Mindanao, Lupang Hinirang and the Bloggers

It was one of those conventions. I think it was Iblog at Malcolm in the University of the Philippines. At the start of the first session they played the National Anthem – Lupang Hinirang . And as they played the anthem a perfect rendition from an mp3 player there was one voice standing out. A few persons beside me was a blogger who was singing out in full gusto … not in tune but in full gusto. And it reminded that this was how the national anthem should be sung.

Then a few years later I was at Cagayan De Oro for the Mindanao Blogger Summit and the Philippines Blog Awards Night. This time I heard a full chorus of people singing in gusto Lupang Hinirang and drowning out the recorded song.

This was one of the lasting impressions I have of Mindanao.

The next time I was in Mindanao was a few days ago. It was the Mindanao Blogger Summit and the Philippines Blog Award Ceremony. This time it was in Zamboanga City. Actually it was the third time I visited the City. The first time was a few years ago when it was a stopover point before going to Bongao, Tawi-Tawi – where I trained the staff of the Mindanao State University how to take care of aquarium fish. The second time was when I was one of the trainers tapped by the Asian Foundation to teach blogging to members of the Mindanao-based Non Government Organizations (NGO). And this time it was for the MBS and PBA Award Ceremony.

Anyway one of the favorite things I bring home from Zamboanga City is the t-shirt. The one I love is the batik shirts I bought from the Barter Market. I love this more than the scarf they call the Arafat. The shirt is cool to wear and often multicolored. It has personality. Mind you because of this shirt I was once mistaken as a fortune teller in a party and I ended up telling the fortune of a number of people in said party. Well that is life.

One thing about that multicolored batik shirt and something I realised recently is that well bloggers are a diverse lot. One just has to look for the other bloggers.

Just before going to Mindanao, I was talking to some friends complaining about blogging. Complaint Number One, Blogging was dying. Complaint Number Two, Blogging was becoming over-commercialized. Complaint Number Three, The quality of blogging was going down – everything was going to the dogs.

I disagree. Blogging is not dying. Bloggers may fade but bloggers still come up. Blogging is becoming commercialized and even at one point over-commercialized but this only reflects a portion of bloggers. There are still a number of bloggers who are not blogging just for the money. Sometimes I think we are too entrenched in our own blogging communities that we fail to see the bloggers outside of the community we inhabit. There maybe some blogs whose writing have diminished, for one reason or another – blog fading or over-commercialization , in the process losing its voice and its readers. Then again there are still blogs – old and new who still continue to churn out content that their readers appreciate.

One just has to look and open one’s eyes. They are out there. One of the things all these summits, seminars and awards bring out is the discovery and rediscovery of blogs that are a pleasure to read and be part of its reader community. Something worth adding to one’s RSS reader or list online daily reads.

And with that congratulations to the Finalists and Winners of the 2010 Philippines Blog Awards Mindanao Division:

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The WINNERS

BEAUTY AND FASHION

Get Prettified

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Kusina Maria

LIFESTYLE

Mindanaoan

PERSONAL

Ganda Ever So Much

PHOTOBLOG

Charmie Tamba P&S Photography

TECHNOLOGY

Alleba Blog
Something Geeky

TRAVEL

gensan news online mag

THE FINALISTS

BEAUTY AND FASHION

Shoppingera
Women Treats – Treats for Women
Get Prettified

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Kusina Maria
Tastecaster
A Scientist in the Kitchen
Miss Vanilla

LIFESTYLE

Mindanaoan
In Cagayan de Oro
My Davao City

PERSONAL

Life with Ria Jose
On Technology, Food, & Travel by Jerome Locson
ianSTAR.
Pitik Bulag
Ganda Ever So Much
Empowered Mom
Travels and Tours
Markable

PHOTOBLOG

Charmie Tamba P&S Photography
Roark Masbad Photography
Davao Photo

TECHNOLOGY

Games and Gadgets
Alleba Blog
Orion Web Design and Search Engine Optimization
Padd Solutions
Technomaria
Something Geeky

TRAVEL

Promding Chamimay
Bukidnon Online
Vacation Leave
Hola Zamboanga
Outdoor Adventures Travel Guide Directory Philippines
Andrew’s Travels
gensan news online mag
eskapo
DavaoBase

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