Those who wish to sign the “Bloggers for Freedom” statement can sign in this form

“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the freedoms over which we stand guard. Understand that we will see things this way. No, you will not be granted the impunity to make such attacks on ANY news outlets in the Freest Press in Asia.” –Alma Anonas-Carpio

The SEC order “revoking Rappler’s license to operate is the first of its kind in history – both for the Commission and for Philippine media.” It is obviously politically motivated.  I don’t always agree with Rappler.  When Rappler was new in 2012, I had initial misgivings. about their  “social media” branding.   But we learned along the way , learning to collaborate in social good projects. The recent actions  against Rappler is  an attack on freedom of the press. Granting Rappler violated the Constitution, where is the due process?

Many of my  blogger friends  remain vigilant , and stand with Rappler . We are out to defend press freedom.

That is why we are releasing a statement today.


Bloggers for freedom
Bloggers for Freedom

We concerned Filipino bloggers stand for the rights to free expression and to free speech. And our first responsibility is to protect these rights.
We thus stand with Rappler, its right to exist, the rights of its working journalists and contributors, and the rights of its community of readers.

We stand against moves to silence and scare journalists, bloggers and media practitioners just because the President and his ardent supporters dislike their news and views.

Now is a time for making choices amid battles between truth and lies, debate and dissonance, democracy and dictatorship.

We sign our names here to tell everyone we have made a choice. We are bloggers for freedom.

1. Noemi Lardizabal-Dado
2. Tonyo Cruz
3. Dale Bacar
4. Marcelle Fabie
5. Myk Mykapalaran Cruz
6. Rod Magaru
7. Ely Valendez
8. Alex Lapa
9. Tess Termulo
10. Zena Bernardo
11. Jover Laurio
12. James Romer V. Velina
13. Ramon Nocon
14. Flow Galindez
15. Helga Weber
16. Mc Richard Viana Paglicawan
17. Raymond Palatino
18. Loi Landicho
19. Saul de Jesus
20. Karlo Mongaya
21. Ricky Rivera
22. Mark Will Mayo Magallanes
23. Eyriche Cortez
24. Julius Mariveles
25. Yusuf Ledesma
26. RJ Barrete
27. Dino Manrique
28. Peachy Tan
29. Rhadem Camlian Morados
30. Julius Rocas
31. Jon Limjap
32. Markku Suguerra
33. Jam Ancheta
34. Estan Cabigas
35. Enrico Dee
36. Acee Vitangcol
37. Stefan Punongbayan
38. Jesus Falcis
39. Hancel Reyes
40. Czarina Maye Noche
41. JM Mariano
42. Reginald Agsalon
43. John Clifford Sibayan
44. Jane Uymatiao
45. Johnn Mendoza
46. Carlos Celdran
47. Christian Melanie
48. Jann Medina
49. Carlo Arvisu
50. Inday Espina Varona
51. Eugene Alvin Villar
52. Melo Villareal
53. Brian Ong
54. Fritz Tentativa
55. Fitz Villafuerte
56. Tina Antonio
57. Mykel Andrada
58. Reynaldo Pagsolingan Jr.
59. Renz Daniel de Vera

Published on January 19, 2018, Black Friday.


Those who wish to sign the statement can sign in this form


The Second Digital Congress is so relevant to me as a blogger and my brand “momblogger”. The Congress focused on the culture envisioned to aid marketers in adapting to digitalization as reflected in the theme, “DX: The Culture of Digital Transformation” but I looked at how it  continues to transform me as a blogger.

The best part of the Digital Congress was meeting Brian Solis  who I have been following for the past seven years.   He is a principal analyst studying disruptive technology and its impact on business at Altimeter Group.

The question I had was is blogging still relevant? Brian says he still blogs.  His advice is blogging more and publishing more to stay relevant.

Genuine useful content.

Utility is the new viral.

I have been blogging for close to twelve years and my objectives in 2006 (grief recovery) is not the same as today which is to use technology for social good. I find myself blogging less especially in the long form content. My main platform is Twitter.  I guess I want to give immediate feedback on twitter.

As a blogger, am I headed in the right direction of digital transformation? Let’s look at part of the presentation given by Brian Solis.

Digital Transformation

Brian Solis defines digital transformation in six stages:

  • Business as Usual
  • Present and Active
  • Formalized
  • Strategic
  • Converged
  • Innovative and Adaptive

The future of work is all about digital transformation that will require careful collaboration, and thoughtful planning. The sixth stage, “Innovate and Adaptive” is when a culture of innovation becomes top priority.

As a blogger, I know I constantly need to innovate my strategy. How?

Your brand is defined by those who experience it.

This reminds me of a course I took on Content Strategy where four audience experiences are best summarized as follows:

The first one, is it makes me smarter
about things that I care about.

The second is that it looks out for
my interests.

The third is that it’s convenient.
By that I mean that it’s easy to access.
It’s readily available.
I don’t have to work hard to get it.

