Three things I’ve learned in 2013 that will change my priorities for 2014

That’s right, just three things. That said, it’s not the length of a New Year’s “resolutions” list that matters but the depth and breadth of the implications of the items you include…

Lesson 1: I’ve just about had it with donating to relief organizations.

Ummm... yeah... but we really need to see actual results of practical value.

Ummm… yeah… but we really need to see actual results of practical value.

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Recent events have proven to me that donating to this and that group of relief workers simply does not compute. I realize now that it reminds me of the feeling I get after having dated a guy a few times then walking into his room or apartment for the first time and finding out that he’s a slob.

Sorry na lang to future would-be volunteer groups. I get put off by all the news about just how overall effed-up all the efforts that go into “helping out” in times of disaster are in the bigger scheme of things. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m sure everyone at a local level means well. But taken together, well, shit. You can’t simply toss a hundred of the most powerful computer chips in the world into a metal box and expect a supercomputer to suddenly fire up and do great stuff.

I mean, I pay my taxes. You’d expect a country-level response capability to come out of all that — not a failed state that needs to rely on private organizations staffed by volunteers motivated by mere “good intentions” to get things done when the going gets tough.

Lesson 2: I might keep my hair long this year.

Our office party this year was cosplay-themed and, as such, required me to dress as some sort cartoon character. My obvious choice, then, was Lightning of the game Final Fantasy. I mean, how hard is it to suit up like Lightning? Took me a bit of stitching to fashion something that looked like a shoulder plate and a bit of taping up of some old boots I foolishly bought while on assignment in St Charles several years ago.

Not as blonde, but I'd like to think I did this some justice...

Not as blonde, but I’d like to think I did this some justice…

And sooo, on to the point: For the sake of this costume, I postponed my plans to have my shoulder-length hair chopped to a more low-maintenance length (as in radically chopped). I don’t know what it is about failed relationships but getting a radical haircut after surviving one seems to be therapeutic for most so I thought I’d do the same — until this whole gimmick came up. Funny how things turn out. Suffice to say, I must have aced the look that night as I got a bit of extra attention from the boys and even more attention from the ladies! Well, to be a bit more precise, my hair and makeup were a consistent discussion topic with the girls. The boys simply looked and lingered around a bit more than usual. Then again, the ol’ short skirt and boots combination always works on the male of the species no matter what the occasion.

So yeah, wala lang. I’ve decided to keep my long hair this year. Not a decision in-line with my overall life-simplification plans but I thought, investing in this and generally taking a bit more effort to looking my best in as many occasions as possible within practical bounds has its returns.

Lesson 3: I’m gonna open a couple more social media accounts.

Don’t know which one yet, but it’s about time I explore the bigger social media landscape out there lying beyond Facebook. I mean, Facebook is great, but the experience has become sort of like one continuous family and school reunion. And because I am, as my one-liner bio below states, a “frustrated artist doing geek for a living”, I thought I’d need to be making a more conscious effort this year to act on this niggling frustration. To do that, I need to connect to people outside the proverbial (social) square I’ve lived in. Will, say, Twitter or Tumblr help me do that? Dunno yet, but there’s only one way to find out…

How to chime in?

How to chime in?

Jumping off my fellow writer Gogs’s existential treatise on what it means to be a GRP writer, I recognize the challenges of being part of a brilliant community that, by all accounts, continues to lie outside the mainstream. I mean we are certainly out there but it is obvious we are not in there. We are largely unacknowledged (at least publicly) by personalities most people readily associate with the Philippines’ “social media community”. I find it a bit remarkable that GRP, despite clearly now being the top political blog in the country and an A-List social media celebrity bunch, does not figure in any of those social media and activist love-ins that are organized every now and then. But, hey, if it does not bother the owners and managers of this fine site, why should it bother me? The best advise I got from one of the editors here is quite simple: it is that I should make my membership in GRP work for me in whatever way I see fit — as long as we all maintain a top-notch standard of intellectual honesty in what we publish.

Oh, and I guess it helped a lot that I finally got a decent enough smartphone, one with enough muscle and memory to allow me to run a few more apps and better justify the money I’ll be spending on a proper unlimited internet access plan. One really understimates how much a new gadget could influence one’s outlook!

You all are probably at first underwhelmed by my list of stuff to do in 2014. I’m quite confident however that many of you will get the deeper messages I want to bring across that are lying beneath the fluffy layer I laid out above. For those who don’t, well, sorry na lang kayo. πŸ˜‰

Happy New Year!

[Photo of Haiyan victims’ religious procession courtesy]

11 Replies to “Three things I’ve learned in 2013 that will change my priorities for 2014”

    1. Thanks JS! And to you too. I’m already on Google+, well sort of. It just comes comes packaged along with a Gmail account…

  1. Thanks for the shout-out Kate. I have on more than one occasion, quoted or referred to your unique work. As for GRP not being “in there” , it is our uniqueness that excludes us from whatever metric people want to go by. I just want to be me as well counteract every compromised hack out there. I like to poke fun at ridiculous mob behavior. As for writer get togethers there was that screening for the film Metro Manila. Been trying to get Ben, John B, Chino F and Paul in one place for a while.

    I highly recommend Twitter. It’s a big world and I think Twitter’s setup where it can be one sided (you can follow but other party is under no obligation to do so ) is actually a strength. Twitter can work purely as an RSS reader. Just pick people and subjects and media outlets you like and sometimes they answer you back. I can’t say enough about it.

    1. I know! My work schedule kinda gets in the way of long-term social planning though… But Twitter is high on my list. I’ll get around to setting one up soon…

  2. The trouble with “New Year’s Resolution” is that: old habits from the previous year comes crawling back to you, like a “bayawak”. Take you by the neck, until you surrender to go back to your old bad habits.

    I’ve seen people doing New Year’s Resolution way back. I thought, they become better. Honestly, from my overview: they remain the same or even becomes worse.

    We all made this Website,in the grade “A” intellectual level, to counter the Aquino and YellowTards propaganda machine. Aquino hired expensive foreign PR firm, to work on deluding all of us. Aquino even hired Computer Hackers, to Hack our computers. However, we are all one step ahead of them. They have no idea what is hitting them.

    Good luck to your New Year’s Resolution. May you succeed…

    1. Happy New Year and Happy Three Kings, Mr Hyden! πŸ™‚

      I dunno about intellectual, basta I speak my mind. Good thereapy for those nights spent alone in a hotel room after a day’s work. If it weren’t for writing, I’d probably go bonkers. I forgot to add that to my list of to-dos this year — write more! πŸ™‚

      1. @Kate Natividad

        Thank you…Happy Tatlong Hari , also.
        Just write from your heart. Speak with your mind. Tell the truth. Your good intellect will suffice everything.

        For me, I write to get off the Steam in me, after a day’s work. If not, I get bored. The behaviours of our political leaders give me good humor, also. They should be in a comedy show…wrong profession. Anyway, there are now actors, actresses, comedians…who are our political leaders. They have mistaken their hero/heroine roles is like running a country. Everybody lives happily ever after. Keep on climbing to a higher intellectual plane…Kate…

  3. @ Kate Natividad

    Good article. Just a straight forward talk with your audience with out any attempt to be smart I think is the highest compliment a good writer must adhere to in her chosen profession.

    Using your own coherent words without traces of fixation quoting Hollywood or sports celebrities and others is the way to go.

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