PBA 2009 is on!

The month of October 2009 is the month of bloggers around the country. And it comes in three. The Third Philippine Blog Awards will be held at three different venues in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Bloggers will be congregating on October 9, 18, and 24 to celebrate the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards.


The Philippine Blog Awards is a yearly event that aims to give recognition to outstanding blogs in but not limited to the Filipino Blogging Community.

The 1st Philippine Blog Awards was held March 31, 2007 at the RCBC Theater, RCBC Plaza, Makati City with over 200 bloggers and participants attending the awards night. The event was a success because of the volunteers and the support from the Philippine blogging community.

The 2nd Philippine Blog Awards was held on the 21st of September 2008 at One Esplanade. Around thirty awards were given out during the night.


1. 3 for 3 the 2003 Awards in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao:

The 3rd Philippine Blog Awards will be on the 9th of 2009 at PETA-PHINMA Theatre; on 18th of October at 2F Ayala City Sports, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City; and on the 24th of October at Pearlmont Hotel, Cagayan De Oro City.

The Awards Night at Cagayan De Oro coincides with the annual Mindanao Bloggers Summit which is also on its third year.

2. The Awards Night: One Blogging Nation

It is often said that the Internet breaks down boundaries and leaps oceans to connect people. And it is true. Lost friends, old loves and distant family members become connected in the virtual world. But like the infomercial says, “Wait there is more!”

Due to this virtual network of among Filipinos – to be specific among Filipino bloggers – relationships develop and communities spring about. In recent years, the numbers of bloggers have increased and it is not limited to one area alone. From Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao: bloggers have increased in numbers. And it is not only in our shores. Filipino bloggers can be found almost everywhere in the world.

It is a diverse and vibrant mix of personalities and individuals. Bloggers of different tastes. Bloggers of different views. Bloggers of different ages. Bloggers of different persuasion. Bloggers of different forms, shape and purpose. All Filipinos in spirit.

And this is as it should be. Whatever is said about the Filipino blogging community, it is an exciting and dynamic universe.

A universe populated by Filipinos by birth; Filipinos by choice; and Filipinos by Spirit.

It is truly One Blogging Nation.


The Main Categories

1. Technology
2. Travel
3. Entertainment
4. Personal(Diarist/JournaL)
5. Food & Beverage
6. Family & Living
7. News & Media
8. Business
9. Sports
10. Hobby & Recreation
11. Fashion*
12. Photoblog
13. Culture and Arts
14. Commentary
15. Videocast*
16. Podcast*
17. Humor*
18. Gaming*
19. Advocacy*
20. Beauty*

(* new categories)

The Special Awards Division

1. Design
2. Free Custom Theme
3. Filipino Abroad
4. Foreign Blog
5. Bloggers’ Choice
6. Filipiniana Blog
7. Blog Application
8. Ten Best Posts of the Year
9. Best Visayan Blog
10. Visayas Bloggers’ Choice
11. Best Visayas Locale Blog
12. Best Visayas Nature Blogger
13. Mindanao Advocacy Blog
14. Mindanao PhotoBlog
15. Uniquely Mindanao Blog
16. Mindanao Destination Blog

4. A Brand New Experience

Aside from being held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, the Philippine Blog Award Night at the PETA-PHINMA Theatre can be viewed on-line through Flippish.com and will also be covered by other video bloggers and also in Twitter and in Plurk.


The Philippine Blog Awards is organized by the Philippine Blogger Awards Inc. – a non-stock and non-profit corporation composed of members coming from the Philippine blogging community. This year’s event would not have been possible without the help of our Institutional Partner RockEd and Major Sponsors/Co-Presentors Nokia, Globe Telecommunications Inc, Mozilla and Josiah’s Catering; our Media Partners Flippish.com, Chikka Media, Uno Magazine, Splash Press, Sheero Media, and GMCI; sponsors Level Up, Ipanema, Mimi and Karl Wedding Photographers, Buddy Gancenia and Taal View Heights.

Last but not the least the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards would not even be here without the support of bloggers from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and of course from bloggers abroad who continue to keep an interest in the Philippines and its blogging community.

