Category Archives: social networking sites

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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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

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.


Mayweather ridicules Pacquiao on Facebook, Twitter

The holiday season apparently hasn’t stopped undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. from throwing punches against his archrival, slugger Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. Mayweather uploaded a ‘Christmas card to the world’ on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Check the original upload here. The meme is a composite of four images.The first two pictures refer to Mayweather’s offer to Pacquiao to fight him for $40 million and the latter’s decision to turn it down.

manny pacquiao floyd mayweather christmas card

Floyd Mayweather mocks Manny Pacquiao through a ‘greeting card’ he uploaded on Facebook and Twitter

The last two images imply that Pacquiao’s December 2012 loss via knockout to Mexican fighter Juan Manuel Marquez blurred any possibility of a bout against Mayweather. The post has been shared almost 25,000 times on Facebook and around 20,000 on Twitter. Mayweather uploaded the photos about 2AM, Manila time.

American journalists have been critical of Mayweather’s move. Mike Singer of CBS Sports described the meme as a “low blow” while Nick Schwartz of USA Today newspaper called the uploaded pictures as “mean.” Andy Nesbitt of Fox Sports meanwhile reiterated that the world is still waiting for a Pacquiao – Mayweather fight to finally come true.

Mayweather’s latest antics came weeks after sport legend Mike Tyson described Pacquiao as the ‘most sensational’ boxer in an interview with ESPN’s Sports Nation.


Iglesia ni Cristo and Regghie Orpiada

Instead of dedicating their time and effort to help out the survivors of super typhoon Yolanda, some individuals would instead use the opportunity to stir controversy involving people of different religions. In recent days, a series of Twitter posts by someone named ‘Regghie Orpiada’ has gone viral.

The said user presented himself as a member of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). In his posts, Orpiada is gleefully noting that INC worship houses remained standing even though much of the community where it is located was washed out by Yolanda. There were also accusations circulating online that non-INC members were shooed away when they sought shelter in the said group’s worship houses at the height of the storm.


Regghie Orpiada is not an Iglesia ni Cristo member

Naturally, many unsuspecting netizens, including some of my students, became aghast upon reading the said posts. Not surprisingly, they directed their anger at INC. However, the truth eventually came out. The real Regghie Orpiada came out and claimed that his account was hacked.

Nevertheless, some netizens are arguing that Orpiada intentionally made the inflammatory posts to gain public fame. Meanwhile, accusations that non-INC members were refused shelter inside INC facilities were also debunked.

While the Internet is a very useful tool in information dissemination, erroneous reports also gets shared just as easily. Because of the easiness by which we can “share” online content, the need to verify things gets lost in the process. This isn’t really a stunning development. In fact, it has been discussed in The Economist as early as 1999.

Making the problem worse is the fact that those who commit these shameless acts can get away unscathed because they can stay anonymous. This is a useless distraction from the relief and evacuation efforts that everyone should be focusing on. The most important lesson from this incident is to learn to ignore online BS.


Ray-Ban giveaway Facebook hoax

Who wants to get a pair of Ray-Ban shades for free? Two Facebook pages claiming to give away 4,738 pairs of Ray-Ban sunglasses have attracted attention from Internet users around the world, though the promo appears to be a hoax. They can be accessed here and here. Together, the two pages have over 23,000 “likes.”

“We have 4,738 pairs of Ray-Bans that can’t be sold because they have been returned so we are giving them for free in time for the summer,” a post on the page said. Those who want to join in the “contest” can do so simply by sharing the post and by “liking” the page.

The promo ends May 5 and winners will be notified through Facebook. The original post has received over 18,000 shares as of early Sunday morning (Philippine time). Commenters seem to be convinced that the contest is real.

Ray ban giveaway Facebook hoax

The Ray-Ban giveaway promo going viral in Facebook is obviously a hoax

Both Facebook pages were created last May 3. Some went to the official Facebook page of the American eyewear giant to ask about their supposed promo. The company is yet to make an official statement regarding the matter. The last post in that page is dated April 27. Despite the lack of a formal denial, there are tell-tale signs that the giveaway is fake. Consider this:

  1. Why did Ray-Ban not announce a major giveaway like this on their official page?
  2. The two Facebook pages (both erroneously named “Ray-Bans”) where the contest was announced are newly created.
  3. Is it really possible for the company to gather the names of everyone who “shared” the post for them to select the winners?
  4. Almost 5,000 pairs returned? Seriously?

A Facebook user meanwhile said: “This is a trick. They collect all your names and sell them to advertisers.”

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The Filipino Scribe’s 2nd anniversary – 1.2 million hits!

I started The Filipino Scribe on this day exactly two years ago. To date, it has already accumulated over 1.2 million page views. According to figures from, this site has received at least 1,000 hits from readers in 22 countries outside the Philippines. Obviously, a huge chunk of these readers must be overseas Filipino workers. Meanwhile, The Filipino Scribe has also occupied the number one spot in Top Blogs Philippines’ politics and government category for 44 of the last 45 weeks.

Achieving all these feats was not in my mind when I put up this blog two years ago. As I have mentioned before, I just wanted then to resume blogging after taking a hiatus from for about a year. One particular experience as a jeepney commuter provided me the impetus to write again.

Long-time readers of this blog probably noticed that I have renamed this blog for several times already, most recently as “Notes from the Philippines.” I decided to do away with it because I thought the name is too vague. Besides, I want the blog title to have a “newspaperish” name (a la Huffington Post, if you get my drift).

2012 pinoy blog awards

The Filipino Scribe is one of the ten national finalists to the 2012 Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Awards

Last year, I gleefully noted that my blog won a national recognition merely months after I put it up. In contrast, 2012 was rather uneventful on that aspect. As I pointed out in a blog post last year, three organizations that usually give recognition to bloggers annually did not do so in 2012. The Filipino Scribe was one of the national finalists to the 2012 Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Awards, ultimately getting the second highest number of votes out of the ten nominees. I do hope that this year will be better.

Of course, and I will never get tired of pointing this out, this blog continues to open lots of opportunities for me. In recent months, I’ve been invited to talk about issues related to the social media on many occasions. I’m looking forward for more in the coming months. Indeed, this is one of the perks of maintaining a popular blog.

media literacy forum - pup manila

Photo taken during a forum on media literacy organized by senior Communication Research students from Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Manila last March 16

Let me end this post by saying thanks to people who helped me get to where this blog is right now. First, to the thousands of readers who gave this blog their time. It’s an honor to have you here. Secondly, to all fellow bloggers who included The Filipino Scribe in their blog roll. Lastly, to those organizations who believed that invited me to address their events. Maraming salamat po!


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