Friday, October 26, 2012

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: End Of The Line

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: End Of The Line:.

Wow. What a ride that was, and I never thought how emotional it was going to be for me to go through every single moment like that, but here we are.

I'm not going to recap 2012 because clearly, it isn't done yet, but so many big changes have been happening this year, from a new job to living my life in a new perspective, and to someone coming back into my life so unexpectedly. The jury's still out as to what's going to happen with that, but I'm pretty much prepared for anything that's going to go down because of that.

In the end, it's been a very quiet celebration of ten years of blogging for me. I didn't really have too many people outright tell me that they read my blog and enjoyed what I've had to say, whether it was about politics or humor or relationships or anything else. I haven't really had anyone point out to me how my writing style has subtly evolved into something you could expect to read on Cracked half the time. Quite frankly, I don't care, because when I started my blog, I wasn't ever writing it because I had an audience to serve: I was writing it for myself. And it's staying that way.

If you read and enjoyed this retrospective, well, thank you. It's pretty much the last ten years of my life, documented as best as I can, and like I said when I won the History, Society, and Politics award for the Philippine Blog Awards, I'm just lucky, maybe even blessed, that my life has intersected with so many things of consequence even if I myself may be nowhere nearly as consequential as the things surrounding me.

Anyways, here's the masterlist for the other posts in this Retrospective series:

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2011

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2011:.

Yeah, I think this was a better year than 2009 and 2010 combined...

Hmm... 2011. A perfectly good mix of a year, in all honesty. It wasn't overtly amazing (Except for the part where I met Kim Chiuuuuuuu!!!), and there were some clunkers along the way, too, and yeah, losing several friends along the way also proved to not exactly be a great experience, for that matter. Despite that, I think 2011 was a turning point for me because that was when I began to learn how to live my life without My Beloved, assuming that I was never going to see her again.

It was the year where I tried to finally open myself up for life beyond her, but the mistaken notion was that a life beyond her needed someone else to fill the void. Maybe that's where I was wrong: because the attempts I had to fill in that void were pretty regrettable looking back, to say the least. There were very few bright spots, and no, a pretend-relationship via mostly Facebook with Lovey Dovey probably wasn't one of them, nor was the mistake I made sometime October. 

Project 52 in 2011 was all about music. I had a song of the week, reflecting my regular lyrics posts in 2003 or so. This time, I managed to put more impact in doing those music-related posts simply because I had to justify why I was sharing each song in question. This is also why I ended up performing for the Itchyworms several times, including their 15th anniversary show, which has to be one of the biggest highlights of my year as a performer.

The amazing thing, though, is, after January, after CamSur, I discovered that making mistakes isn't such a bad thing anymore. I found out that I had the capability of walking away from mistakes now, and I wasn't going to stick by a mistake until it hurt so much that it was doing far more harm than good to me. I opened and capped off my year with Philo-Sophie, and I realized at that point that I was just being used, much in the same way I allowed myself to be used in 2009 by various people.

2011 was a turning point because I learned better than to let anything bad happening to me stain me permanently. It was when I started seeing how I could turn any lemons my way into lemonade. I also started contributing to Filipino Freethinkers this year.

The low points of 2011 came when Sugarfree disbanded, and AJ Matela passed. And probably the horrible April Fool's day joke bloggers received. The less said about that, the better.

Geekfighting, OGM, these things became part of my life this year all the same. I started opening for Mike Unson, culminating in me being part of Rex Navarette's November show in The Fort. Overall, I was trying so many different things to fill in the void, as I attended the weddings of one of my closest friends, as well as someone I almost got involved with romantically. This is why my first blogpost of the year is also probably the one I'm most proud of having written in 2011: the wedding proposal for no one. And yes, it doesn't matter if in 2012, the first thing I did was contradict myself. When I wrote that post back then, it was really something so true and heartfelt.

Winning a second time in the Philippine Blog Awards wasn't too shabby, either. I must say: 2011 really had a lot of good moments, and it all started when I realized that no matter how much my past still matters to me, I can walk away from it all. 

The sweetest or creepiest gesture I ever received in my life. Let's go with creepy.

And really, that's all there is to it: nine years of blogging in 2011, and I finally learned perhaps the most important lesson of my life: I am resilient. And sometimes, though something may mean the world to me, I need to turn my back on it because what good is holding on to a world going down in flames?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2010

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2010:.

Ah, 2010. The year I decided to try and do a full-scale Project 365, and succeeded at it. Somewhat. It wasn't easy, really, especially since I was coping with so much during this year, and I had to bury myself in work just to stay alive. One guess why.


It was mortifying, really, but February 14, 2010 remains to be easily the worst day of my life. I even remembering writing this because the pain was just so palpable and I couldn't contain it. For nearly an entire year, I did nothing but cry myself to sleep. Hades, just remembering the pain I went through makes me misty-eyed all over again, and not in a good way.

It was an ordeal, and I still twitch whenever I remember what I went through, especially looking at the present, where we find out exactly what I made that sacrifice for. What a joke, really. What a load of crock, after everything has been said and done.

I hated 2009, but going over 2010, I didn't expect to discover that I may actually just happen to hate it even more.

Especially when you consider that instead of graduating, I ended up being suspended for a year from my Masters in what has got to be one of the most disgusting displays of gross negligence of due process.

