Tuesday, January 29, 2013


DEMOSTHENES TORRES, a resident of San Diego, California for more than 50 years passed away on January 24, 2013. He was born on July 27, 1935.

After taking his Medical Studies in the Philippines, he served in the U.S. Navy as a Medical Officer and was a Vietnam War Veteran.

He was married to my sister, the late Perla Maynigo Torres, a California Nurse. Both raised two children – Mary Euleen Torres and Dean Torres.  Dean is married to Christina Arizpuro Torres and they have two children, Carly and Sebastian. Euleen has a daughter, Gianna.  Euleen finished her Masters Degree in Social Work at Long Beach State University while Dean earned his Masters Degree in Hospital Administration at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

They also helped put through college two relatives: Bolet (Boy) Torres, Manong Demy’s younger brother who became a Medical Doctor, and me, Manang Perla’s younger brother who became an International and Cyber lawyer. Many relatives were also beneficiaries of their generous assistance.

Aside from raising their children well, both Manong Demy and Manang Perla were active in serving their communities in the Philippines (Burgos and Rosales, Pangasinan) and in the United States (San Diego, California). The OPERATION SAMAHAN Community Health Center in San Diego is one successful project that both fully supported.

I am publishing in this column my letter addressed to Euleen, Dean and Christina, a day after the passing of Manong Demy:

Dearest Euleen, Dean, and Christina,

Condolences to the three of you and to all our relatives!

Your Dad's passing is a mixture of sadness, a vote of confidence and trust, and most importantly, a triumph of love.

Sadness because it ends not only his vital activities but also his physical, intellectual, emotional and other human connections to his loved ones, be they relatives, friends, townmates, and the like. It also signifies the cessation of whatever material happiness generated by and with him in this material world.

His death was really a vote of confidence and trust for the three of you. The best argument to live longer would have been to see, assist and/or participate in the growth and development of his grandchildren to maturity. It is not hard to imagine Carly and Gianna developing as beautiful and brainy as well as productive ladies of the future, Of course, smart and handsome Sebastian - the "natural born" politician growing up to lead and manage a state, nation, or even a multinational corporation would have been a pleasure for a grandfather to witness or participate in its realization. I have in fact advanced this argument.

But the fact that the kids have you as parents, raised to accept full parental responsibility and meeting it efficiently and effectively, your Dad voted AYE for the three of you in shaping their future, The ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE and TRUST was there as he closed his eyes to reach his final destination. It was an argument that no one, including me, could counter.

Most importantly, his love for his loving wife, your beloved Mom, and my affectionate sister is beyond measure. Theirs was love made and developed on earth. It was one that extended not only to each other to the maximum degree but to you, relatives like me, and communities, be they in Rosales, Philippines or in San Diego. He had served his family, his community and as a Vietnam War Veteran, his country with bravery and honor.

In his last days and hours, he had expressed his wish to the three of you. He prayed that God Almighty would finally allow him to join your Mom in their infinite love. That together with your Mom, he would be allowed to finally realize a LOVE MADE IN HEAVEN.

Last night, God granted his wish and prayer!

All my love,
Uncle Ben

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Our People, Our Past, Our Present, Our Potential

As I watched the festivities surrounding the 2nd Inauguration of President Obama, I became nostalgic for past inaugural events having witnessed them both on TV and in person as a member of the Washington, D.C. community since 1977.

Having attended two U.S. Presidential Inaugural Balls cemented my desire to be part of U.S. History and the celebration of one of America’s democratic traditions. Witnessing in person the oath taking and inauguration of at least two Philippine Presidents puts me in double historical delight as a dual citizen by choice.

Our People, Our Future

“Our People, Our Future” - this is the theme that President Obama’s spokespersons said about his inaugural speech. Indeed, it was a talk that focused on the American people – its past and its present. It gave great importance to posterity – “America’s limitless possibilities”, potentials and promises of tomorrow.

