Our Times

Writings of Susan Ople aka Toots, columnist of Panorama Magazine and Tempo, proud mother of Estelle and 7 dogs, namely, Picasso, Monet, Suzy, Miggy, Marty, Chandler and Joey. Daughter of the late war veteran, journalist, writer, labor minister, constitutional commissioner, senator, senate president, and foreign affairs secretary Blas F. Ople aka Ka Blas.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Iblog2: A Newbie's Perspective

My day at Iblog2 started later than most. I caught the middle of Manolo Quezon’s talk on a blogger’s rights and his or her readers’ expectations. I appreciate the generosity of spirit behind his advice for established bloggers to point the way to lesser known but equally deserving blogsites. Davao City councilor Pete Lavina expressed optimism that the blogosphere will be the cyber haven of participatory governance. I was amused by his remark that a great number of those who posted comments on his site were foreigners and Filipinos overseas. Dean stood up at the open forum to emphasize (mild word) the need for Pinoy bloggers to be deadly serious in promoting the search for great, powerful ideas.

Lunch was simple but delicious. Not bad for a free conference! (Hooray for Janette, Rissa, UP ISP, and Iblog2 sponsors!)

The afternoon sessions entailed difficult choices. I attended the session on Art and Literary Blogs. Palanca awardee Dean Alfar held the audience in the palm of his hand with his impromptu lesbians-at-Starbucks dialogue and succinct PowerPoint presentation. Jonas Diego showed how graphic design helps enliven one’s blog. In his case, the comic strips he posted also paved the way for others to discover his creative talent and even tap his services. Equally deserving of applause was the third presentation on Blogging as an Educational Tool by Zarah Gagatiga.

I felt torn between attending Ellen Tordesillas’ talk or that of the probloggers' session. Thoughts about my electric and telephone bills finally resolved the matter in favor of the man called Yuga (so sorry, Ellen!). I had fun listening to the panel composed of professional bloggers who were kind enough to share their experiences in dollars and cents transactions. This opens the gateway to new fantasies, of course. Now if I can only figure out how to add Adsense on my own blog! (Don't smirk. I’m a newbie, remember?)

For a new mommy blogger like me, Iblog2 was an eye-opener. I sat in a classroom with a crowd of mostly young people who bring to the blogosphere the many pieces of their sun-drenched lives. There were parents, too, and professionals in various fields who have found a second home in the vast digital universe. It was my first time to set foot inside the Pinoy blogging community. I started my blog several days ago. When my nephews picked me up from Malcolm Hall, they asked me how the summit went. I smiled and told them about fellow writers who blog, bloggers who earn, nice people like Dean Jorge Bocobo and Pete Lavina, and seeing friends like Annalyn, Manolo, and Jove.

I emerged from Iblog2 refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of maintaining my blog. Because, more than anything else, I now realized what blogging is all about: freedom to write, freedom to choose, freedom to simply be the person that you are, and freedom for creative and out-of-the-box ideas to swim in the wide and open sea of intellectual discourse. In the battlefield of ideas, the biggest losers are those who believe this battle should not even be fought at all. Clearly, there were no such losers at Iblog2. Freedom lives in Blogland!


At 7:45 AM, Blogger digitalfilipino said...

Wow Toots! Your reflection on this event simply inspires me. Galing! Thank you for supporting iBlog2!

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous diana much said...

tita toots! you left your iblog2 brown envelope sa car ;)

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous jove francisco said...

toots, i'm so happy to be in the blogosphere with you!

At 9:22 PM, Anonymous gari said...

Newbie you may be
Simplicity is the key
Words are milds
Happy to be hopping
Keep on blogging!

At 3:48 PM, Blogger ellen said...

Hi Toots,

I feel bad missing Yuga's lecture on how to monetize blogs. Paano nga ba?


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