What an incredible journey!

Today, I celebrate 10 years of blogging but 10 years ago there was nothing to celebrate. I was wallowing in a pit of unspeakable grief .

I lost my precious son 16 years ago. I don’t know how I survived , but I managed somehow because here I am, blogging about the resolution of my grief journey. Before I started blogging,  I was literally drowning in sorrow.  Reading blog posts about parents who lost a child helped me cope but they were mainly based in the US. I could not find anyone who wrote about grief in the Philippines. I wanted to share my story and possibly offer hope that there is a new normal after the loss of a child.  Losing a child is the ultimate tragedy that can ever happen to a parent. My whole world collapsed on the day my son died. To even describe the pain is not possible. The pain is gut-wrenching and indescribable.

luijoe my angel

Losing a son felt like the end of the world to me . I wanted to die along with him but I had to remember that I still had two children and a husband to look after. I knew I had to transform my pain to something that will help not only myself but everyone around me. One night as I sat down on my couch (yes that is the same couch below), I found out there was no use making sense of my son’s death but there is hope in making sense of my life. I pondered “What can I do about it now?”  “How can I help?” or “How do I pick up the pieces and go on living as meaningful as possible?” The answer was getting out of my comfort zone by helping others like myself.


On February 24, 2006, I launched aboutmyrecovery.com and wrote my first post “I chose joy over sadness. It is said that grief is inevitable but misery is optional. I realized that it did no good to sit in my misery pit. It did no good for the loss of my son to lead to the loss of two. What does do good is doing good. I decided to lead the second part of my life differently and better than I would have imagined …in the name of my son, Luijoe. I know that as I reach out to bereaved parents , the world is changed in some small way for the better, and then the actions taken become my living tribute to my son.  And then Luijoe is never entirely gone.”

touched by an Angel

I am bringing back the original logo of this blog to celebrate 10 years of blogging. Speaking of celebration, I don’t have a blog giveaway but instead I want to share 10 things I learned in the past 10 years of blogging.

1. When you write about yourself, it’s never just yourself.

socially conscious mom bloggerWriting is a work in progress. I am still learning. I used to ask myself , “who would ever read my depressing posts?”.  I found out the story is not really about my pain. It was what my readers could relate to.  Each of us have lost someone in our lives. My blog was just a vehicle. Who am I  anyway? Why should my life be so interesting to readers? It could be interesting only up to a certain point. There’s got to be a point when it is no longer talking about myself. Or even when I am there are points others can relate to .

2. A new normal after losing a loved one is possible. Being a blogger is my new normal.

Touched by an Angel in e-book format

When I look back at my grief journey, the turning point came when I became a blogger. It must have been my angel that touched me that one night.

That is why I chose to call my blog, “Touched by an Angel”.

Looking at my first post in 2006, I merely wanted to give hope to parents, siblings and grandparents that there is a new normal after a loss of a child. I did not realize that I  would be touched by my own blog. Being a blogger is my new normal.  Sharing the changes in my new normal after the death of a child is one way of reaching out to others. I offer hope that life can still continue on despite the pain and that pain is a wonderful teacher. Never in my wildest dream did it occur to me that this new life without my son would open doors to an even more meaningful life.

3.  Develop a thick skin and stay focused on my blog goals.

criticisms-quoteI am into blogging for many reasons like all bloggers have their own reasons. I am in it for the long haul. Yes, I can be opinionated but it’s all part of being a blogger. I make a stand whether it is popular or not. My entries may have hurt a few bloggers and readers. I apologize (when given the opportunity) when feelings are hurt but it doesn’t mean I don’t stand by my entries.  Bloggers should not just know the technical side of blogging. One must be able to stay on track, stay committed and hopefully stay sane. Reality is, not everyone will like you. The more high profile you are, the more the criticisms. The more successful you are, the more some people will want to see you fail. One tip I learned from my favorite blogger is to  develop a thick skin.