The 2009 Philippine Blog Awards Blog

Email: philippineblogawards[at]gmail.com
Mail: 33 Homer Street, Filinvest East, Cainta, Rizal
cellphone: 0917-829-8090

Related Links:
3rd Mindanao Bloggers Summit 2009


Best Technology Blog
JaypeeOnline // Blogging News & Reviews
MMO GrindHouse- fueling your daily grind on MMO Games
My Asus Eee PC
sasa java
Software Critics
TechPinas : The Philippine Technology Blog
The Mike Abundo Effect
The Rookie Blogger

Best Travel Blog
A Pinay in Europe
BYAHILO: Ito ang Trip Ko!
Explore Iloilo
Just Wandering
Langyaw – Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
Making Things Happen
Nomadic Experiences
sagada tourism guide

Best Entertainment Blog
Lessons From the School of Inattention
Music Picks
PH Stars
Pop Reviews Now
Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Best Personal Blog
ai’s cracker
Brief Stories
Cerebral Insights
Excuse My French
Funny is the New Sexy
Life with Ria
Platonic Trip
room for squares
Succulence Unleashed
The Casual Observer
The Digitizer
The Free Lancer
writing on air

Best Food & Beverage Blog
A Scientist in the Kitchen
Cebu Restaurants
Flipflopping my way around Town
Kitchen Cow
Our Daily Blog
Overseas Pinoy Cooking
Table for Three, Please
The Thirsty Blogger
Yedylicious: In Between Bites

Best Family & Living Blog
Absolute Cousins
Animetric’s World
Make or Break
occupation: SAHM
Viva La Vida Mama
What is a Progressive School?

Best News & Media Blog
Cagayan de Oro News Online
Daily Contributor
iNews Philippines
Virtual Journals

Best Business Blog
Millionaire Acts
Negosyo Ideas
Owning a Café
Pinoy Money Talk
Ready To Be Rich
The Sagada Lemon Pie House

Best Sports Blog
Buhay Basketball
Fire Quinito
Lakers Today
Philippine Basketball Blog
Philippine Boxing
Sports and Tech sa Pilipinas
The Duffer

Best Hobby & Recreation Blog
Bearbrick Love
Bored & Crafty
Comicology: The Study of Awesome
Dance Manila
Flying in Crosswinds
Mad Labs and Hug Dogs
Pinoy Experience Mountain Biking and Outdoor Philippines
Pinoy Mountaineer
The Singing Blogger

Best Fashion Blog
My Fashion Juice
Style and Relax
THE UKAY QUEEN:Ukayshopping101
Ukay-ukay Escapades
who is elyoo?

Best Photo Blog
Asin at Paminta
Didang Alvarez
Distilling Thoughts
I Am a Documentary Photographer
Lino Photography
My Manila

Best Culture & Arts Blog
Art in Action
magnetic-rose.net: Japanese Pop Culture for Filipino Fans
Perlas Design Studio
PinoyTattoos.com – Filipino Tattoo Source
Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy
The Spy in the Sandwich
Views from the Pampang

Best Commentary Blog
ad maiorem Dei gloriam
Alleba Politics
J. R. Ramos Go
Matinong Ehemplo Ng Youth Ehemplo ng Kabataan
Me and My Big Mouth
myepinOy’s bLOG
Pencil Pusher/Number Cruncher
Splice and Dice
The Marocharim Experiment
Third Wave
Zzaragoza’s Weblog

Best Videocast
DoctorDude – Fun Vlogs on Health and Wellness
Komikero BIDJO

Best Podcast
Brink Notes Entertainment Daily
World 3

Best Humor Blog
Good Times Manila
Indolent Indio
Kwentong Barbero
manik makina
Noisy, Noisy Man
Oi! Greenpinoy!
The Professional Heckler
tuyong tinta ng bolpen

Best Gaming Blog
Mike Got Game!
Pinoy Gaming Network

Best Advocacy Blog
Autism Society Philippines
discourses of a free mind
Fide Quarens Intellectum
Filipino Deaf from the Eyes of a Hearing Person
Filipino Freethinkers
Foreclosure Philippines
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo RESIGN!
Greenpeace Southeast Asia
Nurses Notes

Best Beauty Blog
Candy Blush Beauty Blog
Shen’s Addiction
The Doctor Is vaIN

Below are the finalists for the Special Awards. The finalists of the Regional Awards will be announced soon.

