philippines beat. One indicator: India produces about 6,000 PhDs a year; the Philippines would be lucky to produce a hundred."

"That is hard to beat," I admitted.

"In a way, it's also a function of percentages," he said. "India has more people than the Philippines, so if you hold the percentage of smart people constant. But then again, there is something else, too."

"Like what?"

"Michael Porter, in his 'Competitive Advantage of Nations', outlined a key factor and that's to develop local expertise for local needs. Eating your own cooking, as it were. By creating a local market, you create a pool of expertise and local innovations that you can later export. That's what India has done.

"In contrast, the Philippines is so export-oriented that as soon as you produce a graduate, he immediately leaves the country. There's no critical mass to speak of.

"And that's yet another difference. That graduate eventually sends money in the form of remittances. It's a piddling sum, if you think about it, just enough to get by. In the case of India, they're thinking in terms of investment, money that can be used to build new businesses. For the Indians who have made it big, there's a conscious decision to funnel money back into the country.

"In the Philippines, you have the opposite flow. The wealthy families are investing their money in safer havens abroad. As a result, very little recirculates in-country."

"That's a disturbing notion," I said.

"Most folks in the Philippines are quite content to be the big fish in their small pond."

"So it goes," I agreed. And of course, the whole conversation left me wondering where we would be headed, if we might be the business process outsourcing powerhouse that we always say we will be, handling large complex jobs like applications management, or if we would just be right around where we are now, chugging along contentedly.

So it goes.

That's one man's assessment and prescription, anyway. If you have a better ideas, I'd like to hear them.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kampong Glam


More Singapore pictures, this time of Kampong Glam, the Malayan heritage district. There's one wide tree-lined avenue surrounded by old buildings with restored facades, similar to the Chinatown buildings. It's not nearly as big or as crowded as Chinatown, though, but that lends it a quieter atmosphere. Overlooking the square is Sultana Masjid, Singapore's oldest and largest mosque.







Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tambayan, Singapore Style


This tambayan in Singapore made me smile. Being a very busy city, only senior citizens only have time to loaf around, and that's what this area in Chinatown is for. Several old men were deeply engrossed in games of Chinese chess and checkers going on, with dozens more kibitzers hanging around, or just chatting with each other.




Nearby was a huge Buddhist temple, supposedly with a relic from Buddha.

No, that is not the Buddha. That's just me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Singapore Chinatown


I hated the theme parks, but I loved the heritage centers. In the future I will definitely schedule a trip with only museums and historical sites in the itinerary. Here are some shots of Singapore's Chinatown, with its restored old architecture.













Jurong Bird Park


In case you were wondering, yes, I'm still here. I just haven't been able to blog the past few days because: (1) I just returned from a weekend at Singapore; (2) on the day I came back from Singapore, I went to Samal with my Plurk pals and blog buddies; and (3) I've been busy processing the applications for the Davao Writers Workshop. All of which I will blog about in due time.

In the meantime, here are some pictures from my visit to Jurong Bird Park. I'm not a big fan of theme parks, but since I was touring my uncle and aunt in Singapore, I really had no choice. At least I got some pictures out of it.




Thursday, March 12, 2009

Achebe on society and morality

More from Achebe:

For a society to function smoothly and effectively its members must share certain basic tenets of belief and norms of behaviour. There must be a reasonable degree of consensus on what is meant by virtue and vice; there must be some agreement on the attributes of a hero, on what constitutes the heroic act. Different societies will not hold identical ideas on these questions in every part of the world at every time in history. And yet, in spite of local and historical variations, we do not know of any society which has survived and flourished on totally arbitrary notions of good and evil, or of the heroic and the cowardly. Our very humanity seems to be committed to a distinction between these pairs however fuzzy the line may sometimes appear. But a society, like an individual, can sicken or become unhinged mentally, as in the phenomenon of mass hysteria which is well known. There are, of course, quieter and less dramatic symptoms of social pathology. Vulgar ostentation, callousness, disorderliness, filth, and shoddiness are clear signs of disease. What is the cure? More exhortations? I think not.

If you don't learn to spell right...


Kids, listen up! If you don't learn to spell properly, you'll end up digging ditches (and you probably won't bother covering them up when you're done) -- not to mention getting involved in all sorts of bid-rigging.

Under a Fake Sky


Macau's Venetian Hotel can be overwhelming at first, but after a while it's just so kitschy and fake. And you go anyway, because everyone tells you that you must. Still, it's good for a few hours' stroll and lots of photos.




World-Wide

Owing to a crazy cheap Christmas offer from Cebu Pacific, I found myself in Hong Kong the other week. Sure, the arrival and departure hours were equally insane, but the price couldn't be beat. All in all, the trip couldn't have come at a more opportune time: my last trip out of the country was more than five years ago. It felt good to feel my travel legs again.

