Wednesday, September 29, 2010

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: SUSHAL OR SUICIDAL MEDIA! (PART 2)

  SUSHAL MEDIA: PAANO BINAGO NG SOCIAL MEDIA ANG BUHAY PINOY?
Kuro Kuro ni Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto

Hindi natin ma-de-deny na talagang binago ng social media sites ang ating mga personal na buhay. Mula pagising sa umaga hanggang sa pagtulog, bukambibig natin ang Facebook, Youtube, Twitter at kung anu ano pang social media haven. At dahil sa katotohanang yan, let me share with you the TOP 30 na epekto ng social media sa atin!

continuation...

  1. Simple na Pinapalaki. Dahil sa taglay ng social media sites na gumawa ng lifestyle, at dahil sa suportang hatid ng mobile phones, sa ngayon, kahit maliliit na bagay ay pini-picturan at ina-upload. Tingnan mo na lang ang Twitpic at malalaman mo. Simpleng kuko, pagkain, at kung anu ano pa ay ginagawan ng projection of lifestyle as to elicit curiosity.
  2. Pressure sa mundo ng Traditional Media. Dahil sa mga social media sites at bilis ng interactivity, na-pe-pressure lalo ang mga traditional media gaya ng print, tv at film na isulong ang kanilang mga serbisyo. Isipin mo naman kasi ngayon, with media convergence, puede ka ng manuod, magbasa o makinig ng music through Internet.
  3.  Lola Techie. Nakakatuwang isipin na dahil sa social media sites, maging ang mga Lolo at Lola natin ay join the bandwagon na rin. At mas nakakatuwa, ini-iscan pa nila ang mga old pics just to upload ang tag their friends.
  4. Parental Guidance? Dati, ang magulang ang nagbabantay sa bata pag manonood ng TV. Ngayon, feeling ko, mga bata na ang gagabay sa magulang pag gagamit ng Internet. Yan eh dahil sa may mas alam na ang mga bata sa mundo ng teknolohiya.
  5. Stubborn Kids. Dahil sa projection ng pagiging cool ng mga social media sites na mas magiging exciting gamit ng mga modern at super sikat na gadgets, may mga iba na naging stubborn – lalo na ang mga bagets. Gusto kasi, maibili ng iPad or ng iPhone para mas “cool” ang pageenjoy nila sa mga social media sites. Dahil dyan, kawawa ang magulang. Imbes na i-priority ang tuition fee ng anak, hala, mas nagkakanda-kuba sa trabaho para maibili ang anak ng cellphone or ng anu pa mang gadget.
  6.  Global Fashion. Dahil sa bulusok ng exchange of information hatid ng social media sites, mabilis din ang palit ng fashion trends. Ano na lang ang Fashion after ng Lady Gaga Era? Sa Pilipinas lang, ano na ang kasunod ng BANGS era o ng KOREAN look?
  7.  Jejemon. Dahil sa social media sites, na ang tool for usage ay ang computer na accessed lang ng elite or ng middle class, ang mga “masa” na nagsimulang mag-access ng social media sites or ng mga technology ay nabansagang jejemon. Dahil Diyan, nagkaroon pa nga ng bansag na Jejebuster na mag-sa-sawata ng mga jejemon. Pero kung iisipin mo, the internet is a portal to express oneself. Gayunpaman, dahil nililinya ang Internet as “cool” at bilang isang social status, ang mga nagtatangkang pasukin ito na gaya ng mga masa ay pilit na itataboy sa paraan ng kung anu anong bansag.
  8. Tipid sa Imbitasyon. Dati, kailangan mo pang mag-send ng mga invitations or magtext sa sangkatauhan. Ngayon, by simply making an invitation page, at dahil sa kaalamang lahat ay may FB, maiimbita mo na ang lahat ng iyong friends!
  9. Buy a Gadget for Social Media. Ang iba, hindi na bumibili ng gadget as for basic communication needs. Karamihan, bumibili na ng gadget na kailangan eh magagamit at makakadagdag sa enjoyment ng social media site usage. Isipin mo, bibili ka ng iPad para sa games. Isipin mo, bibili ka ng iPhone dahil sa applications na puede sa social media sites. And the list goes on and on.
  10. WIFI Hunt. Dahil sa mga social media sites, mas naging hungry tayo sa internet connection. Maliban sa mabilis uminit ang ulo natin pag mabagal ang internet, mas naging hayok tayo sa WIFI. Gusto natin, kahit nasaan tayo, updated ang mga status natin! Gusto natin, every minute, alam ng buong mundo kung ano ang kinakain natin, ginagawa natin or kung ano ang nasa isip natin.
  11. Open Book. Dahil sa mga social media sites, nabuksan ang simpleng buhay natin sa buong mundo. Sa totoo lang, ang mga social media sites ang kasalukuyang BIG BROTHER na nanunuod sa atin. Kahit mejo inaaliw tayo sa mga interface nito, di natin alam, ito ang instrumento upang masundan tayo ng buong mundo. Lalo na ang blogging, open book for everyone talaga.
  12. Bawas Homesickness. Dahil sa connectivity, in a major way, nabawasan ang homesickness ng mga nasa-abroad. Siempre, 24/7 ng connect di ba!
  13. Trending. Dahil sa trending, kahit sino sa buong mundo ay nalalaman ang hottest issue. Nakakatawa lang, kahit mga simpleng usapan ng isang bansa, nagiging worldwide phenomenon. Tingnan mo na lang ang “major major” o ang “sentisabado” na nagiging Trending. Dahil dyan, lumilikha ito ng memetic or infectious influence sa mga tao.
  14. Distracted. Kahit na sabihing nakakatulong ang mga social media sites para marelaks ang isang tao, isang malaking distraction ang mga social media sites. Isipin mo na lang kung isa kang estudyante sa panahong ito at super magugulo ang sked mo! Gayunpaman, nasa tao ang awa, nasa Facebook ang gawa? Hahaha!
  15. No Turning Back. Aminin mo man o hindi, ano man ang ipinopost mo sa Internet ay parang isang bomba na sumasabog. Mas nakakatakot, hindi mo alam kung sino ang nakakabasa o nakakakita nito - yung tatamaan ng pasabog. Dahil dyan, dapat ay maging responsable. Mahirap na at baka sa huli ay magsisi!