And the fourth one is,
it gives me something to talk about and
share with others.
What we call the social

I believe I give all four audience experiences but it can still be improved by publishing more.

Brian Solis gives a tip:

Close your eyes for a moment and think about the last time you had a truly great experience…an experience that moved you…that captured your heart, mind and spirit. What about it was so special? Now, bring it to life for someone else.

Experience is something you feel, something you sense and interpret…it’s measured by how you react.

Life is about experiences,

Technology brigs to life new experiences

Relationships are made through shared experiences.

Great brands are the assemblage of great experiences.

As I think about how it relates to my “MomBlogger” brand, I remember my goals a year ago.

My focus as a citizen advocate allows me to bring out underplayed stories, fight for women and family issues which are close to my heart. That is who I am. It makes me happy to be of help to others and at the same time it allows me to leave my digital footprints behind.

Are my goals still relevant? What digital transformation is needed?

The first I need to do continue the form of narrative storytelling in the ways that my audience wants to successfully build a relationship with me.

Bloggers have been quiet for the longest time. I think the last time was 2012 when the anti-cybercrime law was passed.  When Rappler raised the issue of the 14 bloggers getting accredited at the ASEAN 50th celebration in early August, bloggers are now back in the limelight. Sadly, the recent Senate hearing on Fake News was unfair to bloggers by putting the  blogging community in a bad light and focusing on the worst practices of the two partisan camps.

Here are my recent thoughts on the blogosphere.

philippine bloggers

Bloggers are not journalists

Bloggers are not journalists but it doesn’t mean I am not accountable for my writings. As a blogger (and because my husband is a lawyer), I am aware of the libel laws even before the CyberCrime Prevention Act of 2012 . I respect people’s privacy even before the effectivity of the Data Privacy Act.  It’s just following the norms which govern ordinary human relations. If I wouldn’t say it to that person over a cup of coffee, I don’t post it. The best defense against anything that would curtail our freedom of expression, be it online or offline, is to express ourselves in words and deeds that are thoughtful, truthful and honest.

That is why, bloggers should know the relevant laws on Data Privacy Act of 2012 or the Republic Act No. 10173; The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10175 ; Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 or Republic Act 9995

´Bloggers and Social Media Users as Personal Information Processors

´Bloggers and Social Media Users Obligation to Respect and Accountability on the Privacy of Others

´Bloggers and Social Media Users on Hacking, Anonymous Comments and Publishing

´Libel issues concerning bloggers and social media users

´Copyright Issues vs. Online Content

Bloggers are, like it or not, part of the world at large. They are not immune from political and societal forces. Neither are they exempt from the norms which govern ordinary human relations. Shouldn’t bloggers abide by the same high standards to which they hold others?  You are who you appear to be. Bloggers should do their best to rely on accountable sources. If those sources were/are not accurate, admit it. Disagree without being disagreeable. I believe in always staying on the higher ground without resulting to name calling. If it is incendiary, don’t post it. Respect the privacy of the people you write about especially their personal information. Just because personal information is in the public domain, there is no implication much less a grant of consent to process such publicly available data.

Though I believe in dissenting views, I enforce a commentary policy where “I reserve the right to remove comments, words or phrases that are defamatory, abusive, incite hatred and advertise an email address or commercial services or just plain spammy. I also reserve the right to remove posts that to my opinion are off-topic, irrelevant, ad-hominem, personal attacks and or just plain rude.”

Serious thoughts on blogging

My daughter was tagged by fellow blogger, Tonyo Cruz a few months ago. Allow me to share her thoughts on blogging.

As with anything in life, it’s important for bloggers to be able to answer (or at least give serious thought to) these questions:

1. Why am I doing this?
2. What ideas or values do I stand for?

philippine bloggers

I started blogging as a way to connect with people, and to share what I thought were my unique insights into dating, fashion, and being a fiercely independent woman in the world. In that respect, I’ve been rather successful. I may never have had a million pageviews, but I met some really amazing people I would have never otherwise encountered. Many of them are still very good friends to this day (and as you know, good friends are hard to find!).

But I stopped blogging when I lost my focus. At some point, blogging became less about the community and became this aspirational, commercial activity. There is nothing wrong with wanting to project an ideal self into the internet or desiring some form of compensation for your work (and blogging IS hard work). But this was not what I wanted for myself. This fake, aspirational self that I was presenting is not what I want to bring to the world. And at the time that I stopped blogging, I had no clue who I was or what I stood for. I had no business foisting my half-baked ideas onto an audience until I was sure about what I had to say.

I have no opinions over the latest blogging drama in the Philippines because I really don’t know much about what’s going on. But I do know that anyone with a platform and a voice has a responsibility to their readers, to the blogging community, to the brands they work with, and to the rest of the world. As a public personality, your words and actions carry more weight than you realize. Like it or not, you have to be your best self. You owe it to your brand partners to be a good representative who embodies their values. You owe it to your readers to be some sort of role model for them.

