Monthly Archives: February 2006

and now, a public service announcement

My mind is so full. Pissed off, depressed, demoralized, in despair. In despair over my lost phone. I torture myself with what-ifs and you-should-haves. Or, more to the point, shouldn’t have.  Shouldn’t have been stupid enough to use the phone inside a jeepney, and a jeepney with wide open windows at that.  Pissed off that during those few seconds of struggle with the snatcher, with your arm hanging out the jeepney window, it
didn’t occur to you to use your other hand, dammit, maybe bash the guy’s face in, at least grab a handful of hair.  All I did was struggle for a few seconds while screaming “Huwaaagg!” (I swear that was what I screamed. So melodramatic)

What I should have screamed, of couse, was “8210 lang yan, bitawan mo na!” but the struggle didn’t last long enough for that.  My shocked fingers slackened for the tiniest bit of a second, and it was all he needed, and off he went.

The phone itself is such an old model it’s so cheap, and I was able to make my dazed way to the nearest landline phone to cancel my Globe
line, but of course the cost of actually replacing the phone and reconstructing the directory is the real pain in the ass.  My priority was to buy a laptop, dammit! Every spare cent was supposed to go the laptop fund!

And of course, there’s the trauma.  My hands were trembling right after it happened, and I was walking around half-dazed for about half an hour longer.  From Quezon   City, I found myself at the Ayala MRT station, where was almost out of the station when I realized that I should have gotten off at Magallanes.  It was only after I placed a short payphone call to Don to tell him about it and let him know I was all right, and after consuming some French fries (what could I do, I was shocked and hungry), that I began to recover.  I was even able to write down all these.

*wipes smudges of bacon mushroom melt from paper*

Basically, folks, this is to tell you that I lost my phone and to ask you to send me your mobile numbers through email or friendster message.  I know, I know, most of you are saying “Oh, sheesh, here she goes again, losing a phone/eyeglasses/wallet/whatever like once a year.” Believe me, I’ve castigated myself over it already.

I haven’t figured out when can I get a replacement phone (anybody out there want to give me one?) and whether I want to keep my number or switch to prepaid, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I guess, I’ll do what I should have done long ago and keep a file of all your numbers.

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of emergencies and revolutions

I was just beginning to take in the news of the State of Emergency declaration last Friday when it already brought me my very own state of emergency – calling from lunch, my boss decided that we should release an advisory/briefer on the unfolding developments to all our clients, asap.  That meant that we underlings had to rush around to start gathering the materials and preparing the initial draft of the advisory, find out things like, oh, what’s a state of emergency anyway – get me a copy of the constitution dammit – can we ask for a copy of the proclamation from malacañang (good luck) – what the hell’s going on – and, of course, what does this all mean? For our clients, for the economy, for the people, for the country?

And it was at this point that the beauty of blogging came in (no, this is not an entry about the state of emergency per se, as I will tell you later you can find things on that elsewhere). My thirst for information was fortunately slaked by the TV at the other side of the office, by the heavily-accessed and therefore occasionally down INQ7 website and, more importantly, by the PCIJ blog. The inquirer website provided breaking news, photographs, interviews; beyond that, the PCIJ blog, probably less hampered by the usual editorial processes, gave some behind the scenes insights, preliminary analysis, reference materials (including the much-wanted copy of Proclamation 1017, first as a pdf of the scanned document and later as complete text), even links to other blogs also featuring entries on the developments.  It was just a matter of clicking the ‘refresh’ button to get the latest updates.  The information was literally at my fingertips, and coming at me as fast as I could want it.

For me, at least, this is where blogging came of age in this country.  The blog has been emerging as a credible source of information of late, so much so that there have been instances of blog content being pirated for use in traditional print media, but here, where the blog became an even more reliable and faster source of information than the traditional media forms, you can see there’s really something revolutionary going on.  Applying it to the PR industry where I belong, it’s part of what Richard Edelman calls the  Me2 revolution, in which the traditional top-down, one-to-many model of communication is now being replaced by “a peer-to-peer, horizontal discussion among multiple stakeholders” (and no, I’m not just plugging it here because my firm is part of the Edelman network).  In the past few days, as I accessed blogs, websites, read blogger comments and analysis, and prepared my own take on things, it definitely facilitated my being a participant in the nation’s collective effort at making sense of it all.

When Marcos signed the declaration of martial law it actually took a few days before he decided it should be worthy of being announced; now, before a president can stick anything like that into a drawer somebody’s bound to get it somehow and post it online.

It’s not just the military unrest, or the posturings of the members of the opposition, that the President should be wary of.  In this day and age, it’s really tricky to fool around with the people’s right to information and freedom of expression, and I hope she knows that.