A Muse

I am writing again.

I have been absent from cyberspace for more than a year.  The alibis and excuses are as numerous as the stars in heaven; Some sublime, some ridiculous.

Tonight, out of pure whim, I logged in.  And found a comment from someone completely a stranger to me who happened to be “just passing through.”  He said I wrote some good stuff.  And that did it.

Whether he was sincere or just being courteous, does not matter.

What does matter is that I am writing again, for myself.  And I am glad!



Copy of the Message of the Honorable City Mayor, PEDRO B. ACHARON, JR. for the delegates of the 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit held on October 25, 2008 at the Family Country Hotel and Convention Center, General Santos City.

The message, in toto, was delivered by the Honorable City Councilor, Margareth Rose N. Santos.


 Magandang Gensan . . .

 In your language, I am a newbie.  Although, I am an active advocate of cyber technology as can be gleaned from the numerous ICT projects or ICT-support programs of the LGU, I am regrettably not tech-savvy.  

Much effort was made in order for me to deliver this message.  I have to educate myself, in order not to be off-course.  The more I learned, the more I admired this new medium called “weblog.”

Blogs, as personally published documents, can be liberating and at some point stress busting.  Imagine, stay at home mothers, gone are the days when they are cut-off from the world.  Not only are they up-to-date with their surroundings and even beyond; they can share their joys and woes of motherhood and exchange parenting tips with other parents.  Imagine flourishing poets and writers, gone are the days that they have to wait months or years for a publishing house to notice their works.  Now they can publish their literary pieces at their convenience and at the comfort of their own homes.  Imagine emerging businesses, market placement and business matching was at the mercy of resource entities.  Now they make themselves known over the internet and make personal correspondences with visitors and clients. At some instances and under the cloak of anonymity, you and me, can project frustrations and express true opinions about work, politics, or religion.  Indeed, on a deeply personal level, blogging is empowering.

 However, the question before me is, how can this medium, this new source of power, be used for Mindanao?

 Let us consider the benefits of B.L.O.G. and discover how Mindanao can and will be transformed.

“B” in blog means better communications.  As blogs are personal publications over the internet, it provides a chance to share experience and expertise to a wider audience.  Mindanao Island, our home, has been plagued by and subjected to negative publicity for too long. Today, we say, “no more!”  There is now an alternative to the traditional media agencies.  We are the alternative.  The power to correct or verify news about peace and order situations, business climate, or political issues.  Blogging provides us with the avenue to educate the rest of the country and the world the beauty of our people, the richness of our history and culture, the serenity of our land- and seascapes, the modernity of our infrastructure, and the vibrancy of our economy.  Decades ago, Mindanao was the land of promise.  Today, bloggers will make it the land of fulfillment.

 “L” in blog means lower cost.  Blogging is a cost effective alternative to traditional broadcasting or media printing. It is an inexpensive method to amplify personal voice and views or get business going over the internet.  This “L” is an accessory to our earlier “B”.

 “O” is for opportunities. Blogging presents a multitude of opportunities for the user.  Information for personal and relationship development, family and home improvement, career enhancements, financial advancement, and many others are available at a few clicks.  These informations can lead to or create opportunities for the blogger.  Opportunities which may also be relevant for the continuing growth of Mindanao.

  “G” obviously refers to global.  Global in terms of reach and scope.  Global in terms of magnitude and importance. 

 Ladies and gentlemen, fellow Mindanaon… the topic assigned to me today was “Empowering the Bloggers in Mindanao.”     Yet, after having delved into the subject of blog and blogging – – I concluded that bloggers do not need to be empowered.  For there, within each blogger’s grasp is the awesome power of multimedia, the power to inform and be informed, and the power to educate and be educated.  The only thing required is for the blogger to be aware of it.  What is most significant today is the challenge for the empowered blogger to empower Mindanao. 


Magandang Gensan sa muli and happy blogging!

Praises for Avel

To God be the Glory!  And thank God for people like Avel Manansala!

Kuyavel plays many significant roles in my life; as mentor, friend, talent agent, talent manager, and critique.  He is the instrument of my personal, professional and artistic growth.

In 2000, Kuyavel became my talent manager and agent when the KTV Bar of Anchor Hotel was re-engineered and the management decided to take on Videoke Masters to host their nightly operations.  Together with Nestor Almerante and Ryan Velasco, we braved Gensan’s “resistance” to hosted/emceed videoke-ing.  I look back to that time with much fondeness as it was one of the happiest phases of my life. My nights were filled with laughter, music and free booze.  It was good to know that despite initial apprehensions of Anchor’s patrons, we became a big hit!  The KTV Bar became a “must-go” gimik venue in Gensan.

But, just when things started to get better… Kuyavel left for Kuala Lumpur to join the circus!

There are stories to be told about that, but its Kuyavel’s to tell.  Nevertheless, I stayed on at the KTV Bar for awhile but eventually, left the scene too.  Like the majestic eagles, the mentors leave the young in order to make them stronger.  Kuyavel left to make me soar.  (After thought: NO, he did not join the circus as an eagle!)

In 2004, we joined forces again.  This time for government service. 

Have you heard of the saying “Power is intoxicating”?  I believe that this is the curse that plagued the Private Secretary post at Gensan City Mayor’s Office.  Of all my years in service in that office, I have seen a ghost, a bird and an emperor fill that position.  They started very well, sincere in their intentions for public service and noble in their actions.  In due time, their speech, manner of dressing, demeanor, and general attitude are visibly transformed… revealing the effects of the curse from within.  They strut about as if somebody important, yet the quality of the work was abyssmal.  As their egos inflate, their jobs deflate.  

All, except one. KUYAVEL. He was the only person holding that position who was immune to the curse.  He was speech-writer, media liaison, advance party, appointment officer, confidante.  Yet, all the while he was able to keep his lovable, huggable, amiable, efficient self intact.

Well, he no longer holds that position now.  But we are still together in the same office, upholding each other’s sanity as we face the daily challenges of public service.

Recently, Kuyavel is the reason why I’m keeping a journal again.  “Mag-blog ka lagi ‘Let.  Sayang yang utak mo!” (After thought:  I will not translate his words to English.  The essence will be lost in translation.)

I admit that it took awhile before I cracked.  I realize that I have been writing (some good, some bad, some worth publishing, some not worth recycling) for other people.  Always assuming their personalities and seldom taking credit for the good ones.  After numerous years of doing that, I got accustomed in letting other people have ownership of my thoughts.  Anonymity is my comfort zone.  Publishing my thoughts or exposing my views is the same as opening myself to rejection, criticism or ridicule.

“‘Let,I remember a time when nobody could step on you or get the better of you.  What happened?”

“I got married, had kids and gone old.”  I answered.

Girl, I don’t like what you have become! ”  he replied.

That line did it. 

Thank you Kuyavel for setting me free.