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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: WEDDING BELLS, RINGING!


 Hosting events ranging from as simple as birthdays to mall shows never fail to excite me. As a very talkative and energetic person, hosting definitely compliments my loud personality. Good thing, God always showers me with some activities that match my knack on entertaining people. Do I hear the wedding bells, ringing? Say hello to hosting a wedding!


Last Sunday, I got a hosting stint in my friend's wedding. It was a sudden invitation as prior to the wedding, there was no host yet. And so, with Faridah, my friend, knowing that I host events, called me up, asked me to meet the Bride and Groom on a Friday night and hosted the celebration on a Sunday night.

The wedding was held at Polo Club, Jerudong. Based on what I saw, the wedding was costly. The setup was enchanting. There were braided flowers in arches. The stage was designed with a backdrop with the couple's sweet photo on it. On top of it, aside from the delicious food, the place articulated sophistication!

At the venue, while waiting for the ceremony to end, Faridah with her husband and I stayed in one of the VIP rooms. We had some drinks to relax our "soon-to-be-ngarag" drive! 

The room was simply regal; there were picture frames with His Majesty and his foreign guests, glass sculptures of horses, and a lot of royal stuff!

My friend Faridah designed the gown of the bride named Grace. There were two gowns - one for the ceremony and one for the celebration. She also designed the white coat and tie of the groom. On top of that, Faridah made the bible holder, the cord pad, and a lot more. 

As we all know, I'm used to hosting big events (already) because of the exposure and training I got from the past years. However, I do believe that a lack of a clear outline of a program can put even the best host in total wreck. Plus, there was no organizer to assist the needs on the activities of the program. Thankfully, in my case, with the help of Faridah and some relatives of the Bride, I was able to throw a marvelous and uber entertaining program.

Despite the rough start of the program, the people enjoyed my hosting especially during the bouquet pass ala trip-to-Jerusalem, the garter toss and the matchmaking that ended up in sealing with a kiss from the couple. Some commented that I was a total package because I also sang a portion of a song. Some mistaken me for working in a television show. And the most flattering part, they were impressed with my confidence and presence na para daw akong host sa Pinas (perhaps I mixed Tagalog and English as requested). Okay, masyado na akong mayabang but I'm just proud to share my experience.

