Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blogging Tips from Isinay Bird

AFTER ONE YEAR, your Isinay Bird has learned a few lessons about blogging.

They are the same lessons (or rules or tips or pieces of advice, as the case may be) that I would love to share to anyone willing to avoid the pitfalls I used to be trapped in as an enthusiast of the written word -- and which I got caught in again as a neophyte blogger.

Indeed, I shared them years ago to friends and colleagues in the environment and natural resources sector -- particularly the DENR, the UPLB, and the environmental NGO sector -- that tolerated my boring ways as a resource person.

First lesson -- "Keep It Short and Simple."

Yes, correct. The acronym for it is KISS.

My attention has not been called to it yet, but one reason why not so many would-be readers get turned off from this blog is that they either get intimidated or tired (or both intimidated and bored) when they see how long many of the pieces in this blog are.

I do plead guilty, your honor, to kilometric writing. Most of the time, that is.

And so, this time, I'll do my best to KISS by giving shorter sutsur (story) and fewer alimbawa (example).

If some items would necessitate more pangiam-amta (introduction) or  pangibotaw (elucidation), I'll try to write separate blogs for them.

KISS also means "Keep Information Sweet and Scintillating."

And that would be Lesson No. 2 that I would try my senior citizen best to remember if I can't adhere to Lesson No. 1.

Both rules would, of course, be easier to violate than to follow, especially the one on how to be sweet and scintillating.

Thus, from time to time (but with much lesser frequency now), when I can't say yes to the two tips above, allow this humble bird to use:

Lesson No. 3 -- "Be KISSABLE."

Again, that's a memory aid for "Keep Information Stimulating, Satisfying, Accurate, Believable, Likeable, and Enlightening."

A possible example of a KISSABLE item is this one introduced to senior citizens of Dupax by Uwa Alipong Magalad (of Melbourne, Australia) during the first death anniversary of his mother (the great Isinay teacher Ermelinda Castañeda-Magalad). It is about the application of the Isinay word kalangakang to refer to a senior citizen.

Mr. Alfonso Castañeda Magalad (man in red) caused hilarious laughter among those who participated in the observance of the first death anniversary of his mother when he introduced the idea of using "kalangakang" to refer to senior citizens and "marasaba" to not-yet seniors.

Kalangakang of course refers originally to a fully ripe tamarind fruit. It is that stage of the sompalo (tamarind) when it is at its sweetest best but -- just like a senior citizen -- already in the pre-departure area, as it were, and on the verge of saying goodbye.

Finally, our last lesson. This one I heard many, many years ago while I was still a student at the foot of Mount Makiling:  

"Write like a bikini."

The red-blooded among you would know what this tip means.

Yes -- "short enough to arouse and sustain interest, big enough to cover the vital parts!"


  1. Don't forget 'Use Simple Language'. JoeCL

    1. Yes, that one, too, Insan JoeCL. That's why even if the temptation to use as much Isinay as I can -- to justify this blogsite's revolving mostly around Isinay life in Dupax and vicinity, I cannot yet write as fully Isinay as I could. So I just use a few Isinay words here and then. And with Ilocano and Tagalog translations if the story warrants. By the way, Joe, I posted a couple of photos on the Facebook page of Azon that I took of the road named after your father when I went to have a lone-ranger homecoming in the Dupax Central Elementary School last month. I hope she shared them with you.

    2. Correction, please. The second statement above should read:

      "That's why even if the temptation to use as much Isinay as I can -- to justify this blogsite's revolving mostly around Isinay life in Dupax and vicinity -- is often irresistible, I cannot yet write as fully Isinay as I could."

      Pasensia toy lumahay mot pisya tiye peren yuar!

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