My Philosophy in a Bottle of Ketchup

by Jan Geronimo on July 15, 2009

Image by Edward Dullard via Flickr
Can you write your philosophy in life  and in blogging on the cover of a matchbook?
I certainly cannot.  But I sure can serve them up in a bottle of ketchup.
But first, let me tell you  a little story that happened over three decades ago.

Scene:  Dinner table where my family sat down for a get-together with relatives  and some close friends.

We’re not exactly poor then.  Just getting by from the produce of the farm my father tended to. On this occasion, meat dishes were laid out on the table as well drinks and desserts.  My mother was known for her achara (pickled green papaya) and this took a place of honor in our modest movable feast.

A distant relative  squealed with unabashed joy at something else: “Abaw, ketchup!  Ang yaman nyo naman.“  (Gee, you must be well off now. You’ve ketchup, I see.)

The remark was made in earnest.  For our relative, having a bottle of ketchup on the table is clear sign you’re moving up in the world.  I did not quite remember if the gathering erupted in laughter with that naive remark. But I do remember that this got passed around during family gatherings as a frame of reference on how each of us is doing, “Kumusta ka na?  Mayaman ka na ba?  Can afford na ba kayo ng ketchup?”

“How are you? Have you made it to the big time? Can you now afford ketchup for your table?”

Each passing year brings with it a new contraption to drive the snobs into a frenzy.  Who among them will have the bragging rights as the first to possess these marvels:

  1. The first transistor radio – Our family was first in the neighborhood.
  2. The first black and white television set in the neighborhood – We were soundly beaten because my elder sisters went to college.
  3. The first gas range – My elder sisters lusted for La Germania. But Mother put her foot down: we had to stick with firewood and coal.
  4. Beepers and pagers – No can do – no doctors in the family, sad to say.
  5. Mobile phones – Among the early adopters of new technology in our town were the fish vendors and lowly employees of the local municipal government. Huwat!  Pretentious little people.  Bah.

But, of course, everybody today has a mobile phone.  The fish vendors are well within their rights to be the trendsetters in our town – they have the means all right.

If mother were still alive she would have been pleased we stayed close to her idea of a simple life.  We only buy stuff because we have to and we have the cash for it. Up to this day we have lived the life of simplicity.  Surely we now have color television with subscription to the cable company.  But everybody has that these days.  It used to be I shared the use of a mobile phone with my sister who taught grade school.  Not anymore – now even the kids have them as a matter of course.

I’m grateful for little mercies.  I’m thankful for them.  In my room sits my most prized possession – a secondhand desktop computer.  A nephew gifted me with it.  Sure, I’ve upgraded it to 1Gb memory, but it’s a computer that has seen better days.  I’ve become religious because of it -

  1. praying over it for long life – Can’t afford a replacement if this gives up the ghost this very minute.
  2. praying that it be spared from virus and other malware attacks
  3. praying that it doesn’t mock me too much when I’m stumped about what to post

In fact, I’ve become technically a religious person because of blogging.  I storm the gates of heaven with these petitions to God:

  1. no typhoons stronger than Signal No. 1 – the roof might be blown away
  2. no power outage – no electricity, no blogging.
  3. for SmartBro our internet service provider to finally get its act together to deliver excellent service
  4. good health so I can blog forever
I am what I am today because of my simple past.  Mababaw lang kaligayahan ko. (Takes little to please me). And I intend to remain a simple man.  So to some of you who think I’m getting influential?  Guess what – I don’t need to be.  It’s not what I get off on.

Inside me is this fascination with the good things in life, yes.  But most of these are but a mirage.  Even if I acquire a good deal of these material things I’d still be bereft in spirit.  Truth to tell, all I ever aspire for is to stand on this little soapbox at the appointed hour with you and say my piece – with no stage fright or mishap.

To get some measure of that elusive blogging zen – that’s enough to  make my day.  But in my daily routine?  I’m happy to say here that I’ve become that poor cousin of yesteryear, chuckling in childlike wonder as I hoard my little bottles of ketchup.

So, how’s your day, guys?  Has it been kind to you and made you a step closer to what you aspire for in life and in your blogging career?  What’s your story?  I’m dying to hear it.

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  • I admire your great and generous spirit, Jan. And from what I can tell, you're having big fun doing what you love and that's fun for all. Do it some more.
  • dencios
    ser jan mas gusto ko ang toyo kesa sa ketchup. mas mura at may tingi pa. dun ako lumaki at hindi sa ketchup sa lamesa :) i like ur story. malamang nga na kung buhay pa si mama mo e mas gugustuhin nyang simple na lang pero may selpon dapat :) like may nanay, gusto nya simpleng buhay pero dapat kumpleto siya sa alahas. haha
  • Please make a post about this, Dencios. That's a lovely story about your
    mom. I love it. Please? Promise, I'd herd everybody I know in Twitter to
    read it. No pressure, but please give it a serious thought, okay? That has
    the making of a great fun post. I can almost see it being a hit, Dencios.
    Sige na, bossing! :)

    2009/7/24 Disqus <>
  • this is a nice post (nope, not trying to be an annoying blogger, he he) this is indeed a very touching post. sa amin nmin sa province dati, pag m handa kang sardinas para sa bisita, then you have arrived. or kung may bitbit kang malaking lata ng biskwit pag galing kang maynila. pero bata pa ako nun, so yung mga mga matatanda lang ang gumagawa nun.

    ngaun siguro, pag nagka-laptop na ko, tska ko pa lang masabi na okay na ko. he he, babaw no? pero hanggang desktop pa lang din ako at prepaid na internet e.
  • Correction for typos:

    it made me smile, thinking about those things which WERE so precious to me and how easily accesible they are today.

