December 2009

New Politics, New Media, A New Beginning in 2010

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Hal Borland

Peace , love and prosperity is what I wished for 2009. Though Ondoy hit us and to this day, our cars are still in the shop, life is good. When I wondered what was coming for 2009, I told myself the best is coming, the very best in life and love had to offer, the best God will send and claim it as mine.

As the year ends, I feel blessed to be offered the position of Features Editor of Vibal’s Foundation, Philippine Online Chronicles (POC) in recognition for the editorial work I do for

How did I end up in an election watch project anyway when my only exposure to politics was my student council days? I had long envisioned myself to be of service to our country. Perhaps blogging is one way. New media events just fell into place. Sure, I am a blogger but a new media publisher is the more accurate word, because I create content, collaborate and connect.

Here are the events that brought me to the challenge I face today.

It started when Carlo Ople, the New Media Consultant of Senator Mar Roxas back in August 2008 invited me for a bloggers’ meetup and I almost choked:

““Whaaat? I hope you won’t ask me to endorse him or something”.

mar roxas
Another meetup with Mar Roxas in early 2009 brought me to the realization that politicians will actually meet with bloggers as election nears. I resolved to meet up with each candidate if an invitation is offered to me. It seemed important to share my thoughts to my readers in a simple and effective format.

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The 2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards

Congratulations to the Pinoy Expats-OFW Blog Awards or PEBA that honored the the best and inspiring Expatriates and Overseas Filipino Workers Blogs around the world. I am honored to be included as an honorary member of this organization, considering that I am not an OFW.

PEBA’s 2009 theme ““Filipinos abroad: hope of the nation, gift to the world” captures an uncommon perception of our expats and OFWs – they are heroes for both the Philippines and the countries that receive them as workers or migrants.
Congratulations to the winners, and organizers for the successful awards night. I know how it feels to organize an awards event and you pulled it through. I had so much fun at the awards night, meeting Juana Change, Dinky Soliman, Risa Hontieveros, Susan Ople, and OFW bloggers. I am grateful that corporate giants like Nokia and Smart Communications supported their endeavor in so short a notice.
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Contest: Win an 8GB iPod Nano with your Real Leaf Story

blogwatchAfter dinner, I’m usually in front of the TV, digesting and unwinding with a glass of tea. Normally, I prefer coffee over tea, but I feel that the latter is a more agreeable beverage for the evening. Not only does green tea aid in digestion and relax the digestive process; it can also stimulate the mind and keep your nervous system in excellent form. These days, I am busy with a new project called (Voters education) . I usually have some more work to do after dinner, and tea is the perfect drink to help me stay awake and focused without causing insomnia. Can you tell that the word “VOTE” is plastered all over my face that my husband bought me this tee as one of his Christmas presents.
Read More »Contest: Win an 8GB iPod Nano with your Real Leaf Story

Honoring Christmas in My Heart

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith

Our Christmas day in a slideshow. Background music is “Christmas in Our Hearts” (Click here to download– 3.0 MB)- Jose Mari Chan , arranged by Carmina R. Cuya

Not all is calm. Such is life. Things do not happen as planned but it does mean that the Christmas spirit will be affected. Today, I found out that Christmas truly reigns in my heart for all time.

Christmas began in the heart of God. It is complete only when it reaches the heart of man. Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.

Despite the challenges, I honor Christmas in my heart. Never mind if the outside appeared chaotic.

I am gentle with myself and I take care of my tender heart.

The gift we give ourselves is a gift we give to our children what they would want for us: for us to find as much peace in whatever way that we possibly can. If I could give each of you a gift I would want to give you the gift of peace, as much peace as you can possibly find.

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Grief Gone Viral- Tweeting a Child’s Death

I’ve been there. I’ve been judged. I understand the anger of @Miltary_Mom when people started to judge her when she tweeted on the drowning of her two-year old son Bryson Ross in the swimming pool of their home in Merritt Island, Fla.

Shellie Ross otherwise known as @Miltary_Mom and who blogs at tweeted the following:

5:22 p.m. – a breezy update about the fog rolling in and spooking the chickens as she worked in her chicken coop.

16 minutes later, , a 911 call was placed from her home saying that Bryson was lying at the bottom of the pool.

6:12 p.m. ““Please pray like never before, my 2 yr old fell in the pool.”

5 hours later, she wrote in tweeter ““remembering my million dollar baby” then posted photos of the little boy. (Some of these tweets and photos have since been removed.)

Then violent reactions errupted:

Not long after that, a firestorm erupted on Twitter, with strangers wondering what kind of mother tweets during a crisis. The debate has been going on for days around the Internet, with critics calling Ross callous (and suggesting that if she had been paying as much attention to her child as she had to her Twitter account, her son would not have come to harm) and supporters (many who know her in real life, and others who have never met her) describing her as a caring mother who reached out to her virtual community during a tragedy.

A local paper quoted Madison McGraw saying that ““If she didn’t want questions raised at such a painful time, perhaps she shouldn’t have tweeted immediately after her child died. A child is dead because (of) his mother’s infatuation with Twitter.”

In Madison’s blog, she points out that “Between the hours of 8:37 a.m. and 5:22 p.m (her first and last before son was found drowned in pool) she tweeted 74 times. ”
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Never again, never again, never again to martial law!

““The bad dream known as martial law has become an absolute nightmare under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo!” , an activist during 37th Anniversary of Martial Law, September 21, 2009.

Photo Credit to newshopper

I was 15 years old when Proclamation 1081 was declared by then President Ferdinand Marcos. My folks seemed overjoyed with the news. The administration did a great job brainwashing the old folks that the country was in turmoil and thus, Martial Law needed to be declared. I didn’t know it then, of course.

I felt a bit alarmed that any house could be raided for “subversive materials”. Any reading material might be “subversive” in the eyes of the military. Dad was wise. He started buying books and magazines that were pro-Marcos. But all of these inconveniences were insignificant compared to the pain of detained and tortured “political prisoners”, the loss of freedom of speech, the pain of seeing my brother in jail and so with my barkada. I was never brought to detention due to luck, perhaps.

Soon after Marcos declared martial law, one American high-ranking official described the Philippines as a country composed “of 40 million cowards and one son of a bitch” otherwise, he reasoned they should have risen against the destroyer of their freedom.

““Never again, never again , never again to martial law!”
Read More »Never again, never again, never again to martial law!