Especially when you consider that this was the year that my grandfather passed. I was blogging up a storm in a reversal of what I went through in 2006. I was doing it to pretend that the pain wasn't there. I was doing it so I could drown myself out from having enough moments where I can sit down and recognize that my life was miserable.

You know, overall, I think I can only be grateful that on this year, I got to know Denise. She's an awesome person, and if you knew her, you would agree with me. Totally.

Well, damn. This was exceptionally short, and mercifully so. Ending the year by meeting Philo-Sophie wasn't exactly pleasant to remember, either...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Project 52 (43/52): On Second Chances (And Why They're So Hard To Give To Exes)

.:Project 52 (43/52): On Second Chances (And Why They're So Hard To Give To Exes):.

Appropriate, isn't it?

Eh ano nga kasi ang problema? 

Gusto mo ba talagang malaman? Ako! ako yung problema! Kasi nasasaktan ako kahit di naman ako dapat nasasaktan. Sana kaya ko nang tiisin yung sakit na nararamdaman ko, kasi ako ang humiling nito, diba? Ako yung may gusto. Sana kaya ko nang sabihin sa iyo na masaya ako para sa iyo, para sa inyo. Sana kaya ko. Sana - sana kaya ko, pero hindi eh. Sama-sama kong tao kasi ang totoo, umaasa pa rin akong sabihin mo. Sana ako pa rin. Ako na lang. Ako na lang ulit... 

Mahal ko si Trisha. 

Alam ko. 

She had me at my worst. You had me at my best. Pero binalewala mo lang lahat yun. 

Popoy, ganun ba talaga ang tingin mo? I just made a choice. 

And you chose to break my heart.

- Popoy and Basha, One More Chance.

"I just made a choice."

These words echo in my mind to this very moment because this is really how I feel about second chances. It's all about making a choice, and these choices have consequences. I guess it's really up to one whether or not they will make that choice to give something or someone a second chance, because let's face it: there's a reason why the first chance didn't work out in the past. And sometimes, when you let the worst elements of yourself bubble to the surface, you even indulge in petty vengeance, if only in your mind.

Pins! Pins! My kingdom for a handful of pins!

It's always a matter of choice. No matter how hard we try to ignore it, no matter how we may pretend that it's nothing, it's definitely a matter of choice. We choose whom we give our heart to, even if we can't really choose who to fall for. We choose when we leave and how long we stay. We make our bed and we lie in it. Ultimately, we may choose to break somebody's heart. And yes, we choose things that turn out to be wrong sometimes.

Alack and alas, we are thinking, learning people, and when we learn something once, very rarely do we ever want to walk into the same mistake a second time. Even if, all things considered, it could no longer be a mistake the second time around. Let's be blatant here and talk about love (yet again), if only to make the point clear: sometimes, the right love can indeed come at the wrong time. But what if finally, the right time does come along, and the love is still there?

Second chances entail risk any given time, but when it comes to love, the risk seems higher, even if the tradeoff is the familiarity just might actually be there. Sometimes, that familiarity, that he or she is the devil you know is actually a pretty nice feeling, and it can lead you back to the same places you've plumbed before, and you can't help but ask yourself, "well, why not?"

There are a million and one reasons why not, but in the end, it remains up to the both of you to answer the more important question: do these "why not's" even matter? Is he or she worth that second chance? If you answer a negative to the first and an affirmative to the second, then I guess you really should be working on it at this point.

I'm a firm believer in the saying "kung gusto, may paraan. Kung ayaw, puro dahilan." It's really the only way I could justify being where I am today, and still standing strong after all the adversity I've encountered in my life. It's all about the choices we make, and all about us acting on those choices decisively. Because I chose to live on and trudge along despite everything I've been through, I find myself in a position to fall back into what is familiar. I find myself in a position to meet once more the devil that I know.

And I couldn't be happier about it.

A second chance is familiarly unfamiliar territory: you go through the same roads, traverse the same paths, but it isn't quite the same. The moments of deja vu, the moments that harken back to what once was, they're all well and good, but when the differences come, they jar us to the core. When the familiarity comes, and along with it, the familiar wrongs, we are reminded why we left in the first place. On top of that, because you've been there before, the excitement isn't quite the same as it used to be. We go down the road again because we believe, in our heart, that it's worth another shot.

Maybe I really am being a hopeless romantic,  but I can only speak the truth. I made a choice, and that choice was to love with all my heart because anything less would be a travesty. And with that in mind, I guess it's why I feel that she's worth a second chance.

And that I'm worth a second chance.

It's no longer a question of circumstance. It's a question of choice.

Para hindi mo makitang nasasaktan ako.

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2009

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2009:.

One of the best shows I've ever been involved with.

2009. Just... just screw this year, really.

I mean there were great things, definitely. For example, this is when Bound And Gagged happened, and that also means I managed to stumble upon the happy crew of the Disenchanted Kingdom, which became my radio home for the next three years. I started working in Nuffnang in 2009, so that's a pretty awesome thing as well. This was also the year I started getting into standup comedy, and I still enjoy doing that to this very day. Can't say I could complain about any of those, even if Grin Department scared me out of a year's growth because of their antics. I also went to Ad Congress for the first time ever, and began writing for the Philippine Online Chronicles on this year.

But think about it. I mean, let's even set aside the personal tragedy that this was the year I lost My Beloved. 2009 was just. A. Horrible. Year.

