timoglawin: coloured with Promarkers by Letraset (Default)
2013-06-06 08:48 pm

Thesis Take Two

Yesterday I went in to file for residency to the Graduate Studies Office and Sir Emil Flores, my thesis adviser (whom I have neglected - with much guilt and shame on my part) this past academic year.  What was supposed to be a quick exchange of pleasantries and an inking became a a desperate attempt to pick his brain on how I should get on with my life proceed with the progress of my thesis. It has been a year since I passed the language exam, and a year of blankly staring at blinking cursors in establishments with free internet and cheap eats (sometimes not so cheap - an actual sigh right here). I am very much thankful that Marco accompanied me during enrollment - he was able to get more out of Sir Flores than I would have if I interrogated him myself. And the advice I was able to get was indeed precious, but while we were conversing, the three of us, it really soaked in that I was completely lost in my thesis journey. Sure, I've written a few thousand words on a story as flat as  ---

Hmm.. something is hitting me right now. I do -  I think I've realised something. Recently (like the whole year), I have had a lot of trouble getting stories on paper compared to how it was when I was an undergrad/still taking classes, and at this very moment, I realise what's wrong with the way I'm writing: I am auto-censoring myself without my knowledge. 

I'll try something. I'm living a controlled life right now, because being out of control really hasn't gotten me anywhere in the past few years. I should stop being concerned with how my writing reflects how I am. I should just push it - a mental vomiting if you will - with all the fails and corn and wannabee content on the page. After that, I hope I can pick up the good bits and put them together into something worthwhile. 

Let's start with something simple. Right now I'm at a restaurant called Leona's. The full name of the place is Leona's Art Restaurant, and it does look pretty artsy - paintings and vases and sculptures and little tapestries here and there. A coworker of mine said the owner of the place was her daughter's godfather. The reason I went here, despite the lack of funds, is because it's a reasonably peaceful place with free internet, decent food, and non-irritating music (although I am still playing Rainymood through earplugs). I really want to get started with my new and improved thesis, completely rewrite it from the ground up - from fantasy to scifi - and I think I came up with something while having the first few sips of my cream soda (if someone can tell me where I can buy these in Manila, I will be forever thankful).

All the writers and manuals advice the same thing - write what you know, and judging by what i have written so far (see zero), it looks like I don't know much about anything. But maybe it's just because I keep looking at the wrong places, at experiences I don't have but want, at people I don't know. The idea revolves around what I'm doing now at work. Sir Flores told me to formulate a "What if", so I got one bouncing about in my mind, and it's a difficult what if to digest. I tried typing it here but it looked so silly that I need to ponder on it some more, but I do think there is something here. 

My computer has 18 minutes left, and the restaurant doesn't have a three-pronged socket, so I end with remembering that I should begin with a story that TELLS something, before I even think about the story that will DO something to my current environment.
timoglawin: coloured with Promarkers by Letraset (Default)
2013-01-20 12:16 am

Remember it before the end.

Pleasing others. A lot of people say that this can be a real problem, especially if you let it take control of how you live your life, if it pushes you to compromise. This is the Achilles' heel of a lot of modern fiction heroes, those who are trying to "find themselves". I just watched a copy of Perks of Being a Wallflower, downloaded by a friend of mine who shall remain nameless, and it seems that this world is just trying to put a dark twist to every good deed, and there never really is a genuine good deed: everybody just does what they can so that they can sleep better at night. A people-pleaser had a confusing abused childhood; an encourager used to be a worse drinker than your average hobbit at a birthday party. No one is really, genuinely kind anymore as everyone does every single muscular move to their gain.

While I do not share this philosophy, I am not one to condemn it wrong. Each person has a different reality, a mindset that shapes their opinions of others, but most especially of themselves. Too many cases have happened that in order to avoid facing the consequences of actions, we adjust our point of view, our "threshold of evil", to make whatever worse we have done be acceptable in our eyes and the eyes of others. And everyday this margin grows thinner and thinner, and I'm guessing pretty soon it will be gone completely, and we as humans will be free of constriction.

