The first Visayas Blogging Summit (VBS) was officially launched in Iloilo City last Saturday, November 27, 2010. Organized and hosted by the Iloilo Bloggers Inc, the 2-day event was intended to bring together bloggers within the Visayas region and to show off the beautiful wonders of Iloilo. With more than 150 delegates from Panay Island, Cebu, Negros and as far as Mindanao, it was the first blogger bashing event held here in the Visayas.It was an opportunity to meet people within the blogosphere. The summit and blog awards were free while there was a P200 tour fee for the transportation and snacks.
It was a worthwhile event for the delegates of Filamer Christian University (FCU). A group of BS Computer Science students attended the summit in SM City Iloilo. FCU – College of Computer Studies faculty teachers Mr. Rommel Sario and Mr. Ruel Papio along with WordPress enthusiasts Markley Villanueva and John Lars Andrada also attended the Philippine Blog Awards (PBA) Visayas. Other fellow Capiznon bloggers attended the summit are Felixberto Baguyo, Jr. and company.
The event kicked-off with a short message from the Iloilo Bloggers Inc. President, Marie Claire Bretaña Ponsaran and was followed by a tribal dance performance from the Tribu Paghidaet. The Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog was also present to support the group.
The entire day was super blogorific and a blogger bashing freebiefull orgy of netizens. It was full of information exchange from bloggers, web entrepreneurs and photographers around the Philippines.
Newbies learned from experts while enjoying a cup of Bluejay coffee and Deocampo’s freshly baked bread. The delegates also received more freebies such as Sunsilk shampoo and conditioner, Manny Pacquiao’s “Aray Ko, Galing Ko” Alaxan shirt, Geiser-Maclang Communications Inc. (GMCI) bag and The Daily Guardian newspapers. Bloggers who shared and asked questions received special items such as GMCI shirts and bags, Globe Telecom’s Globe Tattoo, United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) notebooks and Tibiao’s fish spa treat. The discussions were intensely stimulating. The speakers and the topics discussed during the VBS were the following:
Aileen Apolo – Blogging 102: I Have a Blog, Now What? Aileen Apolo-de Jesus is the lone ranger for Google Philippines. She has been hubnobbing with bloggers, developers, mappers and business people the past few years, but she is more comfortable tinkering with Web 2.0 apps and you can find her multitude of blogs at AileenApolo.com.
Flowell Galindez – Blogging for Advocacy. Flow Galindez is part of the World Food Programme’s Hunger Fighter advocate network and is a community leader of the United Nation Development Programme – Asia Pacific iMDG. He is an active awareness campaigner for UNAIDS for HIV/AIDS Prevention Revolution Campaign. He is one of the Coca Cola’s Live Positively online ambassador focusing on community building. He blogs at AngSawariKo.com.
Laszlo Lim of Yehey! is a part-time freelance photographer, a Digital Marketing practitioner, Social Media lurker, and part-time blogger at LaszloLim.com.
Tonyo Cruz – Social Media and Citizenship: Elections and Beyond. Tonyo Cruz is a blogger, journalist and activist from Manila, Philippines. He has been blogging since 2002 on TonyoCruz.com, a winner in the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards. He is a proud member of the group Bloggers’ Kapihan which leads blog action days in the country. Just this November 2010, he joined the social media team of the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. He currently writes for his own blog and for the AsianCorrespondent.com, among others. You may follow him on Twitter at @tonyocruz.
Ria Jose – Role of Bloggers as New Media. Maria A. Jose, or Ria, describes herself as a professional multi-tasker. She has been blogging since 2004 and currently writes for and maintains multiple blogs in several niches: politics, entertainment, food, beauty and fashion, poker, gaming, and technology. She is a legislative researcher and speech writer. Ria also writes for SunStar Davao as a lifestyle columnist. She is the Marketing Officer of Avatar Media, a new media company that specialized in Web Development, Content Management, and Social Media Marketing. She is currently the President of Davao Bloggers and is part of the organizing group of Mindanao New Media. She blogs at RiaJose.com.
Jayvee Fernandez – Blogging Ethics: What’s Hot and What’s Not. Jayvee Fernandez currently serves as chief editor for Splashpress Media and community manager for the global 9rules network. He has served as juror for Interactive Media in 2007 and 2008 for the Anvil Awards (PRSP). He gives out the trophies. He built BlogBank in 2007, a Philippine-based blog advertising network. He is an adjunct faculty at the Asian Institute of Management. He is one of the founders of the Philippine Blog Awards. He is also Technology and Online Editor for UNO Magazine. He blogs at ABuggedLife.com.
