It’s getting tougher each passing day. As in the photo, it’s like praying for the heavy rainfall to stop and urging the sun to come out because the rusty, leaking roof can’t take it anymore and will break your house anytime. The irony that is life. We’ve been dealing with the pandemic for over a year now. How many times have you heard somebody say “COVID is real!” Perhaps they got sick and hospitalized and lost a loved one, or among those who believed the virus and the vaccines to be a hoax or scam. You’d think you’re lucky you haven’t caught it yet and still alive. Unfortunate that the new variants of the COVID-19 virus are now widespread, causing the health statistics to get broken again and lockdowns becoming the usual, vicious remedy. And our social feeds becoming an online obituary is not exactly helping.continue reading »
You think you will never fall victim to a phishing attack or any online scam, what with all the information security technologies and data privacy restrictions businesses claim to have put in place to protect us, consumers. While I don’t get that many unwanted emails recently which usually go straight to my spam folder, a few serious-looking messages will sometimes pass through the filter and get into my inbox. Not that you’ll have a hard time figuring out if they’re fake, these email messages make it look like they’re coming from a legitimate company you signed up with, the most common of which are supposedly urgent notifications from banks instructing you to click on a link to update your details. You end up losing your hard-earned money if you don’t think twice before you click.
The internet is rife with heartbreaking stories of people getting duped and their savings drained until empty. Enough to scare you to change your account passwords more regularly. And with all the gadgets we use daily that now pay more attention to security, you’d think we should be good. Not at all, and at a time when we’re faced with uncertainties given the pandemic, these scammers aren’t stopping, in fact, they’re getting better. Last month saw me too busy, and if I didn’t take a second look, I would have been duped. Unsuspecting, with an email that arrived at a bad time.continue reading »
On the day my wife and kids and others in our compound are getting their 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Caloocan, I finally also got mine in Pasig. It’s only my first jab and had to sign up in the city where my work is located because I just couldn’t miss work and probably won’t last if I line up at 4:00 am and spend more than 8 hours waiting in too long a queue. Because that’s what my family had to endure, and many others in our barangay and perhaps in other cities as well, just to get vaccinated. Everyone seems to be rushing to get vaccinated now because of news that vaccines are scarce and running out of supply. And that some establishments are now requiring proof of vaccination before you’re allowed entry.continue reading »
A couple of months ago, my wife messaged me that there was this representative from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) going house-to-house supposedly for the national ID, but she refused to provide our details because the person was rude and couldn’t answer her questions on the data collection process and then just walked out. I would’ve done the same if I was home, even if it seems we’re now getting used to scanning QR codes, filling up forms or signing up online for contact tracing, medical waiver, and vaccine profiling, we still need to be careful and should be concerned about our data protection and privacy.
But turned out it was indeed a legitimate registration activity recently conducted by PSA in compliance with Republic Act No. 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, signed into law on August 6, 2018. PSA personnel went house-to-house amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the first step of the registration process after which an Application Reference Number (ARN) and/or QR code will be issued as a requirement for the next step. Around 27 million people have reportedly completed this demographic data collection activity. Mind you this was during the time the NCR was placed under ECQ/MECQ. Probably the reason why the online portal was perhaps rushed on its pilot run.continue reading »
Grateful to have landed a job last year after months of search in the midst of the global pandemic and I have since been working full time. By that, I mean physically going to and fro my office on weekdays as the work-from-home arrangement is not a viable and practicable option in the new company I’m working with. With prior experience working remotely, albeit a short stint, I thought remote work wasn’t for me having spent most of my career on business operations or “where the action is” and well, I was actually missing the usual face-to-face work routine or what I call the daily huddle.
So yes, while everyone seems to want to work at home, I went versus the new normal and have been braving the daily drive or commute to work while still under the pandemic. All’s well so far but that’s not to say there weren’t any hiccups. And especially now that we’ve been struggling for over a year now and have yet to recover from the recurring quarantines, with the new COVID-19 variants crossing borders, delays in vaccine availability and inoculation, and the soaring numbers in new cases. You’re crazy to want to go outside!continue reading »
It’s been over 10 years since I first discovered Instagram. While I have been wanting to do serious photography—and by that I mean get into a proper workshop or two, do an apprenticeship with friends who are doing this professionally, and go on road trips to finally bring that overly expensive DSLR out to good use—it was this photo-sharing app that got me into the habit of snap-shooting. So I sold my DSLR (which I didn’t exactly use as I intended to) and focused on phoneography—short for mobile photography or the use of mobile devices to snap photos and videos—greatly appreciating the idea of spontaneity captured instantly, with storytelling to a huge and continuously growing community across the globe, being the most valuable bonus.continue reading »