The beauty of the Internet is that it tells you that whatever it is you are thinking, you're not alone in it. Someone somewhere else with a completely different cultural background is feeling the approximate of what you are, what I am. Someone else out there is typing out their "feelings", which are so difficult to explain alone, that you feel relieved when you come across a blog post or an article and you sigh and say "oh so that's what it means, that's what it's all about."

This isn't that post. This one is just as confusing as the way you feel. The way I feel.

I have a certain memory, I should say I was about ten or eleven years old. I don't believe this memory is real. But dreams wash out, and this never has. It's nothing extraordinary aside from the fact that I'm not entirely sure if it happened. Suffice to say that this fake memory, maybe from something I read or heard that I forgot about, has me always questioning people's intentions, and using those to try manipulating them into going the way that I want a situation to go. Nine times out of ten I do not do this intentionally, and fifty percent of the time I get called on it. I'm writing it down right now because I want it to stop. I don't want to live a life based on the thinking of other humans who only think they have it together, like I have thunk for my whole short-long life.

I want a truth I don't have to defend. I want myself to shut up about things that don't matter, because the don't matter. I want to know what does. The age-old question.

Inspiration cometh, I beseech thee.
timoglawin: coloured with Promarkers by Letraset (Default)
2012-11-27 04:50 pm

Y4iT Cebu - Something for Everyone

 4:50 - The hours pass pretty quickly when my day is full, like what it was today. Planning for tomorrow's episode of e-Talakayan is always exciting, plus an eUP Communications team meeting I almost didn't make it to, because the MMDA iPhone app failed so massively ;~; (actually, it was my fault. I could've left Laguna earlier, but I didn't want to arrive at 6am like I usually did and wait three hours for the meeting :<. But then I was Murphy'd. /le sigh)

Started developing a cold at the end of our Cebu business trip. The biggest suspect is the overcold airconditioning in the hotel rooms, and nothing but a thin blanket to cover myself in. People who know me are quite aware of the fact that I wouldn't survive in cold weather, which is why I'm always getting the chills at the office, where the AC unit is pointed right at my station. The hotel was ten times worse D: As of this posting, aside from the sore throat, my whole face hurts. Add the back muscle pain and voila, Triccie Jell-O.

To the topic at hand though: Y4iT Cebu. This technically being my third Y4iT (the first one was the Mini-Y4iT at Guerrero Hall in FC), I expected it to be much more manageable, especially compared to the last one; six days of chaos with twenty-six thousand plus in attendance. But it was just as challenging, one of the reasons being that supplies and manpower were on the lacking side. Which is why I am doubly impressed with the organising skills of Messrs Marco and Joeboy, and of course Miss Chato XD The whole team, Cebu and Manila, really put their best efforts in making Y4iT happen outside of Luzon for the first time, and I am glad to have been part of it, behind the scenes and as a witness :)

The speakers themselves were all informative, interesting, and inspiring. Wendy Gorton representing EdTech and Google encouraged the attendees to not be afraid to fail, and during her talk, she shared the story of a student of hers who was thought to be a problem child but proved to be otherwise. It's a good tale, akin to Ishaan's story in Taare Zameen Par, and it really pleases me that this is the path education seems to be taking, finally evolving from book-knowledge and mindless memorisation. When I was teaching a literature class in La Salle, I always found it so interesting, the different ways people interpreted a certain allegory or a poem. My philosophy was while there could be wrong answers, there wasn't one right answer, not one single interpretation of art that was "correct". And I was always excited when a student comes up to me and asks for more stories/poems from the same author, even if he/she is just one student in a massive class.

Not being a computer science person, the opening talk by Dr. Jimmy Caro was confusing for me at first, for I had no idea who Alan Turing was. But as he progressed in his tribute to the father of modern computer science, and as the history of Mr Turing unfolded, from his scientific successes to his social and emotional assault by people with lesser minds than he, that unknown persona took shape and, well, I was teary-eyed at the camera by the end of the talk. I was glad to know of Mr Alan Turing, a scientific Van Gogh that the world didn't deserve.

