Randy David wrote the other day about how he noticed newspapers treated PNoy’s speech. In it he said:
President Aquino’s speech at the annual presidential forum of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) last Oct. 27 highlighted many aspects of this strained relationship.
In that speech, Mr. Aquino chose to dwell on his observations of media reportage during his presidency. He was candid and critical—a refreshing trait he does not hide regardless of the audience.
Interestingly enough, the media ignored his main speech and focused instead on his answers to questions in the open forum. If I had not gone to the government’s official website to check out the text of the President’s speech, I would not have guessed its topic from the news reports.
I remember that myself because the days after the only stories about him were about his love life, or some such triviality. It also reminded me of a similar situation.Continue reading →
I was trying to finish a strong opinion re Michael Jordan’s speech at the Hall of Fame for BallEx but I lost my train of thought due to a funny situation at Tech Exchange. Someone probably close to the person who wrote a badly worded press release which I wrote about started making personal attacks, and some other person decided that my opinion re the press release was a slant towards the topic of the release itself. Which would’ve been fine if it weren’t for the fact that it’s a locally released Linux Distro (aka distribution, or a flavor or different version of a Linux operating system). And since developers / followers of local distributions are usually a patriotic lot, I got on the wrong end of that a little bit. All’s well however, given I don’t respond to personal attacks, and at the same time there’s no questioning really what my intentions are and how far from the truth it is what I am accused of. If anything though, my whole emotion re it is that I’m happy the site is getting hits, and if it continues to gather opinion I can only be happier.
Her Highness (my editor) contacted me to write an article last week. Much praise and fawning was applied, to which I am susceptible, and so I succumbed. Here it is. Before you click it, it’s about parent’s options on controlling what their kids see on the ‘net. I mentioned installable software, built in parental controls on Windows Vista and Leopard, router URL blocking controls and my recommended solution: OpenDNS.
I enjoyed this article about writing for peanuts because it hits the nail right on the head about what it is to live in the world of Internet freelance writing. The example mentioned is somewhat off though because the writer the article talked about earned a ‘measly’ $40.00 which by our standards would be pretty good.
The point of the article though is that there are thousands of writers out there making anything from pocket change to respectful amounts of dough writing for blogs, news websites, zines and others, mostly on the ‘net. I myself pay P200.00 / article and am willing to pay as much as P1,200 to P2,000 / month for more regular gigs, depending on quantity, quality and images. The great thing about it is most of our writers are even surprised they get paid at all, like the article says, they’re happy writing purely for passion (which is great because that’s what makes writers to begin with).
Sadly, I’ve never been able to take advantage of that myself. Coming from the old school, I earned only from print publications when I was still working freelance gigs (listed down in my About page). I earned as much as P3.5 to P5k per article then, so I squeezed it for all it was worth and wrote up to 4 to even 7 articles in one month during my really prolific periods. Even the broadsheet I wrote for, known for paying the lowest rate in the industry, at least paid P900 / article (approx $20.00).
I can’t believe Arthur C. Clarke is dead. He is one of the most influential writers I’ve ever read, whose books have become part of my life. His book Rendezvous with Rama was probably the first that forced me to think outside of what my eyes see. Space Odyssey 2001 brought me to far away places and situations and made me think of things that a city boy like me would never have thought of otherwise.
Strangely enough, my most memorable is his story ‘The Deep Range’, which talked about farming whales as if they were cattle, eventually ending world hunger. After which at some point, religious influences caused the characters in the book to rethink their need for meat, and coincided with scientific advances that allowed for meat alternatives that were indistinguishable in every way from the real thing. I remember the main character’s acceptance of this difficult fact start to seed in their psyche, eventually leading them to acceptance.
One of the nice things I like about big Press gigs is you occasionally get the chance to talk to other writers, many of whom have been in the business for decades. Yesterday I was seated beside friends from Manila Tribune, a sorta celeb guy from Studio 23 and interestingly enough, editors from 34 year old magazine Mod.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to ask for a calling card, so I forgot her name in the mayhem that is a Press event that included the usual big announcements, a displaying of new prods plus of course feeding us and raffling off prizes. At any rate we fortunately found time to small talk about a topic close to my heart, the dwindling number of readers and quality of written and spoken English in the Philippines, something she knew well about, coincidentally being a CEU Journalism Professor as well.
