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Category Archives: personal matters

Important note to all The Filipino Scribe subscribers

If you received a notification about this post through email, then you are one of the subscribers of The Filipino Scribe (TFS). Before anything else, I’d like to thank each of you for being regular readers of this blog.

As I have said time and again, this blog has gone a long way from its simple beginnings back in 2011. After three years and 552 articles, TFS has now received over 2.6 million page views. As the sole administrator of this blog, I can’t help but be proud of that achievement.

In those three years, TFS has been hosted in WordPress.com. Since WordPress takes care of everything, from backing up of blog entries to page security, I was able to focus my (limited!) time on writing.

the filipino scribe mobile

The Filipino Scribe’s interface as seen mobile (credits to my student Miguel Maravilla)

 

However, this set-up is like me just renting an apartment instead of having my own house. Although WordPress.com has been a magnificent host, I felt it’s high time for TFS to be self-hosted.

This will give me more flexibility to tweak this site as I please, particularly its overall appearance. This will also allow me to earn more from this endeavor. As I noted in a post last January, I have earned very little through WordAds.

I am leaning toward tapping BlueHost as my new blog host, with WordPress.org as the new platform. If the entire migration process go smoothly, you shall see the upgraded version of TFS by April 21 at the latest.

For now, I am asking all WordPress subscribers of TFS to re-subscribe by entering your email address in the space provided in the right side of this web page (below “Subscribe to this blog!”). You can see it just above my Twitter widget.

As one song says, “This is not goodbye, this is starting over.” See you all very soon. 😉

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Marking The Filipino Scribe’s third anniversary

Yesterday was the third anniversary of The Filipino Scribe (TFS). I can still remember the exact circumstance when I began this blog. It was late afternoon of March 31, 2011 and I am still working as an editor for a book publishing firm.

I haven’t really written in a long time so I felt an urge to have an online diary of sorts for my thoughts. I never imagined that within the next three years, my life would be greatly shaped by this blog. We’ve had 538 blog posts so far and 2.6 million total page views.

I want to personally apologize to all the readers of this blog. You may have been disappointed by the fact that TFS has gone untouched for over three weeks last month. Believe me, that’s not something I wanted to happen.

the filipino scribe mobile

The Filipino Scribe’s interface as seen mobile (credits to my student Miguel Maravilla)

No matter how much will I have to write, working as a full-time college professor took most of my time. The past few weeks had been extremely busy for me since it coincided with the end of the past semester (where we got flooded with tasks like checking papers and computing grades). Now that I’m already on a summer break, expect TFS to have more frequent blog posts.

Anyway, I’d also like to share that I have just completed two school years teaching in college. By my estimate, I’ve already handled about 1,000 students. I enjoy interacting with students from diverse backgrounds and different personalities.

I’m happy to be part of their college life. Needless to say, they’ve also become a part of my life. And I firmly believe that our paths crossed for a reason.

Teaching is a grossly underpaid profession, but it puts you in a position to influence minds and shape the future like no other. Whichever direction the wind takes me in the future, I’d look back at the past two years with much pride and happiness.

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Reviewing WordAds earnings

I am frequently asked if I earn from maintaining a blog. I do, but it’s very minimal.

Before going into that, let me share with you a bit of The Filipino Scribe (TFS)’s history. I launched it March 31, 2011 as www.rightonthemark.wordpress.com. For two years, it stayed that way. In May of last year, I bought my own domain.

TFS though is still hosted by WordPress.com, which is like me renting a house. If you’re only renting a house, there are many things you cannot do. The same logic governs web hosting. For example, I cannot really customize how TFS looks (don’t ask me though if I am knowledgeable about web development. LOL).

More importantly, WordPress offers very limited opportunities for its users to earn. By its own announcement, it “does not allow third-party advertising networks like Google AdSense, OpenX, Lijit, BuySellAds, and Vibrant Media.”

WordAds is the only advertising system that WordPress allows, and it is only open for those with their own domains. In short, prior to May 2013, I did not earn anything from blogging.

