Ok, I’m Married! Now where is that family quality time?

I have always introduced my wife as my wife since 2002. But technically, we were not really married yet since there were several legal matters that needed to get ironed out then. And during this period, I left for the US in 2004 since my work in the Philippines was not really supporting my family well. And I was away from my family for long periods and would go home every 6 months or so to be with them again in the Philippines. Getting vacations in my jobs are usually not permitted within certain time frames but I used to go back during certain IT events where I am invited and I go on vacation without pay. Although plane tickets are quite expensive, and considering that I even get no salary for two weeks work, I am way broke and sometimes with over due bills after my vacation but nothing beats being with them again. 6 months was too long, even 1 week was too long and some of my friends just seem so puzzled asking me how do I do it? I myself don’t know how I did but I just kept myself preoccupied with work so I don’t feel the loneliness.

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Where’s the Snakes?

Past few days I’ve been so busy finishing a bunch of projects. That I often burn the midnight oil finishing all these sites. I only pay attention to this and I don’t even think about anything else. So my room is often a mess that my room floor looks like tons of junk and seems like a snake could probably be living already in my room jungle.

My workstation

This is my work area, and once I work, I don’t pay attention to anything else.

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Badsense Adsense Technique / Black Hatter and Spammer

No this is not about a badsense adsense techhique. And it is also not about being a black hatter and spammer. This is just about Sam Casuncad’s experiment. As he posted on a thread in the SEO Philippines forum, saying that he has finally found some keywords to target to beat the the Blackhats, Matt Cutts and Marc Macalua. Where he showed some SERP results having his pages higher than some other blackhat sites, higher than Matt Cutts and higher than Marc Macalua. He also mentions in the thread: “go and beat me if you can guys.” *LOL* Although he does mention that he is a newbie in SEO according to him and this is just basically for fun. Although I am not a sucker for this challenge as I have a lot more things worthwhile to do. Although, let’s just see how far can a push-button-flip-the-switch-instant-automatic-magic-SEO can do. If it will really make a big difference in SEO or if it will not. But if you seriously want to take Sam Casuncad’s challenge, tell him and target the keywords: Badsense Adsense Technique or Black Hatter and Spammer.

The Big Bad Bullies of Philippine Broadcasting!!!

As of this writing, I am mad; the description fuming just could not contain the emotion I was trying to relieve.
Most of you know the type of work I do, my day job, besides the occasional sculpting projects I enjoy. But for others who still haven’t got a clue, I was privileged to be hired as an online comics illustrator at one of the top outsourcing companies of the best web designers, developers, and artists here in the Philippines, bar none. We work according to Philippine laws, pay our taxes. Our company provides work to almost 400 talented Filipinos.

Now granted, some of our clients and some of our works deal with adult materials, but none of them illegal, based on the vague anti-pornography laws we have here. Just how vague? More is explained in this news clip: http://www.gmanews.tv/video/5636/Lack-of-law-hinders-fight-vs-cyberporn USCIS on Global Warming

Now, some unscrupulous people under the guise of Investigative Journalism are trying to destroy the business our good employers and we are trying very hard to establish by taking that vague law and twisting it to serve their selfish evil schemes.

I’m not going to beat around the bush and I’ll come right out: They are extorting money from our company and trying very hard to make our working conditions miserable by disrupting our work schedules, through intimidation and harassment by their paid goons or associates and threatening us through trial by publicity (why else would you have a camera crew in hand?).

Our employers have had enough of this and decided to stand up for it, knowing we are not doing anything illegal. You can read how we scored some points in this news article here: http://uw.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=73466

Now we’re guessing this is something their egos couldn’t take, so they are getting back at us, always some sort of unauthorized raid (no search or arrest warrants) is going on, treating us like we’re effing criminals, treating our female employees with disrespect, disrupting our outsourcing business and scaring off potential clients in the process. Like most of my peers, I’m fed up. I have to take action. What better way could I have done? Who can I turn to? Who can I trust? If some government agents are on the take, if journalists of high regard like the Tulfos can threaten anyone with trial by publicity if they are not happy with the amount of payola they receive, what other options are left at my disposal?

How about trial by exposé? I’m going to expose their wicked ways through blogs, the one media they could not control. To destroy what little credibility they have left, credibility they probably acquired through intimidation, threats and manhandling little folks like us.

So I’m humbly requesting those of you who’ve read this, especially Filipino artists among you, to please repost it in your blogs and other journals. Through this minor effort, I want to show them that not all of us can be intimidated and are willing to stand up to being bullied. If no one else’s going to stand up against these extortionist bullies now, who will? I do have a seething hatred for bullies, don’t you? I’m hopeful too, that this post may reach some of our still honest government agencies and maybe they could take action against these people.

