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If you have nothing to read, READ THIS!

I love books! I have so many books, ranging from philosophy to literature, from sciences to mathematics. However, I have to admit, because of my busy schedule, I have no time to read. But thanks to my boss that he had reintroduced me to the joy of reading and learning.

One of my favorites, among my little collection, is T. S. Eliot’s compilation of works, published by Harcourt. The copyright page read: 1951. A very rare collection, I had this book for only P150 ($3.46/Euros2.47) in one of the thrift shops in Manila. The storeowner, I think, knew the exact value of this book. Truly, a rare find to a bookworm like me!

Another one is my “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” 1922 edition; I bought it for around P30 ($0.69/Euros0.45). However, some pages were torn and that really ruined my heart. But I kept the copy anyway, hoping that in my book hunting, I could find a new one with complete pages!

One of my well-kept collections is Sigmund Freud’s quite thick book. It was translated by Dr. A. A. Brill; the copyright page says it was published in 1933. The cover was changed to hardbound.

Now you have a bird’s eye view of my collection. Are you envied yet? 😛

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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Random Thoughts

 

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Learning how to write

I have been in the writing or journalism business for nine years.

In 2001, I was hired as a proofreader for a Filipino newsweekly. I struggled to go up: I’ve been admitted to become their correspondent. My first paycheck’s worth Php.500 (US$11.54 in the current FOREX, but it’s lower,  I think that time). I was happy not only to see my byline but being paid to write a story.

Years have passed, I’ve been promoted to junior reporter, to senior reporter, then to section editor, until the print version of that newsweekly folds up in 2008. I did a short-time PR stint with a federation of government workers’ union, while continuously doing freelance writing with an international newsweekly, PINAS; the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Media Office; and Bulatlat.com.

***

As I have said before, my dear readers (naks!), I get used to stiff writing. Journalism requires serious tone; the more serious the tone is, the more authoritative the article is. Until I came to realize that in the information marketing business, stiff writing is a big NO, NO.

Since you’re selling something to people, you need to be “friendlier” to them. You need to interact with them, engage them into a dialogue, and convince them to buy your product. In the news, you can’t do that. You need to be “impersonal,” meaning you need to detach yourself in the subject that you are writing. You can serve as the storyteller, but never a part of the story.

But in information marketing, it is otherwise. You need to get involved with your readers and build a rapport. In order to that, you need to learn how to converse through writing.

***

I’ve asked my wife about my writing. And she casually said, “Masyado kasing formal. Masyadong seryoso.” And it’s true! Even my short stories, my essays, even my poems have this kind of tone. Maybe it’s my personality. Or am I just afraid of letting go my more “humane” side?

Yeah, I have to admit that going from serious to a complete joker gives me goosebumps. It brings me this kind of fear, that fear of losing the respect of my colleagues, my friends. However, change is inevitable. Even in the journalism world, the face of reportage is changing. They are more into this literary journalism—writing news in a way that is far different from the old ways.

Gee! I need to change or die. I need to cope, in order to survive. Charles Darwin, I am now listening! I need to be tough against my tough writing and to change it, relax it a little bit, in order to survive. Thank you so much about that…

It’s me,

N. S. B.

P. S. Thanks to Catherine, my very, very good friend for a nice chat today, in between breaks. I love you so much, Cathe! By the way, Happy International Women’s Day to you and the rest of the women who work to make this society better. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Random Thoughts

 

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world of hybrids

Twentieth century is the century of hybrids — hybrid cars, hybrid computers, and of course, hybrid outsourcing. Haven’t heard of the term hybrid outsourcing?

Hybrid outsourcing is a combination of near shore and offshore outsourcing. One of the companies that uses hybrid outsourcing is Britain’s oldest encyclopedia, the British Encyclopaedia. In the United Kingdom (UK), small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) are actually using hybrid outsourcing to back-up their businesses.

In the Philippines, I think there are only few hybrid outsourcing firms. One of these is the FlexPoint Outsourcing, being managed by the CreativeLynx International, Inc. based in Libis, Quezon City. The top five call centers that uses hybrid outsourcing models,  as I have researched through the internet are Accenture, Convergys, LWS Media, People Support and Teletech.