Special Award: Best Blog Design
Design was here
DigDesignz: Blog of a young Filipino Web and Graphic Designer
Loy Meets World
Pink is Fab!
Pink Notes Diary
Simon Ong | Personal Blog and Portfolio
The Rookie Blogger
The Site Guy
The Vignette

Special Award: Best Foreign Blog
BakitWhy.com | Filipino American Lifestyle
koji ryan
My Sarisari Store

Special Award: Best Filipino Abroad Blog
Baul ni Noel
Funny Side Up
myepinoy’s blog
The Warped Zone

Special Award: Best Filipiniana Blog
Filipino Librarian
pamatay homesik
Simbahan – Philippine Heritage Churches and Related Structures
The Philippines and Beyond

Congratulations to the finalists and goodluck!



The second teaser from Flippish for the Philippine Blog Awards 2009. Music and lyrics by Coy Caballes; Markku Seguerra on guitar.

Binuksan ko ang laptop
Homepage ko ay Technograph
Ako’y Pinoy Blogero
Sa WordPress ay adik ako

Let’s Go Sago, Lakwatsero
Coron hanggang Batangas sobrang Byahilo
Kahit ako’y mag-Visit Sagada
Basta may WiFi ay solved ka na

Laging Good Times Manila
Basta naka-online enjoy tropang Foodista
Alam mo lahat Da Who sa showbiz landia
Talo mo pa si BryanBoy Abunda

Over the top sa page views
kahit Patay Gutom busog ka sa news
Dumating si Mommy galing Project Manila
Nahuli niya si daddy nasa Facebuko niya

Let’s go, c’mon! Kung gustong sumikat
Just wear your Happyslip at sa Merryland umakyat
FunnySexy man o Komikero ang drama
Sa Radio Cubao natin wala nang panama

Okay lang ang maging Misteryosa
Basta Awesome Planet ating ipakita
Kahit sino ka pa, Batang Yagit o Tanggera
Basta Pinoy at Blogger… Tayo ay iisa



First teaser by Flippish.com for their coverage of this year’s Philippine Blog Awards. I know where they shot this teaser. No, I won’t tell, sorry.


Nominate your best blog post at PBA 2009

The nominations for the best blog posts of the year is extended (the new deadline is not specified at the moment). Go here to nominate your blog post.


What should be done with the Philippine Blog Awards?

We had seen two Philippine Blog Awards, and both of them did not lack some controversies. The last one was – to say it mild – caused much stir that the next one is almost in doubt. I’m exaggerating, of course, but the point is that the credibility of the Awards was in doubt.

Now this thought-in-post is no way officially sanctioned by PBA. I am just putting some ideas out there for people to ponder on, maybe get a consensus on what PBA can do this year. I am sure the people behind PBA will appreciate inputs for a better run this year.

Also, this might be an opportunity for every one out there to share their own thoughts – by comment on this post or through their own blog posts – about what should be done about this year’s PBA.

1. The nomination process

One bone of contention last year was the way the nominations were handled. The process was indeed tedious – imagine filling up more than 5 form fields, and imagine doing that for several nominees (imagine nominating 10 blogs).

Then there’s the categorization thing. For example, blog A can be categorized by nominator in category B. The owner of blog A had no way of having it changed, especially when his blog is placed in the wrong category. I know one nominee who had to decline the nomination just because of this issue.

(To be fair, the last year’s nomination process was more transparent as compared to the 2007 version.)

The nomination can be streamlined. For example, instead of asking for so many information, the organizers can ask for the blog URL, category, and email address of the one who’s making the nomination. Also, sending a text file (containing all the blog URLs with corresponding categories) should be allowed to expedite the process; this can be done by HTTP upload or via email.

Nominees should be allowed to change the category where their blog is nominated. They should also be allowed to decline the nomination.

2. Publication of list of nominees, finalists, volunteers, and judges

In the 2008 edition, the lists of finalists were disclosed near the date of the awarding ceremonies. As to avoid unnecessary speculation, the lists of finalists should be disclosed at least a month before the awarding ceremonies.

