The End

I can’t believe that this is actually my final blog so I’ll keep this short. My last first semester went by pretty fast and I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. It’s that feeling that you know you’re tired of school and being stressed but enjoying your time as a student. Its tough and I actually have the best of both worlds since I’m already working although I don’t really feel like what I do know (nature of my job) is work since I’m having loads of fun not to mention my work hours. This is why I cannot picture myself at an office for 8 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. UGH. It’s kind of like how people when they’re young want to grow up faster but then wish they were younger once they hit their twenties (I can attest to this). In the same way, I am sort of relieved that school is almost done despite the fact that the finish line seems so near yet so far.

I really can’t talk about what took place last Saturday (October 17) since I was absent because I was still suffering the repercussions of my ulcers (my stupid diet and fault) and fever but I was able to help my group mates and I heard that our podcast was a hoot. It was too bad though that I never got to hear the finished product. We had fun recording it as well.

I won’t pretend that this blog entry is late so I will also talk about our final project which was to create a communication plan for the organization that was assigned to us – the PGH Medical Foundation, Inc. (PGHMFI). It took us a good 1 night only overnight last Friday to Saturday and constant meetings before that to make everything come together. We slept over at Jess’ house and although we weren’t complete, we were able to work pretty well and we split up the work afterwards. Our group was pretty efficient considering that other groups slept over for 2 days or more. These are moments when we’re just glad to have the Internet so that file sharing and print screens make everything possible.

We have a couple of photos of our little sleepover but Jess has them. It was sort of a bummer that school extended especially since my BIRTHDAY was on the day of our presentation (thanks Sir haha) and Kc also had her birthday last October 23 so we both bought ice cream (although I paid for most of it. Heehee).

Also, there was a bit of a chicken pox scare because Sam had the chicken pox after the OrCom Silver and I have NEVER had the pox which was I bought a mask when she slept over although I eventually took it off but Sam would constantly tease me about wanting to hug me or sneeze. Thankfully, I am fine and got better from my ulcers.

And since I am writing this after our presentation, it went pretty well and I’m just glad that Sir Barry, Dr. Alvior, and Madam Inton who were the panelists, appreciated our effort and ideas. Plus, I was exceptionally glad that despite my fast forward mode of presenting the changes we wanted to implement on the website, Sir Barry was smiling the entire time I was explaining everything. I even heard stories from Vianne after. Haha.

Thanks for choosing my birthday to be the presentation day. Haha. I’m kidding but its all good. Everything went fine anyway. 😀 Overall, we did pretty well and we didn’t get that many negative comments which is good enough for us. Yippee!

This class was pretty cool. We learned more about new social media and it seemed like the semester went by really quick. What a way to end a blog and an entire semester. Haha. 😛 Thanks for everything Sir Barry! 😀

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October 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 6 comments.

The Bittersweet Internet

Since I didn’t update my blogs as often as I should, I will add one more entry to not really make up for it but because I have a couple more stories that I want to share.

Everyone has a social networking site. My entire family has one and unlike others (again, no one in particular) I don’t dread having them as my contacts since I don’t post anything that they don’t already know. My mom was actually able to reconnect with her former classmates, distant relatives, and friends who are all over the country.

Even I was able to find my friends from elementary school and this made me really happy since I lived in three different countries during my first 10 years of life. I thought of looking for my classmates on Facebook and I actually created a MySpace account since that’s used by kids in the US. I actually found my best friend back in the 2nd grade at the Jakarta International School and I was absolutely positive that she wouldn’t remember me but she did which made me extremely happy. Her mom’s Indonesian and her dad’s German and now she’s going to a university in Bath, UK and she still looks the same way she was back then but even prettier. I also scanned our class picture and she tagged some of my other classmates. I was also able to find my friends and classmates in the 4th and 5th grade at Sta. Barbara School in Guam. Amazing.

My 2nd Grade Class Picture at the Jakarta International School ('96-'97)

My 2nd Grade Class Picture at the Jakarta International School ('96-'97)

This why the “Sweet” part of the Internet – interconnectivity and reuniting with old friends is possible.

