Saturday, December 5, 2015

11th Philippine Blogging Summit: iBlog Therefore I Am

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I still consider myself a noob in blogging since I am not really aware of the technicalities like SEO and stuff, and even the accepted etiquette that is expected of a blogger. Though there have been so many issues surrounding bloggers due to these similar situations, where most are unaware of the proper actions to take as a blogger, I believe there are redeeming qualities that make up for the lack of formal training similar to what journalist undergo.

The big difference bloggers have with journalists is that we are supposed to be biased and emotional. Since we all know that blogs were supposed to be our online journals - where we can share all our special experiences, thoughts and opinions - there are some people that would discourage being too open and would want us to abide by rules they believe should be followed by everyone in the blogging community.

However, even the guests speakers from the iBlog events themselves have conflicting opinions and share different methods and strategies which further strengthens and confirms my belief that man-made guidelines are just there to serve as suggestions and not really to anchor us down and limit our creativity.

Now on its 11th year, iBlog, more popularly known as the Philippine Blogging Summit, is organized by Janette Toral, known to many as the Mother of E-Commerce, and one of the influences in my blogging life, was held at the Penthouse Lecture Room of Bocobo Hall, UP Law Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City. It's a two-day event held this time on December 4 and 5, 2015 to accommodate more people who may not be available on a single date.

iBlog 2015: The 11th Philippine Blogging Summit
The event features several talks from reputable speakers who share basic information and stories related to blogging so they can inspire, educate and inform newbie bloggers about matters that could help them improve their blogging activities.

Since it is very evident that the future of media is on its way to being more on "online" as apparent to how the traditional media outfits are empowering their online presence through their own online versions of their publications or networks, many media outfits are embracing partnerships and collaborations with online media or bloggers. 

This is probably why GMA News Online was one of the sponsors of the event and majority of the other sponsors are all either online-based businesses who have made the Internet their primary means to sell and earn, or businesses that have used online access as a medium to widen their reach and engage more with their customers.

Liz Lanuzo talks about Beauty Blogging
Even though majority of what was shared on the first day of iBlog was already familiar to me since I've been blogging since 2008 but I was only writing about my personal opinions through a blog I called "Be Kind To Us Trolls" which I eventually changed to "Be Proud of Us Pinoys" to give it a more positive tone. It was only a couple of years ago when I setup my current blog where I actively post. Actually, I created a lot of blog sites before with the aim to find what my heart dictates as the right blog theme for me. Thus, you may find several traces of my personality scattered around the blogosphere.

I never followed any rules to attract attention because I was never concerned about having followers at all. I was more engrossed in sharing what was going on inside my head, and what my heart bleeds, and was never even paying attention to the statistics most people would refer to as page views or hits. I even joined a blogging community to see if my writing skills were at par to their standards. It was only about expressing myself. But the gig with them did not last because I truly believed that I was meant to do greater things than just being one of their senior writers. was created sometime 2013 but was only used to further promote my articles at the same community blog I used to belong to. When I left them, I bought a domain on March 2013 thus was finally born. This also means I'll be celebrating my third year on March 2016.

Since I was getting a lot of invites and enjoyed attending each one of them due to the many opportunities they present, I decided to focus on the blog site. I accepted contributors to collaborate with me in the form of correspondents, partners and even sponsors. I was surprised that I could get people to support me through my blog so it eventually opened a lot of doors for me. If before I was taking the initiative to communicate with potential sponsors and partners, now I am overwhelmed with a lot of proposals coming my way almost everyday.

Diego Buenaflor tells how they work with bloggers
At the iBlog, speakers included people from the beauty and fashion industry like Liz Lanuzo, Diego Buenaflor and Tolian Gjika, traditional media, and even PRs /event organizers like Ellen Tordesillas and Amor Maclang. There were podcasters and video bloggers (vloggers) namely Marv De Leon, RD Llarena and Pocholo "Voicemaster" Gonzales, people from digital marketing like Carlo Ople, and Atty. JJ Disini who discussed a few legal issues ranging from copyright infringement to plagiarism.

James Jimenez from COMELEC was also there to share election-related activities where bloggers can get themselves involved. Jaemark Tordecilla from GMA News Online also shared his thoughts about social media and its significance to the upcoming Philippine election. Lastly, fellow blogger Ivan Saldajeno told the story of how bloggers are  now the new scribes of this age.

Amor Maclang differentiates bloggers from journalists

Ivan Saldajeno enumerates popular blogs including special mention to

Ellen Tordesillas explains the thin line between bloggers and journalists

Marv De Leon discusses Pocasting 101

RD Llarena encourages everyone to do video blogging

Pocholo Gonzales impresses everyone with his "voice acting" skills

Carlo Ople spoke twice as he covers for Norman Agatep who didn't made it to the event

Atty JJ Disini speaks about legal issues involving online intellectual property rights

Jaemark Tordecilla from GMA News Online shares election-related stories

James Jimenez has always been very active in speaking engagements

Some of the sponsors' booths

Bloggers line up at sponsors' booths
I was not able to attend the second day of the iBlog due to commitments with my radio anchoring at Vigattin Radio of Radyo Inquirer in the morning, and a restaurant review scheduled in the afternoon of the same day. It would have been equally interesting to mingle with fellow blogging enthusiasts, and thinking that the second day would have attracted more attendees being a Saturday.

Congratulations to the organizers of the iBlog or Philippine Blogging Summit for making it on their 11th year. More years to come as they continue to inspire more people to explore blogging as both a hobby and a profession. Who knows, with the rate things are going, blogging may soon be another well-respected field of work just as how journalists gain the trust and admiration of people.

For me, I am a blogger because there are personal thoughts that I want to share of which I couldn't do if I was a journalist who reports to an editor (who screens all submission to make sure the articles conform with the requirements set upon their publication). I believe I won't be as open and creative if I will be under the scrutiny of other people above me. Also, I am moody, and tardy at times so I cannot really commit to make sure my articles make it to deadlines or published on a timely manner.

To end this article, I am sticking to my opinion that bloggers were meant to surpass and go beyond the normal or usual means of reporting or sharing news and information. In our blogs, we are meant to be story-tellers of our experiences and opinions. It's mainly our outlet to express and not to impress.

If I wanted prestige, I would have joined a radio, TV or print media outfit. With blogging, I get to experiment and change my style often since everything in the blog is up to my own discretion. As they say, "my blog, my rules." Though some would always emphasize to incorporate some form of ethics in our blogging, I believe that would only restrict the bloggers and force them to become something they are really not.

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