[ the digitizer ]*

i am therefore i blog.

Offline Blues

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It’s 12:20 p.m. and I am at a cybercafe trying to normalize my life without an internet connection at home for about, oh, a week now. Blame it on Digitel‘s incompetent, unprofessional and unacceptable business conduct (it’ll be one pithy post to come, I tell ya). Anyhoo, as I am trying to tinker the keyboard to coax the words for every angst I have, I can’t pry my eyes away from the line of black ants on what-used-to-be-off-white-but-now-kinda-cream-colored wall right behind the monitor I’m using, while hearing the kids (who probably skipped school) massacre each other in their MMOGs (that’s Massively Multimedia Online Games for those of us mortals) and one attendant sleeping on the couch obviously unnerved by the noise and the sea of humanity (this is a 24-hour internet shop, so yeah, I have the heart to understand, too), while the other attendant is blasting his stereo listening to Semisonic‘s  “Closing Time”  (at 12 noon?) and watching a rerun of Warner Bro‘s “Daffy Duck“…  I don’t know which is worst : not having my internet or being online in this surreal environment. Is that why they named their shop Yeko ? I dunno. I just wanna swiftly reply to incoming emails, update my blog, smooch with my Facebook friends, and off I hie to an even crueler offline world.

I’ll let my wrath brew and stew on it for quite a bit and then dump it on Digitel later, replete with complaints to NTC, DTI, even write poor (I meant filthy rich), old John Gokongwei for all I care if it will get me reconnected.

Ugh, I’ve had enough of Daffy already. I’m horrified at the thought of it’s voice ringing in my phantom ears later. Go!

Meanwhile, I can continue reading my orphaned books and take our 4 dogs to walks more often in the open fields near our place while waiting for Digitel to reconnect my digital life.

I think I have breached the line that blurs the online from the offline. It feels so unreal to be disconnected from my virtual life. Whether this is a bad thing or not, there’s no denying the impact of this 24/7 connectedness with the world at least in my experience. However, much like a computer unit that needs to be rebooted (well, if you are a PC user, that is) once in a while, getting this digital respite is the perfect time to revisit pre-digital predispositions and connections. That certainly gave me more bite on reality than bytes on virtuality, whatever that means.

Now, I have a bigger bite  to clamp on Digitel if you’ll excuse me… [d]*


Written by nealm

23 September 2009 at 4:41 AM

Serving Justice, Saving Souls

with 5 comments

J. Reuben Clark Law Society-Philippines:  A Year of Dispensing Legal Service with the Energies of their Soul

When I lived in California, a lawyer acquaintance of mine once tried to sell a prepaid legal service membership to me. It wasn’t cheap but what really made me fish for my credit card was when he finally unleashed the deadliest blow in his verbal arsenal: a person living in the United States is more likely to get sued than be hospitalized. If reality was the bait, well, it bit me instead. That they have a mature culture of people valuing, asserting and enforcing their rights complemented by a relatively efficient and modern legal and prison systems so they can maintain peace, order and the American way of life was apparent to me. It is no surprise, then, that huge amount of taxpayers’ dollars are siphoned off from local and federal coffers to keep them well-oiled, and that an average American pays more for his insurance premiums than most people in the world especially in areas where potential personal liabilities are high. All it could take is one nasty lawsuit with a brassy lawyer as prosecutor and you could lose a life’s worth of savings and would still owe another lifetime’s worth of debt. Paying a premium for a 24/7 access to quality legal service did not only seem the most sensible thing to do, it gave me peace of mind to sleep well at night (but not trust toward cunning lawyers, though).