I enjoyed hosting the night. The players of the bouquet pass were so game, and the guys too in the garter game. Most of all, Jun and Grace, the couple, were so easy to talk with and were very cheerful and appreciative.
Me with Jun and Grace
Wacky Shot with the Couple!

After a two-hour program packed with entertainment from the relatives of the bride and groom, plus the exciting activities topped with big laughs and applause from the guests, I capped off the night by asking the couple to seal the night with a long and sweet kiss. Again, that moment was applauded.

Guess what, apart from the "you know," I got a paper weight - the couple's souvenir! Lovely!
Best Wishes to Jun and Grace! Paaaaaaak! =)


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Monday, September 27, 2010

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: SUSHAL OR SUICIDAL MEDIA?

 
SUSHAL OR SUICIDAL MEDIA? PAANO BINAGO NG SOCIAL MEDIA ANG BUHAY PINOY!
Kuro Kuro ni Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto

Hindi natin ma-de-deny na talagang binago ng social media sites ang ating mga personal na buhay. Mula pagising sa umaga hanggang sa pagtulog, bukambibig at gamit natin ang Facebook, Youtube, Twitter at kung anu ano pang social media haven. At dahil sa katotohanang yan, let me share with you ang TOP 30 na sa tingin ko ay epekto ng social media sa atin!

