Poking Friendster goodbye | Part 1: Committing to memory

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” - C. S. Lewis
Two years ago the tattered remnants of Friendster was sold to a Malaysian company, which announced this week that Friendster will be re-launched as an entertainment site — and will delete all user information. All those pictures, testimonials, and featured friends will be lost to history.

The year was 2003, and the site was Friendster, but it wasn’t until 2004 when I decided to create an account right after I started writing for my first blog. It was through Friendster that I was able to get in touch with my long lost elementary and high school classmates, it was there that I got re-acquainted with people that I haven’t seen for a long time. But over time, the former trailblazer was overtaken by Facebook, and users deserted by the millions –I was among those who left Friendster because all my friends there have already moved to Facebook.

The news of Friendster’s upcoming re-launch signals the end of an era for me because bequeaths us with the sudden realization that our personal lives online, memories that once ended up in scrapbooks are now in the custody of companies that might disappear tomorrow. It signals an end to an era, for veteran internet users and social networkers who've leapfrogged from Friendster to Multiply to Myspace to Facebook to Twitter.

As I await for the end for Friendster I would be writing, a series of blogs that I hope will help us come to grips with Friendster's demise. I would like to invite you to share also about your memories of the once loved social network at the comments section of this blog.

Here's to good memories...

Heaven as a paradox between fact and faith

Belief in heaven is a human necessity; however its existence cannot be proven.

We do not have empirical data that could supply us with prima facie evidence to render it as there. Its existence cannot merely be proved by mere deductive reasoning.

The reality of heaven as fact is also a necessary human impossibility, because it helps us look beyond the complexities of the present, but rather look forward to what is beyond. Factuality is in the realm of science, and for Will Durant science is 'the captured territory' in the battle for knowledge while 'philosophy is the frontlines in the epic war' for wisdom.

Chernobyl 25 Years later: A stark reminder of Fukushima's future

To date, Chernobyl still stands as the world’s worst civilian nuclear accident. But the unfolding disaster in Fukushima, Japan, demonstrates that no amount of technological sophistication or safety culture can prepare any country or its people for the inherent dangers of nuclear energy.

Yesterday, I was among those Greenpeace activists in black cloaks and masks who took the message to the doorsteps of the Department of Energy, in a grim procession highlighting 25 of the world’s worst nuclear disasters that occurred between Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011). When all has been said and done, there is a human cost to nukes, especially in the incidence of a nuclear disaster. The Chernobyl disaster is a grim reminder of the tragic cost of nukes on the lives of people – a cost that they are paying until today.
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Heaven as a justifiable reality

Believing in heaven is a human necessity.

We believe in heaven because human experience renders it necessary for us to hope for a better world beyond this life. Our existence in this world tells us that this life isn't what it must be, thus there has to be something better to look forward to --even if that place can only be found beyond our mortal existence.

We believe in heaven because living through this life also gives us hints of this better world whenever our human faculties of sensory perception and experience shows us beauty as well as make us encounter acts of charity that are motivated by sheer love --we conclude that these things come from a place beyond this realm: God's abode, up there in a place beyond our reach...

...at least for now.

...and there was light

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5

Just as the sun began to rise and the brightness of this Easter dawn was beginning to surround us in our ecumenical worship, water gushed forth from the giant fountain at the Quezon Memorial Circle's Liwasang Aurora, a sight that I would like to believe is God's reminder of the breaking in of His Kingdom of Light that was ushered by the Resurrected Christ who rose from the grave on the third day.

Happyboy | daisy cutting daisies

What is Happyboy?

I believe the better question to ask is who is Happyboy?

Or better yet, why is he happy?

While these are valid I questions I think perhaps the best thing when it comes to making sense out of this creature called Happyboy, it would be best to let his music speak for himself. As beyond being this fascinating individual his is a creative expression of an artists’ interpretation of his life –and in art its always best to let the artwork speak for the artist.

Listen to the track the voice comes from yours truly. Hope you’ll it as much as I did.

Daisy cutting daisies ft chuck baclagon by gohappyboygo

A Lenten Earth Day

Earth Day in the Philippines will not be as lively, festive and jubilant this year. The annual commemoration of the day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment incidentally falls this year on the same day as Good Friday, which is observed primarily by Christians all over the world to remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.

