2007 July | baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

baratillo @ cubao : www.baratillo.net

To Drive Or Not To Drive

Posted in Politics and Culture by juned on the July 31st, 2007


I was preparing my identification cards to get my travel documents when I realized my driver’s identification card had lapsed. It has been some since years I have driven a car to and fro work. The price of fuel and parking space in Makati loomed heavily on my decision to be a daily urban pilgrim from the Makati Central Business District to my beloved neighborhood of Cubao. It helps greatly that one has several mode of transport that can be chosen to travel along Edsa. From a plethora of buses, the enterprising FX taxis, the taxis, and the rush-hour jam-packed MRT.

The transformation from being driver to daily commuter never really dawned on me until I saw my lapsed non-professional drivers id. To get one’s license to drive is an urban rite of passage. During high school more enterprising friends would lie about their age in order to get a license and bring their cars to school. Some of them would even go to some remote and far-flung testing center to get certified. The rest of us had to be content being back seat drivers to the “kotse ng bayan”. Still it was not easy for the driver. A friend of mine even had to take out the seats of his car to discourage people from hitching a ride. Unfortunately, for him this did not dissuade people from riding. Nevertheless, things sort of leveled as the senior year approach most had licenses and access to the family car or in some cases your godparent’s car.

The car became the extension of your home. And often you would find yourself competing with siblings on who would use the car. And sometimes you would fight with siblings on who would drive the car for Mother, Dad, Sister, Brother and nearly all blood relatives to the 100th degree.

And there are times when a car becomes the repository of memories. The good and the bad times. An argument, the stress of waiting for someone who is about to come out … five hours ago, a kiss and other forms of interludes. Crossing an instant river in Marikina during a typhoon. Stuck on top of Sierra Madre ranges waiting for the mechanic. Nearly burning to death, twice along Meralco Ave. Speeding along Roces Avenue at the exact point where the road dips. The three hour drive from Cubao to Makati when they were building the fly-overs - It was faster going to Dau ang buy porn and PX goods. And probably most bizzare of all was having a dead body at the back of the car while driving on a lonely country road sandwiched between the green rice fields and coconut grooves. Interesting and fun.

It is a pleasure to drive especially when there is no traffic at all. The road up North to Zambales, La Union, and Baguio. The back roads of Laguna where you can drive to a zig-zag road in the Sierra Madre Ranges or around the Laguna de Bai. Driving around Metropolitan Manila during Holy Week, Christmas and the days of the Saint and the Dead. And also for each hometown or city one lives or grew up in. It is a pleasure to drive when there is no traffic. And it is a pleasure to drive with people you care about the talk and conversation between the two points of the travel.

Yes, It would seem that I would renew my license after all. Even if I have become the occasional driver.

Gameboy and the MRT

Posted in Snapshots, podcasts and videocasts by juned on the July 30th, 2007



The Blog and Soul Movement

Posted in Blogging & Technology, Politics and Culture by juned on the July 29th, 2007

What: Blog and Soul Launch and the Second Coming of Mrs. Fields
When: August 21 (Tuesday), 7:00 PM
Where: Mrs. Fields, Manila Pavilion

Before I was a blogger I was an Aquarist - I owned and maintained an aquarium. Started with one and ended up with many, but that is another story. Suffice to say the fish bug got me and it was not long before the number and types of aquariums kept at the house began to double and quadruple. At the same time my friends who share me with the love for keeping aquariums also began to grow. Until at one point it was decided to group and formalize a club. And that we did. There were two main reasons why we formed the club: The First, was to develop and professionalize all aquarists and the second, was to foster friendship among aquarists. And now here I am a few years older, more wider, and hopefully wiser, joining the activities of the Blog and Soul Movement.

“You want to join the Nike Event?”
“Sign up at the Blog and Soul Movement”
“Nike has a blog called The Blog and Soul Movement? Cool!”
“No …itd just the Blog and Soul Movement”

A few moments later

“What was the name of the Nike’s blog?”

This was how I got into Blog and Soul. Through a stupid question and attending an event. This of course led to attending other events. So far it has been educational and fun.

Blog and Soul was started by Jayvee early this year and in its About Page purpose and goals of the movement were said:

Blog and Soul is …

* a three year movement that aims to establish blogging as a relevant part of Philippine media

* not an exclusive club or membership-based organization

* a venue for bloggers to expand their horizons by meeting new people through events organized for the media

* a venue for bloggers to hone their craft in becoming credible sources of information on the web

* an opportunity for bloggers with special skills to volunteer time to share their knowledge and expertise with other bloggers

* a group of people who believe that blogging can be a powerful tool to dedicate convictions, spread goodness, and build community

* a movement founded by Jayvee Fernandez with the help of several generous people from several different industries

And so far it seems to done several activities from arranging bloggers to attend events to holding classes and activities. In nearly all activities there does not seem to be a shortage of participants. In particular the Food Critique and Food Photography classes done with Serye was well received by bloggers from different parts of the Philippine bloggers’ world.

Why does it work?

Two main things come to mind and these two factors I have seen before when we were starting an Aquarium Club. First, there is a need to learn and experience things. This is done in the spirit of improvement of craft. Second, There will always be a need for people with similar interests to meet and talk shop. The need to talk and interact with people with similar interests and sometimes with equivalent passion.

The thing that furthers sweetens the two attracting factors is that nearly all activities are easily done or sponsored. This is important specially if one is conducting seminars and events. Money is needed in order to back any type of seminar. In my aquarium club, seminars that were not sponsored had to be funded by selling tickets for each seat. The logistics of preparing and operating an event can be staggering to say the least.

And amidst the goals and information stated in the About page of Blog and Soul, What seems important to me is that (i)the goal to educate and (ii) the goal to provide activities at zero cost answers to (i) the desire to learn and experience new things and (ii) the need to have conversations and activities with fellow bloggers. Educate at the same time entertain and build friendships. And maybe this is the reason why there is nearly always a heterogeneous mix in each event or activity.

I am quite sure this is the reason why there is always a healthy attendance for most blogger events from Iblog 1 to 3 to PBA2007.