  1. Facebook/Twitter is the new Breakfast. Aminin niyo o hindi, hindi pa kayo nag-a-almusal, nag-fa-facebook or nag-twi-twitter na kayo. Lalo pa ngayong puede ng mag-update through mobile phones, shout outs o pag-ko-koment na ang inaalmusal niyo. Shout outs sa umaga start with a Good morning at "gudnyt" naman sa gabi! Unless adik ka, ireverse mo ang shout out mo!
  2. Vain na, mas naging vain pa. Dahil sa puedeng mag-upload ng picture sa internet at ang laki ng posibilidad na makita ito sa buong mundo (hindi lang ng iyong friends and family), tomodo na ang iyong pagka-banidoso (to be discovered as the next big star). Automatic na, sa bawat picture taking, iniisip mo na kung ano ang magandang profile pic. Plus, isama mo pa dyan ang pressure na kailangan mong mag-gym o mag-diet para magandang ang picture mo sa Facebook! Nakakagulat lang. Dati, magazines at TV ang source ng pressure sa mga matataba na sumeksi. Ngayon, pressured na lalo dahil sa Internet at dahil sa "comment" box na mababasa ng buong mundo! Isa pang nakakatawa sa pagkabanidoso ay di mo papayagang mai-tag ka ng picture na feeling mo ay haggard ka, mataba ka or yung old pics mo na ikinahihiya mo o pilit mo ng ibinaon sa limot!
  3. Magisip ng Quote or Shout Out. Isa pang automatic na naging bahagi na ng ating buhay through social media ay ang pag-iisip ng dapat i-shout out. Ang iba pa nga, aliw na aliw pag ang kanilang “original” quote ay humakot ng maraming "likes." Feeling kasi, isa itong achievement or masasabing “smart” o nagiisip ang isang tao! Isa pa, mas aliw ka pag english ang ginamit mo sa paggawa ng shout out or quote. Feeling mo kasi, nagamit mo ang pinagaralan mo at lumelevel up ka sa English.
  4. Closeness sa Celebrity. Dahil sa social media site like Twitter, lalo na sa Pilipinas na celebrity fanatics, mas napalapit ang mga simpleng mamayaman sa mga BITUIN or celebs. Dahil sa interactive na interface, mas naaliw ang iba dahil puede na silang magcomment back or magtweet sa kanilang fave stars. Hindi ba’t saya ng feeling pag nagreply ang artista (kahit di mo naman sure kung siya nga ang sumagot).
  5. Instant Reporter. Dahil sa taglay na kapangyarihan at interactivity ng social media sites, with the help of technology like digital cameras, mobile phones at kung anik anik pang gadgets, kahit sino ay nagiging reporter na. Magshoot ka lang ng video at iupload at i-tag ang mga kinauukulan, viola, pasok ang balita! Maliban dyan, ka-twitter mo pa ang mga sikat na reporter!
  6. Firsthand Feedback. Di man natin pansin, naging tool ng mass media or even business companies na makuha ang feedback ng mga mamayaman through social media sites. At least ito, di na kailangan magsurvey. Simpleng shout out lang, sumasagot na ang karamihan o gaya ng mga followers.
  7. Stalking. Sabi nila, pag maganda o guwapo ang nagfollow sa’yo, feel na feel mo. Pero pag mejo di kagandahan o kaguwapuhan, stalker ang tingin mo. Mukhang totoo nga ito. We judge people by looks. Pero aminin mo man o hindi, dahil sa mga social media sites, mas naging powerful na ngayon ang stalking. Hindi ka ba natatakot na kaka-shout mo kung nasaan ka sa mga oras na ito eh bigla ka na lang sundan. Mejo nakakatakot! Kaya dapat, gamitin ang privacy settings (kahit sa tingin ko ay hindi naman 100% percent ang effectiveness).
  8. Instant photo album. Dahil sa mga social media sites, di mo na kailangan pumunta sa bahay ng kaibigan mo para makita ang mga travel pics. Ngayon, instant upload lang ng pics, kita mo na kung saan saan nakakarating ang mga kaibigan mong dati eh feeling mo hanggang kanto lang o hanggang sa pinakamalapit na mall lang ang mararating. Dahil din dito, na-pe-pressure ka to travel. Gusto mong kabugin ang friends mo na di ka lang pang-local, going global ka na rin!
  9. Give your Best Shot! Dahil sa social media sites at sa digitalization ng mg larawan, deadma ka na sa dami ng shots. Siempre, wala naman ng mamahaling film na kailangan eh napagdesisyon na ng mabuti ang shot bago mag-click ng camera. Ngayon, hala, libo ang labanan ng pics. Siempre, shot, collect and select! The best pics lang ang puedeng i-upload! Isa pa, na-pe-pressure ka na bumili ng SLR. At pagbili mo, sasabihin mo sa sarili mo na photographer ka na! Tama ba yon? Pak!
  10. Less Paper for Photos. Although mabuti naman ang hindi magprint ng photos dahil tipid sa papel at nakakatulong ka pa sa pag-save ng environment, mejo naging kultura na ang hindi magprint ng photos dahil sa culture of digitalization na hatid ng technology and social media sites. Dahil diyan, less na ang buy ng mga photo albums. Ang in ngayon, digital picture frames!
  11. Food Pecture Pecture. Isipin mo, noon, di naman kailangan picturan ang mga pagkain o kahit ang mga pangalan ng restaurant. Ngayon, dahil sa naging “in” ang food blogging at nag-co-convey ng pagiging stylish image ang pagkuha sa mga mamahaling pagkain, it’s a must na kunan muna ng picture ang well-presented na inorder bago kainin.
  12. Daming gustong ma-discover. Dahil sa popularidad at impact na hatid ng YouTube sa gaya ni Charice, aba, tumaas pa lalo ang kagustuhan ng ilan na madiscover. Dahil dyan, naging routine na sa ilan ang pagshoot sa sarili at pagupload (hoping na may makakakita nito at mapaguusapan).
  13. Bitterness. Para sa mga ampalaya, ang social media ay isang nakakamatay na instrumento. Yan eh dahil pag nakita ng isang "ampalaya" ang kanyang kaaway na masaya o successful sa buhay, nagiging daan ang mga social media sites para lalo itong mainggit.
  14.  No Privacy. Kahit na sabihing may privacy settings ang mga social media sites, hindi nating masasabi na tiyak ito o garantisado. Sa pagkakaalam ko, kahit naka-privacy settings ang account mo, may ilang gadgets na mabubuksan ang account mo ng hubo’t hubad o walang naitatago. Katakot di ba?
  15. Branding ng Anti-Social. Aminin mo man o hindi, ang sinumang taong walang Facebook ay masasabing isang anti-social. Yan eh dahil ito ang trend sa kasalukuyan. Worse pa, pag wala kang Facebook, mapagkamalan ka pang losyang, terorista o baliw.
 
