The BlogFather

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Archive for the ‘blogging’ Category

Bloggers & The Bourgeoisie

Posted by frankahilario on f April 2007

‘Relevances’ by Frank A Hilario

Relevance & Irrelevance

Victor Villanueva (Bikoy.Net) is complaining:

My attendance in (The 1st Philippine Blog Awards) simply reinforced what I believe the situation of the ‘blogosphere’ is. Almost all bloggers in the Philippines today are still middle class and upper class urban Filipinos, most of whom are in Manila. And (because of the fact) that the Philippines is a largely rural country, and a vast majority of Filipinos are still without internet access, I honestly believe that this so-called ‘Philippine blogosphere’ (and this may run in contrast to how other present Filipino bloggers perceive things), is barely Philippine or Filipino at all.

Oh, Bikoy, if you’re telling me that because I prefer to blog in English and because I’m middle class and because my American Idol is an American President, that I’m ‘barely Filipino’ and my topic is ‘barely Philippine’ – then the poor who can’t blog are ‘fully Filipino’ and whatever they talk about is ‘fully Philippine.’ Do you know what the poor talk about? Erap with love, GMA with hate. ‘Ang daming ignoranteng kongresista,’ I heard Leo Martinez say on TV, ‘kasi ang daming ignoranteng botante.’ We have so many ignorant lawmakers because we have so many ignorant voters. That’s the majority of Filipinos – else, the old fools have no chances of winning. They have made a President, didn’t they?

About Internet access, go to the villages and in sleepy towns like my own Asingan in Pangasinan, and you will see they do have Internet cafés (our town had 5 when I last counted last year). The problem with the urban and rural youth is that while they have Internet access, they gravitate towards online games, that’s all. And do you know that in the University Town of Los Baños, there are about 50 Internet cafés all thriving on online games for the youth, and these cafés are very near schools (including UP Los Baños) and neither school officials nor local government officials have spoken against them – or thrown them to jail? There’s a law about schools and students playing games while classes are going on. All over the country, in these beautiful pearls of the Orient seas, the Internet cafés are making money on the future of our children and nobody’s complaining or doing something about it.

What thought preoccupies many Filipinos these days, according to SWS and Pulse Asia and the Genuine Opposition? Only one: ‘Oust GMA.’ That, my dear Bikoy, is barely Philippine or Filipino at all; in fact, it is anti-Filipino.

With our pride and energy as bloggers, should also come the humility of realizing that ‘we’ bloggers are not that much relevant. NOT YET, at least. I don’t even think the Internet will play much of a role in the upcoming local and national elections without our dependence on mainstream media. This passion and hobby of ours is still a very ‘burgis’ preoccupation, really. But this should not stop us from pursuing greater relevance and inclusive reach.

If you measure ‘relevance’ as ‘clout’ (as in the power of the media), then we bloggers are hardly relevant. But I see relevance otherwise. I see relevance in talking (and being happy) about being a housewife, traveling, There is relevance in going to church, in selling candles to earn a living, in going to dinner with a concert. There is relevance in just being ourselves.

If by relevance you mean fighting for the poor and the oppressed, I have other ideas. You don’t fight for others – they have to fight for themselves. They have to help themselves: Let’s stop teaching our people to be forever mendicants. You teach them, if you can, how to fight – which you can blog about. Give a man a fish, and he’ll have food for a day; teach a man how to fish, and he’ll have food for a lifetime. Unless he’s lazy.

Me, for instance, I’ve been blogging about and advocating a parliamentary system for these islands. If you don’t believe in a parliamentary system for the Philippines, would you say I am irrelevant? If I am against genetically modified organisms, would you say I am relevant?

So what if I’m bourgeois and a blogger? We have barely scratched the surface of the power of the Internet. We are the vanguards; there must always be vanguards. Look at your world history: Only the bourgeois can be vanguards. The masses cannot be vanguards – or they will not be the masses.

For now, I still dream (of) a more dynamic and representative blogosphere that showcases in as much as it exposes the common Filipino’s life and the real Philippine situation. And for the mean time, present bloggers like me, and you who’s reading this now, should continue blogging, reading blogs, aspire for better things to come, and do something (aside from blogging) about the things around us.

What is the real Philippine situation: That we are poor, that we are corrupt, that we cheat in elections, that the Americans stole our independence, that Emilio Aguinaldo ordered the execution of Andres Bonifacio? Everybody knows that already. (And who, may I ask, rhetorically, is the biggest election cheat in the world? Not a Filipino.) If I may add to the description of the real Philippine situation: We have cultivated a nation of mendicants. The attitude of the masses now can be summarized in two words: Give me.