So here’re I’ll share a few things I’ve learned to believe.
One, is that I don’t think ‘Learn To Read campaigns’ are very effective. I’ve seen the ones Inquirer tried to do plus maybe a few others, and they’ve tried going the celebrity route (celebs explaining what reading has done for them etc.) but for the most part, that turns me off more than interests me. Of course, I’ve never been interested in celebs in the first place, so I’m probably an exception.
I enjoy writing for SME Insight but my contact person there has resigned and I haven’t yet contacted the editor directly, which of course can be interpreted as my being lazy since there’s no reason why I haven’t done that. Ok ok I’ll do it after I write this.
I noticed too that they didn’t edit it too much, which is great. One of the primary reasons I stopped writing for a broadsheet was the cavalier way they were treating my articles, which I decided I had had enough of. I know that’s kind of vain but I care about my work and when I see it all rewritten by someone else, I’d really rather they remove my name because at that point it wasn’t my work anymore. Call me old fashioned but that’s the way I feel and when I was more or less told to put up or shut up, I decided it wasn’t working out for me anymore so I took off.
Since I can remember. Which is why it was very difficult for me to make the decision to finally decide to forego contributing to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Partly because I had been doing it off and on for five years, and partly because it is just time for me to do so.
Events of the past few months have seen my schedule reach toxic levels. Just last night I realized I was doing two different things on two computers, one of which was beside my bed as I lay down trying to keep from falling asleep. I did so anyway, and woke up at 1am and 3am to work on them even more. It has been that kind of busy for me for the better part of the last few months now, and I just cannot find the time anymore to do the necessary things to remain as such, which is primarily, attending events. Writing about these is easy enough, but all the necessary events and event – related stuff is just too much of a time – eater. Since I feel I cannot do a good enough job, I therefore feel it apt that this responsibility go to someone else. In my mind, someone younger and who’d jump at the chance to experience these, as I did when I started out.
And with that I close with finality an important chapter of my life. Mind you I’ve always known the time would come, and it’s one hundred percent clear to me that this is the best thing to do. I can’t say I don’t hope that others would feel the same, and sadly that is not the case. But having said that I wish they’d wish me the best as well, as I would always, always do for them.
I have told Art that I loved his narrative style on his blog a few days ago when we sat together at an event two weeks ago. For some reason I knew that he’d be a terrific read if he started blogging, and since I found his link on the first PWIT I had been thoroughly hooked. Yes I think I can say now I’m a fan. Wait, let me go further by saying, Art’s blog is, to me, the best, or amongst the top three favorite blogs I follow. Other blogs I like are similar in style, very personal and candid, but his stands out particularly, I think, because of his maturity.
And let me expound on that. See, to me there is no more apt term to describe Philippine blogging than the saying “Youth is wasted on the young.” While the young bring vibrancy to blogging, making it dynamic and exciting, Philippine blogging is 90% run by young people, and sometimes that makes it also very stupid. Of course that won’t sit well if you’re a young person, a Filipino and a blogger reading this, but the point is, it’s hard for one such as me to find anything new these days, or at least anything that’d keep me from wanting to bring on an – unsolicited I’m sure – lecture to these, through no fault of their own, neophytes.
At any rate message sent: Art is a cool guy who writes his memoirs like a careful, methodical painter brings paint to a canvass. Lovingly, simply (and therefore effortlessly) and with a clear heart. I seldom, now I realize, bring praise to people – to a fault, I think, but in this case this is most deserving. I suppose I should have told him that except for the fact I realized I had to first allow him to eat (having said some parts of it directly after coming from the buffet table), and so apt it is I say it here.
And I celebrated by putting up a new template, called typoxpreloaded (hey i dont know where he got the name from either).
At any rate, am following up on a great deal of backlog work, starting with enhancements to Pwit, trying to put a new template at movie ex (which was unsuccessful, so i left it at state for the moment as it is too big a job to undertake for now. Also, whilst searching for templates, I found this one, hence the change), and hopefully by tomorrow, updates to Kikay Ex and some very very long awaited improvements to a client’s site and some new ones.
These, along with immediate plans to make PLDT own up to the lack of service (from feb 17 to yest, mar 2) by faxing them a letter telling them not to bill me, an article I wanna work on but can’t (explain later), and a myriad other things, including a big Nike sale at Megamall (!!!).