Bikoy on QTV’s Qtube

A few months ago, around February I think, someone from QTV 11 called to ask if I was willing to be featured in one of their upcoming shows. I agreed then, and simply asked them to inform me a few days before the day they wanted to have the shoot. It wasn’t until the show, QTube, was finally launched and a few months after their first call, or a few weeks ago, when they called back and said it’s my turn to be featured in one of the show’s segments, Bloggers’ Digest.

Bloggers’ Digest is where they feature interviews with different Filipino bloggers and their personal profiles. Three weekends ago, I had a sit-down interview with their crew at UP Diliman, in front of Palma Hall. I was uneasy at first, but I eventually shrugged the awkwardness off.

We shot some situationers around campus, some where I was pretending to take photographs with my DSLR in the middle of the Lagoon, some with me using my laptop at obscure places like in front of the Oblation at Quezon Hall.

A few days after the first shoot, another set of technical people went to our house to shoot more situationers at home. It was a pretty short feature on me, a little more than three minutes. I was billed in the web teasers as “a young man who dares to go beyond the youthful trappings of Facebook and Multiply and uses the net to let his views be heard loud and proud.” And that was pretty much how the feature went. In sum, what I simply said was that, I guess what makes my blog different or what sets it apart from the thousands of other Filipino blogs on the internet today, is that perhaps no other blog can claim to have witnessed or chronicled almost a decade of a young boy’s life, through his formative years, and the changes he has undergone from being a high school freshman at the Ateneo, to the film student he was in UP, to all his socio-political involvements, and up to his being a law student.

Anyway, do catch QTube, the only show in the country that takes what’s online on-air every Thursdays, 10:15 PM, on QTV 11.

Eight years of blogging

October 20, 2008. I almost always forget October 20. Eight years ago today I published my first blog entry. From that day on, I’ve been blogging and recording my thoughts and my life in general. Most of my entries back then are, obviously, not up right now. They’re tucked somewhere in the internet, and I’d rather not re-read through them because they’re utterly embarrassing.

One day–actually, yesterday–I randomly clicked one entry for 2001 and to my surprise I was talking about my conservative Catholic ideals and my dislike for the what I called the hedonistic lifestyle of my high school classmates. Ha ha ha ha! It’s disgusting. I even mentioned names.

Blogging started off a lot of significant things for me. It would take me some time to make an exhaustive list, which I unfortunately don’t have much of at the moment. Needless to say, it was through my blog that I got to know a lot of people, moreso the other way around. Blogging definitely played a big part in my life. It played not just a passive role on being a medium where my I recorded my transformation from a being conservative and naive high school freshman in Ateneo to the opinionated law student that I am now in UP, and all else in between, but an active role in getting me into where I am right now. Here’s to more years of blogging for me! In four years I would have been blogging for half of my life, would you imagine.

Blog vulnerabilities

December 30, 2007. Last December 29, my website just suddenly became inaccessible, and for the past two days, anybody who tried to access it, ended up in an error page. At first I was dumbfounded. True, my web host sent an advisory about a scheduled downtime due to some server migration, but that was supposed to be today, December 30. Perhaps it was one day early, I thought. However, their advisory said it would take at most 24 hours. By tonight, it had been almost two days. I was honestly getting really impatient and pissed. Not that it should really matter, it’s not as if there’s much to lose financially for me. This blog doesn’t even generate a dollar a day from paid advertising.

Anyway, so when my blog got back up, what I saw was a time warp from a week ago. Everything that had been posted after a week ago, from entries to comments and pictures were gone. Good thing, good-ol’ Google keeps back-ups of the internet and I was able to recover what I had written this week. My web host explained that prior to the scheduled server migration (whatever that meant), there was also a server crash. So, since this incident reminded me that this blog, and its 6+ years worth of memories, is vulnerable to such technical malfunctions, and also because I had some disposable e-dollars in my PayPal account, I decided to buy myself a pair of paid/premium accounts at Flickr and LiveJournal. So for now, I’m going on a Multiply hiatus. See me in Flickr instead. And my more personal thoughts shall have a new home in LiveJournal.