Itutuloy...

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EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: POST SURVIVOR PARTY?

 
Everyone thought that Michele should be brought to the nearest hospital. Interestingly, with Michele’s fighting spirit, she was able to bend her legs slowly, bid farewell to the numbness and eventually brought her outrageous character back in shape. With that, we ended up in a beach, yes, the Tungku Beach.

In that vast blue water surrounded with pockets of Islands and big rocks, we find respite from the challenging episode of our day! Just like how the waves brings serenity to the shore, helping Michele was the wave that shows how faith and action contribute to the survival in the midst of hopelessness and fear.

Because Michele can’t walk properly, she just stayed inside the car. A follow up interview was made by our TV reporter named Carem! And this capped off our outdoor adventure!



MORE PHOTOS COURTESYOF SHEILABABES EDELMAN!





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Sunday, September 26, 2010

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: SURVIVOR PHILIPPINES (BRUNEI VERSION?)

I am not a fan of any Survivor program. Interestingly, I know how reality TV works. Yes, that's because I used to work in a reality TV program. So more or more, I have an idea how the story evolves and how it is scripted to make impact and gets profit for a network. However, in our hiking at Bukit Shabandar, I realized how "we" were realistically put in an ala-survivor test as our friend Michele had an accident.

Days before we hiked at Bukit Shabandar heavy rains occupied most of the nights. With that, the trails at Bukit Shabandar were wet, slippery and muddy. Michele didn’t escape the traps of the jungle that hit her unprepared “legs” for the unexpected.

What happened to Michele? According to her “Dapat madudulas ako pero pinigilan ko. So parang yung muscle ko, nabanat.  Parang natapilok.” 

Michele’s case worsened as she walked further. Imagine, we were walking for almost five hours (9 mountains, for everyone's information) with her legs in pain. As Michele said “Actually, akala ko kasi malapit na tayo, so pinilit kong maglakad ng mabilis. Yon pala hindi pa.” With this, Michele soon sought for help. Thankfully, my father helped out. He assisted Michele while walking. Using my camera holder's strap and a towel, a support on Michele's knee was made.

However, things got even worse for Michele when she reached the stairs. That time, she already called her friend Gerald to drive in the car at the end of the cemented stairs. Unfortunately, since it was a holiday, the gates were closed and driving the car inside was impossible. With no choice to make, Gerald had to walk in and assist Michele.

When Gerald came to assist Michele, my father and I confidently assumed that we will just wait for them to reach the parking area for us to eat. We were wrong.

Upon reaching the parking lot, I got a call from Carem. Michele couldn’t walk anymore. Fear surfaced. Everyone was jolted. Lunch time was fed with anxiety and fear.

Thankfully, upon seeing the trolley inside the Avanza, Cecil made a brilliant suggestion. It was shameful that we laughed at Cecil’s suggestion of using the trolley to bring over Michele in the parking lot. Cecil was smart. The trolley was a saving tool.

My father and I walked back to the end of the cemented stairs. From the parking lot, it would take 30 minutes. I was clueless with how can we bring Michele over.

Someone attempted to call Brunei’s emergency hotline. No one answered. And to some inquiry, a rescue operation costs BND500 or 15,000 pesos. With our pockets tight, resourcefulness and camaraderie came in.

There were three challenges in rescuing Michele. First, we had to carry him in a path wherein we couldn’t use the trolley. The path way was piled with rocks. The Second challenge was to bring the trolley carefully in a cemented path. And the third challenged was to put a support at Michele’s head because the trolley was short. Given all these challenges, it was indeed a SURVIVOR PHILIPPINES in BRUNEI episode.

Despite the call of fear and anxiety, our group was optimistic enough that safety and cure will be delivered to Michele. With this, we even documented the whole scenario with pictures taking and yes, an ala-TV patrol report by Carem. At least, such witty acts calmed down our racing hearts for Michele’s condition.

At last, after one hour and 30 minutes of walk, we finally had Michele in the safe zone. We placed her inside the car, fed her, entertained her, and hoped for her fast recovery. A medicine was also handed over by Cecil.

here is the video coverage of the rescue operations! Pak!




