Thursday, July 24, 2003


Sorry about the silence. Here, have a read.


The horrible thing about a powerful storm (apart from the damage in terms of lives and to business and industry) are the outages that serve to remind me that I live in a third-world country (aside: here in the Philippines, outages are commonly known as “brownouts” rather than blackouts for reasons that escape me).

Living on top of building in an apartment that clearly was designed for artificial air during a power outage means long and intense hours of humidity and heat (despite the rain). The design of our windows cleverly forbids the passage of breezes, errant or otherwise, so with aircon and fan dead, you have no choice but to stifle in the darkness.

I hate outages almost as much as I hate traveling by land in a vehicle.

With no electricity, I have no computer, therefore no writing (and please, do not ask me to write by flashlight or candlelight in longhand). No games on PC or whatever platform. No books, comics or labels. No smoking (because of poor ventilation).

Add to that the heat that makes an amorous intentions very taxing.

And across from my building, I can see the gigantic “Peace” sign of Meralco, the electric company, in its brightly-lit glory.

Peace indeed.


That stands for Key Retailers Meeting that attended with one of our apparel clients today at the New World Hotel.

The highlight for me, of course, was the fashion show. Lovely ladies in really tight tops and bottoms strutting their thing within arm’s reach. It was almost enough to make my partner and I decide to get in retailing ourselves.

There’s something about models and their vacuous visages, half-smiles and arms akimbo that gets to me. There’s that particular gait, that swishy walk with hip-popping action, that charms me. Those that have confidence radiate it like a thousand candles. Those that have no business on the ramp tempt me to hurl my drink in their direction.

But on the whole, how can I not respect people who make a lot of money by just strutting around? If I had their looks, I’d do the same thing.

Or get into porn.

and then there were…

I visited my old workmates the other day to see how things were doing with their company. I had heard all sorts of nasty things over the industry grapevine (Manila is small, and the industry is smaller) and wanted to see if there was any truth to the aspersions.

The answer is yes, but not the degree that the savage rumors would have me believe.

My friend, the head honcho, elected to leave, as well as other prominent figures, leaving a tighter, more-focused company that should be able to succeed in the future.

Standing around that office, smoking with friends, made me feel sad about all the changes they were experiencing. Many people were laid off and surgical changes were put into place.

It’s always terrible to let people go. However, the survival of the business is paramount, after all. I feel like a scarred veteran who is not too jaded to still be saddened by the demands and realities of running a show.

Here’s to the old crew at the old company – I wish you guys only the best.


Actually, the entire tech portion of our industry is in trouble.

Gone are the days of the easy millions developing this or that system, application, database or enterprise whathaveyou.

Companies have now either developed in-house competencies or outsource portions of the development work to really cheapo outfits (mostly undergrads or new grads). Giant companies have entered the small and medium market with impossible to beat pricing and competence.

What is realistically left? Content management, light apples, the occasional site, the small projects. Or things that require little development or customization, perhaps use of existing modules, things like that.

There is still money, yes, but it is difficult to project a sustainable business based on serving that need alone. If at all, tech should be supportive, not the thing itself.

Tech-idiot that I am, I’m just glad I never truly got my feet wet one way or the other (barring the occasional technobabble pitch).

negative appeal

One of my friends won an account by claiming inability to perform the task required.

After the briefing, he told the client – “We can’t do this. No one can do this. If the other bidders say they can, please put me in touch with them because we can sell the technology to the US.”

Apparently, the client was told by all the other bidders that it was possible, and my friend was the lone voice of truth.

It’s a good thing to hear in this day and age when false proficiencies are offered in the hope of landing a deal.

And I’ve had enough of that, really.

life lessons from the cove

After playing Tropico 2, here are the top 10 lessons I learned:

1. It pays to have whores. Sex calms everyone down.
2. Give people a drink. Beer and rum make people happy.
3. People may be happy for a while because of something you’ve done for them, but happiness is fleeting.
4. Everyone has something to bitch about. If you want to succeed, listen to most of them but make no promises.
5. Manage your money well. The aesthetic gives way to the essential.
6. Rule with a firm and occasionally erratic hand. Be consistent but once in a while have someone killed for the sake of anarchy.
7. There is a difference between a wench, a skilled wench and a courtesan. Their price.
8. Some people need structure. Some need to be free.
9. You can live a meatless existence, if you can only grow corn, bananas, papayas and sugarcane.
10. Tobacco makes people happy. Absolutely.

di another day

It’s over between Diana Zubiri and me.

It seems that while she is a photogenic bombshell, on TV or in person she is quite underwhelming.
Thus ends my prurient interest in her.

Aubrey Miles on the other hand, despite her new tendency towards GP-rated films with less skin (brought about, no doubt by the fact that she co-hosts a noontime show and needs to keep a somewhat wholesome image), still rocks.

So that’s it. Aubrey’s number one.


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