Bak in da Pilipines agin...

I arrived back in Cebu on June 21, 2004, worn out from three months in China, Vietnam and Cambodia. Even my friends commented that I looked tired and scrawny.

Checking in as usual to the McSherry Pension House, my to-do list was short: eating, sleeping and relaxing. Fortunately, the McSherry regulars are excellent role models for accomplishing these demanding tasks.

9am, June 28, 2004: Jon and Gary at McSherry Pension House, Pelaez Street, Cebu City
Jon & Gary Jon & Gary

I decided this time around I wanted more upscale digs than the McSherry offered. I looked at about ten apartments, ranging in price from 6000 to 10,000 pesos per month. Most apartments here are advertised as "Executive-type", but it's hard to imagine what kind of executive would want to stay in them. My friend Don invited me over to look at his apartment in Happy Valley, and I saw that Villa San Raphael was not only pretty nice but also cheaper than anything else I looked at. For P5000 (about 89 US dollars) I rented a clean little studio apartment. My new home:

Villa San Raphael Villa San Raphael
Villa San Raphael Villa San Raphael


Soon after my return, I helped my friend Gary Forbes with his booth at the COMDDAP show (Computer Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers Association of the Philippines) at the gigantic SM Mall. Gary and his students/workers presented the animation video that they created while I was in Southeast Asia. Gary used the show to network and drum up some outsourcing business. I helped with the "technical" aspect of the show: lugging PC's and monitors out of his house into the taxi and then dragginng them through SM up to the Trade Hall on the top floor. We set the computers up and spent the next few days talking to attendees (Gary was there 12 hours a day for three my book, he earned a "trade show purple heart.") Gary's website: CAST-Cebu

Myself, Ana & Gary in a rare quiet moment / Gary demonstrating animation software.
Chris, Ana and Gary Gary Forbes


Lately I've been building a website for the Philippine Center for Media Advocacy, a Cebu-based NGO (non-governmental organization) that works to assist and train other NGO's in how to deal succesfully with the mass media. They are a dynamic group, involved with such varied projects as environmental protection and environmental law, rooting out government corruption, biopiracy prevention, juvenile justice, child abuse and trafficking, child labor, drug trafficking, women's issues, and gay & lesbian issues. Quite a list, huh? Here's the website: PhilMedia

PhilMedia workshop


There are a number of NGO's here that want websites but are unable to afford professional designers. So it's my plan to offer my services. To improve my skills, I'm taking a graphic design course at Javasphere, one of many computer schools in Cebu City. The plan is to shed some of my left-brain dominance and become more of a right-brain kinda guy. We're studying Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, two important tools for the budding cyber-artist.

Javasphere Computer Learning Center
Unit 207, Mango Square, Gen Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City
Tel. (032) 412-6292

So, it's back to my demanding Cebu lifestyle: waking up when I want, eating what I want and walking around, checking out life here in the tropics. Life is good and I'm grateful to be doing what I want, where I want. No complaints.