Mobile phones, services and applications. PCs, PDAs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Internet, gadgets, electronics, photography. A technology-life journal ... Relaxed prose, sometimes witty, sometimes funny, reflective and insightful. Short and sweet. Filipino.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Texting 117

One sunday, my wife and I woke up to a beautiful morning. While having breakfast, we turned on the TV to check out what was showing on AXN or HBO.

A while later, our neighbor pumped up the volume of their stereo who's radio was tuned to "Love Radio!"

"Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan!!!"

It was okay for a while, the program was playing old songs. But after three hours and hearing the "Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan!!!" a hundred times over, we had enough. I took out my wife's phone and sent a text to Patrol 117.

From the Patrol 117 website:

"A centrally managed and secured telephone central monitoring station provided by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and operated by qualified well-trained personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and PLDT.

"Telephones used by EMERGENCY HOTLINE 117 are equipped with the caller ID system to prevent prank calls and ensure quick confirmation and response to your emergency calls.

Ooopssss!!! I cringe at reading that from their website. Let me finish my story and you'll know why.

The first time I used 117 a month ago, I made a call to report the same noisy neighbors who were taking a whip at their karaoke. They were just broadcasting to the whole neighborhood what should belong to the confines of the bathroom - or in a torture chamber! And the Police gave our neighbors a visit! It worked! The neighbors weren't brought to jail. But at least we had our peace and quiet once more.

The second time I used 117, I texted 117 and told them about our noisy neighbor! "Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan!!!" Then I left home to do some chores. Anything to get away from "Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan!!!".

When I got back, something was different! I still heard the "Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan!!!" . But it was all in my head (syemes!)!!!!!! The neighbors have been silenced once again!!!! Wahooo!!!!

This second time around, I couldn't verify if the police came to silence the neighbors. I wouldn't know anymore. But the neighbors are silent, it's either Text 117 worked, or my wife's prayers worked or both.

So, should a person call 117 to report noisy neighbors?
After reading about "What is an Emergency" on the Patrol 117 website, I would just text instead of call. At least if it's text, I'm not clogging up the phone lines for a more life-threatening emergency call. And at least it's easy to discern from the text whether it's an emergency or not.

Visit this webpage to see how else you can text or call some government hotlines:
Government Hotlines and Txtlines
(compiled by DigitalPhilippines)


ka edong


International Day for Texting

TGIF! On a friday afternoon, my Masters class trooped to Gilligan's in Makati for some drinks.

We were a mixed group of Indonesians, Vietnamese, an Indian, Chinese, Cambonidan and Filipinos aged 28 to 52.

While waiting for our tables to be set, I was texting. My Indonesian friend watched in amazement at the speed of my texting. Well, she hadn't seen anything yet!

I looked her in the eyes and composed a new text message: "Hi Nunung! How are you? I can text without looking at my phone Ü"

Just then, Dikoy, a Pinoy from Leyte, snapped out his phone and demonstrated the same no-look-texting prowess powers!

Wide-eyed Nunung exclaimed in Indonesian-English: "How do you do that??!!"

We explained: "We're Filipinos! It's built-in in our thumbs."

We had quite a crowd by this time. Our Vietnamese classmate, Minh, was not impressed. He brought out his phone and did the no-look-texting trick too! We broke out in a hearty laugh when he showed us his message: "dwq!h jmam#jg pt1jga d.jnw j0pgj".

Dikoy shared: "My four-year-old kid sent me this text last night ... " showing us the sweet message in his phone.

Ramon J, a Pinoy military man, Chimed in: "One time I was scolding my 11-year-old son. He was getting a mouthfull from me. He was bowed down, hands behind his back, looking repentant. Then, from the mirror behind him, I saw some lights blinking in his hand. My son was sending a text message right there and then while I was scolding him!"

Amazing! Ramon's son must have been sending a mayday to the highest ranking officer of the household - mom! Ü

I offered to share my talent with our friends. I told Shelesh, an Indian: "Tell me your message and I'll tell you how many times to press a key."

Hahahaha ü!
In Indonesian: Håöhåöhåö!
In Vietnamese: Nyiéh Nyüéh Nyuéng!
In Cambodian: &%*#@¿#´!
In Indian: Herherher (with head rolling side to side)
In Filipino: Wahihihi!

It was a fun night of food, drinks, stories and laughter with this mix of classmates from around the globe. We may have different native languages. But that night we communicated in more than one language: (broken) English, Texties and Laughter!

- edwin
18 June 2004

Read some: Texting while driving


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Walk the Talk, Work the Walk

I do a lot of SMS "work" while walking from school to the MRT station.

You see, during the day in school, I try not to be distracted by SMS. I put my phone in meeting mode. My phone neither rings nor vibrates while I'm in class.

But I do send out a few time-sensitive SMS's while in class. Shhhh! Walang sumbungan! On occassion, I send SMS while listening to my professor. Wait 'til grades come out and I'll tell you if I got away with SMSing while in class.

By class day's end, I check emails. Then I'm on my way home, through our school playground known as "Greenbelt", walking through the pedestrian walks, passing through Landmark, dodging fellow pedestrians, passing through Glorietta, getting through the security guards with magic wands and ending up at the MRT station.

While I walk, I got quite a lot of "work" done. I send SMS or e-mail replies from my phone. I make business calls. And of course, I update my wife of my whereabouts!

"Yes, hon, pauwi na po ako. Opo, bibili po ako ng suka at bagoong. Tsup! Ü"

- edwin
blogging, texting, calling, emailing while going home


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Got Gmail! Yahoo!

