This post is dedicated to Alison Louis Armstrong, who has just nominated me to The Versatile Blogger Award, a sort of community award among bloggers who have touched each other.
Alison’s blog Adventures in Wonderland has been a roving eye on the world since she and her husband Don, her blog co-creator, co-writer, life partner, and travel mate, “sold our car and apartment, sold or gave away all our stuff, and set off to discover the world” outside of their comfort zone in Vancouver, Canada.
The adventure began in Italy in 2011, from where they traveled to Spain. A “lifetime” in India, Indonesia, Australia, and more later, the couple is now somewhere between Vietnam and Cambodia, unless as I write, at this very moment, a new chapter of this never-ending tale of world discovery has begun, taking them elsewhere like Laos in the vicinity.
To officially accept this honor, I am to tell Alison seven things about me. I will try not to overthink these seven things about me, if only so I could discover for myself what seven things about me I consider truly important in the blogosphere.
1. I’m a technodinosaur. This blog is my way of embracing the New World, a new infinite universe that stretches out as far as we can imagine and as far as we are willing to reach out. Since my introduction into this world in November last year, I am realizing more and more that it is not impossible to make myself feel at home in this world, thanks to netizens like Alison and the others who read and like my blogposts and follow my site.
2. I’m a serial comma warrior. I’ve fought many battles over what is otherwise known as The Oxford Comma or The Harvard Comma. But this comma is only symbolic of the passion for reading and writing that I wish would stay burning forever. I am also fighting for the joys and pains of these inspiring and empowering activities, the ability and ardor for which are exclusive to the human species. Sometimes, I’m afraid these things are fast becoming casualties in a world attempting to be faster than the speed of light and to make everything disposable in the name of hyperconvenience.
3. I have just written a book, Write Here Write Now: Standing at Attention Before My Imaginary Style Dictator. This blog was born seven days after I launched this book. My only intention in the beginning was to share more of the joy I found in having written a book according to the dictates of my heart. The two books I wrote before Write Here Write Now, as well as the countless magazine issues I’ve conceptualized, curated, created, and launched onto the reading public since my early twenties, I was hired to do, although I was lucky to have been able to integrate my view of the world into these commissioned works.
4. In the nineties, when I found work as editor of a magazine about Asian affluence, opulence, and influence, I believed that my mission was to help eradicate poverty consciousness in my country, the Philippines, where indeed poverty was — is and has always been — a big issue, but not as much as the people’s self-defining, self-limiting idea of lack, deprivation, and hopelessness. The latter is not the cause of our Third World state, but it does contribute much in keeping us there.
5. I have since 2006 been editing a women’s magazine called Sense&Style. Its mission reflects my own: To inform, to inspire, to entertain, to empower. It is mostly a fashion magazine, where I also feel a grounding of sorts is needed. To me, fashion is more than clothes, it’s a lifestyle choice, a form of self-expression, maybe even an artistic, creative pursuit. What I want in my approach to fashion (and to everything else in life) is to strike a delicate balance between art and commerce, between form and function, between fantasy and reality, between fun and seriousness, between style and substance…
6. Not counting the many talks I’ve given at various universities and writing schools, my first experience at teaching was last summer, when I taught over a hundred graduating students of accounting the importance of reading and writing. My job order stated that I should train them to do finance reports, business proposals, the narratives in finance documents, but as one of my students wrote in an evaluation of my performance as a teacher, I was able to do more than I was tasked to do. I did not only teach them English, I taught them “how to believe more in their dreams.”
7. I believe that writing, more than the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and wisdom, is an exploration. The greatest outcome, more than awards or royalties or readers or self-expression, is discovery.
I’m going to need more time to make my own list of nominations.