First of all, this was the year Francis Magalona and Michael Jackson passed away. So did Cory Aquino (Quite a tragedy.), which led to us having Noynoy as president (An even greater tragedy.). Considering the fact that more than a few well-loved people also passed on in 2009? Well, wow.

Secondly, this was the year Ondoy happened. I mean, really. screw Ondoy. My mentor in high school, Ms. Edna Rivero, passed away around the time of Ondoy, and I never even knew until 2010.

So really? Screw this year. The good things that began in 2009 carried onwards to better years, and I'd rather think about those years than this dreck.

Still, if I had to pick one favorite entry from 2009, let's go with this one. 2009 marked the year that I won my first PBA trophy, after I hosted it in 2008. It was a crazy year for blogging, truth be told, especially since I coined the term "Patay-Gutom Bloggers" around this time, and unfortunately for other people, they popularized the term, and ended up receiving flak for it.

Man, this year was really the pits.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2008

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2008:.

It was a year of Rickrolling!

Wow. 2008. I mean, I don't even know where to begin here, because it was such an eventful year, to say the least. 

First of all, considering I had my Masters to do, and I decided to leave Reedley at the end of the schoolyear, which was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. Going over my letters to my students in Reedley, I actually felt a tad choked up, which is probably the first time I got misty-eyed while doing this retrospective while not reading an entry that involved My Beloved. And yes, she still figured very significantly in my blog in 2008.

Let's face it: she figured in my blog significantly since 2007, and even if I hardly wrote about her from 2010 onwards, there's no denying how much she still figured. I guess that's how it really works when someone is your once in a lifetime...

But anyways. This was the year when I was, for all intents and purposes, balancing my Masters with apparent unemployment, relying on purely magic shows to make my money, which was made possible thanks to Sir Freddie of Neutral Grounds and Ms. Heidi of Big Red Balloon (Formerly Balloon Creations.). I definitely managed to make a name for myself, and I even capped off a highly successful year of magic with an awesome show helmed by Kel and Jay, Wanlu the Ventrillusionist, and of course, the lovely Giselle Sanchez...

And then I learned the value of buying longer pants...

But while yes, you have the awesome mentalism, among other things, and you even have so much going on for you, this was really a year that marked the fact that I simply could never quite just go and leave radio. Campus 99.5 came on the airwaves, and I jumped onboard! 

Still, I had an especially soft spot for 2008 because in August, Rick Astley actually went to Manila. That was one of the biggest highlights ever, in my book. I met him in person, then even had some of the best seats in the house during his actual concert. Hard to complain about that, really.

Having said that, with a year of magic, music, mentalism, and My Beloved, it was definitely one of the most challenging years of my professional life, seeing as I had to pay for my own M.A. through my gigs, since I didn't have a regular paying job to speak of.

Ironically, that year may very well have been the most profitable year of my life, seeing just how many shows I ended up doing. I practically completed my Power 9 cards during 2008, give or take maybe a Mox Emerald and Pearl. Of course, I could be mixing up my timeline, but whatever.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2007

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2007:.

Not pictured: blatant product placement in a soap opera.

2007. Wow. What a year, really. This was the year when I ended up being a teacher in Reedley International School, so needless to say, it was quite a wateshed of a year for me, because it was when I got back into the thick of teaching and the academe.

Yeah, I still had my pipe dreams of being a PhD or something. So sue me. Heh.

This was the year when love was in full bloom and I thought it would never end! Oh, how giddy I must have felt when this happened, and I thought that everything was just perfect. Then I wrote this, and all I could think was wow, she really is my once in a lifetime! 

And I guess she always will be. And it felt so right, because she couldn't help but say how much she loved me, too!

But I guess it's easy to say you love someone so much when you actually can't compare it just yet to the point where you truly, honestly did, eh? But that's a story for another day. Maybe in 2012, or when I do a retrospective in 2022.

The year was pretty amazing because this was when blog events started happening. We had a Blog Parteeh in 2007, and from there onwards, we never looked back, to the point that events left and right saturate the blogosphere nowadays. And I mean saturate: it brought out the best and the worst of the blogosphere, but whaddaheck, it was a natural progression of things, really. After meeting Sam Oh in 2006 and getting inspired to become a magician, I ended up hanging out with The Story Circle, who really became a huge part of my life for several years hence.

2007 was also the point where I was super crazy about Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson, so "Sana Maulit Muli" was my favorite TV show of all time. It was pretty funny, and My Beloved just went along with it, no matter how much she rolled her eyes over the fact that I'm just super crazy over the Kimerald tandem. Yes, that's the actual tandem, and not just Kim Chiu. I was seriously a fan of the loveteam. It was also the time when I was a majorly active user in the Comic Book Resources forums, which I moved to when the Ragnarok craze killed the activity in the Otaku Boards.

Because of the fact that I hosted TOEI in 2006, though, I started becoming a presence in conventions because I tried to do my magic out there. Having said that, this was the point I met and became friends with Alodia, Ashley, Crissey, and Tricia. I would end up friends with Domz in the year after that. I don't know about you, but that was a pretty interesting time, because slowly, I was transitioning into really being a regular fixture in cons as a host.

You know what my favorite entry was, though? I think it's the one where I did the math. I still grin from ear to ear when I look at that entry. It felt even smarter than all those crazy Philosophy papers I wrote for Mr. Calasanz and everyone else.

That being said, huge things happened this year, such as being a speaker during iBlog 3. It was my first time speaking during iBlog, and it was definitely given rave reviews by everyone who watched, as it set the tone for my magic career for quite a while. That being said, not only was it a success, My Beloved was actually there.

