Jena Isle: Surrogate Mother, Sublime Writer, Incomparable Friend

by Jan Geronimo on August 2, 2009

I love her, with all my heart, and if ever I k...
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Another day at the office.  I got an odd request via text message which said I’d receive a call.  The woman at the other end of the line urged me to listen to  her  son sing in a social function at a university.

The call came and I listened to it.  The reception was scratchy – I could barely hear the son’s singing voice because of ambient noises. My little world was at a stand still while I listened to a young man singing somewhere in Central Luzon – literally hundred of miles away.

I had no choice.  When this woman calls you have no choice -  just drop everything.  No ifs, no buts.

Jena Isle – surrogate mother. Writer.  Friend

The woman on the phone was Jena.

The son she asked me to listen to might not be even her own flesh and blood, but a surrogate one at that.  To Jena, however, surrogate sons and daughters borne out of her nurturing relationships she has online are as valuable.  Her instincts to care for unsure newbie bloggers are unerring and unstinting.  She encourages them to keep on writing.  She guides and opens them to a whole new world in terms of career advancement and opportunities.

Jena is an engaging conversationalist.  She contributed the most number of comments in my blog last July.  And the great thing about it is that they were all helpful, nurturing, funny and insightful.  Do you think that’s easy?  Please take note that -
  • she owns 10 blogs and counting
  • she mothers not only Filipino bloggers but she also has surrogate sons and daughters from other countries.
  • she’s a career woman
Reactions from some of Jena Isle’s surrogate sons and daughter:

Roy dela Cruz of The Struggling Blogger:

Roy recalls the time when he just started blogging.  He had no readers, except for one fine lady who kept coming back and engaging him in conversation in his blog.  It takes a while to build a readership for one’s blog and Roy  takes pride in the knowledge that Jen is instrumental in making him survive his first rite of passage in the blogosphere.
  • I credit Jena Isle as a major influence in my blogging. With Jena’s steadying hand, I’ve learned to explore the blogosphere and enjoy blogging.
  • At first I thought she was a foreigner.   When I first checked out her blogs,  I noticed most of her comments came from foreign bloggers.  This  made me think she was indeed a foreigner.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that she’s a Filipino. And the biggest surprise of all?  We live in the same city!
  • I first reached out to her after her numerous comments on my blog.  I joined  her campaign to eradicate violence on television by writing a post about it.  She  featured it in her blog – the first  among many.

Doc Z of Zorlone:

  • I met Jena Isle back when I joined the myLot forum. We had a brief introduction and just clicked as friends. It’s Jena’s enthusiasm in reaching out to people and her belief in the goodness of others that makes her special. I am proud to call her a friend.
  • Have you ever known anyone who will be there to give you advice in the middle of the night or in the wee hours in the morning? That is Jena Isle as a friend. Of course, you have to be worthy of that friendship. Her only prerequisite:  to be honest all the time. Easy, huh?
  • Jena Isle has several blogs: a personal diary (Random Thoughts), creative writing (Gewgaw writings), culture (The Clamor of Kalinga), and several more. She manages to update them regularly and graciously replies to all of her visitors. Maybe because writing for her is like breathing and comes second nature. She is passionate about her work and dedicates a lot of her time in the blogging community.
  • The Jedi Bloggers would not be complete without Queen Amidala! Who says the Queen doesn’t know how to have fun? Follow @JenaIsle at Twitter to find out. You will be surprised at her playfulness.  She’s already a grandmother,  but don’t let that fool you – her knowledge of youthful lingo and expressions is legendary.
  • And when the gang  is in the virtual community, she dispatches both great motherly advice and funny quips.

The Queen of this space with power to defend, jediblogger Jena Isle a knight and a friend. – Z

Rey Jr of Born on a Syzygy:

  • It surprised me when I learned that she keeps 10 blogs.   Oh my God -  I can hardly keep up with one blog.   I’ve barely enough time to go around and read my friends’ blogs.   She tweets, she comments (with sense!) and manages to keep a job, a house and 10 blogs?!  She is a superwoman indeed!

    Rey Jr.