The fate of 400 talented Filipinos, people that are only trying to earn an honest living in their own country, hangs in the balance. Please, we need your support.

Enough is enough. We’re taking the stand.

By an anonymous writer from iweb

I reposted this from another blog, I am not the author of this blog post, pero ito masasabi ko… if there is no law on pornography, then I see nothing wrong in what they do. Next thing na masasabi ko from an Internet marketing point of view, since target market naman nito, hindi naman mga taga Philippines, kadali lang ma-block ang Philippine-based IP addresses. So no one in the Philippines can see the site. So wala nang problem ‘di ba?

Who is the Tsikot.com Babe?

Tsikot.com has a new hot babe joining their group. Problem is, we don’t know who she is. Some kind of buzz marketing I guess. Here is my guess who is the tsikot.com babe is.

Tsikot.com Babe Photo - Picture of Tsikot.com Babe

I think my guess is wrong, but join in the community on Tsikot.com. There are more reasons to go there if you are into cars.

Vacation is over, back to work and car problems

Now I am back in the US. Vacation can never be long enough. Everyone sees vacation to be a short period of time. Well I got a 2 week vacation from my job. And the company I work for is really awesome in having me go on vacation to attend this SEO event, thanks everyone. I also organized a quick 2-day CSS, PHP and AJAX workshop for my brief stay in the Philippines. I maybe i have thanked the following people but I will thank them again.

  • Mike Lopez and Jason Torres – While I did the tableless CSS workshop on day 1, day 2 was excellently handled by Mike (PHP) and Jason (AJAX). Truly experts in their field. Thanks for being the lecturers in this area.
  • Reine Sison – Longtime industry friend who contributed in helping out in some of the event organizing troubles and for hosting and handling all registrations on the event website.
  • SEO Philippines – Thanks to the forum which help promote the event. It was mainly from this forum where i guaged if I have enough target audience to pull this off. So I guess the real person to thank is Marc Macalua who started this whole group about 2 or 3 years ago. Thanks Marc.
  • Participants – Of course thanks to all that registered and hope everyone was happy with the new things you have learned. People that learned about the event were either promoted via IM through friends from the Philweavers, PHPhilippines, PHPUG-Ph and others who learn about it from ICI.
  • Juliet Santiago-Chan – Center Business Manager of Informatics Computer Institute – Shaw Blvd. Center in Mandaluyong City. For letting us use her largest computer lab for the venue of the event.
  • My wife and daughter – Who helped out in tiny things and was patient to hang around the area when I helped in setting up the computers and organizing during the last day.
  • Everybody else I forgot to thank that I forgot about, thank you also.

But I guess the most rewarding thing for this vacation is being able to spend a lot of quality time with my family. Nothing beats that, these priceless yet very treasured time. I miss everyone back home already but it should not that that long until everyone is here also in the US.

Now it’s been a week already after my vacation and it’s all work again. Everyday endless optimization of websites. And after work, there are more websites to work on, not only for SEO but design and development as well and the whole project management and operations management, customer support issues everywhere. And jsut as the busy life comes back, here comes some additional expense of having a car. Maintenance problems.

Yesterday as starting my car, I felt this hard start and the car seemed having a hard time to run. While driving to work it felt like something was pulling the car backwards and the RPM would not increase as I step on the gas. Not risking going a long 10-mile drive to work the next day, I had it checked out today and a bunch of problems came out, although they said all these parts that need to be fixed, the 4 main problems are:

  • Engine tune up, spark plug and distributor cap issues
  • Leaking oil (I suspected this as the oil light flashes on the dashboard)
  • Worn out brakes (I felt this already, I knew I needed this checked)
  • Busted shocks (I knew this already when I had a tire change)

I am driving a 1994 Toyota Paseo, relatively old car. The shocks are still the originals so they are a bit old. But with all the expenses I could not really have everything done right away. So I chose to get the most important ones done first. The engine tune up and worn out brakes. I will get the cracking belts changed and have an oil change too. Then on my next pay day, that is when I will work on the oil leak and shocks.

The person I was talking to said: “I don’t know how much money you would want to spend on a ’94 Paseo, but it’s up to you.” So what is he saying? Don’t spend on it and implying to buy a new car? Maybe but I think after this tune up, this can run another good 3 years with less bills to pay. Just the occassional oil change, tires and brakes. Getting a new car is paying a higher amount for a longer period of time. Well I don’t know either, I did not do the math, this is just my rough esitmates. My car is not that problematic that it becomes too expensive to maintain. And having cars just to look cool is far from my personality. I just need a good fast car to bring me from point a to point b.

