Friday, March 18, 2011

My Bloggers EB Qatar Experience

(L-R)  Francis, Ronald, Buhay Qatar and The Pope
 (Seated L-R) Francis, Ronald and Buhay Qatar
(Standing L-R) Rose, The Pope and Gerald
It's been a cold Thursday evening with wind blowing outside the Starbucks Cafe but the pleasant smiles and cordiality has brought warmth as I rub elbows with 5 best Global Filipino bloggers in Doha.

It was full of excitement and a rare opportunity to meet the real people behind the virtual walls whom I googled and admire their talents in creative writings in the blogosphere as I shake hands with Gerald Baluyot of The EXPAT, Buhay Qatar of Barangay Buhay Qatar, Ronald Mallari of POEMS on LIFE and LOVE and QUOTES, Francis Morilao of Unnamed Psalmist  & Mga Kathang Isip ni Kiko and Ms. Rose Marie Armenta of Rainbow Box .

The conversation begins innocently on how long each has been blogging, subjects and blog affiliations.  Freebies courtesy of Kiko were awarded to me and Buhay Qatar as "Early Birds".

More good conversation went on as we ordered our cup of cocoa cappuccino, as Buhay Qatar and Ronald share their expertise, strategies and success on monetizing blogs. Buhay Qatar was regarded as one of the pioneer in Qatar blogging who have helped and introduced Kiko and Ronald into the blogsphere.

Kiko and Ronald, both respected bloggers on literary arts shares their real life experience in preparing poem compositions. Rose whose beauty and charm captivates the group as she provides tips for creative writing on fiction short stories for 'emo' and love story subjects.  Gerald, the youngest in our pears has shown great enthusiasm on photo and technology blogs.

More subjects were explored particularly on role of PEBA in blogsphere, The Kablogs Journal (TKJ), the ongoing Bethany project, PEBA organizational structure, financial sustainability through effective fund raising projects and the much awaited PEBA 2011 event.

The issue on National Bloggers Association was discussed in brief and it was highlighted that the freedom of expressions of individual bloggers should never be restricted by any blogging organization.

Unfortunately the coffee shop doesn't have a wi-fi facility as we 're unable to provide  live news feeds from our mobile phones and laptop to reach our PEBA blogging friends who are anxiously waiting from Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and Philippines.

So many blogging experiences were shared individually and collectively and it was a fruitful encounter. As the night grew deep and nobody wants to take a second cup of coffee, we called it a night. We said good-byes at 10:30 pm,  Buhay Qatar left 30 minutes early, followed by Gerald. Ronald remains in the cafe as he awaits some friends. while me and Kiko separate ways after ensuring that Rose was safely boarded on the taxi cab.

I reached home by 11 pm, started my PC and posting messages in FB wall and guess what, I am not alone, Gerald begin posting our event photos while me, Kiko and Rose continue our “chit-chat” online - THE BLOGGING ADDICTS.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Kenjie and Yanah have asked my personal opinion on the blogging initiatives for a  "National Bloggers Association", I cannot help but take a deep breath as I read the drafted manifesto.

Personally, I find the manifesto as a hopeless banality on its futile attempt to persuade the intellect of Filipino bloggers from the Philippines and across the world.

There are several issues and questions that needs clarification:

1. Is there an immediate need to organize an association at National level? It seems that there are "forces" rushing to launch the NBA as "nothing could stop them".

2. Is there an immediate threat to bloggers' "right to free speech and to free expression" that NBA needs to address?

3. Is it planning to curtail the democratic air that bloggers breath individually by drafting and adopting a "code of ethics"? All the bloggers will agree that we value our informal conversation, egalitarianism, subjective points of view, and colorful writing over profits. And defining a code ethics will be tantamount to dictatorship and runs counter to the first order of its manifesto "to promote and defend the right to free speech and to free expression".

4. Is the NBA membership open to bloggers who are blogging anonymously using pseudonyms while some are using public computers? How can NBA effectively address the issues on copyright infringement  and libel within its group and non-NBA members who are blogging anonymously?

My unsolicited advice before launching an initiative for a Bloggers organization at national level, are:

a. Connect the Dots - for its first step the organizers should have made an effort by offering a leaf of friendship and harmony to all established blogging communities at regional level in Visayas and Mindanao such as the Iloilo Bloggers, Davao Bloggers, Zamboanga Bloggers, Bukidnon Blggers, Soccsksargen Bloggers, CDO Bloggers (please forgive me if I failed to mention other blogging groups, its unintentional, "tao lang po").

b. Initiate formulation and organization of bloggers association in regions where it does not exists such as in Luzon and Metro Manila, or Southern Luzon, Central Luzon and Northern Luzon provinces blogging groups.

c. Instead of pushing for a National Blogging Association as being campaigned right now in its effort to gather prospective "Founding Members", I suggest that the proponents of this NBA to conduct an exploratory talk or a consultative meeting at regional levels as primary stakeholders for conception of an umbrella organization or a bloggers federation at national level.

At this point in time, I don't think that there is  an immediate need for an NBA. I am personally happy with PEBA and the Kablogs community where I belong on which it has achieved its legal entity and recognized by Philippine's SEC and BIR. NBA organizers needs to assess and specifically define its goals and definite plan of actions and its projected programs before launching its project at national scale. The cloud of ambiguity will remain over the horizon as NBA's direction remains unclear in the blogsphere.

The challenge is "what can this NBA offer to Filipino bloggers that PEBA and Kablogs, or the Visayas or Mindanao blogging organizations cannot provide?"


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