Thursday, October 16, 2014

Living in the Third World

2:06 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera 4 comments
I open my blog when I get emotional. My blog and my ability to smith words into subsequent strings and paragraphs is my only weapon to this vicious world. Perhaps, I was given this skill to share to my friends, readers or maybe to the world a different perspective - a different light - of how life is, here in the Philippines.

The thing is, I live this seemingly 'okay' life but actually isn't. You can always alter your life online but when you failed to pay your internet bill - you will most likely reflect all the things you've seen and posted - even evaluate your true feelings.

Problems arise from here and there and when shit hits the ceiling. We are no different than those people who we think struggles more than us. The truth is the majority refers to themselves as survivors. Our parents taught us how to survive. And for us, that's just the end of it. The world just means survival.

And that's what I think that's wrong! Man this is not The Walking Dead! No, not yet.

Sunset . Bankerohan Public Market. (c) Cinegang Productions
We take different ways and we gamble even if we get ourselves lost. That's how we live. A life of uncertainty and a life that easily crumbles when you become vulnerable. We weren't taught how to get rich and people always look for others to blame. We blame ourselves and then the government. While the latter is up to debate. Why would you waste your time expressing yourself to our corrupt politicians? Their ears are dead to the poor unless they plan on running again.
 Years have passed and still, we learn nothing. We just keep on fighting even if there's no fight to fight. We sometimes think we are being oppressed when we are not. I know this won't make sense to you. And I know I sound a little emotional than I should and that's why I can't tell you exactly where this is going. I also can't tell you what happened prior this but I can tell you one thing. Today, I witnessed how money actually makes the world go round. That's the truth.

We would probably mock scripted shows depicting an exaggerated poor vs rich scenario but when you think about it - it's the truth. And we can't always blame the rich because they stand - and they will - for what would make their lives more convenient. Convenience. An image of a happy family in a big house full of elaborate details, expensive furniture, maids scrubbing the floor, drivers flirting with the maids and guards sleeping by the gate waiting for you to honk a million times.

 On the other side of the coin, is an image of a family struggling and wanting just enough to make ends meet. Surviving. Or maybe even more so that the financial burdens they bear may be dissolved and live a simple life. A small house in a subdivision with a front yard full of flowers and happy people. Happiness.

Happiness isn't a prerequisite to wealth. Get real! It's the other way around.

The only reason why the majority looked happier is because they savor the slightest amount of happiness they can find. And that's not necessarily a good thing. But do you think they're really happy? No. When they get back to their homes after a gossip session with their backstabbing neighbor reality creeps in and they just have to do something. They live in the now. Apparently, survival ain't enough.

Surviving ain't living. And I choose to live.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Muggle Juggle

11:04 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , 1 comment
There have been plenty of developments to my life lately but nothing romantic of the sort. That's not a bummer though because I seriously don't have time for that except that I get to think about it in times like this where my thoughts wander about just everywhere. Gee! I want pizza! I want chicken! I want beer. No. Milktea. Guess, I haven't changed.

Going back, thank God! Finally, I'm a senior student now. Let that sink in for a minute. Whoo! I'm in sheer joy whenever I see myself wearing the senior's uniform. It's like - I don't know - wearing some kind of medal or something. And I get to wear it twice in a week. How about that? You know, forgive me but simple things like that means a lot to me now. Simple things.

Here's an artwork I made recently. It's a personal project I call 'Font Series'.

Simple things because my life just got complicated. Sometimes it's a mess and sometimes I make it appear like it's not. I don't know. Coz, aside from our Capstone project, the On the Job Training which I seriously need to give attention to by rendering more hours and some minor but needy subjects I have taken some risk to get extra income. I know what you're thinking but hold that thought for a while.

I'm not sure about this but all of a sudden it's like the world finally turned around and told me in a very familiar voice "I have piled up some straws for you. Now turn them into gold!". Then you realized the voice was of Morgan Freeman and like any other movies narrated by that cool guy my journey was just about to begin.

