2020 - Revamped Site, New Direction, and New Challenges

Wow, the last time I wrote an article here was March 2019. That speaks a lot of my priorities! I've been busy with a lot of things through the period, ranging from projects, business, experiments, advocacies, and adventures. I just didn't felt writing on my own platform, to be honest. I'm pretty sure you know the feeling of being passionate about something and parking it temporarily for the more important matters. Due to keeping this stagnant for so long, my motivation for writing here went down the drain. As I'm trying to reignite the flame, it took a lot of reflection to finally put some attention to it.


One of the adventures was going through places with my new found passion for electric scooters

Apologies if you have been looking forward to something. I haven't leveraged my public channels as well to at least inform of what's going on (FB, Twitter). Regardless, I am now trying to get back in shape to post something. I mean, I did revamp my site so why can't I leverage that?

Whaaat iizz uuuuuppp 2020?!?!?

I know. This year sucks. January itself had plenty of bad events. When we thought plane crashes, wildfires, volcano eruptions, and a potential World War 3 would happen, lo and behold, a global pandemic happened! COVID-19 was the biggest nuke bomb of all. The world just isn't prepared for another pandemic given all the problems we're facing.

I'm sure we all had plans. Just when you thought your new year's resolution is about to come to fruition, you just had to put it on hold. Now, the goal is to survive and keeping yourself healthy 'till a vaccine comes. Massive lay-offs happened and the shops we knew decades ago are now closing. The world needed to call a lockdown in order to contain the spread. As it gets longer, people are losing their sanity. In any case, any solutions are a double-edged sword. A gain for one is a loss to the other.

People had to come up with ways to earn even if it's unrelated to their profession. I've seen lawyers becoming embroiderers and engineers becoming bakers. We needed to find ways in crossing the bridge. Nobody cares about your title nor privilege. We're all facing the same battles.

If you have a job right now, be thankful. If you can contribute your blessing to those who are affected, you could save lives. 2020 gave us that rare experience that anything can happen with just a snap of a finger.

Enough of bad news. So why did you revamp your site again?

Honestly, I've been long craving to rewriting my whole website. This thing has been running for 8 years now and it deserves some improvement. I created this blog back in college mainly as an avenue to express my thoughts. Most of them were about how the educational system isn't working and the realizations I find that are worth sharing. Those ideas went into other things like tutorials and tips.

The site was written in WordPress back then (I know you'll judge me but we'll get there). I was only a sophomore college student when this was first launched and the only language that I find easy to learn those days was PHP. You could get started with a blog by just signing up from WordPress and you're good to go. Every blogger these days does that but as a tech guy like me, I personally found it unacceptable building a site that way. I need to leverage my coding skills to make my site even better! I soon then played around with the server system by going through the FTP without knowing how it works with the odds of crashing everything in one wrong move yiiiikesss.

P.S - I still blame college for not doing its job for teaching "basic" stuff like this

Frameworks weren't prevalent back then so things were written using native functions from scratch. Not to mention, I did not learn the best coding practices when this was initially built so whenever I stare at this, I keep getting mad at myself for why am I bad at writing code those days. Yeah, pretty much self-taught with no mentor and with little to no value from academic courses.

I found PHP when I first googled "Login from scratch". From there, I got more interested in coding that I eventually got to build this website. Since I was a newbie, I did not know of its pros and cons. All I know is the site is working and I built it from what I learned. By the time I graduated, I got exposed to very good programmers that things I studied in school (even self-studied ones I learned building this site) were far-fetched from the industry standard. I eventually got active in the community and from there, that's where my eyes opened about the disadvantages of PHP.


My website 6 years ago after AFAIK 1 or 2 iterations of design

Personally, I disliked it because I started to understand that its core implementations were bad. I mean, instead of using objects like me.wants.you(), it makes this a whole sentence like me_wants_you() . The more experience I get, the more I find it bad. Not to mention, there's a lot of backlash in the tech community that it feels like a mortal sin to use that language, Don't get me wrong, PHP is a not-so-bad programming language. I know it has many flaws but if there are plenty of platforms using it, then it certainly has a need and I'm pretty sure the language gets updated over time.

So what did you exactly revamp then?

A lot, actually. First, I rewrote everything... as in... EVERYTHING FROM SCRATCH. Frontend, backend, you name it! As a tech guy, I of course wanted to stay competitive and have my website be different from others. I don't want to just signup into website-making platforms like Wix, Squarespace, or even WP again. It's about time to take the modern tech and my modern skills into my own identity.

This website is built with ReactJS. I have also implemented caching strategies that would speed up things. Compared to before, this runs 30x faster. I can now do custom pages more freely and at my own design. I can even dare say anyone reading through this codebase would not have a hard time looking through code (just in case by any chance, I'd need to outsource this to someone... hopefully it won't be necessary). I am also not impeded by buggy plugins now and any debugging done here would be quite easy... YES!

I have migrated all my 8 years' worth of data to the new server (which is a freakin lot and a pain in the neck during migration). It's now more manageable wheeeeew. Unfortunately, you might see some wrong formatting on other articles that involve code snippets. I did not bother fixing them at this point because that would eat a lot of my time going through each just to update to the proper format. I don't think it matters at this point because it will eventually be depreciated and I'll have to write an updated article.

I had to go through my old articles and conduct some proof-reading just to correct my noob old errors. Man, looking back at my old self, I have definitely improved a lot with writing!

By the way, I have rescinded some articles that are not worth reading so what you're seeing in today's list is pretty much filtered.

New Found Passion

Everyone has to try something new once in a while. Within the period, I discovered my new found passion for electric kick scooters. It has been a lifesaver through my travels. I always have the option to drive a car but using it in Manila is nothing different from commuting compared to time. The main difference is I get to experience comfort in exchange for being more contributive to traffic.


New found passion for electric kick scooters

I have been involved with some thoughtful discussions about public transport and urban planning. It made me realize a lot of things about the road wherein roads are built for everyone, even for pedestrians. We got used to the mentality of cars being always the king of the road that anything that's not a car is considered a second-class citizen. This stems mainly because cars are considered to be a status quo for success. We seriously need that mental shift wherein cars are not king but rather pedestrians. Micro-mobility should be the one thriving if our cities will become sustainable for transport. Will that day happen? It will only be possible when we make it happen.

Anyway, that's it for my updates. I hope I can write more frequently!

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  • CaseyReply
    Nov 27, 2020 9:32 AM

    Nice to see you back!

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