Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lola on-line

"Lola on-line (L.O.L.)"
Sun.Star Davao, Aug. 29, 2009

Who hasn’t heard of Lola Techie?

She’s the newest TV commercial sensation who awed everyone with her proficiency in using computer lingo during an amusing webcam chat with her beloved grandchild. In fact, this popular ad spawned other versions including spoofs by several Philippine gag shows.

Try to search Lola Techie on You Tube and you would be amazed at how many countless hits her commercials have generated.

Why is there such a fascination for this hi-tech granny? Maybe it’s because we think that it is unimaginable for a lola (or lolo) to learn her way through the web?

Get ready to meet these three inspiring Dabawenyas who will prove that it’s never too late to be a “lola on-line”!

Name: Helen King-Lee, 57 yrs. old
Nickname: On-se (eleven in Spanish, being the 11th child of a dozen)
Husband: Franklin Chiew Lee (deceased)
Profession: Certified Public Accountant (not active)
Involvements: Davao Filipino Chinese Women's Association
Children: Kelvin Lester, 30; Kenrich Louie Lee, 28; and Keryl Lynn, 25
Daughter-in-law: Dorothy Bangayan-Lee
Grandchildren: Coming soon in December
Must-have gadgets: Cellphone (Samsung SGH-E730...”I love the flip!”); laptop (Lenovo S10); digital camera (Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T9); IPod (Apple iPod Shuffle); TV and DVD Player (Sony)
First encounter with the computer: We were exposed to computers in our college days, the old kind which was humongous and quite delicate. I remember I got a chance to be inside Alsons’ computer room. We were required to put on robes and change to slippers when entering their computer room, just like going into ICUs. I think that was during the late 60s.
Fascination with the computer: Even though mastering the typewriter was the norm at that time, and accounting was done on yellow spreadsheet papers, I was fascinated with what the computer can offer. I enrolled myself in a few computer courses. I cannot keep count on how many computers I have changed since, to keep up with upgrades. I was in awe when the Internet came into the picture. I was even more intrigued by all the possibilities we can explore, the emails, the web and so forth and so on.
Introduction to social networking sites: My daughter, Keryl, introduced and taught me how to use Yahoo Messenger (YM), Friendster, Multiply, Skype, and Facebook before she went to Taiwan for her studies. I find it so convenient and inexpensive to go on-line, chat, email and call her in Taipei and also with my eldest son and daughter-in-law in Manila, and with my second son, in the other room! We help each other harvest our crops in Farmtown!..Hehehehe.. I think it really helped in easing the "I miss you so much" part.
To stay young: I do tai chi. To relax, I tend my little herb garden. I love to play Spider Solitaire and Farmtown on Facebook. Using FB for updates, and with all the thoughts of young ones posted on FB, it keeps my mind young in a way.
Grandparents should take advantage of technology because....aside from keeping in touch with children, relatives and friends, we are keeping in touch with the world! Be informed. It's enjoyable to learn new things, to be observant, to be aware of our surroundings not only around one's own turf but globally. It will definitely keep us young, mentally.
Advice to technophobes: Nobody is too old to learn, being up to date not only in current events but also in new technologies help keep us healthy in body and mind. Don't think that new things are difficult, don’t reject it outright... just think that even though we might be a little slow in tackling new "tech", if it was invented, embraced and used by the young ones nowadays then there's something in it!
Why I am a cool lola: I can "connect" with the new generation. I am able to understand their lingo and, the most important thing, able to communicate with them and be a friend! I love it! Cool, huh?