For the first time in a long while, too, this was a right and proper holiday. Hong Kong used to be part of my beat back when I was working for that multinational. I know my way around, sure, but it's different when you're there on company time and when you can move at your own leisurely pace and really take note of things. That was my plan, to soak in as much as I could of the day-in-the-life.

Now we all know that Hong Kong is one of the top Asian destinations for the working Filipino expatriate. That much hasn't changed, nor is it likely to. I couldn't turn my head without spying a countryman or cock my ear without hearing conversations in Tagalog and Bisaya. Filipinos have made an imprint in Hong Kong; they make no apologies for it.

Chance encounters with countrymen happen everywhere. Once, on the top deck of a tram, I learned the minutiae of a woman's financial woes as she yammered away on her cellphone in Ilonggo. Another time, I overheard a young nanny confide jokingly to her friend in mixed Tagalog-Bisaya her plan to get wasted on her day off. Not just in Hong Kong, either, but in nearby Macau -- all the guards in the Macau Museum are Filipino, as, it seems, are the main performers in the famous Venetian Hotel.

As for me, it took all my self-control not to blurt out, "Oy! Filipino rin ako!" Not that I'm embarrassed about my provenance. It just feels like something only a bumpkin would do. After all, I wouldn't make such announcements anywhere in the Philippines; why should I, just because I'm out of the country? And being Filipino in Hong Kong is like being Filipino in Tutuban.

Perhaps nowhere is the Filipino entrenchment more apparent than in the World-Wide Center in the Central District of Hong Kong. Everyone -- and I do mean everyone, Hong Kong Chinese included -- knows it as "The Filipino Building." It's not just because that's where Filipinos congregate socially, it's where they transact business, whether it's sending money to family or buying a bit of home to ease the loneliness.

I visited World-Wide Center because that was where they had the best dollar exchange rates. On the outside it looks like any other building in the central business district. On the inside, well, it's like teleporting back to a busy Quiapo arcade mall. As I entered the building, I couldn't miss the busy bank offices -- BPI, PNB, Equitable... They were all there.

And not just banks, either. Three floors of World-Wide are dedicated to Filipino goods and services, manned by Filipinos, and patronized by Filipinos. Hankering for a bit of Philippine magazines? Check! Looking for Lucky Me Instant Mami? Check! A dose of April Boy Regino (hey, don't knock him; I'm a fan)? Check! Rounding out the picture, over to one corner, I spied a weary young shopman taking a late lunch of rice and bulad from a styrofoam box -- a contrast, it seemed, with the Delifrance coffee shop on the main floor of World-Wide, until I realized that Delifrance was as Filipino as he.

Oh yes, it all looks and sounds so kitschy, but it's a snapshot of Philippine life transported to a foreign land. Perhaps its jologs sensibility might elicit sneers from the Greenbelt elite that wants everything bright and shiny and branded. Who cares? The Greenbelt elite have never had to work long years in a country not their own. World-Wide Center is unpretentious and authentic Filipino.

When I finally transacted for my dollars, it was in Filipino.

"Magkano yung palit ninyo dito sa dollar?"

"7.20 po," said the Western Union teller.

"May service charge ba?"

"Wala naman." I thought I saw her roll her eyes: noob!

"Ah, sige, balik na lang ako." 7.20 was too low; 7.60 was where it's at.

"Sige."

And there it was: it felt as if I'd never left home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Achebe on Fulfilment

More from Achebe, related to the previous post:

Western literature played a central role in promoting the ideal of individual autonomy. As Lionel Trilling pointed out, this literature has, in the last one hundred and fifty years, held "an intense and adverse imagination of the culture in which it has its being." It promoted the view of society and of culture as a prisonhouse from which the individual must escape in order to find space and fulfilment.

But fulfilment is not, as people often think, uncluttered space or an absence of controls, obligations, painstaking exertion. No! It is actually a presence -- a powerful demanding presence limiting the space in which the self can roam uninhibited; it is the aspiration by the self to achieve spiritual congruence with the other.
When people speak glibly of fulfilment they often mean self-gratification, which is easy, short-lived and self-centred. Like drugs, it has to be experienced frequently, preferably in increasing doses.

Fulfilment is other-centred, a giving or subduing of the self, perhaps to somebody, perhaps to a cause; in any event to something external to it. Those who have experienced fulfulment all attest to the reality of this otherness. For religious people the soul of man aspires to God for fulfilment. St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in North Africa and one of the greatest fathers of the early Christian Church, understood this very well, having led a life of self-centred pleasure in his youth. He found fulfilment and left his great prayer in testimony: "For thyself has thou made us, O God, and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee." Artists, scientists and scholars may find fulfilment in their creative work, humanitarians in their service. But even more important, ordinary men and women have found fulfilment in their closeness to others -- to children, to parents, to wife or husband, to lover -- and in social work of all kinds.

