What if you had 24 hours to write down several names on a list, as much as you want, for a small price, so that you can somehow impact their lives in a small way and make them have a memorable smile? The twist is that once the 24 hours have expired, you can’t take it back. I had that chance and I wrote recklessly, without thinking or reflection. Like failing the Marshmallow Test, I settled for petty rewards and disregarded delayed gratification.
I prioritized superficial relationships. Not that the people I wrote weren’t important to me or didn’t have an impact on my life. There were just so many more I could have written that could have mattered more. It shouldn’t end in superficial engagements. If anything, it’s as if I learned nothing from reading Mark Manson (he’s this really awesome contemporary writer who writes about self-improvement; see also Fear And Loathing In CDO).
Interesting mental notes I’ve kept:
- My officemate tells me that one’s motivation should be to express and not to impress.
- Another reminds me of bloggers before the “blogger boom” who wrote for the sake of writing and how some bloggers nowadays have lost their heart; something very analogous to my sentiments right now.
The point is always to go beyond superficial engagements, to find meaning. In one of Wes Anderson’s classics, he asks nihilo sanctum estne (is nothing sacred?). Funny how I was just given several philosophical questions by a friend:
Why do we want things we don’t need just because we’re told to want them (via advertisements, social conditioning)? But if we weren’t told what to want, what would we want? We want to be successful, but the idea of success is a dictated abstract construct. It’s to be rich and have a big house. To be happily married with kids. But what is the relevance of all that really? Why do those things matter? But if we weren’t striving for it, then what would we strive for?
And yet another twist emerges. I requested for such thought-provoking questions because, again, I wanted to impress someone. I wanted to stop scratching on the surface and dig deeper. I wanted to extract something more meaningful from someone. But it seems to begin with, my motivations have been mistaken. The approach in itself was inherently flawed.
As I look back on the list, I realize one thing: it’s irrational.
It’s National Best Friend Day. I love how there’s a lot of quirky and random holidays nowadays. I don’t necessarily participate. For me, because it’s a Sunday, it’s more of National Sleep All Day Day. Either way, this new promo from Globe is pretty cool:
It reminds me of Cornetto’s Hanggang Saan Aabot Ang 20 Pesos mo TVC which to me reflects inflation and a decline in the purchasing power of the individual.
Competition though, even in a duopoly, will bring down prices. We don’t even need the NTC to mandate prices. It was never NTC that dictated the prices. It was Sun Cellular entering the market and introducing unlimited services and promos that brought down the prices. Even when Smart had already purchased Sun, that impact of a competitor entering could never have been mandated by any government agency.
Should Smart have been allowed to purchase Sun? Some people will say it was antitrust. It’s debatable. But should competitors be allowed to enter the market? Of course. Some policies to reflect on would be regulatory barriers and constitutional restrictions that prohibit the entry of competitors (for both local and foreign) in both the business sense and in the infrastructural sense.
I’ve been stuck with prepaid since my smartphone got snatched. But back when I was with postpaid, I had the SIM with no time-requirement contract so I easily had it cut. Also, I got the cheapest possible plan. When I needed data or I know I’ll have high volume of calls and texts then that’s when I would create my own combination of promos. In the same manner, when I go to an area that I know will have unreliable coverage (like a beach or a far province), I would subscribe to nothing and only get the minimal charge. You have to understand that an integral part of a working marketplace is consumer responsibility. Because of Globe’s customizable GoSakto plans, just by dialing *143#, I could create my own promo that suited my needs.
And it’s the same for their prepaid service. I barely buy load and everyone knows that but people are still able to contact me. It’s important to take note that in Singapore, both incoming and outgoing calls have charges. I’m not comparing quality here. It’s more a cultural thing for Filipinos to really be in touch and to communicate and this is reflected in the market.
And that’s why companies like Globe create promos that focus on communication and choose to launch it on a day like National Best Friend Day. It’s marketing, yes, but it’s also very reflective of our culture that demands communication and also reflective of Globe’s initiatives to fill these gaps.