Otherwise, all you are creating is a lot of empty, self-serving noise. The world doesn’t need any more of that.

This is why reasons I stopped, too: being a role model was too much pressure. Being a “personal brand” felt dehumanizing. I didn’t want to live up to some aspirational ideal in exchange for freebies and a few sponsored posts. I just wanted to be me, away from the eyes of strangers.
So really, if you have a blog or are some sort of influential Internet personality, you would do yourself and everyone a huge service with a bit of self-reflection. Why are you here? Why are you doing this? What ideas or values do you stand for?
I’m still figuring these out for myself.

On a National Bloggers Association

While I do agree with a collective set of ethical standards for bloggers , I am not convinced on the establishment of a national blogging organization. Bloggers are so diverse and may not want to belong to one big group for one reason or another. A blogger told me “if bloggers in the Philippines feel that this is necessary given the circumstances (i.e. for political bloggers to differentiate themselves from rabid Duterte supporters), then by all means they should. However, a national blogging association is not something I want to be a formal member of, nor would I want it to define my identity as a (semi-retired?) blogger.” She added that “just because you have a blog, and I have a blog, doesn’t mean we stand for the same things. I would not want to be part of some organization and be loosely associated with anyone who held very divergent political and moral beliefs from mine”

Before the establishment of an organization, a set of ethical standards should first be deliberated and agreed upon in a conference or summit, then the rest can follow.

It is good to have guidelines and let’s start from there.

Updated  August 7, 2017: I first wrote this last May . I  updated this blog post to add the media accreditation for the ASEAN 50th anniversary celebration 

Some of you have probably noticed I’ve been tweeting a lot about ASEAN 2017 since January this year. It is part of my work as senior consultant for the Committee on Media Affairs and Strategic Communications, led by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). Finally, the first big event , the ASEAN 30th Summit and Related Meetings finally happened. This is it!

Before I write about my views on the statements released by ASEAN , let me share my experience covering the summit.

asean 30th summit

Read my other articles on ASEAN:

ASEAN beyond 50: What does the future hold for the youth?

“This is our future” – the school children at the ASEAN School Tour

Opportunities and challenges of women in the ASEAN

10 opportunities and benefits for the citizens in ASEAN

Opportunities for your children in the ASEAN

Sharing my social media experience at the 1st ASEAN Social Media Strategy Meeting

The Philippines as ASEAN Chair: Six thematic priorities

The ASEAN community 2025 vision: What is in it for me?

ASEAN, a region of opportunities for the citizens 

It’s my first time as a blogger  to cover an international event. I applied for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting held on 18–19 November 2015 in Manila but it was revoked at the last minute.  Don’t look at me.

Asean information booth

This time around, bloggers got accredited to cover the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 30th Summit. The thing is, I could not cover the meetings just like the rest of the media due to security reasons and also because we were more than 1,400 . There was an information channel, email blast , international broadcast center, and press releases . Nothing beats being right there at  an event and I will get to that experience in a bit.

Media Accreditation

Like the past media accreditation for ASEAN , I had to sign up at the website. The registration is buggy. I had to repeat the process all over again and then I get this duplicate record

As to the agency I represent, I put Blog Watch and wrote a letter of request which I needed to be attached in the form. Within 24 hours, I received a confirmation.

READ MORE: Jane’s post on What is all this ado about bloggers at #ASEAN2017?

READ MORE: Sonnie’s post on recent media accreditation of bloggers and other issues.

READ MORE: Juned’s post Asean and Social Media Coverage

The International Media Center

The International Media Center was something new for me.

Main Briefing Room.

Bloggers (Left to right) Jane , Tess Termulo and Marvin Germo

Fortunately, those without laptops had desktops for their use at the main briefing room.  Each table had a charging station for our gadgets.

asean 30th summit

Bloggers at the main briefing room at the ASEAN 30th Summit (Left to right): Ace Gapuz, Sonnie Santos, Mark Macanas, Tess Termulo and Jane Uymatiao

The social media lounge was for everyone to use , especially for those that didn’t bring their laptops…or when their laptops died from overuse.

Social media corner

It was the place to chit-chat, sip coffee  and socialize as the main briefing room is meant for writing in peace and quiet.

READ : Notes on ASEAN Summit 2017, Part I: My Personal Story

bloggers at the social media lounge

The  RFID card was or the Radio-Frequency IDentification is so cool. I think everyone stopped to get their photo taken. Awesome, isn’t it?

The social media coverage

One needed to sign up at the Information desk for Pool Coverage . I was fortunate to get a slot to take photos till the Opening statement of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting .

A van took the photographers and social media practitioners like myself from the Pool Waiting area to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).  The thing is I don’t carry huge gadgets like those professional DSLR and a step ladder so I am told to step back to give way to them.

This is why my photo of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers is not taken from the center. Hmm, maybe I should bring my humongous DSLR next time just so I get a better view.

