04 Oct2007

This has been a miserable day. I know blogs are often (correctly) characterized as being simple “bitching” diaries that are totally open for the whole wide world to see and read. I rarely write as though my world is ending… Disaster is completely relative. I normally get mad when something difficult or trying arises, I rarely feel totally helpless, or depressed. This isn’t a natural disaster, it isn’t even that my flight went down into Laguna de Ba’i (not Laguna Bay, which is utterly wrong) and my checked-in lechon in a box is now soggy. It isn’t a divorce, a loss of a pet or a business deal gone bad. But for this blog, it is worse, far worse. I have had complete and utter laptop failure. I have apparently had a hard disk crash and burn. I am not a techy. And all I know now is I have lost everything. Everything. Yes, I had professionals look into it for 4 hours today and they just shook their heads forlornly. No, “how dumb can he be?”, you say to yourself. How could he not have backed his (4 year old) laptop up? I did, but the last time I did a full back-up was in April before our trip to New York. So I think I have lost 5 months worth of photos (over 2,000 images or so), and the material for at least 70+ posts that I had in the works, at least 12 more posts from the New York trip, the remainder of the Ilocos trip, a post on Friday’s in Boracay, several dishes I cooked over the past 2 months, a review of Mamou, Premium Wine Exchange, stuff for the holidays, etc. etc. I even had the part II of the Sitio Remedios review with 15 or so photos and yes, it was a rant. Worse, I have lost every single one of my emails and all my addresses. All of Lee’s designs for the marketmanila t-shirts went POOF! Everything. On my flight back to Manila this evening, I even thought this was the sign to bring a good thing to an end. Maybe three years is a good time to bury this blog for good. But what about the kids that I just visited in that public school? Slap yourself a few times Marketman and dip your head in a sink filled with water and ice!!! I am sorry, but it may be days before I manage to get my act together and recover from this… I cannot get my emails so I won’t be responding to any of your questions by email.



  1. edee says:

    oh no, indeed a disaster!….but don’t let it be the reason to end this blog, that will be a disaster for us!!! … utterly selfish I know, but that how much your blogging has been to us……everything will be fine i’m sure……

    Oct 4, 2007 | 8:45 pm


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  3. celery says:

    was looking forward to reading part 2 of sitio remedios! i hope you survive your disaster! good luck!

    Oct 4, 2007 | 8:51 pm

  4. celery says:

    was looking forward to reading part 2 of sitio remedios! i hope you survive your disaster! good luck!!

    Oct 4, 2007 | 8:52 pm

  5. Johnny says:

    Hello MM,
    That’s a lot of stuff! But hey, you still got your readers! We’ll never crash like a computer does.

    Oct 4, 2007 | 9:07 pm

  6. xiao li says:

    Hi MM, that is a disaster! Hope you will get a second opinion though, and please don’t end this :(.

    Oct 4, 2007 | 9:09 pm

  7. suzette says:

    OMG!!! i hope you are joking…or just having a bad dream… i wish you could retrieve all your lost files, if not, it’s okay… i know how you feel,i’ve already lost twice photos of some of our most memorable family trips here and abroad…and it just sucks :( don’t worry still plenty of things and food to write about. hope you will recover soon.

    Oct 4, 2007 | 9:34 pm

  8. Trina says:

    I lost all my son’s videos from his 1st to his 3rd years due to a Windows XP bug. I was totally devastated that time, so I have an inkling how you feel. I’m sure all your readers from all over the world will be throwing in their support to you and your blogging efforts. If you need any help (maybe a new laptop? a choral rendition of your favorite songs?) just holler.

    Oct 4, 2007 | 9:40 pm

  9. shalimar says:

    oh oh… reminds me my new laptop has all my latest files and have not even backed this one up

    Oct 4, 2007 | 9:53 pm

  10. cc says:

    Yikes…that is a disaster, but fixable. We now know how dependent we are on PCs when it causes so much indigestion. hehehe :(. Good luck in recovering quickly, as you have a fan base that extends worldwide and who do not want you to end your blog. That’s how powerful the www is.

    Oct 4, 2007 | 10:21 pm

  11. Candygirl says:

    Oh no, what an awful experience, I too lost an important research proposal in a hard disk crash two years ago.

    Ok, for now…..breathe in…breathe out…..take a break. We’ll wait for you when you’re ready.