In the Philippines, however equitable and sufficient are the laws, the wheels of justice turn grindingly slow that the Supreme Court itself put up the “Justice on Wheels” system in 2004, “a mobile court system as a means to bring justice closer to the poor by providing a fast and free solutions of conflict through conciliation, mediation and adjudication,” said Honorable Adolfo S. Azcuna, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. These are fully-airconditioned, custom-built buses configured into a courtroom in the front and a mediation room in the rear with a Presiding Judge, a Clerk of Court, a Prosecutor, a Public Attorney, a Court Stenographer, a Docket Clerk, a Process Server, a Driver and a Security Guard. Its priority is to hear the cases of those who have been on detention for more than the maximum penalty of their particular cases. They are aimed at decongesting the overcrowded detention facilities—some of which were holding up to five times their designated capacities—and the heavy caseloads of some Family Courts.

Justice, or the lack thereof, is all in the hands of a lawyer. For the J. Reuben Clark Law Society-Philippines Chapter members, they had their work cut for them.

The author with Atty. Mhe-Anne Ojeda, JRCLS-Philippines Secretary General
The author with Atty. Mhe-Anne Ojeda, JRCLS-Philippines Secretary General

Established on May 21, 2008, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society – Philippines Chapter is the 65th in the world to have sprung up from the original chapter out of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The members are lawyers, law graduates and associates who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or of other faith who support their Mission Statement :  “We affirm the strength brought into the law by a lawyer’s personal religious convictions. We strive through public service and professional excellence to promote fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law.” Founded in 1973, the school is named after J. Reuben Clark (J.D.)—he was a prominent attorney in the Department of State, and Under Secretary of State for U.S. President Calvin Coolidge and as the Second Counselor in the First Presidency to President Heber J. Grant. In 1930 he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.

The public thrust of this society is its Pro Bono Legal Services Program or by providing legal assistance to members of the Church and others who could not otherwise afford it. It aids local Priesthood leaders, consistent with the welfare principles of the Church, with an organized program of legal resource to members whom the leaders determine to be in need of legal assistance and do not otherwise have the financial capabilities to obtain such assistance. It becomes the conduit of opportunities for its lawyer-members to serve bringing them personal and professional satisfaction. However, this program is not administered by the Church but through the voluntary efforts of the JRCLS members.

Barely a week into its creation, JRCLS-Philippines’ ground-breaking foray into public service is its successful defense of an active LDS single mother to a then 11-year-old daughter who was an Immigration Facilitator for four years at an immigration consultancy. On March 15, 2008, she was arrested in an entrapment arranged by the Public Employment Service Office while conducting an immigration consultancy seminar in a Southern Tagalog town. She was then charged with “Illegal Recruitment in Large Scale/Syndicated Estafa” and was held in jail without bail. Her arrest was aired on local radio and was touted a victory against illegal recruiters. After getting her first and only visit from her company-hired lawyer, this sister was abandoned and languished in jail for a little over two months in a remote town with roads not passable to small vehicles before JCRLS-Philippines learned of her case. A committee composed of Attorneys Rodrigo Reyna, Robert Cauilan and Ernie San Juan was tasked to respond to this pro bono case and to formulate its own course of actions involving the sister’s Bishop and a Priesthood holder (who visited her company) from her ward, the  Relief Society President (who provided accommodation) and two Priesthood holders of the branch in the town where she was incarcerated, and a Priesthood holder from a different ward (who drove, alternately with his cousin, the committee members to and from that town at his expense and using his own vehicle). A month after her first visit from JRCLS-Philippines, she was free on bail, and the complaints were subsequently dismissed. She was faithful and maintained gospel standards through out her ordeal as kind-hearted Priesthood leaders, members and friends feverishly did the legwork providing transportation, food, lodging, bail and other expenses while volunteer lawyers Attorneys Rodrigo Reyna, Robert Cauilan and Ernie San Juan dispensed legal services with the “energies of their soul”.  As everyone involved did their part diligently while putting their trust in the Lord, the JRCLS Pro Bono Legal Services program was properly dispensed with, embracing perfectly the welfare principles of the Church with favorable results.