    Hehe :)
  • Jan it was a great post indeed. As i was dragging down the mouse finishing your article it made me smile, thinking about those things which was so precious to me and how easily accesible they are today. I enjoyed reading your post.

    It has confirmed my belief that simplicity is the secret to success, because you are now a successful blogger which i hope to attain someday.
  • angelcuala
    A very interesting post indeed. No wonder, you had tons of comments. This just proves you really deserve my vote as one of the Top 10 Influential Blogs for 2009.

    Anyway, my life story seem to be sad and inspiring as my readers say. But I rather want to call it colorful because I believe that challenges and sufferings add colors to our lives and make us stronger.

    As for my blogging life, the monetary aspect is not really enough but I still do not sacrifice the quality and usefulness. For me, blogging is more than just an investment for profit. It is a signature that I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren.

    By the way, I prefer gravy sauce over ketchup...he! he! he!
  • essentiaL_mr_bill
    ...on ketchup. This is interesting. Ketchup on our kitchen table sometimes meant we were having something we didn't like. We would put ketchup on Sauerkraut, spinach, beef liver, cauliflower.

    As grown ups, we now use Tabasco Sauce. More sophisticated.
  • @Jan, what a great post. I love it when you write from experience, tell a story, make a point... this is the kind of writing that started our friendship, remember? A friendship built on the virtues of being silly, if I recall correctly. There's much to be said for simplicity, even if you can afford all the gadgets and contraptions in the world. My mother used to say, "Don't let your possessions possess YOU." How right she was. It becomes hard to let go, and you end up dragging all kinds of meaningless junk around, pretending to yourself that it matters. Family, food, clothing, and shelter - that's what matters. The rest is gravy. Of course, I do go all twitchy when I can't have my Internet, and I do like my electric range (firewood, Jan??) But don't you dare tell my son that kids have cell phones as a matter of course. He doesn't, and he's not going to until there's a demonstrable NEED.

    @Roy, you're a good daddy. I would have NO problem making my kids go without ketchup! Now, shoes and decent clothing for school is another matter; kids can be so cruel.
  • Holly, I spent all week scheming to lure you back here. I thought my little ruse had backfired on me, but here you are. :)

    Just looking at your son and I say there's a demonstrable need, Holly. Cell phones can be handy for kids in case of emergency. Well, whatever works for you, Holly.
  • Your little ruse? No, but for some reason (combination of us both having moved to WordPress and losing that lovely Blogger feed-reading blogroll, and neither of us commenting as often), I'm still looking for a good way to be alerted to updates. I'm horrible about reading RSS feeds; if it doesn't hit my inbox or show up in my stats or in a comment on my blog - it does fly under the radar for a while.

    And Jan, in what EMERGENCY would an adult not loan a kid a cell phone? (Maybe the kind where the first thing they'd do is rob the kid of the cell phone, but otherwise, I think most of us would take care of a kid in need.) It's not like he's off traveling by himself. Now, when he starts driving? Yeah, definitely. Then it's more of a need than a want.

    I see all these kids his age - the girls dressed and made up to imitate 17 year olds - with cell phones growing out of their ears, talking about who's hooking up with whom (they can't use them during school, anyway), and it makes me want to scream.
  • Holly, I've known you long enough to be secure in the knowledge of your friendship. Not that I wish it, but you can take a long absence from my blog and I'd still be a happy little feller.

    Besides, we're emailing each other. You remembered me even when you should be relaxing and bothering Sarah Palin in Alaska. You kept me updated. And we're both at FriendFeed and Twitter.

    Really? Girls that age? Ugh.
  • I'm glad to hear that, Jan. I wouldn't wish it either, but life is life and sometimes these things happen. I'm glad you know that I value your friendship.

    Yes, really, girls that age. And I agree. Ugh.
  • Jan,

    My day was fine. Simple life indeed. The weather was great, I went fishing all by myself, sat at the river, smoked a cigar or two and didn't catch a darn thing except a little peace and quiet.

    Simple pleasures, my friend. Simple pleasures.

  • George, I wouldn't trade a little peace and quiet for anything. Perhaps that's where your all around awesomeness springs? I think blogging and fishing go well together. Not only do you acquire patience but you power down long enough to be reflective. That can be good for blogging, right? I think so.
  • Good post. More power po sayo! ;)
  • Thanks a lot, Techochase.
  • blu
    napadaan at hooked up :-)
    newbie blogger link na po kita ng walang paalam..hekhek
  • Thanks, Blu. :)
  • Hello Jan,

    Ang simple ng buhay noon ano? Tama na iyong merong tuyo at sinangag na kanin, masaya ka na.

    Ngayon, may bacon na, may itlog pa at may prutas -hindi pa rin masaya. Buti na lang mababaw din ang kaligayahan ko. Kahit kamatis lang ang ulam , okay na ako. Nasubukan mo na bang nag-ulam ng kamatis Jan?

    Ang mga hindi sanay, umiiyak na sila pag ganyan ang ulam nila, pero ako, okay lang kahit ano. Importante, masaya ako dahil okay ang pamilya ko at marami akong kaibigan - ang mga ilan - talaga namang maipagmamalaki ko - katulad mo.

    Ang hindi ko lang makalimutan noong bata ako ay ang star margarine. Mayaman na raw kami sa barriong iyon dahil hindi nawawalan ng start margarine sa bahay. lol.