Name: Mary Ann Maceda-Montemayor, 53 years old
Husband: Leon "Binggoy" Garcia Montemayor
Profession: Hotelier/businesswoman/event organizerInvolvements: Habitat for Humanity – Davao, Southern Phils. Foundation for Arts, Culture and Ecology, BIMP-EAGA Tourism Council, Southern Phil Tourism Council, Green Alliance for Davao, Davao Tourism Association, SKAL Davao, Small Hotels Association of Davao and Hijos de Davao
Child: Margarita “Marga” Montemayor-Nograles, 30 years old
Grandchild: Karlos Mateo Montemayor-Nograles, 1 year and 11 months
Must-have gadgets: Cellphone, laptop, digital camera, flash drive and I-podFirst encounter with the computer: I learned to use the computer in school.
Introduction to social networking sites: Persistent invites from friends forced me to plunge into the latest technology fad, Facebook. My nephew AC Sian helped me accept the invites and taught me to set up my profile, pictures, etc. In a week’s time, I learned my way through FB but continue to explore its many facets.
To stay young: I always remind myself that what we are inside is more important than our physical appearance; thus, I try to maintain a positive outlook in life and a calm countenance by counting my blessings daily. As you go through your gratitude list, you forget about age and just enjoy the gift of life! To feed my mind and spirit, I read inspirational books. I also go to the spa regularly and exercise whenever time allows.
Grandparents should take advantage of technology because....we have to be in the loop and learn to relate with the language of the new generation. I have a U.S.-based aunt, Lita Maceda, who at 89 years old is still exploring cyberspace. She is on Facebook and even uploads her own photos. I am so proud of her. She truly defies age!
Advice to technophobes: Nothing is too difficult to learn if we only try....take the 1st step NOW!
Why I am a cool lola: What I am is truly a gift from GOD ... an abundant grace from our Heavenly Father.....but what I try to make of myself is my gift to HIM in return ... reminding myself that in every undertaking, I must give my "utmost for HIS Highest"!

Name: Leticia Tan-Gimenes, 63 years old
Nickname: Letty
Husband: Paulino Lu Gimenes
Profession: Retired realtor
Children: Gerald "Gerry"; Dolly Grace "Doll" Gimenes-Yuste, ; Garry "Ging"; and Gordon "Gords"
Grandchildren: Kelly Grace Gimenes Yuste, 9; Pauline Grace Gimenes Yuste, 6 ; and Megan Dytiandu Gimenes, 16 months
Must-have gadgets: Cellphone (Nokia 6020), computer (Apple eMac), camcorder (Sony DCR-PC9) and digital camera (Canon SD 950 IS)
First encounter with the computer: I enrolled in a computer class during my university days at Ateneo de Davao.
Introduction to social networking sites: My kids taught me further and Dolly put me up on Facebook. How long? Until now I'm still learning! Every day is another day to look forward to learn something new, to be able to digest what's coming up next!
To stay young: I eat healthy foods, have regular exercise and think positive! I enjoy swimming and play badminton, Monday to Friday; do tai chi for relaxation 3 times a week; table tennis, Sunday morning; karaoke, Sunday afternoon and read or watch TV before bedtime. I sleep early and wake up early.
Grandparents should take advantage of technology is very progressive. Every day we have new discoveries, both pros and cons, so it's very important for us to keep track of what's happening around us. Be knowledgeable of the new technology so we can follow the flow of progress and make our lives up to date, thus eliminating boredom, loneliness and depression. Prolong our lives by taking advantage of technology!
Advice for technophobes: "The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step". Learn step by step and sooner the steps will add up! Let's erase the word phobia (fear) from our vocabulary. At this age we have more experience than others. Since experience is knowledge therefore we are capable of learning! Fear is only in one’s mind. If we let fear exit, then our mind will be open to various possibilities like learning and being acquainted with new technologies that surround and almost control our everyday lives. We have to remember that we are braver than we believe; stronger than we seem and smarter than we think!
Why I am a cool lola: An optimist who is physically healthy will always find peace. And happiness will always follow peace. That's my personality at large! I understand that LIFE is not fair but it is still good! Good things always happen even how difficult life can be. I also believe that when we give happiness to others, that same happiness will smile back unto us in many folds in the far future.


Are you raring to be an online lola/lolo, too? Check out this very helpful website,

“Teach Lola pioneers the drive towards encouraging the younger generation to take the first step to bridge the digital divide by teaching their grandparents how to get connected to the world through the World Wide Web.

Currently composed of a total of more than 20 volunteers coming from all departments in Bayan Telecommunications, Teach Lola begins the campaign internally with the grandparents of the Bayan employees.

After being trained by—Bayan’s teaching partner for the advocacy, the Teach Lola team is set to lead upcoming session and events that are geared in bringing together grandparents and their grandchildren”.

Here are some downloadable modules from Teach Lola Web Searching, Teach Lola Training Tips, Teach Lola IM and Voice Calls, Teach Lola E-mail and Teach Lola Social Networking Sites and Teach Lola Computer Basics.

Be connected! And, don’t forget to send me an e-mail once you’ve figured out how it works.

E-mail the author at Visit

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