The President stressed the founding principles under which America was formed as a nation. He reiterated and reaffirmed the country’s values, creed, and beliefs. He quoted the declaration:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The inauguration was full of symbolisms. Obama chose the bibles of Abe Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. to swear into as he took his Presidential oath. Lincoln is credited for abolishing slavery, thus – elevating and affirming the freed slaves’ unalienable right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  MLK, Jr. is the hero of the civil rights movement whose “day” is concurrently celebrated with the 2nd Presidential Inauguration of Obama – a beneficiary of the two martyrs’ historical efforts.

Both Lincoln and King, Jr. delivered immortal speeches; Lincoln, the “Gettysburg Address”; King, Jr., the “I Have a Dream” speech. Both were assassinated while leading the fight for human equality!

As he extolled the role of America’s heroes and forefathers in the past for the sake of yesterday’s tomorrow, he likewise recognizes the responsibilities of the current generation to posterity.

Like his idols he perorated, “For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.  Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.  Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.  Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.  Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.”

His was a call to action. He challenged all Americans to work together for climate change, for gay rights, for immigration, for women’s rights,  and for gun control. He challenged all of us to join him in building a “modern economy that requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.”

He reiterated our commitment not only to our ideals but more so to each other. He asserted that the commitments of programs such as “Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

President Barack Obama’s speech was indeed inspiring as written and motivating as delivered. It was issue-oriented as it was program-directed. The message was quite clear – the Constitution, the declared democratic principles and past works of patriots have protected and sustained us to enjoy the present. But we, as a people, must now accept the responsibility for the sake of posterity as we rally around the same creed.

As he challenged Americans, Obama reminded me of the late President John F. Kennedy’s historic dictum in his inauguration: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

As Obama reminds us of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream, I remember the words of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy on his own dream: “Some people dream of things that are, and say why. I dream of things that never were, and say, why not?”

As Obama dreams of a brighter future for America, I am reminded of what Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Life, indeed, is all about dreams. “Dream, dream, dream,” sang the Everly Brothers.

“Dream the impossible dream. Fight the unbeatable foe. Strive with your last ounce of courage, to reach the unreachable star,” Joe Darion proclaimed.

On my end, I reiterate what I wrote two and a half years ago:

“To me, by all means let us all dream. For it is in dreaming that we hope; it is in hoping that we live; it is in living that we fight; and it is in fighting that we succeed.”



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Managing a Monumental Meeting of Miraculous, Magical, and/or Mind-Boggling Technology Enterprises

After a few days rest, I write this column/blog with the International CES 2013 Conference that I attended still fresh in my mind.

I went to Las Vegas, Nevada known as the “Sin City” with one specific purpose. It was the same as in previous years – to check out the new products and technologies that were being launched, unveiled, demonstrated, displayed, and exhibited at the International CES.

I was particularly interested in products and/or technologies that would fit the description, “Miracles, Magic, and/or Mind-Boggling Technologies” in the Sin City. It was also my intention to gather some sample products for review. The products could be as amazing in the way they were created and designed; and in their  utility features as they try to satisfy the consumers’ appetite based on necessity, beneficiality, and practicability.

I accomplished my main objective and definitely realized my other intention, at least partially.

I will write about them in a series of articles subsequently.

This week’s column focuses on how the monumental meeting of mind-boggling IT multi-nationals was managed in virtually miraculous or magical manner.  I have been attending the event since the time when Bill Gates delivered the Pre-Convention Keynote Speech. I was an Industry Affiliate being a Chairman and CEO of an IT company. I decided to register and apply as a credentialed member of the Press during the last few years.

I saw it grow every year until it became "the largest in the show's 45+ year history, with 1.92 million net square feet of exhibit space. The previous record was 1.86 million net square feet of space at the 2012 International CES. More than 3,250 exhibitors unveiled some 20,000 new products at the 2013 CES drawing more than 150,000 attendees, including more than 35,000 from more than 170 countries outside the United States.” (CEA)

I always took the excellent management for granted. It was like the “Digital Natives” instinctively knowing how to use the digital gadgets. They just take it for granted without recognizing the creativity, the design, the effort, the time and the value of producing the devices.

As I lay down on my bed at my Las Vegas hotel reviewing the recently unveiled products and technologies, the press and social events, exhibits, the awarding ceremonies, the transportation issues and many more details, I realized how CES Management “miraculously or magically” put this gargantuan gathering together with absolute competence, efficiency, and effectiveness.