    Kaya lang nagtataka ako dahil hanggang ngayon, hindi naman ako lumaki tulad ng sinasabi ng

    Thanks for a heartwarming and refreshing post Jan. I salute you for the good man that you are!
  • Jena, simple lang kami. Euphemism for poor. lol. Kamatis as ulam? Oo
    naman - pero dagdagan mo naman ng ginayat na sibuyas tagalog at toyo ano.
    Puede nga un mainit na kanin sabawan lang ng kape okay na yun. Ano ang
    tawag sa inyo sa kinayod na niyog tapos niluto sa molasses? Sa amin tawag
    dyan ay pakumbo. Paborito kong ulam un pag walang pambili o pamalengke -
    maski nung nasa college na ako. Di uso nun time ko instant noodles. Siguro
    meron, pero I had never heard of it.

    Ang sabi ng nanay ko na di ko makakalimutan, "Masarap na ulam ang gutom."

    Hayan, kaya lumaki ako na di maarte sa buhay. The simpler the meal the
    better. Iyon ang kilala ko eh. Pero as you grow older siempre nag eevolve
    ang panlasa - lalo pa't nagka best friends ako nun sa dating pinapasukan ko
    na taga Pampanga. Wow. Ang galing niya. Paborito namin puntahan bahay
    niya. Kasi sarap nya magluto. Ang sarap maging kaibigan ng magaling sa
    kusina. Ahahaha.

    At any point puede kong balikan ang simpleng pamumuhay. E tutal di naman
    malayo na narating ko eh. Napausod lang ng konti. May masabi lang bang
    kaunting progress kahit papaano. Ahehehehe. Kaya nga ba ayaw ko ng handaan
    sa mga sosyal na lugar eh. Malay ko gumamit ng mga hinayupak na kubyertos
    na yan ano? lol

    Di ko type star margarine. Puede kung bubudburan ko ng asukal yung tinapay
    na pinahiran ng star margarine. Ayos yun.... Oo nga ano? Puede nating
    i-hold accountable ang star margarine for false advertising. Hehehe
    2009/7/18 Disqus <>
  • Crisiboy
    infairness kinakain ko rin yan before even until now..mas masasarap kaya ang mga pagkaing mahirap..lalo na pag umuulan..

    out of topic na yata ako kasi nauwi na sa mga food eh..hahaha
  • Okay lang iyon, crisiboy, di ba Jan? Ganun talaga dito - masaya at free wheeling ang usapan. Masarap magtambay dito sa bahay ni Jan.
  • Iyon nga Jan, exactamente. Iyong kanin may star margarine at asukal, iyon na iyon..masarap para sa
  • flamindevil
    cute post kuya jan. katuwa naman ang kwento mo.nasukat ang pag-angat sa buhay sa isang bote ng ketchup. teka, UFC ba yan, Papa or Jufran? baka naman Del Monte or Heinz? teka makabili nga.hehe

    and...I particularly liked this:

    In fact, I’ve become technically a religious person because of blogging. I storm the gates of heaven with these petitions to God:

    no typhoons stronger than Signal No. 1 – the roof might be blown away
    no power outage – no electricity, no blogging.
    for SmartBro our internet service provider to finally get its act together to deliver excellent service
    good health so I can blog forever

    galing. blogging really does wonders.hehe
  • flamindevil
    sorry kuya jan nadoble comment ko. i'm really clueless when it comes to posting comments in your site.dami kasi followers.hehe.paki delete na lang po. :p
  • No problem, Rye. :)
  • flamindevil
    cute post kuya jan. katuwa naman ang kwento mo.nasukat ang pag-angat sa buhay sa isang bote ng ketchup. teka, UFC ba yan, Papa or Jufran? baka naman Del Monte or Heinz? teka makabili nga.hehe

    and...I particularly liked this:

    In fact, I’ve become technically a religious person because of blogging. I storm the gates of heaven with these petitions to God:

    no typhoons stronger than Signal No. 1 – the roof might be blown away
    no power outage – no electricity, no blogging.
    for SmartBro our internet service provider to finally get its act together to deliver excellent service
    good health so I can blog forever

    galing. blogging really does wonders.hehe
  • Thanks a lot, Rye. Wish I could say it was Heinz. lol. Bawal
    magsinungaling sabi ni mader. Nasa langit na sya e baka bumaba at kutusan
    ako. Ahahaha.
  • No worries Jan. Idol kita e! haha
  • The first five years of my kiddism years, I remember I have a basket which I used to play all day long. It is an ordinary basket. Yup, made up of indigenous material.

    And yes, I do not have robots nor cars. No balls and no consoles.

    The simplicity of life back then.. Those games that does not need toys. Tumbang Preso. Tagu taguan. Langit Lupa. and whatnots.
  • yap masarap maglaro ng mga games before..i also remembered the bukid or farm which we used to fly kites and have a regular picnic.

    the use of tabo and tapayan with matching poso in taking a bath..hahaha
  • You made your childhood years sounds like a branch of philosophy. Kiddism. lol. The simplicity of life back then. And so the wheel has turned. It's not so simple anymore, right? Ahehehe
  • Hi Jan. Your posts reminded me of the time when I was still living in the Philippines. If I am not mistaken "mayaman" means rich, right?

    As a background, my father is from Spain and my mother, a good old Vizayan (still know some words in waray). From my mothers side, my grandmother used to live in Zumarraga Samar. To go there, we had to go by ship (SweetGrace, does this still exists?). At her house, apart from the bagoong (i am spelling this right), she would normally have ketchup because we loved to eat everything with ketchup, even with just plain rice. Good ol days...

    Anyway, I had my ups and downs and today, I can brag about being a successful businessman. A lot of ways to go, to self proclaim myself as a successful blogger:) Working on it though...
  • Checklist:

    1. Mayaman means rich. Correct
    2. SweetGrace. Not sure if it's still servicing Philippine waters. I'm
    not surprised if it still does though.
    3. Bagoong - yup, correct spelling.