And here I am with projects from here and there. I have two out of school affiliations which requires my design and video editing skills, respectively. I'm still with the Davao Bloggers. I have two personal projects on queue and oh my gahd I have some responsibilities in the student government. I have also managed to develop some penchant for Tacos (I normally I don't eat Mexican food), acquired two new gadgets and I may have gotten that 'weird' vibe around me like when I dreamed I ate a live goldfish. Also I've been contemplating of trying 'skateboarding' for a hobby.

I'm not complaining though. In fact, keep them coming YOLO. lol. This is why I haven't been able to blog lately and I don't know, with all the stress, this would either make or break me.

So please if you have nothing important to say don't add up to my stress. Please? Just give me that for my birthday present. And yeah it's coming. I'll be a year older in days time! Hahaha. No plans yet but my empty non-existing wallet tells me that I'm penniless. So I'll probably have no birthday plans at all. I wish to do more good decisions in the years to come though so I can "Live long and prosper." That sounds like a good plan! For now. I'll be Spock until I have some concrete plans for my future. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Smart Introduces LTE-Advanced 5G Technology to PH

6:50 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , , , No comments
Netizens and Social Media aficionados, rejoice! I've never been so excited to share some good news. Let me cut to the chase, here it goes!

 PH goes ‘5G’Smart fires up LTE-Advanced

Co-founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart Orlando B. Vea (first from left) during the tests of 5G LTE-A in Smart last year, where speeds reaching 209.66 mbps were recorded.

Two years after it pioneered the deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G technology in the country, wireless services leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) announced that 5G wireless technology LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), is now running in the Philippines’ largest and strongest network.

Smart switched on LTE-A at the Smart Jump Center in Mandaluyong City recently, setting the next phase of mobile communication technology beyond 4G LTE standards.

LTE-A, referred to as ‘5G’ by reports on leading global mobile operators AT&T and T-Mobile, delivers data from between 100 megabits per second (mbps) to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), or ten times faster than 3G services and more than twice as fast as 4G services.

By firing up LTE-A technology on its network, Smart joins only a handful of carriers around the world with an LTE-A network, along with leading mobile operators in South Korea, United States, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.

“Even as our 3G and 4G networks continue to be unrivaled, Smart becomes the first operator to leap into the future and put the Philippines at par with the world’s most advanced countries in terms of mobile communications technology,” said Orlando B. Vea, founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart.

With LTE-A, a 10MB file takes less than a second to download, YouTube videos no longer have to buffer, and video calls are almost lag-free. But beyond speed, LTE-A’s main feature is also its capability to allocate more network resources to users when the need arises. Smart started testing LTE-A across the country in August last year, delivering results of more than 100Mbps in Makati City, in Boracay, and in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival.

Internet for all

Ramon Isberto, Public Affairs head for Smart and its parent company the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), said that the recent development is part of the company’s multi-pronged approach in addressing the various needs for internet and data services in the market.

“The PLDT Group’s strategy has always been to create solutions that address the varying needs of all segments of our customers, to bring fixed, wireless and mobile broadband services where they really matter. They may be delivered at different speeds and volumes, using a variety of technologies, and meant to respond to a wide range of needs of the market – but all of it is aimed at bringing the benefits of the internet to every Filipino,” explained Isberto.

This strategy meant deploying a combination of Fiber-to-the-Home, Next Generation Network, Time-Division Duplex LTE, Frequency-Division Duplex LTE and vDSL to bring internet to every Filipino home, and 3G, 4G, and 5G or LTE-A for mobile subscribers, according to Isberto.

“We are able to deliver all these high-bandwidth services and applications on the strength of our transmission backbone network, which is the most extensive and most resilient in the country. Aside from allowing us to commit to speed, our unmatched network resources give us the edge in terms of efficiency and reliability,” added Isberto.

