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Hackers, techies & food |

Sunday Lifestyle

Hackers, techies & food

FROM MY HEART - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura - The Philippine Star

Can you believe how quickly time flies? I feel that only two years ago we were all breathless, wondering what the change from the year 1999 to 2000 would bring. Now I see that 23 years have just slipped by. I was then 56 years old and now... never mind. Never mind the things that are happening and that make me feel painfully stupid, totally confused and uselessly sorry for this horrible thing that has befallen not just me but a whole batch of my friends, acquaintances, clients.

Sometime on Jan. 2, I was engrossed making rosaries when my cell phone beeped or whatever you call the noise it makes when you receive a text. I ignored it as I usually do when I am busy with something. Then, when I have time, I check the messages. One was from Linda P., an old friend. It said, Good morning, Tweetums, how are you? Can I ask your email address and phone number? I will add you to my new Yahoo address book. Thanks my dear.

I thought, She must be fixing up her Facebook like I should be doing at the beginning of every year. I sent her my email address and cell phone number. Nothing happened.

The next day, Jan. 3, was the baptism of my adorable great-grandson. My son had me picked up. I went from Mandaluyong to Alabang. Spent almost three hours at the big event, got stuck in terrible traffic on my return. It took me around two hours to get home.

I sat in the car watching a Korean series on my cell phone when it beeped. I stopped the series to read the text. It was from a Gonzalez first cousin. She thought my account had been hacked. “I” had texted her, borrowing money. She knows I never borrow money so something told her that message wasn’t from the real me.

I am not a techie. The most I know is how to send email and how to play solitaire on my computer. I don’t know much else. My friend Cesar texted me Happy New Year greetings from the province. I asked him if he knew what I was supposed to do. He sent me a series of instructions, none of which I could follow. Finally I got home and fortunately found our flat teeming with visitors — old friends who had not seen my husband Loy for two whole years. We both had missed them so we were very happy to see them again. Most importantly, the Ventura family’s tech genius, Jeska, my husband’s youngest daughter by his first wife, was there, too. I believe she saved my life.

First we tried to change my password. We could not. We kept getting the same code back. This led her to conclude that my hacker was more proficient than the ordinary hacker. We then decided to kill my original Facebook address and set up a new one so I could warn everyone about this. That has been set up but I’m afraid to use it because it might catch the attention of either the same or other hackers. I sent a message on my cell instead.

My greatest fear is that some of the people they address in my name might send the hackers money in response to the note with the picture of my husband and me on it begging for some cash. In reality I would rather die than do that. I never borrow money from anyone. That is against my principles. Just as it is also against my principles to lend money to anyone. I want people to understand this about me so they never give money to someone pretending to be me. We simply must not respond to requests for money on Facebook.

This makes me feel — like I said — painfully stupid, totally confused and uselessly sorry for this horrible thing that has befallen not just me but a whole batch of my friends, acquaintances, clients. I have to profoundly thank my genius techie (step) daughter Jeska for the help she has given me.  She has her own homemade food delivery service called Casa Fuentemona in Scout Tuazon Street. Her bestsellers are Zova Duo Lasagna; 5cheese Beef & Herbs in Tomato Sauce and 5cheese Chicken & Spinach in Cream Sauce; Lengua Elio (white truffle braised beef tongue); Jetrufa Ventucci (black truffle pasta); Sumptuous Sualosugpo (jumbo tiger prawns in cream cheese aligue, which I am dying to try); Scrumptious Salmonding (crusty parmesan herb salmon); Minggay Mariscos (supreme seafood pasta); and Tenderloin Salpicado (butter garlic beef cubes).

She also has rice meals. If you want to order please call Viber 0917-895-3752. Look at her full menu on Please try her food. I have tried some and they are really good. Apart from being a tasty chef, she is also an outstanding techie who gives good anti-hacker advice.

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