    You're father's Spanish. Whoa - that's a revelation. So that explains my
    affinity to you. The Spanish thing explains it: Your Spanish father to my
    love of Spanish sardines. Ahahaha. I have one messy mind, huh?

    You're a businessman, right? So where's this blog for your brick and mortar
    business? It pays to have one, right?
  • Messy mind indeed.

    As far as a brick and mortar blog for my business, I do not have one (who knows maybe, iblogzxone - one of these days). My business is three fold. Business Consulting, Financial Consulting and the SPA chain which I have mentioned to you before. None of them require blogs nor websites as all my business and contacts are done locally. I do serve some French and German companies but they all go through intermediaries, such as banks. Those have websites. You see, I am sort of a third party guy. The clients hire the bank which in turn hire me. Although the service is for the client, I am servicing the bank. They pay me and they in turn charge the client, obviously way more than I do, lol...
  • I'm just thinking how great it will be for your business to appear in local search for your city. Sure, your customers are local. But these guys use the internet a lot, right. It will be great to dominate the front page of local search for your type of business. And a Twitter presence for your business to deal with customer concerns, questions, follow up. Just thinking out loud. :)
  • The would be the right attitude, although I am pretty much available for all of those issues you brought up on my mobile, email, skype, etc, lol. It is more private... Plus, in my type of business, too much exposure can be damaging. Now, I do all that for my online business, hehehe
  • Do I get off lightly? Do I get community service for being presumptuous?
    Friends can be such a pain in the neck sometimes - and I prove to be no
    exception. Ahehehe. Thank you for bearing with my runaway enthusiasm. lol
  • I guess in correlation with your story, isa sa mga importanteng bagay na dapat iconsider....kapag umuunlad ang tao dapat matuto pa rin nakatapak ang mga paa sa lupa at marunong bumalik sa pinaggalingan..

    I don't know you personally but I guess ganun ka..kasi sa blog post mo pa lang, you are not ashamed to relay with us your past life...and kung papaano ka umunlad sa buhay..

    thanks again for an inspiring articles from you.
  • It's important for me to make that distinction, Chris. It's good for me in a
    sense that it helps as you say grounded. It's very easy to lose track of
    these things, Chris. That's why I keep telling myself this. And I also
    want readers to know - oo nga, I write in English. Pero that's all there is
    to it. Yun lang nagkataon alam ko. Di porke, marunong mag English well off
    na. Far from it. I'm just using English so I can have a wider audience
    reach. I'm pleased you like it. :)
  • I was smiling while reading this comment. I speak for myself. I don't really care whether you're rich or poor. I enjoy and relish your posts and that is all there is to it. No matter who and what you are- is insignificant.

    You're a good writer and don't let anyone steal your thunder. (Tama ba iyon? parang may mali...I really need to have a refresher course in journalism, as if naman nag-aral ako ng journalism...he he he)
  • Well, that's good to know, Jena. Thanks.... Of course, tama un expression
    mo. Puede naman magrefresher ka dun. Remember one time Roy made a post
    about writer's block? A reader left a comment which I found very funny.
    She said: "Bakit ako may writer's block di naman ako writer?" Oo nga
    naman. Ahahaha
  • Pero saludo ako for your humility and being articulate about your feelings and thoughts..Keep it up and keep inspiring us to show the real meaning of life.
  • If the best in the business - Darren Rowse for example - can be humble, lalo
    pa ako, a relative unknown. It's best to start on the right foot, Chris.
  • Crisiboy
    naks naman napakahumble mo talaga Jan..saludo ako syo..keep it up and balang araw marami nang titingala syo..
  • Lorrene
    I remember the time my family brought home a loaf of 'store bought bread'. We were in hog heaven. Now to have a loaf of 'home made bread' would be hog heaven.
  • Funny - how time has changed! Anything today that's home made will be hog
    heaven indeed. I miss my mother for that. She's made a career of being a
    super mom, especially in cooking and making fruit jams. If she were alive,
    I'd enlist her in blogging. I'd be her assistant just so she would
    countenance this strange thing called blogging. Ahehehe
  • This is so true! When I was younger, masaya na kmi pag me ketchup sa table. Perfect for fried chicken or fried galunggong!
    Ngayon ko lang narining how a computer can make one person religious! :) Oo nga no? They're also my prayers! :)
  • Thanks, Beth, for liking it. It's nice to look back, di ba? I remember nga
    - the ketchup was already bought but lunch was still roaming around the
    backyard. You know - the hen that's supposed to be cooked for lunch? Being
    the youngest, I was usually assigned to catch that hen. The things I would
    do for a crispy fried chicken! So go na lang, habol dito habol dyan. May
    pagsuot pa sa silong ng bahay. In those days, may silong di ba? At open
    iyon. You can just imagine the racket - the hen squawking for dear life and
    me cursing under my breath that I couldn't outrun the chicken, and mother
    saying, "Ano ba naman, bilisan mo paghuli nyan - tanghali na oy!" lol
  • ako rin naranasan ko nang manghuli ng manok hanggang sa silong ng bahay ng lolo ko. Kaya gusto namin lagi pumupunta dun, may extra adventure :D

  • Crisiboy
    waahhhh ako rin nanghuhuli rin ng manok before nung may silong din kami...waahhh ang galing naman ang sarap balik balikan ang nakaraan
  • Ahaha. Nice, Amor. Pag nag iisa ako hinuhuli ko agad. Pag may kasama akong
    kababata once nahuli namin manok, pinapakawalan uli namin para magkapagatan
    uli. Wala eh, mas masaya - extra adventure sinabi mo pa - kapag may kasama
    sa paghuli ng manok. Parang laru-laro lang. :)
  • Hi bro! Damn! Your post today just knocked me out of where I am going through these past days... Guess what...Im in a melodramatic mode, burdened by stress, lots of tasks in the office, the pressure on coming up with a thesis for my master's and the challenges I face on my blogging are just things that makes me feel tired and burdensome.

