May 2009

Top 10 Influential Emerging Blogs for 2009 Writing Project

You don`t have to be a “person of influence” to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they’ve taught me. Scott Adams

In 2007, I drew up my top 10 list of Influential Emerging blogs. Today, 8 out of 10 continue to be influential bloggers except for two blogs that are now gone. Not a bad forecast, right? This year, I continue to support the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs for 2009 Writing Project. Let me just tell you that my choice of the top 10 is based on blog-hopping from fellow bloggers’ suggestion in social media, friendships and my belief that these blogs will emerge as Influential blogs not just for 2009 but in the years to come.

1. Ukay Manila

I know I am biased because the blog owner is my daughter. Disclosure now in the open, let me move on. See, in the light of the current economic situation, one should find means to diversify income and become prudent in consumer spending. Lauren hits both objectives when she launched this blog on December 2008.

I believe ukay shopping is a way of resisting the consumerist logic of today. People don’t really need a top that costs P800 or a pair of jeans that cost P3,000, but we buy them anyway. Why? Because we are all advertising targets who are led to think that filling up our wardrobes with overpriced (but mass-produced!) clothes is the only way we can feel good and go about ““expressing our individuality and style”.

2. New Media Philippines

Carlo Ople struck a nerve when he classified bloggers for PR practitioners. I believe he became influential because, his name crops up when mentioned in blog conferences or round table discussions. It spurred discussion on encouraging bloggers to create quality content. Other blog topics bore fruit that contradict Carlo’s classification of bloggers.

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OFW alert: Illegal Recruitment, Human Trafficking and Fraud

Rowell Santos whipped his wallet out of his pocket, pulled out a frayed photo of his lovely daughter. He looked up at me and explained in Tagalog that “all I want is to ensure that my daughter finishes her college. She is just in her second year and I still have another child in third year high school. After they are finished, I can rest”. Glancing at Rowell, he didn’t fit my stereotype of the wild bus drivers who ply recklessly along EDSA. He looked refined and educated. He sighed, “Yes, I am a college graduate. I ended up being a bus driver. It is hard being a bus driver in the Philippines. I barely get any rest. We work more than 8 hours a day When my bus is not functional, I don’t have income.”

I saw the hopeful look of a parent who just wants the best for his children. Don’t we all? I understand, I patted his shoulder.

Me, Rowell Santos and Rochelle after our short chitchat

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Facebook Message From Thailand, Amway and Astoria Hotel

If you are a facebook user and living in the Philippines, you might have received this message last month

My name is _______, I am a Thai-Chinese born and living in Bangkok, Thailand. I am now starting to expand my business branch to the Philippine market.

I am looking and searching for anyone who desires to work for or do business with Thailand, USA and virtually anywhere in Far East Asia and Europe. About the investment, there’d be no worry, since we have set up working environment facilities in Ortigas already.

There’re so many opportunities to create a future with us in the Philippines, the income opportunity here is endless.

I do not know much of any contact there, so I wish God and Facebook would help me connect with someone who have this unique and identical interest.

Our business will need a lot of travelings, mostly to the US, Europe and the Far East. Since we are an outsourced company, most trips are provided without personal expenses.
But the person must be able to speak good English with an entrepreneurship minded 🙂

I’d be glad to set up an appointment with you to discuss further details when I am in Manila next month in May 2009.

Thank you so much for taking your time with my message. If you have an interest to learn more about this. Just add me, and drop me a message!

I will be living in Ortigas Center Area, Pasig City, Metro Manila at Astoria Plaza Hotel.

Maraming Salamat Po! Hope to hear from you! 🙂

God bless you!

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Surviving A Gunshot (Carlo Ople’s Story on Love and Courage)

“Superman’s not brave. You can’t be brave if you’re indestructible. It’s every day people, like you and me, that are brave knowing we could easily be defeated but still continue forward. – unknown”

This is a guest post from Carlo Ople. Some of you might not be aware that Carlo nearly lost his life three years ago due to a gunshot wound from a robber who tried to molest his girlfriend. This is a story of love and the will to survive at all cost. The question is would you risk your life to protect your loved one?

If you have a recovery story to share, please send it to

Around 3 years ago, I had one of the most challenging experiences that I’ve ever faced in my life. I was with my girlfriend, Mich, in an internet café. We were having fun playing a few games and surfing the net when I suddenly felt a cold and solid object being pressed hard on the back of my neck. One of my worst fears was finally materialized: we were being held-up. I can’t remember if there were 4 or 5 men but the entire café was suddenly plunged into the silence. The only sound you could hear was the cruel and deep voice of one of the robbers cussing and cursing people while his cohorts started to collect our cell phones, wallets, and jewelry.

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Mother’s Day with Mommy Bloggers

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. Tenneva Jordan

Mother’s day spent with the kids has been a long-time tradition. At first I felt bad that I’d be spending it with mommy bloggers because it meant breaking tradition. Then I realized, Mother’s Day is my day and I can choose how to spend my day. And yes, I chose to spend it at the Expo Mom 2009 from 10:00 AM till 6:00 PM. Mommy Matters Janice Villanueva gave us a free booth which we used to promote mommy blogging. How time flies when you’re with mommies.

