Mixed Emotions

*Sigh* I know, I know, I should be happy ... but I don't feel like jumping up and down right now.

See, I entered an online contest last week. It said on the website that the prize would be a Mac laptop, which I must say, I've been dreaming of for so long already! My PC is on its last legs and I'm fearfully anticipating this computer to keel over anytime soon. So imagine the anticipation that I could win that if I am just able to convince family and friends from the US to sign up for their promo. I think 8 people responded to my request ... they do have chances too to win free trips back to the Philippines.

So it was with wide-eyed wonder that I opened an email about an hour ago with the subject line "You won..." And my hopes deflated when the message continued "...free calls to US and Canada!" Argh, so where was the promised laptop?!

*Sigh again* It did specifically say on the website that the Sun Cellular call packs were prizes for the entries 2 weeks ago and that for last week, the grand prize was for a Mac. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers. And yes, I'm still thankful for this blessing ... it's just that ... you know ... okay, I'll shut up now ...


Feel Good Show

Every Wednesday night, the kids and I look forward to nine o' clock because that's when the show Extreme Home Makeover airs on RPN 9. It's a show in the US that's produced, I think, by the TV station ABC.

Anyway, what I love about it is the almost fairy tale-like concept of happy endings. A family writes to the show, is chosen and gets a visit by the house design team ... then the family's sent off on a seven-day vacation while the team builds the house within that short period.

I like how members of the team show geniune concern for the family's needs. They really take time to think out designs that would complement each family member's room to their personalities. Yeah, for cynics, they can simply say "Of course they'd do that! They're being paid for what they do!" But looking at them, I see their emotions -- the tears and broken voices when they talk about how much they wanted to help -- as manifestations of their compassionate selves. And that is wonderful to behold.

On my kids' part, they are always awed at how nondescript dwellings are transformed into beautiful homes. Being SIMS (the computer game where players can build houses) fanatics, I could see how interested they were at every new concept they learn each week.

Sometimes they do sigh and wish aloud, "I hope they come to the Philippines so they can build us a nicer house." And I had to explain that not everyone are granted these kinds of blessings. Besides, since the house we're living in is not really ours, we don't have the right to have it rebuilt or remodeled because we're just renting the place.

However, these talks have given me opportunities to encourage them instead to study harder so that someday, when they graduate from college and get good jobs, they can have their dream houses built. Thankfully, I think they get the idea :)


Misleading

When my sons and I do research for their assignments, we sometimes check out what Wikipedia has to say. Having grown up with 26 volumes of the International Encyclopedia at my parents' house, I am sure glad that the Internet now has these sites where you can search for almost anything and find it ... no more heavy books to lug around and no giant bookshelves to crowd the small enough spaces we have at home.

It is distressing then to find out that a lot of information on Wikipedia and other seemingly credible websites are false. Yeah, yeah, so sue me. I wasn't diligent enough to check in the first place. But from now on, I will.

Anyway, in one of my egroups, the current hot topic is an entry in answers.com where someone posted a writeup on supposedly the Philippines' 17th President, (what the ...?! Arroyo is only the 14th!) who turned out to be a student currently enrolled in UP Los BaƱos (argh, my Alma Mater to boot!).

Okay, so the guy was perhaps just expressing his dreams for his future and he is entitled to that. But to blatantly post that in a site where a lot of students around the world must probably be getting answers from for their homeworks? Tsk, tsk, bad taste!

What made it worse is that he is a fellow Development Communication student. Heaven forbid! I can just imagine some of my dead professors turning in their graves at this very moment because somebody from our beloved college had a not-so-bright idea of posting lies in a website that is suppose to provide truthful answers. What was/were he/they thinking?!

Imagine someone, from say Africa or the Middle East, who's researching about the Philippines unfortunately finding the entry. Who do you think should feel more ashamed? The student who reports to class confident that he/she got valid information? Or the stupid person who uploaded the data on the Internet (again, in a supposedly credible site) in the first place? You tell me.

Yes, I am condemning the way the lies have been spread and adamantly refuse to push the perpetrator/s into the limelight by deigning to even post the erroneous entry's link in my blog.

For goodness' sakes! We are DevCom people! We should be the ones promoting truth through excellent communication!

Oh well, that being out of my chest, I rest my case.


Amazing!

I don't think the World Wide Web will ever cease to fascinate me. Almost every day, I find new things that I can do and find here. Since I've discovered the wonders that going online brings, I have become a huge fan.

Just an hour ago, I researched the lyrics to two Filipino songs that my son needs for a school assignment. It didn't even take a minute for me to find what I was looking for. To think that during my school days, I had to browse about a dozen books and spend time in the school library before I can even finish one homework.

Yeah, kids have it soooo good these days. I just wish they wouldn't take this great technology for granted and think of it as something that is simply a part of every day living.


Overheard

Early this afternoon, while I was having a late lunch, our phone rang. My seven-year-old son answered it. The call was for him.

As I tackle my food on the table, I couldn't help but smile at the socialization that was going on. Daniel sprawled on the couch and chatted away. I was amused at the range of topics he and his classmate Vance talked about. From the model of their Playstations, type of computer operating system they each have at home (at this point, Daniel asked if we have Windows XP or another version), the CDs they play, to their pet dogs and even trivias about their family members.

More than 30 minutes later, they're still at it, gabbing away. I told Daniel to hang up and end the call because I needed to go online. I had to suppress a laugh when he silently signalled me to wait and shush.

I fear now that the time might be near when I won't be able to use the phone at this house anymore. And my son still hasn't passed first grade yet! Gosh.
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