    Though I the type of person who really never gives up and sports a good dose of affirmative mantra on my daily living, these stuffs that are on my shoulder right now makes my blogging life a little bit dry despite of having a refurbished look...

    Hay...I can't paint any "ketchup" scenario but if I may decribe it...I'm quite bloody red like ketchup, *wink*
  • Just keep your eyes on the ball, brother. Just keep your eyes on the ball.
    And buzz me when you need help with something. If I can do it, I will. If
    I can't, I will sure pass it on to someone who'd be pleased to help you.
    Remember you have lots of friends and you've a slightly older bro here. What
    more can you ask? Pizza? That's not my department. It's Doc Z's turf. lol
  • badudets
    Your story reminds me of my parents' story. Perhaps, it's more difficult than yours, they don't even have ketchup on their table. They told me they even have to exchange rootcrops, fruits and other harvest for some piece of paper when they go to school. Unbelievable but it's true, they have to thank the old Maynila because Maynila then gave them the opportunities to prosper in life. Come to think of it, most of our relatives in the province, their lives wouldn't improve if it were not for a member of the family who is in Manila or abroad that will help them in their finances.

    Your story and my parents' story, these things will always keep me grounded and will always be thankful for what I have now.

    Natawa ako sa computer story mo.... when I was in college, medyo nalolow-batt na rin ang PC ko, minsan nag-bo-boot minsan hindi pag may topak. Kaya nung binilhan ako ng Papa ko ng bagong PC, I sprinkled holy water on it and prayed that the PC will last me until my 5th year in college, LOL ...=)
  • It's very important to keep these kind of stories. It helps you grounded
    and discern what the essentials are in your life. Personally, this is my
    way of feeling connected with my departed parents. Stumped with tough
    choices in life - I asked myself what would my parents do in this situation
    and proceed from that. It's my way of acknowledging and honoring them.
    It's also a way of dealing with a sense of loss.

    Brand new computer and you used holy water on it? Good thing - it did not
    short-circuit. lol.
    Did you also have ribbon cutting ceremony with a priest in attendance?

    Nice story. Have you made a post about that? I'd love to read that and
    your early encounter with technology. :)
  • Hahaha...natawa ako sa religious moments mo. :) See? blogging is really a good influence. lol

    Well, I try to live a simple lifestyle. Life in itself is complicated to surround myself with material things that will just make me as complicated. (It's just an excuse. I have no money to buy these gadgets. lol.)

    I have no ketchup story to share. Only that I enjoy my fried chicken with it. Hehehe.
  • Very astute observation, Reena. We put too much stock on material
    acquisitions. Good for comfort and convenience, yes. But often times not
    necessary at all. I once lusted after a smartphone with all the bells and
    whistles as they say: with video, cam, wireless connectivity.

    Sure, I use it to plug in the Net to check for emails when I'm on the road
    . But that's it. I just use it for calling and texting. Ahahaha. You do
    hiking, right? Do you have religious moments when you hike? And how has it
    impacted on your blogging, I'd like to know. A blog post idea. Ahahaha.
  • we are not so different. our humble means is also not such a distant past but rather a pleasant memory when you look at how you have progressed.

    sure we can afford some luxuries now, but in my heart i have remained a simple guy with simple desires. :D

  • Hey, simple guy with simple desires matulog ka na may pasok ka pa bukas.
    lol. Thanks, Rey. What's the matter? Coffee is keeping you up? :)
  • haha. Obsession is keeping me up. lol.
  • And what, pray tell me, is obsession? Sounds improper - ahahaha - and I
    like it. Do tell.
  • lol. i am maintaining my wholesome image on the net. lol. sa net na nga lang ako wholesome. hahah...

    It was in a conversation in one of my posts that Doz Z and I agreed that all artists are a little bit OC. I guess I'm a bit more OC than a little bit when it comes to my blog. But im attributing it to the fact that im still learning the ropes of "mainstream" blogging!

  • But you are wholesome, Rey. That's my initial impression when I first set
    foot in your blog. And it still is. That's a good quality to have as a
    jedi. Surprise factor iyun. Before the enemies can react and read what
    you're up to - wala na, you've made short work of them with your light

    Is that true about OC? Bakit ako OC pero di naman ako artist? Ahehehe.
    Wala lang I just paraphrased one of Roy's blog commenter, "Bat ako may
    writer's block - di naman ako writer." lol.
  • zorlone

    I don't know what to say... you had a lot of firsts! Now, I'm sure there is a bottle of ketchup spilled all over the place, right?

    Now, I know exactly how to please, you!!! (wink)

  • Doc Z, I've cleansed the lowly Ketchup bottle of its lowly connotation. When I wrote this, I remembered our conversations. Do you think I've forgotten? And I think it briefly crossed my mind you'd be tickled with me using a Ketchup bottle as a metaphor. Ahehehe. Thanks for exercising restraint in your comment.

    Now what do we have here? It's a bottle of soy sauce. It's your turn, Doc Z. Make something out of it. Turn it into a fish or wine. It's your call. Ahahaha. Yeeha.

    Can I wink now? lol
  • grabe pala sa inyo nohh..bote ng ketchup ang pamantayan ng pagunlad sa buhay??matanong ko lang mahal na ba ang banana ketchup nuong araw???lolz
  • Hard to say. Certainly in our family though we were not well off it was not
    a status symbol. Education is - you know diplomas plastered on the wall?
    Ahahaha. But our relative was an oddball - she had this weird yardstick for
    measuring the economic well being of a household.