  • And there’s this  comment thread  on my wistful post that started on melancholia and turned into a funny discussion – we established a fact that rainy days do make people sad.   There must be a scientific basis to this!  And with Jena’s help we conspired to involve Doc Z and forced him to make a medical justification.  That was  fun. It was also in that post that we celebrated our inner geeks.  Birds of the same feather, as they say.

Luke of Darkest Shade:

  • She is a good writer, a thoughtful friend and an influential blogger. She also has this keyboard which acts up on her sometimes.  She keeps writing PS to most of her comments because her keyboard is a genius at churning out malapropisms.
  • Her predominant virtue, however, is helpfulness. Jena is always there to help and does not make herself scarce whenever she might be needed. She also does it unconditionally.  I was once away from blogging and tweeting only to find out later  that she tweeted and retweeted my rust-covered posts.  I had wanted to tell her not to bother her majesty with peasant’s wares.
  • This Influential Blogger contest is a showcase of Jena’s helpfulness.  She barely slept in order that she could help her friends. Another thing I noticed is that she does not only help the big guns who may, in the future, be able to help her. She helps underdogs and does not turn her back on those who are left behind. In fact, I have this weird feeling that she specifically seeks them out like the shepherd who sought for his one lost sheep.
  • Finally, she’s fun. I simply can’t leave that out. When this whole Jedi Bloggers thing came up,  she just did not dismiss this game as child’s play.  She did not look us down her nose like what most sensible adults would have done. What’s more – she sought admission! That totally blew me.

Mary Joycelle of My So-Called Life:

  • I remember when I got a private message from her in my Helium account, telling me to participate more in ratings so I could earn at least one rating star and become eligible for earnings.  I really appreciated that effort from someone you don’t really know personally.  Jena Isle has so much sincerity to help others – be it in blogging or writing.

There’s more to Jena Isle – more than the sum of the admiration and respect of us who are lucky to know her.    Maybe you have a story about our surrogate mother we did not know about?  Maybe you have a super blogging buddy of your own?  Please share in the comment section.

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Related Posts

  • humble si jena...malalim at intelehente...:)
  • i first bumped into jena's blog in my crazy entre-dropping days. i also read write ups from other bloggers like that of "Spitting Vessel". It was only now that i got to know her. I wish she'd attend the aug 8 bloggers eb.
  • Hi Novz,

    How are you? Do you know what happened to Spitting Vessel? Hindi na siya nag o online. I'm wondering about this superb writer. Thanks for any info.
  • She seems to be as true friend and one that constantly finds time to help others. That is a rare breed. Anyway, I don't know her (yet) and I might just take this moment to jump over to her blog and browse through it. Sorry Jan, I will leave you now:) Have a nice day
  • No problem, DiTesco. I'm glad you stopped by and left a note. ",)
  • Hi DiTesco,

    It's a pleasure meeting you here. I always read your comments. They're well thought of.

    I'm glad you've decided to hop over to my blog. I hope you'll enjoy what's "showing" now.
  • flamindevil
    sorry kuya jan, eto na naman ako.

    pumasok ba unang comment ko?pakidelete na lang to if ever.

    forgive me for being clueless..hehe
  • It's okay, Rye. I'd take care of the double entries when I see them. So far, the double comments only appeared on the email notification and not on the page. It's all right, Rye, para ka namang others. :)
  • Hi Rye,

    I'm right here, nice meeting you. Yes, let's go for it FTW! Your name appears more often. God bless.
  • flamindevil
    hope i'd have the chance to know her.

    based on the testimonials, she seems like a very nice and kewl lady.

    10 blogs? wow. :p
  • Yup, she's a kewl lady, Rye. And she knows the current expressions. She knows how to say, "woot" and all that. Although there's a time she bugged me with a question, "hey jan, what's FTW?"

    Now, she uses the acronym every chance she gets. This post is my way of saying she's a BFF. lols

    Thanks, Rye. :)
  • Very eloquently put my friend. I have been to Ms. Jena's blog though I must admit that I still haven't got the chance to delve deeper into her posts. But through that short moments of reading, all I can feel for her is respect and admiration.

