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.

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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.

A Good Day

Any time spent with the family is a time well-spent indeed. Last Saturday, April 15th, my family and I went to Talisayan, Misamis Oriental to visit a piece of property that my parents own there. Talisayan is a special place to us because it is my maternal grandmother’s hometown. I’ve gone there countless of times as a kid but I haven’t really made it back there in a long time. Here are some snippets of that day.

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Here’s me, being an annoying sister. Haha!

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A little family photo shoot with special participation of my dad’s ear.

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Seriously, we barely had decent photos.

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Roadside find: Sweet corn for 20 pesos. One of the best I’ve had!

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We had what I would call an ironic dry picnic. Ironic because the beach was just a few steps away and none of us went there. It was packed with people! It was around 2PM when we at lunch, by then, everyone was too hungry to even think of taking photos so this is the only one I got. Hahaha!

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On my insistence, we had a stopover at Balingasag for a few minutes on our way back. We got lost at first but I think getting lost was definitely worth it. I really wish there’s something like this in Cagayan de Oro.

Finally, here are three of my favorite photos of this trip.

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We got back in CDO at around 7PM. Mom talked dad into treating us out for dinner out. Yay! We had dinner at Gerry’s Grill.

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On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say that day was a 9, almost perfect. It would’ve been perfect if my elder brother and his family were with us, too. For that, I declare my family’s official tagline to be: Always Incomplete.

 

Project: Chasing Sunsets

March 26, 2016

It was a Saturday and I was feeling kind of down. You know, that feeling where you’re not exactly sad but you’re definitely not happy either? And so there i was working away on a Saturday afternoon with a cloud over my head. I wanted — no, I needed  fresh air. I need energy. I need the sun.

I thought, “Sunset.”

Thus, I began this little project of mine called Chasing Sunsets. I decided to go look for places in the city with the best view of sunset. I think it’s a great idea. It would be a little adventure around the city.

So because I had no idea where to go to have the perfect view around the city, I asked Google. The results were disappointing. I had a few great places in mind, of course, but I was budget and time restricted.

My cousin, whom I was texting, suggested a place which I didn’t like but you can’t really complain when you’re short on options. Agusan Hilltop, she said. I’m not sure what the name officially is because I see several versions of the name referring to the same place (I think). Anyway, Agusan Hilltop, is located in one of the barangays of Cagayan de Oro City. It’s 15 to 20 minutes away from the city proper depending on logistics like mode of transport, traffic, and how high the driver is.

As soon as I finished work, I upped and left. I decided to ride a jeepney because what is adventure if you’re just going to hail a cab the first chance you get. And, of course, it’s ten times cheaper. My cousin and I got to Agusan Hilltop and true to its name, it’s on top of a hill. We had to walk a few meters (I’m horrible at estimating distances so I’m not even going to bother) uphill and because I’m badly out of shape… let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

When we got to the entrance, it took all the energy left in me to control myself and not cry. It was closed! (I hate how I don’t have photos for this part). Apparently, it’s not open to public anymore but the caretaker said we could go there if the owners weren’t around. For someone who dabbles on the paranoid side, that statement didn’t sound good to me at all. I could think of all the horrible things that could happen, not to mention being sued with trespassing. No, thank you.

As we always say, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. I brushed it off and decided to go the beach instead! Sunset and beach? Sounds perfect! There was a beach nearby in the next barangay. We rode a pedicab to get to there. This beach is no Boracay though. No white sand. Heck, there was no sand. There were stones, lots of it. I had a horrible memory of this beach but let’s save that for next time.

By the time we got there, it was already around 6PM so we we a little late and I realized we were in the eastern part side of the city so it wasn’t a direct view. But that’s okay.

Finally, my dose of sunset.

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One of the best places to be, the beach.

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All in all, I would say this was a fun day. It’s been sooo long since I did something totally random. Although, this was a little #fail, it did do its purpose: make me feel alive. I promise this wouldn’t be the last of it. To more sunsets!