Koko Pimentel was surprisingly gracious, despite the technical malfunction that occurred during his Q&A. And putting this down here as an FYI: he invites everyone to view and review the code of the Automated Election System, to make sure that it doesn't have any anomalies. It's available online, and I'll update this post with a link as soon as I can find it. One good step in the direction of government transparency o/. 

The Cebu crowd was fantastic XD There were good questions from the students and other attendees, and you could feel that everyone had their full attention on whoever was speaking. The participants were also well-disciplined, coming back to the venue right on time for the morning and afternoon sessions.

It was a great run for the first Y4iT Cebu, and hopefully I can come back with the team next year to hold a bigger event with more participants and speakers. I'm quite sure, by the looks of the posts on Twitter, that a lot of the attendees were inspired and given the courage and motivation to know and pursue what it is they want in life :)

UP NEXT: Crazy Cebu Tales, from Walking Through the Dead Wasteland to the Return of the Lost Samsung Smartphone.
timoglawin: coloured with Promarkers by Letraset (Default)
2012-11-27 12:05 am

A quickie, if I may

 11:53 - I only have a few minutes to write an entry before I should be off to bedrest. Week was exhausting, and my sleep is never long enough to give me full recovery. Of course, it's also greatly possible that I'm experiencing all this muscle pain because of it D: hope that's not the case.

Been using my boss's old MBP this week for the video-editing requirements of Y4iT Cebu, which had its successful conclusion last Friday XD And I'm already very much tempted to get my own, but my material-buying policy still has a good grasp on me: if something cheaper works just as well, why spend. The feature I'm most attracted to at the moment is the keyboard with the backlights. I CAN TYPE IN THE DARK.

I'm trying to get my dad to consider buying an iMac for the house, using the Photobooth to boost my claim that it'll be very much worth it =))

That's it for now. I hope I can write more tomorrow. I should spend an hour at least at a cafe and work on my story. November is almost gone D:
timoglawin: coloured with Promarkers by Letraset (Default)
2012-11-19 09:35 pm

Y4iT Cebu Countdown: 3 Days to Go!

10:17 - The first setup day of the week for Y4iT Cebu closes here at our residence for the bulk of the week, Hotel Pier Cuatro near SM City Cebu. Despite it being walking distance from the mall, the length of road between is bordered by squatters, making the path unsafe to walk on even in the daytime, especially if one is carrying expensive equipment, as the guard so helpfully told us. Hopefully we'll be able to move to new premises by the end of the week, for free.

Being in charge of documentation for this event, I guess I have to set up some sort of POA. Immediate tasks that need to be done by tomorrow are:

1. The first draft of the sponsor loop - I have to convert two unreadable files to PNG before I can even begin to animate the whole sequence. I still need ideas. Thank goodness youtube works.

2. I need to transfer all the video files remaining in IT and DC =)) That's quite a bajillion gigs of video files - . - both cameras need at least 8 hours of space everyday for two days, so yeah. Better start early.

3. Wire-shopping! I need an RCA to Audio-jack transformer, and I have no idea where to find one here in Cebu. We'll be scouring the malls tomorrow for sure. I just hope my period doesn't get in the way of it so much :< Thinking of just wearing my dress to keep myself comfortable huhu. At least the worst will be over by the time the Y4iT days roll in.

4. Download free Blender videos to inspire the youngsters coming in between speakers XD There's this really good selection Sir Rom recommended for the earlier Y4iT, and hopefully the internet will be fast enough to download them all XD

Sleepy deepy. It was quite a long day, what with arriving at 5am and having our gear so scrutinised by the airport. My tripod almost didn't make it to check in :< AND. I lost my one and only trusty Miteco swiss knife :< Let's rephrase: I didn't lose it, the airport confiscated it from me. I only use the tweezers part anyway, but still, it's like losing an appendix, it being so dear despite being almost completely useless (almost all of its blades were rusty).

Another long one tomorrow for sure, but one thing to look forward to is a buffet lunch at Golden Peak, which was a pretty decent place to stay in the last time I was here :3 Hopefully the food will be good enough (at least the veggies should be) or else!

