Having your time back

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I decided to delete a few apps that are known to be colossal time-sucks. So I said goodbye to Facebook, Twitter, and uhm, Tiktok.

As I write this, I must say, I don’t miss them. I don’t miss the red notifications that light up when a new message or an unread post comes along. I don’t miss checking my news feeds for any news or updates from friends and friends of friends who are all part of my echo chamber. I don’t miss the loud chatter on Twitter and the artificially driven…

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It feels as if you’re muddling through your days, looking at your life through a foggy windshield. –Adam Grant, New York Times

You’re a hamster in a wheel.

Laboring, waiting for the day to end.

You stare at the screen on some days.

Working from home, you feel disconnected. Screenburned, that is what you are.

Hours in front of a screen, you hear people talk.

Their voice resonates from your headphone. They also work from home.

In a group chat with colleagues, a remark makes you smile.

Snarky, that one.

You respond with a laughing .gif. …

I can only read so much, so writing some for now

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If you can’t code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts. — Naval Ravikant, The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

Everyday, I deal with words. I edit copies one sentence at a time. These words are written to sell or inform. They target customers who are busy and distracted, also bombarded with messages from brands–just like the one I work for.

Writing for me is a job. It was a vocation when I was chasing stories as a beat reporter. But after 20 years, I pivoted to corporate. Here…

A personal reflection on the year that was

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Time flew. I’m still reeling from memories of a lockdown. But today was quite different — or that was at least what I was thinking. Admittedly, I’m struggling to find words of late, save for the lessons I have learned in 2020.

“Well, life is short!,” you tell me. 2020 reminded us of our fleeting time on Earth, our mortality, our limited and borrowed time, our purpose in this life.

Indeed, 2020 pushed us to ask over and over, “Why is this happening?”

Then, I came across Psalms 90:12, which says, “Teach…

Avoiding some common mistakes to help you get over the anxiety of teaching online

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“We can’t hear you, sir!”

Those were the first few words I heard from little speaker sitting right beside my computer screen when I started my online class. I immediately panicked. I checked my settings on the computer. I unplugged my earphones and plugged them back. Then I asked back, “Can you hear me now?” Nothing. Few seconds, and a voice came booming from my speaker.

“Sir, I think you’re on mute!”

That was when I realized I made the first mistake in doing online classes. Always check if you’re audio is good.

For seven weeks now, I’ve been holding…

Reliving the days when journalism and much of the news that we know comes from traditional sources

Photo by Umberto Cofini on Unsplash

At the end of week two of my blended learning class on publishing, I asked my class to recall times when newspapers, magazines, and other printed sources of news were still around. They were required to tell a story, as if they’re narrating it to their 10-year-old sister or brother.

The idea of reading a newspaper or a magazine sounds mundane for twenty-something College students today. And if you ask how they got their news back then, the common refrain was: my dad, grandad or another relative reads a newspaper in the morning. So, reading a newspaper was more of…

Celebrating my birthday from home or while on quarantine: A rumination

Back then when we still can go out and visit historical spots like this famous monument in Bataan.

I’m celebrating my birthday from home. This is now a common refrain from anyone growing older under today’s circumstances: a pandemic hanging over our heads while your government wants you back in the office because the economy is suffering. The last bit is a serious matter that deserves a separate post.

I blog every time I turn a new page in life. As writing is triggered by inspiration, my writing is inspired by life-changes or milestones — and birthdays are milestones.

If there’s one big lesson I learned this…

Recounting life in quarantine and counting the days before they lift lockdown

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

This is the new catch phrase for everything that follows life after the quarantine: the new normal. While this is not necessarily the end of the pandemic (because we still don’t know when), it is life after a lock down, where social distancing is normal and remote work is as common as your morning latte at Starbucks. It’s going to be the new way of life, where the threat of getting covid-19 still persists.

The manifestations of the new normal are increasingly seen and felt. More people are buying online — or at least using online means to get what…

A running personal account of my experience of this pandemic due to Covid-19

Photo by Luca Bucken on Unsplash

March 26, 2020 (7:53 PM, Manila Time) — I woke up at 7:30 AM to prepare for breakfast. I tried not to look at my mobile phone to see what’s happening since our government forced everyone in Metro Manila to stay home more than two weeks ago — 16 days to be exact.

But I can’t. I wanted to see the latest news on Twitter, Telegram, Facebook, Instagram, and other online groups, which I’m a member. Ever since this contagion started, more than 170 countries in the…

(Journalism’s) first loyalty is to citizens — The Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

Philippine media faces yet another test.

With news of broadcasting giant ABS-CBN’s uphill battle to renew its Congressional franchise set to expire in March 2020, and the more recent quo warranto case filed against it by the Solicitor General, it is hard NOT to ignore this development, especially from someone who has been part of this industry for so long.

In filing the quo warranto case at the Supreme Court, the Solicitor General argued that “[m]ass media companies operating in the Philippines must be 100 percent Filipino-owned because they play an integral role in a nation’s economic, political, and socio-cultural…

Erwin Lemuel Oliva

An ex-journalist. Teacher. Dad. Loves Guitar & Books. Writes when inspiration hits him.

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