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“Amplifying Peace Across Borders” by Anne Elicano

Ladies and gents, I’m proud to share with you a piece written by a good friend – well she was more than just a good friend. Anne, my ex former girlfriend back in college (we agreed never to call each other “ex” because it didn’t sound right) had a huge achievement to share with me a few days ago. She was always a good writer and I knew she would go places in one way or another. She recently won the International Essay Contest for Young People (2007) on the topic of Amplifying Peace Across Borders. Her current line of work has something to do with human rights, governance and politics.

Ironically, Anne was also the reason why Yuga and I met for the first time. I was invited to give a talk on podcasting for the FNF, while Abe went on with the blogging seminars (the reason why Abe travels so much now – the lucky dog 🙂 ). Sadly, I was not able to make it for that stint.

This is not a political blog, but Anne shares a common thought that echoes in the minds of the technologically blessed. The Internet can really bring people closer together, or can be a tool for strife and controversies.

It is clear that, in this “information age”, peacemakers are not those who remain silent in the sidelines for the sake of harmony. Bono does it with his music and anonymous writers in Iran do it with their blogs. It is a relief to know that, with media and communication technologies, there are several platforms for peacemakers to speak out.

You can read the full essay here. Congratulations Anne! You really deserved it.

On another more personal note, how many of you can say that you’ve remained friends with your ex? I dunno. I still talk to my past girlfriends. Except one. Because she’s really crazy. 😛

A Kape Isla Invitation


Props to the owners of Kape Isla, that little coffee shop at the entrance of Serendra, right across Market! Market! There’s more to the quaint coffee shop than meets the eye. In fact, some people may think that the establishment is a bit out of place compared to the other restaurants in the area. Truth be told, Kape Isla is a “coffee museum” that is supported by the Philippine Coffee Board. Yes, it is an NGO.

Kape Isla is the Philippine Coffee Board’s cooperative marketing program. The Board issues the Kape Isla name as a national umbrella label for coffee to signify that a coffee product uses Philippine-grown coffee beans. The label is used in tandem with existing brand names and blend trademarks as a complimenting label to signify its Philippine origin.

The marketing and events of the establishment is being handled by Rock Ed Philippines and Gang Badoy. I’m helping out as well promote the establishment as a truly Filipino coffee shop that’s geek friendly as well. The coffee is affordable, strong and can be accompanied with free wireless Internet (Serendra itself also has free WiFi but Kape Isla is a good alternative if you want to spend a few hours working on something on your laptop).

Blog and Soul will be doing a small event at Kape Isla sometime during the latter part of the month.

There’s a rumor that the Bayanihan Blog Network might be doing their official launch there very soon 😉

Thanks for the Greetings!


Surprisingly, a lot of people greeted before November 3. I even got an advanced birthday cake from a good friend. I’ll be spending my birthday somewhere in Jakarta, Indonesia for work related matters till the 7th (I made sure I would be back by the 7th, as Apple launches Leopard in the PH on the 8th). Nope, this trip has nothing to do with blogs and such. It’s enough to say that I’m helping a multinational company enter the Philippines. It’s really just some copywriting here and there. I’ll be moving about Indonesia and Malaysia for the next seven days.

And I’ll be alone for my birthday tomorrow 🙁 *sniff*

Oh noes! Macintosh-only Trojan!

My gosh! I am speechless! This can only mean that the Macintosh’s market share is really increasing, putting Mac users at an awkward position for attacks. This is the inevitable turnout for these sorts of things.

Miscreants have released a sophisticated Trojan into the wild that targets Mac users, according to Intego, a company that markets security software that runs on OS X.

The malicious Trojan, dubbed OSX.RSPlug.A, is making the rounds on several porn websites. When Mac users try to view some videos, the site feeds them a page that says QuickTime is unable to play the file unless a special codec is installed first. If the user proceeds, a form of DNSChanger is installed that hijacks some web requests sent to eBay, PayPal and some banking websites, according to this write-up from Intego. [Oh noes!]

Such is the price of beauty!

b5media Tech Channel Openings

I am looking for the following:

VoIP Blogger to take over a VoIP blog that’s set for launch very soon.

