the babel machine



 

Saturday, September 11, 2004

horse sense


Horsing around during our last day in Subic. Posted by Hello

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hold that tiger


Sam with Hobbes' long-lost little brother at Zoobic Safari. Posted by Hello

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swingout sammy


Sam swinging in Subic. Posted by Hello

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Friday, September 10, 2004

i blog, you blog, a-they blog

Got a blog? Want your blog (and you, of course, hehe) to be featured in the Technogear section of YOU (the youth site of INQ7.net)? Then read this article and find out what you have to do. No, it doesn't involve getting down on your knees and begging, hehe.

No promises that your blog will be picked, OK? But you'll never know until you try.

Thanks to those cool YOU readers who have already dropped a line. Don't worry, it might take some time, but you can rest assured we'll check out all sites that are submitted.

Keep on blogging!

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 1:13 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

bobi's bypass

Kindly pray for the speedy recovery of Presidential Management Staff chief Rigoberto Tiglao, who had a successful bypass surgery at the Philippine Heart Center on Tuesday after suffering a mild heart attack. You can read the INQ7.net article for more details.

Bobi, one of the country's most respected journalists before joining the government, was our first editor in chief at INQ7.net. Those were very interesting times and he steered the editorial team during the early days of INQ7.net.

This was before INQ7.net was even incorporated, when Leo Magno, Edna Belleza, Bobby Gantuangco and I were still working for the Philippine Daily Inquirer even while we were helping build INQ7.net, together with other pioneers such as current EIC JV Rufino and two guys fresh from Metropolitan Computer Times, Joel Pinaroc and Erwin Oliva.

Those were good times -- and "Bad Times" and "Bad Bets," hehe, huh, Bobi? Anyway, get some rest and take care.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 2:11 PM :: 0 Comments:

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life's little ironies

Well, sometimes it happens. Just when I wrote a story about the wonders of blogging and wanted to announce it in this blog, Blogger seemed to take a vacation because I couldn't publish my posts starting late afternoon yesterday.

Anyway, you can check out the Technogear story here. This is dedicated to my UP Tinta orgmates Quay, Pauline, Dean and Nikki -- you know you're to blame, hehe.



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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

catch the ball


Sam playing catch with Tita Sarah, Ellen's officemate. Posted by Hello

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haircut for tita sarah


Sam, you're sure you know how to give a haircut, right... Uh, right? Right? Posted by Hello

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dancing queen


OK, maybe now I'll slide toward Daddy... "Saturday Night Fever," baby! Or maybe Jai Rodriguez from that "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" show Mommy loves. Posted by Hello

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mirror image


Hey kid, you're cute -- and you look very familiar... Posted by Hello

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good morning


Sam the pajama princess stalks her prey. Posted by Hello

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confessions of an ex-smoker

Sometimes I still miss smoking, particularly when I'm writing.

I quit cold turkey on Feb. 19., mainly because Sam was asking me about smoking and would pretend to have a ciggie in her mouth, apart of course from being concerned about my health and my promise to Ellen that I'd stop smoking when Sam was born.

OK, so it took me over two years to fulfill my promise, but I did. The first month was hell, the second was purgatory and the third was hell again, hehe. Well, no, not really -- I just try not to think about it. So I should stop this train of thought right now.

Where the heck is my Maxx candy?

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 4:44 AM :: 3 Comments:

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ellen's laptop, my salvation


Just finished editing one of the websites I handle -- 26 stories for 6 sections, blech, hehe. Wanted to finish it before Sam wakes up; besides, we have some other stuff to do this morning. Good thing our friends in Cebu also e-mailed the files apart from sending them via FTP. Didn't have to try dialing in to our network. Am using Ellen's laptop while she and Sam are sleeping, hehehe, good thing I can borrow her laptop when she's not using it. Kinda miss my desktop PC back home, but hey, I can't lug it all the way to Subic, right? So eto, squatter muna, haha. Posted by Hello

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004

dazed and confused

Sam's Quote of the Day: "Momm-eee! Ay, you're not Mommy... Dadd-eee!"

This was just a few minutes ago when Sam sat up and asked me to go to bed. Sam's still watching cable, waiting for her mom to come home.

OK, bye for now.



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stuntgirl sam


Oh well, let's go... wheee! Posted by Hello

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second thoughts


Uh, Mom? I think I changed my mind... Posted by Hello

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reckless driver


Ellen looks on as Sam shows off her driving skills. Posted by Hello

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top of the world


Sam at the playground. Posted by Hello

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friendly access

One of our friends, Mike Antigua, is the VP for Sales and Marketing of Airborne Access.

He used to be connected with BusinessWorld Online, as the Director for Marketing of their Business Development Group (whew, now that's a mouthful).