The iPhone7 Plus has an excellent  zoom feature so I managed to get a shot of Acting Foreign Secretary Manalo in his Opening Statement.

The ASEAN foreign ministers released a statement shortly after their meeting.

“ASEAN is mindful that instability in the Korean Peninsula seriously impacts the region and beyond.”

What a strong statement but silent on China?

There was limited media slots for the Opening Ceremony but if I got an invitation , I could cover it. As a guest of the the Opening Ceremony of the ASEAN 30th Summit, one needed an invitation. I was lucky to get an invite just the night before April 29 from my friends at PCOO .

A shuttle  brought us to the International Media Center to PICC.

Yes, it felt like a fiesta with all the dancers at the lobby.

Everyone had to be inside the PICC by 9:00 AM even if the Opening Ceremony would start  at 10:30 AM.  I understand all these security precautions for the sake of our  10 Asean leaders and even for us, the audience.

I was early enough because the shuttle took me there around 7:30 AM.

The President then delivered his Opening Statement where he emphasized the importance of unity, solidarity, and cooperation among the ASEAN member states.

What stood out is that ASEAN leaders be resolute in achieving a drug-free ASEAN which I hope puts an end to killings and that the drug lords are caught  and charged.

Before the family photo was taken, the ASEAN spirit was sung accompanied by a beautiful dance number. I took this live on facebook and a lot of viewers enjoyed the scene. With my left hand on my iPhone taking the video , I used my right hand to take photos. Notice the shakiness of my live video. It still got a modest number of hits .

This is such a historical moment for me, seeing all the 10 ASEAN leaders.

The ASEAN family photo

The Opening ceremony was pretty  quick but I still had to wait for the press conference by President Duterte . It is my first press conference with a President . Only 150 who signed up got access.

The press conference schedule was  at 7:10 PM but by 5:00 PM, we were brought to the PICC holding area. One line was formed for reporters while the other line for photographers and videographers before we could walk out towards the PICC Meeting room.

The bloggers got a good position just a row behind the seats assigned to the government officials.

The President arrived late , and was probably tired but he mustered to say in jest, “Anak ka ng… Kung ganito lang ang summit, kanselado na ‘yung sa November (If summits are like this, then let’s just cancel the one in November)”

The President then  read a prepared statement but he seemed eager  for the questions from the media. He appeared to be in high spirits with the press that  Saturday night, “even joking that the media should have been invited to the gala dinner with ASEAN leaders and other dignitaries.”

Here is a video of the press conference:

His guests at the Gala dinner were waiting for him so he cut short his press conference . We only had 30 minutes. He had already left the podium but went back to announce that women can have their photos taken with him.

“I am not trying to be a show-off, but I’ve noticed that after every conference, a lot of mostly women would want to have a picture with me. Women, come up and we’ll have the pictures”

I thought he was kidding.  Of course, I wanted a photo with the President. For Prosperity’s sake just as I had the chance with four past Philippine presidents. (The next day , I was surprised our selfies  got featured on page 4 of the Philippine Inquirer)

Lastly ,  not all media got the same giveaways and bag . An Inquirer reporter made such a big deal out of it.   There was another bag distributed to “others” and no phone was in it. Instead, a USB charging/power port was in the bag along with a  notebook and pen, dried mangoes, utility bag and a bamboo speaker. PCOO explains the giveaways in a press statement.

I will write a commentary   about the issues raised at the ASEAN 30th Summit

  1. Why was ASEAN silent about the “the subject of China’s  reclamation activities and military build up in the disputed South China Sea”? (Update: Our Blogwatch article on the South China Sea)
  2.  The Chairman’s statement 30th ASEAN Summit .
  3. The budget for the Philippine hosting.

The controversial  issues left behind by the ASEAN summit  are disappointing but, I must say the Philippine hosting is a success. No major security threat while the delegates and leaders were in our country. The small successes of Asean  include the Philippines and Indonesia allowing a roll-on, roll-off (Roro) vessel route from Davao to General Santos then to Bitung, Indonesia, which cuts the trip from two to three weeks to one or two days. There is much room for improvement in the media access especially for bloggers . But let’s take a look at the last two paragraphs of the President’s opening speech  that look at the positives.

Let us remember: ASEAN has a compelling narrative of positive change [that] we can hold up to the world. Through our distinct ASEAN way, our region – with all its promise – stands at the center of the future of the Asia-Pacific region.

Let us with brave hearts and firm mind resolve to do all we can to make all our aspirations a reality. [This] will be the lasting legacy of ASEAN not just for our peoples but for the whole world.

Each one of us play a part in the vision of ASEAN.

Covering the 50th anniversary celebration

Moms engage online and influence other moms. Nearly 91% of moms use social media regularly and spend twice as much time online as the rest of the population.