I would like to believe that celebrating Earth Day at the same time with Good Friday serves as a relevant reminder to us of the value of life and the lives that have been sacrificed to the altar of social and environmental justice. It reminds us of those few who chose to step up to the challenges of our time to live up to our ideals, even if it entails offering their very lives so that the dream of a better world would be fulfilled.
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This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace on Earth

Last week, I lighted a candle amidst a thousand origami cranes to express solidarity with victims of the earthquake, tsunami and the still unfolding nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. We were there to remember that a month has already passed since tragedy struck, but Japan and majority of the world still remain in a state of uncertainty, not only because of natural disasters and their economic consequences, but more importantly because of the looming spectre of a nuclear disaster that could have been averted if most of the world opted instead for safer sources rather than nukes.
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The terrorists have won.

Whenever I get my bags ransacked at every mall, airport, train station and cinema...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorists have won."
Whenever I get frisked, stereotyped and deemed as a potential threat to security because of my clothes...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorists have won."
Whenever I hear people complain about the government but helplessly accept the way things are as realities that we have to live with...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorists have won."
Whenever I see people give consent to those in power to scare them with structures, laws and ordinances that take away their liberty...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorists have won."
Whenever homeowners in subdivisions choose to protect their homes with gates, guards and stickers because they can afford to purchase a claim to their dwellings...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorists have won."
Whenever, I choose to see the world as a dichotomy of 'us' and 'them'...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorists have won."
Whenever I hear a preacher tell me to submit to man-made authorities, to accept evil as a part of a grand scheme of things or when they scare me with hell and then promise me heaven in a distant ethereal realm beyond this life...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorists have won."
Whenever I hear of an activist who would write a permit to practice their right to express their convictions...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorist have won."
Whenever I live a content life of TV, Facebook, individualism expressed in fashion and whenever I'd find happiness in the things I buy...
...I breathe a silent sigh and think to myself: "it's ok the terrorists have won."

DeathToPuberty | At the Bottom of Everything (live)

What's interesting with my recent visit to San Pablo's Lakefest is that apart from watching great bands, meeting and talking with really cool people I also got the chance to do an impromptu performance as DeathToPuberty. Here is a footage of my take on Bright Eyes' At the Bottom of Everything. Big thanks to Jeff who also publishes Konspirazine and manages a really extensive blog called The Real Strength (I take that the title was inspired by Biofeedback's song on the album Hardtimes ) that catalogs the Philippine underground music scene. Anyways hope you'll like the song.

Recovering lost youth

“Doesn’t the movie The Terminator have the same thematic narrative premise as The X-Men’s Days of the Future Past storyline? “

I thought to myself as I tried to lull myself to sleep to the tune of Ok Reblora's Dead Meat...

...there must be something narcotic about watching great gigs that I always find myself unable to sleep long after I’ve already tucked myself to bed. This is not an alien feeling for me as I’ve always found myself in such a situation for years especially when I was younger but as years and life takes its toll that intoxicating feeling of elation after gigs waned and at times even disappeared, but after watching great bands like Legarda, Walk Me Home, The Beauty of Doubt among others; and meeting incredible people earlier today at Lakefest, I have come to subscribe myself to the conclusion that: there’s something enchanting about the Seven Lakes Scene.

It could be the pleasant climate and the overall positive vibe that I feel whenever I get the breathtaking opportunity to interact and participate in the mind-blowing activities of the local scene there.

Lakefest, counts as one of those rare times when youth (or in my case wasted youth) is recovered in a night of music, conversation and the amorous motif of road trips.

Many thanks to the brilliant crew of Karl, Aldrin, Josh and Nina whose companionship in the trip were indispensable as well as to the warm welcome of the Seven Lakes crowd who have always welcomed me into their community.

Thank you, for making last Saturday a memorable one.

Learning from history

I once read a book, entitled “The Poverty of Memory” and one of the main theses of the book is that the Philippines is what it is today because of being guilty of one particular sin --the sin of forgetting.

The major reason why we study history is not simply to find out about things that happened in the past, but rather, so that we can learn from them and hopefully not repeat the same mistakes. Just like the lessons from what happened on Wednesday, March 28, 1979 -- people in central Pennsylvania awoke to a disturbing bulletin: A malfunction had occurred in the reactor’s cooling system in Unit 2; Radiation (an alarming word) was reportedly leaking...

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