Wednesday, October 31, 2012


1. SMS the "loved one"

Tinatamad ka bang bumisita sa iyong loved ones sa sementeryo?
..... Are you not up to visiting your loved ones at the cemetery?
Text DALAW at i-send sa 2366
..... Text DALAW and send to 2366
Sila mismo ang dadalaw sa yo
..... They will be the ones to come and visit you
Choices are:
1) Nakasilip sa bintana
..... Peering through the window
2) Nakatingin sa yo habang natutulog ka
..... Looking at you while asleep
3) Nakatayo sa iyong paanan
..... Standing by your feet
4) Nakahiga sa tabi mo
...... Beside you in bed
Ano pa inaantay mo? text na!
..... What are you waiting for? Text now!
. . .
This original text joke ca. 2011 can only have been thought of by a Filipino. I'm not sure, though, if the text message really came from Globe Telecoms which owns the "2366" gateway number. Otherwise, may the original sender of this brilliant SMS please stand up or shall I call upon the spirits of the universe to, please, make yourself known?

2. e-Online mo

A couple of years back, a tarpaulin billboard appeared on the side of Legacy Building adjacent to the Quezon Avenue branch of Mercury Drugstore (across McDonald's and Crossings) in Quezon City.

The billboard grabbed my attention partly because it was more noticeable for its size than what St. Peter Memorial Chapels, the ad owner, had on its own facade. (Consequently, whenever I happen to be in the area, I noticed that the billboard totally dominated that of the building owner Legacy Group's, by then beset with scandal, and whatever else that were posted on or near the exterior building wall.)

Anyhow, this billboard also had the most peculiar use of the prefix "e-" meaning, of course, "electronic," or virtual and online. It read: "e-Burol. Libre na! Worldwide pa!" ("Electronic (online) Wake." It's Free! And it's worldwide!").

Not only did I find "e-Burol" an odd concept – it bordered on the bizarre, actually – it was a most amusing word play on a Filipino (affixed object-focus) verb if spoken out loud, "iburol." I'd always thought what a weird way to use technology, something only a certain mind-set can ever invent. But it really made a lot of sense.

Passing by it another time, my friend and I had a good laugh while stuck in traffic, not only because it was a neat and unexpected way of getting over the anxiety of being caught in the jam but also because, to a larger extent, the simple compound word had a complex web of meanings.

Later, I learned that the family of a distant relative who passed on actually had benefitted from this Philippine-style "e-" service.

I believe whatever conversation happened between the bereaved in the Philippines and those overseas may even have been something like what website published in 2008:
" Online Viewer: Ano daw bang ikinamatay ni Tatay?
..... (What did they say Dad died of?)
Wake Attender: Inatake sa puso.
..... (He had cardiac arrest.)

OV: Sorry ha, hindi na ako makakauwi kasi mahal ang pamasahe. Magpapadala na lang ako ng pera. I-send ko ba via Paypal o Western Union na lang?
..... (Oh, sorry, I can't can't go home because it's expensive to travel. I'll just send money. Shall I send it through Paypal or Western Union?)

WA: Wag na Paypal, baka ma-hack pa account ko. Western Union na lang. Pag na-send mo na, text mo sa akin yung Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN).
..... (No, not Paypal because my account might get hacked. Use Western Union instead. After you've sent it, text me the MTCN.)

OV: Ok, np. Marami bang tao pala jan ngayon sa burol?
..... (Okay, no problem. Are there many people there at the wake right now?)

WA: Marami-rami naman. Nakikita mo ba sa webcam ngayon, ayun si Tiya Adela sa unahan.
..... (Quite a few. Can you see it on your webcam now, there's Aunt Adela out in front.)

OV: Hindi pa, baka may lag itong streaming. Ayun, ok na. Aba, tumataba si Tiya Adela! LOL.
..... (Not yet; seems there's a lag with the streaming. There, it's okay now. Oh, Aunt Adela's gained weight!)