4. Criticisms helped me become a better blogger.

criticismsIt was the year 2007 when I received a lot of criticisms . I guess it was because I was so new in blogging and made mistakes. Oh those hurtful comments inspired me to prove that I will be better. Instead of focusing on the mean comments, I worked doubly hard to improve on my blogging style.  I often tell myself, “you have experienced the worst pain. You will get through this.” As a blogger mentor said, “Don’t let them beat you down. Stay focused and clear headed. If you purposely inspire negative reactions, then run with it. Enjoy getting what you asked for. If you don’t and get smacked, think it through, respond with care, and keep on blogging.”

In my early days of blogging, I received a comment that I was a “trying hard blogger”.

My reply:

Yes, you are right. I am trying hard to be a better blogger. Thanks for reminding me.

5. You are essentially what you write and will be judged accordingly by your readers.


Many years ago, a blogger once opined that I don’t have credibility but do I care? No, because that blogger is not in my community. The blogger’s perception on my questionable credibility is real for that blogger. I may not be credible to that blogger but my community of readers think I am. Why do you think they want to read my blog? Why do they subscribe to my feed? Why do they follow me?

The basic equation is really:

Perceived Trustworthiness + Perceived Expertise = Perceived Credibility

6. Embrace change . 

mom-blogger-Blogging has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Social media networks started to evolve in 2007.  I am known as @momblogger in twitter. As one of the early adopters of any new thing that explodes online, I got hold of my monicker when twitter became popular in 2007.  My readers are more likely to follow my blog  posts on social media – clicking through to my links when I post them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. From this original blog (aboutmyrecovery.com), I have three other blogs : pinoyfoodblog.com (recipes), techiegadgets.com, beautyoverfifty.net (lifestyle) and a lot of social networks often known as “momblogger”.

7. “Personal branding is very powerful because it sends a clear, consistent message about who you are and what you have to offer.”

mom_blogger-1I had no idea about personal branding nor did I want to dominate a niche on mom bloggers. I simply wanted to be called “mom blogger” as an alternative name so the younger bloggers will stop calling me “ma’am”. @momblogger was simply more acceptable.  I discovered that my life as  “momblogger” encompassed not just being a mom and a blogger. I nurture both my family and community.    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.

8. Popularity is not the same as influence.


One commands attention ; the other inspires action. Brands dictate too much on their own agenda but do they really care about mothers’ needs? Have they been communicating with moms effectively? The Social Mom is well connected and influential in her community. Moms like myself who transitioned from active parenting to being involved parents must not be underestimated. Advertisers and brands seem to forget or underestimate a growing circle of Mom influencers and advocates who no longer have young kids. This group of Moms are my generation , older women, social media savvy, still involved with our families, wiser (we would like to think) after many successes and failures during our parenting years.

9. “Live to love and love to live! Relationship is everything in the Social Media world”.


This is actually a quote which reminds me about my early months in blogging. I wanted to share my blog to have a wider reach.  I went to my first blog event, iBlog 2 in April 2006  and introduced myself to popular bloggers. That was my first break.  From 10 readers a day, blog traffic grew to 100. Today , this blog gets a minimum of 2,000 unique hits. Followers on my twitter account, @momblogger has now reached over 20,000. My biggest facebook community is my pinoy food blog with over 569,000 followers.

The lesson is : “Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.”

10. Content is king. Sharing is queen.

Will blogging one day be a thing of the past? Blogging is here to stay but it is changing…a lot!   I use my social media networks to deliver the snippets of long form content from this blog. I want to believe  blogging will continue to evolve in exciting new ways. Ten years ago, I started blogging without a clue about what was about to happen to my life. I remember my humble beginnings before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest came. I continue to rediscover technology and see ways to improve my life and others, as well.


Ten years of blogging.

Do I miss my beloved Luijoe?

Of course , I do. Is there sadness or a tear now and then? Yes. But there is a big difference. The sadness no longer steals the joy away. The awful pain and emptiness diminished over time,  as I persisted in enjoying the memories of the moments spent together, not dwelling on the times which will never happen. That pain is giving me courage to focus on my purpose in life. To live a meaningful life as a mom blogger, a citizen advocate.

To be touched by my angel.


I am known as @momblogger in twitter. As one of the early adopters of any new thing that explodes online, I got hold of my monicker when twitter became popular in 2007.

twitter birthday today

Really, I had no idea about personal branding nor did I want to dominate a niche on mom bloggers. I simply wanted to be called “mom blogger” because I wanted the younger bloggers to stop calling me “ma’am”. @momblogger was simply more acceptable .

