In the digital age, both information and misinformation are readily available for anyone with a computer or a smartphone. Discerning what is real and what isn’t is not always easy especially for digital novices because there are websites and social media pages that are created with the intent to deceive.
This kind of deception has proven effective in getting politicians elected both in the country and abroad. The profile of the victims cover pretty much all academic and social standing. Social media savvy individuals aren’t even immune. I have personally seen friends that have fallen prey to fake articles posted by paid political influencers that forward their agenda by promoting half-truths.
And while it was initially amusing to make fun of people who make a fool of themselves by sharing fake news, the growing number of believers have reached an alarming rate. Worse, they have proven effective in dividing the nation and making people blind to the harsh realities around them. What started as bots and parody accounts designed to influence trending topics and conditioning consumers on which telco brand or product is better, the strategists crossed over to politics where the money is better. The problem here is that their source of income now directly affects lives. Add up the morally corrupt influencers and they get an indomitable team to cover up crime and corruption, create diversions when an important national issue is in the spotlight, and even invent stories that destroy reputations and lives.
“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
The Adolf Hitler Book (2008 edition), Adolf Hitler – ISBN: 9781438227931
Lifted directly off Hitler’s playbook of calling the media lügenpresse or the lying press, men who benefit from fake news have discredited the mainstream media and have directed credulous minds to accept false information and propaganda that they have funded.
Aligned with the global initiative to thwart fake news, I am taking this site out of dormancy and making it an avenue for truth, justice… and let’s not get carried away. I will still post personal travels and the like but I will also start posting relevant news and opinion pieces that most personal blogs stay away from. Of course, these will be served with some fact-checking on the side. Once and for all, I think it is time to take back blogging and the internet from the paid trolls. Let’s get to work.
I have a few must-haves whenever we travel: 1. my old trusty DSLR 2. my laptop so I can work wherever there’s wifi or stable LTE/3G connection 3. comfortable and durable shoes. The last one is critical for whether we are exploring a secluded island away from the city or traversing an urban jungle which often entails a lot of walking to keep up with the flow of the busy metropolis.
Continue reading “Comfort and style: The perfect Chuck Taylor sneakers for travel”
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) marks an extended celebration of the Thai Lunar Calendar, the New Year Songkran Festival, with unique activities and festivities that pay tribute to the role of water in Thai culture and society. Normally the celebration lasts for three days from April 13 to 15, but this year there will be an extended break as April 16 and 17 fall on a weekend.
Continue reading “Thailand gears up for traditional New Year Songkran Festival”
Our 5-day Holy Week getaway in Boracay ends today. While waiting for our Cebu Pacific flight from Caticlan to Manila, I drafted this visual diary before it gets added to my growing pile of unpublished travel blog posts.
Continue reading “Revisiting Boracay”
When your idea of a fun and relaxing getaway has graduated from endless partying and going to LaBoracay to finding solace away from the physical and virtual pollution of the city, here’s a destination that you may want to consider.
Just a little over three hours away from Manila, a private island is up for rent on Airbnb. Equipped with an 80-square meter bungalow with a living room, a kitchen, a main bedroom and an attic, the island can comfortably host a group of up to 10 people. It has a separate study with the most relaxing 360 degree island view and a spacious ground area where you can dine alfresco. You may also chill and/or read on a hammock under a tree, walk barefoot while enjoying your favourite glass of wine, or roast marshmallows and hotdogs around a ready bonfire by the lake.
Continue reading “Get off the grid with this private island getaway on Airbnb”
It’s that time of the year when major airlines are posting the most incredible flight promos that would enable just about anyone to travel around the country and even abroad.
And so, because a lot of our friends are going to Hong Kong for the first time this year, we are posting this travel guide for 5 days/4 nights that we use for our own trips to HK. This covers most of the tourist-y places that you have to check out and a few tips on the side to make your stay as smooth-sailing as possible.
Continue reading “Hong Kong 101 for first time travelers”
Ever since That Thing Called Tadhana, I have made it my mission to go emo while staring at the sea of clouds at Sagada’s Mount Kiltepan. Turns out, if you are not in your twenties anymore, you can’t just go to Sagada on a whim. While Kiltepan is supposed to be an easy climb, you have to do it at dawn in freezing weather which makes it challenging for first time climbers. Some preparation is needed and setting the incline on the treadmill at a higher percentage just won’t cut it.
Continue reading “Hiking Mount Maculot – A beginner’s tale”