Give me land. Give me a house,
Give me a job. Give me more than a job,
Give me medicine.
Give me my human rights.
Give me power.
Give me more!
Give me hope.

At that, I now invoke an American President, John F Kennedy, who said:

Ask not what your country can do for you; rather, ask what you can do for your country.

That to me, my dear Bikoy, is being relevant – and fully Filipino.


Posted in bloggers, blogging, bourgeoisie, Filipino bloggers, Internet access, irrelevance, online games, Philippine bloggers, relevance | Leave a Comment »

Writing Without Tears

Posted by frankahilario on f April 2007

‘How I Shot Myself On The Foot’ by Frank A Hilario

‘Tis Better To Have Blogged And Lost

Than Never To Have Blogged At All!

She is a blogger blogged. 05 April 2007: Mae Lynn L Paulino, you who are engaged to Johnny Depp and who had a fling with Hugh Jackman, I’m reading your 29 March blog about ‘The Stress That PBA Brought’, referring to the The 1st Philippine Blog Awards. I can hear your heart break, you who are ‘so fed up in reading how undeserving’ you are being nominated as one of the finalists in the Personal Blog category. Shari Cruz as Misteryosa won and you lost; if you ask me, it’s okay; in being nominated, you were a winner already. You can’t win them all.

You say of your very own The Last Leaf Designs and Chronicles: ‘This site is full of crappy and stupid posts which (are) important to me, which (enable) me to take out the stress, sadness, loneliness, anger or whatever negative feeling I have.’ Precisely! Crappy and stupid my posts may be, I blog what is important to me. Another way of putting that is this: I blog, therefore I am. Blogging is personal above everything else. That’s the first reason for blogging. That’s why I believe blogging is the best thing that ever happened to writing – it became really personal, and almost no holds barred. You can show your best foot forward, or you can hide it. Me, I simply borrow my daughter’s Sony DSC-S60 Cybershot, shoot myself on the foot, and brag about it.

My grammar & spelling are now impersonally taken care of – I just have to remember to use a word processor like Microsoft Word, or Google Docs. And since publishing a blog is almost no sweat, and no censor or reviewer can stop the process, I believe blogging is the best thing that ever happened to publishing. You become your own best, or worst, critic. I, Writer have become my own publisher – that is the miracle that blogging wrought. You of little faith! Why do you look for a miracle outside of your own blogging?

Posted in 'I blog therefore I am', 1st Philippine Blog Awards, being a finalist, being blogged over, being nominated, blogging, Misteryosa, personal blog | 1 Comment »

The Wizard of US

Posted by frankahilario on f April 2007

Logo of the 1st Philippine Blog Awards (2007)

A Study Of Fr Stephen’s

‘A Blogger’s Prayer’

At the The 1st Philippine Blog Awards night at the CPR Auditorium on the 4th floor of the RCBC Plaza at Ayala Country in the City of Makati last Saturday (31 March 2007), with ‘A Blogger’s Prayer,’ Fr Stephen Cuyos, you made me laugh on the outside, you made me cry in the inside.

A Blogger’s Prayer

So compassionate, so faithful, so loving You are Our Father.

We ask You to increase our faith and our love for You that we may use blogging as an instrument to fulfill Your purposes. May we become bloggers of truth and promoters of peace.

Help us to be steadfast in our Christian commitment that visitors may find in our blogs a source of encouragement and inspiration. Give us strength to proclaim Your word, that we may play our part in breaking down the walls of hostility in the world and use our blogs to strengthen the bonds of friendship, solidarity and love.

Make our hearts meek and humble
that we may treat our readers as friends, not as unique hits,
that we may strive to change ourselves for the better more often than we pimp our site templates,
that we may find more time to ease the pain of someone in our own home than to reply to comments left by strangers,
that we may interact with our next-door neighbors as often as we chat with our blogrolled friends,
that we may be more concerned about helping the less privileged than about the number of subscribers to our RSS feeds.

Deliver us, Father, from spams and viruses, from pride and selfishness, and from the temptation to replicate images without permission and copy ideas without crediting the original authors.

May we always be united as a network of bloggers and friends working together in Your name. May our blogs lead us closer to You.

We ask all these through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

To the reader, I have just made a little study of that Little Big Prayer, so let me tell you what I found:

Language. I hardly noticed it that night, but now I have: The prayer is in English and we are in the Philippines. I love it! You can be an ultra-nationalist, or ultra-conservative, or ultra-naïve like the Ilocano that I was (now I’m only naïve and Ilocano), you don’t have to know HTML but you can’t blog if you don’t (or your Girl Friday doesn’t) know English.

English is the richest language in the world, bar none; ergo, it is unwise, may uneducated, for us to ignore it in favor of our own when we know that our own is inadequate for international intellectual exchanges. The medium is the message. The medium is English; the message is English. The battlefront today is IT, and if you don’t master your English, you’re OUT.

