the babel machine


Saturday, September 25, 2004

palanca gold

Are you one of this year's Palanca winners?

Then join us and have your works included in the new issue of online Philippine literary magazine Literatura.

Here's the announcement posted today by Literatura general editor Ian Rosales Casocot:


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make a wish

Margaux gets to hold Sam's magic wand, while Sam decides to concentrate on her Honey Stars. Posted by Hello

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would you buy hot chocolate from this lady?

Margaux Salcedo visited us today at our condo unit and whipped up a batch of hot cocoa with Nana Meng's Original Filipino Hot Chocolate, which is based on her lola's original recipe. Nana Meng, who is now 88 years old, has preserved the culinary tradition of the pre-war aristocratic Bulacan kitchen. Posted by Hello

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zeroes in literatura

My Palanca prizewinning essay "Surviving the Zeroes" has also come out in the latest issue of Literatura, an online magazine of Philippine literature, whose general editor is multi-Palanca awardee Ian Rosales Casocot. Literatura is a section of A Critical Survey of
Philippine Literature
. Please just be patient if the site is sometimes unavailable due to heavy traffic.

It was a pleasure to accept Ian's invitation to have my work posted on this literary site, and I am awed to be in the company of such great writers. The Internet is truly a powerful tool for making Philippine literary works accessible not only to readers in the Philippines but also from all over the world, so I hope you will all support Literatura.

My friend Dean Alfar's futuristic fiction short story "Hollow Girl: A Romance" is also online while his one-act play "The Kite of Stars" is coming soon. Please also be sure to read Wilfredo Pascual Jr.'s "Devotion," which won first prize, and Erwin Romulo's "Confessions of a Space Boy," which won second prize in our category.

I've been able to correspond with Willi via e-mail and extend my congratulations, but I haven't met Erwin yet, so if you're reading this, congrats, man! And congratulations to everyone.

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Friday, September 24, 2004

pdi plug

My Luli Arroyo Amazing Race story also came out today in the Philippine Daily Inquirer's Entertainment section, so do check it out when you have the time.

If you're not in the Philippines (or you are but you're too cheap to buy the newspaper, hehe, just kidding), you can also read the Entertainment online version.

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Thursday, September 23, 2004

chocolatey christmas

Was chatting just a few minutes ago via YM with Margaux Salcedo (hah, I'm name-dropping you, Margaux, hehe), a former news anchor of GMA News Live who's my New York correspondent for Global Nation.

Except she's not in New York right now but here in Manila, literally cooking up something new. Right now she's in...

(Hmm, wait while I fire off an IM to confirm where she is)

(Um, Margaux?)

... OK, Margaux's missing in action, hehe.

Anyway, she has a new business venture and you'll hear about it soon enough. As soon as I taste it.

More on this in the next few days.

Let's just say don't be surprised if you have Nana Meng's Original Filipino Hot Chocolate on your table come Noche Buena.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

no one gets left behind

Sam examining the stuffed toy (OK, my bad. My wife, who knows the history of every toy Sam has and who obviously has better eyesight, pointed out that the toy in the pic is actually a small doll, hehe. And the funny thing is that I took this pic) she brought along during our recent trip to Subic. This is just one of about fifty or more toys that she decided absolutely had to accompany us. Posted by Hello

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'what are you doing, ate?'

My friend Marilyn Dee's kids -- little Damien and his big sister Chynna. Their mom took the pic with her mobile and then e-mailed it to me -- the photo, OK, not the mobile phone, hehe. Posted by Hello

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googly blog

Check out my story on a Mexican programmer who created a hack that turns Gmail into a blogging tool.

Of course, you have to run it on a server and there's a lot of technical stuff involved, but you might still be interested in reading it. Anyway, here's the Infotech article.

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life as a digital nomad

As some of you might remember, I was updating this blog (besides working -- I swear I was working, hehe) from Subic for almost two weeks.