On top of all that, I resigned from WAVE in 2007. Yeah. It was a huge leap for me to make, as I was in radio for a good three years. Still, moving to teach in Reedley was one of the best things I ever did in my life, and to this day, I still cherish that schoolyear I had with my kids from Reedley. The mere fact I'm still friends with several of my colleagues and students from Reedley, as opposed to me mostly remaining friends only with Camilo in Ateneo should demonstrate the contrast, really.

This was an awesome year for me. I was so happy. I was so in love. And I was so fearless, as I came to grow as a performer by leaps and bounds. 2008 was simply a continuation of all the blessings I've managed to accrue in 2007. It also showed with how I blogged, as the academic bug clearly bit me again, and I had ridiculously detailed posts without being so transcript heavy. It was a subtle evolution of my writing style that I think stands to this very day.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2006

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2006:.

Probably only the second or third best thing of 2006.

Wow. 2006. Talk about a pivotal year, because this was the year I blogged the least. Offline life was getting in the way so much that I couldn't help but have to really let my blogging take a hit, inevitably. Heartbreak near the start of the year, then followed by months upon months of career woes since I had to give up QTV11 after doing segment production for one season.

It was also the year when I got into professional magic and mentalism, which was definitely one of the biggest, most pronounced changes in my life. To think that it all started because I simply wanted to do a performance for Elbert Or, who was my best friend at the time. 

It was the year I got to meet Estelle, bonded with April, met Mick Foley, and yes, found out that National University actually existed.

Not photoshopped, rest assured.

So overall? I met new people and got to doing new things. I was really having a hard time dealing with heartbreak, so despite the misery I felt at the time, I found amazing friends who helped me weather the storm.

I was starting to be less transcript-based with my blog entries, and as I started to using more pictures, it really felt like my blog was becoming a lot more fun to write. Of course, I wrote so few entries during this year, and some of them were downright dark and disturbing, reflecting the state of mind and heart I found myself in at that point. I was down, and almost out. I couldn't thank my friends enough, but there was someone who made all the difference in the world that year, and she was simply unforgettable.

Towards the end of the year, My Beloved came into the picture. We saw The Departed,  and then things slowly started falling into place. That's why this was my favorite entry of 2006, because that very brief bit I had to say about her said everything I needed to say then... and now.

"I love you very much, and I hope that I would prove to be worthy of your time and attention. Sometimes, I worry when I catch myself not treating you in the best way I could, but at the end of the day, I know I will do whatever it takes to do right by you.

No matter what, we will find a way.

Thank you for making my life just a little brighter."

Truer words have never been said.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Project 52 (42/52): On The End Of The Disenchanted Kingdom

.:Project 52 (42/52): On The End Of The Disenchanted Kingdom:.

For a show called "The Disenchanted Kingdom," we sure had a lot of good vibes.

Well, damn.

It was 2009. I was at a point in my life where things were so down and out for me, and all I had to look forward to was the Bound And Gagged Kel and Jay show. It was why I actually went on a radio tour to promote my show, and when I ended up in RT, it was King DJ Logan's timeslot. He was back on radio, with 99.5RT, and he has a new team for his show, The Disenchanted Kingdom. They weren't around for a full month by then, really. I went sometime in October while their first show was in late September, at the height of Ondoy.

I've known Logan for years, since his KCFM days. I know he didn't really remember me much, but I certainly remembered him. I also got to know Marf and Cleo, his other two co-hosts, and I guested on their show, where I demonstrated to them my metal-bending act, which impressed them so much that KDL actually asked me to just keep on dropping by the show whenever I could.

For the next three years, that was exactly what I did, and I was pretty much an unofficial part of the DK team until the very end. 

And I mean until the very end, because last Tuesday, in what I thought was just another routine visit by me to the show, King DJ Logan announced that it was officially the final episode of the Disenchanted Kingdom. Marf, Cleo, Ana Q5, Maui, and Lu Skywalker weren't there to take a bow, but they definitely were part of the inspiration for that night's seemingly mundane show that ended somberly, but sentimentally.

I don't really know what their plans are for 99.5, and I'd feel bad that another legendary station is going the way of the dodo, but we've lost so many stations already, I'm beginning to feel numb when it comes to that. But yeah, don't ask me what they plan to do with 99.5 next. I have no idea.

We didn't have that month-long preparation NU had. We didn't have that candle vigil where people mourned our loss but were ready for it. People who cared were saddened profoundly because it all came with little fanfare. We went gently into that good night. We didn't go out in a blaze of glory. It was so quiet, and it was so hard to stifle a tear as it just ended right before my very eyes without us even having a chance to invite everyone by our side as we said goodbye.

But you know what? The Disenchanted Kingdom was a big part of the last three years, and it made a huge difference in my life, knowing how it kept me sane during some of the darkest times of my life. When I was miserable, The DK was there to ignore how I was feeling and force me to throw barbs back and forth with them. It was just like standup comedy, except things fell into place a lot more naturally. It felt like a family to me: y'know, the kind of family where you wanna strangle each other every other day, but you undeniably love each other? The kind of family where you will pick on each other, but if anyone else so much as tried to pick on your family, you'll give 'em hell? Yeah, that kind of family. I had one of those in radio, and I couldn't have been happier that I did.