This and other stories will define the legacy of J. Reuben Clark Law Society – Philippines Chapter for years to come as it sees its membership grow from 33 to 57 when it recently celebrated its first year anniversary with a two-day conference held at Buendia Chapel in Makati City, Metro Manila and at Dasmariñas, Cavite. Among its activities were the symbolic visits to the American War Memorial Cemetery in Fort Bonifacio Global City in Makati where the late prophet Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the Philippines for missionary work on June 1961 and to the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite, the house in which Emilio Aguinaldo declared the independence of the first Philippine Republic on June 1898. Noted were the keynote addresses of President Keith R. Edwards, Philippines Area President, Attorney David Berrett, Area Legal Counsel Office of General Council-Asia, for the opening and closing programs respectively, and the address of Judge Maria Elisa Sempio-Diy, a Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge.

President Edwards exhorted the JRCLS members to be “spiritual advocates” reassuring that “advocates bring harmony to the world.” He continued by asking the members, “What is it that God wants from lawyers as his advocates? : to live justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God,” citing Micah 6:8. Furthermore, he encouraged the attendees to exercise wisdom as King Solomon did. “Wisdom requires a price to be paid. If we’re going to gain wisdom, we need to ask for an understanding heart, to help us understand our priorities and its cost,” he counseled.

Attorney Berrett’s  introduction on the origin and definition of the word “advocate” prepared the listeners for his discourse on the issues of Justice, Mercy, and the Atonement, and how the lawyer’s advocacy of their client or a Priesthood leader’s advocacy for the members mirrors, to a certain extent, that of the Savior‘s advocacy with the Father. “When individuals were in my law office, the concern was for their temporal welfare. When individuals were in my Church office, the concern was for their spiritual welfare,” he shared. He concluded that if we agree to accept the Savior’s fee agreement, He will plead his case before the Father and we may obtain justification and sanctification and may stay in the presence of God.

Having been enlightened by these discourses on the true nature of these noble advocates, I am comforted to know that there is a breed of lawyers that look after their clients’ welfare as the Savior would. Brigham Young’s statement on corrupt lawyers is as true today as it was more than one and a half centuries ago: “When a lawyer comes into the Church, if he happens to have a little common sense left, and will take to ploughing and cultivating the soil, there is a chance for him to make a man for himself; but if he follows his former customs and habits, the chances are against him, he may ruin himself, lose the Spirit of the Lord, if he ever possessed it, and go back into midnight darkness.” (Journal of Discourses 11:125). Now that most of these lawyers actually grew up in the Church with more than enough sense to get out of their comfort zones to serve, they take to plow the hearts of men and cultivate the soil of justice with devotion, humility and pure love of Christ. Like a city set on a hill, the JRCLS-Philippines members shine their lights of good works before men. For in their selfless acts of serving justice to those who may have been denied of it, they transcend their roles from advocacy to saving souls of men, including their own.

Now that can surely make you sleep tight at night. [d]*

Written by nealm

23 September 2009 at 3:22 AM

Non-Chick Cheap Chic

with 6 comments

Don’t tell me you haven’t had those moments:  finding steals so irresistible they melt your steely resolve away. I wish I didn’t know what SALE means and that it didn’t  have to be in a come-hither, sin-red color emblazoned across store fronts or stuck in strategic places and item tags to consummate the temptation. If money were not an issue, it won’t be an exercise in seduction. When reality leaves me struggling, I know I don’t have to get suckered into it every time. However, SM malls aren’t the best places to test your sobreity after your Shopoholics Anonymous retreat which is no  longer a women’s domain.

Last week, I went to buy some office supplies at National Bookstore in SM City-Batangas. Walked right in, picked up the goods, waited in line to pay, what a cakewawait, was that sign correct? Up to 75% off?! Had to ask the cashier; Oo daw (yes, she said). Ugh, do I turn around? “My great librarian, it’s like getting four books for the price of one!” coaxed my street-math savvy inner bookworm. “Nah, the “up to” means digging through piles of Guinness Book of World Records 2008 (it’s almost 2010, hello) and other junk before you will ever find it. If you will find it. Remember the lonely books neatly pressed between sturdy ends — still unread — at home?” quibbled the bookmoth in me. It’s the moth’s words against the worm’s math. Gee, I felt my feet on li’l insect wings for that small triumph leaving the bookstore unlured. How about a quickie-lookie around the mall, for, oh, ten minutes tops? (Bad move).

