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Living in a Box

October 3, 2007

I go to this cool hub just in front of my dormitory for 20 bucks per hour. The place – just a few steps away from my room – lies at the other side of a one-way street that connects to Mendiola (now called Chino Roces St.), where protesters usually hold their fiery demonstrations.

The place, which hooks on mostly young people, is attached to my school. So just imagine the proximity of my dorm to the two places that mean so much to me, at least during this early stage of my life. Well, the one played and is playing a big role on my wellbeing, while the other keeps me from the stultifying life of a full-time law student.

It has indeed become part of my daily routine since I moved in to my strict dormitory. Now I realize how hard it is to stay in a dorm just few steps away from school. I have to abide by some ‘punitive’ house rules which I think almost match up with those implemented in a seminary. No visitors allowed, no cooking inside, no flat iron, no drinking spree, among other no-nos. The worse part, if not the worst, is the 10:30 p.m. curfew time. I felt like a prisoner during my first week. It was totally different from my previous place where everything was alright.

Well, I chose to stay in that dorm because of its nearness from my school and because, which is the most important, I wanted to save money from my still-not-enough allowance.

So I turn to this addictive place for some fun, to have something to do instead of just goofing around.

I stay there for 20 bucks per hour, and I usually waste 4 to 5 hours of my daily time. I register before and after I attend my boring law classes. I spend my time checking some stuff, along with loud and noisy young brats doing some ‘crazy business.’

Internet has played a big role in my life since I became fascinated with writing. There’s more to Internet than chatting, gaming, and researching. The place is actually a rectangular Internet rental with only ten computer units. You can just imagine how small it is.

Almost all of its regular patrons are close to the shop owners. Well, I don’t know their real names except for their faces and aliases. One is called “Tangkad” because of his height. Another is named “Bata” because of his age; at 10, he’s the youngest among the net-goers.

Others were total strangers, who probably just stumbled into the place to kill time, except for the varsity players who are considered campus celebs.

Some members of the campus’ basketball team – the Red Warriors – chose the place among a good number of computer cafes in the area as their official cyber hangout. You might think they play NBA online, but hell no! Most of them, if not all, especially 6’4” center Hans Theile, are Friendster addict. Perhaps, they have to regularly update themselves on what’s going on in their Friendster account, like the number of girls who viewed them or gave some inspiring comments. Friendster somehow boosts their ego. Just imagine the feeling of having received naughty messages from some cutie college girls who obviously wanted to hook ballers.

The presence of just four basketball players could dwarf the place and all living and non-living things in it.

Like a small community, we have a little brother whom we call “Bata” because he’s the youngest. His age (10) bars him from entering the shop during weekdays. Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim wanted to limit computer cafes near school to adults only so the city hall issued an ordinance prohibiting kiddies to cut class and have their computer subjects outside. But no ordinance whatsoever could ever bar “Bata” from joining the for-adults-only session in this shop along Dalupan Street.

I warned him three times that the next time I seat beside him I’m going to inform the roving policemen in University Belt. I was, of course, kidding. His presence somehow adds joy to the group. Sometimes during the weekends he would bring along his eight-year old little sister to play some barbie-style online game.

Aside from games and Friendster, others are fond of viewing YouTube videos. The September 13 UE-versus-La Salle video was the most viewed in the shop.

Friendster, YouTube and Dota or Counter Strike – these are now the main focus of most male e-goers. Some would even spend almost 12 hours in front of the computer screen, and I’m not surprised to see most of them still in their school uniform at 12 midnight.

I don’t want to join this crazy bandwagon. I do my own stuff, I mean the more serious thing like reading the news online and updating my wordpress account. The ratio is 1 out of ten. I chose to spend my time writing some informative and educational stuff. I learn while I blog – this is now my personal online credo. You don’t learn if you only play Dota or Ragnarok. You only absorb the tricks, how to kill the virtual enemy better.

Internet has so much influence on me. I don’t just view some comic and stupid videos (e.g. Paris Hilton or Britney Spears videos) on YouTube. I usually go for some serious stuff like political videos, and the less serious like the video tricks of David Blaine and Criss Angel. There’s so much more than watching YouPorn.

I learned a lot from YouTube. I got to know more about my favorite philosopher Ayn Rand, my favorite analyst Noam Chomsky, and my favorite critic Michael Moore. I laughed out loud at the funny videos of George Bush that showcase his seemingly innate stupidity and lousiness. But I was angered by the devastating videos on Myanmar.

I feel like living in a cubic world where I deal with people who do their own business and focus my attention on one amazing invention that makes it possible for me to see the world, its beauty and the lack of it.

I read online news to update myself, to know what (the hell) is going on in this spherical world and in these parts. But most of the time I was angered by what I see. Like the food we eat, they dwell down on that part of my body that is responsible for stimulating feelings and emotions.

The chain doesn’t stop at the point of knowing. It continuously goes down to the avenue of expressing or sharing or deducing (whatever that means).

Indeed, the online buck doesn’t stop in my brain. It goes somewhere… further and wider.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 14, 2007 3:38

    Boss, take good care of your eyesight 😛

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