My positive opinion and thoughts for a particular experience.

#MeetMatt and the meaning of #blogging


It was more than a year ago since I put my thoughts into words after realizing the fact that I can no longer write the way I used to. Perhaps, it’s because I already abandoned the anger, the angst and the non-conformist attitude that defined my existence during my youth, during my Philosophy days as a student in San Beda College.

I became a grown-up.

The motivation that fueled my passion in expressing myself either in the form of poetry or prose was suddenly channeled into the Sisyphean reality of my more-than-eight-hours-a-day of “making a living” as a yuppie. I traded my metaphors and narratives with PR strategies, communications plans and other cost-benefit project proposals for the companies that I worked for through the years. And I want to believe that I became good at it.

I sold-out.

I stopped writing.

I am now making a living.

Until last week after having a small talk with a guy named Matt Mullenweg when our company, Globe Telecom, hosted him for a bloggers meet-up. Matt co-founded which is the popular blogsite that houses countless of blogs like this one under my namesake. This guy, who reads one chapter of a book every morning to jumpstart a creative day, paved the way to make writing available for everyone. This is a tribute for Matt for giving us

Anyone can write but not anyone can get published during the pre-digital age. The limitation of the print medium because of commercial considerations made writing available only to the elite few whose hegemony discriminated what should be written and what should be read.

Writing exists to be read regardless of the form. Writing needs a reading channel to have its true form. It seeks an audience otherwise the thought behind it can be forgotten.

But thanks to digital mavericks like Matt who opened the door to those who aspire to be published. For as long as one wants to express individuality, shares interests and passion, or fights for a cause, a writing medium is readily available. People like me started to pound the keyboard and published our thoughts in and became writers in our own little right.

Anyone can now be read.

Anyone can now be published.

Anyone can now be a blogger.

That night after Matt’s visit at The Globe Tower, I shared a few cold beers with an old friend from San Beda who attended the WordPress community Meet-up and we exchanged some ideas about the event. Being a former campus journalist and a sell-out like me, he said that blogging has become the alternative press for many who can’t get thru traditional media. True, but I said that the basic principle of blogging is that it’s always subjective. Blogging is supposed to be based on the experience of the blogger with the thoughts made into words and then shared among us. However, a blog can go bigger than what the blogger intends and even bigger than the traditional press because of the reach of Internet.

Blog content nowadays can go beyond the experience and opinion of every blogger thanks to social media. Blog content no matter how subjective can project a perception of objectivity when shared and amplified using social media especially if readers can relate to it. Relevance of content can generate traffic and establish a fan-based of readers which can make a blog popular. Popularity means acceptance by the readers whose judgement can build content credibility for the blog and blogger. Content consistency is also important as it can slowly elevate the blogger into a subject-matter expert of the chosen topic or theme that the blog carries.

Blogging has democratized writing. It made editors and critics irrelevant. The opinion of readers is what matter most than the selected few in this digital age. Blogging has set writing free from the critics and editors. The number of likes, shares and comments (be it negative or positive) shapes the credibility of a blog. The readers will be the judge if the content is good or if it sucks.

In the Philippines, blogging has gone beyond personal. But this blog is already too long. I will tackle that in my next blog: The state of Philippine Blogging.

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Globe CEO Ernest Cu: Salamat Davao!


Globe CEO Ernest Cu is not your typical executive who spends all his time inside the boardroom. For starters, the Globe chief, also known as simply Ernest, actually goes the extra mile to thank personally Globe customers.

In the “Kamustuhan” which is Globe’s customer caravan held in Davao recently, he literally went the “extra miles” to show his unending gratitude to Globe customers “We want our products to go beyond just texting, calling and providing connections between you, your family, and your businesses. And by simply being here, it goes to show that we mean more to you than a simple phone or internet connection. To that, we are truly grateful,” Ernest said.

Loyal Globe patrons such as individual customers, high-end Platinum subscribers, retailers as well as representatives from the local media from Davao City and its adjacent provinces showed an overwhelming support for the Globe CEO. “This is actually our first time to do this in Davao which is an important market for us, that is why we endeavored to ground-break our network modernization in your area, as well as have the initial leg of the “Kamustahan” in your midst,” remarked Ernest.