Is there really a potential to earn big from WordAds? On their website, they explain that advertisers pay more for page views from North American and European users. Based on my statistics, 90% of my readers are Philippine-based. Earnings are updated monthly and users will only get a pay-out (made via PayPal) if they earn $100.

WordAds earnings

A table showing my earnings through WordAds

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been running WordAds for eight months now and so far, there had been two pay-outs. It was made last November and December. The pay-out for November covers a five month period. It’s like earning a measly $20 per month!

There was a pay-out for November because during that month, I had over 100,000 page views thanks to two blog entries about super typhoon Yolanda that became viral. For three days, TFS was the number one in Top Blogs Philippines for all categories. I earned $100 for getting 100,000 page views? Sayang!

With my blog’s third anniversary coming soon, I felt this is already the right time to finally make the move. It won’t be easy and cheap to be sure but moving forward is the only way TFS can grow. Plus, it is something I have to do to have more time for my other goals like finishing my master’s degree.

Thanks to my friends from Ask Pinoy Bloggers and Filipino Bloggers Worldwide for their valuable insights. If I’m a college student writing a thesis, I’m still on the data gathering stage. I’m doing my best to get as much information as possible about my options.

While pondering on these things, I can’t help but this saying: “A ship is always safe in the harbor, but that is not what it’s meant to do.” Instead, it should travel the turbulent seas and oceans ahead of it because that’s the essence of its existence.

Indeed, we should never fear leaving behind our comfort zones to explore bigger things. The year 2014 promises to be a big one for this blog.

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Happy New Year from The Filipino Scribe!

In a few hours (depends on your time zone), we’ll be saying goodbye to 2013. The past year has been a banner year for The Filipino Scribe (TFS) and for me personally. The blog has now received over 2.2 million page views, more than half of it from 2013 alone. Here are the top blog posts from the past year:

  1. Marjorie Barretto photo scandal?
  2. Aquino’s animosity toward Tacloban City mayor hampering relief efforts?
  3. Chito Miranda Neri Naig scandal video?
  4. Wally Bayola sex video scandal?
  5. Anderson Cooper talks about ‘Yolanda’ on the Letterman show
  6. Proclamation 459 – Philippine holidays for 2013
  7. ‘Download USJR sex video scandal?’
  8. Is Charice Pempengco lesbian? And so?
  9. ‘Download Arno Morales sex video scandal?’
  10. Gregory John Smith, owner of stolen photo, speaks out
  11. Comedienne jokes about Filipino children on BBC show
  12. Anne Hathaway and Ricky Lo – The Interview
  13. Korina Sanchez vs Anderson Cooper and journalism ethics
  14. On Kristel Tejada’s suicide
  15. Mark Joseph Solis’ ‘stolen shots’

Five of the most viewed posts this year feature a ‘scandal,’ which proves that even in the Internet, ‘sex sells.’ In fact according to Google, Chito Miranda, Neri Naig, Wally Bayola, and EB babe Yosh are the most searched about celebrities in the country this year.

At this point, I’d like to share stories behind some of my other notable posts this year. My blog entry about Marjorie Barretto’s photo scandal proved to be my most controversial post so far.

Her camp, through lawyer Lorna Kapunan, sent me a letter demanding that I take down Barretto’s photo as well as the write-up itself.  In the end, they had to admit publicly that the woman in the photos circulating is indeed Barretto for them to have a reason to threaten us with a possible lawsuit.

Three articles related to super typhoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan) also received huge page views this year. The issue can be dissected from many angles and I’m pretty certain I’ll be writing about it again soon.

Personally, this has also been a big year for me. I’m now in the thesis proposal stage of my master’s program, with the goal of finishing it by 2015. Despite the distractions, I am still committed to having the degree before I turn 25.

At this point, I’d like to give a shout out who gave me speaking opportunities this past year, most notably Ms Janette Toral of the Philippine Blogging Summit, De la Salle University, UP Socius (from UP Los Banos),the Center for the Professional Advancement of Educators, and the organizers of National Collegiate Journalism Conference hosted by Mapua Institute of Technology. I am grateful to be given the chance to share to others what I know.