    Perhaps, the likes of her should be hired by NEDA? Our government economic
    czars? Surely that point of view will doubtless catapult our sick economy
    to the big league of Asian economic tigers, methinks. Ahahahaha.
  • Crisiboy
    hahaha sabagay may point ka..samin din kung sino ang nakatapos ng pagaaral..un din ang pamantayan..
  • I think Doc Z used "hot sauce" as a metaphor once over Twitter... hehehe. Something to do with pizza and Anne Curtis, I believe...

  • Many things going for poets. They've got fine sensibilities. And they've
    got poetic license - a cool weapon to have. And Doc Z is not antsy at all
    using both. Ahahaha. For a good cause. Am I right, Doc Z? Or am I
    correct? :)
  • how's my day? ayun, nabangga yung sinasakyan kong jeep. slightly injured, pero eto, alive and kicking pa rin! just learned to value life more.
  • Badongskie, goodness gracious - are you all right? What kind of injury did you sustain? Can you walk? Your blogging hands all right? Well, it seems so to me - you still can type after all. That maybe - you value life more. But sometimes we put our lives in the hands of these careless drivers of public transport. We have no choice. We have to. Sheesh. Thanks for telling me.
  • i' m super fine! nagka-pasa lang ng konti. no need to worry about me! but thanks. i'm more worried dun sa manong na nagba-bike na nabangga.
  • That's good to hear, Badongskie. Awts, kawawa naman un mamang naka bike.
  • Oo nga e. But from what I saw, he's not that hurt. Hopefully.

    Anyway, what a very heart-warming post, Mister. Like you, I'm a lover of good things in life but I can definitely go on with life without them. I think I'd stay simple even if you surround me with lavishness.

    And you don't have to be influential because you already are influential.
  • Badongskie: Thanks a lot!

    "Like you, I'm a lover of good things in life but I can definitely go on
    with life without them. I think I'd stay simple even if you surround me with
    lavishness." Badong, Badong. Wala lang, I love what you've said. I hope
    you remember that several years from now at successful ka na sa career mo.
    But I have a good feeling you'd make good. Iba ka eh. PUP ka eh.
    ahahaha. Yun pala ang punch line nun. :)
  • Jan, Now that money is tight for us, I've taken to buying enormous bottles of ketchup at Wal-Mart. Family and friends joke about it when I thump one down on the table, but I'm laughing too ... all the way to the bank. So I guess what I'm saying is, we are the flip side of you, where too much ketchup is a sign of losing it, not making it! :)
  • Nice one, Brad. Ketchup is a sign of losing it - whoa. ",) But either way is an occasion for a hearty chuckle at least.
  • dee
    We don't have cable TV - I had it cut off, the cheapskate me, hehe. Buti pa kayo, hehe. :)

    Nice post!

    I believe that the best things in life are free, like enjoying moments with loved ones, being in that moment 100% of the time, savoring those moments and not thinking of anything else like deadlines or work. We don't need to keep on chasing material things, we just need to cherish the people who are important to us. I believe that is what's important.

    Sige, I'm going to say more pa sana but my son is calling me na... :)
  • Dee, I don't watch television anymore because of blogging. Oh yeah, the few minutes before I go to work in the morning - local news and BBC. That's about it. If I'm the only person in our household, I'd say I'd no use for cable television anymore. What do you need it for by the way. You have the world at your fingertips. Isn't this more than enough? :)
  • Baw, longgo gali si toto Jan! Ti siin ro akon ketsup?

    Thanks for sharing this, Jan. I too like ketsup but am torn between it and letchon sauce. (Mang Tomas,

    As to computers, I won't talk about mine. Suffice it to say that upon visual inspection, duct tape can be seen in unexpected places. :-D
  • I'd love to be reborn in Ilonggo country, Luke. Meron ba school nyan online? :) Habang nagpapakadalubhasa sa French si Dee, I'd be studying Ilongo... Luke, take a picture of your duct tape configured computer. That will make a blockbuster anecdote pag sikat na tayo sa blogosphere. And when you're invited to go the rounds of the lecture circuit you'd bring out a great presentation, "From duct tape computing to riches story of Sir Luke." Or whatever the current terms maybe by then. :)
  • quite an interesting post... i simply love it... mine's a different story... ketchup has been part of our family eversince... but then again, we are not a ketchup family... we didnt like ketchup that much, it's just a natural thing...

    what makes our family somehow upgrade our lifestyle was the way our food was cooked... if we have inihaw or barbecue on our plates, it only means we have no money for other condiments and ingredients such as buying vegetables so that the pork will become a sinigang or a nilaga soup dish... with only toyo and calamansi on the vegetable rack... a barbecue marinate is the best for our pork slices...

    it's a different thing though if our inihaw or barbecue has a vegetable side dish... ensaladang gulay in vinegar sauce or sometimes lettuce, tomatoes, onion and egg salad with mayonnaise and ketchup sauce are a feast! that would indicate that someone from the family has received their salary that day! hahaha

    kare-kare once a month indicates a feast on a sunday luncheon... it's a not-so very rare occasion to get all the members of the family on a sunday luncheon... hahaha...