The “Bitter” part comes in thanks to my little sister but I won’t put all the blame on her because I am guilty of doing the exact same thing. I’m talking about being distracted. Instead of focusing on what you have to do for school, you just have to check your Facebook or Twitter before doing anything and eventually spend hours chatting, looking at photos, or updating statuses. UGH. My mom has officially grounded my sister from using these sites along with the YM since she needs to focus more on school. Although I tend to do the same, back when I was high school or grade school, the Internet wasn’t as accessible or as popular and I think that was a good thing since I focused more on getting things done as compared to my being distracted now. 😛

October 26, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

A Week of No School…

…means a whole lot of Internet, well for most people anyway. With the aftermath of Ondoy, classes were suspended for a whole week which left most kids (who weren’t seriously affected by the typhoon) with absolutely nothing to do.

This is the blog entry for October 03, 2009 when the OrCom Silver was moved to but was postponed yet again because of another pending typhoon.

The transition from September to October wasn’t so smooth because of the typhoons that struck the country. A lot of events were postponed and even the classes were put on hold since recovery from the storms took some time. And because classes were suspended, kids were all stuck at home left with nothing to do but surf the Net. On almost a daily basis, a number of my contacts on the numerous social networking sites were online all day taking quizzes on Facebook or talking to each other over Twitter. It’s incredible how people cannot even last a day without poking into other people’s business. Admit it, when you go online, you just have to check out these sites even without updating anything. Its madness I tell you, and even celebrities are hooked. During the suspension of classes, people were itching to go to school out of boredom. I also know of some people who chat over Twitter even when they’re tables away at a café (and I won’t be pointing any fingers).

Television, cable, and cinemas are at risk of losing their spunk because everything is at your fingertips. You want the latest episode of your favorite show or the brand new single from your favorite artist? Try the word download.

So the next time you find yourself bored, remember that the Internet exists and that if you get sick and tired of your regular Internet habits, you can always try something new. But you’ll have to come up with a whole other game plan when it comes to power or blackouts.

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

One Hell of A Crazy Storm

First of all, can I just say that I cannot believe I have not written a blog for a month? That is soooo not me, but I am now attempting to redeem myself by creating concise and hopefully, meaningful blogs to make up for the lost time.

This blog is for the week of September 26, 2009 – original date of the OrCom Silver Anniversary.

We didn’t have class that day because there was supposed to be a morning and afternoon conference. I excused myself from the conference since I had to switch timeslots at work to give way to hosting the OrCom Silver that night. It was already raining when I was at work from 6-9am and boy, was I glad that I switched because no one was able to come to work after that. People who did attend the conference at school either had to face the waist deep or sleepover at school. I was home with my mom, sister, yaya, and aunt who slept over because she couldn’t go home. (Don’t worry I’ll be getting to my point soon.) And the reason I found out about everything was via the Internet.

People weren’t texting that they were stuck at school – they were tweeting and updating their statuses on Facebook. It was also through these sites that people sent out messages to encourage others to help out and donate during the aftermath of the storm.

Just goes to show how amazing technology can be. Some people no longer text to inform but instead update their social networking sites before anything else. I know some people who are able to access the Internet on their mobile phones and tweet about being lost or stuck in traffic. The same phenomenon is taking place even on the other side of the world. Ashton Kutcher had a scare with the private jet that he and Demi Moore owned and instead of calling 911, he tweeted about it. Twitter was the same reflex Perez Hilton had after a supposed violent incident with Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas.

People actually want the whole world to know before calling 911. So the next time you’re in a mess or a bad situation, don’t forget to tweet about it. 🙂

October 20, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Change

I think this one word explains it all. Everything has undergone change or better yet, a revolution and hopefully, it’s for the better. 🙂

We were fortunate to have a speaker that day (although I had no clue despite the email that was sent out and come to think of it, I don’t think I ever receive any of the class emails. Haha) and there’s a funny story that comes along with this. Sir Barry assigned Jess and I to sort of usher our guests and wait for them at the gates (this was probably because we were sort of wearing matching outfits that day. Haha. Colored tank tops, jeans, doll shoes, and a black cover up – to preserve our Maria Clara image. Haha). We were told that the plate number ended with the numbers 444 so we figured that they’d park in the CAS parking lot. After waiting for over half an hour, we were called back only to find out that the speaker was already there. Haha. How embarrassing, but I convinced myself that he probably was dropped off at the small gate which is why we missed him in the first place.