When I saw that there were people saddened that the Disenchanted Kingdom closed up shop, I couldn't help but feel consoled in knowing that the joy and changes the DK instilled in me were paid forward to everyone who was listening to us. I couldn't ask for anything more, really: to be a part of a show that really just knew how to have fun, and to make those listening to us feel like they're part of that fun. I think my life would be radically different, and all for the worse, if I never chanced upon KDL, Marf, and Cleo way back in 2009. 

I am a better person today because of the Disenchanted Kingdom. And for that, I can never be more grateful than I already am. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know we will see each other again soon, but for now, I raise my glass to the Disenchanted Kingdom and to everyone who was part of our crazy and dysfunctional family for the past three years. It was a beautiful ride, and I wouldn't have traded any of it for the world.

Closing time. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

- Semisonic

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2005

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2005:.

Suman for others!

First of all, I realized that I actually got to know Clair this year, mainly because this was the year that iBlog first happened, so I'm sorry about that error. Considering how I kept count of every conversation we had, this was highly unusual. Still, poring over hundreds of blog entries like what I'm doing on a regular basis to pull this retrospective off does kind of take its toll on me.

I was in the thick of my career, and the not-so-pleasant tailend of a relationship that showed how I woefully misunderstood what it means to love and to care about someone. It was supposedly a very happy thing when I got into my second relationship, but in reality? It was pretty much a travesty all around because I was flat out clueless what it took to make a relationship work. years from then, I look at myself now, and I realize my knowledge is still far from perfect, but I definitely saw so many thing I did wrong then that I wouldn't even consider doing now.

And I have a confession: a lot of my blog entries in 2005 really make me cringe today. I was very cavalier with privacy, and it may have been very embarrassing for the people I blogged about back then the way I wrote about them, no matter how positive I might have thought it was that I wrote about them. I still write a lot, and I still say a lot of crazy things, but one thing I feel just naturally changed over time was how my writing has been far less incriminating for other people I write about. I've gotten far less detailed and transcript-y, and this was actually a change for the better, I think.

I remember this year because it was the year where I worked for Channel 11 alongside doing radio, and I was ridiculously exhausted because of this setup. I can't imagine how my friend, DJ Aya of WOW 103.5, is doing the same thing nowadays, probably only worse. I was going through rather trying times, but overall? I was just so head over heels in love with Pomelo at this point that it seemed I was just gliding over everything that wasn't going so well in my life.

And yes, that included the first signs that showed me that the academic life wasn't really quite for me.

But one overall running theme during 2005 was suman. It happened mostly because of Dean Alfar's talk on creative blogging, and it sorta stuck for a pretty long while when a few of us who went to the talk decided to blog about suman on a weekly basis. I lasted pretty long doing that, actually.

It was the beginning of amazing things, to be honest. As I went ahead and got to know bloggers left and right due to iBlog, I also met the Sassy Lawyer, who pretty much recognized me because we've corresponded with each other in the past. And yes, iBlog was when I first met the (in)famous Mike Abundo.

2005 was a pivotal year because it was a year of huge changes: changes that would really dictate the pace in succeeding years, and 2006 was definitely going to be even more of the same.

But wow. I really cringed a lot going through my archives, so I'm thankful I managed to find this essay I wrote about the Digital Filipina issue. Amid all the jokes about the gay innuendo and amid all the cringe-worthy things I wrote about, I felt pretty good about the fact that I was writing with a very progressive slant more and more in 2005. I was starting to quote feminist/anti-ableist/anti-racist/pluralist material and echoing these sentiments even if in 2005, my notions on gender equality weren't as informed as they are nowadays.

It feels good to know that I came to my own personal journey against bigotry without any earth-shattering moment. That I quietly just realized how wrong bigotry was, and proceeded to work hard at educating myself over the years. Does that deserve any respect or adulation? Of course not. It's what all of us should be doing in the first place. I'm just glad I figured it out with minimal anguish.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2004

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2004:.

Well, crap.

I used to be so thin back in the day...

So I opened 2004 with the highlight of finding out that I won the Asian Blog Awards from Flying Chair. Considering how 2004 was one of my most active blogging years of all time, it was a doozy!

One thing I noticed was that 2004 was arguably when I got the most detailed when it came to blogging. I was transcribing conversations word for word in my blog, and it was pretty insane how religious I was in writing, period.

Graduation really changed the dynamic for me because immediately upon graduation, I quickly moved on to working. I was teaching, I was on WAVE 89.1, and I was taking up my masters, all at the same time. I don't know how I managed to do all of that together at the time, but then again, I have a day job, magic, comedy, improv, and radio all going on at the same time at the moment. I guess keeping myself busy is really where it's at.

I was doing a lot of writing, including this short story series that heavily referenced something going on in my life, and it was during this time that I started being very good friends with Sacha, Peppy, Clair, Krisette, and Kathy. These friendships were really taking root, and of course, in 2004, I spoke a bit about Rowena, who had the best birthday greeting for me way back then.

Looking back at what I've written, it was a pretty amazing time, especially when I consider all the friends I made and all the experiences I went through in 2004. It was a huge point of transition for me, especially when you consider that this was the tailend of my first ever relationship, which lasted well over five years. I didn't realize I was so into poi at this point already.

The entry that best encapsulates how I was during these times must be the one where I wrote about the World of 9:00PM on a Tuesday, which is probably one of the saddest things I've ever written, when I think about it.