It was fun updating this blog and editing articles for INQ7.net via wi-fi at Seattle's Best a while ago, though now we're back at the hotel 'coz Sam's taking a nap. And I'm not just saying that just because Mike's our friend, hehe -- their wi-fi service is really cool, though of course I still miss my PLDT DSL, sigh. Then again, being able to work anywhere through wireless broadband technology is really a godsend, so I'm not really complaining.

Gotta go for now to write an article for YOU Technogear.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 2:46 PM :: 4 Comments:

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uh, sam?


Taking a picture of Sam taking a picture of me. Posted by Hello

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why wi-fi?

Thank God for wi-fi.

Am now updating this blog and editing articles while sipping iced mocha here at the Airborne Access wireless hotspot at Seattle's Best in Subic. Sure beats dialing up at our hotel room, even though this 100-peso Wingspan wireless Internet prepaid card is just good for 60 minutes.

Ellen and Sam went to the playground. Gotta go for now.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 1:23 PM :: 3 Comments:

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hello


Sam playing with the phone in our hotel room. Posted by Hello

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Monday, September 06, 2004

zeroes, part 3

INQ7.net has posted Part 3 of "Surviving the Zeroes." You can check it out here. Of course, you first need to read Part 1 and Part 2.



Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 6:14 PM :: 1 Comments:

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starting early

Sam's Quote of the Day: "Ay, FedEx, o!"

This after we passed a FedEx truck on the way here, making everyone in the van laugh. Yup, I guess this means she's quite familiar with the logo of her mom's company.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 2:52 PM :: 1 Comments:

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dial-up blues

We arrived a short while ago at our hotel here in Subic, after about three hours on the road and lunch at Max's.

I'm now using a prepaid card -- it feels kinda weird using a dial-up connection again. Add to that the fact that this hotel is charging P3.62 a minute to use their phone line to dial-up, jeez! (Well, we're hoping the hotel operator just made a mistake, hehe.) So I have to make this short and sweet for now, apart from the fact that Sam is acting up a bit and Ellen has to leave soon for her company training.

Time to work and start editing some articles.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 2:44 PM :: 1 Comments:

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Sunday, September 05, 2004

chinese cuisine

Sam's Quote of the Day: "I love Yang Chow!"

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pre-school or pre-med?

My wife Ellen and I checked out some pre-schools today because we plan to enroll our daughter Sam next year. Actually, we already like one pre-school, Sacred Heart at Shangri-La Plaza, but man, junior nursery is 80K a year!

We already checked it out before and in fact left Sam for an hour there again today at their day care center. We really like the place and Sam loves it, but sheesh, that's more than what Ellen and I paid for our UP college tuition! In fact, we keep joking that maybe the tuition isn't for pre-school but for pre-med. Then again, wouldn't you want to be paid a lot if you had to take care of 10 or more energetic toddlers?

We also checked out two schools near our condo building -- one of them looks OK but it charges in dollars because they're supposed to be an affiliate of a Japanese school and will teach the tots Nihongo.

How do you say I'm broke in Japanese?

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 4:45 PM :: 6 Comments:

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info highways and byways

INQ7.net Opinion columnist and veteran writer on historical and cultural issues Sylvia L. Mayuga cited my essay "Surviving the Zeroes" in her Mixed Media column today.

Thanks Sylvia, I truly appreciate it.

Part 2 of "Surviving the Zeroes" also came out today. You can check it out here.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 4:01 PM :: 0 Comments:

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mirror, mirror...


Me making faces in front of the mirror at Linden Suites while I shoot a video of me and Sam using Misty. Misty is the Mustek DV 3000 videocam that we got last year -- you can check out my review. Posted by Hello

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monsters and aliens

Our daughter Sam, who's two years and eight months old, woke up at around 3 a.m. and took a while to go back to sleep. We think she got scared because of yesterday's free storytelling session where she and a bunch of kids listened to a woman reading aloud James Howe's "There's a Monster Under My Bed."

While we were at Robinsons Galleria, we saw Knowledge Channel's Knowledge Caravan exhibit and Sam insisted on checking it out, so we did. It just so happened that the storytelling session was about to begin, so I took Sam inside the makeshift library. More kids entered, and I felt a bit sheepish at first because I was the only dad (in fact, the only parent at first, but a mom stood by the doorway to watch her daughter a few minutes later) inside the room. Sam got really excited because Clifford (well, someone in a Clifford the Big Red Dog suit) entered the room, and she's been fascinated with the Scholastic Clifford books for the past two years or so.

The storyteller kept telling the kids to behave and sit down so that the session could start, adding that Clifford couldn't stay if they didn't. So she started reading the story aloud, and Sam, who's never read the book, was OK with it at first, 'coz everytime the storyteller said "monster," Sam would turn to me and say, "Like Monster Blue (which is what she calls Sulley from 'Monsters, Inc.')." As the storyteller kept talking about monsters and asking the kids if they believe in monsters, Sam got more uncomfortable but I kept telling her it was just a story and that there wasn't any monster under her bed. So everything was cool and she kept smiling and saying "Clifford" and patting him occasionally because he was seated on one of the bookcases.

