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Thirty-six

The Earth has taken thirteen thousand six hundred and forty days to go around the sun since I have come on board. What a journey it has been so far.


Three hundred sixty-five days (plus three) ago, I was at the office, sharing good food with my friends and colleagues which coincided with our team’s return to full operations after several months of being shut down by the pandemic.


This time around I’m just at home with my family as the pandemic is still far from over and has taken quite a toll on all of us. Monsoon rains and a magnitude 6.7 earthquake earlier in the day made this annual event something definitely unique and worth remembering.


The projects started last year – the podcasts and newsletter, have been all but neglected and it’s been a struggle to get back at it. So it would be fitting to finally break the blogging hiatus with this update. It’s not that I have completely stopped writing, I simply stopped publishing. Most of what I’ve written since May has been kept in a personal journal and a note-taking app that has been steadily being filled up with notes, ideas, and rough drafts of upcoming pieces that I hope you’ll enjoy or at the very least find interesting.


Aside from nearly half a year’s worth of content-in-development, my book collection has grown quite considerably. One of the goals for this year is to finish a book per month. With four months left, the to-read pile has really grown.


Looking back, and in the context of the pandemic, I should not be too hard on myself as making it this far, in good health, and sitting on a big pile of drafts is still quite an achievement knowing that there are others that have had far worse.


With that in mind, I have decided that as I will get back to regularly publishing content starting today, part if not most of it must be of help to others. Content that will enrich their knowledge, or perhaps help them with their own struggles and contribute to their own success no matter how big or small.


So I hope you’ll stick around. Together, I’m quite positive we’ll all make it through to see better days.

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GCash Customer Service – No More Chat Support

In a bizarre and anti-consumer move, GCash has stopped offering customer support via chat. Back in February, you can reach their customer service team via chat from within the app which was great because they don’t have a dedicated hotline.

Sadly, that is no longer available, instead, we now need to create a ticket in order to reach out to their virtually non-existent customer service team.

While almost every other business has enhanced their customer service efforts by embracing social media, GCash has went into the opposite direction and made it harder for customers to get help. They still don’t have a dedicated hotline, no presence in Facebook or Twitter and now the only way to reach them is by creating a ticket. Frustrating!

If any one from GCash is reading this, how can you be so unkind and unhelpful to your customers?

Disclaimer: This blogger is not connected to GCash

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Concerned Online Citizens vs Executive Secretary et al.

Last July 29, 2020, Concerned Online Citizens – social media personalities, bloggers, artists, professionals even students who use the internet and social media to speak on issues of public concern in filed a petition to strike down as unconstitutional the Anti-Terror Law.

  • Let’s fight for our rights both online and offline
  • The Bill of Rights should apply everywhere, including the internet
  • Free expression should be protected across frontiers and the media we use
  • There should be no threats and no terrorist-tagging of citizens expressing themselves online and offline
  • 73 million online Filipinos should be protected
  • The people should not be afraid of government. The government should be afraid of its people.
  • Cybercrime Law noon, terror law ngayon
  • Kung walang ginagawang mali, bakit takot ang gobyerno sa placards at Facebook posts

I am humbled and privileged to join some of the biggest names on social media today:
@macoydubs1

@SexbombGurl

@robcham

@victoryliner

@thysz

@markgeronimo_

@ka_bino

@PinoyAkoBlog

@darnitJC

@mongster

@leanporquia

@Punongbayan_

@albertraqueno

@blogie

@TheRainBro

@giasison

& Aling Marie

Below is a fully copy of our petition.

We wish we could have added more, however time & the restrictions of the on-going community quarantine have prevented us from doing so.

Follow & interact with all of each of us, we are eager to hear from you as well especially if you have experienced harassment or being attacked online for speaking up. Together, we will defend and fight for our rights be online or offline.

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Thirty-five

I am now in my mid thirties. Life has been tough, especially in the last couple of years. And I never thought that I would be alive in the age of a pandemic. On the other hand, it’s been fun, challenging and worth the pains, struggles, setbacks and even defeats. It’s great to be alive!

The past couple of months, in particular, have been amazing – I’ve launched a science podcast, a newsletter, and recently, an advocacy group that had already made great strides towards its goals. Other side projects are steadily moving forward even if it’s in small baby steps.

In the coming days, I’d be joining other brave bloggers and netizens in a great and noble endeavor. Just to be in their company is both humbling and a great privilege.

On the home front, I am mightily proud of being able to sharpen my cooking skills. Salads and more vegetables have become part of my diet. Something my mom would definitely be proud of. Perhaps I’d talk more about it in the upcoming posts.

Much more needs to be done. My growing pile of books to read for starters. Sticking to regularly updating this blog and adding a few chapters to a writing project that’s really close to heart.

Adding a few pounds wouldn’t hurt. Improving my skills and staying healthy – getting through this year in the age of coronavirus would remain my primary pre-occupation. To all my friends, colleagues, readers and followers, thank you to each and one of you!