I got invited! My blogging paid off! I just got my Gmail account!


Send over all those large files! Try me!

*********** @

address masked on March 29, 2005 after attacks on my Gmail account
Read: Who the h** wants MY gmail account!!!???? , My Gmail Travails


Saturday, June 19, 2004

Alone but not lonely

It's difficult to be lonely if you're a cellphone-totting Filipino.

While you wait for an appointment, you can read and send text messages. If you're stuck in traffic, you can play Snake. While you wait for the rain to subside, you can listen (again) to the medley of ringtones in your cellphone.

Filipinos have a default pre-occupation when there's nothing else to do: grab the cellphone!

To illustrate -- The moment I find myself bored or idle, my left hand gets activated. It reaches in for my cellphone in my pants's left pocket. Then, as if my hand had a mind of its own, my thumb presses a seris of keys to wake up my SmartPhone. And ... Viola! Wala pa rin akong text! But at least I don't look or feel like I'm not doing anything.

See the phenomenon for yourself. Next time you're in a doctor's waiting room, try this experiment. For five minutes, see how many of the patients do not grab their cellphones.

If you find anybody who doesn't at least take a look at his or her cellphone in a span of five minutes, it means only a few things: his\her cellphone battery is drained OR he\she isn't a Filipino.

- edwin
Typed on Brosia, my SmartPhone


Friday, June 11, 2004


I attended an EB (Eye Ball) last night. It was a casual meeting of members of airfagev - a website for Pinoy SmartPhone owners and enthusiasts (

One of the members is connected with Smart Communications. Itago nalang natin siya sa pangalang GARY. Gary brought along a Voyager, the latest model of SmartPhones by HTC (High Tech Company).

All of us present mulled over the Voyager of Gary. There were many of us so we took turns tinkering with the phone. It was fresh from the box. It still had the plastic strip protecting the IR Port like a new car with plastic cover on the seats and doors.

There wasn't much time for an in-depth review. Thus, I can only offer first impressions gathered from the airfagev members present at the EB.

Here's what we observed:
HTC Voyager (click image to search 'voyager' on
* Almost exactly same size as the Tanager
* The camera has a mirror below it. Want to take a self-portrait? Easy! Just position the phone such that you see yourself in the mirror.
* Flatter joystick and softkeys. The dimple around the joystick isn't as deep as the Tanager's.
* Camera is notably faster. I was able to take a series of 3 shots in arnd 6-8 seconds.
* It had a "dim" setting similar to "night light" thus allowing us to take photos in a not-well-lit resto.
* Other camera functions: 4x digital zoom, up to 640x480 pixel size, resolution setting of "super fine" down to ... uh ..."not so fine"(?), change filename prefix (instead of default "IMAGE" prefix), photo playback immediately after shooting, etc.
* Video camera in AVI file format
* MMS inbox is separate from SMS and email inbox
* SmartExplorer is built-in in the Smart ROM
* SIM-Unlocking requires a security key from HTC! Maybe there's no way to network unlock the Voyager ... yet. Paging mar...
* It runs Smartphone 2003

Hyon. Thanks to DR, Omay, Jhynxz, Cristeta, zugzwang for their insights, some of which are integrated in the above overview. Naubusan na ako ng kwento. Hope u get the chance to butingting the Voyager too!

Read "My Thoughts Re: The Voyager!" written by pong at the airfagev website [].


- edwin
11 Hulyo, 12:36 AM
Typed and emailed via Brosia, my SmartPhone


Monday, June 07, 2004

First day of classes ... once again ...


library card
enrollment slip
ID piture
baon (just making sure)

ka edong goes back to school.

7June, 2004
7:14AM, AIM


Friday, June 04, 2004

Bumibili ng Sirang SIM (Part II)

(Sequel to Bakal! Bote! Dyaryo! SIM!)

I found an old SIM among my accumulated junk in my office table's bottom-most drawer - my drawer "basement" or "bodega" if you will.

I tried out the SIM - "No Carrier...", my phone reported. This must have been a SIM which lost it's signal when I upgraded my SIM for the bigger phonebook and message storage. That P200+ SIM upgrade was a mistake. I didn't realize that my next and current phone, the Smart Amazing Phone, would solve my need for a bigger address book.

SIMs so cheapSo, this morning I decided to sell this old SIM. I wasn't after the extra cash. I just wanted to further investigate this Bumibili ng Sirang SIM phenomenon.

I approached one stall with the Sirang SIM sign beneath the Boni-MRT station. I showed the teenage girl my SIM. She clarified the rates and told me my SIM was only worth P20 and not P30 because it wasn't a Globe 64k SIM.

This morning's prevailing rates were:
P30 for a Globe 64k SIM
P20 for other Globe SIMs
P20 for Smart and Talk n Text
P10 for Sun Cellular

When asked how many SIMs she buys per week, she said it varies from 10-30 SIMs per week. There are days that she isn't able to buy any SIM. I asked her what she does with the SIM, she was naturally hesitant to tell me. She just shrugged her shoulders saying she just gives it to her amo.

I approached another Bumibili lady in her 40s. This lady was a bit more open than the first. She gave me info that should have been a trade secret. She said she'd have the re-purchased SIMs SIM-Swapped at the nearby McDo. "Pa-isa-isa lang para 'di halata".

So, I gave her a nod of approval, and walked away.

I'll SIM Swap my SIM myself, thank you. Then I'll have my free ice cream sundae and eat it too. Ü

- edwin
June 3