Today was also the day we had to pass our SMR and I did mine on the Gerry’s Grill branch in Ortigas. It was really convenient for me since I live really close to Emerald Ave. where Strata 2000 is located. This was actually Jess’ contact from last year’s PR group project (I wasn’t a part of it since I skipped PR last semester for my radio job, but will eventually take it next semester) but it was a good thing that they had a new manager which it makes it sort of different from what they might have did last year.

I also contacted my boss, the owner of the radio station I work for, because aside from owning Mellow (FBS Radio Network), he also owns all the Chili’s and Texas Roadhouse branches and I was aiming for Texas Roadhouse in El Pueblo since that’s still in Ortigas and super near my place of residence. Unfortunately, he didn’t wasn’t me to do an SMR on Texas Roadhouse for reasons he couldn’t disclose but he did endorse me to Chili’s which was either in Greenbelt or Greenhills, so decided at the last minute to do Gerry’s Grill instead. 🙂

Back to our speaker, he was quite the interesting fellow and had a lot of really good credentials. Mr. Paolo Pangan works for Yehey Corporation and he gave an awesome talk on what or how the Internet has truly revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives. He started off with a video called “Shift Happens” which gave interesting facts on the Internet which was followed by a powerpoint. It pointed out that via the Internet, anyone can be a publicist, an entrepreneur, a broadcaster, and even a DJ (everyone cracked up at that, but we all know that mixing songs is possible via Internet programs).

A new breed of “prosumers” has been created where consumers can also be producers and vice versa. WEB 2.0 was a world where people were formerly known as merely the audience, but now, the Net has empowered the users to be able to do more and be heard louder – empowerment.

The shift and changes that have and need to be done are from being active to passive, macro to micro, fixed to portable, static to live, messages to interaction, and many more.

According to statistics, over 28 million Filipinos who are online, which means there is 33% Internet penetration. And it’s no surprise that 83% of Filipinos that are online make use of social networking sites while 98.6% watch YouTube. Lastly, the top sites in the Philippines a couple of years back were: 

  1. Yahoo!
  2. Facebook
  3. Friendster
  4. YouTube
  5. Google

The final message of the entire talk was pretty striking which perfectly describes how we should act not only on the Internet, but in all things was “Don’t Shout. Listen.”

It was a pretty awesome day and I definitely learned a lot which reaffirms many people’s belief that somehow we can no longer live without the existence of the Net since everything we do is possible when we’re online. 🙂

September 22, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

This is How We Roll

This Saturday’s class (Sept. 12) was all about looking back on traditional PR practices (which are still used by most PR firms) and innovating PR by means of the Internet which is practical because it connects people no matter where they may be in the world. But before that, the respective groups in class had to report on how effectively they promoted their viral videos. Everyone made use of their respective social-networking sites and all other possible means including sending group text and instant messages over the YM just to make sure people would find out about it and check it out. I am even guilty of taking advantage of my job by promoting it on my radio show, but that’s part of the perks of having my own show and set of loyal listeners. 😛

I’ve posted videos in the past on my public Facebook account and they’re pretty viral. Haha. They were probably even more viral than the video my group made and it’s probably because it makes me look pretty stupid. My latest is a 23-second video that I made for kicks at one of my Sunday radio shows. I played one of my favorite 80s tracks from Michael Jackson (Rock with You) and I started dancing and even attempted a moonwalk. I got a bunch of comments which has actually motivated me to shoot more. Haha. 😛 I already posted that embarrassing video on my public account and even got comments there too. 😛 Going to back to the groups’ videos, most of us got a good deal of views but for some they weren’t really able to achieve what they initially had as a goal in making the video.

After that took up three-fourths of the class period, we had quite an intense discussion on PR and how it has revolutionized thanks to the Internet. We also pointed out the differences between online marketing and online PR especially since they are often thought of being overlapping or similar subject matters, when in fact they aren’t.

