Thursday, February 25, 2010

Open Source Mini-conference at Ateneo de Davao

In hindsight, I realize I took a gamble when I decided to organize an open source mini-conference at Ateneo de Davao. The way I envisioned it, the students from my CS312 Advanced Topics class -- whom I had been guiding through various open source technologies -- would be the ones to run the sessions. I would be strictly hands off.

They came up with all sorts of interesting topics, too: ELGG social networking software, site management with Joomla and Drupal, application development with CakePHP, Android, and Google App Engine with integration to Facebook. I also shanghaied two students from my operating systems class to talk about Ubuntu, and three students from last summer to talk about osCommerce, Synfig, and Blender.

I had a daring plan, too, one probably never been tried in Ateneo before: we would be running parallel sessions. That meant four rooms, with at least two sessions each.

But a day before the event, all sorts of worries plagued me, foremost among them: would anyone show up? That worry continued right until 5 minutes before we actually started.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Taboan Writers Conference Day 3

Friday, February 12, 2010

The etymology of "Uyab"

In one of the side conversations here at Taboan, I learned that etymology of the word "uyab." "Uyab", as everyone knows, means "boyfriend" or "girlfriend", common enough in everyday contemporary Bisaya as to be innocuous.

But do you know the origin of the word?

Taboan Writers Conference Day 2

No, no pictures for today, unfortunately. The schedule turned out to be quite hectic, and there were too many interesting people to talk to.

Our first fiasco of the day: the bus that was to pick us -- the second batch -- up came in very late. We missed the early part of the morning proceedings. I caught the tail end of the session run by Renato Madrid, a.k.a., Msgr. Rudy Villanueva.

I have to confess that I don't know much about Renato Madrid. Chalk that up to my own ignorance and my engineering education. But man! was he popular, especially among the older writers. Among his novels are "Devilwings" and "Mass for the Death of an Enemy." I'll have to look them up sometime.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Taboan Writers Conference Day 1

I'm writing this close to midnight, the end of a long day jam-packed with activities and conversations. I wish I could capture even the spirit of the discussions here, but with all the lore I'm soaking up, I wouldn't know where to begin (the origin of "lakwatsa?" the politics of awards? the quixoticism of novel-writing? the nature of Cebuano poetry?) The best I can do is a brief skeleton of the day; the rest I will have to keep within.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Taboan Writers Conference Day 0

If I had known being part of the literary circles was this much fun, I would have become a writer much sooner. Ha ha, small joke there, folks, and those of you who know me can imagine the self-mocking sardonic brow as I say it.

But seriously, this is fun. I joined Taboan last year at UP Diliman, and I'm fortunate to be a Davao delegate again this year. Our delegation is smaller in number, owing to some folks off on further studies. With me are Ric de Ungria, Jhoanna Cruz, Tim Montes, and my professor Mac Tiu.