Nov 27, 2006

[The Web] The Story of the Coconuter

Everyone talks about leaving the country to go abroad for greater opportunities and such. I can't blame them - the Philippines is a third world country and life is certainly no bed of roses unless you're very, very financially stable. There are many other dreams out there and the blogosphere is probably the best place to read more about such dreamers as we've seen with The Million Dollar Homepage and one red paperclip.

In my random internet surfing and cruising januts, I came across the story of Coconuter, a kid named David Erc Poarch, who has decided to do the exact opposite. Since he and his family had already migrated to the US, he ended up doing the reverse - he left his life of comfort behind to live here in the Philippines with little else beyond the clothes he could bring and some extra cash. He asked not to be supported by his family in the US and has opted to live on his own, so to speak, with his blog his primary source of income through donations and advertising revenue.

Despite my own reservatios, I found his story very interesting and decided to email him to see what comes out of it. In addition, I spent a good amount of time clicking on some of his ads to provide him some revenue since I'm too cheap to actually give money, haha.

I have to admit I'm a bit skeptical about the whole thing, just like many other readers are. This is not to say that the site doesn't make for a good read, to say the least. The story is a rather compelling one and it's certainly helped the site gain some level of readership. To add to the site's traffic, recent features in a local newspaper and a local television show have gone a long way to promoting the site. They've also "verified" his credentials, which all seem to check out for now, which is a good thing.

It's just a bit annoying that a lot of the visitors are just there because they find him cute - as if the story doesn't matter much and they're treating him like a minor celebrity because of the TV feature. I wouldn't be surprised if one of the networks eventually tries to offer him a job or some of the Manila-based folks try to convince him to move to the city since they're willing to sponsor him while he finds a better source of income.

What bothers me though is why he hasn't really taken any definite steps to find a job. He could even just end up in a call center and still make more than enough to support himself - he doesn't need to be in the provinces. It ends up painting this picture of the country that we're terribly under-developed everywhere. Then again, perhaps this is precisely what he wants - to experience this particular kind of life like some sort of immersion program. Is this all some experiment?

Whether you choose to believe his story or not, this blog is worth a visit. David does a marvelous job of taking a lot of pictures of some of his adventures here in the country and his manner of writing is rather good considering his age. Some of his view may be bit uncomfortable for some, but on the whole he tends to make sense.

The internet is always so diverse and unique, given you can find interesting blogs like this. They don't necessarily have to be real or 100% accurate - they just need to have good stories to tell.

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