Ernest revealed that the Kamustahan is the company’s manifestation to get to know its patrons on a deeper level. “We would like to get to know and interact with you on a more regular basis. An emotional bond is what we would like to continue to build with you.Our plans and offers that you availed of were instrumental in our multiple quarters of growth in terms of garnering significant market share over the last two and a half years for the company. It’s an amazing feat for industry like telecommunications, and we have you to thank for that. All credit goes out to you, our loyal Globe subscribers,” Ernest said to the Mindanaoans on hand in the event.

The Kamustahan event in Davao is just the first of the many customer caravans scheduled for 2013 with Ernest Cu. Watch out for the next caravan at your provincial area.

The problem of being Ernest (An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind)

When you are a cool successful business leader like Ernest Cu, all eyes are on you. Take this for instance:

A certain remark made by Globe Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ernest L. Cu last February 12 at the CloudFone event at Prive, BGC has been making its rounds on the internet –earning the man flak for what was supposed to be a spirited jab.

In an official statement by Globe, the words said in pure jest were said to have not been part of Mr. Cu’s official speech. He has been misquoted, taken out of context and the whole thing has now blown out of proportion in different social media networks, perhaps with the aid of a few from the rival telco’s side.

Globe has always put its consumers first. And as a selfless man who has always found a way to put others before him, it is a sentiment Mr. Cu takes to heart. Which is why the attacks, which have escalated on a personal level on several blogs and social mediums, seem to be unnecessary and uncalled for. It is quite unfortunate that the bloggers found it more newsworthy to mudsling and to bully, to talk about a misquote instead of the official business of that day.

And it’s instances like this, when people in media use their voice to hastily criticize than to report news, that make cyber bullying a real problem. Because suddenly, instead of inviting open-minded discourse, only one side, is being aired while the other, bashed. No matter what the real story is, the public figure is left shamed by the faceless name on the Internet.

This is why it would then be much more beneficial for all to focus on what Mr. Cu and Globe have been doing for their consumers, instead of something that was said to friends. And in doing so, perhaps find a way to properly express comments and opinions instead of simply bashing or throwing shallow criticisms. At the end of the day, an eye for an eye, or simply, a retort for a remark, leaves the whole world blind –and infinitely, no one better off.

LBC Ronda Na!

Sixty days before the biggest road bicycle race in the country, the organizer of LBC Ronda Pilipinas will conduct a family fun ride and a test race for the 16 teams entitled “LBC Ronda Pilipinas: Ronda Na!” on July 24, 2011 in Luneta, Manila. 

“LBC Ronda Pilipinas: LBC Ronda Na! ” is for the benefit of the Bike Patrol Unit of the Philippine National Police-Manila Police District (PNP-MPD) Tourist Police where the organizing sponsor LBC Express, Inc. shall donate bicycles from the proceeds of the family fun ride.

The LBC Ronda Pilipinas: LBC Ronda Na! shall also feature the 13 regional teams, 2 commercial teams and the Under-23 Philippine Team competing against each other during the said test race.

The route will start and finish along Roxas Boulevard at the Kilometer Zero across the Rizal monument.  It will cover a distance of 4.6 kilometers per lap from Roxas Boulevard to Burgos St. until the Quirino Avenue junction and back to Roxas Boulevard southbound for the finish.  Number of Laps will vary according to different categories.

There will be four categories composed of the 1) Family Fun Ride which is opened to all ages and all types of bicycles will cover 3 Laps  will start at 9:00AM, 2) Men’s Sportive Class for Non-professional ages 15 to 40 years old with Road Racer bicycle will cover 5 Laps , 3) Men’s Sportive Class  for Non-professional ages 41 yrs old and up with Road Racer bicycle will also cover 5 Laps and 4) Elite/Professional  Race for the 16 teams competing for LBC Ronda Pilipinas will cover 8 Laps.

 Participants in the Sportive Class and Elite/Professional Competition will pay an entry Fee of P300.00 and a chance to win medals and cash prizes. While the participants in the Family Fun Ride will only pay P 100.00 and chance to win in the raffle prizes.  Onsite registration will start at 7:00am Luneta Park in front of Rizal Park.