It was not clear how the organizers came up with the list of finalists last year. I think that it will be for the best interest of the PBA to at least give a glimpse on how the selection process works. Who chooses the finalists? How do they come up with the list of finalists?

Upon looking, I found out that the list of nominees were never disclosed. Again, I think it will be for the best interest of the PBA to have the list of nominees disclosed, at least a week after the nomination is declared closed.

The list of judges and volunteers should be disclosed before the finalists are declared. The list of volunteers should be disclosed after the nomination process, so that volunteers who are nominated can either decline the nomination or dissociate themselves from the volunteers group. This is necessary to protect the integrity of the awards.

3. Criteria

The criteria for judging should be made clear. This is most important for sponsored awards – it’s clear to me that most of the issues raised last year concentrated on the sponsored awards.

While the rules were clear, I guess the timing of the release of the rules was not. I suggest that all rules/criteria be disclosed beforehand – like even before nominations are sent in.

4. A different Blog Awards altogether

This idea was first thought of immediately after the 2008 awarding ceremonies, when issues left and right, legitimate or not, were being raised. Why not 2009 PBA, Oscars-style?

Basically, the idea calls for the PBA adopting the way the AMPAS handles the nomination and awarding. But this is a bit more complicated because the AMPAS rules call for an organization of sorts.

Read the AMPAS Rules, specially the rules for balloting and nominations. It calls for members of certain guilds voting from a set of nominees. Imagine a Philippine Blogging Academy.

Unfortunately, the specter of a blogging elite or a blogging mafia appears when calls for such an organization are raised. Even if you say that membership to the proposed academy is simple (just have a blog), such ideas can not be dismissed that easily. Hence, the unattractiveness of this idea.

Also, like our national/local elections, this can lead to a simple popularity contest.

I find this idea meritorious. I also find it more democratic. I’ll explore this idea more when I have the time. Most of the issues that can be raised against the AMPAS style can be solved by tweaking it a little. After all, most of these issues boil down to the issue of trustworthiness.

Ideas? Comments?


My top 10 emerging influential blogs of 2008

Last year, I blogged my choices for the 2007 Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs at Arbet .LOG (formerly known as The Lonely Vampire Chronicles). I was glad that one of the blogs that I cited made it to last year’s top ten, and now look at him, everyone knows him.

Also, I noted the absence of political blogs in the top ten, and made several conclusions out of the writing project. I also noted that Manuel L. Quezon III is an influential blogger, but his top ten list came in late into the writing project, making little impact. Janette Toral made an interesting tweet, wherein she said that “if MLQ submitted earlier, blogs he cited might got more support.”

So when The 2008 Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs writing project was announced, that twit came into my mind, and I immediately informed MLQ3 about it. So on week 1, he made his list. Looking at the overall ranking as of week 9, two of the blogs that he cited remain in the top ten. So somehow, Janette’s inference is validated in a way.

There are five more weeks into the project. There are two political blogs in the list, and it is time to add some more to it. Who will be that next influential blogger to cite political blogs?

While I will cite political blogs, I AM NOT THAT INFLUENTIAL BLOGGER. I have no illusions of being an influential blogger, but I do aspire to influence others through blogging. Perhaps Filipino Voices can weigh in? Or some other influential blogger?

Anyway, here is my list, in no particular order (and with no explanation whatsoever):

1. Filipino Voices
2. Fritzified
3. The Mount Balatucan Monitor
4. Smoke
5. The Marocharim Experiment
6. New Philippine Revolution
7. Vera Files
8. Mon Casiple
9. Food Blog for Hungry Bachelors
10. Manila Foodistas

Honorable mention: Teknostik (but it’s goners, sorry)

In case numbers 4 and 5 are disqualified, here are the replacements (in order of preference):

1. Teknostik (if it ever gets back to its feet)
2. You Got Tech
3. Davao Delicious
4. Visit Sagada

PS: If you plan to join this writing project or if your list is incomplete, can you please consider Food Blog for Hungry Bachelors? KTHXBAI


On blogging, code of ethics, and credibility

The problem with Dean Luis Teodoro’s assertion is that he is assuming that blogging is a form of a journalism. If he meant “subset” then I would have agreed. What he wanted to happen is to apply journalism ethics and principles on blogging. Why apply these principles when you are only talking about, for example, how you ended up being pathetic? You mean, I have to follow the inverted pyramid whatever and interview my mom, my dad, my friends, to get their sides when all I wanted to say is that I’m ugly?