SEO / SEM Blogger to take over an existing b5media blog.

iPhone Blogger to take over an existing blog that was recently acquired by b5media.

Also, I have two slots available for blog acquisitions or for starting new concept technology blogs. If you have a pitch or technology blog that you feel can be a part of our network, please send them to www.b5media.com/jobs.

N.B. For interested applicants, please course all applications to the jobs page listed above. I cannot process applications if they were left as comments here. 🙂

Naruto Clash of Ninja: Two Shadow Clones Up!

Got a copy of Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolution for the Wii yesterday. Although I have a scheduled trip to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta tomorrow, I’ve forgotten the time: been too busy unlocking characters from the Story Mode.


Who ISN’T a fan of Naruto? Was able to grab a copy of the English version of Clash of Ninja Revolution (Gekitou Ninja Taisen in Japan which was released in 2003 for the GameCube) a few days ago and have been enjoying the experience of performing the Naruto’s Rasengan, Kakashi’s thousand years of pain, Sasuke’s Sharingan, and the other popular jutsu we’ve come to love in the animated series and comics. Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolution can be enjoyed in two ways – using the classic / GameCube controller or the WiiMote + nunchuck combination. As an old school gamer, I’ve always had a hard time adjusting to the WiiMote for these street fighter genres.


Happy Internet to launch WiMax service in 2008


it seems like everybody is launching their own WiMax network. Abe mentioned Globe launching one in 2008, but assuming this is true, they are going to have a hard time justifying the price as HSDPA currently costs P3,000.00 a month. What more for a 4G WiMax dongle + service fees? You can’t just implement a WiMax network and expect peoples’ laptops to be compatible.

WiFi runs on a 2.4GHz frequency but WiMax runs on something completely different. Another dongle for us consumers to purchase then – or buy a new laptop in 2008 with Intel’s new certified WiMax doodie built in. Consumers who are currently paying P3,000.00 for Globe Visibility may want to rethink their options if Globe is really going to go WiMax in 2008.


Met with the Happy Internet marketing head, Marvin Cruz (he’s Microsoft PH engineer #001) over coffee. Happy Internet has been around for the past five years, albeit in a different form. Marvin and the rest of the 40 strong individuals of Happy Communications are supposedly here to make a difference. But yeah, we’ve heard that before. So let’s see what exactly Happy Internet has to offer.

PageRank restored to 5/10. Google issues warning on selling links

I was over at Mindanao Bob’s place last night when he pointed out Darren’s post about Google PR swinging back once more. ProBlogger.net is back up to PR 6/10. Over here, my PageRank has also been restored to its original 5/10. According to Darren, this fluctuation was confirmed to be a warning shot fired by Google for bloggers who engage in the selling of text links.

I’ve had confirmation now from two sources at Google that this latest round of updates was ALL about the selling of text links. You can see Jeremy Twittered the same thing here. Some of those who have had their updates reversed today were falsely penalized for selling links (like ProBlogger which used to do it but stopped months back).

This latest furore has all been about the selling of links and is a warning shot to bloggers and webmasters who engage in the practice. Of course not everyone who sells links has been hit (there’s no way Google will get everyone) but it’s a sign of what Google are continuing to crack down on.

PageRank is just a number. But to the blogging economy, it spells the difference between earning so much more from your blog. Darren writes the pros and cons about this move by Google but outlines, as we would all be advised, to not be stat crazy and to just focus on our content.

I assume that when Darren refers to “selling links” he refers to sites that openly hard sell links on their site. Here’s a read. This may also have something to do with the nofollow tag as well. But I may be mistaken. Anybody care to clarify?

On another interesting note, the LinkWorth blog shows their stand on the matter. It’s a very good read. What are they saying? Basically, don’t let Google bully you. PR is just a number:

Unless you’re listed on the first page for your keywords, why would it matter if you were spotted by Google and PR dropped? Money in your pocket is money in your pocket! Don’t give it back because you have less green in your toolbar! Just remove the toolbar and go with the flow, keep the ads, add more ads and continue writing great content on your site.