With that discussion, we were assigned to create our very own Social Media Release on a store or establishment of our choice that’s due at our next meeting. 🙂

September 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

What has the World Become?

Yeah, don’t be fooled by the title. This entry is still very much related to New Social Media and the Internet but I have a very good and substantial explanation as to why I gave my blog this title. Today at class, we delved into the world of Wikis and Podcasts and learned the nitty-gritty of each tool.

When I first encountered Wikipedia back in high school, during the process of research on certain subject matters, I always thought that it was kind of peculiar – a website that could easily be edited by just anybody at the click of a button. It’s no wonder why most teachers and other professionals in the academe, FORBID their students to use wikis as their source of information. However, most of the stuff we find on Wikipedia pretty much conforms to the research we get on other more reliable sources but the only danger again here is that it is easily editable which may make some information inaccurate.

During class, I realized that there were a lot of sites that host wikis and that wikis serve as useful in a lot of industries especially in business. I just might actually use wikis in the near future when doing certain projects. 🙂

Podcasts on the other hand are a pretty cool invention. Most people mistaken me for being more drawn towards sound because of my current occupation, but it actually depends. Podcasts in the business industry are mostly done in the form of interviews or tips which may bore someone who isn’t interested in the subject matter, so selective listening is important. Satellite radio is very much similar to podcast radio shows except that with podcasts, you can take your favorite radio show anywhere you go and listen to it at any time of the day. That might be something I wanna try in the near future. 🙂

Overall, both podcasts and wikis are both awesome Internet-based tools that can be created and moderated by anybody who has Net access and a microphone and/or webcam (for podcasts). This leads us back to my blog’s title which is “What has the world become?” A question asked my many who have yet to embrace the wonders of technology and the Internet. Who knows that in the not-so-distant future, we just might find ourselves in a world where encyclopedias and the mainstream forms of media eventually become obsolete and maybe all we have left is the Internet.  🙂

September 21, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Remind Me Again, Why Do We Blog?

Here is yet another late blog post but I strongly hold on to and believe in the saying, “Better late than never,” so here goes nothing :).

 Last Saturday (and I’m referring to August 29, just in case you got lost in all the “last Saturdays” I put on my blogs) we tackled the concept of Micro and Corporate Blogging as well as the status of Blogging not only in the Philippines but also on a global scale.

 It’s funny how I have never ever come across a corporate blog or if ever I did, I probably didn’t recognize it as a corporate blog and it’s actually no surprise since the percentage of professional blogs are relatively quite low. Blogs are used by people mostly as online diaries or journals which focus on the personal aspect of their lives rather than talk about specific topics like business.

I used to be a blogger myself but never wrote blogs on a regular basis. I used to post blogs on my now-outdated Multiply site and they would usually be products of really strong surges of emotion and angst against a certain situation or person plus, it was something I did when I was bored at my former workplace where I would tutor Koreans online part-time. Actually, come to think of it, I finally remember why I said goodbye to blogs in the first place. It was around a year ago when I vowed never ever to blog again, but I guess Sir Barry changed that. Haha. I don’t really want to go into the gory details of why I decided to stop blogging but to sum it up in a few words or phrases, I sort of blind-itemed a “friend” of mine and called him an asshole. Haha. Wow, right? Nice Job Alex. But he was and still is that exact adjective, although I did apologize sincerely and deleted the blog. Turns out, my descriptions were pretty obvious to other people who read it and they told him about it. 

If you’ve ever come across my blogs, they are usually super lengthy and I don’t even try to cut or break them up into paragraphs because that’s sort of my little strategy to turn people off from reading them. My classmates and friends from UP Manila are the only ones who even try to read them and comment. I guess that’s the problem I see in blogs, it’s too public. This may be a good thing for people who want the stuff they write about to be read but if your intention is to write your deepest darkest secrets, I say stick to the conventional padlocked, handwritten diary or journal you used to keep as a child. At least you know your secrets are safe. 🙂 This also reminds me of a time when I posted a metaphorical blog which I was hoping no one would get or understand but two people did. I obviously deleted that blog too, but I should have already learned from that incident. Tsktsk. Alex plus her random thoughts spells trouble. I’m just glad that this blog can keep me on the safe side of things or at least I think so. 🙂

September 10, 2009. Tags: , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Embracing Technology and New Social Media

This week’s meeting was all about one of our group projects, which was to track down and look into organizations that make active and consistent use of new social media in any manner that is beneficial to the corporation or at least that’s how I understood it and that’s how it was supposed to be. Due to the increment weather and horrible flood, not many people were able to make it to class that Saturday while the others were forgivably late.