Teodoro doesn’t seem to have a firm grasp of what blogging is. Well, in fairness to him, we can’t say that for certain; it is just conjecture based on his opinion, and on how the report was presented. The report cited Brian Gorrell and that Cebu rectal surgery scandal as two prime examples of what could go wrong online. Aside from sweeping statements made by Teodoro, he is assuming that blogs are newspaper-like Web sites.

I guess what he means is that bloggers who are presenting information should at least adhere to a certain standard; he should have qualified his argument instead of that sweeping statement that betrays his ignorance. What Teodoro did not know is that there were several efforts to have a code of ethics for bloggers, and all of them bogged down. The reason is simple: it is not enforceable. The technical issues alone are mind-boggling, to say it simply.

Maybe it is time for the UP College of Mass Communications to offer classes on blogging. (And no, I won’t even point out the irony in that report. If you are a journalist, you should see it.)

It all boils down to a blogger’s credibility. How can one be credible? While we cannot have a code of ethics for blogger, each blogger can adhere to his/her own code. A blogger can, for example, write a page stating what he/she would and would not do when blogging. A blogger can say that he/she would do everything to ensure that what would be presented is true and fair. And when that blogger adheres to that self-subscribed code, readers would know, and earns their trust and respect. And credibility.

(Will edit this soon.)


To blog is to influence

The Marocharim Experiment wrote about resistance and blogging, and the seeming disinterest by most bloggers to post political commentary on their blogs.

He said:

Please disagree with me on this one: I think – and this is a completely subjective and personal observation – that most bloggers do not utilize their blogs enough as a vehicle to (at the very least) exact a political influence among their peers. It’s not that people don’t see the importance of political blogging, it’s just that people do not exercise their political views and commit them to a blog entry.

First, we cannot control what bloggers would post in their blogs. As someone who dabbles in political commentary myself, I always rant offline (and sometimes online, too) about the seeming apathy by the majority over the major political and social issues of the day. I have learned (and continue to learn) that diversity governs the blogosphere, and that diversity allows for apathy. I could be so intolerant of people who shrugs off politics (there’s a post by someone about being turned off by the political discussion part of iBlog 4 and all I could say via Twitter was “Tsk”), but what could I do?

Bloggers are within their rights to post what they want. It may be frustrating on the part of a political blogger, but what can he do?

Second, while we could not control what bloggers would say, we could influence others to think about political and social issues, to talk about them, and to post about them. We do this by presenting the issues, why they are issues, and why these issues matter to them. We do this by explaining what would happen if they continue to be indifferent.

Third, my pet peeve: taking a neutral stance all because a person is lazy or refuses to think. It is so easy to say “I am neutral;” it becomes harder when you are asked to explain your stand. Then things crumble after that. You will then find out that the neutral stance was just an excuse not to participate in the political/social discussion – an escape from one’s duty to take part in governance. As a political blogger, you can engage people into a meaningful discussion, listen to their reasons, point out their mistakes, convince them that they need to participate.

So, despite the seeming indifference, if you believe in your cause, you push it, you continue discussing and explaining, you write again and again, you beat the horse till it is dead. It might be easy to just surrender, but that would not make you any different from the others, right?


On citizen journalism

In your opinion, is citizen journalism a good thing or a bad thing (for the readers, for citizen journalists, for journalism, for the country)? Why?
To be honest, I am quite leery of the citizen journalist tag. I have loads of respect to hardworking journalists – the pay is usually low, and yet they work hard. They subscribe to a code of ethics. Now, how does a citizen journalist enter the picture? In the first place, how do we define citizen journalism? Wikipedia defines it as ‘is the act of citizens “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information”.’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_journalism). In short, a citizen journalist acts like a journalist minus (1) technical training, (2) affiliation to any news organization, and (3) adherence to journalism code of ethics. How can we be so sure that a citizen journalist will present factual and correct news?