The Digitizer Models Mogao

That’s when I passed by this store called MOGAO, saw it’s on sale (at 20% off) and bought these 3 hip slim-fit shirts for about $10 tax included! But hey, I don’t regret it (just look at my first attempt to model as proof). I couldn’t find some pictures of them online to post here, so I had to ask my 10-year-old niece, Ara, to be my photographer. Now, it would have been nice if Mogao paid me to make this post and model for their shirts, but no, they didn’t; and yes, it’s okay if they will reimburse me. Ha ha. Before posting this, I found their website printed in their shopping bag, looked it up but couldn’t understand it (Chinese, doh!). Here’s Google Translate to the rescue and this is what I got :

Mogao Website screenshot

The hearty chortle at the translation is just an added bonus to the satisfaction I got for not being a fashion victim and an unwise spender(?). That statement is probably worth another chuckle right there. [d]*

Written by nealm

11 September 2009 at 8:20 AM

Receipts Don’t Lie

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What is it that the more of it that we possess, the lesser that we can actually possess?

If you answered “DEBT” to that one, then you need financial counseling (paging Suze Orman). I’m talking about RECEIPTS as inversely proportional to the actual money we have at hand, the ghosts of the cash past. They are the tangible manifestations of the virtues TRUTH and ASSURANCE: the testament that money actually changed hands (that’s why they call it “cold, hard cash” because they seldom get the chance to warm in our hands) and the promise that it may change back to the same hands again (for those who have returned crappy items before can now say, “Amen!”). They tell a story of our greed or need, the contracts of our endless bittersweet affair with what the Bible calls “filthy lucre”. That in this flux of perpetual wants, they are at the crux of the transience of things, the legacy of impermanence.

Heck, they’re just receipts, and I don’t have to be poetic to say that we have one too many of them.

Yesterday, while rummaging through my black M&FG satchel bag, I realized it was a month’s worth full of them. Normally, I would toss the trivial ones and keep “the testaments, and the promise, and the legacy whatever”, just in case. Then, a ka-ching moment : why not let these receipts tell their own tales — the good, the bad, the cheap and the chic! What would really suck is I will have to scan each one that I will use; but hey, I am not the [the digitizer]* for nothing! Thus, the birthing of my newest baby/category: Receipts Don’t Lie ( “and I’m starting to feel it’s right…” thanks, Shakira).

P. S.

Got receipts that beg to be heard? Better send them over to me, ilovethedigitizer@gmail.com, scanned and accompanied by their stories, before they get the digital equivalent of an Alzheimer’s (where the ink is time-erased or scheduled to magically disappear from the thermal paper they are printed on). It’s a clever way for the merchants to legally expunge our legacy of impermanence, dashing the virtues those receipts actually represent. What a paradox joke, no? [d]*

Written by nealm

8 September 2009 at 8:09 PM


with 12 comments

From Musical Competition to Missionary Preparation, this Next Big Star Finalist Casts His Light on the World

Anton Cruz (Anton Paolo Bayona Antenorcruz in Real Life)While waiting for his turn during practice for this year’s finals of GMA 7’s Are You the Next Big Star (AYTNBS)? singing competition, Anton Paolo Bayona Antenorcruz is in a quiet nook of the dressing room struggling, though unperturbed, with the questions he needs to answer himself. With a million pesos cash prize from SM, an Avida condominium unit and a lucrative GMA management and recording contracts only at stake, giving the winner a sure stab at instant fame and fortune in Philippine show business, what’s not to worry about, right? Interestingly, those were the least of his concerns: “I make it a point to work on all the assignments for my Seminary class whenever I get the chance so come Saturday, I’m ready,” says this 17-year-old crooner known as Anton Cruz to his fans while leafing on the scriptures he totes along with him everywhere. “I grew up in the Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), and my parents taught me the gospel. Like learning a new song on my own, where they have been my influence on what to learn and sing, I need to gain my own testimony apart from theirs; and if I put God first in my life, everything else will just follow,” he mutters decidedly.