And Globe GoUNLI20 has more than just free calls. It also has data. It gives you the ability to send a message or a moment to the whole world with a tap on your screen. For all those prepaid subscribers like me, dial *143# and check it out.
As usual, I was looking for something new. After a week of monotonous wage labour routines, it’s natural for your body and mind to look for something more than just your typical weekend. But I didn’t want to go far nor be drained by the loud and bustling offers of the northern cities. And so as I asked my friends for recommendations and only one stood out — The Black Pig.
(photos by Kenneth Boren, Guada Cruz, Inka Pellicer-Magnaye)
I arrived alone and too early being that I seem to be the only one who recognizes the scarcity of time in our limited life. The place is beautiful. After a quick look inside and through the glass to see the balcony, I already fell in love with the place. The summer heat scared me and I wanted to be inside and comfortable but there were no available tables. And so I checked the balcony outside. It’s really so chill and steady. They even have couches if you prefer that.
I was pointing at a table and explaining to the waiter that I wanted the fan to be faced to it. A gentleman from behind that table stood up, walked up to me, and asked if I wanted his table. I was dumbfounded. It turns out he was the owner of the place and he was just being a wonderful host. I explain to him that it wasn’t necessary. Since my friends were all late, he stayed with me to chat until my friends arrived.
He was such a friendly and awesome guy. Turns out he was even part of Rizal Underground, the band who sang the popular song Bilanggo. We chat about his restaurant, its concept and inspirations, and other classic smalltalk stuff. He was just being very sociable and friendly. It shows that if you have strong ideas, honestly good products and services, all you need to do is be a nice guy and your customers will keep coming back. And we’ve been coming back since then.
Finally, the gang shows up. We order several of their craft beers. I personally prefer the local craft. It’s very smooth and I’m not really into those bitter ales. My friends on the other hand, chose the much stronger beers. One them even tried the 10% alcohol one.
The balcony outside is really so steady and chill. Perfect place to hang out and have some drinks and good food with your friends without the preferred loud sounds of the north.
The food was interesting. We ordered several like the chorizos and other tapas or whatever they’re called (I’m not much of a cultured man when it comes to European cuisine and I don’t want to be a pretentious critique, basta masrap at sulit is my philosophy). I personally ordered the chicken liver which was an absolute delight and was perfect with my craft beer.
I also ordered this cocktail only because the menu said it’s Bourdain’s favorite and something he orders wherever he goes. In tribute to him and his writing, I got one. I forgot what was in it though or what it’s called (haha probably was a fun night then).
I had one comment which was that the servings were small which my more cultured friend Jos Perfecto who’s more knowledgeable with stuff like this told me that this was typical of Spanish cuisine so turns out it was just my ignorance of other cultures complaining again. The experience of going to restaurants like this is holistic — you don’t just get a taste of what they’re cooking, you get a taste of other cultures.
Goofing around with Mr. Paid to be Funny Uli Oposa
Their craft beers and other drinks go so well with Tabacalera cigars, something I’ll be blogging about soon as well so watch out for that! For now, tara, let’s hang in the laid-back south and chill in Black Pig.
I just created an awesome hotdog sandwich recipe that I shall refer to as The Bob Black Sandwich in tribute to what I consider to be his magnum opus The Abolition of Work. Everyone who participated in my not-so-successful good clean fun coffee only work night have left and so I’m stuck with hunger and a bit of work to do.
I just went all out. Whatever you can find. Ketchup, mayonnaise, butter, salt, pepper, hotdogs, buns, dill relish, mustard, red bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, and hot sauce. Cook and combine all together makes for a really awesome sandwich:
Bob Black merely questions how we regard the sanctity of life and the quality of the short time we spend on this earth. There are a lot of valid points that stakeholders should look into. Maybe take time to stop and smell the roses — or better yet, make awesome sandwiches.
