My Life Destinations

If you ask me right now what I really dream of, I would tell you it is to travel. I want to go elsewhere, see different places, be with different people. I want to be able to take long walks in a different set of streets, be greeted by people who spoke a different language, shop using a different currency.

I want to be able to know I don’t belong there and marvel at that fact. To hear their stories and compare it with mine. To look at them live a life that’s probably contrary to how I do.

And if I would be able to do that, I have four important destinations:

Singapore

Singapore (topnews.in)

Singapore at Night (finmath.uchicago.edu)

A Southeast Asian nation that is now known for its prosperity. Many people say that the best thing about Singapore is the place’s cleanliness and discipline, as if being chaotic would disrupt the forces of nature that makes the country happy and wealthy. I would want to experience Singapore because of that promising silence. I would hardly care where I go, which tourist spots I could visit, or where to shop for good stuffs. More likely, I would stroll endlessly through the streets, marvel at the peace of the country and smile at the pleasant natives.

Egypt

Pyramids at Egypt (jaunted.com)

This is a nation known for its history. I’m not in anyway very historically-inclined but I must say it’s highly interesting to get near objects, materials, and places that signified most of the early civilizations. I like how visiting and touring around the country makes you half in Africa and half in Asia. I’m looking forward to seeing the Sinai and the Nile and of course the pyramids. And I do think it’s going to be a fun tour especially since I love how Arabs sound when they speak.

Iran

Iran (icis.com)

No, I don’t have a death wish. I’m simply curious as to how a war-stricken country would feel to a non-resident like me. I remember one of my aunts before who worked in Dubai and was forbidden to cross Iran on her way back to the Philippines. I remember being interested as to what would have happened if I went there. Because Iran had more to its existence than memories of the war. It has one of the best forms of art and entertainment. Since Iran is also one of the first civilizations, touring around the place would also be very interesting.

Paris

The Eiffel Tower in Paris (depts.washington.edu)

Who wouldn’t dream of being in Paris? Well, I maybe cliché and predictable in this one but yes. Take me to Paris today and then I’d let you kill me tomorrow. I would sit in a place where I can see the Eiffel Tower in its wholeness. I would bathe in the sunlight that passes through it and in the light that would come from it at night. I would stare at the Eiffel and tell myself over and over how good a decision it was to come to Paris. This is the only European city I would totally, totally love to tour. Of course I would visit and wonder at all them architectural heaven.

These destinations are still way too far from me, both literally and figuratively. But I know I can make things happen if I dream well enough. And if I work on this dream.

Who knows, maybe before I turn 30, I’d get all those miles intact, right?

Little Hops to the Big Shift

I can only vaguely remember sitting in class and hearing my professor talk about “little hops“. I can just as slightly recall the real definition he gave to the phrase then. If only because in the next years after that, I have learned to make sense of “little hops” in a many and varied way.

For me, now, little hops refer to the small steps people can make toward their goals. Small steps that may sometimes be insignificant but can be the most surefire of paths. Small steps that have more guarantee than big major leaps.

This thought of little hops is what I have in mind right now: while another tab in my browser is open to a webpage called BIG SHIFT/Philippines.

Big Shift Philippines

THE MANIFESTO

Or at least, that’s what the website calls its explanation of the idea behind BIG SHIFT.

The website is put up by students of The One School and some of its founders Lex Ledesma, Quark Henares, and Team Manila‘s Jowee Alviar and Mon Punzalan.

The main expectation is for the site to be an online haven of multimedia pieces as well as blog articles where people, particularly the Net community, can see and read about the “positive side” of the Philippines.

With this objective, the whole online world–especially those who have been to and are in the Philippines–are encouraged to contribute and submit their works. These may be in the form of photos, videos, or write-ups. Anything, as long as the content is aimed at capturing “the Philippines in all its splendor” (as the website itself says).

THE PRINCIPLE

Apolitical and completely devoid of any personal agenda, the Big Shift is created by the people behind it with the strong reason of wanting to help the country in being in the good books of the world.

Lex Ledesma explains, “We believe that the Philippines is often seen in a negative light by people outside of the country. International agencies cover only the calamity, corruption, coup d’etats because that is what gets people to watch their news. Good news is often overlooked and the absolute perfection of our many islands never reaches foreign shores.” (lifestyle.inquirer.net).