    Just as much respect I feel for you my friend, though I don't know you that well, and to all the Jedi Bloggers out there.
  • Thanks for "investigating" Jena. Did she offer you a glass of milk shake? :)
  • Hello jtsantos, I would have offered you a glass of milkshake had I known you came for a visit. Buzz me off when you come for another visit. I will lay down the red carpet.
  • You were all blessed to have known her. She's a wonder woman as based from your descriptions. I wonder how she perfectly manages her time with her 10 blogs and a whole lot of other important things to attend to. Wish I could too.
  • Hi, that's a very interesting question, Minniemadz. I'm sure others are very interested to know that. I think I will have to ask Jen for a post about her time management tips. That will be very useful, I think. Thanks for sharing us your thoughts, Minniemads. :)
  • Hi Minniemadz, Jan I'm taking the liberty to answer the questions here. I hope you don't mind.

    I guess it's because I have a DIL who treats me well and not let me do any of the household chores. That's one factor. lol... (Jan, not the same DIL - to answer your question)

    And that extreme passion to do what I want to do. After work - when I write, I get rejuvenated.
  • You're sure very lucky Ma'am. And what does DIL mean?

    As for me, I have been loving to write my thoughts as well. But the thought of sleeping get in the way most of the time :D
  • It's Daughter in Law. :)
  • Hello guys,

    Jan, I didn't know what to say earlier that was why I did not comment.

    Well, what can I say but thank you for those generous words. Now I'm afraid to open my mouth lest I'll negate everything you said about me....he he he...kidding.

    If you perceive the things that I do as extraordinary , then thank you. I just want to help when I can because we only pass this way once. Why don't we make it fruitful?

    And I always remember the Golden Rule and Karma. You can never go wrong if you make these your guiding principles in life.

    If you want help - if I can - I will help. Pero not on the financial aspect ( winks) because I don't have much of that commodity.

    I measure wealth by the things that money can't buy like a loving family, true friends, and good health. The last one I'm trying to achieve....

    Again, thanks Jan for this post I'll treasure forever.

  • Roy
    ahh... here she is...

    another factor that isn't mentioned (although obviously implied) is her consistency... she's been doing it ever since... even offline... and still doing it now... even when nobody is looking

    I would have been still in 'my own created world' had she not reached out to me...

    on the fun part, I'll say that Jena always laughs at my jokes... now isn't that a supportive surrogate mother?

  • I always do Roy, you are the man!
  • I mean: I always do laugh at your jokes, Roy . I find them entertaining.
  • I noticed that Roy. And when I do read that she finds the joke funny? I do a double take and reread what you've written. What have I missed? Ahehehe. Of course, you're funny, Roy. Not laugh out loud funny. But a chuckle eliciting kind of funny. :)
  • Roy
    haha! funny... some jokes do take time before they sink in Jan... and this is not one of them

    I'm just glad tomorrow's holiday, at least Jena can have time to join... to break away at least from her hectic mid-term exam schedule...

    and here's an example of her 'magic' - in spite of her busy schedule, she managed to sneak a post in just to introduce two new promising bloggers!

    now, that's consistency for you!
  • It's good you told me holiday bukas. I would have gone to work! Ahehehe.
    Yeah, Jen is consistent in that regard. :)
  • Jen, this is one of the very powerful lessons I learned from you: we only pass this way once.

    That's a very sobering truism, if you ask me. That's why I adopted it. If lately I've sobered up - less grumpiness, less confrontational way of blogging, less snark in my posts - I credit your influence on me for this.

    Sons sometimes live in fear of disappointing their mothers. I don't want to disappoint you, Jen. That's why, I'm very conscious how I use my blog now. And of the tone of my posts and the tone of my comments in other places.

    So many lessons I've learned from you. Subjects of future posts - aha! But one at a time, dear friends. One at a time....

    Have fun with your comments, guys. Jen is not a saint.

    And this post is not at all the first step in her eventual canonization. Let's have fun with Jen. Para di naman siya mahiya magcomment here.

    Go, guys. Ahehehe
  • Jena Isle..
    I will remember the name..

