5 minutes with itjourno

ITJourno Asia, the subscription-only trade site for Asian tech journalists, has been coming out every Friday with a “5 minutes with…” profile of different journos each week.

This Friday was my turn. Special thanks to Victoria Lea (who writes the Epitome column) and Sara Kim.

Nicole, I hope you’ll get to read this, hehe.

5 Minutes with Joey Alarilla
By Staff writers
25/02/2005 08:00:00 AM

He’s got a thing for Nicole Kidman, he’s ready for a mugging in New York, and he’s a self-confessed optimist. ITJourno has five minutes with the Philippines’ Joey Alarilla, columnist and editor at INQ7.net’s technology section, Infotech.

A stranger asks: What do you do?

I’m a contributing editor and Infotech columnist for online news company INQ7.net. I’ve been working for them for over four years now, since I was part of the team of guinea pigs – oops, I mean, pioneers – who had the exciting task of helping set it up.

I churn out a weekly gaming column, edit our site for the youth and another one for Filipino expats, and write tech news and features and PC and videogame reviews, as well as occasional lifestyle, entertainment and business feature pieces.

I’ve been telecommuting for almost two years now so that I can work while helping take care of my now three-year-old daughter. And pardon the shameless plug, but an essay I wrote about my telecommuting experience won third prize last year in the English category of the Don Carlos Palanca Awards, the most prestigious literary competition in the Philippines.

First break into journalism?

I started out as a staff writer for the first Philippine IT trade publication, Metropolitan Computer Times, and later on also wrote for PCWeek Philippines when they got the license from Ziff-Davis.

Why journalism?

I guess I’ve always had a knack for writing, and I’ve always been interested in technology. I like being a tech journalist because we can make more people aware of the benefits of technology and help them understand how it’s changing the way we work and play.

Dream person to interview?

Does it have to be someone in IT? Because I’d rather live out my fantasy and interview Nicole Kidman.

Most tiresome thing about being a tech reporter?

Waiting for the changes we’ve been writing about for years to become a reality.

I mean, in an ideal world, everyone on this planet would have broadband and every home would have a PC or other device to keep us connected to the Internet.

Still, we’ve come a long way in the past few years, so I’m still an optimist when it comes to technology.

Who holds the balance of power in tech journalism in Asia – the
vendors or the media?

We journalists do, because we only answer to our readers. (OK, some of us may also answer to grumpy editors). At the end of the day, we’ll write a story the way it needs to be told.

Microsoft, Apple and Red Hat all call you up on the same day, offering you the same salary, for just slightly varying degrees of your ideal job. Which one do you take?

Hmm, I think I’d wait for Google to call.

London, New York or Hong Kong… Where would you choose?

New York! Sure, I’ll probably get mugged, but I’ve always seen New York as larger than life and the real capital of America. Hey, how come you didn’t include Singapore?

Favourite restaurant in your city of residence?

That would be a toss-up up between Han Pao, a Chinese restaurant, and Persia House, now known as Mr. Kebab. They’re not the kind of restaurants you’d go to in order to impress someone, but usually you’ll find the best food in somewhat seedy places.

Flowers or chocolate… what’s the way to a girl’s heart?

I’d say chocolate, but then again I love chocolate and would probably end up eating some of it as well.

Best way for PR to contact you?

Their best bet would be to e-mail me. They could also try calling me up or send me SMS. I don’t like snail mail.

Joey Alarilla is based in the Philippines. He can be reached at joeyalarilla@gmail.com, or through his website The Babel Machine at www.alarilla.com

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