I’ve been married to a Tagala from Nueva Ecija for the last 40 years but I have never been in favor of Tagalog as the only basis for the national language; now that I realize the Cory Constitution of 1987 effectively outlawed Tagalog as that unique, prejudicial basis of a national language, 20 years later I can exult. Better late than never!

Counting words twice. Once: ‘A Blogger’s Prayer’ is exactly 265 words, including the title, which is from Fr Stephen himself. To count the number of words, I Entered before every word in the prayer and then numbered the list: 265. Twice: I thought of sorting the list and, serendipity! I found Fr Stephen’s secret agenda. Note:

The word our is the most repeated in this short prayer, 17 times in all. Here they all are; read and be encouraged:
Our Father
our faith and our love for You
our Christian commitment
our blogs a source of encouragement and inspiration
our part in breaking down the walls of hostility in the world
our blogs to strengthen the bonds of friendship, solidarity and love
our hearts meek and humble
our readers as friends, not as unique hits
ourselves for the better
our site templates
our own home
our next-door neighbors
our blogrolled friends
our RSS feeds
our blogs lead us closer to you
Our Lord.

The word we ranks next in number, 13 in all; read and be instructed:
We ask You to increase our faith
we may use blogging as an instrument to fulfill Your purposes
we become bloggers of truth
we may play our part
we may treat our readers as friends
we may strive to change ourselves
we pimp our site templates
we may find more time to ease the pain of someone
we may interact
we chat
we may be more concerned about helping the less privileged
we (may) be always united as a network of bloggers
We ask all these.

And there are 4 instances of us; read and be moved:
Help us to be steadfast
Give us strength to proclaim Your word
Deliver us, Father, from spams and viruses
lead us closer to You.

There are other words repeated, such as You & Your (7), more (4), friends & friendship (4), love & loving (3), often (2), Father (2), faith & faithful (2), Christ & Christian (2). But none of these has the impact of our, our, ourselves; we, we, we; us, us, us! All these numbers tell me that the hidden agenda of ‘A Blogger’s Prayer’ can be stated in 2 letters: US. Not I, not you, not him, not her, not them. US. Here are other words in the prayer that suggest that message: blogrolled, bonds, friends, love, neighbors, network, peace, united, solidarity, together. US. Therefore, I say, no one else has been hiding in the Emerald City but a certain Fr Stephen Cuyos MSC who is none other than The Wizard of US.

Posted in 'A Blogger's Pledge', 'A Blogger's Prayer', 'The Wizard of US', 1st Philippine Blog Awards, 31 March 2007, blogging, Fr Stephen Cuyos, RSS feeds, templates | 2 Comments »

The BlogHead

Posted by frankahilario on f April 2007

‘The Bloghead’ by Frank A Hilario

Just Blogging

I call my blogsite The BlogFather, but I am not him; neither am I The Blogfather. You can call me instead The BlogHead. As in blockhead. (See also Jughead, as in Archie Comics.)

Look at the image; now, which head is mine: the one with the red hat or the one with the handkerchief over his face, with only the eyes showing? Neither. I am the one taking the photograph, remember? I have nothing to hide. I work mostly with computers, sometimes with the camera, that’s what I do; I write, edit, desktop, blog, shoot, upload.

Right now, I’m calling myself The BlogHead for several reasons:

(1) Just looking. I’m looking for The Blogfather, the ideal one. When you go look for an ideal, you are bound to fail. So why look for an ideal at all? I don’t mind failing; you can say Failing is my middle name. If you don’t go look for the ideal, you’re pathetic.

(2) Just blogging. So you don’t mistake me as proclaiming that I am The BlogFather / The Blogfather. That’s an overwhelming responsibility. I just want to blog.

(3) Just inventing. I have so far invented these:
A Blogger’s Pledge (Blogging Rights)
Blogal Village, Blogal Village Voice (The Blogal Village Voice)
blogeasy, bloghard (The World According To Worp)
(right here, right now)
blogical (see ‘The Power Of The Press’ on this webpage)
The Ten Commandments Of Blog (The American Frank), which is an amendment of my very own earlier proclamation
The Ten Commandments Of Blogging (Blogging Rights).

(4) Just feeling free. I have declared unilaterally that the 5th freedom is the freedom of blog, which you can read about if you jump in here: (Creative Leaps).

(5) Just enjoying. I have in this corner defined blogging upon my own advice (see ‘The Power Of The Press’). Only a bloghead would do that, right? (Incidentally: Upon my own advice – that’s another way of putting into perspective the power of the blog.)