All-Natural, No Artificial Additives

How old is he again? People tend to ask that question at each close encounter with this unassuming teenager whose reserved persona, refined demeanor and refreshing Pinoy good-looks, a welcomed departure from the mestizos or the mixed-race looks du jour the media fondly glorifies, are enough reasons to elicit curious glances and silent admiration. The moment he sings his heart out and reveals his soul – both seemingly well beyond his years – audiences are captivated, leaving them star-struck by his pure melodic artistry and his simple unstudied charm. All it takes is to listen to his rendition of Eric Benet’s 2005 song, “The Last Time”, and one will know that this kid is the real deal.

Where does that voice come from? Why do people gravitate toward him? Who is this nice luminous young man?

All in the Family

A closer look at this young prodigy unravels his mystique that is more than 17 years in the making:  “He got his singing genes from me as my family is musically inclined especially from his lolo, my dad, who is a good singer,” says Cecille, Anton’s mother. “On my husband’s side, they’re not bad singers either as they all can carry a tune.” She recalls Anton at 8 years-old trying to perfect the vocal acrobatics of Destiny’s Child’s remake of the Bee Gees’ song, “Emotions”, over and over to the point of them getting tired and irritated by it. “But that’s how he developed his R&B style, by giving justice to the song his way, apart from singing Pop and joining Church choirs since he was in Primary. People are quite surprised by his wide vocal range,” she continues. His tenacity not just for winning but for actually honing his craft and his love for music drives him to join contests. “He is just thrilled to sing and be a part of a contest regardless of the prize,” adds Cecille. Not too shabby a passion when it nets him awards after another, including a 4-year Informatics scholarship, both in individual and choral competitions. He is the first freshman to ever beat the senior contenders to clinch the “Anthonian Singing Idol ” title of the School of Saint Anthony in Quezon City and also the lead tenor and soloist of the school’s Coro San Antonio, the reigning champion of the University of the Philippines’ annual Musikappella, a singing competition for high school choral groups. Winning is expected of him – and he does every time – when he represents his school in singing contests (which explains why two of his pictures are in the school’s website).

The higher his achievements are, the more grounded he remains having been raised by parents who make sure he attends Church service, his Young Men and Mutual activities religiously and that taking his Seminary class to heart and qualifying for a mission are necessary pieces to a peaceful, happier and fulfilling life. “It’s really hard preparing Young Men for mission nowadays because of their exposure to temptations we never encountered during our time. It’s a constant struggle, and we are always there to guide him to the right path. I feel that if I make the Church and living the gospel a part of his life, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6),” she reiterates resolutely. To validate her point: “He’s known to be kind and humble even in school. People would come up to me and tell me I should be very happy and thankful for having a son like him,” his mother affirms affectionately. For Anton, the depth of his affection is evidenced by his ready remark when asked who inspires him: “My parents. In my heart, I dedicate my song and performance to them every time.

All for God and Family

It must be the way he does his share of family responsibilities like ironing clothes (Mom says he does it best!), his penchant for reading books like Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey and his strong spiritual anchor, not just his singing prowess and all his winnings, that set him apart and prepare him for a big break such as AYTNBS.  “I wash my own clothes, I clean the house, I cook, I learn to schedule things,” Anton nonchalantly points out. Wait, a teenager doing household chores and talking about time management?! He chuckles at the suggestion that these are anomalies in a typical 21st century teenager. “When I entered the finals of AYTNBS, my life became like a call center with my crazy schedule. I knew I needed to manage my time to keep up with the contest schedule without sacrificing my family, Seminary class and other Church activities. I’m thankful though that this contest also gave me the opportunities to build on my self-confidence and taught me to be out-going and sociable. Besides,” says he, “ I know that these will all help me prepare for my mission.

