A glimpse of Belgian sunset


         Being a seafarer is enduring weeks and even months on board a vessel without setting foot on land. No wonder people of this profession (especially me) tend to get exuberant and excited once arriving on a certain port. The main reason: shore leave (though this doesn’t happen every time the ship is on port). These two words perfectly denote a total escape from day to day hard work on the ship, a moment of relaxation, setting eyes on new and various places and of course, the answer to month-long yearning to walk on dry land.

        One of the most memorable shore leave that I have experienced so far was that on Bruges, Belgium. Our ship was moored on Zeebrugge port so we are privileged to go downtown.   It was my first time to walk on a European land and I was anxious to see lots of scenic places on this municipality. Unfortunately, we only have a limited time to roam around and we have to return to the ship for our port duties. Nonetheless, we took some photos along the road for souvenir  and bought some Belgian chocolates for pasalubong.

Dealing with Technology Trend

        When smartphones and other electronic gadgets were on the rise, I was anxious to get hold of the latest model, the one with the most awesome specs and those with the amazing designs. I used to watch in awe as my classmates showcase their gadgets, all in its innovative and spectacular glory. When passing by an all electronic gadget stall inside the mall, I stand for minutes staring at the array of mobile phones, tablets and laptops with this note in mind: someday, I am going to buy one of those silver and shiny stuff that my classmates and other friends have.
          When I had my first salary, I thought of buying the latest model of this particular smartphone. To my own surprise, I rejected the idea and kept my money instead. Same goes with my succeeding months on board. And every time I look at the shop to check on some gadgets, the urge of buying was already gone.
          Now I guess I am contented of the things that I already have (my current phone is a local brand phone but enables me to browse the internet, update my FB and Twitter etc.). I don't need to keep up with other people with the latest model of this and that. Though I don't have any negative sentiment towards technology, perhaps it is the inner me telling me that first things first and spend my money well.
          Indeed, people today tend to go with the latest trend as different gadget manufacturers continue their race to upgrade models every now and then. Living in a world where cyberspace has expanded through innovation, we must take a firm stand on how to deal with the flow without violating our morals and our sense of judgment. We are free to use any gadget for whatever purpose, but we must be responsible enough in doing so. And prior to buying such gadget, take some consideration first (can you afford it? is it badly needed? etc.). It is a virtue to allot some time to think about your decisions. So goes a modern Filipino saying: "Isip-isip din pag may time."

On Writing


           I actually don’t have the courage to write something like this (blog entry) because I am afraid of being criticized. I am afraid of being laughed at because of my grammar, my choice of words and the way I organize my thoughts. I am afraid because maybe, some scary copy readers or people with the habit of pointing out other’s mistake might look upon my work and make a great deal out of it, negatively.

           When the idea of making a blog account came upon to me, I tried having several blogs, one after another, posting some poetry and self-authored short stories. Unfortunately, all those accounts were wiped out of oblivion because I failed to update them and I already forgotten how to get to them ( I can’t even remember their blog titles).  I guess one of the reasons why I stop updating them is that there is this not-so-good comment on a particular entry that made me stop writing and posting it for everyone to read.

           But somehow, reading blogs of other people made myself realized that it is not necessary to be so much into perfection (nobody’s perfect though) and embracing others comments as constructive criticism is definitely a good attitude for self-development.  All you need to do is be yourself when it comes to writing. No need to impress. Just express. Unlike technical writing and other forms of thought expression which follow strict rules and standards, everyone is free to write on his own style in blogosphere.

         With these things on my mind, I started scribbling down things that happen to pass on my mind. I usually do that because writing for me is really sporadic. I can’t just sit down then write. That will only make me lose my interest in writing, so I decided to bring a small notebook and a pen wherever I go.   I jot down everything that pops out of my head, leaving the pages of my small notebook with a series of jumbled words, phrases, topics and ideas. The best thing that I love about doing this is that when I start to make an article and type it in my computer, I don’t have to wait for long hours staring at the blank page on the Microsoft Word and squeezing the juices out of my drying brain. My imagination will then begin to expand, reaching out to the darkest recesses of my mind just to dig more and more ideas.

        Now that I garnered the courage to write, I will, of course, write. Write about anything, about everything. I won’t suppress this  unspeakable urge and freedom to express myself and share what’s on my mind.  It’s time to make a stand on writing.

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