Let's go Y4iT Cebu!
timoglawin: coloured with Promarkers by Letraset (Default)
2012-11-09 11:56 pm

E-Talakayan: The IT Show of the People

One of the things I highly enjoy doing at work is creating little images for the UPITDC-prompted radio show E-Talakayan, which airs every Wednesday from 1-2pm on DZUP 1602. DZUP is the University of the Philippines' radio station located in the Diliman campus, and it has limited reach. It can't go further away than the general Manila area, so for those in far-flung provinces (like my parents :D), they can listen to DZUP online on their Weebly link.

E-Talakayan recently celebrated its first anniversary last Wednesday, Nov 7 2012. The hosts, Sarah "Joy" Salvio and Mario Carreon, gave us one hour of reminiscence and a preview of things to come for the show, plus a lot of freebies and giveaways for the listeners.

Since the show started running November of last year, a variety of IT topics have been discussed and shared with the listeners. Some of these topics include careers in IT, internet security, IT in the Philippines, computer graphics, gaming and almost everything under the sun when it comes to information technology. The show even had a discussion on how the internet and social media sites are affecting the society in unexpected ways, from helping out in disasters (like the recent Habagat floods) to spreading news, whether in a positive or negative way. I, being a media student, was of course intrigued by how IT really has worked its way deep in the cogs of the present time. I both marvel and fear at what it could bring in the years to come.

Aside from talking about the planned topics for the show, there is also the IT Trivia section, wherein the hosts and the guests share current trends and technologies, from new software developments to technical advice on gadgets emerging in the market. For the uninitiated, it's a welcome segment because it is able to relay these kinds of information in an understandable format. Heck, that's the whole thrust of the show, "kung saan ang IT ay hindi pang-eksperto lamang, kundi kaalamang nailalapit sa bayan."

Anyway, I'm really glad to be part of the show's production, and I do hope it gets to be of service to more people in the future :)

Links to the official E-Talakayan Facebook page can be found here, and their official Twitter handle is @eTalakayan. Click here to go to the main website, hosted by UP ITDC, where people can listen to past episodes. In iTunes, just search for the free podcast by typing e-Talakayan. Enjoy!

timoglawin: coloured with Promarkers by Letraset (Default)
2012-11-08 10:22 pm

In Soft Focus

I'm a sucker for introductions. While I do realise that very rarely do people actually go to the first entry of someone's web journal, a post like this gives me an excuse for a little vanity, a little self-appreciation, in spite of the fact that I am rarely satisfied with my state-of-being at the actual time of writing.

First, an explanation. Why Timog Lawin? Choosing a username is by far the most difficult task in creating a journal online. Either the username I really want is already taken, or I have a thousand ideas and I can't make up my mind on which to choose, for surely this journal is immortal, and I really wouldn't want immortality be named starglowfeenix16. No, the name has to have some sort of significance with my mental stability, at the very least. The name Timog Lawin is quite shallow actually. Lawin is hawk in my language, and it's an image I want to keep alive in writing. I want to have the capacity to explore, to always go higher, to places unreached , to have no limitations. Recently micro-blogging has greatly limited me, with its hedge of a hundred-forty-something characters. It has its uses of course, but it won't replace nice long posts about absolutely nothing :))

Timog means south. I come from the southern part of the Luzon island, and I find that there really is a distinction among people from different parts of the country, however small this piece of earth is. I'll get into that more as the journal moves along, hopefully.

Now we get to the purpose of this journal. I have, let us say, "volunteered", for quite a daunting task; that is to write stories within a certain time frame. Maybe I'll write the actual stories here, maybe I'll just use this as a place for finger exercise. Whichever way it goes, I do hope the web journal helps me to achieve my goal in some way.

That's about it for now. Customisation for this journal will take some time, but it'll happen :)) Links will be found on the right (or left, depending on my layout mood), but they aren't there yet. My Twitter is set to public, so you can contact me there if you so wish. The handle is @teatimetricks. I also have a tumblr (coconutparade.tumblr.com), but it's rarely used as a posting device; mostly I lurk there for pictures of Joel Edgerton or Warren Kole. Or Aamir Khan :) Still, follow if you will, and I'll follow back, unless I don't, most definitely probably.