Saturday Hybernation

Ever since I was a kid, my parents slept late at night. Which made it become my habit as well. And at the school where I studied in grade school, the top section always had classes in the afternoon so I was not required to wake up early. Since everyone at home seemed to sleep late, it became my habit too and even worse, as I stated growing up, I even slept more late, most of the time early morning. I just seem to be more productive during this time of the day. So most of the time I get less than 8 hours of sleep. Today, the same situation is true. I sleep less everyday, go to work, then work at home, then sleep late and wake up early.

But every Saturday, I go through this hybernation period. I sleep almost all throughout the day. I supposed to go pingpong with Mishon today, and bring a data DVD to Jimmy. But I was out cold in my hybernation period. I woke up at 5pm and here I am again, facing the computer and needs to finish a bunch or work. Sometimes, the work is so varied across several websites keeping focus on one gives me a hard time. Right now, I will focus on a proposal for some company in the Philippines for design and development. Then I know I have to do something for Seda. OMG, this is long over due. I will email Seda once I am done with the proposal.

Pen Spinning and Book Spinning

Russian friend of mine Mishon who I also work just randomly asked me one day: Hey dude, can you do this? And he was holding a pen with his thumb and pointer finger slightly off-centered in a horizontal position, moving the pen up and down loosely held giving the illusion of a bending pen.
And I said, yeah, and just did it right away, and then I showed him the illusion of a spinning pen holding a pen between your pointer and middle finger. And then I showed him the spinning pen on your thumb. Which for me were things I did since I was kid.

He asked me where did I learn this and when did I learn it. And I cannot even give a good answer, since from where I came from, everyone seemed to know how to do it. I grew up in another country, in the Philippines and went to school there. And I believe I started spinning pens in 4th grade. Why? Because everyone else was doing it. I guess the first person I have seen it was from my cousin Jong Medrano who showed it to me and my sister started doing it to since everyone in school was doing it. I started doing it and many friends of mine were doing it. It was like a natural thing in school. And it was not only from my school, but all across the country.

Mishon was asking further why do we learn it, and I said, I really don’t know. And I said further, it is also the same reason we do book spinning. And he asked how. I just took any book and started spinning it on my finger. For some crazy reason, many people from school was doing this. And I was doing it too, sometimes you see the whole school spinning books and pens and I remember vividly my teacher Ms. Cherry Desiderio (Whom i believe has a new last name already) hated this spinning movements while in class. And if she saw anyone doing some pen spinning or book spinning, she throw away your pen or book. (But she was still one of the cool teachers I had.)

Now that made me wonder, what is it with the Philippines, that many students know pen spinning and book spinning like it is a default talent?

I’m not used to a cold environment

I slept the whole Saturday and work up at 7:00 in the evening. Just ate light, did a few email checking and a few work stuff and went to the gym, since it is part of my new year’s resolution to get back in shape. I went out at around 1:00am on Sunday. It was so cold and I was thinking it won’t be cold inside the gym. Since it was early morning, there was only two other dudes working out. So the body heat was not high and the air conditioning was still running where I can feel a light wind of cold air inside the gym. I was in a sweatshirt, keeping the body temperature up, and while working out as blood circulates and my body heats up, I feel, the cold air conditioning wind on my head, and it is just a large temperature difference between my head and body that I feel like getting sick. I feel my nose freezing up as my head heats up. It is cold but it is dry that it feels like my throat is drying up. In the middle of my working out, I decided to go low weight and just finish my workout as quick as possible. And after a few minutes, I just didn’t feel right being in a cold area. I grew up in a hot and wet country and I was just not used to what i was going through. So I decided I am stopping working out for now. Maybe I’ll try working out again when it’s not that cold.

Saddam Hussein Hanging

At the trial of Saddam Hussein, the final verdict was not led to torture but something worse. Saddam Hussein’s hanging. I am not that well versed in my history and current events, and all I knew about Saddam Hussein was his invasion attempt into Kuwait that the UN was against and the US has fought in a was against Saddam because of this invasion.

When I heard about this in the news, Saddam Hussein captured, went to trial, and will hang to death, I really do not know all the details and i checked out his biography, and his profile shows he was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. His half brother and the judge at the trial of the original case in 1982 were also convicted of similar charges.

Below is the video of Saddam Hussein’s hanging.