FlexPoint Outsourcing boasts its services as reliable, fast, efficient, and of course cheap. Paul Galasso, the chief strategist officer of the firm said in an article that he wrote, hybrid outsourcing is one way of helping small enterprises or businesses to boost their income more as the firm, just like FlexPoint, takes out the secondary task out of their hands, so that the business owners or entrepreneurs can focus in their core business activities.

In the Philippines, outsourcing, also commonly known as business process outsourcing (BPO) is considered a sunshine industry, employing around a million people – most of them are young professionals – and had an estimated aggregated income in 2010 of US$11 billion. Of course, the number one factor that attracts business to outsource their secondary tasks or those things that are needed, but least important in the whole business, cycle is outsourcing, just like the hybrid type, cost reduction in terms of business operations. Contrary to popular belief that business process outsourcing is a serious threat to local workers, i.e. American professionals or skilled-workers, it can actually boost local employment.

Hmm, this sounds interesting. Anyways, hybrid outsourcing,  I think would be the fad in the BPO industry in the Philippines, or elsewhere.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Critical Essay

 

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good morning, Philippines!

It’s now 5:56 am in my PC’s clock and in my relatively huge red alarm clock. Now, I am getting myself ready for work. Yipee! I know that this would be a very exciting day! I will talk to some of my superiors to clear things out about my task, which according to the software we’re using is due for tomorrow.

***

Yesterday, I realize that efficiency is not only how fast you write and how flawless your grammar is. You need to abide in their standards. In journalism, things are the same, however quite different. Journalism is full of jargon, straightforward and very impersonal. I need to adjust the way of my writing to the current standards that is more relaxed, more personal and more light. When I say light, “high” language is out; Homer Simpson‘s way of saying and understanding things is in.

It is not that our readers are below average but they are more at ease with homey language. My boss said that the writing must be more colloquial, if not, just like how children’s book are written. Writing is not for the sake of expressing yourself; it is a way of communicating with other people. Notwithstanding their age, educational background, and social status — you must convey the message exactly how can they understand it. It’s quite academic to say that most of the attempts to better communicate fail because of the wrong signals contained in your words or gestures. As Marshall McLuhan says it: the medium (language) itself is the message.

The Wikipedia (2011) explains McLuhan’s idea as

McLuhan understood “medium” in a broad sense. He identified the light bulb as a clear demonstration of the concept of “the medium is the message”. A light bulb does not have content in the way that a newspaper has articles or a television has programs, yet it is a medium that has a social effect; that is, a light bulb enables people to create spaces during nighttime that would otherwise be enveloped by darkness. He describes the light bulb as a medium without any content. McLuhan states that “a light bulb creates an environment by its mere presence.

Now, in writing the articles the language itself, or the way the article’s written convey either the clear or ambiguous message to the reader, thus enabling him to understand or misunderstand the essential or the core message that you want him (or her) to receive or the information that he or she must know.

It has been difficult, I admit to get away from the stiff writing that I used to, but it is a necessity to learn new methods of writing, and that is easy writing. Now, I need to read more references about this stuff and practice more until I assimilate (gee! did I use the word assimilate??? I am, again, getting academic!!!) the way that good and relaxed writers write.

Yup! That’s it! See you later folks! I must be at the office at exactly 8:30 am. Ciao!

—–

Reference:

The medium is the message (phrase). (2011, February 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:15, March 3, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_medium_is_the_message_(phrase)&oldid=414532449

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Critical Essay

 

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Catching up on my reading

On my desk, you will find at least six (6) books about marketing and popular economics. No! I have not yet returned to the university and have my doctoral degree, silly! I am writing an e-book for the office’s clients. Yep, I am into long writing right now.

***

When I was younger (I am still young, silly! I am only 30 y.o. and my birthday would be in December. It’s the only time that I would be officially 31. Yep, I am reaching my midlife. But I am proud of it! I hope that I have learned valuable lessons in the past. It’s hard to be called, “tumatandang paurong” or “tumatandang walang pinagkakatandaan.” In English, mature in age, but immature in thoughts and in deeds), I used to be in the library always. I am a typical bookworm. I love books! In our house in Antipolo, I have a small library there. My collections range from philosophy to mathematics.