Achebe on Western vs. Non-Western Thinking

I discovered Chinua Achebe in a short story class, and was taken in by the effective simplicity of his prose; then I learned more of him in a class on Post-Colonial Literature, and was impressed by his philosophical framework. Last month, I discovered several of his books lying in a National Bookstore bargain bin -- only P50! Of course I had to buy them!

I am now reading his book of essays, "Hopes and Impediments." Several thought-provoking pieces, but probably the one I like best (so far) is his essay The Writer and His Community, which delves into the differences between Western and non-Western thinking. Passages reproduced below:

It may be thought over-bold, if not downright impertinent, for anyone, but more particularly for an African student, to describe Descartes, the very father of modern Western philosophy, as the cause of a gigantic philosophical accident. But there are undoubtedly good grounds for the proposition advanced here that if they should return to the world today Socrates -- or his student Plato, whom we know better -- and Augustine might find African communalism more congenial than Western individualism. The Republic, "conjured out of the ruins of fourth-century Athens," was after all a grand design for the ordering of men in society; and The City of God a Christian reordering of society after the destruction of the Roman Empire by the pagains. In other words, philosophy for Plato and Augustine, historically equidistant from Christ, was concerned with architectural designs for a better world.
Descartes, on the other hand, would probably be an American citizen if he should return. He had rejected the traditional contemplative ideal of philosophy and put in its place a new experimental rationalism and a mechanistic view of the physical world. He regarded science as a means of acquiring mastery over nature for the benefit of mankind and led the way himself in optics and physiology. But -- and this perhaps more than all else makes him a true modern, Western man -- he made the foundation of his philosophical edifice, including the existence of God, contingent on his own first person singular! Cogito ergo sum. I think therefore I am.

Perhaps it is the triumphant, breathtaking egocentrism of that declaration that occasionally troubles the non-Western mind, conscious as it must be of hierarchies above self; adn so leads it to the brazen thought of a Western ontological accident.

But troubled though he may be, non-Western man is also, in spite of himself, dazzled by the technological marvels created by the West; by its ability to provide better than anybody else for man's material needs. And so we find him going out to meet the West in a bid to find out the secret of its astonishing success or, if that proves too rigorous, then simple to taste its fruits.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Food Appreciation Tour, Hong Kong-Style


Though I didn't plan it, Hong Kong turned out to have its own food appreciation tour for me. My old teammate Jeff took me to one of the best noodle shops in Central, and Diane brought me to her favorite restaurant on my last night on the island.

Having forsworn any elaborate photos, I hadn't planned on taking the picture above. But the preparation was just so unique I couldn't help it. The dish is called Mandarin fish, and it was served in savory sauce. Quite tasty, too. I loved the preparation, which eliminated the need to turn the fish over.


Top view of the fish. Yum.

Financial Advice for 2009

This advice is allegedly from Warren Buffet. I haven't bothered to check its veracity, but the tips, though platitudinous, still seem pretty good to me, for 2009 or any other year.

Every new year, I adopt a couple of old maxims as my beacons to guide my future. This self-prescribed therapy has ensured that with each passing year, I grow wiser and not older. This year, I invite you to tap into the financial wisdom of our elders along with me, and become financially wiser.

  • Hard work: All hard work bring a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.
  • Laziness: A sleeping lobster is carried away by the water current.
  • Earnings: Never depend on a single source of income. At least make your Investments get you second earning.
  • Spending: If you buy things you don't need, you'll soon sell things you need.
  • Savings: Don't save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.

  • Borrowings: The borrower becomes the lender's slave.
  • Accounting: It's no use carrying an umbrella, if your shoes are leaking.
  • Auditing: Beware of little expenses; A small leak can sink a large ship.
  • Risk-taking: Never test the depth of the river with both feet. Have an alternate plan ready.
  • Investment: Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    I'm certain that those who have already been practicing these principles remain financially healthy. I'm equally confident that those who resolve to start practicing these principles will quickly regain their financial health. Let us become wiser and lead a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful life.
  • Monday, March 09, 2009

    Robot


    Because I'm bored.... No, not really. I've got a number of things on my mind and I needed to decompress a bit, so I played around with my N79's macro mode settings and GIMP. This was the result.

    Bukambibig: Poetry and Dance


    Davao Writers Guild, together with the UP Mindanao Dance Ensemble and Ateneo de Davao University Humanities Division, presents Bukambibig, a performance of dance and poetry. Bukambibig takes place on March 13 (Friday) at the 5th Floor Lobby of the Finster Building.

    If you want to attend this performance, please visit our Facebook event page. Entrance to Ateneo is controlled, so we want the names of guests beforehand. Do sign up by Thursday.

    And, uh, yeah, they're reading and performing a couple of my poems.