Man, I think despite being crazy detailed and wordy, I really had something good going on in 2004. And I was so thin back then! Oh, well. That feels so long ago. Like, so 50 pounds ago.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2003

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2003:. 

 In 2003, I got into Livejournal, and it was quite a doozy as my blogging really took off. At some point, I just started breaking up my thoughts into headings as I currently do, and that's been very helpful in getting me to write a lot more.

I started doing Philosophy thesis statements around this year, which really got me into considering whether or not I should teach after graduation. I was ridiculously grade-conscious, I picked up the words "ruddy" and "Hades" and one of them never left my personal vocabulary, and so many other habits really started kicking in. I think I really established my writing personality by then, and despite changes here and there, it's mostly held.

I was in the running for the Flying Chair's Best Philippine Blog in the 2003 Asian Blog Awards at the time, although the results for that came out the next year. It was really a crazy time for me, and yeah, I was doing a lot of ranting, especially when it came to the fact that FPJ was making it known that he had plans of running for president in 2004.

I was a complete Philosophy junkie by the time I kicked off the year. I was waxing philosophical about anything and everything, and I was filled with inside jokes galore, and it was very clear that I wasn't even trying to write for an audience.

Nonetheless, it felt great and liberating to blog my thoughts unperturbed the way I did. I was writing all sorts of things, and I even came up with a bit that ended up in the Matrix Essays, and I wrote it before Matrix Revolutions came out. A few months later, the article ended up proving prophetic, as it actually accurately predicted the ending of the Matrix Trilogy, which is why I'm exceptionally proud of the entry, perhaps even surpassing this series of posts, where I answered Dr. Bulaong's thesis statements in great detail.

I know, he wasn't a doctor yet at the time, but whatever.

It was during this time where I hung out a lot with the Wednesday group in DLSU and the Otakuboards really occupied a lot of my life and time. Pretty crazy for a guy who didn't own a computer at the time, really. This meant I was typing out all these blog entries in the computer labs, under a time limit.

In any case, inasmuch as I'd like to blog about all of this at length, I must admit that I'm far too preoccupied today because someone very special has been spending the day with me, even if only by Skype.

I'm not gonna blow it this time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2002

.:The 10th Anniversary Retrospective: 2002:.

So I decided to do a retrospective of my blog, featuring maybe my favorite entry from each year or something to that effect, and if I have the time, I could even go into detail with all that while I'm at it.

Not a bad idea, but oh, man. When I looked at my entries in 2002? It was painful to read through them! I mean, seriously. Nowadays, when I make a passive-aggressive post, I cringe while writing it down. Back then? That was almost all I ever did on my blog!

I think I only had one decent post I wouldn't feel bad about people seeing today there, and it was just me putting up info about stuff I researched about the WWF/E.

Despite that, if there's one entry I'd like to highlight for this retrospective, it has to be the first one I ever wrote. I think that even if it had next to no substance to it, it showed a pretty good snapshot of who I was and still am: a guy who may be sheepish about the full extent of what he is as a person, but still goes ahead and lays it all on the line, anyways.

I know this isn't a particularly long retrospective, but I guess it comes with the territory of 2002: back then, I blogged because it seemed like a good idea at the time, and in the middle of this and the stuff I was doing in the E-Fed I was a part of, I was doing an incredible amount of writing as is. Needless to say, this meant I didn't really think much about my blogging and focused more on how my day was, and I used my blog to rant about anything and everything going on in my life, which seemed to be the norm for blogging back in the day - and up to now, although with a little more window dressing in 2012.

When I got into blogging in 2002, I really just thought blogging was such a novel concept. Twitter didn't exist. Friendster was just more or less getting started, I think. Expressing yourself for everyone to see on the internet was a new thing, and it didn't matter if only five to ten people were reading you, you went ahead and blogged anyways. It didn't matter if you didn't make any money from your blog, either, as opposed to how money making or other economic perks seem to now be the main impetus for most blogs, not that there's anything inherently wrong with that.

Today, my blog may be slightly better-written, but the core remains: this is, for all intents and purposes, an online diary. I wear my heart on my sleeve something fierce, after all.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Project 52 (41/52): On This Blog Turning 10 (And How Awesome That Totally Is)

.:Project 52 (41/52): On This Blog Turning 10 (And How Awesome That Totally Is):. 

Ten years ago, I opened a blog. I had no idea what a blog was except that it seemed like “an online diary,” and I remember very distinctly that an old friend, Maia Dumdum, was the one who got me into blogging in the first place. It was a strange and exciting time for me: I realized hardly anyone would probably be reading my blog, I knew it wasn’t my ticket to fame and fortune, but what I understood, deep down was that I was keeping a blog because I wanted to live forever. Through my words. My thoughts. Unless someone deleted the entirety of the interwebz, I knew that my blog would outlive me and hopefully paint a decent and kinda detailed picture of myself. I think.

Well, here I am, ten years hence, still alive and kicking. How does it feel?
Pretty damned amazing, if you ask me.

I must admit that I'm not surprised to find myself still blogging for ten years from when I started. Over the years, I've written insights and commentary on anything and everything. I've gone through so many noticeable changes in my blogging style, and for the most part, I've had great experiences with people who have read and enjoyed my blog.

If anything, the things I do today in my career were born out of this blog: working in digital, doing a ton of mentalism and even comedy shows that people have heard about through my online accounts, and a host of other things I may not have noticed. This blog has been a very significant part of my life, and I couldn't be happier about the fact that it has been so.

