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Tag Archives: political bloggers philippines

Team PNoy victory a win for ‘tuwid na daan’ – Palace

With nine of the twelve candidates running under the administration senatorial slate headed for victory, Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda hailed the results of yesterday’s polls a “renewed mandate for ‘tuwid na daan.’”

In a statement, Lacierda said the elections gave President Benigno Aquino III “a vote of confidence for good governance, the continuity of reforms, and a brighter future to come.”

Acknowledging that the midterm poll is a referendum on the Aquino government, Lacierda said Filipino voters “have spoken overwhelmingly to confirm and expand the mandate for reform and change that they first granted in 2010.”

The Palace also commended Filipinos for showing “tenacity and good cheer” in exercising their right to vote despite “isolated” incidents of election violence and glitches in the voting process.

Corazon Aquino Elementary School Quezon City

People flock to Batasan Hills National High School to cast their votes (Photo by Mark Madrona)

“Our institutions—from the COMELEC to its deputized agencies—volunteers for poll-watching, media, and the public came together and did their utmost to ensure free, fair, and credible elections,” the Palace added in the statement.

The Palace also called on everyone to respect the will of the majority and to “stay on the path that the Filipino people have determined by virtue of their vote for change.”

Poll watchdog group Kontra Daya earlier slammed the conduct of the polls by COMELEC and Smartmatic, noting that 60% of poll problems monitored by the group are caused by malfunctioning precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.

“Taxpayers paid P1.8 billion for these PCOS machines. The fact that we are seeing numerous cases of PCOS failures, malfunctions and delays only underscores the long-held observation that we were duped by Smartmatic. Comelec allowed the electorate to be shortchanged. This should be the last time we use these machines,” Kontra Daya co-convenor Gani Tapang said.

Fr. Joe Dizon, the group’s spokesperson, said it is not acceptable for COMELEC Chair Sixto Brilliantes to dismiss PCOS-related problems as mere hitches. He added that these problems caused long queues and overcrowded precincts, which may have affected voters’ turnout. “This is disenfranchisement, plain and simple,” Dizon said.

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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 WordPress.com, 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 Multiply.com 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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On the journalists vs. bloggers debate

By Paul Farol

Blogging is all about writing and writing is about composing one’s thoughts then rendering them in an understandable way. Photography is writing with images and it is about composing the image within a frame to form a thought or feeling. Video is writing too with a series of images showing motion, color, etc. It is about composing these series of images within a paradigm. Blogging is writing and bloggers are writers, first and foremost – ergo, you cannot have a blog and not know how to write or think.

So, it’s kind of hard for me to imagine a blogger who doesn’t present himself or herself as a writer — a composer of thoughts, his or her thoughts or the thoughts of someone else.

There’s no point, really, in pitting journalist vs. bloggers. Bloggers are journal keepers and there are bad journal keepers and good journal keepers, and that is essentially what journalism is — journal keeping. It is writing who, what, when, where, how, and why.

What I do see is a conflict between bloggers and REPORTERS. Journalists and REPORTERS or their older cousin, THE OPINION WRITER or COLUMNIST are different creatures.

The reporter actually doesn’t really have to have a mastery of the language they are writing with. If things haven’t change that much in the newspaper and TV industry since I left it years ago, the reporter usually starts out in the Police Beat and works up their way from there to the Political beats. The job is simple, go to a place and find out what happened. It is the editor who actually helps you compose or to some extent SUPPLIES your with the lead, and then works your report into the “newspaper’s style” according to “rules” which may or may not be “rules” at all. The worst reporters when it comes to writing usually come from broadcasting, not because of “the industry” but because of the “conventions” forced upon them by people who think they’re right all the time — because they’ve think that title confers competence. (This is another topic all together.)

paul farol

Blogger Paul Farol

Just think of the word “Exclusive” and how it is used to apply to almost EVERY SINGLE STORY. One News manager I know even insisted on having reporters intro their report by saying, “This is my FOLLOW UP REPORT” just to be consistent with the title of the news segment — whether or not it was an actual follow up story. Moreover, the News Manager said, “Para ang dating sa tao eh may nauna na tayong istorya, at follow up na ito.”

The SORRY result is that the reporters who complied eventually began thinking this was the RIGHT thing to do and so got promoted or landed jobs elsewhere, where they eventually became bosses and then taught their underlings the same crap.

Bloggers, sad to say, aren’t that much better than reporters. How does a blogger come into existence? Years ago, they logged onto LiveJournal or Multiply or what have you. They pop out of the blue, proclaiming themselves experts on one topic or another because they got wind that some other blogger actually became the hotshot in this “niche” or another.

It’s different, though, if you are already an established expert in a field who then results to blogging either because they’ve retired, gone on hiatus. Perhaps, they are simply blowing hot air or trying to build an image of professional competence and stack up popularity which they intend to leverage into lucrative gigs.