That’s the US stats on moms using social media in the USA four years ago. I am sure the number of Filipino moms who use of social media has increased. It’s no wonder more brands are turning to influencers like moms to promote their product or service. Moms rely on the online recommendations of other moms, and most of their purchases were influenced by information on social media sites. I know because even if I am a blogger, I turn to my online friends’ recommendation or reviews whenever I need to buy a product or use a service.

I am happy that there is now a network of moms that can share such information to other mommies.

momfluence network

Janice Villanueva , of  the mover behind the MOMFLUENCE network, gathered a group of mommy bloggers for brunch last week to celebrate the launch. It was so amazing to see old and new mommy bloggers.

momfluence network

Mommy Mundo says all  moms are “influencers”, not only with our children and families but outside of our homes .  Moms’ influence are felt  even in the school, community, and to the larger community, our beloved country.

Purposeful influence is the mantra of the MOMFLUENCE network and it was symbolized during the launch through candles, books and flowers.

momfluence network

Candles- Purposeful influence allows a Momfluencer to be seen as a guiding light. They are not afraid to shed light to certain info that they share online. they are instruments of guidance and knowledge—he;ping their followers being enlighten being enlightened individuals. Also, purposeful influence allows momflueners to touch a lot o readers’ lives. Through the inspiration and relatability they openly give.

Books- Purposeful influence is giving the right and TRUTHFUL information that their readers/followers deserve. In a time of social media, where things can be fake , too curated or too biased, influencers part of Momfluencers make sure the info they put out off and online are based on facts, experience and everything in between.

Plants and Watering cans-
Purposeful influence is  all about giving and helping others grow. Not just the momfluencers’ children but also their audience/reach. The power that their words have over others is used not to sway them to create biases but to allow their readers/followers to pen their eyes and make opinions for themselves. To help them in holistic growth by sharing a part of their lives to their followers.

That is just beautiful and something I believe in as well.

momfluence network

As you can see, brands eagerly supported the MOMFLUENCE network. I do hope that these brands recognize not only the influence of millennial moms (born between 1978 and 1994) but also the growing circle of Mom influencers and advocates who no longer have young kids.

Jane explained about this group of Moms, “social media savvy, still involved with our families, wiser (we would like to think) after many successes and failures during our parenting years. We have survived the schooling years of our kids, even going as far as sleepless nights helping them with exam preparations, homework and projects. We graduated from tutoring as our kids graduated from school. We saw them through struggles to find employment on their own. We have been there through their heartbreaks and relationships. We have worried over them as they traveled to foreign lands. We have prayed each day for their protection as they drive off to work. And we remain a presence for them even if some of them have already left the ““nest” to settle somewhere else.”

momfluence network

I hope digital advertisers understand the advocacies I support. I am not a political blogger. I am an advocate. As a mom blogger, I cannot isolate myself from the larger society. Yes, I may seem controversial at times but I do this to advocate social change.

My concern is to nurture both my family and community. Dealing with politics is incidental. Sometimes when you want change, the best way to attain is to through political means. But politics is not an end in itself but merely a means to an end. I use social media to drive an advocacy, to push for social good.

Mommy Mundo appreciates how moms influence our followers in their own unique ways. I am looking forward to working closely with the MOMFLUENCE network in their campaigns and advocacies.

momfluence network

Photo via Jane U. Some rights reserved


MOMFLUENCE is a network of accredited select mom blogs, social media and influencer personalities, made up of credible, dependable source of information and support for moms, dads, and families. It is founded by 

I still remember those sleepless nights filled with anxiety whenever one of my kids fell ill. This particular child was often sick every month. Driving to the Emergency room at least once a month was routine already.

sick kid in hospital

Getting hospitalized is another thing. On one occasion, my toddler got struck with broncho-pneumonia which I knew to be deadly even during those days. Fortunately she got well and we were so grateful to the doctors and the hospital. Though we were happy at her recovery, the bill of 25,000 pesos in 1989 was more than our monthly income. Borrowing money from relatives was our only option to pay the hospital.

sick kid in hospital 1

My husband was not yet a lawyer and our source of income was his part time job. To give you perspective, he was only earning 5,000 a month while I had a monthly income of at least 2,000. I resolved to get coverage from a Health Maintenance organization (HMO) for the family instead of a college plan. It’s been over 25 years now and it has served us well.

QualiMed queue

Not everyone has an HMO plan unless one gets these benefits from an employer. I am always in the lookout for an affordable HMO. Twenty five years later, my HMO is charging me 15,000 pesos a quarter. I guess as one gets older, the premium gets higher.

