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Reminiscing about something I never did

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I had an interesting day yesterday.  I spent much of the day working on different projects that I have going right now.  Pretty much every one of those projects is work related – things that will earn me money.  Every one of the projects involves the Internet too.  Oh, I didn’t work all day long, though, I did other things too.  I talked to my Mom on the phone, which is sort of a daily thing.  I like to stay in touch with her, and hear how she is doing.  It’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen her, but with my Vonage Internet telephone, I can talk to her and it sounds like she is just down the street.

The other night, I had two friends over for dinner.  One of the people that came for dinner is a Filipino, whom I met over the Internet about 15 years ago, and he is a close friend.  The other person who came to dinner is a foreigner who recently moved to Davao.  I met him because he was a long time reader of LiP.

Tagalog Buddy

Have you noticed a trend in what I wrote above?  Well, the common denominator is that all of these things are possible because of technology.  Internet technology mostly.

I have lived in the Philippines for more than 9 years as I write this… almost 10 years.  It’s a long time to live in the Philippines, but I certainly know many expats who have lived here much longer.  One person that I know has lived in the Philippines for nearly 45 years now!  He is American.  I can hardly imagine what it would be like to live here for nearly half a century!  Even though I have no plans of ever going back to the States, I will probably never reach an age that would have me living here for 50 years!  I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to have lived here 50 years ago.  I have another close friend who has been here for about 25 years now, and still going strong.  So, as you can see, I’m just a short timer.

The first time I came to the Philippines was nearly 20 years ago, in 1990.  Back then, I visited Manila, Cebu and General Santos City.  General Santos was just a backwater town in those days.  Many of the roads were dirt roads in the town.  The town was very dusty, like the wild west.  If you hung around town, you could see horses in the streets.  That was only 20 years ago.  Imagine what it was like 50 years ago!

Anyway, getting back to my “tech” life here in the Philippines, the day I described at the beginning of this article is actually quite typical.  Some days my life even involves much more technology than that.  Certainly, such a life was not even available in your wildest dreams 20 or 50 years ago.  How would anybody be able to live here during those days?  I know, the truth is that the kind of tech I am talking about wasn’t available anywhere 50 years ago.

Being able to just pick up a telephone receiver and dial my Mom or my friends in the States, and not have to pay anything above the basic flat rate monthly bill is astounding.  It has gotten to the point where we can live basically anywhere in the world, and be able to cheaply and reliably keep in touch with any other part of the world.  It makes like more pleasurable, I think.

As I think about this, it also makes me wonder what people will be saying in 20 more years… I am sure they will look back at the year 2009 and imagine how we could have possibly lived without all the “2030 gizmos” that will be available.

I don’t think I could have lived here in the 1960, or even 1990.  I sure enjoy the lifestyle that technology in 2009 makes possible for me, though.

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Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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hudson
hudson
11 years ago

Hey Bob,
I remember when I was a child of about 10 years old, and we were at Disneyland. Six of us in a booth and we called grandma, and she heard us all on speakerphone. We all that it was simply amazing in 1967

Mindanao Bob
11 years ago

Hi John – I'm glad that you like the design of the site. Thanks for letting me know.

Mindanao Bob
11 years ago

Hi hudson – My family and I did the same thing at Disneyland. You and I probably sat in the same booth at Disneyland in Anaheim, making a conference call from the same phone! What a great memory, and you are so right.. it was so high tech. But, today, it is nothing! Amazing.

Ron
Ron
11 years ago

Internet technology has made the world a much smaller place. My fiancee can take a picture with her digital camera and in seconds I can see the picture even though I am on the other side of the world.

AlexB
11 years ago

Internet specifically makes us feel "connected," less isolated, less lonely. With internet-telephone connectivity, we can talk live, and feel we are "there." It helps people be mobile without giving up part of themselves. Speaking of change, I was in Bacolod in 2002, working on a small project, visited Silay city, Iloilo, Mactan. I thought wow, I could live in any of these places. Coming back to Mactan this year to check things out, I couldn't recognize the place! Only 7 years later. Now I have to look further away but with internet, Supercat, and Cebu Pacific, ahhh…no sweat. Alex

David S.
David S.
11 years ago

The changes you'll see in the next ten years will astound you. Just today, I read an article about a hand held ultrasound machine that will replace the stethoscope. In a few years household robots will be common place. Within ten years cars that drive themselves will be everywhere. Computer data storage density will increase 50 fold. You’ll have a terabyte on a sold state drive the size of your fingernail. Wi-Fi will be everywhere. Augmented reality will be available for the asking. You'll be able to stroll thru the palaces of Rome without leaving your livingroom. Handheld devices that… Read more »

Edward Gary Wigle
Edward Gary Wigle
11 years ago

Hi Bob – Just wait until you get a Magic Jack phone. $20.00 USD per YEAR. Buy two, set one up and then send it to your mother. You can talk to her all you want – the cost? Only the twenty dollars per year. Soon that will be history too. Free calls on the internet. I started doing that back in the late 90's. Talked to a friend in Japan and never paid a penny, on dial-up. It just keeps getting better. I don't have a TV here in Michigan. Lightning took it out last May. Yet on the… Read more »

don m
11 years ago

I went to a Lea Salanga concert tonight here in Medford, Oregon. I wound have never dreamed in the past that anyone of her stature in the Philippines would ever come to my home town. Over half the crowd here was Philippino. It was great!!!!!! The world is truly getting smaller.

Mindanao Bob
11 years ago

Hi don m – Believe it or not (many won't, I'm sure!), Lea Salonga and I are friends, or were at one time. We've been out of touch for some time now, though. I used to correspond with Lea Salonga back in the mid to late 90's. Lea was on AOL at the time. She is a very nice person, and I do love her singing!

Mindanao Bob
11 years ago

Good luck on that, Paul! See you on the other side!

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