#9 of 1001 Awesome Things: 90s Technology Conversations with Fellow 90s Kids

August 27, 2017

90s kids around the world cannot stop talking about the 90s. Being proud of ones era is probably a common (ego) thing just like how my Dad brags about the music and disco of the 80s and how my grandpa talks about the pre-war of the 40s

Earlier this night, my friends and I talked about technology in the 90s. We all experienced the same things but we just love to hear each other’s stories about growing up during the pre-Facebook,  pre-Youtube and pre-Wikipedia era.Here are 10 of my favorite topics/stories:
  1. My friend told us that his mom would reprimand him each time the computer lags as if it was all his fault. She would tell him to value his father’s sacrifices abroad as a seaman just to buy a computer for the family. In the 90s, a computer set costs a fortune.
  2. Can you still remember the first time you saw porn online in the 90s?
  3. My grandma would always ask me to turn off the internet so that she can call her friends. In the 90s, you cannot use the net and the phone at the same time.
  4. I also remember when Yahoo Messenger was your Facebook Messenger, Tinder, Email and Omegle wrapped into one. I wonder if people still use YM nowadays? I also remember Yahoo Chatrooms, Yahoo Groups and Yahooligans. A month ago, I already moved my work email from Yahoo to Gmail because the latter was faster. I am still a fan of Flickr though. Is Yahoo gonna die soon?
  5. My friend shared to us that during high school, they have typing classes…using a typewriter.
  6. I was the IT Club president in High School because I was way ahead of my classmates…in using MS Powerpoint. Back then, Microsoft Office was a complex subject and was part of the curriculum.
  7. Prank Calls using a real phone and a random number from the White Pages is a real 90s pastime. I usually do this with my cousins almost every week. We stopped when the caller ID was invented.
  8. During the early 2000s, which was still considered as 90s by 90s kids, Imesh and burning CDs became a thing. During my sophomore year in High School, I had a summer job at this sole Dial Up Internet provider in the city. My job was to burn music CDs for the employees. My salary was an unlimited internet password for our dial up connection at home.
  9. The rolling ball of the mouse, the huge and heavy monitor with an extra Anti-UV screen and the lack of USB port in the CPU.
  10. Encarta Encyclopedia!


What’s your favorite 90s story about technology? Comment below. 

Featured Photo: Pedestrian Lane at Shell Gas Station, Marisol, Pampanga, Philippines.

#8 of 1001 Awesome Things: Turo Turo and Tapsilogan

August 26, 2017
Travelling in the Philippines is cheap according to the budget travelers I met and hosted. When they ask me where they can eat a cheap meal, I always tell them to eat at small stores called Turo turo or Tapsilogan. And these stores are everywhere! 


Turo Turo, also known as Carinderias are practically everywhere. Turo means to point. You have to point out which viand you want to eat. You can find these stores in every street, every school and every parking area of jeepneys and tricycles. When I had the chance to talk to repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Syria a couple of years ago, most of them would tell me that they want a carinderia business


Tapsilogan is a coined term for Tapa (Cured Beef), Sinangag (Fried Rice) and Itlog (Egg). These stores are usually open at nighttime until early morning. A meal usually costs a dollar. 


These stores are not only popular to travelers but also for locals. As for me, a person who tries to become healthy in this Fast Food country, turo turo are my go-to stores to eat healthy meals. Not to mention the support you give to local entrepreneurs and a dirty finger to the Fat Bee and the Scary Clown. 


Earlier, my friends and I went to this turo turo near a University hospital. The place was tiny with only six tables and around 2 dozens of monoblock chairs. There were 4 vegetable viands and around 8 meat viands, both in stainless steel containers. I ordered the sauteed bitter gourd and this very tasty taro cooked in coconut milk. The 2 vegetable viands cost a dollar. It was cheap. It was healthy. It tasted like mom’s cooking. 


During dinner, we went to our favorite tapsilog place. I ordered TunaSilog and a bowl of tofu. They served it with soy sauce, a very sour green lime and my all time favorite chili paste. This costs around 2 dollars. 


I am not sure why we still eat at expensive unhealthy fast food chains when we have these local stores. If you happen to travel to the Philippines, make sure to try out turo turos, carinderias and tapsilogan.

Half Day Random Trip at Subic, Zambales

Last Thursday, I have decided to file an emergency leave and travel to Subic, Zambales for a half day breather from work. Since I had no plans or itinerary whatsoever, I just went there, walked around the 3-km radius of Harbor Point Mall and took some photos. The gloomy weather made the trip better.


More photos here.

#7 of 1001 Awesome Things: When a Friend Survives a Tragic Accident

August 25, 2017

“I was asleep for five days. People around me thought I was in a coma”, he said. John, a former trainee at our office, shared what happened to him after his motorcycle accident last January


“Wow. Five days! How does it feel?”, I asked. I remembered how it felt when I had an endoscopy. I was asleep for 3 hours but it only felt like I just closed my eyes for a minute. 


“It seemed like I only slept for a day”, he said. 


“Cool. Have you seen a dead loved one?”


