Saturday, July 14, 2018

On Phone Calls and Privacy

In one of my recent sessions with my learner, we discussed a three-minute video from The Wall Street Journal (online) focusing on how voice messages could be more practical than text on Messenger, WhatsApp, Line and other messaging apps. It starts with the fact that phone calls have largely been replaced by text messages and it goes on to the prospect of text messages eventually becoming replaced by voice messages. A phone call, the video says, requires your instant attention. A text message, on the other hand, gives you the leeway to carry on doing what you are tied up with at the moment and the freedom to choose not just what and when to reply but also when to open the message.  This is the reason why texting has become more popular. In a sense, it gives you greater control of your time and privacy. But, according to the video, the microphone icon on messaging apps has slowly gained popularity in many business settings. To some, it could be bothersome to key in every character of their message. What would require a full minute to key in all the characters in 'Please let me know when you'll be available for a discussion on the beta testing of our new inventory system' could be reduced to a quarter of the time and much less mechanical energy. Moreover, in text messages, there is more room for misinterpretation of the emotion or mood that you want to go with your message.

But our discussion centered on how phone calls have all but become classified as a crime. We have put too much weight on our freedom and privacy and upheld respect to the highest level and relegated friendly human interaction. We are now expected to respect others' privacy and time and have agreed to become cautious and hesitant to express our voiced 'pangungumusta' to our friends fearing the receiver would be disturbed and annoyed.

As I have already went semi off-the-grid, I am no longer able to see the life stories of my friends on a daily basis on their 'walls'. Once again, after a very long time, I have been blessed with the ability to miss relations. On my time with Facebook, I barely missed my friends because I knew their lives were just a browser away. And now that I miss them, I am not satisfied with just text chat on Messenger. Shameless as it may sound, I have started feeling the longing to hear their voice. Unfortunately, it seems that many of my friends are still generally in the 'one browser away' time zone. A few would reply instantly and would be very happy to engage in an extended chat, which makes me genuinely delighted. But many still consider it bothersome to drop a line. Surprisingly, contrary to what the video says, we could somehow speculate emotions even through text messages or the absence of which.

It's funny how times have changed.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Life In Transit

I miss my bus rides to Baguio and back to Manila!

I miss listening to the music they played. 

I miss looking out the window.

My bus rides had always been about surrendering to and living in the moment. I loved the stops and the length of time the ride had to take. It reminded me that I was inside the bus and that I couldn't do anything about it: that there was no point worrying about things. I loved the music I'd hear on board. It didn't matter what song they played. What mattered was the fact that some artists put together all their gifts to create that song. I loved looking at the views that presented themselves out the window. I would always imagine I had been on Mars or on the Moon for a long time and I'd instantly feel happy looking at each withered leaf and twig on the ground. I'd always be filled with awe, wonder and joy looking at how Life thrives on Earth.

It's a beautiful life!

Monday, June 18, 2018

A Facebook-free Life

photo taken during my talk at AkyatCon 2.0

It's been a week since I deactivated my two Facebook accounts. And I feel free. I no longer feel like I'm living a life that others wanted to see or that I wanted others to see. I can't say it had been a bad life. But I sure can say it had been a life preoccupied with vanity. Now I can feel more peace. The clamor in the audience has died down. The audience has disappeared. Now I can catch up on my reading and blog posts. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mt Baloy: The First and The Last.

On my fourth attempt, this decade-old quest was finally fulfilled.
With my buddy and brother by choice Kevin Jauod
Photo by Mark IAL
I should be writing a great deal about my recent Mt Baloy climb. After all, Mt Baloy has been my toughest nemesis of a mountain. And we took a route that is less taken by hikers: the circuit from San Agustin to Busog. But I guess this is what they call retirement phase.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Tracing Iraynon Bukidnon Trails (TIBT) 2018 Race Report

The top two finishers of the 50K distance teaming up to battle the sweltering summer heat of Antique and the unforgiving talahib of Laua-an.
(photo courtesy of Mark Ian Vescatcho)

The inaugural 50K of Tracing Iraynon-Bukidnon Trails has been a testimony of the struggle, fortitude, defeat and victory of the human spirit! Everyone came prepared, so they thought. But what transpired during the race proved to be an overwhelming shocker even to those who had reconnoitered the route before the race. In the end only seven of the pioneering twenty-two brave warriors crossed the finish line within the 15-hour cut-off time.

YOU deserve a holiday!
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