Old-school rocker in Rokr concert

Motorola launched the MotoRokr in Cebu yesterday with a press briefing and the finals of the Cebu leg of the Rock Mo’to Band Competition. I went over the features of the MotoRokr and played with it briefly in yesterday’s briefing and I can say it’s a phone audiophiles would be drooling over – the Rokr’s stereo surround sound will have rockers banging their heads in no time.

The MotoRokr runs on Linux and is the company’s first “mid-tier” device running on the open source software. But enough about the phone, I’m featuring it in my next (print) column. What truly defined my day yesterday, apart from meeting Angela Calina and talking search engine optimization with her, was this sense of disconnect that has had me feeling geriatric these days.

With Angela Calina
With Angela Calina after dinner during the launching of MotoRokr in Cebu. Click to enlarge.

I went to the Gaisano Country Mall a few minutes before the scheduled 7:00 p.m. press briefing and took some photos. Denise Haak of Ogilvy, who coordinated the briefing, was very helpful as she told me about features of the phone and the now iconic Motobus.

She then told me that the Itchy Worms were going to be joining us for dinner. Motorola’s head for marketing, Mari Litonjua, then asked me whether I wanted to interview members of the Itchy Worms. I begged off saying that that would be for the Lifestyle section. I was about to ask who these guys were but cut myself off.

The only Itchy Worms I knew then were real worms and the filename the reporter used for this story. I know better now.

It turns out that the Itchy Worms wrote the song that my three-year-old son sings. Once in a while I’d catch him singing or trying to sing “Hello moto moto” but for the life of me I’ve never caught more than the chorus of this song before. The only things I watch on TV are news and documentary programs and I never watch commercials.

When it comes to music, I’m stuck in the 40s to 70s. My phone contains tracks from Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, John Lennon and Bob Dylan. I haven’t listened to FM radio recently as I mostly listen to podcasts like This Week in Tech, Boagworld, Inside the Net, and Floss Weekly. And when I do listen to FM, I tune in to RJ 100 and to this day still miss the woman DJ who used to handle the late night time slot and had the (speaking) voice of Nina Simone – rough and sandy, a testament to years of smoking and drinking.

Itchy Worms
SHOOTOUT. Itchy Worms members use their ROKRs to take photos of journalists taking their photos. Click to enlarge.

It was disconcerting to be in room (actually a bus) with rock stars only you don’t know. The reporters sent by The Freeman knew the group and looked star-struck. Itchy Worms members, who have been named endorsers of the phone, were surprisingly down-to-earth for a band that made it big. They were also a fun bunch to be with.

When we went to the Banilad Town Center for dinner, I saw Angela Calina, Cebu’s second most beautiful woman, get in the van. I think Motorola is trying to get her as an endorser of their products. Introductions were given and I approached Angela Calina and, get this, told her: “Hi, I’m Max Limpag from Sun.Star Cebu and my site is the top search result in Google for Angela Calina.”

She was apparently told about it earlier by one of those people I told to go to Google, search for Angela Calina and then click on I’m feeling lucky. She asked how my site ranked higher than ABS-CBN’s page on her and I told her a bit about how Google ranks search engine results. A few times a week, someone gets to this site by searching for Angela Calina in Google. One visitor, listed as using the John Hopkins University connection, came to the site looking for info on Angela Calina and then spent at least 30 minutes here.

Rock Mo'to Band Competition
ROCKING TO THE ROKR. The Rock Mo’to Band Competition finals of the Cebu leg at the Gaisano Countrymall parking area. Click to enlarge.

I didn’t tell her what other keyword combinations people used with her name in Google. It’s not something you tell a lady. I did tell her, though, that when she finally puts up her own site, I’d help make it rank as the top result for Google.

We went back to Gaisano Country Mall for the concert but I didn’t stay long. I’d never though I’d get to say this but I felt claustrophobic in a rock concert, even if I was in a still sparsely occupied VIP area. There’s no escaping it: somehow there’s no more head-banging left in this 30-year-old body.

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