The pressure to compromise his LDS standard in exchange for the “cool factor” of being one of his peers and being one with them –drinking, smoking, being in the spotlight and parties all the time, which are, sadly, typical of showbiz scenes– must have been more challenging than the actual singing competition? “When they asked me why I don’t drink and smoke, I told them right off I am LDS. Somehow, I feel guided to keep my standard, so it isn’t really that difficult. I am reminded of my favorite missionary scripture to be an example in situations like these: ‘Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matthew 5:16), ” he enthuses.

Being a missionary seems to be second nature to Anton.  He fondly recalls the time when he was 12 years-old and had gone out tracting with the full-time missionaries. “I love sharing my testimony and observing the missionaries when I work with them. I also realize the importance of the gospel of Jesus Christ for all men to return to our Heavenly Father,” he shares solemnly. His mother tells how happy he is to work with the missionaries, and how each time he comes home he would always express his desire to go on a mission. Recently, he spoke at their Stake Conference where he outlined to his fellow Young Men the ways to prepare most effectively to serve a full-time mission by becoming a missionary instead of going on a mission (Becoming A Missionary, Elder David A. Bednar, Liahona, November 2005). “It is not enough for us to be convinced by the gospel; “ he quips, ”we must act and think so that we are converted by it.” Furthermore he relates: “I realized preparing for a mission is just like learning a new song. My parents influence me what songs I need to sing. It is not enough for me to hear my parents say that the Church is true. I can sing a song because they told me so. I can also go on a mission because it is a commandment and that my parents told me I must go. But I know that it would be best if I study the song myself and understand what it means; that it would be best for me to go on a mission if I know in my heart that the gospel is true and that The Book of Mormon is true by myself apart from the shadow of my parents’ testimony.

Soar and Shine

After waiting in line with his father, Hermie, for 16 hours for 2 days on end just for the audition alone, and 10,000 registrations, and 500 qualifiers, and 16 finalists, and 2 months of grueling rehearsals and shows, a different winner was declared. “How do you feel now that it’s over?” I asked him. “Sad but relieved. I’m just happy that my life is back to normal, to be back to my family and the Church. Oh yeah, to wash my clothes on schedule again!” he laughs with uncontrived joy in his voice. “If you won’t have a singing career, what would you be?” I bait. “A pilot. I will be a singing pilot!” More laughters.

With a talent and soul this raw, real and reassuring, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what my late mother told me about winning : “Politics may take the win from her child but it can never deny the winner in him.” His example and desire to serve God is the star that will matter in the lives of those who are in darkness, a light to those who want to follow the Savior. [d]*


If Anton’s voice won’t give you chills and leave you enchanted in this YouTube sample, I don’t know what will…

… comparing to Eric Benet’s 2005 original, it’s Anton from the first note to the last (sorry, Eric).

Written by nealm

7 September 2009 at 5:34 AM

Victory Is A Mother’s Child

with 7 comments

My mother planted the most important lesson about winning in my young heart: “If you deserve it, you’ll get it no matter what the odds are; and regardless of the outcome, you will always be a winner to me!

I was 16 at that time, coming home from school after a frenzied preliminary tallying of scores for the valedictorian hopefuls of our senior class (1985). There was this huge tally board right by the school’s quadrangle where numerical values were assigned to academic achievements and extra-curricular activities next to the candidates’ names and were updated and weighted daily. I was one of them, and the competition was getting fiercer and more complicated  by the day especially when the one tallying the scores was the school’s bookkeeper–who happened to be my closest rival’s mother– assisted by her husband, our Physical Education teacher (yes, politics isn’t only a favorite subject in the Philippines, more likely a family affair if not a way of life).  So when I confided to her about my apprehension, she nonchalantly brushed  my fear aside, gave me a warm hug, and reassured me with that statement.

Awarded, Week 173

Awarded, Week 173

Week 173

Week 173

#2 (Week 172)

Week 172

Fast forward to 24 years: getting these citations for the past two weeks for the Filipino Blog of the Week may seem just another digital crap to many. To those who value the grit of  real-world work, the grime of being your own worst critic, and the gravity of nurturing one’s passion, this is like manna emailed from heaven or fire downloaded not pirated from Mount Olympus. This is breaking your own glass ceiling¹, not anyone else’s.  Incidentally, Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, is “seen with wings in most statues and paintings, to remind people that victory is fleeting.” ² It is, after all, not what you get from a contest, but what you could become.