I’ll never be tired of thanking all readers and subscribers of TFS. If not for you, this website will be just like any fly-by-night blog out there. Your continued support is highly appreciated, as always.

According to Chinese calendar, 2014 is the year of the horse, which also happens to be my birth symbol (I was born in 1990, and the cycle repeats every 12 years). Cheers to more big things ahead for 2014!  🙂

Click here to see the complete report prepared by WordPress.com.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 1,400,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 60 days for that many people to see it.

 


INC event causes massive traffic jam in QC

I was among the thousands of commuters who got gravely inconvenienced by the sudden heavy traffic along Elliptical Road in Quezon City (QC) as well as its connecting roads last Friday night. The traffic jam which lasted until Saturday midnight.

While heavy traffic is expected during Fridays especially when it is a pay day, an outreach mission dubbed ‘Kabayan ko, Kapatid ko’ by Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) held in QC Memorial Circle is really the reason behind that night’s traffic congestion in the vicinity of Elliptical Road.

Coming from a friend’s birthday party near the ABS-CBN compound, I walked to the MRT Quezon Avenue Station, a distance of about ten minutes.  You have to cross the station to get to Eton Centris, which serves as a terminal of sorts for Fairview-bound jeepneys. The time then is 8:30 PM.

Upon descending the station, I immediately saw hundreds of people queuing. I’ve been familiar with the area for several years now but I haven’t seen that many people waiting for a ride home. It’s as if there’s a lightning demonstration taking place in the area at that time.

I walked until I reached a spot not too far away from the mall’s entrance. Shortly before I reached Agham Road, a pedicab offered me a ride. The charge is P30 for a trip from Lungsod ng Kabataan to Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife and vice versa. I accepted it.

kabayan ko kapatid ko iglesia ni cristo

Thousands of people flocked to QC Memorial Circle for Iglesia ni Cristo’s ‘Kabayan ko, Kapatid ko’ outreach project (Photo credit: Eagle News PH Facebook page)

From there, I walked all the way to PHILCOA. The entire ‘walkathon’ must have taken me an hour. You’ll see jeepneys with four ‘extra’ passengers (or ‘sabit’) as well as buses with passengers who are literally hanging by the vehicle’s entry spot. Taxi drivers must be having a heyday too!

This grave inconvenience could have been avoided in two ways. First, INC should have scheduled their activity on a weekend. Then, QC Mayor Herbert Bautista should have anticipated the impact of this to his constituents. Who remembers him or Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metro Manila Development Authority going to the media to discuss alternative routes?

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not against INC’s outreach activity here in QC. That’s commendable. My issue is, they should have timed it on a weekend. Instead of having the media focus on their outreach work (which no doubt is something INC would have wanted), the reports focused instead on the plight of affected commuters.

More importantly, our local government must have laid out alternative routes in advance for us commuters. Whatever happened to proactivity?  If Mayor Bautista can’t be decisive on simple issues like implementing traffic rerouting schemes and suspending classes during bad weather, how can he be expected to deal with complex issues like the relocation of informal settlers?

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“We Are One” event aims to raise funds for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

Is it possible to acquire new knowledge for your personal and professional advancement on one hand while contributing to the relief efforts for the survivors of super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (international name ‘Haiyan’) on the other hand? Most definitely!

With Filipinos in the Visayas region still reeling from the devastation caused by the recent calamity, a group of professional speakers from various fields of expertise is organizing a series of seminars to be held on December 7, Saturday. Notably, all of them waived their respective professional fees for this particular event. Below is the complete line-up of speakers:

Session 1- Randy Esguerra – Resilience is Not Enough

Session 2 – Ricky de Vera – YES! You Can Inspire As You Live!

