I have had the honor of being a finalist in the 2009 Philippine Blog Awards – a really funny incident for me considering the circumstances of how I was encouraged to make public my otherwise private blog and how I got nominated to the PBA in the first place.
I have been blogging since 2005, despite the fact that when it initially became popular in the online community, I had detested it. I have been writing journals since I was a kid – from diaries of daily activities to personal opinions of what is happening around me. I have never published any of this work especially since they are contained in “volumes” of notebooks and were always for my private eyes alone. Yet some twisted part in my brain urged me to publish my thoughts in a blog yet my sense of privacy compelled me to keep it private for a long time.
One day, I was doing a search for information about Mar Roxas. I knew he had a blog I was following for some time yet I lost the link. I was trying to locate it when I encountered a blog which featured news about Mar Roxas. I was shocked at what I read! At first I thought it was true. I had no idea it wasn’t. But when I read the sidebar, I knew I had been goofed. I enjoyed the blog – perusing its other stories and laughing my heart out. I back read each and every entry although it took me days to do so. Eventually I got out of my lurker identity and joined the throngs of commenters in the blog. The response of the blog owner – his hospitality and warm welcome – really amazed me. And it was his blog that urged me to publish my own.
Because of his blog I saw what it would be like to share your thoughts to people – not just keep them for your own. Because of his blog I got a glimpse of what it would be like to have a devoted sea of blog followers even blog pals or friends that can be like another social network in this vast and dynamic world. I now have my own blog pals and my blog stats have increased to numbers I never knew it would reach before – still a humble number compared to what other blogs are receiving but then who’s in a rush?
Another thing, GTM did for me was to hook me up on Facebook. Facebook to me before was just another fad, a social networking site that everyone was joining but I was too lazy to join to despite the countless invitations I receive from friends. But after GTM said it had a Facebook account, I decided to join. And now my Facebook account had evolved into gargantuan proportions. It had surpassed my Friendster and Multiply accounts of which I use sparingly now. And Facebook, I must say, connected me to more people in my various social networks than the other social networking sites had ever done.
So to Deejay, the maker of GTM, I wish you all the luck – may you win in all 3 categories your blog is nominated for. Good job man!
When I made my blog public, I initially lamented at the sparse traffic it was getting. I had views of ony one or two a day, sometimes zero. And I knew that they were most probably my siblings or parents. But then the number started increasing, albeit slowly, as I waded my way unto other blogs and commented on their entries. As time passed, traffic increased yet it had never reached 200 views in a day and the average view per day would be about 20. But I was happy. My blog had been private for so long that these numbers were a welcome change. And people I didn’t even know started commenting and I was glad for that.
Then I encountered the PBA logo on some of the blog sites I went to. I admired those sites and I was happy they got nominated. I wondered when my time would come. Then sudden inspiration hit me – why not enter my blog to the PBA? There’s nothing wrong I presume with nominating yourself. So I did, with some small hope that I would get in but more so with just a happy thought at seeing the logo displayed on my site. I was happy for that.
I didn’t knew I was a finalist till about 2 days after the announcement. Someone made a post in my Facebook Wall congratulating me and someone already commented on it without my knowledge. I then went to my blog, saw another congratulatory comment in one of my posts and so I proceeded to investigate. Indeed I was a finalist. Tears of joy sprang to my eyes. I could hardly believe it.
I wished there was some logo that would announce to the world that I made it; that someone had judged my blog and found it acceptable. One of the reservations I had when I made my blog public was the judgement the public would have on my opinions and views. It took me such a long time to be ready to own up to my opinions and stand up for them. Now I am. I can stand up for what I say here and defend my views, whether popular or not.
I have never considered blogging for any award or recognition. I simply wanted an avenue to vent out all the thoughts crammed in my head. I never even thought of writing to please anyone. And so I am euphoric that my blog got in. To me it somehow validated my worth as a writer; as a blogger. Less than a year after I made my blog public, to receive such commendation is, to me, priceless.
I do not know if I will make it. I hope I do, of course. But I know I am up against really wonderful blogs and I have great respects for them. I know it is a tight competition indeed but as Brilliante Mendoza said in an interview with Yes! Magazine, the artist create his masterpiece not because of the award. The award is just a bonus. He creates the artwork as an expression of his beliefs or his message to the world.
I have received the RSVP invite for the Award’s Night. Although I badly want to go, I’m afraid I may not be able to. For me to attend the event I would be missing two training sessions and since I am just starting, I cannot do that. Also, the trip (expenses, energy) would be too much for me especially in the wake of the recent onslaught of the previous typhoons. I cannot gamble my security at this point.
And so it is with much regret that I won’t be able to attend the said event. I hope next year I get to become a finalist again so I could attend the event. Who knows what direction my blogging activities would take by that time? I plan to also create a number of blogs on other topics; it’s just that I need to find time to do so.
To all the other finalists, good luck to you all and kudos to PBA for a job well done!