    Personally, I don't know her except for the fact that she walks the same aisles I walk through when I was still praying for my college diploma. A woman with 10 blogs is not just an ordinary woman. Perhaps a wonder woman?
  • A woman who has ten blogs should be on a family planning programs of sorts, Rob. lol. Jen is licensed to do that being a highly creative person. Thanks, Rob.
  • That's very pleasant to know Rob, but I'm far from wonder woman.
  • I mean: I'm far from BEING a wonder woman...the keypads you know...he he he
  • ganito palang katindi si ate Jena! hehe, well, I just proved it to myself, too. Si ate Jena yung isa sa mga taong tumulong sa akin para tumaas ang ranking ko sa top 10 influential bloggers. s'ya din yung nagccomfort sa akin sa problems ko.

    I wish, sana matulungan ko din sya in any way that I can.

    mabuhay si Queen Amidala a.k.a Jena Isle! :D
  • See? May friend ka na, may nanay ka pa. Di lang mahingan ng baon kasi malayo. Ahehehe. Thanks, Kelvin. :)
  • Roy
    "may friend ka na, may nanay ka pa" lols... nasan na kaya si 'nanay'

  • Hi Kelvin,

    Hope okay ka na for the eye ball. konting lambing sa nanay, I'm sure she'll understand.
  • I can't comment sa baba, para sana tuloy-tuloy ang thread. Kayo talaga mga anak, busy lang ang nanay.

    Eto ginagawa ang third installment of the "report", if you know what I mean.

    Don't worry mga anak, you're all always in my mind. (wink)
  • Roy
    oh yes, she was reading... just took her time to compose a fitting rebuttal... err, I mean reply :)

  • Baka subsob pa rin sa paper work. Pero I'm sure ang tenga nun nakikiramdam
    sa mga kaganapan. Ahehehe
  • At last it's up. I was waiting for this, Jan. Nahuli tuloy ako. Great job!
  • The writing and editing was easy. It's the formatting of the post that stumped me. Ayaw magseparate ng ilang paragraphs. Ahehehe. Pinost ko na rin magmamadaling araw na eh. Kailangang may mangyari. Hayan needs work pa rin. :)
  • Roy
    hahaha! You got me Jan!

    the link leads to YouTube haha...

    Thanks Jan!

  • Ahehehe. E television star ka naman talaga eh. It's about time they knew
    it. Ahehehe
  • Ikaw ang first time YouTube link ko sa Apture plugin na inilagay ko kagabi. Ahehehe. Konting exposure lang naman ano ba naman yun para sumigla uli ang iyong television career, Roy. :)
  • Roy

    thanks Jan! alam mo naman, kapag umalis ka na sa showbiz, medyo mahirap nang bumalik

    wahahaha! (feeling :) )

  • Roy
    I thought you're referring to being a comedian... I guess that that would have the same effect if I sing :)

    Yes, I've seen that... although in my case, my face needs to be covered with soap and my eyes closed as I sing with gusto ;)

    I've just read Jena's comment. Finally, she was able to break out of her hectic schedule. Just met her this afternoon and gave her the pins

  • Roy
    naubusan na naman ng reply? hehe...

    oo nga ano, kakanta ang bunso tapos wala ang nanay?

    wag mo nang ibulong kay Janette, e-mail mo na lang siya hehe...

    teka, anong 'extra career' ang sinasabi mo? madali lang ba yan... basta walang exposure ha, conservative ako e
  • Singing career. Nakapanood ka na ba ng Ellen De Generes show? Di ba may
    pini feature na mga wannabe singers na sa bathroom nagpeperform? Ahehehe
  • Ganun? Don't worry - I've found a new extra career for you. Psst - alam mo ba kaya pala maganda boses ni Reyjr? Eh member naman pala si Rey UP Concert Chorus eh. Langya naman, di ka agad sinabi. Pakantahin natin kaya sa Awards Night. Ibulong natin kay Janette! Ahehehe. Maatim kaya ng Nanay na magperform ang isa sa mga anak niya na wala siya? Hmmmmm. What do you think? lols
  • pmonchet
    I can't remeber the first time she made a comment on my "walang-kawentang-kwentang blog"(I lost all my data in my previous server) but still she encouraged me. Yes Ken Armstrong is right. She is all you say and more. Please mommy Jena attend the event, Please!
  • Mon, how are you? wala kasing helipad ang casino, kung meron lang darating ako sigurado...he he he..just making you laugh.

