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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Paradise Philippines – The SEO Contest

I get several random instant messages from various people from SEO Philippines. Simply asking me, what is my entry in the Bayanihan SEO contest Paradise Philippines. Problem is I am so busy that I can barely work on my SEO contest entry. And even if this is my super honest answer, they tell me something like: “Yeah, you will just try to catch up later and overtake us all.” And actually I honestly do not picture it that way. With so many projects to work on, some web development, some design, some project management, some SEO, I think I can barely work on the SEO contest Paradise Philippines. So if you are all worried I might catch up with everyone, well that will depend if given the time to catch up, but right now, I do not see myself working as hard as I did with GlobalWarming Awareness2007.

Thanks to Jorge, Nina and Jerome

I am chasing deadlines and I need to modify a site using a .PSD from another client. Tight deadline and in the file, it has a font I do not have. But I learned it was a font included upon installation of Adobe Photoshop CS3 which I do not have. I sent several IM’s to several people, and thanks to those that replied and sent me a copy of the font file right away. Jorge, Jerome and Nina. Halos sabay sabay sila ang send sa akin and I accepted them all just in case I get some corrupted copies, kakahiya naman abalahin sila ulit to resend, so I accepted it na from all three.

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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SEO World Championship is Over

UPDATE: Yes it’s official – I won! 😀 Thanks to GetUpdated/EastPoint for the contest. Here are the official list of winners.

Previous post below, before winners were declared….

Although my GlobalWarming Awareness2007 entry was the current number 1 site when the contest ended, they say they will come up with the final results after 24 hours. So to make it official, I guess we will have to wait.

A few things I can say about this contest in my own opinion:

  1. Content is still king! Good content keep people stay, come back and spread the news in a natural manner.
  2. Design is still important. Not that it has to be really superb, but at least it does not look bad that people will not trust you nor trust the content of your website. Make it clean and presentable to help drive more traffic, world-of-mouth promotion and more effective website link baiting.
  3. And SEO is a pay-it-forward type of industry. The more help you give out to other people, the more help you receive when you need it.

SEO contest is a test of one’s skill to rank for a certain keyphrase in search engines. But the real SEO work is really much more than that. I happy I was able to showcase my skills in this contest and was victorious, but I have high respect for all the other competitors since it was not an easy win. I was still worried and nervous up to the last minute of a come-from-behind win from the other competitors. I would like to add that 20% of my efforts in getting the top spot in this contest were through the help of the many SEO professionals in the Philippines. This win is not completely my win. It is a win of SEOPhilippines. Where competent and skilled SEO professionals are, SEO professionals in the Philippines have high reliability in off-shore SEO outsourcing.

While waiting for the official winner announcement, in the meantime, I have prepared my long list of thank you’s already and tried to make sure I left no one out. Arranged in no particular order, but trying to do it chronological as how I remember it.

SEO Philippines Community

SEO Friends in San Diego

Marko Nikolic, Dru Kelly, Glen Batuyong did not help me in this contest but they did in the past in another SEO contest. Maybe this is still a nice time to say thanks to them also.

Services I got from our friends on Digital Point

I did not ask for the services of other friends in India Robin Gupta’s Directory Submission, Sunil Submitshop in this contest but these two guys are cool tool. They helped me out in earlier contest I joined with their services.

Clients

If ever this list is incomplete and I failed to remember you, sorry, I’m just human, it’s sometimes hard to remember everyone.

I did a backlink check as well to help remember some people. I will not mention diggers and people that fell for my link baits since I really don’t know you anyway. *LOL* And for those that added my site to the Cialis and Viagra sites all on different domains that all looked the same, I don’t know if you were helping me or doing the opposite. *LOL* Peace out guys. I understand that competitions are really like that.

Of course thanks to my family and people in my company who were patient with me as I went through the contest as well. I love you all.

Tensed SEO World Championship

I never thought this will make me a bit tensed. This is just a contest, what I would say with the Isulong SEOph and the ItuloyAngSulong, SEO contest and was mainly playing around and learning at the same time. But in the Vorgermilten… I was a bit serious since the top prize was supposed to be $10,000. Eventually I got the top rank in Google but unfortunately it was a hoax. No money for me.

Now here comes the SEO World Championship and is now giving away a brand new car as the first prize. Carribean cruise as the second prize and a Sony Plasma TV as third. I thought I would have the same feeling like in the Isulong SEOph and Ituloy AngSulong SEO contest. Where I would say… this is just a contest and not feel tensed at all.

But for some reason, I feel tensed. I currently have the number 1 spot in the SEO contest with my GlobalWarming Awreness2007 entry. And being the number 1 site, I feel a bit tensed. Knowing that FredrikMH of eglobalwarmingwareness2007 and Mr. Monkeycolo ecoloband is just there and any drop I may get could move them forward.

Yes it’s just a contest, 1, 2 or 3 spots are all cool. Yes I know, but once you are up on the number 1 spot… you want to stay there. And I’m just hoping to stay there for the next 40 hours when the contest ends.

We SEOs all know the story of Jim Westergren when he was not the winner of the V7N SEO contest but after 15 minutes, he was already on top after the winner was declared. He lost by 15 minutes.

40 hours is such a long time to say that I already win the contest. Maybe in an hour or less my ranking can go down. Considering Yahoo and MSN sometimes mixes it all up. Hopefully not. If they mix it up at the same time, oh no, that is double Jeorpardy.

I am pretty competitive in the things I do, although I am no sore loser as well. In the things I get into, I like competiting and in my early teens, I was into BMX racing, I competed in races. In mountain bike races, I competed as well. I got into several martial arts and has competed in Taekwondo competitions. But most of the time, these were local, or at the highest level I got was national competitions. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. And win or lose, I am having fun.

But for some reason, I feel so tensed with this competition. Simply because it is global and this is something that can give worldwide recognition, but if search engines play around which is not impossible, it will just be part of a dream in the past and I will be totally unknown.

Somtimes I feel it is better to lose with a big lead, than lose when you were already very close to winning and at the last moment, you lose it all. Now that is the tensing part. It’s because I am the current leader and still feels uncertain on the stability of some search engines.

Hopefully, everything stays the same after 40 hours. As for the other competitors, ecoloband and eglobalwarmingawareness2007, it was a good contest and I have high respect for your efforts. I hope I get to know you guys too and just share ideas probably via IM in the future.

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.