Smart’s nationwide coverage is backed by PLDT’s fiber optic cable connection which has now reached nearly 90,000 kilometers, or more than four times than competition. To further strengthen this domestic fiber optic network (DFON), PLDT also set up third legs in its fiber loops in key areas nationwide, the latest of which is the Bohol DFON project that provided redundant links between the Visayas and Mindanao.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day 1: UIC-SSG Team Building 2014

10:31 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , , 10 comments
Summer is not summer without the sun slowly burning your epidermis. So, as usual, the day started with me hiding from the shadows of the buildings acting like a superhero or a total fool as I raced against time to save the world. But that's just me singing to Maddona and Justin T's 4 Minutes.

Anyway, I was on my way to the assembly area for our team building activity. Unlike before, I was armed with a wristwatch I stole from my brother. It was a magical wristwatch which gave me magical time-noticing abilities. Time-noticing, new word!

With time on my hands I even got to sing 'Happy' on my way to the school. So, aside from the wristwatch, I've got an old backpack my Mom prepared for me because I don't know how to pack shit! lol.

Grabbed from my IG: Follow me @immarkable

So I finally arrived. But even before I could actually step into the premises of the school I saw two familiar faces along the way. They were the lead organizers of the team building, Jazmine and Jason, and they were just on their way to look for a jeep that would bring us all to Sasa Ferry Wharf; and from the Wharf to Samal Island.

When I finally got inside the school I saw a group of people crowd under the shades of a small tree at the school quadrangle a.k.a Farmville. I'm usually friendly and all but it was just so freaking hot outside that I decided to go inside the SSG office.

After a while I went out to check if my co-ITE legislators, Anna and Kim, has arrived already and they did. So I went to them and we talked a bit about pretty much random stuff but it's mostly about Kim Wong's killer bangs and how I kind of hate 'selfies'. They brought it up when I used my front camera as a mirror. Kim insisted I was doing a selfie so I turned the tables and swore to the old and new Gods that I will pick on Kim's bangs for the rest of the team building. So Anna and I started making jokes about Kim Bangs until BANGS PANES! The jeepney has arrived.


So the jeepney ride was just like any other long and boring jeepney rides. It was hot, dusty and the tall grey commercial buildings provided nothing but despair. As expected everyone got a free face powder at the end of the ride.


The locals call it barge but actually it's a ferryboat because it carries passengers as well as vehicles. A barge is built mainly for carrying heavy goods in rivers and canals and we're at the sea so therefore we rode a ferry to get to Samal Island.

Check the top right photo - if you see IT!
Like duh? It's called Ferry wharf for a reason!

Anyway, it wasn't the first time I've gotten aboard a Ferryboat. I think it was my third and I didn't feel seasick this time. Just my luck!


So our final destination was a resort called Mahan Garden Beach Resort. It is located at Barangay Caliclic, Babak District, Island Garden City of Samal. It was my first time in that resort so I googled about it the night before and I got what I expected.

It wasn't much but they have a spacious front yard where most of the activities could take place.

Sounds fair enough.

My blogger instincts turned on so I toured around and took photos of the tree-houses, gazebos and of course the beach. As expected for Samal beaches, Mahan Garden offers a good white sand beach and inviting blue waters. That's good enough for me.


So the program kicked off with some welcome speeches from the organizers and from the SSG moderator Ms. Anaflor Sacopayo. Then we were grouped and like I mentioned on my previous post, I lead team called 'Powerpuff Girls with Mojo-Jojo'. It is composed of 6 girls and 2 boys with me being Mojo. You can connect the dots!

Image Credit: Bottom Left & Right photos c/o Bella Bundan.

It was then followed by a bizarre activity headed by a guest speaker where we were asked to dance some kind of ritual or something. I didn't get the name of the said exercise but it sounded Chinese and the exercise itself was like a mix of yoga, tai chi and kung pao chicken. mistake, I got hungry writing this! Sorry, I meant shaolin kung fu!

