Two Important Things I Learned from a Blogging Seminar

“What did you do over the weekend?”

“I joined a seminar” is not what someone I know would expect as my response. But I really did join a seminar! Anyway, so I attended a Blogging for Beginners seminar by Vic Madriaga of VICMADZ.com held last Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Giuseppe, The Nest.

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A few nights ago, I saw the photo above posted on Sir Vic’s Facebook page on my timeline. Vic Madriaga, by the way, is a multi-awarded blogger, social media strategist, lifestyle columnist, and is one of Cagayan de Oro’s social media influencers.

I immediately thought of joining but, as with everything else in my life, I debated with myself whether or not I should do it. Thank God I was able to cast my second thoughts aside and just went ahead and did it, because while some of things discussed I already kind of knew, I learned two important points I never would’ve learned had I not had a chance to listen to someone who has successfully done it for years.

Share It

I created this blog a year ago in hopes of developing how I write and finding my voice in writing. I wrote on it almost consistently for two months and left it to rut. But here’s the thing. Apart from three people in my life, I haven’t actually shared the existence of this blog. Only the WordPress world knows about this. Well, at least the few people who bother to click on my posts.

Sir Vic emphasized the importance of sharing your blog and not keeping it to yourself, which is what I’ve been doing. In his words, “If you want to keep it to yourself, you can but you have to share it eventually,” (probably not the exact words but you get the idea). I don’t know when eventually will come for me but it will. I promise myself it will.

Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

Sir Vic openly talked about his struggles as a newbie blogger 10 years ago back when social media still wasn’t a thing and blogging was a relatively new concept. He was so generous to share his blunders and pointed out to us what we should and shouldn’t do as bloggers. (Naks! Claim it!).

Listening to his story has reminded me that indeed nothing worth having comes easy, a construct that is easily forgotten. His success didn’t happen overnight yet he still went for it knowing it is what he wants.

Proof that this happened.

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Photo with Sir Vic. Yay! Certificate!

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Photo with everyone else in the seminar. Both photos are from Sir Vic by the way.

And here’s a photo from my point of view.

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I learned a lot of technical stuff for blogging, too, an area I don’t feel confident talking about just yet, so I opt just sharing these two things. For now maybe?

Attending this event was definitely worth it. Although I’m more into shaping my site as a personal blog, this seminar definitely opened my eyes to possibilities. A new world made possible by blogging.

Lira and Mira: Who lives?

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Photo Credits to https://twitter.com/gmaencantadia

I just have to say this…

Encantadia is the worst place to become a parent. Amihan was separated from her real daughter. Alena lost her son. Lila-Sari also got separated from daughter and now, Deshna is dead.

Danaya is smart for not having a child, at least not yet.

Back Story

Let’s talk about Pirena and Ybrahim.

Two parents who both lost their daughters. Arde, the god of death, brought Lira and Mira back to life to be used as Hagorn’s leverage against the Sang-gres. Fate seemed to side with the Sang-gres this time because they were able to successfully rescue Lira and Mira. As celebrations were about to be held, Lira and Mira collapsed and fell into an endless sleep a bit like Princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty. Hagorn, with the help of Arde, put a curse on Lira and Mira. In order to bring the young Sang-gres back, Hara Danaya sent Alena to threaten Hagorn with a war unlike any he has seen before if he does not give the cure for Lira and Mira.

For a minute there, it seemed like the Sang-gres will be able to get what they want from Hagorn. However, Deshna decides to take matters into her own hands and goes up against her evil, heartless father. Deshna attempts to kill Hagorn, fails miserably, and dies at the hands of her own father.

Grief-stricken Hagorn blames Deshna’s death on the Sang-gres instead of on himself because in his twisted reality he is the mistreated one. To spite the Sang-gres, he agrees to give the cure to Mira and Lira’s curse. But only one gets it. The other one will go back to her death.

The Choice

So how do you choose who gets to live and who doesn’t? There a lot of medical cases that come up at a crossroads like this. But that’s reality, this is fiction so let’s stick with this one.

Danaya and Alena are put between a rock and hard place. Lira and Mira are both their nieces. They love them both, of course, and having to choose one would just be unthinkable.

For Pirena and Ybrahim, even if no one will directly admit it, the choice is clear. Pirena will, of course, want Mira to live and Ybrahim will choose Lira over Mira any day.