My Rule of Thumb: THUMBS UP

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Azkals vs. UFL All Star: A victory for PH Football

Perhaps it can be considered as the most exciting exhibition game in the history of Philippine football. The PH Azkals fell short against the United Football League (UFL) selection with a score of 3-4 last June 5 at the University of Makati. It was a see-saw battle filled with suspense as both teams tried to outwit and outplay each other with UFL All Star scoring the final goal to break the deadlock with less than a minute left in the game. 

The venue was filled with an estimated 5,000 spectators and the match was televised live on Studio 23 earning a 1.9% ratings considering that it was on a UHF channel and it was not really advertised. Ofcourse, the crowd drawer was the Azkals but people were treated with fanstastic football game.

Many were expecting the Azkals to walk with an easy victory but the UFL All Star were more determined to win considering that the game was their opportunity to showcase the quality of football of their league. It was the UFL’s coming out party proving that there is an abundance of football talent in the Philippines outside the national team. 

Although the UFL All Star won, the real winner of the game is Philippine football. The UFL is the only club based football league in the country started by LBC Express, Inc. long before the rise of the popularity of the Azkals.  Half of the members of the Azkals are playing for a UFL team including its team capatin, Aly Borromeo who comes from the Kaya FC in the UFL.

UFL is a training ground for future Azkals and with the quality of play that was witnessed last Sunday, the future of Philippine football is very promising.

My Rule of Thumb on Azkals vs. UFL All Star: THUMBS UP.

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Azkals vs. UFL All Stars: The future of PH football

 The birth of Filipino football consciousness began when our national football team more popularly known with the brand name, Azkals, pulled off an upset against Vietnam in the Suzuki Cup last year.

Philippine Football Icons

Suddenly, football is part of Philippine pop culture particularly the good looking Fil-European players of the Azkals who now enjoy the adoration or even obsession of many Filipinos whether a real fan of the sport or not.  Right now, the state of football in the country has been focused more on the players of the Azkals. It has yet to transcend into its full potential as a sport that Filipinos can really excel internationally.

All the funding by advertisers and private sectors have been placed into the national football team or Azkals but not into the actual development of the sport at the grassroots level.  The advertisers are buying in and cashing in into the brand recall of the Azkals but not to really help football.

Yet, even before the sudden surge of the popularity of Azkals, one company already put its money on Philippine football development by gathering all existing football clubs and forming a league that no one advertisers wanted to support when they were still starting.  Several years ago, LBC Express, Inc. already initiated the formation of a football alliance that gave life to United Football League or UFL.

Prime mover of UFL: LBC's Santi Araneta (in red)

Unlike its basketball counterpart, the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), only the real fans of football knew about the football league. Yet, because LBC is passionate in supporting real football development, it became the real commercial backbone of UFL for several years now.

 We did not read about game results in the sports pages of the national dailies because no one in the sports media wanted to cover it. UFL had no commercial value during the first years of it birth. Yet, half of the members of the Azkals came from the UFL.

The popularity of the Azkals slightly pushed the commercial value of UFL as well to a certain degree. On June 5, 2011, the UFL and football development will say hello to the consciousness of the millions of Azkal fans. The real potential of the Azkals will be tested locally as they face the best players of UFL in what is coined as “UFL All Stars versus Azkals”.

 The football game on June 5, 2011 will be televised live on Studio 23.

 The development of football lies in the league such as UFL  where future players of the Azkals would come from eventually. Football as a sport in the country is still in its infancy stage and a league such as the UFL which needs the support of the Filipinos will help nurture a bright future where we can have a crop of Azkals generation after generation.

My Rule of Thumb on Azkals vs. UFL All Star: THUMBS UP.

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The Myth of Phil Younghusband

Phil Younghusband in action

The public first saw him in a celebrity duet singing contest a few years ago on national television. He was described then as a Pinoy football player from Chelsea. He became an instant celebrity after that gig not because of his singing prowess but because of his guy-next-door image considering he is a half-Filipino and half-Brit.  Several endorsement deals followed after. He was on billboards, print and TV commercials.

But who is Philip Placer Younghusband or simply Phil Younghusband?

Actually this was my question when our agency proposed him to become the endorser for Alaska Powdered Milk Drink, the carrier brand of our Alaska Football Power Camp and Alaska Football Cup. I never heard of him prior to his celebrity duet gig. My only concern at that time was his legitimacy as a football player. Can this guy, who first blossomed into the public consciousness through a singing contest, really play football? And at that time, no knows about our national football team.