Enter QualiMed, offering affordable healthcare services for all. It is not a full-pledged HMO at this point but it can tie up with your HMO.

qualiMed affordable health care

When I received the mommy blogger invite, I was impressed that QualiMed is a network of healthcare facilities owned and operated by Mercado General Hospital, Inc. (MGHI) in partnership with Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI). Dr. Edwin Mercado, is a close friend of my brother-in-law, a surgeon and my sister, a dermatologist. Even before QualiMed, Dr. Mercado was already serving affordable health care in their hospital in Tanuan, Batangas. I can tell you with confidence that you are in good hands with QualiMed only because I know the doctors behind this.

qualimed edwin mendoza

The first question that comes to mind is …Eh Ayala kayo, di mahal kayo? . I guess that is the first impression but what comes to my mind is quality service. There is a promise of “Integrated care delivery with strong focus on primary care”. With “Alagang Abot-Kaya” as brand promise, the healthcare facilities are intended to cater to the needs of the broad C market. QualiMed Health Network is devoted to fulfilling a commitment to 3As – Accessibility (ease of financial and physical access), Affordability (price predictability and competitiveness), and Appropriateness (quality service and genuine care).

qualiMed event

Mommy bloggers got to tour the main QualiMed healthcare facility along Taft Avenue (formerly University Physicians Medical Center) which has the capabilities and services ranging from a multi-specialty medical clinic, an ambulatory or day surgery center, to a full-service general hospital. It is quite impressive.

ct scan

Lorna Lardizabal-Dietz , my balikbayan sister already used the laboratory facilities in the main clinic along Taft Avenue in her two visits to the country. She says “state-of-the-arts services with great customer service and affordable rates.” As a happy customer , she availed of these services: CT scan, mammography, 2D echo, opthalmology exam, complete laboratory workup, colonoscopy, EKG and visited endocrinologist for her diabetes. I am planning to use their digital mammography service since they have a promo price of 999 pesos till mid-June. Dr. Mercado told me that this is less painful than the usual mammography.


Each hospital or clinic under QualiMed is strategically located in mixed-use developments that have commercial, office, and residential areas, making QualiMed services physically accessible to all.

There are plans to develop an HMO plan starting at 250 to 300 a month which I believe is affordable. PhilHealth only pays for hospital benefits. The key to good health is preventive health care. Filipinos need this accessibility . QualiMed’s advocacy of providing affordable healthcare services for all, is attained by a well-established procurement system and operational efficiencies. Every Filipino – regardless of socioeconomic status – deserves access to quality healthcare whenever and wherever a need arises. Prices are 30-40% lower than the market.

chest x ray

I am confident that the QualiMed healthcare services are provided by a competent medical team. My sister who practices dermatology has clinic here too. Dr. Mercado told me doctors are governed by clinical practice guidelines, duly credentialed by MGHI’s Office for Quality and Safety, and evaluated using performance metrics focused on output and patient outcomes.

laboratory at qualiMed

Because of these, patients can expect to receive only the appropriate procedures and diagnostics corresponding to what they actually need. Here are the rates at their Trinoma Health clinic . Just click image to view the bigger file.

TriNoma Services Price List for Doctors_front

TriNoma Services Price List for Doctors_back
Click image for a bigger file

The health network’s operational facilities are QualiMed Manila (Taft Avenue, Manila), Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center (Tanauan, Batangas), and QualiMed Clinic in TriNoma (North Avenue, Quezon City). More facilities will open in various locations around the country. These are QualiMed Clinic in Fairview Terraces in Novaliches, Quezon City (opening in 3Q 2014), QualiMed Hospital in Sta. Rosa, Laguna (opening in 4Q 2015), QualiMed Hospital in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan (opening in 4Q 2015) and QualiMed Hospital in Iloilo (opening in 3Q 2014). QualiMed Hospital in Iloilo is a women and children’s center. You can visit their facebook page at or twitter and instagram account : @QualiMedPH.

More about QualiMed

MGHI is the parent company behind QualiMed Manila (formerly University Physicians Medical Center), the only advanced multi-specialty outpatient diagnostic and surgical center in Taft Avenue, Manila. MGHI also owns and operates the Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center (DMMC), a tertiary hospital in Tanauan, Batangas, recognized as a Center of Excellence by PhilHealth. MGHI also founded the DMMC Institute of Health Sciences (DMMC-IHS), a tertiary healthcare education institution, which also houses the Newborn Screening Reference Center for Southern Luzon.

ALI is the real estate arm of Ayala Corporation, one of the largest and most respected business houses in the Philippines. With its promise of “Enhancing Land, Enriching Lives for More People”, Ayala Land has a legacy of building large-scale, fully-integrated, mixed use communities that are sustainable and increase in value over time. Ayala Land’s product lines range from residential, malls, offices, hotels and resorts to new product lines such as convenience stores, supermarkets, and department stores.

ALI’s partnership with MGHI is its first healthcare venture. This would further complete and enhance the experience in ALI’s mixed-use communities. You can visit their facebook page at or twitter and instagram account : @QualiMedPH.


senate hearing cybercrime bills

I was not supposed to be one of the resource persons at the Senate Hearing on the Cybercrime bills but I had to tell my story because no one else have shown an actual threat on cyber-libel.  I promised to make it a one-minute speech. Due to time constraints, I was not able to say everything I wanted to say so here it is:

I am Noemi Lardizabal-Dado otherwise known as mom blogger in social media. I have been online since 1995 with my children. My kids taught me to be the tech-savvy mom I am today. In 1996, as internet safety head of a  global fun site for children , I soon drafted the 10 golden rules on online safety for young kids. In 1996, there were less than 12,000 internet users in the Philippines. It wasn’t cool for a kid to be online during those days so I kept watch over my children . I continue to do so 19 years later, but this time watching  over the children of my friends by using social media for social good.