When Moses (in the Bible) gathered several thousand Hebrews and led them to freedom, he needed Divine Intervention to part the Red Sea in order to escape the charging Pharaoh of Egypt and his soldiers. The parting event was a “miraculous” one.

CEA President Gary Shapiro was as amazing in planning, leading, organizing, and controlling the entire International CES Show, which was subdivided into several smaller events.

CES as a show involves production, marketing, finance, personnel and human resource, technical, legal and socio-political issues. In fact, every event involves similar issues as well.

Gary Shapiro dealt with them efficiently and effectively. However, unlike Moses, he did not require Divine Intervention but proceeded instead with substantial human intervention as extremely efficient and experienced staff assisted him. A Board of Advisors and CEA officers were on hand to help in the management.

International CES and every event occurring is a production. As a production, management has to check the Manpower, Material, Machinery and Monetary requirements in each event.

As a marketing issue, management has to worry about its target market and its marketing mix – product, price, promotions, and places of distribution. Product revenue centers such as major corporate sponsors and partners, exhibitors, concessionaires, registration, and special events must be reasonably priced, promoted and positioned in strategic locations. This year, CES attracted the participation of more than 170 countries.

As an investment or financial issue, management worries about return on investment, revenue increase, reduction in cost, resale value, or replacement costs. I am sure that, like in previous years, CES tackled them with flying colors as it grew bigger.

I am convinced that the CES success story could be attributed substantially to the behavioral approach in management. Dealing with more than 150,000 attendees, 35,000 of whom are foreigners, 3250 exhibitors, and thousands more of the international press, it would really take charismatic leadership and management to get them to absorb and follow the CES’ own equivalent of “Ten Commandments”.

I could easily see that the technical, legal and socio-political aspects of the monumental meeting were not real issues. This is because on the technical side, you are managing a technology-oriented group. On the legal and socio-political side, you are dealing with a host city like Las Vegas who stands to benefit economically, politically, and socially as in previous CES conferences.

The products and/or technologies could be considered “Miracles, Magic, or Mind-Boggling”, but the way the Monumental Meeting was managed was amazingly miraculous or magical.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Decision-Making At The International CES

Attending the International CES is a challenge in decision-making. After choosing which airline to take and which hotel to stay in, you have to decide which of the events organized for members of the Press to attend, which exhibitors to visit, and which sessions and press conferences to attend.

The decisions were not really hard to make after developing the criteria for decision-making.  Of course, one criterion that I used in the case of the exhibitors was to give priority to those who invited me to check out their new products. Another was to visit those that express excitement over my interest in visiting their respective booths.

There was one dilemma that presented some difficulty to me last Sunday.  I had to decide which of three events happening at the same time to go to.

First, I was supposed to attend a luncheon at the Storage Visions 2013 Conference at the Riviera Hotel. I had RSVP’d earlier that I was going. Second, there was the first session for members of the Press on the topic, “The State of the Consumer Electronics Technology”.  Third, was to watch the Washington Redskins-Seattle Seahawks NFL playoff game.

The first was free food and drinks. The second was on a subject I was very interested in. And the third was a game that RG III fans like me who live in the Washington, D.C. area do not want to miss. Watching the game at a Sports Bar at the Mandalay Bay meant I had to pay for food and drinks while watching the game.

I decided to watch the game. As I said, it was a game I could not miss. I watched it until the early part of the fourth quarter when I decided to leave in order to attend the CES Unveiling of new products and technology. This is an event that the Press gets the first look at the new inventions and/or creations. There was also a big reception for the members of the Press with virtually unlimited food and drinks.

The Redskins were leading 14-13 when I left the Sports Bar. Although I was hoping that they would still win, I noticed that the momentum was on the side of the Seahawks and that I thought that my favorite player RG III was hurt and would be replaced soon.

