Monday, December 26, 2005

Still no pictures...

I have been in my home city for the last 7 days and I haven't found any scene which I could capture on my camera. For someone who has been looking forward to coming home, this is so frustrating. Probably, this is what is dragging my day. The last couple of days were so gray and dark. I did not have any urge to buy a new film. I felt like it was pointless to load a fresh new roll on a dark and gloomy day. This morning the sun was out, but it looked so dull. As if it was only forced to show itself after a long sleep. I put in a fresh roll this morning, but I only took four shots today. Hopefully, it will be better tomorrow.

On the other hand, I am excited on the just finished roll of film. The one I brought with me from Manila. There are some interesting shots I took there. Without this hobby, I don't know what else I would be doing these days. Oh, well, this is how it is. Waiting to fill-up a roll of film. But, come to think of it, I still am excited about the next days. Uhmm, interesting thought.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Literary Contest

To top off the year for a junior in the Society of Jesus, he joins a literary contest organized by the juniors themselves which is open to the members of the Order. He contributes six pieces; poems, short stories and essays, written in both Filipino and English. These then are judged by different Jesuits experts in their respective genres.

The whole first semester is geared towards this goal. But this doesn't seem to be the case.

I have written two poems, two short stories and currently working on my English essay (while blogging). I have three days to finish this. Three days on two essays! It's crunch time here actually! The added pressure is that I have to go home on the 18th of December. And I can't go home if I don't complete my entries. I have made reservations already for my stay and have asked friends to organize get-togethers as I arrive. These should make me feel excited but the whole literary contest is bogging me down. Although, one good thing is happening, my mind is active and ideas are just blowing from all over. The challenge is to jot them down and make sense out of it. So I better be off to work now!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Communications Technologies Hamper Human Communications

A FUNNY thing happened on the way to the communications revolution: We stopped talking to one another.

I was walking in the mall with a friend recently, and his mobile phone rang, interrupting our conversation. There we were, walking and talking on a beautiful sunny day and -- poof! -- I became invisible; absent from the conversation.

The mall was filled with people talking on their mobile phones. They were passing other people without looking at one another, not even saying hello. Evidently, for some people the untethered electronic voice is preferred over human contact.

The telephone used to connect you to a person who is not physically present. Now, it makes people sitting next to you feel absent. Recently I was in a car with three of my friends. The driver shushed the rest of us because he could not hear the person on the other end of his mobile phone. There we were, four friends, zooming down Recto Avenue, unable to talk to one another because of a gadget designed to make communications easier.

Why is it that the more connected we get, the more disconnected I feel? Every advancement in communications technology is a setback to the intimacy of human relationships. With e-mail and instant messaging over the Internet, we can communicate without seeing each other or actually talking to one another. We prefer to exchange thoughts online even if the person we are trying to communicate with is just beside us.

As almost all conceivable modes of contact between human beings get automated, the alienation index is also going up.

Making a deposit at the bank? Why talk to a teller -- who, by the way, just might happen to live in your neighborhood -- when you can just insert your card into an ATM?

In the US, some supermarket chains are using carts with self-scanners so customers can check themselves out. You don’t have to make eye contact with people, effectively avoiding those check-out people who look at you and ask how you are doing (as if they cared).

I own a mobile phone, an ATM card and an e-mail account. Giving them up isn’t an option -- they’re great for what they are intended for. It’s their unintended consequence that makes me cringe.

The communications industry devoted to helping me keep in touch is making me lonelier -- or at least facilitating my antisocial instincts. So I gave myself some restrictions -- no text messages for people I’m with in the same building or for those who I meet every lunch hour.

What good are all these brilliant technologies, if there’s nobody in the room to hear you exclaim "brilliant!"?

This was published in on Jan. 12, 2002

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Let It Come From You

I know the day can be dreary
and too long does last the night
when all you want is a kind word
and someone by your side
to hug you and tell you
not to worry, not to fear
that everything will be alright
and that he will hold you near
but there are no words, no hands
no hugs, no touches of care
the one who can make pain go away
is the one who isn’t there
so now all that frightens you runs free
and worries and doubts weigh you down
you sigh, you cry, you wonder
when will things stop weighing a ton?
I cannot tell you that the time is soon
but I can tell that you it will come
it may not be the kind word you want
but wait, I’m not yet done
there is so much that you have
like lots and lots of friends
a life full of experiences
that built your inner strength
you know best how you can cope
and plan how you’ll make it through
it’s not in you to live on others’ strengths
because you let it come from you
while I can only sympathize and listen
as you tell me your life over the phone
you’re someone who’s been down that road
and managed to find a safe way home.