As the activity progressed, things got weirder and weirder with all the clapping and chanting but it's not without any value because the activity is made so that the groups and its members will bond. It also established more 'getting to know' with our teammates, like we got to know who's the competitive, the know-it-all, the thinker et al. More activities followed but I just feel the need to mention the dramatic chops of the execs who tested everyone's patience and temper by acting like a pain-in-the-ass. Like, bitches on the beach!


So this is it pancit!

I was running towards the front yard with my girls and the other groups. The moment we got there, we were briefed about mechanics of the game called 'Stepping Stones'. So the mechanics of Stepping Stones is simply that all members of a group should get across the other side of the garden without touching the ground. A line was drawn on the other side for obvious reasons. But here's the catch! Everyone must run to the far side of the garden and choose their 'stepping stones' from a pile of rocks, tiles and well - stones!
Image Credit: Bella Bundan
We thought it was going to be easy and I think it was. But we had to repeat three times because one of my girls couldn't get her balance right. lol. But to be fair, we got the wrong set of 'stones'. We got some big tiles yes, but we also have rocks with rough and edgy surfaces making it almost impossible to maintain equilibrium. It was the first activity so we kind of felt bad about being the last to finish but one of the execs, Jason, told us that even though we finished last, we finished the fastest. So we felt good ulet! lol. Bipolar lang. Hahaha!

The second game was the most aggravating of all. It's called Helium and it really tests one's patience. Something that I really don't have. So the objective of the game is to lower this hula hoop to the ground with each of the member holding out a finger where the hula hoop can rest. It's still about balancing and all. If your finger doesn't touch the bottom of the hula hoop then someone would blow a loud whistle into your ears, into your nerves and shatter your brain! DO IT AGAIN!
Image Credit:  Bella Bundan

One of the powerpuffs, Alysa, told us she played this game before so we decided to go with her strategy. She took the lead and told us to trust her, told us to close our eyes but it was damn hard for me! In a tricky situation with one of your senses off you're probably as good as dead. So it didn't work out like she wanted and we're sorry about that but things just don't work out the first time.

So we changed our strategy. To be honest we really didn't have any real strategy. But with our eyes wide open we started talking, we started communicating, with respect to Alysa we still listened to her every word. Then Karen spoke, and I did too because I almost had a heart-attack when my finger almost lost contact with the hula. It did several times, I got caught several times and I almost lost hope. But then we realized we couldn't possibly lower it all at the same time or one at a time, it needs two to three person to move and then wait for the other side to move. It's like maintaining a healthy relationship, there should be give and take! Char Baki!

And before we know it, we were on the ground already. Yes! We were last again but what matters is that we made it. I just wanted it done to be honest! But we made it. :D


After dinner everyone was invited to head over the function hall for a Night Jam. Later on, everyone went to the beach where they prepared a cult-ish arrangement of candles and torches. lol. Seriously, it was a cool set-up. The kind that reminds you of the TV show 'Survivor'. It was supposed to be campfire but for some reasons campfires are prohibited. I don't know what this portion is called but I referred to it as the "Intimate candlelit Sharing by the Beach" in my previous post. That pretty much describes the whole affair. Everyone opened up, except for a few others like me and my co ITE legislators who never got the chance to talk but it was okay because we were really sleepy by then and our stories would never amount to any of the sob stories shared by the others.

Even so, I liked this part of the Team Building because I love listening to stories and I could relate to some especially with stopping school, financial trials, weight problems, and someone shared about being a rover scout! Woot. It was just nice to know that you are not alone in this world. Not ever!

After that I went to the girl's dormitory to avail of the free wifi by Ilovekaye. I also stopped by the function hall where some of my co-participants where watching the indie film 'Yanggaw'. Finally, I hit the sack! And there ends the first day of the Team Building! :D

Anyway, here's a video of our Team Building Day 1 compiled and edited by Viennarz Curtiz.