For whatever it’s worth, my mother taught me that politics may take the win from her child but it can never deny the winner in him.

P. S.

My mother, Fely, was at my graduation to hear her son deliver the valedictory address. I knew that that wasn’t a fleeting moment for her. Rest in peace, Nanay.

To my friends, readers, and fellow bloggers who voted for and continues to read The Digitizer: it is not a bad idea at all to take people along in any exciting journey. Writing these posts and getting your feedback is like sharing that journey of self-discovery together and having a fresh take on life and the world with different sets of eyes. Also to Talksmart who facilitated the contest in his site and for elevating my blog to the Hall of Fame. Thank you.

Written by nealm

18 August 2009 at 2:49 AM

Humoroid : “Gay Proven”

with 10 comments

Life is full of idiosyncracy that it can unexpectedly hit your funny bone. To digitize it gives one the satisfaction of a story-teller and the bragging rights.

I thought why not post downright hilarious or utterly ridiculous snippets of life in this new category I fondly call “Humoroid“? No offense to those who think that having the “Big H” ain’t a laughing matter, but hey, if you’ve got the real thing and you will have to live with it anyway, you might as well  chuckle it away. Don’t take your Preparation-H out just yet because this Humoroid aims to share a hearty laugh at authentic, spontaneous and delightfully humorous photos (at least the ones I  have personally taken) too amusing to ignore. To complete the shared fun and experience, the readers may send their wittiest, most creative, and funniest caption for the featured photo (please see Guidelines below).

Gay Proven

About this photo:

A friend and I were on our way to the bus station from a brief visit of the rainforest park in Los Baños (Laguna, Philippines) called Pook ni Maria Makiling (Maria Makiling’s Place) when I spotted this food stand by the sidewalk in downtown Calamba. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I laughed so hard I decided to go back and take a photo of it. My friend wasn’t too keen on going back so we had to split. When I finally found the spot, I couldn’t quite get myself to ask permission from the tending ladies fearing they’d turn me down. No way I would miss out on this chance to share this breakthrough with the world, so I secretly snapped this single photo. (The ladies saw me, anyway, because I heard them chuckle and gave me knowing(?) stares. I was tempted to blurt out, “You just got digitized, ladies!” but decided that I was a blogger with an important scoop (as if) in his SD card, a material that seemed to him worth more than gold. I left in a hurry.) Still giddy, I went to catch my bus to Batangas with a childish grin carved in my face for the rest of the trip. I had to check the photo a few times to make sure it was really there. I have some captions tickling my fancy but thought it would be even more engaging and infinitely surprising to involve friends and readers to come up with catchy captions. Thus the birth of the “Humoroid” category for this blog.

I was still heady from this serendipitous moment I had the camera turned on throughout the 1-hour bus ride if and when another breakthrough presents itself to me, its chosen storyteller (obviously I had a serious case of Humoroid, okay?).

Enjoy this funny digitized snippet of this crazy thing called Life in the Philippines.

Guidelines for the caption submission:

1. Please be guided by your sense of decency and sensitivity towards others. I retain the right to moderate comments and will not approve any caption/comment I deem abusive, derogatory, hateful, or disrespectful.

2. Any reader can give your caption/comment a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The one with the highest net score will become the photo’s caption with proper attribution to the sender.

3. For this first photo, you will have until August 31 to leave your caption/comment.

4. Want to share your photos, too, for captioning? Please send the URL link of the photo or as an attachment to ilovethedigitizer@gmail.com. If they are not yours, please provide me with a link to the photo so I can properly give credit to the actual owner.

Written by nealm

12 August 2009 at 5:19 PM

Posted in Humoroid, Philippines, Random

Tagged with , , ,