The Other Side of My Blogging Life

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.



Maguindanao Massacre: Life Gone Cheap

Last Monday, November 23, the entire Philippines then the entire world learned of the heinous massacre of some members of the Mangudadatu clan and accompanying media and friends who were simply on their way to the local Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Maguindanao.

To-date, the body count is 57 people. Horrific by all standards. We have suddenly been thrust in the global news as being the first country where so many media people (who should, in all wars, be given protection as neutral and unarmed citizens) were slain at the same time and in the same place. Even more horrific was how the women were treated: they were allegedly humiliated via raping and shot or speared in different parts of the face and body.

Even now, I shudder at thoughts of how they all died. For many days after, while I tried to go about my normal business, a very heavy cloud hung over me and I would get teary-eyed while watching the news and seeing shots of the killing fields. I cannot even bear to put a single picture of the dead on this page. Now, I just want to write and let this be an outlet for all the negativity it has generated.

I am outraged, angry, and frustrated. No one deserves to die this way specially when they were not even in battle but were merely exercising their electoral right as Filipino citizens. I value life very much and when life is snuffed out like this under what was an obviously premeditated act (a backhoe belonging to the Province of Maguindanao was found near dugouts which were created even before the party of Mangudadatu set out for the Comelec), there is no other action than to find the mastermind and the doers of these dastardly deeds speedily.

The campaigning for elections has not even began and already we have the blood of innocents spilled for it. How safe will our brothers and sisters in Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines be in the run-up to May 2010? Are we here in Manila even safe?

I join in the call for the Philippine government to act swiftly, transparently and justly to bring the guilty before the courts of law with no special treatment whatsoever. This is not a time for any political favors to be granted. The outrage over the death of so many innocent people has now escalated to an international one and the whole world is watching and waiting to see how this government will deal with the Ampatuans, a clear ally of the present administration, who have been tagged as allegedly being behind the massacre.

We all need to be clearly satisfied that this government will run after all those involved in the massacre and put the full force of the law on them. Nothing less… Officially Launches

A diverse group of bloggers have come together to write articles on election-related issues to foster voter’s education, commentaries, features on the candidates running for national positions, and any other topics that would broaden the voters’ ability to vote wisely in the coming 2010 Philippine elections. Vibal Foundation’s Philippine Online Chronicles ( is hosting online. aims to cover underplayed stories in various formats normally used by bloggers such as podcasts, articles, and videos. Another thing that will distinguish itself is its use of social networking media to spread information and connect with its readers. Already, the site has Plurk, Twitter, Ustream, Facebook, YouTube, and Qik accounts set up so that can be made accessible to almost everyone who is online.

At the official launch last November 24 at Max’s Restaurant in Bel-Air, Makati City, traditional media and other bloggers were in attendance. Gus Vibal, publisher of Philippine Online Chronicles likewise graced the occasion.

The program proper went as follows:

The Philippine Online Chronicles and Blog Watch – Kristine Mandigma (Program Director)

The Role of Bloggers as New Media – Ed Lingao (Phil. Center for Investigative Journalism)

Blogging / Journalism – Marck Rimorin (Blog Watch writer)

The Blog Watch Site and Plans – Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (Project Director)

Introduction of the Writers

Open Forum with the Press

Emcee: Vince Golangco (Blog Watch writer)

Below is a teaser video on Blog Watch shown during the launch: will continue to evolve to include more interactive content. We strongly encourage all of you who have a stake in the 2010 elections to actively participate in the Blog Watch polls and tell us what you think via our comment sections.

We are also accepting bloggers who may want to guest blog on commentaries. If you are interested, send us an email at We still need bloggers from the provinces in Northern and Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Blog Watch Formally Launches on Nov. 24, 2009

I had an earlier post about being part of Blog Watch, hosted by Vibal Foundation’s Philippine Online Chronicles.

On November 24, 2009, Blog Watch will be formally launched in the presence of traditional and new media at Max’s Restaurant on Jupiter St., Makati, from 11am to 2pm.

The blogger-writers for Blog Watch will attempt to “fill in the gaps” as well as complement traditional media’s coverage of the 2010 elections. We have began some features on voter education and are now beginning to provide backgrounders on the candidates for national positions (both on the personal side as well as the political side, including issues they are supporting). In addition, commentaries stemming from the personal insights of the writers will add flavor to this site.

It is our hope that through Blog Watch as well as other blogs and news sites, including those set up by COMELEC, the voting public will be able to make wiser decisions on who to elect into office.

I invite you to visit Blog Watch regularly to become as informed as possible before the 2010 Philippine elections. You may also follow Blog Watch on FacebookTwitterPlurk and subscribe to its YouTube channel.

The bloggers (as of this writing) who form part of Blog Watch are Noemi Dado (A Filipina Mom Blogger), Jane Uymatiao (Here’s to Life!), Sonnie Santos (Sonnie’s Porch), Dine Racoma (The D Spot), Vincent Golangco (When in Manila), Carlo Ople (New Media Philippines), Marck Rimorin (The Marocharim Experiment)Rochelle Sy Chua, Juned Sunido (Baratillo @ Cubao), Fritz Tenatativa (Fritzified)Leslie Bocobo, Brian Ong (The Philippines and Beyond), Victor Villanueva (Bikoy.Net), Dean Jorge Bacobo (Philippine Commentary), Pierre Tito Galla (Jester-in-Exile), Karen Ang (Bury me in this dress), AnnaManila (Ode2Old), Wyatt Belmonte (Wyatt’s Kitchen), and Blogie Robillo (Blogie Blog).

Blog Watch Launches for the 2010 Elections

The 2010 elections will be the most interesting election as far as my voting career goes.

This one sees the most number of voters actually interested in participating and exercise their right of suffrage. In our home alone, our yayas and driver actually voluntarily registered without my knowledge when my kids went to register. And 3 of my 4 kids are first-time registered voters.

The list of possible presidentiables has been one surprise after another — the Noynoy factor arose only after Tita Cory’s death; Mar Roxas, a strong presidential contender slides down to be Noynoy’s VP running mate; Erap declares he will run again; Chiz Escudero pulls the rug from under everyone’s feet by suddenly announcing he is leaving NPC (and is now keeping everyone guessing if he will run for President or not).

This is the first time that elections will be conducted using an automated process.

As of this time, major online news sites have created sections just for posts on the upcoming elections and many bloggers have either written about election-related issues on their own blogs or have come together to put up blogs dedicated solely to 2010.

A group of us are writing for the Philippine Online Chronicles’ election section, called Blog Watch.

Blog Watch will contain features, commentaries, news, voters’ education and election awareness campaigns, videos, informal polls and similar informative items.

Do visit Blog Watch regularly and be thoroughly informed before 2010.

Not only is it our right to vote. It is also our right to see to it that our votes are properly counted. And in order to vote properly, we must know all the issues as well as the backgrounds and platforms of all those running for office.

You may also follow Blog Watch on Facebook, Twitter, Plurk and subscribe to its YouTube channel.

Below are the blog links of the Blog Watch writers (list updated 11/16/09):

A Filipina Mom Blogger

Here’s to Life!

Sonnie’s Porch

The D Spot

When in Manila

New Media Philippines

The Marocharim Experiment

Hearty’s Haven

Baratillo @ Cubao


Undertow / Leslie Bocobo

The Philippines and Beyond


Philippine Commentary


Bury me in this dress


Wyatt’s Kitchen

Blogie Blog