Thank you very, very much, guys.
We all did it.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the sponsors of the Bloggys Awards, wrote in part:
“Meanwhile, investigative journalist Raissa Robles, who won the award for best blog in the society and politics category for raissarobles.com, said blogs can be agents of change in the “crossroads” that is the 2016 elections, as she sought the support of her fellow bloggers for a special project. “We have to choose wisely and we have to choose well. Freedom is very much alive in this country,” Robles said in a short speech after accepting her award.”
You can read the rest of the Inquirer post here.
Together, we will have a lot of work ahead of us in 2016. I promise you that. And that goes, too, for all my friends in Facebook and Twitter.
I will be adding video and tsismis to this post later this afternoon as soon as the videos upload on Youtube.
Thank you, Kristoffer.
Kristoffer is a finalist for his http://indiohistorian.tumblr.com/ in the category Society and Politics.
Another finalist is Mark Pere Madrona for his blog http://www.filipinoscribe.com/ in the News and Events category. Mark is a journ graduate currently taking a masters course in history.
I was thoroughly enchanted by the host of the evening, whose name I unfortunately did not catch (curiously, no program for the evening was distributed). I hope someone tweets or messages me his name. I know that his family manages Urbano Wines.
Listen to him talk a mile-a-minute in Filipino:
He told me later, when I asked him, that he took up Filipino as a language course at the university.
Probably the most inspiring blogger for me is Prof. Abe Rotor. Don’t be fooled by his cane. His mind is as numble as yours and mine. And do check out his wonderful blog at http://avrotor.blogspot.com/
Here is his acceptance speech:
My seatmates for the evening were two yuppies from Pampanga, the Manarang brothers. If you judge them only by their looks, you would say they are happy-go-lucky. But actually, they run tycoon.ph – a sleek-looking blog that you would think came out of some Makati high-rise office.
And you would be wrong.
Their company is in the heart of Pampanga.
I’m so glad that they operate outside Manila and they won a nationwide contest.
BDO chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas is quite correct in predicting that the Philippines is about to enter its “sweet spot” – where businesses will thrive outside Manila.
We have not reached our vast potential as a nation.
Here is Roel Manarang accepting the award in behalf of typhoon.ph. Before the awards, he told me confidently he was sure they would bag it. He was right :)
I am not sure I met professionalheckler. I did shake hands with all of my co-finalists, except for one who didn’t extend his hand to me.
No, Joeam wasn’t there. Someone else came in barong for him. Said he was Wilfredo Villanueva. Because the ceremonies were still going on, I did not have a chance to talk to him.
In closing, let me share a bit of chismis.
When I got to the SMX Convention Center, there were actually two events going on – the Bloggys Awards on the right side and the Kennedy School of Government Alumni gathering occupying most of the venue. I smiled to myself when I saw how the other event seemed to have no crowd (perhaps there were already all inside). While the Bloggys event was crammed with young men and women wearing various get-ups – from long gowns to shorts to polo and jeans. You could easily tell the fashion bloggers from all the rest. They wore the highest imaginable heels and the trendiest clothes.
I noticed that the Kennedy alumni gathering was equipped with wi-fi, while the Bloggys Awards was not. Perhaps next year, a wi-fi provider could be added to the list of sponsors so that everyone can post on the Net while the awards are going on.
In any case, what entered my mind was this – the Philippines has long been governed by the best and the brightest of men. Men who studied in the best and most expensive foreign schools. Why hasn’t the country progressed despite all this foreign learning?
I would hazard this guess – it is not the learning that is the most important for a country to progress. It is the heart and the passion for the good of all Filipinos, and not just for the family. This is the missing ingredient in many of our so-called public servants whose goal is building a political dynasty instead of a country.
I see in bloggers the future of this nation. The act of blogging is essentially a lonely one. But one filled with the hope of communicating to everyone. Bloggers can divide us or draw us together as a nation. Bloggers are the troubadours of the Internet age.