That being said, the negative aspect of citizen journalism is exposed – like traditional news organizations, citizen journalism can be a source of bad or tainted news. At least for journalists, they have a code of ethics to abide to, and they have editors to check on them. There is a much higher tendency to get false information from a PR person impersonating as a citizen journalist, for example. Then there is the question of objectivity.

However, citizen journalism plays a big part for several reasons:

1. Not every news item sees the light of day, due to limitations in space, time, or editorial considerations (ie, news worthiness). Citizen journalism can fill this void, by reporting what is happening in certain locality.
2. It can serve as a good source of information, specially if a news organization logistically cannot cover the entire country.
3. Fact-checking against traditional news media.

All things considered, I think citizen journalism is a good thing. If citizen journalists adhere to a code of ethics, and if they get proper training, I think citizen journalism will contribute to the exchange of information.

Do you think there is a need for citizen journalists in our country?
Yes, specially since we live in an archipelago. We cannot possibly get the complete information from traditional news sources; citizen journalists can somehow fill this gap.

Do you think there will be more citizen journalists in the future?
In the near future, as in 5 years? No, for several reasons. One, we have a low Internet access penetration rate, and that translates to a small number of people getting exclusive Internet access. It is safe to say that many people access the Internet via rentals, and with a limited time, blogging will be hard (unless you write your thoughts first). Second, most of the bloggers that we have are not interested in writing about political and social issues, and the net increase will probably result in the same situation as we have now – political bloggers as minority in the Philippine blog space.

Questions by Stephanie Ferrer
Additional insights from The Jester-in-Exile

I wish we can get insights from journalists who are also bloggers:

* Ellen Tordesillas
* Manuel L. Quezon III
* Jove Francisco
* Ricky Carandang
* Max Limpag
* John Nery


Blogging as an action for a cause

Siege Malvar asked me several questions about blogging in the context of social causes.

1. Can you tell me about the whole psychology of blogging as an “action” for a cause?

Every blogger has his own reason for blogging. For some, they just want to vent out their strong feelings, you know, ranting. For some, they blog to share information, like when a blogger finishes a PS2 game and shares his experience and tips. Some bloggers want to express their thoughts on matters that are important for them. And there are bloggers who blog to influence others. Some bloggers may be motivated by some or all of these reasons.

Your question fits nicely with the profile of a blogger whose aim is to influence. To influence in this case is to convince the reader that the blogger’s idea/opinion is correct, and to goad the reader into action. So there are two operative phrases: to convince, and to translate that into action. It’s like being a salesman or marketer.

A blogger may not know if he has successfully influenced a reader, enough for the reader to take action.

2. Do you really think it works to “just blog” about stuff? Is it enough to blog?

We can never tell. Again, it depends on why you blog, on what you want to achieve from blogging. We Filipinos are inherently indolent. We also have a keen sense of conscience. The two don’t mix. We all know we have social responsibilities, but not all of us want to exercise that. So we have half-hearted activism. We have armchair analysts. For some, it is enough to just express their thoughts. If that is the case, with some many people wanting Arroyo impeached, how come it doesn’t happen?

No, I don’t think it is enough just to blog about it, but for some of us, that’s the least we could do.

3. Do you think blogging is an effective way to solve the country’s problems, and why?

Blogging is effective if (1) we can convince people that our solution to the country’s problems are correct and (2) we can convince people to act on our solution. Otherwise, blogging is just an academic exercise and not much else.

For example, what if you want to foment a revolution? You need strategists, tacticians, officers, soldiers, and propagandists. The strategist defines the goals of the revolution, the tactician designs missions to reach those goals, officers execute these missions, and soldiers implement them. However, as in any war, the support of non-combatants is necessary, for logistics and military buildup. Here comes the propagandist. His job is to convince the people that the war is a necessary evil, and that volunteers are needed.

Blogging as it is will never be a solution – that idea is simplistic. There should always be action after much deliberation. Blogging is a great tool for presenting information and analysis, and exchanging ideas and opinions. In any problem solving, this interaction, this exchange, is essential, since from this exchange, we can draft plans. The hardest part is always in execution.