Estan Cabigas – Selling the Best of the Philippines Through Blogging. Estan Cabigas is a freelance photographer and blogger based in Makati City. A former telecoms engineer, he specializes in travel, architecture, documentary and sports photography with his works exhibited locally and abroad. He was principal photographer of two coffeetable books on Philippine heritage church architecture and is one of 15 ASEAN photographers invited in the inaugural Internaional Orange Photo Festival in China (October 2010) exhibiting under the New Southeast Asian Contemporary Photography section. As a blogger, he maintains six blogs of which two won (Langyaw.com as Best Travel and EstanCabigas.com as Best Photoblog) in the Philippine Blog Awards in 2009.
Geiser-Maclang became known in the country for pioneering exceptional social marketing and PR strategies that can be applied across different industries-from young, niche brands to well-loved market leaders.
Anton Sheker – How Can We Protect Our Intellectual Property Rights? Anton Sheker is a freelance professional award winning photographer, specializing in travel and interior photography. In 2006, Anton was also the past president of Zone V – a 30 year old digital camera club. In 2010 he was one of the Inspirational Speaker for the newly revived Ph-Photo Group and also in 2010 he spoke on Travel Photography at the PiPho 5th Anniversary Celebration. Anton is the VP for Finance for their high-end furniture export company, PRIMAFIL.
Janette Toral – Impact of Blogs and Social Networking Sites to Businesses. Janette Toral is the author of Blogging from Home, DigitalFilipino.com E-Commerce Workshop E-Book co-author/editor of the Philippine Internet Review: 10 Years of Internet History (1994 – 2004), and DigitalFilipino: An E-Commerce Guide for the eFilipino. She has published 14 research reports tackling Internet, e-commerce, online banking, IT manpower, outsourcing, mobile phone usage, IT adoption developments in the country.
Fitz Villafuerte – 101 Ways of Earning Money Through Blogging is an entrepreneur, a blogger and a hobbyist. By day, he manages several businesses and by night, he blogs about investments, personal finance, food, beverages and many other niche topics.
Blogie Robillo – Internet Governance: Implications and Opportunitie” Oliver V. Robillo—better known as Blogie—is the founder of the Mindanao Bloggers Community, and is the convenor of the annual Mindanao Bloggers Summit, the fourth edition of which was held last October 2010 in Zamboanga City. Blogie is also a WordPress evangelist. He made it possible for WordCamp to take place in the Philippines. He blogs at Blogie.me.
Lloyd Tronco – Why Visayas Should Blog?. An artist, photographer, and advertising executive, Lloyd Tronco is a person who is passionate about the advent of digital media. Seasoned in the field of advertising and marketing communications, Lloyd was a Media Strategist for the multinational advertising agency, McCann-Erickson. Lloyd Tronco maintains several niche blogs, among them, outlookph.blogspot.com (about Out-Of-Home Media in
the Philippines), talonggo.blogspot.com (an online magazine for the Tagalog-Ilonggo), and Juniorgolfdad.blogspot.com (chronicles of a parent of junior golfers).
Speakers info prepared by: Enrico Dee of Byahilo.com
During the evening, the delegates enjoyed a sumptuous dinner at The Venue function room in Smallville while waiting for the Philippine Blog Awards (PBA) Visayas to start. There was another tribal dance performed by Fuerte Baile and a thank you message from the PBA President Juned Sonido. There were about 40 blog nominations and notebook-designed trophies were awarded to the following winners in their respective categories:
• Best culture and arts blog: Michael’s Shades of Blue by Michael Juha
• Best food and beverage blog: Flavours of Iloilo by Jorry Palada
• Best lifestyle blog: Ilonggos.net by Ethel Mia Reyes
• Best photo blog: Gerry Ruiz by Gerry Ruiz
• Best tech blog: Tech Source by Jun Auza
• Best personal blog: The Rookie Blogger by James Arnold
• Best travel blog: Ambot-ah by Marcos Caratao Jr.
The following day, the delegates went on a Heritage Tour around the province of Iloilo. They visited historical and cultural places in San Joaquin, Miagao, Villa, Molo, Plaza Libertad, Jaro Plaza and Angelicum School.
It was a costly event to organize, tiring but very fulfilling for the Iloilo Bloggers Inc. Bloggers of all ages around the Philippines came willingly. They have the choice which events to attend to. Travel and accommodation came from their own pockets. There was even a delegate who preferably kept his life private in cyberspace, having no email address and a Facebook account but was captivated to attend the summit.
Lessons learned from this event were countless. There would be no doubt for bloggers to keep on blogging. Like the others, such bloggers wanted to help make Philippines a better place in their own little ways. Criticisms arise but more and more bloggers have emerged to build a blogoholic society that anyone can look up to.