Session 3 – Boris Juaquin – Creating A Personal Vision: You can Do It If You Can Perceive It

Session 4 – Janette Toral – Connecting and Engaging Online

Session 5 – Joey Reyes – Victim vs. Responsible Mindset

Session 6 – JC Libiran, Gwen Pang, and Pochollo Gonzales –

What’s Next?  What can we do as a nation and as a citizen? – Panel Discussion
Session 7- Pido Aguilar – Understanding and Appreciating What Happens To You

we are one seminar

A series of seminars billed as “We Are One” will be held on December 7 for the benefit of Typhoon Yolanda survivors

Interested attendees are asked to give a minimum donation of P1,000 per head. You can register online at http://trainings.ph/weareone. All proceeds will go to the relief efforts currently being undertaken in typhoon-hit communities.

The one-day seminar will take place at Vista Center, UG/F Worldwide Corporate Center (along Shaw Blvd. across Star Mall) Pleae call Vonj Tingson via 0917 311 8005 or +622-5477 for more information.

Personal: I will definitely not miss an event like this. Paying P1000 for a chance to hear the thoughts of such a powerhouse line-up of speakers is definitely a perfect deal in itself. What more considering the fact that the money will in fact be used for a noble purpose?

Given my extensive engagement in social media the past five years or so, I am naturally interested in the session to be facilitated by Ms Janette Toral. Las May, Ms Toral had me as one of the speakers during the 9th iBlog (Philippine Blogging Summit).

The panel discussion to be headlined by JC Libiran, Gwen Pang, and Pochollo Gonzales also intrigues me especially in light of recent events in the Philippines. It’s hard to imagine a year as bad as 2013 for the Philippines – a volatile political landscape, a burgeoning corruption scandal, as well as twin major disasters in a span of three weeks.

Given all these, it’s easy for any Filipino to feel powerless and hopeless about the direction of their country. Amidst the antipathy and the feeling of despair, we as Filipinos should be reminded that we can still take charge of our own destiny.

PS: Please visit the event’s Facebook page for announcements.


35th Catholic Mass Media Awards winners

The presentation ceremonies for the 35th annual Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) was held last night at the GSIS Theater in Pasay City. According to the CMMA Facebook page, they received 737 entries this year in 57 categories. Of the 737 nominees, only 216 were selected as finalists.

CMMA Foundation aims to “pay tribute to media products that enhance the total human development of the Filipino audience through the competent and professional use of mass media techniques.” The theme for this year is “Social networks: Portals of truth and faith, new spaces for evangelization.”

Here’s a partial list of winners based on various news sources:

catholic mass media awards 2013

The 35th Catholic Mass Media Awards was held last November 15

*Best news commentary for radio – “Failon Ngayon Sa DZMM”

Best radio ad public service – ABS-CBN’s ‘Bantay Lakbay’ for Holy Week 2012

Best public service program for TV – “Saklolo” ng ABS-CBN;

Best TV Station ID – ABS-CBN Regional Network Group (RNG)’s Christmas Station ID

Best talk show ang “Bottom Line with Boy Abunda” ng ABS-CBN;

Best TV special – “San Pedro Calungsod” (ABS-CBN)

Best inspirational song – “Kuya Pedro” of Star Records

Student’s choice award for best picture – “It Takes A Man and a Woman” of Star Cinema

Best Investigative Report – “Greening Cebu: Help or Hazard?” of Sun Star Cebu

(GMA News and major print media outlets are yet to write about the said event. Meanwhile, CMMA hasn’t posted the complete list of winners so far.)

PERSONAL: I submitted The Filipino Scribe as a nominee for the Best Blog award, one of the two awards under the Internet category (the other one being the Best Website recognition). I remember preparing a 30-slide PowerPoint presentation about TFS for this competition (I had to submit eight copies of it!). I even paid P1,000 as a registration fee last May. LOL

As it is, TFS failed to make it as one of the finalists. I had no illusions of winning in the first place. Although I believe my blog can win in terms of merits (it has been recognized twice before), TFS’ non-conservative orientation, especially on issues like gay rights and reproductive health, is definitely a huge drawback. Nevertheless, I joined since I believe that it’s better to try and lose rather than not try at all. 🙂

best blog award - catholic mass media awards

CMMA deleted the Best Blog Award category this year, just like in 2012 (click to enlarge)

 

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