WA: Onga, pero nagda-diet na raw siya hehe. Oi, teka BRB muna ako kasi sasalubungin ko si Tiyo Mario, kadarating lang.
..... (Yeah, but she say's she's now on a diet. Hey, hold on, i'll be right back in a while;
..... let me just meet Uncle Mario who just arrived.)

OV: Sige, GTG na rin ako kasi shift ko na sa hospital.
..... (Alright. I've got to go myself because it'll soon be my shift at the hospital.)

WA: Bye! Log in ka na lang uli later ha? (Bye! Log in again later, okay?)"
Laughable though it may have been at the time we read out the billboard, I believe the ad copy is still part-genius. We couldn't help but say then, "So after iburol (to hold a wake), what's next? Ilibing (to bury)? Right? Of course! That…makes sense!"

Lo and behold, yes!, "e-Libing" ("electronic Interment") it WAS in 2009. How can anyone NOT think of that, let alone St. Peter's who started it!

I have to apologize but a little lame this post is because I've no pictures to show for the billboard on the Legacy Building building mentioned, but here's a similar one I found from blogger Peanutbutter of blowingpeachkisses:

Photo (2010) by Peachy A. of blowingpeachkisses blog

3. Imaginer

Fast-forward to pre-Halloween 2011 and the police, through Bureau of Prisons Supt. Richard Schawazkopf, Jr., told the press of a new concept for the inmates in mourning:
" NBP superintendent Richard Schwarzkopf Jr. announced yesterday that they came up with the concept of “electronic burol or e-burol (wake)” and “e-libing (burial)” to allow prisoners the opportunity to communicate with their loved ones during times of grief.

Schwarzkopf said inmates classified as maximum security prisoners are not allowed to leave the compound to view the remains of their loved ones.

“This coming All Saints’ Day, the inmates can avail of the ‘e-dalaw‘ (visit) so that they can make a virtual visit to the grave site of a departed loved one,” he said. "
Source (Oct. 26, 2011)
The NBP must have thought they were being funny because I must say now (however belatedly), No, sir, you didn't come up with THAT idea, although credits to you for coming up with "e-dalaw."

The concepts "e-Burol" and "e-Libing" that St. Peter Memorial Chapels came up with in 2008 and 2009 were so novel and offbeat that only they can actually get away with "St. Peter eLibing, Be a PART, though you’re APART" for its press release headline.

It also put up a site called St. Peter's Gate, an "online center" that's more than just an Internet gateway, a peek at life afterlife, as it's meant "for healing where you can commemorate the life and legacy of your loved ones." Here, one can view memorials and videos of "e-Burols"(here, go ahead) or write tributes to the dead.

Despite the unintentional humor from St. Peter Memorial Chapel's taglines, the owners do seem to take their services seriously. I'm actually surprised St. Peter Memorial Chapels hasn't sued the NBP or the government for copyright infringement. Any ghost of a chance the government retract that pronouncement? If it had, it may have been such a quick presence that I missed it.

4. Revisiting images onli in the Philippines (NÂș 2)

A. The Manila City Hall from an aerial photograph.

Don't let your mind fool you. The structure takes the shape of the land it stands on. Then again, considering the casualties and damage Manila suffered during the Pacific War of 1945, who knows what spirits lurk within its confines.

Photo from a page off LIFE from Beyond Forgetting's Flickr stream
B. Back to the future.

From Paulding's My Pinoy Humor Blog
 (My lola would be rolling over in her grave.) Enough said.

Happy Halloween.

- Top image by the author
- Online Burol: Mourn for the dead via the net (St. Peter’s E-Burol)Nov 2 2008
- P. Adarne, May ganito na pala...- Philippine Star, Helen Flores: Gov't launches 'e-burol,' 'e-libing' 
- Beyond Forgetting
- Paulding: My Pinoy Humor Blog

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