    our mother stuffs us with delicious foods that you only see in fiestas... so attending fiestas is not really my genre because of the food that we eat very often... but then again, if we dont have anything fab to eat, we stick to the traditional ones... which are plain, bland viands like the inihaw... hehehe... i hope i am not boastful sounding here... :D
  • Yatot, grabe. You describe it well. Ginutom ako sa description mo. Di ito kayang hilutin ng kape, langya naman o. Ahahaha. Friend, a food blog is just dying to get out of you, feel ko lang ha? You'd make a terrific food blogger. We will help you promote it. Let's give Jehz a run for his money. There's room for more naman eh. You like? :)
  • i would love to have a food blog of my own... but i dont have much resources pa... binalak ko na yan before the pataygutom got its popularity... unfortunately, wala kasi akong digital camera pa eh.... hehehe... so i need to invest on this thing first before putting up my very own food blog!
  • Joji
    I love this post of you, Jan. Restrospective introspection,hehe...
    Please excuse my lowly comment, miss ko na kasi magkalat dito sa bahay mo, ",) So just a little thought about your post. That was a very enlightened path you trod when you took that inner journey to your past. And I like this part: I am what I am today because of my simple past. And I intend to remain a simple man. Beautiful thought!
  • Grabe na to - nagustuhan ni Joji ang sinulat ko. Salamat, Joji. Akala ko, tatanaw-tanawin mo na lang balay ko mula sa kanto eh.. Salamat sa pagbisita. If you must know, I've mulled over this idea while riding our carabao. Ahahaha. Wala lang, it's so hard to stop sometimes when you're online. It feels as though you're in a carousel. You need to get off, but often times you feel you can't.

    It's important - that part about Googling whatever it is you want to write about. Makes for a super post. What we fail to address sometimes is the importance of unplugging and taking a moment to stand still and really listen to what our inner voice is telling us.

    That voice is what I want my readers to hear this time. Not the cocky, blustering jan who's quite handy with his presumptions. Retrospective introspection - what an expression, Joji, it's so you - we all can use some of that. Thanks, Joji. :)
  • Joji
    O, sige, punta ka na ngaun sa bahay ko, larga, pronto! Paki check nga sa kalat ko doon, hehehe...
  • It's so unlike you to order me back to your blog. Ahahaha. There's a surprise pala. Thanks a lot, Joji. I love it. :)
  • di nawawala ang pasakalye sa hapag kainan, basta ang mahalaga salo salo, meron patis toyo at suka na pwede rin.

    sarap pag nakaugalian ng pamilya ang isang bagay,gaya ng ketchup na laging kasama sa ulam.

    meaningful ang topic mo jan, simple pero malalim..maraming meaning!
  • Toyo at kamatis at sibuyas - talo talo na. I've eaten rice with pakumbo for ulam. And coffee. That' s why I love coffee - goes well with rice kahit walang ulam. Do you eat rice with tea? Di bagay di ba? Or coke - teka, kung may pambili ng coke dapat bumili na lang ng ulam noh? Gulo mo talaga, Ever. Ahehehe

    Salamat at umakma sa panlasa mo, Ever. :)
  • Roy
    one dinner time I told my wife, "I'm a failure, I can't even buy ketchup for the kids" and that would be enough to bring me down... because they have to eat their fried chicken without ketchup!

    what kind of father would have the heart to let his children have that?!

    but that's a real scenario Jan, your post reminds me of that. when there's ketchup on the table, I'm very happy because the kids are happy... even if we're eating galungong, as long as there's ketchup.

    as for blogging, so far I'm satisfied with what's happening. save for some 'isolated incidences' we talked about through e-mail, I'm very much satisfied with the way my blogs/blogging career are going... for now ;)

  • Ah, a father's perspective. The things a father will give to his children. And during difficult times like this give rise to occasions when parents are constrained to make do with less. Awfully hard, I can imagine.

    You and your wife, however, have raised your kids well. Thanks for that. Thanks for ketchup since it goes well with galunggong.

    Ah well, those isolated incidences provide a nice contrast to the many pleasures we derive from blogging, Roy. We're still ahead. The ROI as they is good. Can live with that, right? :)
  • Roy
    yes, of course, I can live with that... unfortunately

    hey! your feed is now updated in my Sugar Coated side links!

  • Yeah, I first noticed it in Joji's sidebar. I'm glad that little problem is
    over. :)
  • Roy
    nagkakaubusan din pala ng reply dito?! :)

    I miss the blue carpet Jan ;)

    well, if it weren't for the concern you raised, I love clicking that retweet button and I don't mind seeing all @Jan_Geronimo tweets in my timeline at all. But I can't speak for the thousand followers of @Jan_Geronimo

    Heck! Let me click that one more time before you decide to remove it.

    Your posts are worth re-tweeting ;)

  • That blue carpet was weird huh? May favoritism - ikaw lang lagi ang
    binibiyayaan. Mabuti di naiinis ibang Jedis. Ahahaha.

    Re: the Tweetmeme button. I'm giving it two more days. If it doesn't shape
    up, ship out ko siya. I'm starting to look for a better replacement
    already. I'm looking for a different one altogether - kasi I love the
    icon. Which placement do you prefer - at the top or just below the post?
  • Roy
    and have you sent your email regarding your re-tweet plug-in to the correct addressee?

    I still see a lot of re-tweets from @Jan_Geronimo at twitter, not that I'm complaining, but your concern was concern is valid... not all your followers knew the problem

  • I did, Roy. The settings of my account at Tweetmeme was changed. Sad to
    say, it's still reporting that I did all this retweeting - still appeared in
    my name. It's irritating. I love to inspect other tweeters time line to
    see wonderful links that deserve an RT. That's not top secret trick, right.
    I'd look into it myself. If not, I'd be forced to take it down.
  • Talaga?! Ketchup?! Basta tomato ketchup ayos na ako...jijijijiji... I read someone says "abaw"... Is he/she from panay island?! Diba ilonggo yun?! Wala lang... I frequently hear that word... jijijijiji...
  • Jaydee, what happened to your gravatar? Can't see you smiling face here. :) "Abaw" is a common expression of surprise, excitement, pleasure in Oriental Mindoro. I'd not be surprised it has its roots in the neighboring Visayan islands.
  • nobe
    this is one of the most heartwarming blog posts i've seen in quite a while. i wish i was not a sloth when it comes to typing words but the word "great" basically sums up everything.