I will attempt to make this a much shorter blog as compared to all the others that way it won’t be such a hard read and this will only be possible if I talk about our group’s report and simply discuss the others as concisely as possible.

Our group was able to get 3 organizations namely, Mellow 94.7 (yippee), ABS-CBN (one of their umbrella projects) and Aboitiz (also one of their umbrella projects). Although we did this at the last minute which was the day before, it turned out pretty well.

Mellow 94.7 was a primary choice because we do use new social media all the time to interact and update our listeners and my fellow DJs are always more than willing to help me out. Dianne aka Chloe is the person that frequently posts stuff on our Multiply so she was the best person to talk to. From our Mellow website to the Mellow Interactive website down to the almost phased-out Yahoo Messenger and Friendster, to our active Multiply account, and individual public Twitter and Facebook pages, all these channels are made available and are of easy access to listeners who want to get to know and interact with their favorite jocks. Plus, the pages are updated by the DJs themselves giving it a more personal touch that makes the fans actually feel like they are connected to their choice jocks.

ABS-CBN has always been known for embracing new social media by having various interactive sites for their TV shows, movies, news and public affairs programs, and other special ad-hoc segments like the one we chose to cover which focused on the upcoming presidential elections. Aboitiz, whose main industry revolves around shipment, has a number of special services and we focused on 2Go.

Overall, I thought our presentation was pretty good and the comments made were mostly positive. As for the other groups, some of the organizations they got either had a vague use of new social media or made use of new social media as merely a secondary avenue for whatever purpose it served and not necessarily as a primary venue or channel, thus making it an unsuccessful venture generating a number of questions and negative comments from out panelist.

Let’s hope that more organizations, whether big or small, welcome with open arms, the use of new social media not only to keep up with the trend but to also be recognized on the global map.

September 5, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Beware of Cyber Stalkers

With the dawn of technology, communication is possible to any part of the globe and is made available to anybody and everybody. This may be good for most people but bad for others. I guess it all depends on the situation. What I am about to narrate just might make you think twice about posting stuff on the Net or be-friending random people over sites like Facebook, but be patient with my lengthy blog since I plan to narrate the gist of my horrible experience.

Since this blog entry was for that class I missed because it was in the afternoon and was basically for the PRSP eliminations or proposal presentations, I can do a blog entry about anything under the sun! Well, not really, but at least it isn’t about class :).

Last weekend was pretty traumatic for me and it was all because of the Internet. Haha. Well, it involved the Internet since it happened over the YM. On my radio show, The Twist which I host on weekends, I make use of 3 mainstream channels in order for the listeners to get in touch with me: the hotline, the textline, and the chatline. Now, I’m used to getting weird listeners who either love you or despise you, but I didn’t realize I had this one exceptional listener.

The incident had been going on for a while; I just never realized or took notice of it until one Saturday, August 8, 2009. I decided to dress differently that day since I’m always in Chucks, jeans, and a T-Shirt, so I changed into a tube top and sandals (talk about wrong choice of outfit on the worst possible day) but something actually happened before that which I will narrate in a bit. When I walked into the station, our receptionist along with our student DJs and our head announcer, Chloe, told me that some “dude” was looking for me and I just shook it off and thought it might be some random person. I wasn’t supposed to be alone during my show since I’m used to the student DJs sticking around or the Mellow Gremlins (a group of girl listeners who are considerably friends of mine since they’re around my age) visit but for some twisted stroke of bad luck, no one came over and everyone in the booth left for lunch.