    Oct 4, 2007 | 10:22 pm

  12. Chinachix says:

    Oh no…this is terrible. I just sent you an email last night (EST), but I guess it got swallowed up as well. Anyhoo, good luck…remember, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger…

    Oct 4, 2007 | 10:25 pm

  13. Myra P. says:

    I feel your pain, MM. All your readers will feel the pain too since you will have to start from scratch and probably post much less often. But hey, you may have lost files, but you havent lost your readers. And in the blogosphere, you are nothing without readers… Once your email is back up, everyone will gladly re-send you their addys :)

    This post reminds me that I need to back up my files asap.

    Oct 4, 2007 | 10:57 pm

  14. joey says:

    Oh no! I have had various computer crashes (I once spilled coffee all over my laptop…that was major bye-bye laptop) and I know it really sucks big time…but you’ve still got your readers! :)

    Oct 4, 2007 | 10:58 pm

  15. kaye says:

    yikes! that is really a disaster and i feel for you.. my brother in law sent me this application called norton ghost.. you’re tech people might be familiar with it so you can ask them how to go about it.. i also love writing and storing large amounts of photos in my pc that’s why my brother in law bought me this over the internet.. i would be waiting for your posts and pics and am one with the rest who would be saddened if this site suddenly stops.. hope you can recover everything from your laptop.. goodluck!

    Oct 4, 2007 | 11:07 pm

  16. pam says:

    oh dear. hard drive crashes are difficult to recover from. one of mine just died 1.5 months ago, and it still hurts. :(

    how about getting a mac? ;)

    Oct 4, 2007 | 11:20 pm

  17. grace says:

    That sucks big time.. I can imagine how difficult it would be to lose all that info and work you’ve done already.

    I hope some techie guru can help you out and retrieve the data from your hard drive.

    Oct 4, 2007 | 11:53 pm

  18. Katrina says:

    Oh, no, MM!!! I’m so sorry to hear about all the work you’ve lost. I can only imagine how devastated you must feel. :-(

    Oct 5, 2007 | 12:17 am

  19. erleen says:

    I know how you feel. lost all my work and personal files from a pc crash 2 years ago.

    now, I learned to burn it all in CD’s(DVD now) for later use.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 12:32 am

  20. betty q. says:

    I do believe MM, that everything happens for a reason. I can relate to your loss…I hope that what I am about to tell will offer some form of relief. My oldest son who was only 10 years old at that time had MAJOR headaches and seizures at times. I felt sooo helpless. He had all sorts of tests done. Finally, while driving one day I asked Almighty God that I have waited for soooo long to have my son. So please don’t take him away from me…NOT YET! He can take anything that I have even my life…Long story short, I have accumulated 35 years of my life as a pastry chef in this 3 black binders. One day, it went missing during the 2 weeeks my son was undergoing through all of this. I turned the house literally upside down. Then suddenly, I stopped looking. I remembered my conversation with HIM. So I told HIM that if this is what he wanted, then I give those binders (my life’s work) to HIM with open arms. Believe it or not, MM, my son never had any headaches or seizures after. I have friends who have copies of some of my recipes and would gladly make me a copy. But I don’t want them for I made a bargain with HIM which I intend to keep. So, MM there is always a silver lining to every misfortune that anyone encounters!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 12:35 am

  21. Risa says:

    Hi Mr. MM,

    It’s 12:35 am and I’m still in the office. I just wanted to reach out to you to say that this is a minor setback. It’s not insurmountable–the places are still there to be revisited, the foods are capable of being reinvented and cooked and treasured places have not been devastated.

    I feel your pain. But look at it this way, you have a clean slate. You can start anew, plan anew and file away the bad experiences from the last 5 months into an archive of water :)

    You are not less enriched by the good experiences you had, the people you’ve met, the food you’ve eaten and the places you’ve been. The really good experiences will burn you a food or adventure memory in your brain better than any hard disk or cd burner.

    Do not worry about us “selfish” readers who can always wonder what those were, hehe.


    Oct 5, 2007 | 12:48 am

  22. Maria Clara says:

    Sad to hear sounds everything went down the drain and you have to reinvent the wheel. That’s the downside of the disc technology – just the size of my palm yet it contains gazillion of information. Do not feel bad and take it light it happens to other people too. Just to let you know, you have the best writing skills, honesty, integrity, witty and your source of everything I could imagine from market offerings down to bed and breakfast places and to top it all no paid advertisers hook up on your blog! You are the Number 1 and my day is not complete without going through your site at least four times a day! I will stand by your blog!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 12:53 am

  23. eej says:

    I feel your pain :(

    Pull yourself together, pick up the pieces and move on. This is just another setback in life that you will overcome.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 1:24 am