Check out the "Digital nomad's Subic adventures" and find out why wi-fi rules.

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piano girl

Sam checking out the piano at Legenda Waterfront in Subic. Posted by Hello

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michelle, ma belle

Sam and her Tita Michelle Morelos, my former editorial assistant. Too bad the pic's dark, but this was taken at night using my wife's XDA II.

So, when are visiting Sam again, Tita Michelle, hehe.Posted by Hello

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baby, baby

My friend Mel Dominguez and her beautiful baby girl Caitlyn. Caitlyn's a lot bigger now because this pic was taken months ago. Posted by Hello

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digital tong-its

Meet Rico Zuñiga, the guy behind the Tong-its computer game. Rico is this week's YOU GameTime victim, hehe.

Me, I don't know how to play tong-its, bobo ako dito, hehe. Pusoy dos na lang.

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adventures in disiniland

Jo Disini is this week's YOU Blog Addict. Check out the YOU Technogear article.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

two plus two

I once thought that the "Terrible Twos" was just a myth, or at least an exaggeration.

Until we had a kid.

Sam is cute, precocious and oh-so-charming, but she can also be quite a handful -- and that's an understatement. Sometimes it seems she just wants to say "No" to everything, just for the heck of it. Testing limits. Turning every little thing into a struggle.

Like coaxing her to eat. Making her change her dress. Getting her to go to sleep.

Working from home and taking care of a kid isn't all fun and games. I knew that when I signed up for this, but on some really trying days, I have to wonder if I've bitten off more than I could chew.

It can really be tiring. Too much pressure. Too many demands.

Then Sam flashes a beautiful smile and tells me, "Come on, Daddy. You're my best friend."

And suddenly everything's all right. And I know I made the right choice.

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Monday, September 20, 2004

praying for louie

Please pray for the speedy recovery of Inquirer Entertainment editor Louie Camino, who has been undergoing intensive chemotherapy in his battle against lung cancer.

Read about the benefit concert that the country's top performers recently held for Louie.

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amazing race in manila

So, did you catch last week's episode of "The Amazing Race"?

You know, the one where the contestants had to go to Cavite, then Laguna and finally the pitstop at the Coconut Palace (or, as the Filipino taxi driver said, "Cookie Palace?"). And have you been wondering if that was really the President's daughter Luli Arroyo and how she got that "gig"? Then read "Luli's Amazing Race."

Thanks, Luli, for agreeing to be interviewed!

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seeing print

Shameless plug: Check out the Infotech section in today's edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. PDI reprinted my Palanca prizewinning essay "Surviving the Zeroes."

Thanks to PDI Infotech editor Leo Magno (who's also executive editor and vice president of for using the essay and including the dedication to my wife Ellen Quijano-Alarilla and our daughter Sam.

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Sunday, September 19, 2004

the guestbook

Hey, I added a guestbook today.

Just look for the Babel Book link and... oh, never mind, just click here, hehehe.

Hope to see your name there.

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the blogging revolution

I've been getting lots of e-mail from bloggers just dropping a line to say they liked my blog and/or articles, and asking if they can also be featured as YOU Technogear's Blog Addict of the week. YOU is the youth site of

Thanks to all those who e-mailed. I'm doing my best to answer every message as soon as I can. And to those who've already answered the Blog Addict questions, please be patient because of course we have to schedule when you'll be featured -- and we already have quite a long queue, hehe :)

I've gotten some pretty interesting answers, including one blog addict's insightful comment that sometimes, it's like you're pressured to do something interesting or try out something new everyday so you can write about it. I mean, you wouldn't want people reading your blog to think you lead a pretty boring life, do you, hehe. We'll be featuring this blog addict soon in, well, Blog Addict.

If you're also interested in being featured in Blog Addict, read this story and find out what you have to do. And if you have time, read my "I blog, you blog, a-they blog" article.

So, help spread the word. Join the blogging revolution.

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