The joys of being wiredBy Rosal Yñiguez Bulaong
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It’s been 15 years since my first High Blood article was published right after I retired as a professional librarian from a local international school. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to learn the basics of computer writing and surfing on the information highway from the annual faculty workshops that our school conducted. There have been many programs and applications invented since I first learned word processing and PowerPoint presentations. I have not stopped individually pursuing the chance to learn more applications at this ripe age of 75. My old reliable desktop computer saw me seeking information through the laptop stage and now the tablet.
Boredom is a word I neither recognize nor experience because I have access to the modern technologies of cell phones, Internet with free Skype, YouTube, videos, online marketing, Facebook, e-mail, daily newspapers and magazines to read, and books to access on the tablet. I am not a convert yet of the new genre of fantasy novels, but I have reread “Pride and Prejudice,” “The Little Prince” and a title by Dan Brown on the tablet.
Wait, I noticed a title, “10 Things to do Before I Die,” among the choices. Hmm. Maybe this is one title that I will click on later.
I wake up as early as 4 a.m. every day, plug in my DSL connection and proceed to my morning ablutions in order to be ready to sit before the laptop right after breakfast. It is my e-mails that I will first open, read and reply to because these come from my old friends who have not moved on to Facebook messaging. At the same time that I am renewing or continuing updates of precious memories with friends and relations, I will have an idea of the comments and “likes” on my Facebook entries.
Facebook will surely give me my daily picture update of my grandson Andrew, an American citizen, and figure out how much he has grown since I took care of him in his first six months of life. I am continually updated on what he does and where he goes with his loving parents even if they are far away. Right now I see the family on vacation in Las Vegas and moving on to Palm Springs. In both places I see Andrew on his floater, enjoying the hotel pools. I can’t wait to connect with Andrew and his parents on Skype when they reach home.
Of course, I am also updated on the activities of my three other grandchildren, who live in my neighborhood, through Facebook.
As well, I can instantly interact with friends about the posted family pictures, quotations and shared news articles, and chat on real time. Imagine, I can be friends once again with school and work friends and relatives all over the world whom I have not heard from in decades.
I have been a subscriber of Reader’s Digest since the 1960s, and have ordered books and music discs, which also gave me the chance to play its Sweepstakes game. Now that I can’t afford to order books anymore, I play the Reader’s Digest Word Play online and another daily contest game for a chance to win $5,000. I still have to get lucky! It’s a shame that I have received my last printed copy of Reader’s Digest, but soon I will just be reading it online, as I do the Inquirer and two other newspapers (I get the printed copies at night).
With old friends who have never had the chance to get wired, and lucky as I am to be a bit computer-literate, the old reliable PLDT telephone is available and running. Mababaw ang kaligayahan ko (My joys are simple), and so these gadgets will see me through my old age.
If I do not have errands to do, like transactions at the bank once in a while, I will be logged in all morning up to late lunch time. Afternoons will see me listening to some old-time music and radio talk shows and watching television for the news. My nightcap is usually “Walang Hanggan” and “Lorenzo’s Time.”
My exercises consist of stretching, standing and walking around and up and down the house. I do take time out to attend Mass every Sunday and holy day, pray the rosary every day, visit relatives in the province and see my doctors.
I am just so grateful to be able to enjoy these technologies. I hope to inspire teachers about to retire to embrace technology and be challenged. The K to 12 education reform program of President Aquino and Education Secretary Armin Luistro has technology high on the agenda.
Rosal Yñiguez Bulaong, 75, was a librarian at what was then Maryknoll College, and also at the University of the Philippines, International School Manila and University of Asia and the Philippines. She was also a lecturer at Manuel L. Quezon University.
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