Our children are our most cherished possession. In their early years we must make sure they get a healthy start in life – President Gloria Arroyo, SONA 2009

It is 1984 and the Marcos regime is getting shakier as Anti-Marcos rallies are all over the place. This was my conversation with my then boyfriend (now husband)

Me: Do you plan to marry me? if you have no plans, then I am leaving for the United States to be with my sisters and start a new life there.

The Boyfriend (now husband): Yes, I will marry you next year. (of course he got pressured).

I felt like leaving the country then because the peso-dollar exchange rate dropped drastically. I wanted to be with my sisters.

No, this is not a love story.

See, I got married at the time when the political situation was so unstable. Was there a future for me and my husband? When People Power removed the dictatorship, I was ecstatic. I felt the future seemed promising for my children. My sister sent me immigration papers in 1987 and wanted me to move to the USA with my family. I declined. I wanted my children to stay here and work for the future of their country

Twenty three years later, I am still hoping. Nothing much has changed. Okay fine, we have freedom of speech which we didn’t have during Martial Law. I still love my country. I care about my children who will inherit the country’s future.

I want to do my share for the country through my blog.

The decision to blog about presidentiables started as far back as last year. I always feel stumped whenever I get invited to meet the ““presidentiables”. These politicians don’t impose a definite agenda for these blogger meetings except perhaps to be known to our community or searchable in online media. I have talked to the likes of Senator Manny Villar, Senator Mar Roxas, Mayor Binay, Bayani Fernando, Erap, Loren Legarda but that was a few months back. Philippine politics is never set in stone.

As luck would have it, an invitation from Philippine Center for Journalism (PCIJ) for a training seminar on ““Covering Elections in the Era of Internet and Automation” provided me with a framework to cover the Elections 2010 with more focus.

I still felt my blog cannot possibly convey the lessons learned at the PCIJ training. It needed a wider coverage. A blogger portal seemed like an ideal strategy.

Luck must be on my side. Is that a good sign?

In one of my meetings with Vibal Foundation’s Philippine Online Chronicles, Tin Mandigma thought of a citizen’s journalism portal for their site.

I asked her “a bloggers’ portal is what I want!” And just like that, Vibal Foundation provided us with the support and logistics for this bloggers 2010 Election Coverage Project.

So yes, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, I want to do something for our children’s future. Bloggers complement traditional media by covering the underplayed stories of platforms and voters education. The better the caliber of media coverage, we are helping build credibility in the result of the election.

I will talk more of this new project during the formal launch on November 24 and our site design is not final yet.

In the meantime, you can already get a sneak preview blogwatch.ph where we focus on Voters Education, Automated Elections, Commentaries and Features on Platforms and Issues.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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