In the mid-90s, my children were using PCs but the kids these days use mobile platforms. “Almost everyone is now connected online. You can find bloggers younger than 10 years old. They are on social networking sites as well. Social media has become the new conversation platform,” as my friend Jane Uymatiao writes in “A Parent Worries over the Anti-Cybercrime Law

senate hearing on cyberlibel 1The  Generation C or connected citizen is not only web-savvy but opinionated. “The kids of today are very outspoken and candid”  more candid than I ever was as a teenager. Jane adds “that libel can be relative, depending on whether the party offended is thin-skinned or not. One person may take offense at something written while another may just shrug it off. Now comes this law.”

The youth talk of fashion, music, books and many other things and at times get frustrated at products and services.  Most of these kids turn online to talk or rant to their peers .

I am here to present an actual case of a libel threat.

This happened to a young writer  in a piece she wrote about a clothing store. As an editor of an online media site, I received a letter from the lawyer of this clothing store and threatened to sue me if I did not remove the offending paragraph.  The last part of the demand letter ends with this:

“your failure and or refusal to comply with the afore-mentioned demands will constrain us to institute the necessary civil and criminal  suit against you in order to protect our client’s interest”

Imagine the look of dismay of the young writer when I informed her that she had to remove that paragraph. In my opinion, the paragraph was not malicious. It was a statement of a fact , found all over the internet. As you can see, truth is not a defense. There were other conditions, that I had to issue an apology.  The young writer was visibly upset and traumatized by this experience.

Why was I singled out among the other bloggers? Was it because I was more identifiable than others.  Other blog posts used screen names or were anonymous.

Can you imagine a young child being told by a parent that she/he might have committed libel? Our kids are outspoken but they are good kids. Just imagine if any of our kids was slapped with a libel charge. What if that was your kid? A kid of your friend? What an injustice!

We pave the way for our children  to be future leaders by nurturing them in body, mind and spirit including their online lives.  I agree with my fellow mom  that “the controversial provisions of this law only serve to sow oppressive fear instead of constructive formation.”

I ask that the cyber libel provision be repealed as well as the rest of the cybercrime prevention act.

at the senate hearing

Photo of the Senate Hearing by Arpee Lazaro. Used with permission. Some rights reserved.


 Originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles.

“Most bloggers who rise above the clutter are quite often prolific . They work hard, not just writing content but networking, engaging in Social Media and more.” Darren Rowse,

Let’s face it . Social Media is pretty much a part of our lives. Whether one is young or prime time like me, those social media tools catch up on us. Don’t you find yourselves speaking social media lingo without even knowing it at times? After a photo shoot, you can hear your friend say “tag me in facebook, okay?”. Soon it will be “google plus” me later.

There is nothing like bringing one’s online community offline. This is what we did for Blog Watch , our citizen journalism community. Social Media day was last June 30 and we completely forgot to make plans for the day. Well, it is never too late to celebrate it and make plans for the future.

Blog Watch has been around since September 2009, almost two years now . We are slowly making our mark in digital activism and it is about time to expand our coverage and reach out to more netizens .

I barely write about it in this blog since the time my presidential candidate lost. You will recall Blog Watch introduced live streaming in its citizen media coverage . We were the first to use curation tools such as to gather news from different social media sources.

  1. Interviewed seven (7) presidential candidates in the May 10, 2010 elections
  2. Interviewed some senatorial candidates, congressional candidates and a few local candidates
  3. Covered the first Inaugural of President Aquino, first media coverage of the Aquino administration
  4. Stories that traditional media picked up from our twitter timeline and that first broke off in Twitter

There are many lessons and quotes in social media I learned in the last two years especially in Twitter. Starting out with only 500 followers in September 2009, I now have 7100 plus followers because they wanted to hear about news not found in tri-media. Compared to big media networks and celebrities, the number is a drop in the bucket. The numbers do not matter. Let me tell you how it is.

1. Influence is not about popularity.

2. It is not the number of followers or fans that matters. Think about what to achieve with and through the community who cares about your goals.

3. “Facebook is for people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know.” Author Unknown

4. Find the key issues that concern your audience and this will easily get them to be engaged with you. “You are what you tweet.” – Alex Tew

5. Credibility is all you’ve got. Be consistent and fair.
Nils Montan says “ATA be AUTHENCTIC, be TRANSPARENT, be ALTRUISTIC, and you will find enough success in Social Media to have a satisfying career and experience.”

6. “Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” Jay Baer
Be conversational, engaged and true to yourself.