But where does this place me in the pantheon of bloggers? Have I really made a significant contribution to the blogosphere that merits recognition or even celebration?

I don't care, actually.

I've been blogging because I wanted to keep the memories alive, even if Alzheimer's struck me tomorrow and attempted to take them all away. I've been blogging because I felt I had something to say, and whether a single person or a million people read what I had to say, I'd have kept on writing, regardless. It isn't for me to say how important my blog has been, and if you asked me to be honest about it, I'd probably say I haven't really done much with my blog beyond putting my thoughts into words in a way that is uniquely me through and through - and for me, that's enough.

I'm not out here to gain fame and worldwide recognition even if I would certainly not say "no" to that if it came my way. I'm not out here to get rich as a blogger, or to even tell everyone that I was doing blogging even before it became way too mainstream. [/hipster]

I'm out here because I exist. Because in the endless cacophony and the Einerlei we find ourselves immersed in, standing out isn't what's important so much as standing up to be counted. I value every entry I write because they are inextricably a part of who I am and what I am becoming, and it's this very thing that makes blogging great insofar as people believe that blogs without "one great idea" aren't relly all that important: that they stand up to be counted makes them very important, indeed. Because they dare. Because I dare.

So I don't really know where I will go from here, except to keep on writing and writing because it is what I know to do. If I touch any lives as I go about doing it, then great. If all it leaves me to do is to say to the universe "I exist," then that, in and by itself, would have been enough, too.

After everything has been said and done, if a blog post is written in the middle of the internet and nobody ever reads it, unlike a tree that may or may not have made a sound if it fell down in the middle of the forest to be heard by nobody, the 1's and 0's making up this post remain and echo throughout the entire history of the internet.

This blog is not a celebration of the mundane: rather, it is a sublimation of the mundane, because when you think about it, your life is made up of 99% mundaneness, and 1% excitement. Could we ever truly say that only 1% of our life is ever of any worth? Certainly not.

Here's to ten years of MisterVader, and may more and more years come, as I continue to grow and evolve as a blogger, not for some great big idea that I stand behind, but simply because this blog has become every bit as human as I have always been, and I couldn't ask for more from this little, almost whimsical thing that I started last October 14, 2002.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Today Was A Good Day...

Yes, it really was.

 First of all, the Supreme Court put out a Temporary Restraining Order against the Cybercrime Law. With everything I have said and done when it comes to that topic, the fact that the Supreme Court has decided to put a halt to it while the bill is refined.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that there are issues with the bill, and it's best to fix them before we put it out in the wild. If people are willingly doing that to the RH Bill, then why should the Cybercrime Law get a pass?

And in the past few days, I've been making some changes that I'm not yet at liberty to discuss. I'm very happy about these changes, needless to say.

But really, I'm very happy because my blog is turning ten years this Sunday. I know I'm not one for much fanfare, but if you've ever read my blog and enjoyed it in the past, all I'm asking is you drop me a line and tell me what your favorite entry of mine is and why. I'd really love to hear it, and it doesn't take much for you to send some affirmation my way. :p

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Quick Pre-Weekend Wrapup...

.:Wrapping Up...:.

It hasn't been an easy week. I'm proud of how productive I've been, though.

First of all, my second article about the Cybercrime Bill is officially the most-read article on the entire 8 List website. I know I expected people to take interest in the topic, but I sure didn't expect that it would get this much coverage. As of today, we've hit about 2,700 likes or so already for the post, and counting. I'm just stunned.

So with all of that, and despite being so occupied here at work that I couldn't help in filing the motion that other bloggers such as Tonyo Cruz, Marocharim, Ade, Tin, and others have, I still found myself in the thick of things, and my tweet on the issue actually ended up on TV.

My odds of getting sued just went way up.

And I'd like to keep running my mouth and cracking jokes about PNoy, Sotto, and all the other "luminaries" who made this abomination of a bill a reality now, but what's the point? They're so petulant and myopic that they probably gained a radar sense to make up for it already.

So I'll leave it at that, really: I've written several articles already, so if anyone wanted to hear more, they can always just follow me on Twitter and ask me there. I'm just too tired to have to add to that.

Speaking of tired, you have no idea what I've been up to this week, and the conversations I've ended up having. Had a double dose of SPIT this week, and even got to drop by Chihuahua's open mic night, where Mike Unson decided to visit. Pretty cool on that count, really, since it was a pleasant surprise to everyone that he showed up there.

Typhoon Marce has come and gone, and I feel like I'm the typhoon, just a whirling dervish the entire week, trying to keep my cool as I went through so many things, even making the decision to turn down a job offer after a lot of careful consideration. Didn't think that would happen.

There's been so many changes as well, and all I could think is how much I miss the warmth. I'm getting there, but I really do feel dazed and confused at the moment. One of them even involves a certain radio station, but I refuse to bring it up until they announce it first...

For now, let me just relish that I've done a good job for this week, and if someone sues me for Cyber-Libel next week, it would be the perfect way to celebrate my 10th year of blogging this coming October 14.

Which reminds me... if my blog has been important enough for you to keep track of, I'm going to try to get people to participate in an experiment come Monday. I just hope I don't get crickets in response.

