Hello, World!

Early in the 1980’s I met a working student who was assigned at the College of Engineering at the newly created Department of Computers (later it would be called Department Information Technology). I would wait for him at the college for his shift to finish, and we would go to the canteen and drink pineapple juice (it was the only thing we could afford) before going home at night.

I would watch him shutting down the computers and I would ask him what he was doing. In the course of the conversation, I recall he said the Operating System was DOS 2.

So I said some spanish guy invented a program. The next program would be TRES, then CUATRO. We laughed, ‘of course not’, he said.

Strictly against school regulations, I begged him to let me use the computers. So he taught me a bit of this and a bit of that. The first thing I had to learn was to make a batch file called “HELLO WORLD!” I think all programmers, at the start, learned how to execute “HELLO WORLD!” as their first program.


Until today, that’s all I know about programming, about blogging, and about life in general. A bit of this and a bit of that.

I am now well-past the half century mark chronologically. I now know that with age comes a semblance of wisdom. The memories and the conclusions I gained, oftentimes painfully, have now taken on a quality of equanimity if not understanding.

I remember that the first time I sang our national anthem it was in english. It would only be later known as “Ang Pambansang Awit ng Pilipinas” (The Philippine National Anthem) and much later also known as “Lupang Hinirang” (Beloved Land).

This was just one of the changes I experienced in the course of my life. I didn’t know the significance to me or to my country. I was busy living my life.

There was an instance, now told in jokes but nevertheless true, of an American lady tourist asking at a store which was being watched by a child “Magkano ba ito?” (How much is this?). Of course, being american, it sounded like “Meg-kenow baw etow?”.

The child ran to her mother and said, in American-accented English, “I can’t understand the lady, ‘ma, what’s she sayin’?”

You won’t find many children who can speak like that anymore.

There are some lessons that, learned in passing or in a non-learning environment, stuck with me because of the logic of the situation.

One situation is the time when our province was marked for partition. Dividing the province generated partisan feelings, as those who were faced with a similar situation. Being young at the time I was ready to join the fray.

I asked my father’s opinion. I was hoping for more arguments to support and show that our side was right.

He said: In the end this will not matter. What will matter is the buildings, the schools, the hospitals that will be built in reaction to the partisanship. When the arguments are done, these buildings will stay.

This is one of the most profound statement I’ve heard from anybody.

He was right. In the end, although the province was not divided, the buildings did stay. And I know that many lives were saved because of the hospital which was built just to prove a political point.

Why am I writing this? I would like to share my perceptions through this blog. I don’t know if it will move you in the way I was moved, but at least it could present a new perspective.

Which is my roundabout way of saying “hello, wordpress world”!