Aside from “okay ka na?” or “kamusta na ang pakiramdam mo?” banters to Michele, the statement “Ang sarap ng potato salad mo!” topped Michele’s comment’s list! Surely, that compliment alleviated Michele's suffering.

Friday, September 24, 2010

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: UNFORGETTABLE OUTDOOR ADVENTURE!

Apart from its opulent oil that boosts the country’s economic performance, Brunei is known for its rich flora and fauna. With that, it is must for foreigners to engage in an outdoor adventure in   forest hubs to totally claim one has been to Brunei!

Together with Sheila, Hazel, Cecil, Carem, and Michele, my father and I went to Bukit Shabandar, a popular hiking site for locals and visitors. Actually, our initial plan was to go to Temburong, one of Brunei’s saleable green sites wherein you can climb a thousand high metal bars and cross hanging bridges just to see the green landscape of Brunei. However, because of budget constraints, BND135 (around 4,000 pesos) per head, we just opted to check out some practical yet fun place to hike around. With Sheila’s recommendations, we ended up in the luscious and amazing trails of Bukit Shabandar.
photo courtesy of Sheila
Photo courtesy of Sheila
In preparation of our hiking slash picnic, we had some foods prepared. Sheila and Cecil contributed to cook the chicken and the nuggets. My father and I had our adobo, while Michele prepared a potato salad for everyone. Jomai joined us too and brought a lot of drinks (guess she understands how we could be drained after the hike). We also had some chips. (photos courtesy of Sheila)




We hiked on the second day of Hari Raya. Unfortunately, because it’s a holiday, the road going inside Bukit Shabandar was closed. And so, we had no option but to park somewhere and just walked.

Interestingly, while waiting for Carem and Michele, a group of monkeys started popping out. Some of the small ones came in group and circled around over some trashes and scavenged for food. And so, while we were entertained with the jumping little creatures, we never missed the moment without an early photo session.
small monkeys in a group

It was my first time to be in Bukit Shabandar. To my surprise, I was entertained with the playing area. There were wooden houses, snappy road signs, a small maze for kids, and more wooden play areas.

With a sunny day, our adventure at Bukit Shabandar started smoothly. We entered the primary trail at around 7:30. At that early, our energy was high that we can’t leave a pit stop without a souvenir, yes, strike a pose.

Soon, as we walked along, the trails become wet, slippery and narrow. We even had to hold on to some branch just to walk. Indeed, trails are made of up and down ways, and so our emotions. Truth be told, having walked for almost 2 hours, there’s no turning back and so we moved on.
Left to Right: Hazel, Cecil, Papc, me, Michele, Carem and Gerald

I was so surprised to know how strong my Papc. In an age of 60, he’s even more relaxed yet active in our hiking. Upon witnessing his composure in the tight trails, I came to believe how exercise can improve your strength. Actually, my father was even teasing all of us on how we catch our breath and drink up. As to his advice, in trails like one, one should not drink lots of waters. In his words, “mabasa lang ang labi, ayos na.” Frankly, his advice was helpful. It was powerful to propel us move in the journey.

After passing countless wooden bridges, holding in ropes, bending in muddy trails, almost falling down in slippery areas, battling with insect bites, passing by a pond, crossing a rocky ground, and much hope to finally see the end of the trail, we reached (I guess) the peak of the trail that has the Brunei Flag. Frankly, apart from the sense of achievement to see that flag and have a picture taken with it, it was a relief for everyone. At least, there was an assurance that we’re not lost and we’re almost there (if it’s the half of the trail, then we have how many hours left?).

Walk, breath, picture taking, laugh, and more will to go on. Yes. Walking in the trails of Bukit Shabandar was like a test of one’s determination. I was lucky to have my friends and my father by my side at the time of exploring the unknown. Seriously, I thought we we’re lost.

MORE ADVENTURE PICS COURTESY OF SHEILA!


Picnic Time! Pictures courtesy of Sheila!


To say that our hiking at Bukit Shabandar is unforgettable was an understatement. Why? It’s more beyond an experience because of an ACCIDENT that put everyone in the real test.

To be continued…
 

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