This is important to Alaska Milk simply because we want truth in our communication materials and credibility in our sports development program. We have the Alaska Aces to lean on for our youth basketball program and professional Spanish football player Tomas Lozano for our 15 years-old youth football program.

Can Phil Younghusband really play football?

After a thorough research and based on the info gathered, Phil Younghusband can play football. We inked him to endorse Alaska Powdered Milk Drink.  But to be honest, I was still skeptical. We know he can play football. We know he is a good football player. But we have to understand that we haven’t seen him play an actual football game since there was no opportunity at that time.

Then came the biggest youth football event in the country, the 13th Alaska Football Cup in 2008 where we invited him to be part of the awarding ceremony.  I asked him to stay inside the Alaska tent while waiting to finish the games. I was then with my four years old daughter Raine (she is six now) at that time. Raine brought her inflatable beach ball designed as a football and kicked it around inside the tent. I went out for a while to check on the games. When I got back and to my surprise, Phil was playing football with my daughter using the beach ball.  And boy, they were having fun.  

Phil and Raine with the beach ball during the 2008 Alaska Football Cup

Phil has a soft heart for kids. He loves being with them and moreover he loves playing with them. I guess that’s because he has a little sister.

Then the awarding came. I escorted him out to go to the stage. Who is Phil Younghusband? The 3,000 kids in the Alaska Football Cup certainly knew who he is. He was literally mobbed. And young girls participating in the tournament were shouting their lungs out upon seeing him. “Oh my God, it’s Phil,” they shouted.  He was like a rockstar. Well, those kids who love football look upon Phil as a hero, a football hero. I even heard an echo from some female voice box from the other side of Alabang Country Club shouting “I will marry you when I grow up.” I was simply amazed, astonished and shocked. Young footballers knew him even before he joined that singing thing on TV.

And this was in November 2008, two years before the emergence of the PH Azkals into national consciousness.

So Phil became the brand endorser of Alaska Powdered Milk Drink and our football ambassador. He did a TVC, posters, print ads, TV guestings and others. More than his great skills as a football player, his fondness and the way he relates to kids made him fit to the brand. The other factor was his sincerity that he believes in what Alaska Milk is doing in supporting youth football development in the country for 1 and half decades. It was more than a business relationship, it’s a partnership.

In 2009, Phil and his brother James were in our office for a visit. I asked him about his plans whether he will pursue a career in the entertainment business and alike. He said no. He doesn’t see himself in showbiz. He doesn’t like the entertainment culture. He doesn’t want to be a TV or movie star.

He said his passion is football. He wants to help kids play football. He wants to be a catalyst in the development of football in the country. And so he  pursued his passion. 

 A few months later, he and James again made a visit. We talked. And what interested me was that he and his brother James were trying to go back to the national football team. Phil said that it was not easy going back. He said that the team has a new foreign coach, Simon Mc Menemy.  Phil revealed that Mc Menemy said to them that “we don’t need models here.”  My reaction was a burst of laughter.

Eventually, they proved their worth in the field and became part of the national football team now called the PH Azkals.  

The next thing I knew, the football team was competing in the Suzuki Cup.  Honestly, I just hoped that they would  fair in that tournament. After the game against Vietnam, an officemate CK Kanapi posted a video of the Azkals win in her FB account.

Can Phil Younghusband play football?

What I saw was what I wished of seeing since 2008. Phil actually playing. That second goal against Vietnam was a highlight reel for many Filipino football enthusiasts. Phil kicked that football using his left leg with ease after shaking off two defenders. That was pure talent.   

Yet that goal made him a target in the games that succeeded. Against Indonesia in Game 1 of the semis, Phil was being guarded and even tackled by three Indon players. In Game 2, there were already 5 defenders against Phil. Even his Ronaldo-liked-dribbling couldn’t get through those many defenders.

Phil chose the right path of serving the country first by being part of the national team. His new found fame not only in the Philippines but also in Indonesia is better than that of Christian Baustista. Phil Younghusband is now in the national consciousness not because of his individual football skills but because he is part of the team that we Filipinos are proud of.

 He is not Phil Younghusband. He is a PH Azkal.

My Rule of Thumb for PH Azkals: THUMBS UP!

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