Unfortunately, some of the kids kept standing up, with one boy -- who was actually pretty nice and kept telling me stuff like how their house has a lot of moomoo or mumu (ghosts) -- pulling Clifford's ear and tickling him. The storyteller kept telling the kids to sit down ("Ate, sit down. Kuya, please behave.") and finally latched on to the brilliant idea of saying, "'Pag di kayo nag-behave, aalis na si Clifford."

That's when Sam started crying, bawling, "No! Clifford, don't go! I want Cl-iii-iii-ford!"

While I was comforting Sam and telling her that it was all right, Clifford wouldn't leave, the storyteller looked contrite and said, "Ay, sorry, umiyak si Ate."

Sam calmed down in a few minutes and finished the story, even sticking around a bit to listen to the next book, "Dindo Pundido." She's actually a brave girl -- she never cries or looks away when the best pediatrician in the world, Dr. Herbie Uy of St. Luke's, gives her her shots and even when she had her first major accident (she fell off the bed last Good Friday and required three stitches on her forehead), she only cried a bit but her main concern even while the doctor at Medical City was stitching her wound was if she could go swimming later. What really upsets her is when she faces the prospect of a loved one leaving or losing a thing she likes. She also doesn't like it when things break or when something familiar changes -- she expects me to fix every toy and she can be OC like me when it comes to using her favorite cup, finding the exact toy she wants at that moment and being bothered by the smallest speck of dirt on a white shirt. I suppose, like most of us would wish, she wants to have her cake and eat it too, to keep getting new stuff and embarking on new adventures, while always having the safety net of the familiar and routine.

At the same, we don't really know the magical world our children inhabit, how those imaginary friends of Sam are as real to her as "reality" is to us. Sometimes it seems that she sees things, and as someone who's had my fair share of the supernatural since childhood and who has a wife and several friends who can read fortunes or are otherwise involved in the metaphysical and the occult, I do believe that different worlds exist, within and without us.

Like one philosopher of science (I think it was Thomas Kuhn, whom we have to blame for everyone who says "paradigm shift," but for the life of me I can't be sure because I read the book way back in college. It could be Paul Feyerabend, however -- kindly e-mail me at joeyalarilla@gmail.com if you know which one or if it's neither and then slap me for being pretentious), I'm inclined to agree that childhood is not just the immature stage of a human being, but another state or life entirely.

He said that we think and experience the world differently when we are children, and that the two worlds are so different that we forget most of the things we did or thought in those early years. Instead of thinking that children's thought processes are immature because they do not conform to adult thinking, he asks us to consider their existence in its own right and recognize that children do have their own logic. Some argue that one of the things that humanity gave up when men and women decided to walk upright is a longer pregnancy, not because the woman's pelvis became smaller (though it did alter the shape of the pelvis) when she opted for bipedalism, but because of the effects of gravity and the strain on the spine of a vertical pregnant woman. Who knows what evolution was thinking but bipedalism is actually an inefficient method for locomotion (wanna see a cheetah run on two legs?). Add to that the fact that a baby's skull isn't fused together to allow passage during childbirth, and you can see why some of these parenting books refer to infants as "half-cooked" humans who are only forced to be thrust into the world ahead of time, making them so helpless compared to other baby animals.

But I like the idea that, in a way, children and adults are two different species, complementing each other and evolving into each other all the time. I think we should accept childhood on its own terms and recognize it as something infinitely precious, that we shouldn't rush our children into accepting the behavior or biases that adult society demands of us. Children grow (or are brainwashed, some say) into adults all too soon and even though sometimes I lose my patience and say to Sam with exasperation that I wish she'd grow up, I know deep down that I'm scared by how quickly the years fly, that a part of me misses the baby that she was. We don't need philosophers and scientists to tell us how important play is to human development, not just for the fascinating little aliens we found when we landed on Planet Parenthood but also for the child in each of us. I'd like to think that every time we write, every time we create, every time we dream, we return to the magical land of childhood and bring back what memories we can to the adult world, to share with others so that they will know that nothing was truly lost.

So really, storyteller of the fake monsters, don't expect or force kids to grow up too soon, all for the sake of the book's "moral lesson" (argh!) that monsters aren't real so children shouldn't be afraid to sleep alone in their own room, away from their mommys and daddies.

They'll be spreading their wings and leaving us all too soon, anyway, and their childhood will be nothing more than precious memories before we know it.

Posted by Joey Alarilla :: 4:33 AM :: 0 Comments:

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