    Huwag mo namang sabihin na walang ka kwenta kwenta ang binabasa kong blog. Maraming kwenta kaya nga binabasa ng marami.

    Marami pa namang days na darating. We'll eventually meet each other.

  • I agree with Jena, Ramon. Please don't say that. Nagi guilty tuloy ako.
    Was it because I've not visited your blog lately? Pasensya na po. This
    campaign for the top 10 blogs has driven us witless and harrassed for time.
  • Hayan, Ramon has added his voice to the chorus. Thanks, Ramon. :)
  • Ramon, thanks for making your voice heard para sumama si Nay Jen sa awards night. ",)
  • Roy
    di naman walang kwenta kuya mon... kita mo naman reaksyon ng mga kaibigan natin nung 'pansamantalang nawala' si Fatherlyours di ba? at ang daming sumaya nung bumalik ka na ;)

    teka... ba't nga ba wala pa dito ang 'Nanay' hehe... mukhang toxic nga yata. buti ang mga estudyante, pagkatapos ng test wala na silang aalalahanin...

    sige lang, Jena, take your time... hintay lang kami dito

  • Parang sandali lang si Jen sa Twitter ano? Siguro nakita un kumakalat na
    petition. Ahahaha. Kidding, swamped with paper work si Nay Jen. :)

    2009/8/3 Disqus <>
  • Roy
    hehehe... that's why Jena herself is having second thoughts now :)

  • Roy
    that's what I told Jena...

    I'll tell the students... "sige lang! don't worry about me, hindi ko kayo isusumbong"

  • Ahehehe. We think alike.
  • Roy
    that was one of our topic this afternoon Jan, although none of them is confirmed yet (to me), but they might ;)

    and the party in Pampanga? Why not? not only will they be invited, let us make them the host hahaha!

    and yes... I was able to see Jena's 'tower' on her table
  • Nice, Roy. Perhaps you can talk with the parents to reassure them their
    sons/daughters are in good hands? That will be a nice touch.
  • Hindi nagloloko ang computer ko panganay. Just like now, "it is warning me to send the error report daw, But I ignored it.

    And yes, santambak ang back log. Nakita ni Roy, di ba wali?
    He get to meet the CC bloggers.
  • Is there a chance Roy can bring along some Clin Chem bloggers? Di ba may
    van gagamitin si Roy? I'm just dying to meet at least some of them. Well,
    if that cannot be arranged then we just have to wait for other occasions. A
    party of sorts in Pampanga. Ahehehe. With CC bloggers invited. :)
  • Roy
    yup! they're having their mid-term exams

  • dencios
    jena isle akala ko ay isang american kasi dahil sa name. akalain mong nagtwitter ako sa kanya ng straight english? haha. oh mehn yun pala pinay hehe. kasama siay sa aking influential blogger at si holly. cge yun lang at kahit paano e nakilala ko ang jeda bloggers.

    ingat ser jan
  • Dencios, maraming salamat sa nomination. he he he...taglish na lang...mabuhay ka kabayan!

  • Roy
    pare-pareho tayo dencios... nung una tigas ng kaka-english kapag nagco-comment si Jena... nagulat ako minsan... biglang nag-Kapampangan! :)

  • Nice story, Dencios. Nangalay ba panga mo sa kaiingles? Buti na yun napraktis Ingles mo. Ahehehe.
  • elmot
    Wow! Sweet dearly, sweet post Jan for Mama Jena. Sayang wala ako dito at binagyo, eheheh! Pero my congratulations to Mama Jena.