National pride is what Ledesma and his team feels to be the force that binds most Filipinos who are in the same quest for change and a shift in perception. This is what they shall tap along with the acclaimed artistry of many Filipinos.

They want people to acknowledge the fact that the Philippines is not just that one country in the list of corrupt nations. It is not that one country where crimes are at high rates and where rallies are always staged against the administrators. Rather, they want people to know that the Philippines, first and foremost, is composed of a multitude of definitions for the term “beautiful“.

THE STARTING POINT

Even as the website prepares for its formal launch next year, people have already taken to uploading and sharing their works. Here are some of them:

Photos:

Survivor Calaguas (By Hennesy Villaseñor)

Taal Volcano (By Jeff Arrienda)

Firedancing (By Lex Ledesma)

By Pam Pastor

Video:

Out of My Mind, Techy Romantics

If you wanna see more, visit the Big Shift Philippines. Now. 🙂 Or, for a closer look, you can go to their launch, which is set on August 12, 6PM, at Glorietta 5.

THE GOOD VIBES

The idea of Big Shift Philippines, however small others may consider it to be, is truly inspiring. Here now are young people who put up sites, not just personal blogs, that actually have bigger objectives than being simple platforms of an-almost-selfish-life-outlook type of posts.

Personally, I consider this as an effort that goes beyond the idea of photography, video-creating, and writing for the art of it. It also extends far more than harboring of good vibes. In today’s age of mouse clicks and touch pads, broadbands and modems, the Big Shift has its tracks right in reaching out to the Filipinos as well as bridging the gap of physical miles between the Philippines and the world.

If you are into photography or filming or writing, you might want to consider sharing your works with the Big Shift. It might be a little hop on your part, but together with many others who make little hops of their own, the big shift that the website envisions can actually arrive to fulfillment.

You may also visit Big Shift Philippines in:  FacebookYouTube, and Flickr.

Credits: lifestyle.inquirer.net, Big Shift Philippines

Are We Ready for India?

The country we have always considered as on the low–economy and education wise–is now on the roll.

For the past decade, India has been carrying a hefty, almost 1.2 billion population under its belt, a literacy rate of 60% recorded in 2007, and 42% of its people living below poverty line in 2005.

But despite all this, the country has started a climb on its economic ladder since it gains popularity in the business outsourcing industry. Consequently, the IT industry has also bloomed and the Indian government has had a sense of epiphany over it.

Just recently, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science in Bengalooru developed what they envision to be the world’s cheapest ‘laptop’.

India’s Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, launched and displayed the prototype last Friday, July 23, along with the statement:

“The solutions for tomorrow will emerge from India. We have reached a stage that today, the motherboard, its chip, the processing, connectivity, all of them cumulatively cost around $35, including memory, display, everything.” (Gadgetell)

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and the 'world's cheapest laptop'

Sibal also declared that following the creation of the device were talks with organizations that may agree to cover mass production. He then said that the laptop would be distributed to 110 school children and would be made available to students of higher education later in 2011.

Hewlett-Packard Indian Research Division’s Sudhir Dixit said that this latest foray of India to the IT industry was ” . . . a very strong move with good potential” (guardian.co.uk).

For only $35, the tablet-style, iPad-like laptop would come with 2GB internal memory, Internet browsing and video-conferencing features, and a PDF reader. It would run on a Linux operating software and may be battery- or solar-powered.

The World's Cheapest 'Laptop'

How could something so promising come equally affordable? Sibal reasoned that “We have reached a (developmental) stage that today, the motherboard, its chip, the processing, connectivity, all of them cumulatively cost around $35, including memory, display, everything.” (FOXNews)

The device is India’s  addition to its many strategies to increase the country’s digital market being that half of its total population–that is, 60 million people–are registered Internet-users.

But most importantly the laptop is a crucial stage in the Indian government’s hard work for the fulfillment of its vision: a nationwide satisfactory quality education for the year 2010.

Surely, in today’s no-fret, all-practicality age, the Indian-original device is something to anticipate. I have actually started thinking about my own Philippines. How long would our own administration take for a milestone like this one? But definitely, with the Filipino patience and perseverance, I don’t think we have to wait for more years. Someday, Filipinos. I just know it.

We were ready for China then. Are we ready for India now?

Must be. 🙂

Credits: Gadgetell, IStremNews, guardian.co.uk, and FOXNews