But before everyone did leave, this creepy “dude” came in and was taking photos/videos of me from one of our windows and then he came in and said that this was for his cousin or something like that. I couldn’t really understand him since he was mumbling but then he soon left. Our student DJs (who were guys) were freaked out and quite reluctant to leave me, but I couldn’t keep them around and make them skip lunch just for me, so they simply locked the door.

Chloe left something so we had to unlock the door again and I guess she forgot to lock it again so things went downhill from there. While I was talking on the microphone, the weird “dude” went straight to where I was sitting (which was behind the console) and he was smiling. I was obviously scared but for some weird reason I didn’t feel like I was going to hyperventilate or anything. I was pretty calm and was more annoyed than scared. I told him coldly but politely to go to the other side since personnel are the only ones allowed near the equipment then he started mumbling stuff. He was trying to strike casual conversation and I was trying not to look at him. It was a good thing that one of our radio technicians/personnel saw me and the visitor and he was signaling to me from the window whether he was a visitor or not. I simply shook my head so he went inside and asked the dude to register. Our technician asked me if I wanted him to stay and I said that he was bothering me so he asked him to leave on the count of a memo released by the station manager and he started mumbling stuff like I was the person who made him leave and that I should have told him off that way he wouldn’t have waited for me. Once he left, I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief, but then he came back to take photos/videos of me using his mobile phone. He was asking me to look but I refused to and told him I had to do my job and he even mentioned saving my pictures on Friendster and making them wallpapers. Ugh. He finally left and when I checked the YM he was sending messages like “play my song or greet me” or else he’ll come back, but I didn’t give in.

When everyone came back, I told the student DJs and they felt bad that they left and they told me that the “dude” was actually taking videos of me. I stuck around at the station for an extra 30 minutes after my show and one of the student jocks went downstairs to smoke and make sure the creepy “dude” left. When I left, I told our receptionist and he said that the “dude” was there since that morning and was looking for specifically me. The guard at the ground floor (who I’ve known for 2 years already even when I was with other stations) told me that the “dude” kept coming in and out of the building and was looking for me.

The next day was a Sunday so I had my show again. I didn’t block him from my YM since I wanted to watch what he was going to do next and sure enough he was there sending me messages like “Alex ang sarap mo and hindi kita pakakawalan.” He was even incinerating that I was the one flirting with him when in fact my personality on the air is like that and is directed to everyone who’s tuned in. Since I couldn’t take it anymore, I told him to stop bothering me and leave me alone and he finally agreed to. He just wanted me to say he was ugly and that he would never have a chance with me which I did, if that’s what it took to brush him off and so far he hasn’t been sending me messages.

My mom picked me up that day to ensure my safety and advised me to inform my boss (the station manager) and the owner of the station, which I did. I also forgot to mention that this “stalker dude” had been sending me dozens of emails over my public account. This made me truly classify him as a “stalker” who probably was mentally unstable since his messages were incredibly creepy. When I recall the thought, it makes me shudder, but I saved them as evidence and printed them out for my boss to see. What I thought were harmless “I love you Alex” YM messages turned out to be this man in his late 20s-30s (and not to be discriminative or anything) looked like a construction worker and NOT a listener of Mellow.

My boss took immediate action, informed our station owner and they had him not only blocked from the station but from the entire building. They even installed a doorbell and constantly lock the front door because people can easily walk in and out of the station. In other words, security measures were tightened and taken because they were concerned about my safety.

Just goes to show how technology, the Internet, and communication were bad for me, which is why the DJ before me refuses to interact with the listeners. This won’t stop me though from entertaining my listeners because they are who make my job easier and my show possible. I will be more wary about being chummy with the male listeners. I’m crossing my fingers that this incident will never ever happen to you.

PS. On the bright side, talking to my boss twice the week after that weekend made me aware of a possible promotion to the Primetime which would be the weekday Morning show which will make go up against the likes of Mo Twister on TM and Chico and Delamar on RX. I haven’t taken the offer yet because school is what I wanna focus on and as much as I would love to be bumped up to the forefront of primetime programming, I don’t think I can handle waking up early and be perky every single morning and juggle school at the same time. I know we’re not supposed to share personal stuff but its sort of related to my blog entry :).

August 28, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 8 comments.

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