  24. Lito says:

    MM, cheer up! I had the same issue last year; even worse than yours. I defragmented my hard disk for maintenance but the utility I used messed up everything. You know what, I was able to recover them via a $69 software utility called GetDataBack. As long as your hard disk is not physically broken in pieces, burned, or something similar, there is a great chance you will recover your data. Before you buy, you can try the software and it will allow you to see the files that could be recovered. I wish I were there to help you. But come on MM, we want your blog! Keep it going. Thanks.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 2:22 am

  25. TOPING says:

    Sorry to hear about this setback, MM. I know where you’re coming from; I’ve been there. But you’ll survive; it’s just data: Who cares about a few posts/rants/raves lost to the ether? You’re well and good, and that’s what matters. Keep ’em coming!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 3:26 am

  26. TOPING says:

    Betty, God bless you! Life is short enough; may your kid enjoy more (and more!) of it. Keep the faith!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 3:31 am

  27. watcher says:

    Don’t know what you meant by ‘burn’. But the technology to recover the data on hard disk exists. Don’t know about the expertise in the Philippines though.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 4:00 am

  28. Jade186 says:

    Text files (parts of files) can still be recovered by doing a hard disk scan or surface scan. Check EVERY sector, not all sectors can be ruined. It will take hours but some data can still be recovered.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 4:21 am

  29. sylvia says:

    Oh no, Marketman!! So sorry for you. I feel your pain. I had my Palm crash some years ago and I felt like I lost a part of my body.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 5:08 am

  30. Bubut says:

    Please don’t stop your blog!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 5:30 am

  31. aggy says:

    i’m so sorry to hear this….good luck, i hope some good comes out of this…take care

    Oct 5, 2007 | 5:55 am

  32. Apicio says:

    Now call back your courage, and have done with fear and sorrow.
    Some day, perhaps, remembering even this will be a pleasure.

    Virgil, The Aeneid I 202 & 203

    Oct 5, 2007 | 6:26 am

  33. elaine says:

    it’s hard work gone pffft…but there will still be rants, raves, dishes to try/cook, places to go, photos to shoot….and we are still reading…

    Oct 5, 2007 | 6:33 am

  34. Naz says:

    Upon reading your unfortunate loss, the first thing that I did was back-up all my photos to my portable hard-drive. They are not expensive nowadays. I believe I paid less that $100 for a 250 gig at costco. I have not been doing back-ups on a daily basis but that would change now.
    You should be able to recover some. Norton Ghost as recommended by Kaye. Give it a try.
    You will never lose your avid readers, that’s for sure!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 7:29 am

  35. Maricel says:

    So sorry aout that. I also learned the hard way so now I have an external hard drive and several flash drives to back up everything.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 7:29 am

  36. hchie says:

    So sorry about your laptop’s breakdown. I’ll probably go ballistic if that happened to me and lost all my family, especially my grandson’s, photos. Just take it easy, things aren’t always as bad as they seem at the moment. And don’t let us pressure you, blogging should be enjoyable. If and when you decide to blog again, we’ll be right here just like good old friends.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 7:46 am

  37. The Steak Lady says:

    Oh no MM!! im so sorry to hear about all the hard work you’ve lost! =( i hope something can still be done though. if not, please dont stop your blog… its such a pleasure to read. and by all means, if you need time off for now, please do so. but know that we’ll be here eagerly waiting your return at full MM speed =) take care!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 7:53 am

  38. tulipfleurs says:

    Hello MM! I’m so sorry to hear the “fruits of your labor” have been destroyed. A while back my bottled coffee creamer spilled inside my brief case with my lap top inside. Half of the screen was “ruined” because the creamer had went inside. I was able to retrieve the data but I know yours is far worse. Well, good luck and I do hope you’ll be able to retrieve all if not most of what was stored on to your laptop. Don’t stop your blog because I along with the others enjoy your blog!! It’s addicting! Take care . .

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:02 am

  39. bernadette says:

    Uh-oh! What can I say…but “nothing is by accident.” There might be something that you have to reassess. I know that losing all your hard work can be sooo painful–whether it be in the computer of other areas in life. Think of war-torn areas or Burma or Dafur…:-) :-( Think of the phoenix rising out of its ashes :-)!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:03 am

  40. chunky says:

    If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
    Anne Bradstreet, ‘Meditations Divine and Moral,’ 1655
    American poet (1612 – 1672)

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:10 am

  41. Lissa says:

    So sorry to hear that, MM. Take your time to get your bearings back.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:27 am

  42. VE says:

    Since you have a sister in NY, there is a company based in Secaucus NJ. You can go to their site at:


    They are a global company and the closest one to the Philippines is based in Singapore. This is their link:


    I had a friend with the same situation as yours, and majority of the files were recovered, albeit a bit costly between 600 to 800 dollars.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:36 am

  43. Lei says:

    MM, I don’t want to set your expectations high but there exist hard drive data recovery out there. You may be spending quite a bit, as long as the hard disk is still not physically destroyed. Please do try to look here in Manila for those services as there is still a chance that the professionals in this area can recover the data from your crashed laptop.
    I’ll try to look around for people here who has actually done it and will give you feedback if I get to find the right guy.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:46 am

  44. Em Dy says:

    Hi MM. I hope you don’t stop blogging.