The Queen trying to do the right thing

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Photo Credits to https://twitter.com/gmaencantadia

Having already had her stint with the dark side, Pirena struggles with herself. She recognizes how incredibly selfish she is (a fact pointed out by Mira herself). She feels guilty for wanting Mira to live more than Lira because Lira is also her niece and is also in a way special to her. She’s terrified of being capable once again of doing despicable deeds in the name of her own happiness.

The King who lost everything

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Photo Credits to https://twitter.com/gmaencantadia

If I’d visualize Ybrahim’s heart right now, I would say it’s a thousand shattered pieces. First of all, he already lost his son, Khalil. He has lost Amihan, the love of his life. He lost his daughter and he lost a lot from his kingdom. He had Lira back but only for a minute. Ybrahim is the picture of a man who is down in the dumps, has lost everything, and is desperate enough to get his only source of joy back.

Ybrahim’s decision

It was Ybrahim who succumbed and went to Hagorn to make a deal. He clearly still hates Hagorn but is desperate enough to betray his allies. After going to Hagorn, he visits Lira who is still sleeping and suffering. He tells her how much he loves her and how he does not want to lose her. A sight of a father’s heartbreak.

Thoughts

I know this fiction but let’s just say for a second that this is real. How do you choose?

For an outsider, it’s easier perhaps. Toss a coin or do the Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe thing. Let Pirena and Ybrahim have a duel, whoever wins gets to be with his/her child. If you were any one of them, what advice would you give any of them? If you were Hara Danaya, how would you decide? Would you have enough wisdom to make the right decision? In this case, what would constitute a right decision?

I honestly want to say something profound about this but really I’m at a loss for words on how one should go about this in a purely strategic way without considering emotions. So let me just end this by saying that we all have our own interests. It’s easier to judge another person’s decision if we’re not in the said person’s shoes. It will take someone really divine to just say, “It’s okay, my kid can die so you can be happy.”

My absolute truth right now is…

I know I won’t be that person.

Beautiful Madness

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You are my madness

The kind of crazy I long for

Steady and exciting at same time

Safe and deliriously thrilling all at once

You are my peace

The kind only brought about by a slow day

Uneventful yet satisfying

You are my art

The kind of beauty that stands out

Like the hues of a sunset

Exquisite and truly captivating

You are my love

The beautiful madness in my heart

Murder: Bad Topic for Small Talk

Last Saturday, I attended my sort-of cousin’s wedding. I say sort-of because technically speaking she’s my aunt but she’s younger than I am so I find it weird referring to her as my aunt.

Anyway, the wedding was in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental, which is around a three-hour bus ride away from where I live (Cagayan de Oro).

As expected, I got back pretty late, almost midnight, so I had to take a taxi from Agora Bus Terminal to our place. I took one of the taxis that was parked around the terminal.

Not even two minutes into the ride, the driver already had to maneuver around some scuffle in the road. Which wasn’t really a big deal. But then…

Mr. Driver started to narrate his experience of one roadside issue.

He talked about how he had recently punched another cab driver for swiping his prospective passenger. And how the said cab driver has filed a complaint against him with the LTFRB.

I had a long day and still a long night ahead and I was really not in the mood for a small talk so my responses were limited to “Yeah…” and “Uh-hmm.”

Now, what should have been a normal, easy ride home turned into one of the most terrifying rides I ever had.

Mr. Driver continued talking even if it was clear that I didn’t want to talk. Apparently, the cab driver he punched is asking 30,000 pesos in damages. Suddenly, he said…

“Ma’y pa’g gi patay nalang nako siya.” (I should have killed him).

That was when I went into alert mode.

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I know people say things they don’t really mean often. But it was the way he said it that really terrified me. He didn’t say it in an angry way. He said it in a calm, serial killer-ish way like a psychopath about to be unleashed. (Maybe I’m watching too much crime shows).

In my mind, “If I don’t get off this cab, I may be murdered tonight or witness a murder. Either way, it’s not good for me.”

I frantically tried to call my brother so Mr. Driver knows someone is expecting me. And he knows that if I don’t show up in the next 10 minutes, someone will look for me. I also forced myself to respond to him even if I was shit scared and tired lest he gets pissed off at me for not acknowledging him. Thankfully, I got home safe. Slightly traumatized but still in one piece.

That may have been nothing. To him, maybe he was just genuinely trying to have a conversation. I may have just been overly paranoid. But to everybody out there (and I cannot emphasize this enough)…

Murder is a bad small talk topic. Especially to strangers. At midnight. Seriously. Talk about everything except your plan of committing heinous crimes.