Well , I am a momblogger because I am a mom and a blogger at the same time. I am proud to be both. While this blog focused partly on parenting, more than half of my topics are about life in general or completely unrelated-to-parenting topics.

10 years have passed since I started this blog.  I blogged about my unspeakable grief because I lost my precious son on May 27, 2000. I wanted to offer hope. Through the years,  I evolved from writing on parenting , family life and grief recovery issues to being active and blogging for social good. That is aside from my tech , and food blogs.

Together with other bloggers, Blog Watch was born in 2009 in answer to a clamor in my mommy community that they wanted to know more about electoral issues. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever want to pursue the political scene. Just like any social media experiment, you never know what clicks or not in the internet.

Truly it is love of country that makes me passionate towards citizen media (blogwatch.ph and blogwatch.tv .) The thought entered me “What better way to leave a legacy to my children by making a difference in my own small way through blogging for social good” . It cannot be helped when feisty old me questions the laws, the public servants and even the issues that affect the community that I live in. I nurture both my family and community. I cannot isolate myself from the larger society. 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.

My feisty actions and strong opinions make me now controversial.

Am I really a mom blogger?

Boom…I am not really viewed as a mom blogger but as a political blogger. I look at myself as a citizen advocate NOT as a political blogger.

I guess I am in denial. Or not? A few years ago, I talked to a few influential blogger-friends over lunch who bluntly told me that when they think of me (momblogger), they think “political”. Some brands do not want to be associated with me (the personality behind the blog) because well, companies are capitalists in the first place. My controversial self might not be compatible to their corporate mission-vision.

It is quite disappointing to be told I am “controversial” but at the same time what good is it if I keep blogging mindlessly about brands day in and day out? or hold contests or give out freebies?

What value is in it for me? This blog will die . I will die one day. But in the meantime, I want to make my mark and impact for social good . I want to make a difference in the lives of my children, one blog post at a time…one tweet at a time.  I want to do something other than blog about brands or being a brand advocate.

I do admit writing about shallow or lighter articles on my new blog “A Woman on Prime Time” which deals on taking care of myself using spa services, anti-aging products and services. Loving myself is important because when love overflows I am able to help others.

Let us look at the mom bloggers in the United States:

The average mommy blogger is 37 years old and 89% of mommy bloggers have kids between the ages of 2 and 11. They’re also socially conscious and are 85% more likely to have supported a politician based on an environmental issue, 88% more likely to buy eco-friendly products and 38% more likely to volunteer than the average mom.

And Candace Lindemann of Mamanista suggests

It is important to remember that before a lot of  “mom bloggers”  were moms and bloggers, they wore other hats, too. They have expertise in marketing, journalism, education, medicine, law, science, etc¦ labels have the power to empower and build community.

By that definition, I am a mom blogger.

mom bloggers —socially conscious

Indeed I may not be the average mom blogger in terms of age. I am 58 years old with two adult children. But see, I have earned wisdom through the years as a mother to three beautiful children. I am socially conscious and speak up on it.

But are the average mom bloggers in the USA considered “political bloggers”?

I am not the only mom blogger in the Philippines who is socially conscious or most likely to volunteer in charity work. Moms react differently on specific issues but we all have a common concern : our children’s futures unite us. There are the breast-feeding advocates and mothers concerned with the environment or Reproductive Health.

Is “being controversial” the price I will pay in making a stand on issues that may give positive gains on the future of my children’s children and the Philippines?

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.

Controversial or not, I choose to lead a purposeful and vibrant life as this blog turns 10 years old, tomorrow, February 24, 2016.

If you’re a regular visitor of my blog, you already know what a blog is. But some people I meet don’t know. I’m sure some of you faced a similar situation below.

For instance, when I take a photo in a restaurant, I am sometimes asked by the owner: are you a journalist?

Me: No, I’m a blogger.

Owner: What is a blogger?

Me: I write for my blog.

Owner: What is a blog?

Often, I take the word blog for granted that I don’t really bother to explain myself clearly. I found this video through Juned that explains what a blog is in plain English. Watch it.

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