In the end, what really marks you as a journalist or blogger worthy of mention is the final product, nothing else. And the product can only be as good as the thought and actual work you put into it — unless, of course, you copied (or in blogging terms, “re-blogged”) it from someone else.

The only thing with bloggers is that they die off quite faster than reporters — because, if you’re great at following instructions from an editor, you can have a long career. Most bloggers stop blogging after a few months.

What pisses off reporters about bloggers is actually the same thing that pisses off veteran reporters when they encounter a rookie reporter at a press con. Veterans hate rookies who don’t know about what they are covering, or yammer on without asking a question, or ask a question that’s already answered or draw too much attention to themselves.

Generally, reporters hate bloggers because they think they’re not reporters because reporters are pack animals and the only way to get along with them is to be one of them, otherwise, you’re out. It’s easier for a rookie to be assimilated because their boss can call up the veteran reporter (who may actually be a drinking buddy) and then all is well. But the blogger, well, unless you are similarly connected — good luck with that!

Authority is often mixed up with popularity. Just think about Steve Jobs, is he an authority on computers or IT technology? Some people would think so, but ask an old school computer programmer and they’d talk about people who developed computer technology. So, authority, in a sense relative and I wouldn’t too much weight on authority. I look at how coherently and eloquently someone puts together an idea or ideas or attempts to dismantle/deconstruct/boil down an idea. I think authority is like a footprint, it is merely an imprint/the mark of vigorous and honest thinking. Rather than authority, I try to look at evolving thought — how one thinker wrestles with one idea or explores an idea or system of ideas.

That’s why I love challenging people’s viewpoints so I can see whether they are still thinking or just mouthing cut and dried dogma — like fanatics.

I disagree that bloggers actually write without an editor. We have editors inside our heads, beside us in our homes or offices, in cyberspace, etcetera… Yes, I am using the word loosely to refer to our need to belong (not only belong but be somewhat desired) and our desire for self-affirmation. I’ve heard hundreds of writers say they write solely for themselves and I assure you, that is BULLSHIT. Writers need have their writing read (otherwise, some of the greatest private poets should have burned their poetry as soon as they had finished it).

One popular blogger I know hates meeting up with other bloggers precisely because knowing them personally imposes a restraint on the blogger’s creativity.

But having an editor is not really having someone restrain you. Ideally, it should be like having an older, wiser, and more experienced hand that makes sure you stay true to your intent — even when you’re not completely certain of your intent at all.

Working under a real editor in a really professional environment will not only help you hardwire journalistic discipline into your information gathering, analysis, and writing, but it will also help you think vigorously all the time.

Paul Farol, a political blogger and veteran media practitioner, contributes articles for Get Real Philippines among other sites. Access his blog Pinoy Buzz here.


Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013! Happy New Year to all!

First, I want to greet all of you a happy new year! As we say goodbye to 2012, let me share with you the incredible milestones this blog has achieved so far. During the past year, we received 800,000 views – nearly ten times what we got in 2011. According to figures from WordPress, Aside from the Philippines, The Filipino Scribe has received at least 1,000 views from 16 other countries – United States, Canada, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Qatar, India, Malaysia, Mexico, and Italy.

We will end 2012 at the number one spot in Top Blogs Philippines’ politics and government category – a position it has held the past 24 weeks. Let me take this opportunity to thank all the readers and subscribers of The Filipino Scribe for making this possible. As I always say, this wouldn’t be possible without your support. You can expect this blog carry more informative and entertaining stuff in the coming year.

 

Meanwhile, here are my ten most posts for 2012:

1. “Where to download Ram Revilla-Janelle Manahan sex video?”

2. “Is Charice Pempengco lesbian? And so?”

3. Justin Bieber makes fun of Manny Pacquiao

4. February 25 2012 working holiday pay rules

5. Amalayer – Paul Jamie Salvosa

6. June 12 2012 Philippine Independence Day Holiday

7. On Robert Blair Carabuena

8. May 1 2012 Labor Day Holiday

9. Proclamation 459 – Philippine holidays for 2013

10. December 2011 nursing board exams results

The past year has also been very eventful to me personally. I am already done with my master’s coursework (24 units in all). Should things go on as planned, I will be able to begin working on my thesis as early as this summer with the goal of finishing it by 2014. I have also won four writing competitions – one of them organized overseas. Two weeks ago, this blog received a special citation from the organizers of the 2012 Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Awards.

Because of my work on this blog, I appeared on one cable television talk show. I’ve also been invited to a number of  speaking engagements. Nevertheless, I am convinced that bigger things are bound to happen in 2013. Time to begin our journey through the year ahead! Happy New Year again! 🙂

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

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 790,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 14 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!


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