Diving at Paradise Island, Davao City


Diving. Unlike basketball, football, volleyball and badminton, where winning is defined by the number of points your team scores by the end of the game, the objective of diving is different: don’t die.

We went diving over the weekend at the Paradise Island, a good 15 minute drive from Davao City, and though it may not be the best diving spot in Davao, it was still an experience. I’m hooked. We weren’t too adventurous as 20 feet deep was the most we went. I think Anton Sheker is planning a dive soon. Stay tuned.

More photos after the jump.

b5media and our Board of Advisors

A great part of the reason why I joined b5media in 2005 was to expand my horizons with well known International bloggers. A few days ago, Rick Segal announced the official listing of the b5media advisory board. Among the board members are famous “blogtoonist” Hugh MacLeod, blogging star Robert Scoble, Doc Searls, Stowe Boyd, and Renee Blodgett. I’m not exactly sure what the dynamics of the group will bring forth but according to Stowe, their first board meet seems to be happening at CES.

Jeremy has a post up about why there was a need for a board of advisors.

Wow, more blogging stars! b5media has gone a long way since 2005. 🙂

Ingress at the Mindanao Blogger Summit

Spent the night at the NCCC mall for the ingress of the Mindanao Bloggers Summit. The evening was summarized by a lot of eating, Nintendo DS and moving stuff around.

Big day tomorrow!

Rejoice! Leopard is here!

I’m miles away from the Leopard store launch in Greenbelt (allegedly, all the Apple Powermac employees are in Leopard spots make up). But this is the most I can give. I videotaped the countdown to Zero Hour.

Was honestly expecting something grand to happen to the site. But still, I’m such a geek. Such an Apple Geek.

Our First Certificate of Recognition!


Juned: It was fun

Jayvee: Is that the correct word?

Juned: It was fulfilling!

We talked about blogs, blogging, and using blogs as a teaching instrument in lesson plans. According to the teachers, high school students are very familiar with Friendster blogs as their means of self expression. Why not channel this enthusiasm into a learning tool in the classroom? The teachers were very receptive and although the session was short, we’re working on phase two of our school penetration program. We’ll be working with the top journalism students of Lagro National High School and help them use blogs in a number of class projects. The possibilities are numerous. [Blog and Soul]

Thank you to Arpee and Juned for working on this project. Do you want to volunteer your time to talk about blogs to students? Click here.

Google PR is just a number and this is my miracle explanation why

Putting things in perspective, I believe the issue about the Google PR numbers game is at most, a relative discourse. Yuga says that bloggers should not rely on Google PageRank and Riz exposes the idea that PageRank is a wonky statistic.

Let me give an analogy of how Google PageRank works in the light of print industry. In the beginning, a lot of media buyers would rely on ONE thing when it came to advertising on print. That THING would be the claimed circulation figures that a publishing sales team would present forward. Anybody could claim a readership of 10,000 copies nationwide but in reality the print run receipt would only amount to 1,500 copies. How bad! How evil! But why is this done? There would be such arbitrary things to consider such as pass on readership figures which were all transcribed from an in house formulae which nobody had any idea how it was calculated.


Magazine stand visibility was another thing. So many of the same mag issue adorned the wooden displays at bookstores. Did it mean that the magazine sold well? No. Not really. It could simply mean that the particular issue was overstocked. There was so much market visibility BECAUSE there was very little conversion to sales. And magazine stands wouldn’t care less anyway as they stock on consignment.

What’s my point? There are so many things going on when it comes to determining what really brings influence forward. A magazine may only have 1,000 readers but what if their ads are all targeted towards the market? Advertisers still don’t realize this because the truth is, they don’t want to, and don’t have the time to dwell on such things. That’s the broker’s job.

The Google PageRank issue is proof that the online publishing / advertising industry is still in its infancy. PageRank, Technorati links, actual traffic … these are but figures which are arbitrarily defined by the industry as measures for influence and reach. But there has to be a system somewhere – a system that’s easy to understand and Google has made that system a no brainer for advertisers to grasp, using a scale of 1 to 10. And hey, who can contradict the number 1 company in the world? That’s advertising made simple.

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