Burden of non-blogging

Whenever I don’t get to blog for a long time, and the more things that happen in my daily life that I haven’t blogged about, the heavier a certain feeling of baggage becomes for me. It’s like, as long as I don’t blog certain events, I can’t get it off my chest hence it’s quite a drag to move on without putting a definite closure by writing it down in a chronicle. I’ve been blogging my life for more than seven years, and perhaps that length of time has made me feel like if I don’t blog something, it’s as good as forgotten. Unless of course, the experience is something life-changing or extraordinary enough that it shall forever be kept in my consciousness even if I don’t blog about it. Say, something like, my fraternity initiations.

SynchronicitySpeaking of which, the past weeks saw how the Upsilon Sigma Phi staged activities and events one after another for our 89th anniversary. Boy, for a while there, I almost forgot that I had other things to do. All’s well, as it’s almost over. We’re culminating everything tomorrow, DECEMBER 11, with a FREE CONCERT featuring UP Jazz Ensemble, Peacepipe, UpDharmaDown, Pinikpikan, Eileen Sison & Guarana and the Family Cruz Band. It’s going to be from 7 PM till midnight at the UP Theater. Again, like our film screening of Tulad ng Dati, it’s free admission. You may come in even without a ticket invite! See you all there tomorrow.

Bloggers Kapihan

Last Saturday, I went to Philippine Science High School for the first Bloggers’ Kapihan event organized by my co-bloggers Jhay, Mong, Sarah, Shari, Sir Martin and Vencer. It all started one Saturday morning in August when we conceived the plan for a forum on blogging. Somehow, it became part of the plan for me to speak and talk about student blogging to high school students.

Up until the day before the event, I didn’t know what to say. I’ve been blogging for almost seven years without consciously following any set of tips nor rules, and I didn’t know what new idea to impart to high school students. I never thought of myself as a resource speaker on blogging. My having a blog for almost seven years is only an incidental function of having the privilege of having a computer with an internet connection at 12 years old, seven years ago, and having enough time and personal experiences to share, and not really because I actively pursued this “pioneer blogger” status. Hehe.

After briefly talking about how I started blogging, I eventually gave out a handful of random tips to the audience with a crammed PowerPoint presentation to boot. I’ll write about it in another entry, though, when I have enough time. As you can see, I haven’t blogged for a week now because of the heap of academic and extra-curricular school work I’ve been attending to.

Reclaiming my college life before

Eka and Patti, two dear friends in Mass Comm, told me that they rarely check my blog any more. If that had come from other people, I wouldn’t have cared. There used to be a time, they claimed, when I’m third to their emails and friendster when it came to their online routine. True enough, ever since I got too busy in the student council last year and since I got involved in my frat, I barely get to spend time with them, among with my other film and Mass Comm friends. Up until a few months ago, they were regularly in pictures in my entries. So to regain you as my blog patrons, here are picture from our lunch. ūüôā

Not as tell-all as before

When I revealed to my friends, and more importantly when it was revealed to other people in school, that I joined a fraternity and the Upsilon Sigma Phi at that, I was met with surprise. I’d be surprised at myself too, if I didn’t know myself better.

Foremost, the fratman stereotype is quite out of my character, me being a shy boy from the College of Mass Communication at that (with all its own stereotypes, if you know what I mean), and second, my political affiliations and those of the fraternity’s and a majority of its resident brods are ‘officially’ incongruent. Upsilon is, after all, a founding member of my university political party’s two present rival parties. This proved quite odd for me, especially during the student council elections (where I lost).

Despite all these minor contradictions, and all the difficulties (understatement) of being a neophyte and a junior fellow, I don’t regret joining, and I am proud to be an Upsilonian. Anyway, my reasons for joining and other such apologetics won’t be the topic of this entry.

Perhaps this shall only be a disclaimer. Needless to say, quite a handful of the things that have happened and other things that I have done over the past two months are frat matters which I barely ever mentioned in my blog. I never even posted any picture of my brods nor pictures from any of the functions I’ve been to. For someone like me who’s so used to documenting my life and narrating my daily experiences in my blog, it’s something that I had to get used to. It’s not that the fraternity is shrouded in secrecy. Aside from a handful of anti-Upsilon comments in some previous entries, it’s pretty much given that the internet does serve as a place where various fraternities gather information about other frats. Even though I’ve practically outed myself to possibly other aggressive fraternities, the identities of my brods, and detailed personal documentation of activities are things I have to keep from posting here.