    My PC crashed a few years back. I had a professional look it over. I had to change my hard drive but he was able to recover some of my files from the one that crashed. And you know what he did, he put it in the freezer. Maybe that will work for you. Sounds weird but it worked for me. Email me in case you need his number.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:48 am

  45. Ted says:

    Really sorry to hear about your disaster, but unless the hard drive got literally “burned” then data would be recoverable, you just have to consider if it’s worth the price you will have to pay, they get too expensive sometimes.

    In the future, If you have Windows XP professional, there should be a utility available for you to do incremental or differential backups after your initial FULL backup, and you can schedule that daily, weekly or monthly without even thinking about it. Just make sure you back it up to an external hard drive (they are so cheap now).

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:54 am

  46. peterb says:

    Hi MM,

    Sorry to hear about that. I know what you’re going through. I had 2 hard drives crash. However, i was able to retrieve 90% of all data that i had. I used a software called Easy Recovery Pro. If the hard drive is still detectable, there should still be hope of retrieval. I hope the professionals you asked can find a way to get your data back.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 9:02 am

  47. sometime_lurker says:


    Do not fret.
    “This, too, shall pass.”

    Oct 5, 2007 | 9:40 am

  48. bijin says:

    that’s why I switched to MAC 4 years ago. the new mac OS tiger coming soon will have automatic backup so I’m waiting. ready to trade up. you’ll love your new mac!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 9:42 am

  49. Mel says:

    MM hang in there. May I suggest you get yourself the ever dependable external hard drives available in the market so that you can backup all your files. I learned this lesson the hard way too last year when my PC crashed. Immediately I went to the store and got myself 2 Maxtor external drives just to make sure I have more than enough space. Get the biggest capacity drive you can afford. Furthermore, make sure to make back-ups using CD-R too. I hope this helps.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 9:47 am

  50. RST says:

    I feel for you, my friend. Several years ago, I lost my entire hard drive which had years and years of personal correspondence, the only pictures I had of close friends who have since died etc It was literally like losing a limb-I was bereft for months and months after that. I am really sorry to hear about your loss.


    Oct 5, 2007 | 12:06 pm

  51. millet says:

    i was in near-panic when i couldn’t access MarketManila this morning, but i realize that was nothing compared to the panic and frustration you must have felt earlier. that has happened to me twice 9took me a long time to learn the lesson), and i think it has happened to many of your readers, too.

    i do not mean to pooh-pooh this disaster, it is certainly super-major by my standards, but i am sure you will recover with a vengeance, to blog on forevermore.

    go, MM!

    Oct 5, 2007 | 1:49 pm

  52. jo says:

    Sorry to hear about your loss MM, you might want to try what peterb suggested, it’s the Easy Recovery Pro software.

    Best of luck MM.

    Oct 5, 2007 | 5:35 pm

  53. kitkathie says:

    Please don’t stop your blog MM. Maybe this is just one of those trials you have to surpass…

    Oct 5, 2007 | 8:28 pm

  54. Anna Banana says:

    If its true that misery loves company, know that you are not alone. I guess a lot of us have had some technical losses. I lost my wedding pictures in a stupid mistake years ago (left the cd in the car and did not have a back up). Take your time, I know that you will be up and running again soon.

    Oct 6, 2007 | 11:56 am

  55. paulipocket says:

    I know how it feels MM!!! Its really devastating and frustrating.. I feel for you man!

    Oct 6, 2007 | 2:09 pm

  56. lee says:

    hello.. i still have the designs.. will send them soon back. dontcha worry

    Oct 6, 2007 | 6:27 pm

  57. kulasa says:

    I also had a hard disk crashed on me and someone did use Easy Recovery Pro. I was able to retrieve most of my data even pictures. I don’t know where he got the program but somehow it worked.

    Oct 7, 2007 | 10:35 am

  58. chinkee says:

    Take heart MM, something good has to come out of all this.

    Oct 8, 2007 | 5:30 am


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