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iBlog5- 5th Philippine Blogging Summit

The bottom line is that blogging is like sex. You can’t fake it. You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake wanting to engage with the public. If you do, it will ultimately be an unsatisfying experience for both the blogger and their readers., Kevin Anderson

Behind me are Cebu Bloggers wearing T-shirts with “Blogger ko Bai”

As a newbie blogger in 2006, I dared volunteer for iBlog 2 as a moderator for speakers. I wanted to network with bloggers and also meet my idol bloggers. I am the type of person who is not easily star struck with celebrities or Hollywood stars. But that was the feeling I got when I met blogging idols like Abe “Yuga” Olandres and Manolo Quezon in the 2006 summit. The following year, I talked in iBlog 3 and my topic was “Personal Blogging Success”. *Gasps* I don’t want to minimize myself because success is very relative but there I was… The star-struck me in 2006 was now a speaker in 2007. The same thing happened in iBlog 4 in 2008.

This year…my role is a bit stress-free, well sort of . I was the The Time Keeper. You know the one that holds a piece of paper that notifies the speaker that they have 5 minutes or 2 minutes or Let’s wrap it up. I enjoyed it just as much as the previous iBlog summits. Every role or task counts to make the iBlog a success.

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Cheche Lazaro, PROBE and The Wire-tapping Case filed by GSIS

I’ve known Cheche Lazaro through two live interviews (here and here). It is such an honor to be interviewed by her. I am aware that most TV hosts get their research materials from their assistants but in all those interviews, she personally wrote down notes about me before airing live. She verified all the materials given to her and didn’t just take her assistants’ word for it.

So when Ricky Lim (Associate Dean of AIM who I met in a Bloggers’ Roundtable) sent me an email about her sister, I was just appalled. Cheche has been charged for wiretapping by GSIS, when her Probe Team tried to do a story on unfair compensation practices. Cheche had explicitly told GSIS that she was recording their conversation beforehand. She had offered them all the airtime to present their side of the story. In the end, because the story was negative, GSIS is now charging her with criminal offenses.

Cheche is the only one facing the wiretapping case at the moment. ““They have made it a point to singularly point me out as the person who wiretapped the whole conversation that they alleged was wiretapping. That is not true,” she said.

““I think this is intimidation of the press. They are trying to send a message to the press and using me as a sample for this kind of a message.”

Cheche Lazaro’s Statement on the wire-tapping case filed by the GSIS against her
May 8, 2009

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Ako Mismo Supports Ako Mismo

Ako mismo ang magbablog para sa ikabubuti ng bayan sounds better than Ako Mismo hindi magbablog ng makasasama sa bayan.

I now support Ako Mismo. Let me Explain.

Ako Mismo finally gave some answers. I decided to write a new entry on this because my Ako Mismo Campaign and My Conditional Support is cluttered with too many updates.

Four new links are now up but the problem is I needed to click twice to get to these pages. From the Home Page, I had to click “skip Intro” because I was not yet a member then click “already a member?” before reaching these 4 pages.
(Update – May 8: Links are now in the main landing page)

1. Who is Behind Ako Mismo?

2. FAQ

3. Contact Page

4. Wall of Commitment

If already a member, you need to click “already a member” to view those pages. Unsolicited Advice: Please place Who is Behind Ako Mismo? , FAQ, Wall of Commitment and Contact Page on the main landing page. (Update – May 8: Links are now in the main landing page)

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Ako Mismo Campaign and My Conditional Support

Update (May 7)

I now support Ako Mismo. Read my updated entry on Ako Mismo.

““Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality.”

Update on May 6

There is Who is Behind Ako Mismo? and an FAQ but it is not easily spotted in the main page unless you click two links “Skip intro” and “already a member?”. It is still silent on the use of the database they collected.

What a wonderful idea! I like it. AKO (I, me) mismo (myself or me, personally) is a very rough translation. Me, myself, and I… am doing my part in making the world a better place to live and work in.

I am not helpless. I can solve most of my problems. I have the power to solve the problems that is mine to solve. In my own little way, I contribute to the society through my children. Self-reliance begins in our homes. I hope to instill self-reliance in my children even if they have to inherit this crappy economy. That was what I wrote in my reaction to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo State of the Nation Address (SONA 2008).

It is good to hope. It is better to hope than despair. Declaring one’s commitment in writing is the first step in making your good intentions manifest into reality. What you perceive becomes your reality. Imagine what it would be like to have millions of Filipinos — and those who advocate our Filipino causes — share their altruistic acts to all of us.

But wait… I visit the site at and I am faced with a log-in . I cannot view anything else except the HOME page with the links to the Privacy Page and Terms and Conditions because I have to register first. Fishy! If they were truly sincere in their AKO MISMO campaign, they won’t limit access to the site. They’d give us the freedom to frolic in their virtual playground or plaza before declaring our commitment in writing.

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Celebrating Our 24th Wedding Anniversary

“An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow. ”

If blogs were around in 1985, then I’d have a photo for every year of our wedding anniversary. Since the start of my blog in 2006, I’ve only written four times, counting this entry. Why is it so important for me to share this day with you? It is not that I want to brag that “hey, we lasted this long” but it is more of “Wow, we have reached this far. Let’s celebrate the joys and the sorrows. You may pick up a lesson or two”.

As Mignon McLaughlin would say, ” A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Falling in love is not easy especially when that person can get annoying. But at the same time, it is so gratifying to find that one special person I want to annoy for the rest of my life.

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