Have a smashing weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Project 52 (40/52) 2012: On Being A Blogger For Ten Years (And Why The Cybercrime Law Sucks In Light Of It)

.:Project 52 (40/52) 2012: On Being A Blogger For Ten Years (And Why The Cybercrime Law Sucks In Light Of It):.

It's been nearly ten years for myself as a blogger, and I cannot help but feel nostalgic about it. True, I haven't really managed making a comprehensive retrospective for my blog so far, but it has been an amazing ten years, and I hope I will keep on going and blogging for as long as I have the mental faculties to do it.

Or at least, unless nobody ever decides to sue me for whatever I may have blogged here lest I end up in prison over it.

Considering how eager the PNP seems to be to use the Cybercrime Bill to strike down people who speak ill of policemen, we are really going into unchartered territory at this point.

Beware, because they dare.

Ten years of blogging, and today, we come face to face with this. Wow.

Last week, I was part of the Cyberfreedom Forum organized by Senator TG Guingona, and never have I found more to be awed and disappointed by than to discover that only Senator Guingona even bothered to read the Cybercrime bill enough to actually see why it was problematic. Just ask Chiz Escudero, he'd tell you. How could 23 other senators completely miss this or just willfully allow this? Double jeopardy, using the internet as an aggravating circumstance in and by itself, an abridgement of due process, and an archaic libel law upheld in the cyber arena? What were these people even thinking?!?

This isn't even considering so many other ridiculously misguided sections found in the bill that any lawyer worth their salt would be quick to point out to you. It is just a fustercluck of such epic proportions that I can't help but wonder how they could treat the internet with such contempt and such carelessness.

So here I am, celebrating ten years as a blogger. Yet here I am, also standing against these unmistakable transgressions against my rights as a netizen. What should be a moment of celebration for me is instead a moment of trepidation, because I know that while I may not ever get into legal trouble because of my blog, I could be, if it were their whim and fancy, and there's not a damned thing I could do about it if I let it slide now.

The Cybercrime Law is certainly a hot-button topic and I have already written about it on the POC.  Despite that, it bears repeating here on this blog: this is an attack on our freedom. It is the kind of freedom our heroes have died for that we may enjoy it, no matter how trivial or mundane our exercise of the freedom is. That's exactly the whole point of freedom, after all: you get to exercise it as you see fit, within reason. What this law attempts to do is to abridge that freedom in favor of caprice and arbitrariness. At no point are they required to go through due process, and it sickens me that nobody is watching these watchmen as they level veiled threats against us and attempt to villify the internet so as to pretend that their cause is just.

Well, I won't take it. No way, no how. 

I am Marcelle Fabie. I have been a blogger for ten years, writing with a real name to my words.

And I will not be silenced.

We will not be silenced.

Monday, October 01, 2012

29 On The 29th And An Unexpected Eulogy

.:The Birthday Weekend That Was...:.

 It was a very quiet weekend for me, despite everything I was up to. I really spent most of my time contemplating, and talking to someone who really made a difference last weekend, giving me something I never had for the past two years: her time.

 Friday started things out with the IMMAP Open Mic Night, and it was pretty funny that they insisted I be one of the first speakers, facing off with The Mom Blogger on whether or not Twitter influencers should be paid. There were so many interesting things going on that night, even a quick spell where I had to debate the merits of calling myself straight edge with someone, and a reconnection with Wincy Ong, whom I knew from Ateneo and Reedley.

Nonetheless, IMMAP OMN3 was a success, and I was glad to be a part of it. It was also the third anniversary of the Disenchanted Kingdom that night, so yeah. More reasons to celebrate.

Saturday was pretty interesting, what with me dropping by the Morning Rush, and finding myself surrounded by so many rushers that morning. It was surreal how many of us managed to fit there, but it was great to be in familiar ground, especially since my birthday was going to be pretty much unchartered territory for me, except the helping out part.

To cap off my relatively quiet day, I actually went and opened for Mike Unson's comedy show in Grillery, where I debuted a modified set that focused on my relationship jokes. I'm glad it went over pretty well, actually. They ended up surprising me with a cake after the party, replete with a fork design. That was very thoughtful.

Sunday was spent in Bulacan with an old friend, and we watched "The Mistress." Overall, it was a very simple birthday weekend, but it was very meaningful because someone finally greeted me and actually waited me for midnight. I waited for years for this to happen, and all I could say is that after everything has been said and done, it was well worth the wait...

.:An Unexpected Eulogy:.

I never expected that just shortly after meeting him and talking shop with him about random stuff online, my friend and sportscasting legend, Butch Maniego, has passed away.

It saddens me knowing that I would never get to seat myself across him in a prerelease tournament anymore. It saddens me knowing that I can't joke around with him on Twitter any longer. It saddens me I will never get to read his 8 List article that I was hoping would have killer insights about Philippine basketball, if not Philippine sports. It also saddens me to know that he was also friends with someone dear to me, and neither of us even knew until today.

I wonder what he would have said to either of us if he knew? I wonder what more conversations we could have had with each other especially now? Would things have been different for us?

I don't really know what to say. I've only been friends with him so briefly, yet as a part of countless sportscasting teams over the years, it's like I've known him all my life already. I so want to say so many things to him, but maybe I'll get to tell him these things some other way.

For now, I guess I can't help but feel an immense amount of regret, knowing that I never got to speak to him enough times before he passed on. He was a fountain of wisdom and pragmatism. And he was, through everything, a great person.

Thank you for having been a part of my life, Butch. You will sincerely and truly be missed.