Notebook and Pencil
I just got an awesome House of Cards (American Version) notebook from my account managers and a free pencil to write on it with from our area in the office. I’ve never been a take down notes type of person even as a child back in the days of rote learning in the indoctrination camps. I mean, I do use Evernote but then my smartphone got snatched not so long ago so I guess this is a perfect time to start the habit of taking down notes. It seems to be best practice, at least from what I’ve observed so far.
But Why House of Cards?
Yes, first and foremost, it’s the libertarian-leaning ideas portrayed in the show. Yes, it’s the story, the epic plot, the brilliant acting, the awesome cinematic executions, etc. — but it’s more than that. This show is a benchmark and a strong indicator of the future of digital. Most people don’t understand the gravity that this Emmy nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning show is the first non-network, non-cable, and purely digital show. It didn’t need the usual red tapes, fees, and permission from bureaucrats because it is in digital space — a free place we must protect especially as this trend grows (see also Stay The Hell Away From My Internet).
Brands like Coca-Cola have helped bring Spotify here and I have a strong feeling that more and more people will clamor for online streaming mediums like Netflix or Hulu and it’s something that brands should also think about. We must also take into consideration that the oligarchs who control the minimal competition in mainstream media right now are already anticipating this and would might want to monopolize or skew regulations to their favor. Stefan Molyneux makes very good points about this in his discussion with Alex Jones on the video below:
Why the Pencil?
It’s mostly because I’m reminded by Milton Friedman’s classic lecture on the pencil (see also Milton Friedman’s Pencil). He explains it ever so beautifully in the video below:
Not one single person can make a pencil. There is this grand and intricate plot required just to produce pencils. It’s collaborative in nature. And being that it has the logo of McCann Worldgroup, it does make me proud to be part of such an awesome company with an unrivaled global portfolio and at the same time get to collaborate with a lot of really brilliant minds. For most of you who don’t know, I now work in MRM//McCann – the digital arm or discipline of McCann. In fact, I don’t know the scope of what I can or can’t blog about, non-disclosure and all, so I’ll try to keep it simple.
I remember Timothy Leary, renegade professor from Harvard in the 60’s, who believed that humanity should have three main goals in mind: space migration, intelligence increase, and life extension. Although seemingly a questionable and unusual reference to use being that he administered psychoactive mushrooms and LSD to several subjects including his own students in Harvard, I do agree with his goals, the second one in particular. He said that an integral part of increasing your intelligence is for you to surround yourself with people more intelligent than you. And this cannot be more true than now for me.
It’s really engaging to be part of an environment that demands a lot of creativity and collaboration. The humility of being a beginner again, of sometimes being the least knowledgable person in the room is just as inspiring as it is challenging. At the same time, being able to contribute what I can to the table coming from my learnings and experiences is very rewarding.
And, most importantly, our medium is digital and social media. It’s a medium that has democratized publishing and disseminating information just as the printing press did only tenfold. It has started revolutions and will continue to topple tyrannies for as long as we demand policy that enhances rather than restricts internet freedom (see also The Vatican Taps Social Media).
Icing On the Cake
Our area has board games, nerf guns, a makeshift shooting range, and a sign on the door that says Zombie Apocalypse Bootcamp. Yup, I’m pretty sure I’m in the right place.
Facebook redesigns itself from time to time. Their data probably show that it’s good to redesign from time to time. Twitter is in on it, too. I haven’t changed the design of this blog in a very long time It’s always served as a portfolio of sorts but now I feel like I don’t need one or at least don’t need that kind of specific portfolio and instead should just focus on telling the story.
Now it will just be my personal blog with a quick portal on the right panel with a short description of my other blogs. I don’t make money writing here (WordPress.com does not support AdSense) but in those blogs I do. Also, analytics show that people don’t really want cluttered and many links. They also don’t want past content. They want things new and ever-changing. People’s attention span have grown shorter and shorter and it’s more important to just give them the idea right away before they shut off.
I just want it to be a simple, what you see is what you get blog that has regularly produced content, mostly about my life or the things I see while I’m here on Earth (food, travel, movies, events, friends, etc.).
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