I was enjoying the free food and drinks at the CES Unveiling when I noticed in the Exhibitors’ List two companies, namely Griffin Technology and Wilson Electronics. Griffin “designs, manufactures and delivers useful and fun solutions for digital entertainment and personal computing to people in the Americas, Europe and Asia.” Wilson Electronics “designs and manufactures a wide variety of cell phone signal boosters and related components. It has solutions for poor cellular reception in mobile, building and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications”.

In the Washington-Seattle playoff match, it was a battle between two rookie quarterbacks whose last names are Griffin and Wilson. It is indeed a strange coincidence that in the CES are two technology companies battling for the big consumer market. While in the football game, it was noticeable that Griffin was hurting;  in the CES exhibit, Wilson, the company was demonstrating a signal booster for cellular phone users. It was quite ominous that in both the NFL and CES battle, Wilson would be the winner. J

As I write this column, the International CES has officially started.  The expected 150,000 attendees have started crowding the Las Vegas Convention Center to visit the exhibits which number more than 3,000.

The attendees also have choices to make given the limited time. There are celebrities galore – Corporate executives that include Qualcomm’s Chairman and CEO Dr. Paul E. Jacobs; Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga, Verizon Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam and Samsung Electronics President Dr. Stephen Woo; Music industry titans Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and will.i.am; Actress Felicia Day and other celebrities in the TV and Movie industries as well as some Sports figures like Sugar Ray Leonard.

There are also special social events such as the Official CES Opening Night Party; the Gibson Guitar: Happy Hour & Jam Party; Startup America Live Eureka Park; the Global Matchmaking and International Reception; the CES Social Hour; the Mark of Excellence Systems Integrator Awards Reception; the Leaders in Technology Dinner; and the Official CES Closing Party.

I will again write about some of the amazing products that are launched in this year’s CES. It will be under the topic, “Little Miracles in the Sin City” again.

I will also write a review of some of the products that were displayed in the show.

My reports will most likely appear in the coming issues.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


In 2012, I wrote a total of 84 articles. Of these, 50 were published under my weekly regular column entitled, “Take It From My Barber”, while 34 came under my other weekly technology column, “Tech IT From My Barber”.

All my articles were published by the Asian Journal USA out of San Diego, California both in print and online. The print edition is distributed mostly in Southern California where most of the Filipinos and Asians are located.  The online edition is, of course, available worldwide on the website: www.asianjournalusa.com

Google BlogSpot also publishes the same articles under my blogs: “Take It From My Barber” (www.benmaynigo.blogspot.com); and “Tech IT From My Barber” (www.benmayigo23.blogspot.com). I chose to publish under Google for the benefit of those who are searching or “googling” any of the topics discussed in my blogs.

I also make them available as My Notes on Facebook originally for the benefit of friends and relatives. But upon request of some friends, I was asked to make them “public” so they can be shared with others. I did.

I do not have an accurate feedback on how my articles are doing re readers of the Asian Journal print and online editions. My friends, relatives, and town mates of Rosales, Pangasinan, Philippines tell me that copies in nearby Seafood City have always run out since my column started. Of course, it could also be because those who do not like my column make sure that the paper is not made available to others. This happened a lot during the Marcos Martial Law years.

Regardless, it was still flattering to know that many always look forward to reading my column if “available”.

There is a way of obtaining feedback on Facebook via the “Likes”, “Mentions”, “Comments” and Messages.. The feedback is still inaccurate because there is no indication as to how many of your friends or users have actually read or browsed your article.

The Google BlogSpot presents a different story. It gives me the number of those who actually read my posts. So , after checking my posts, it was interesting to note that quite a number actually read my columns.