“No I didn’t. But I saw my ex-girlfriend.” I laughed. It seemed like he already killed her in his mind. John was a joker without him realizing it. He was too innocent to notice or he was charmingly tactless. 


“Then what happened?”


“I am not sure if I was awake or if I was asleep. When I woke up, the pretty ICU nurse told me that I was courting her and according to her, I even asked for her number.” 


We were all laughing. He added that the nurse was still texting him and he thinks that she likes him. 


It’s nice to hear from him again despite his dislocated joints and a foot long scar on his stomach area. It was awesome that he survived death and that was undoubtedly something to be thankful for. 


Before he left the office, he said to us, “I told my doctor that God gave me a second life because I still have a mission. My mission in life now is to finally look for a wife. With that, I promised God that I will go to church every Sunday.”


Oh my God. He’s really back.

Featured Photo: DJ’s Motorcycle, Jogjakarta, Indonesia, October 2014. 

#6 of 1001 Awesome Things: Front Seat of a Public Utility Vehicle (PUV)

 August 24, 2017
If you are from the Philippines and if you are a commuter, you’ll know that the best seat in the vehicle is the one next to the driver. You have a nice view of the road, a clear reflection of yourself in the side mirror and you are exempted from passing the money of other passengers to the driver
Earlier this day, I got the front seat of the commuter van when I traveled to Subic so I took the opportunity to take some photos:
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#5 of 1001 Awesome Things: Convenience Stores

August 23, 2017


I had a very tiring but productive day today. Because I felt the need to reward myself, I invited my office mates to eat our stress away and to do some after work gossips over Mcdonald’s BFF Fries


After our dinner at Mcdonalds, we went to this convenience store at a nearby gas station. The place was cozy like other convenience stores at gas stations, except those you find in expressways. They serve cheap pizza and 20 peso coffee where you can drink at a very comfortable sofa. They even have a free wifi! People don’t stay at gas stations longer than  20 minutes so the human count will always be minimal. I started to think that this will be a better alternative to Starbucks.    


I have a thing with convenience stores. Maybe this was brought by accumulated fun convenience store stories in the past. 


I remembered that sole 711 franchise at North Luzon Expressway when I was a kid. My cousin Gino had an upset stomach so we went to this gas station nearby with a 711. That was my first convenience store experience. It actually felt “first world” during that era. 


I also had this phase of staying at a 711 branch near a University in Angeles City to observe people as they enter and exit the store. Like any other convenience stores, most of the people are in a hurry. I wonder where they will go after buying a bag of ice or a box of condoms or a pack of gummy bears? I usually do this fun activity while drinking a cup of cheap hazelnut coffee. 


I also had fun convenience store experiences outside the country. I remembered when I was in Japan that I waited for 10 pm to buy a bento box in 711 because it’s cheaper than the 9 pm box. In Indonesia, I bought a very cold energy drink at Indo Maret and told a person I just met that the drink was BTS (Better than Sex). We ended up talking about sex after that. During our last night in Korea, my ex-GF and I counted our last coins and almost begged for money just to buy a Samgak and an instant Ramyun for dinner at CU Mart


I have waited a lot of people in convenience stores, too. Waiting for friends, families, and lovers. Convenience stores became the most common rendezvous for Filipinos aside from a Jollibee branch. It’s cold, comfortable and clean.


We all have plenty of convenience store stories. What’s your favorite? Please share below. I want to hear from you! 

Featured Photo: Bonjour Convenience Store, Maimpis, City of San Fernando, Philippines, August 23, 2017

#4 of 1001 Awesome Things: Talking about Social Issues during Family Dinners

August 22, 2017

Family dinners are becoming rare as we age, or at least in my case. I moved out last year to be independent. But if my schedule permits, I visit for dinners and sometimes stay overnight. 


Our family dinner looks like this:


Mama will cook while Mama Cing, my grandma prepares the plates and the utensils. After preparing, mama will call us. Papa will wake up Tatang, my grandpa who usually sleeps around 6 pm. He must wake up and eat because of his medications. While on the table, Tatang will stare at me as if I am a stranger, no thanks to his memory loss. Mama Cing will ask Tatang if he can still recognize me. For Tatang, I am always a different person. Sometimes I am a family friend or sometimes I am his 18-year old great grandson. Grandma will shout at Grandpa if he refuses to eat. Everybody shouts because of grandpa’s aging ear. Sometimes I hate the routine. Most of the time I love it–the peaceful chaos of family dinners. 


Tonight’s dinner was different. We were all affected by the local news about the injustices in the country including the murder of the 11th grader by the local police. The country’s situation was getting worse. Mama, who was usually quiet when Papa and I talk about these issues finally gave her opinion. “People can now easily take away life as if they were pigs in a slaughterhouse”, she said. Grandma would tell us that he used to like the President, but because of the recent events, she started to loathe the guy. Meanwhile, my disoriented grandpa thinks the President was a dwarf. 


We ranted about the President’s leadership. We ranted why he was still supported by the people. We ranted why majority of the poor are the victims of drug related killings.


Most of our extended family members are also supporters. But I am glad that I am in the same boat with my parents and grandparents. We all believe that life is sacred, and that is something I am thankful for today.