By Erwin Oliva INQUIRER.net A FILIPINO tech blogger has launched a blog that is dedicated to helping overse as Filipino workers (OFWs) to remotely manage their finances and communicate wi th their families back home. "It hopes to bring together information to help OFWs manage their finances. It will contain news and information, such as how they can pay their Meralco (Mani la Electric Co.) electric bill remotely," said founder Edwin "Ka Edong" Soriano , who has been blogging for years. The idea to start the eOFW b log was born two years ago but only materialized this year after Soriano found a Singaporean partner. The blog aims to provide news, as well as links, to information OFWs need to ma nage their finances from abroad. Soriano said the blog links to services like the unlimited calls service now po pular among OFWs. "The blog also aims to teach OFWs," he added, noting that his brief experience in Canada gave him a glimpse of what overseas Filipinos need. "It started with mobile commerce. Then I educated myself on OFW finances while I was in Canada," he said. "So with that, I will be the eyes and ears of the OF Ws." Soriano maintains his own blog, and contributes to several others.
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PHILIPPINE Daily Inquirer entertainment columnist Ruben Nepales is now also blogging for INQUIRER.net, with the launch of The Nepales Report. Nepales, who is our man in Hollywood, offers interesting glimpses into the life of Filipinos in the US, as these entries on "award-itis" and "closet Filipinos" show. Here's what Nepales wrote in his "award-itis" entry:
We are guilty of these maladies, âbeauty pageant-it isâ and âaward- itis.â On virtually any weekend, a Filipino community somewhere in America is h onoring, for example, the most outstanding Filipino-American water filter sales man of the year or Mr. Door-to-Door Cargo. I have attended an event where folks gave each other awards. These people basic ally took turns standing up and presenting each other with a plaque until every one had one. I did not know whether to laugh or to cry about the absurdity of t he situation.And here's an excerpt from his post on closet Filipinos:
In my years of wandering as a promdi in Hollywood, I have come across some folks who hide their Filipino heritage. These personalities sa y that theyâre a mixture of Spanish (or to be more vague, âEuropeanâ), Chinese and Malay, the standard racial make-up of most Filipinos. Some even claim that they are of Polynesian heritage. Basta anything but Filipino. Why do these Filipinos or hyphenated Filipinos conceal their Pinoy identity? Mo st are performers â actors, actresses and singers â who want to appeal to as br oad a market or audience as possible. Or they like to be ambiguous in their rac e identity so they will not be pigeonholed into Filipino or Asian roles only. blockquote>
A BLOG also lends itself well to fiction and other literary pieces. An interes ting example of this is Shiksa from Manila, a series of stories from Brooklyn-based Filipi na writer Sophia Romero about a fictional character/online persona named Amapol a Gold. Romero is the author of "Always Hiding," a 1998 novel whose ma in character Viola is the daughter of a wealthy Manila socialite who has fled t he Marcos regime to live as an illegal immigrant in New York City. Viola's fath er, a government official, decides to send Viola to live with her mother in New York to escape the political turmoil, unaware that his daughter plans to bring her mother back to the Philippines. I haven't read the book, but the description of Romero's first novel has certai nly piqued my curiosity. For now, I'm glad I've stumbled upon the fascinating s tories on her blog. By the way, as her blog explains, a "shiksa" is a "term use d to describe a woman who is non-Jewish. Usually meant in a pejorative way." Here's an excerpt from the latest story on Shiksa from Manila:
My name is Amapola and I am the shiksa from Manilaâ¦ A hyphen is a small bar that looks like a minus sign. The dictionary further de scribes the hyphen as a punctuation mark used to divide or connect two words; t o describe a person who performs more than one function; to describe a unit of mixed or diverse backgrounds. To me the hyphen is all that. For something no bigger than a period, it means s o much more. It describes the life I lead: a life that straddles two worlds, th e tight rope that connects me to both, maintaining the delicate balancing act b etween the life I had before and the life I have now.Romero also has a blog on the Parents' Blog Network of NY Metro Parents Magazin e called Mom After-Hours.