Thought on Philippine blogging

I attended the first Philippine Blog Awards awarding ceremonies last night at the RCBC Plaza in Makati. As a finalist, I am allowed to bring along a guest so I asked Ayeen to come with me, right after our semender ‘picnic’ at the La Mesa Dam ecopark.

It was my first time to attend any bloggers’ event, convention or gathering. I felt quite uneasy at first, especially since everyone else seem to have already acquainted themselves well with each other. It’s quite an insecurity of mine. Unlike many of the notable and well-linked bloggers now, I’m probably one of the few who barely gets to comment on other people’s blogs. And it’s not because I’m a snob, as I’ve heard somewhere, I do lurk around all your blogs, but my lack of online correspondence is really just a function of me being very very preoccupied with various things offline.

I didn’t win the best personal blog award, Shari Cruz of Misteryosa.com did. She’s a fellow Mass Comm student in UP Diliman, and a fellow “activist” though she has apparently retired from it. Congratulations to you, Shari. Congratulations too to Ederic of Ederic @ Cyberspace for winning the Pinoy Ako blog award. He’s a online friend who’s also from UP Mass Comm. Congratulations too to my Upsilon brod, Ivan Henares of Ivan About Town, who won the best travel blog award. Congratulations to all the winners! I’m sorry I don’t memorize all of your names and URLs, I’m sure everyone’s links are in the PBA website anyway.

Congratulations to the event’s organizers. Everything seemed to have went very well. It was also nice to finally meet for the first time the people behind all those notable blogs. Hindi na lang ako magne-name drop para walang magtampo kung nalimutan ko as of the moment and URL or name. Hehe.

So, my thoughts. My attendance in the blog awards simply reinforced what I believe the situation of the ‘blogosphere’ is. Almost all bloggers in the Philippines today are still well-to-do¬†urban Filipinos, most of whom are in Manila. And in lieu of the facts that the Philippines is a largely rural country, and a vast majority of Filipinos are still without internet access, I honestly believe that this so-called “Philippine blogosphere”¬†is not as representative of the “Filipino”. With our pride and energy as bloggers, should also come the humility of realizing that “we” bloggers are not that much relevant. Not yet, at least. I don’t even think the internet will play much of a role in the upcoming local and national elections without our dependence on mainstream media.

This passion and hobby of ours is still a very fancy¬†preoccupation, really. But this should not stop us from pursuing greater relevance and inclusive reach. For now, I still dream for a more dynamic and representative blogosphere that showcases in as much as it exposes the common Filipino’s life and the real Philippine situation. And for the mean time, present bloggers like me, and you who’s reading this now, should continue blogging, reading blogs, aspire for better things to come, and do something (aside from blogging) about the things around us.

[POST-SCRIPT, 20:44] I did not bring my bulky camera with me to the event, so I had no pictures to show. Fortunately, there were tens of other bloggers with their photo equipment that night. I was able to snatch two photos here, one from Chris Haravata of In Retrospect… and Karla Redor of Rockersworld.com.

Finalists of the Philippine Blog Awards

The list of finalists for the 2007 Philippine Blog Awards are out. I have been aware that I was included in “shortlist” (which is actually a long one) of official entries in the Personal Blog category, but I never gave it much thought until Benj Espina informed me in one of his comments that Bikoy.net was chosen as a finalist in the Personal Blogs category! Other finalists in the Personal Blogs category are LastLeaf.org, Fight Pompe, Jessica Rules The Universe, and Misteryosa.

Now I have been blogging for almost six and a half years and this is the first time my blog is being officially recognized by an award giving body. There’s even an awards night on March 31, how’s that? It’s not that I have been waiting for a recognition like this all these years, because honestly the traffic and the comments are more than enough ‘recognition’. Needless to say, however, this recognition is highly appreciated also.

Good luck to all the finalists!