7. “Build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay”. Seth Godin

It is great to be in a community composed of people with diverse interests yet share a love of country , and trying to make President Aquino’s administration succeed. Social media is just a tool we use to achieve this.

“Live to Love and Love to Live! Relationship is everything in the Social Media world”

big-bad-bloggerThe topic is still a burning issue. The Big Bad Blogger and the evil PR brouhaha is still making waves in the Philippine blogosphere. I am always asked, “who do you think is big bad blogger?” or “is there really a big bad blogger?” I am aware there are a lot of bloggers with various interest, business model and purpose. I may not agree with all the time but I have yet to hear or encounter allegations of “extortion”. The accusations are downright unfair. In fact the the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) issued a statement on
“In the Interest of Philippine Blogosphere”

(This is an industry response to Marguax Salcedo’s column dated 23 Jan 2011 in Sunday Inquirer Magazine, where she hinted at unethical behavior by a blogger and a PR agency

Please-Dont-Give-Blogging-a-Bad-Name IMMAP recognizes the value that blog marketing brings to the success of building brands in the digital space. Bloggers themselves are publishers of their own personal websites, and as such are entitled to embrace opportunities to monetize their online presences.

We also recognize the fact that digital PR agencies, which help clients manage their online reputation, often engage bloggers for word-of-mouth promotion.

We understand that blogging as a credible medium can only grow if there is transparency and accountability by all parties — clients, agencies, and writers. It is in the public’s best interest to know if a write-up is affected by a potential conflict of interest.

Our biggest concern with Ms. Salcedo’s article is that it was essentially a blind item. Speculation (amplified by social media) only casts doubt on all bloggers and all PR agencies, which doesn’t help anyone. However, if the insinuations are true, then such behavior — essentially blackmailing a potential client with the threat of a negative review — is unacceptable as a marketing services practice. This is something IMMAP frowns upon as it diminishes the credibility of the medium. We also believe that such behavior is limited to a few black hat practitioners and not representative of the Philippine Blogosphere.

We hope that at some point Ms. Salcedo will clarify the issue and disclose the names of the client, blogger, and PR agency involved so the matter can be brought to the proper light. We at IMMAP are always open if Ms. Salcedo wishes us to mediate between the parties concerned during this discussion.

To help strengthen the credibility of the majority of the Philippine Blogosphere, IMMAP recommends the with the ability to safeguard its practitioners. We would be more than happy to be of assistance in the formation of this organization. In doing so, we can table the interest of the Philippine Blogosphere in the broader digital conversations in the industry.

For our part, IMMAP is currently updating its 2007 Code of Ethics with updated guidelines for digital advertising and social media. We’re looking forward to having a dialogue with representatives of the Philippine Blogosphere immediately to assist in the establishment and ratification of relevant ethical standards.

The statement hits it right on the part where doubts have been created if names are not mentioned or brought forth to the right forum. While I do agree with a collective set of ethical standards for bloggers , I am not convinced on the establishment of a national blogging organization. Bloggers are so diverse and may not want to belong to one big group for one reason or another.

Before the establishment of an organization, a set of ethical standards should first be deliberated and agreed upon in a conference or summit, then the rest can follow.

It is good to have guidelines and let’s start from there.
Read More →

IMG_6634I wear many hats literally. With the summer heat, the hat protects me from direct sunlight or else I suffer migraines. My favorite is this light and summery straw fedora as it often gives my outfit a summery and sexy feel. I like how I look with my hats. Wearing many hats give diversity in my look. I guess I can say the same about wearing many hats as in having many responsibilities. With each change of hat I am a different person.

The past months, I have had to wear many hats. No longer was I just your ordinary mom blogger, I learned to go out of my comfort zone, learn everything I can about the elections and political issues. I looked forward to the day elections will be over and done with. I told myself that I just want to live my pre-Blog Watch laid-back lifestyle. No hectic schedules. No late nights writing articles. The past events made me rethink that position because I feel that I have gotten so involved with citizen’s watch.

IMG_6635Not only am I in citizen’s watch, I wear another hat as features editor of the Philippine Online Chronicles. I love my work. Listening to the story pitches of my editors every month is something to look forward to. I learn something new every time I read articles whether in Health & fitness, Sports, Technology, Movie Reviews , etc.

Then I wear another hat at home, as a loving wife and friend to my darling husband, and another hat to my two girls who are often too busy to talk to mommy. I’ve been so remiss with my homemaker’s hat. I am grateful that I have a trusted helpers who can execute my “things to do” for the day. I will wear this hat more often now , at least for the next few weeks. The dry grass in the garden needs to be attended to. The kitchen cabinet needs to be reorganized with the new appliances I just bought. The tons of books lingering with dust needs to be hauled off to someone who will actually read it. Junk , junk everywhere needs to be thrown out.

I’ve done my share to help this country. It’s time I attend to home sweet home. Oh yes, I will wear this hat for now.