Skip to main content

A Passion Project

I was so moved today by the prospect of a passion project that I took some time on a Friday night to get it done. Let me present the #RedJeans project over at I've found myself wanting to work on a project that came purely from the heart and one that was very dear to me, something that is personal, and connects with a larger community of people in the world.

The idea for came to me as a hint when I was writing up my reflection for 2018. I realised that I didn't spend quite as much time identifying with and working with a community. I did a bit of soul-searching and found that one of the activities I really enjoyed and cherished in years past is donating blood -- and I keep wondering why not more people do it. It was an idle thought but then a conversation with someone where I described why I wrote down "donate blood more often" in 2019 became an idea where instead of just me doing it, how about if I get my friends to do it too?

I left it at that for the rest of the afternoon, but as soon as I started writing my end-of-day reflections it hit me: why am I just thinking about getting my friends to do it, why not get as many people we can reach do it too? That idea hit me while I was on the train heading home after a long day. When I got home and started settling down I realised: there's no reason to delay this project further.

So overnight I got the domain, set up the email addresses, got a blog up and running, and then proceeded to tweak the design and set up an email newsletter.

The rationale for the name and the whole project is described in the initial blog post which I quote here.

"I named the site Red Jeans because my mom’s name is Jean and I owe a great debt of gratitude to the anonymous blood donors, without whom my mother could have perished, that fateful day decades ago. I could have lost my mom then and 30+ years in I’m inspired to do something to encourage more people to donate blood regularly. 
"The vision I have in my head when I get the chance to donate blood myself is that someday soon the blood might help another mother giving birth and give them a chance to be around to raise their child. I think about what that mother might still be able to do and the life the child will have with that mother. I wish they have the same chances my mom and I did throughout my wonderful life."

If you feel the same about this, I'd really like to hear your stories too!

The call to action is simple, let's use #RedJeans in social media and describe how you or someone you know have benefitted from a life-saving blood transfusion, and point them to the website ( or the twitter account ( If you're organising a blood donation drive, post pictures of the party/event and use #RedJeans on social media too.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and would appreciate very much your support in this effort.


Popular posts from this blog

Appreciating Rizal...

Nope, this is not an academic post. More of a reflective and wrote-because-i-was-enlightened type post. Anyway, I just passed a paper on Rizal's notion of a nation according to Quibuyen (a local writer who devoted a book -- A Nation Aborted -- on his treatise on Rizal). Chapter 6 was an interesting read, and a definite eye opener. Rizal all of a sudden became interesting, especially to someone like me who could care less. It seems that most of what Rizal aims for and wrote about is still evident in today's Philippines as I see it. I wonder why I didn't get to appreciate Rizal and his work when I was still in high school -- might be the fault of the high school and the curriculum, or might be because I was still considerably immature then. I wasn't able to understand most of Rizal's writings though even if I got to reading them basically because they translated from Spanish to Filipino/Tagalog. I don't have problems with Tagalog, until you put it in writing. I


Until very recently I believed that I needed to be on top of the latest news and happenings not only in my field (computer science and software engineering) but also in as many things as I can be on top of. This meant subscribing to all sorts of magazines, newsletters, YouTube channels, Twitch streamers, watching TV and live sport events, etc. — I was on top of a lot of the latest happenings, trends, news, interesting developments. I was having fun and I felt busy. What I did not feel was particularly effective nor productive. I felt like I was consuming so much information with the thought that it might be useful someday. When I was younger this wouldn’t have been an issue but I realised that ever since I’ve started taking stock of what I’ve been spending my time on, that a lot of it I’ve been spending just staying on top of things that I really didn’t need to be on top of. This article is about some of the realisations I’ve made in the course of exploring this issue of “FOMO” or

So much for that...

I just came home from the seminar regarding my proposed load balancing algorithm. I tried to get as candid as I can, but still half of what I said was jargon -- which made me explain the thing in layman's terms and using more colloquial examples. I was wearing a black suit, (chinese collared americana suit that is), gray slacks, black leather belt (perry ellis), and leather shoes (by bristol). I'm beginning to sound like a caption to a fashion mag's pic, but I digress... So there I was, waiting for the seminar to start. As a speaker, I conducted myself properly and tried to get things cleared out with my co-presentors. I was asuuming that they knew at least half of what they were supposed to talk about, and that they knew how to speak in front of a crowd. BUT NO... I sat through two presentors, the first one reading the presentation of the projection, and then doing no explaining whatsoever. I didn't get that because she prepared her own slides, and prepared the hand