Now, I am proud that I am reading again real books.

***

In this era of information and communications technology, most of the people, especially the young ones depend heavily on the internet for their information and internet. Well, that’s globalization.  However, nothing can replace a true book to read or a real newspaper or magazine to browse.

I do believe that children should be introduced to both real and electronic reading materials and caution them about the validity or the truthfulness of some of the information in the internet. Although the internet offers lots of information, the veracity or the truthfulness of the information it’s offering should have always been verified. That’s the power of research.

***

My office mate, Den, is now teaching me how to do S.E.O. I am excited about it! I know a little about the thing, but I admit, I am not an expert or a guru. Thanks for the help, Den!

***

NEWS:

I am updating this blog very often, perhaps daily, after work. So, wait for the daily gossips! Ha-ha-ha! No, I am just kidding. I am also adding some of my “creative works” here. So keep watch! God loves us all!

It’s me,

N. S. B.

 

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Random Thoughts

 

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Rach

I was longing for her for months now. I lost my cellphones so, I can’t contact her. I am talking about my good friend, Rachelle M. Santos.

She gave me a buzz, in Yahoo! messenger and I was thrilled! It’s like, oh my God! It’s Rachelle, speaking to me. I love the girl. She’s not only beautiful, she also has a big, big heart.

***

I met Rach some years ago at the MetroWalk, a watering hole for yuppies in the Ortigas area. I won’t detail here how did we meet. But it’s kinda spiritual. Anyways, the first time I saw her, it’s like “Wow!” who’s that beautiful girl, before my eyes. She’s with some friends. And from then on, we became friends not only friends but good, good friends.

***

We are meeting one of these days, perhaps, after payday! Yipee! Can’t wait for my paycheck. He-he-he! I am still waiting for some money to come and I am praying hard that it would come the soonest. (Please na, Papa God, ibigay N’yo na po ‘yong mga stipend ko, please! I will be a good boy for life na!).

***

Interested about Rach? Nope, she’s no longer available. He-he-he! Sorry guys and, uhm, my lezbo friends out there!

So that’s it for now. Ciao and have a blessed day!

It’s me,

N.S.B.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Random Thoughts

 

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By means of an introduction

I’ve been working for three days now, in an outsourcing business here in Libis, Quezon City. It has been so long since I worked in a corporate environment. My last stint as an office boy was in 2009, when I worked in a research and thesis mill in Makati. I won’t name the company, neither I will give a hint. Just guess!

***

Giving up my freelance career as a journalist and an editor is not that easy. It takes me quite sometime to finally decide to click that button to apply for a job. Luckily, a company called me, had my interview, and whoala! I am now back in the business as an office boy. I still do writing, but it’s more of doing articles for websites.

However, unlike what I am doing before, the work is lighter and the company, I think is better–absolutely much better than the previous one. I will reveal the company’s name in the near future! Just wait! Patience is a virtue! He-he-he!

***

I have created this blog, not to share you my dark secrets. It’s a kinda way of further improving my writing, making it more light.

***

Honestly, I am not familiar with ‘light’ writing. Being a newspaperman for some years, the words that come in my keyboard are totally dry, with a commanding tone: “Hey, read it! It’s a news.”

My boss, Mr. P, says that my writing is “journalese,” or “PRish” or more like of a press release. The second person point of view always wins (or worst the third person always defeat the first person point of view). I have to admit that I have to go an extra mile to make my writing a little bit relaxed.

***

Stiff writing, actually, is an unwritten law common to journalists. It’s a relief that you read an article that is light and colorful in the pages of the Inquirer, the Philippines Star or even in the progressive online news magazine, Bulatlat.com. You can have that kind of writing in lifestyle pages. I love Bianca Consunji‘s way of writing.

Now, I am learning to write like writing a book for a child. I know that it would be a tedious process, but I need to try and try harder in order to keep my present job. He-he-he!

Well, here at the company, learning is a continuous process. And as I have said before, this blog will be my taking off point of doing light writing. I will try to create funny writings here and practice more of my English, those kinds of stuff.

***

Anyway, too much for an introduction… I am just welcoming you guys in my blog! That’s all! Mwah!

It’s me, N. S. B.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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