For 2012, here are the most widely read of my articles:

1. Propaganda Movement in the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries,  (7/13/12)
2, Corona’ Revised Story: D in D, D to D, and D of D                 (2/23/12)
3. Product Reviews                                                                      (2/13/12)
4. Miriam Santiago: Impeachment’s Aleng GAGA                      (5/13/12)
5, Tech Tools vs. Poverty                                                            (7/13/12)
6. Corona: The $10-Million Man                                                 (5/3/12)
7. Charina Corona: No Dummy, Dummy or Both                        (3/30/12)
8. AURA: CJ Corona Impeachment Trial                                     (2/28/12)
9. Battle Against Poverty I                                                           (6/12/12)
10. Enrile: Martial Law and Truth                                               (10/17/12)
11. Mr. Palengke in DILG                                                            (8/29/12)
12. IT in Government                                                                   (4/4/12)
13. Battle Against Poverty (Final)                                                  (7/4/12)
14. Olympic Memories in GB: GB, GB, GB, GB, GB & GB           (8/8/12)
15. Corona as Interpreter of Law                                                   (5/31/12)
16. SALN Laws: Mala Prohibita                                                    (4/20/12)
17. Battle Against Poverty II                                                          (6/14/12)
18. Analysis: Romney’s Target Electorate                                       (9/26/12)
19. Right To Cover Your Ears                                                        (3/6/12)
20. Holy Week To Remember                                                         (4/8/12)

In 2011, the TOP 20 were the following:

1.  P-Noy, POGI, Pinoys                                                              (9/20/11)
2.  Conrado F. Estrella: Hero and Pride of Rosales, Pangasinan    (6/1/11)
3.  Heroes Ilocanos Can Be Proud Of                                           (5/31/11)
4.  Marcos Fake Medals Redux II                                                 (5/3/11)
5.  Marcos Fake Medals Redux IV                                                (5/16/11)
6.  Letter to President Noynoy Aquino                                          (6/8/11)
7.  Land of Bondage, Land of the Free, Land of No Bail Bond      (11/30/11)
8.  Is Marcos a Hero?                                                                     (5/20/11)
9.  Marcos Fake Medals Redux I                                                    (4/27/11)
10.Marcos Fake Medals Redux III                                                  (5/10/11)
11 Marcos: To Be or Not To Be @LNMB II                                   (4/22/11)
12 Honoring Manang Ruth and Manang Loreto                             (7/13/11)
13.Marcos: To Be or Not To Be @LNMB                                       (4/15/11)
14 Letter to VP Binay on Marcos Burial at LNMB                           (4/24/11)
15.Gift of Time, Gift of Family                                                       (7/20/11)
16.Lucky 9, Cloud 9, Love Potion Number 9                                  (10/13/11)
17 Maria Mabilangan Haley: Model in the Strictest Sense                 (9/14/11)
18.Consumer Electronics 2011                                                         (1/5/11)
19.GBU:  Goal to Have a Good GOAL                                             (9/9/11)
20.Sana, SONA, South China, Saan Na                                          (9/27/11)

I wrote a series of articles on several topics that I felt were of interest to my readers. In 2012, the specific topics were: Corona Impeachment Trial; Battle Against Poverty; London Olympics; U.S. Presidential Elections; PNoy and his Administration, and Consumer Electronic Products that I called “Little Miracles”.

As gleaned from the TOP 20 of 2012, although my article on the Propaganda Movement: 19th, 20th, & 21st Centuries topped the list, many from the series made it to the top. Notable were the Corona articles, the Anti-Poverty Series, and the Consumer Technology write-ups.

Similarly, in 2011 I also wrote a series of articles that I felt dominated the minds of prospective readers. I was right because many of them made it to the TOP 20. The article on PNoy, POGI, and Pinoys was Number One while my tribute to my town mate Conrado F. Estrella was Number Two, but you can see that the topic on Marcos as a fake hero with his fake medals dominated the readers’ interest. This was preceded by the discussion and corresponding interest on whether Marcos should be buried as a hero at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.

As I reviewed them, I thought that as we enter the New Year, those who missed reading any or some of the articles, may want to join the other readers who either got informed, educated or even entertained by accessing the articles.

By typing or copying and pasting the titles of the articles on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, you should be able access them either from Asian Journal USA website or the Google Blog.

During the holidays, I was able to participate in lively discussions of certain popular cable shows with the younger generation. These shows included Newsroom, Game of the Thrones, Boardwalk, Homeland, Treme, Revolution, and Dexter.

My secret? I caught up by watching all the episodes of all of the seasons of all the shows.  For one show, it took me all night and part of the day!

Things we do to be “IN”, “COOL”, or even “HOT”!  :)