I have not really had time to blog about what I had been doing these past months. It’s been a whirlwind time doing my usual mommy activities while participating in a new advocacy. Since October of 2009, I became part of a group of concerned citizen bloggers who wanted to do something other than our normal blogging. We wanted to push voter education and thought we could do something as there was quite a large online community if we put our readership together.
With my mommy blogger friend Noemi starting the whole effort, Blog Watch was put together. Starting with 16 bloggers, we grew to 31 by the time the May 10, 2010 elections came. By then, we had interviewed 7 of the 9 presidential aspirants (see pics below. I missed out on Bro. Eddie’s interview), some running for VP and senators, and a few local government candidates.
We were pleasantly surprised when our request to be accredited for coverage during the inauguration (including Malacanang Palace) was accepted.
And once again, we were allowed to cover the SONA last July 26 (although we were not all given access to the plenary hall, something we wish we could have done in order to live tweet and blog).
Looking back, everything we did was an uphill battle for credibility. After all, bloggers were never considered serious enough to be allowed arms-length access to presidential candidates or other politicos. And here we were, asking through informal contacts, to interview these people. In a sense, I am thankful that all the candidates who agreed to be interviewed gave us a chance to show that we also had something to offer up and that given a chance, we can contribute.
What began as a simple case of citizen volunteerism soon turned more serious as we interviewed one candidate after another. Later it dawned on us that our work did not end with the elections. In fact, it had just began. With Pres. Noynoy Aquino assuming the topmost position in the land, carried by a platform of transparency, integrity and good governance, we felt we could not just say bye-bye to Blog Watch and leave the rest to him. If we wanted him to succeed, we had to continue doing our part.
So where are we now?
Blog Watch has morphed (haha, I love that word instead of saying “evolved”) into a citizens’ watchdog. We will continue to hold all those elected to their pre-election promises. We will be vigilant and call their attention whenever anyone in any agency in any department is not holding fast to their culture of transparency and good governance. We will praise when praise is due and give constructive criticism when the situation calls for it. We will rally all netizens of this country with access to mobile phones and internet to likewise stay vigilant and report abuses and erring ways.