    She is one great blogger, friend and mother to me. She taught me things that for one who does not know her, will surely get intimidated...but with her sweet, affectionate way of telling you things you "needed" to hear and to know as a friend, blogger and son, she is obviously one hot momma, simply irresistable. And in the end, you will learn from her lessons of life and blogging that you will certainly cherish.
  • Sa lahat ng Jedis ikaw ang takot sa bagyo. Kidding, bro. :)
  • elmot
    Hahahha! Sympre, ibang klase ang bagyo sa amin eh...baka sa labas ng bahay ang tulog mo...laban ka dun? wahhaha....joke lang.
  • Hi Elmot,

    Anak, pasensiya na, I can't visit as often as I wanted to, sa sounding board, ayaw magopen sa IE.

    I hope everything's well with you.
  • elmot
    oo nga po eh, miss na kayo ng blog ko ehehhe.

    ano kaya prob ng blog ko bakit hindi nag-oopen sa inyo? baka naka-tap ng secret agents ng gobyerno ang ISP nyo, kaya di mabuksan blog ko? ehehhe

    Im doing all good po. :D
  • zorlone
    A very fitting tribute to a Jediblogger we all come to admire and love. I guess this makes up for the freebies you used to give away lol.

    Ah... don't forget the "tabo" on August 8!

  • Doc Z, I will not forget to bring the "tabo" if you make lambing to your Nay Jen and make her attend the awarding. You're the Golden Boy - the favorite son - if there's someone who can convince her to come, it's you, Doc Z :)
  • zorlone
    I was under the impression that she will attend. did she say she wont?

  • Roy
    so, you'll join us as back up singers then ;)

  • Hi Rey Jr. "Stand by Me" is one of my favorites. I would like to hear you sing that song. It would truly be a wonderful treat.

    The song you've listened to Jan was "Warrior is a Child" , thanks for listening.

    Roy, Jan, Doc Z, back up singers tayo, sali ako,,, he he he.

    Doc Z, one day soon, I will.
  • Roy
    So, the 'tabo' is getting into the mainstream now... lols

    oh! I agree! If anyone can do it, it's Z!

    (of course, Rey could help too ;) )

  • First, the keypads. Then - the ubiquitous milkshake. It's the Age of Tabo
    now... I quite agree - Reyjr is fast shaping up to be the Jen's most
    charming son. Should we not ask Janette to let Rey Jr. sing in the awarding
    night? That will be great act. Make it less tedious. Her show needs more
    star power.

    Should we make another petition to make this happen? :)
  • Roy
    sige Rey, back-up kami... tsuwariwa-riwap!
  • Madam Jena, come to the awarding, pretty please? (Good enough? hehe!)

    I promise to sing "Stand By Me" if you come! Hehe! (Bribery na ba yan?)
  • Roy
    I was waiting for this the whole night Jan! I fell asleep in front of my computer! lol

    I should be mindful on my next email - they always seem to end up on someone else's post lately :)

    A fitting write-up for our mother Jan... err, surrogate mother I mean. And I want to tell your readers as well, there is still much more to said about her... a whole lot more... all positive, of course. ;)

  • I was experimenting last night with my latest "crush" plug in and I couldn't make it work to my satisfaction. The format was awful. The paragraphs wouldn't separate. I was near exasperation, Roy. So I just published it and resolved to make it right later.

    There's a whole lot, I withheld as you've noticed. This serves as appetizer of sorts. If you're a reader who wants more? Follow her, read her, talk to her. Find out for yourself. Ahehehe.
  • Roy
    oh yes, I agree Jan! They should get to know her better... and if they behave, who knows... they might get adopted too

  • If they behave that's the operative word. If they don't they have to go
    through me. Hah.
  • Roy
    "much more to BE said" I mean... I need a second cup!

  • Jena Isle is all you say and more. A consummate blogger, a constant source of encouragement and above all a humanist.

    I am proud to call her my friend.

  • Well said, Ken. Jen is a true humanist indeed. It's not act for her at
    all. Everything she does, every time she speaks online and off it affirms
    her benevolent spirit. And she's lots of fun, but of course, you already
    know that. You know Jen a long time. Thanks, Ken.
  • Yeah, Jen is indeed a humanist. Every act, every utterance Jena online and
    off it attests to this outstanding quality. Thanks a lot, Ken.
  • Indeed, she's all these and more, Ken. Thanks for dropping by. :)
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