Posted in 'A Blogger's Pledge', 'Blogal Village', 'The 5th Freedom', 'The Bloghead', 'The Ten Commandments Of Blog', blockhead, blogging, freedom of blog, Jughead | Leave a Comment »

The BlogFather

Posted by frankahilario on f April 2007

‘Instinct & Consciousness’ by Frank A Hilario

Instinct & Consciousness

The BlogFather? As in The Godfather. Because I’m old enough; I will be exactly 67 on 17 September 2007. Because I have always been prolific, overseeing a kingdom of plenty (numbers, not wealth). I have 2x more blogsites than I have children (12): I avoid mixing subjects. Because ‘The BlogFather’ is better than my earlier Compuser Says, an obvious paraphrase of ‘Confucius Says.’ Because I can see that blogging has a lot of growing up to do here and abroad, more so over there, and it can use some inspiration – we need to aspire to greatness. I’m a teacher – I passed the Teacher’s Exam (80.6%); I hope to inspire you to be the greatest bloggers you can be. The Godfather became the greatest movie ever made. Because I believe I’m the first blogger in the world to recognize and proclaim blogging as the 5th freedom, as I wrote on 14 March 2006 in one of my blogs, Creative Leaps. Awesome freedom.

Awesome responsibility. Blogging must be exercised creatively and critically, emphasis on the conjunction – ‘and’ signifying concurrence, combination. Creative and critical, faith and reason, useless each without the other. Thus, if you want to swear, to use bad language in a new idiom, why, that is very creative of you – but consider the neighbor, the listening ear of the other person, the eye of the beholder.

It’s very easy to be negative – you don’t need to be told, you don’t need exercise for it to become a habit. Negative is creative only if you turn it into a positive. The marketing geniuses do that, the copywriters do that for them.

Being negative is like this: During the The 1st Philippine Blog Awards, the invocation was by a Roman Catholic priest, Fr Stephen Cuyos, and B complained (almost) without mincing words about The Good Father’s A Blogger’s Prayer. Instead of saying he was offended because he was not a Catholic, B could have taken it for what it was: an exercise in blogger’s freedom. There were no offensive words that I heard. And B could have just taken the opportunity to come up in his own website with his own ‘An Alternative Blogger’s Prayer’ or something. There’s always a choice – if you are creative. That’s why I emphasize creativity. In fact, there are many choices, depending on how creative you are. (Another choice? Ask someone else to come up with A Blogger’s Manifesto or something. On second thought, I just might come up with that one. Actually, I have already come up in another blogsite with The Ten Commandments Of Blog in an article I previously published with the American Chronicle. I blog my own.

‘Instinct & Consciousness.’ If you look at the image (one of my shots during the opening polo season of the Manila Polo Club on 07 January 2007), there is a big red line that divides the field sharply into two. It’s a low-lying fence for the riders and the horses not to go out of the playing field. Still, I was conscious in composing the photograph so that there are shadows to effectively blunt the invasive wide red line. A line divides only if you allow it. You cannot cross the line from critical to creative if you will not. The shadows of creativity must always be on top of your head if you want to enjoy your photography, nay your blogging.

What prompted me to create still another blogsite this time? You wouldn’t believe it: Carl Jung. I had borrowed Baby O’s book Modern Man In Search Of A Soul (San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Co, 244 pages) and about an hour ago, I was reading in our Comfort Zone (you know, for downloading at your leisure) at our apartment about ‘The Stages Of Life’ and was struck by these lines:

It is the growth of consciousness which we must thank for the existence of problems; they are the dubious gift of civilization. It is just man’s turning away from instinct – his opposing himself to instinct – that creates consciousness. Instinct is nature and seeks to perpetuate nature; while consciousness can only seek culture or its denial. Even when we turn back on nature … we ‘cultivate’ nature. As long as we are still submerged in nature we are unconscious, and we live in the security of instinct that knows no problems. Everything in us that still belongs to nature shrinks away from a problem; for its name is doubt, and wherever doubt holds sway, there is uncertainty and the possibility of divergent ways. And where several ways seem possible, there we have turned away from the certain guidance of instinct and are handed over to fear.

Thus my tagline for The BlogFather is ‘blogging, instinct & consciousness.’ Like Jung, I believe in instinct (which I can tap through my faith or creativity) and consciousness (which I can tap through my reason or criticism) – but instinct comes first and comes last. If I understand Jung correctly, the true measure of consciousness can be found only in instinct. The true measure of reason or criticism can be found only in faith or creativity. With reason, we have only fear; with faith, we have hope and love. What more could we ask for?

Posted in 'The 5th Freedom', blogging, Carl Jung, Compuser Says, consciousness, Creative Leaps, Godfather, instinct | Leave a Comment »