  • Thanks, Nobe. You've been generous with your kind words. In my book, I consider that not slothful at all. :)
  • Trna
    "Takes little to please me" Such a telling comment, and such a noble phrase to live by. Though, I resist the urge to be a braggart, I am proud to say I enjoy the simple things in life, take joy in the tiniest of things, laugh easily, and feel happy for others in their success. Those are some of what makes me tick. Of course there's many complexities to me too, but just being happy is what I would be most proud of.
    I have embarked on an online journey very slowly, first reading a few blogs, finding the value of RSS, seeing the beauty of commuity created here, and lapping up Twitter. I consider that my blog, as I have not been compelled to write anything I felt the need to say beyond 140 char. Except in reponse to posts of course. :-) Twitter fosters my ecclectic side, caring people, raunchy music, tidbits of this ad that.
    Enjoyed reading about your slice of life Jan.
  • Ah, the complex threads we have in us. Yes, there's that, too. And these
    define us too and make us unique.

    So you've not yet put up a blog? Twitter is such a great invention. Lovely
    tool for discovering wonderful links, conversations, and people. If a blog
    is not for you at the moment, please check out Posterous. It's the right
    vehicle for the best tidbits you found on the web - links, pics, videos.
    It's micro blogging at its best. Guess what, you can update your Posterous
    page through email. Got pics you found in your trip? Send them via your
    mobile phone - and these will go live in Posterous. Nice repository for your
    collection huh? :)

    And thank you for sharing us your thoughts. My twitter username if you wish
    to add me: jan_geronimo.
  • Trina
    ah, the problems with making a typo, what's in the letter 'i'...I should have typed Trina, then you may have recognized me as TrinaMb from Twitter. You do have the greatest recommendations, still have to check out Friend Feed from the other day, and will check out Posterous now. I was busy this week finishing my photo project. Did you have a moment to check it out? If not, kindly accept this shameful plug :-)
  • Trina! I did not for the life of me realize it was you. I'm sorry about
    that... And to think I've given you an assignment of sort the last time you
    were here. And on top of that - Posterous. Seems I'm getting ahead of
    myself now, huh? Ahehehe. I'm so enthusiastic about a lot of things.
    Maybe I should channel a lot of that energy into remembering names. :) Oh, no
    problem, will check out your photo project.
  • Trina
    BTW, felt no slight - enthusiasm = a good thing in my books.
  • Thanks, Trina. :)
  • Trina
    I needed to be in two places at once, I have found your RT of my photo project, for which I applaud your graciousness. I am truly heading offline now, so shall catch up with you in the 'morrow.
  • Crisiboy
    speaking of RT ang galing mo talaga jan at tinuruan mo ko magRT sa twitter..hahahaha ganun pala purpose nun..may namimit ka bagong friends sa pag RRT..hehehe
    thanks ulit
  • Ah... isn't it a wonder to marvel on the simple things in life? I must admit that it took me 26 years and cost me my kidney's function before I could rein in my hectic way of life, stop dead in my tracks, and admire the virtue of life's simplicity.

    We're no better financially than we did before, and got even more burdened when I started my dialysis treatment. But we have a bottle of ketchup at home... and we're happy. I guess that's what counts.

    It's really nice reading what you write. It always makes me harness my own blogging zen and let it simply rip away.

    Thanks for this wonderful article!
  • Thanks. Got tired of dispensing advice. But let me tell you I feel antsy
    doing this - digging deep into my memory bank. Know what? It feels good to
    acknowledge your beginnings. It feels good to discover you've followed
    closely what you've set out to do in the first place. Of course this is not
    to discount the many side trips and occasions we've lost sight of the

    Really? Why, thanks a lot. I'm glad we inspire each other to do more. :)
  • nobe
    hi jan, you made me remember my childhood in a remote barrio. we didn't have much because i had to live with my lolo and lola after my parents separated. but i was happy. it's a bit cliche but money and material things never did give people that much happiness. :)

  • What a nice memory to keep you centered. It's interesting how times change. In our family the favorite meals are the ones from way back that were made to stretch a buck, like soup beans and chicken dumplings. As my children have grown they've learned to value those types of simple pleasures.
  • It's one of those nights: tired, restless, felt the years in my aching shoulders. Truth to tell, I have been ignoring myself lately. Maybe because journeying into one's internal engine can be a scary proposition. You'd never know what will turn up. Last night, however, I was lucky. Checking one's internal links last night proved to be beneficial. I felt renewed and centered as you've marvelously put it. Thank you, Fred.
  • Ahhh so you guys also have that ketchup thing in the family. We too had those days. Include the entire entourage of spam, fruit cocktail and taster's choice. During those days, those were the things that determines the class we belong to.

    I'm a barrio kid and proud of it. Just kept punching and punching. Every time I wake up, I think of opportunities. There are so many things that revolves inside my head and there are times that friends question me on WHY.

    I did receive many things in the past but this barrio kid is still the same kid asking his mom to open the fruit cocktail even if it's not the fiesta.

    With blogging, no, not yet. I haven't finished my first step yet.

  • Spam - how could I forget Spam, the ultimate pasalubong from relatives who live abroad. Relatives felt slighted when they didn't get their share of Spam in those days. Relationships sometimes soured because of Spam. It was the good old days when Spam was a better word.

    Rob, you've a nice disciplined and focused mind. Every time I wake up, I can only think of coffee and the john. And it takes a second cup of coffee before my blogging space ship can be cajoled to life. Such insolence. :)

    Trailblazers like you should give us occasional bulletins what it's like out there. Ahehehe. You're doing this right now, I know. But we could use some more - in the future. :)
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