A Candid Report on JoeAm’s Blog

The Society of Honor was JoeAm’s hobby for two years. He was blogging to perfect his writing skills and gain an understanding of how Philippine culture is different from American.  He was having fun. He didn’t care about readership.

In April of 2012, JoeAm got banned by Get Real Post. His motivation changed. He did not announce this. But it changed. Benigno changed it.
Joe is a competitor. He played basketball from age 7 until a few years ago when his knees forced him to retire. He played baseball from little-league through high school. He swam competitively. He was a ruthless spiker and blocker in college volleyball, a backhand deficient tennis player, and a lightening quick badminton player. He proved good at ping pong, pool, rock climbing, spelunking and chasing girls. He was a gross failure at anything dealing with ice, like skiing and skating, for instance. Don’t ask about his sledding recollections; they are painful.
Joe learned that the win was found in the competition, not the score.
Here was benigno’s parting taunt at JoeAm just before he gave JoeAm the boot:
  • Hey I’ve got an idea, Mr Joe America. How about we run an online experiment that goes like this:
  • (1) I put all comments of yours subsequent to this in the Spam queue.
  • (2) You go off and get up on your soapbox elsewhere (say, somebody else’s blog, like yours maybe) and announce to the world how the Admins of GR Post don’t practice “free speech” here.
  • (3) We both sit back for the next couple of weeks (or years) and see if:
  • (3.a) anyone out there actually cares about what you have to say about our Admin practices here; and,
  • (3.b) anyone of the regular commentors here in GR Post actually miss your presence and clamor for a reinstatement of your comments.
  • I think the above little experiment will be good for a few laughs.
JoeAm said to himself, and no one else, until now:
“I know a poor sport when I read one. Okay, game on.”
JoeAm took three decisions.:
  • “I’ll write every day so that readers know to check in on today’s article, like reading the newspaper every morning.”
  • “I’ll change my approach from grousing like benigno to accepting the Philippines as it is, and I’ll support Team Filipino.”
  • I’ll see if the GRP malcontents can take what they dish out.
Game on.
The chart down there shows page visit trends to JoeAm’s blog.
What used to be 50 page-reads a day has become 400 page-reads a day. Yesterday was 462. Today is on a pace to exceed 600. That is still comparatively small, but readership is clearly up, and it is undeniably a thinking, well-read society. It is satisfying to note that it is also a polite society, in the main. Respectful. Classy. I believe that if you treat people with respect, they will return that respect, and that is pretty much the tenor of the blog.
Readership has assumed a life of its own. No matter what I write, the readers are there, 24 hours per day.
Comment is also more active these days. People come and go. I miss those who visited for a time then left, brianitus, Jack, Jim-e, but they have lives to lead, you know? And some new visitors become regular commenters. Johnny and andrew and DocB.  Edgar and Cha are cerebral anchors and have contributed their own articles. It is a flow now. Old friends occasionally stop by to drop off a comment (Attila, Greg, Mariano, J, patrioticflip, Angel). It’s cool. A real society. Graduates and newbies and old friends popping in.
I appreciate the loyalty because I am confident I have offended all of you at one time or another. Maybe a joke that went wrong, or a criticism that was too strong or completely off base. It is a risk that I accept to try to write a somewhat edgy literary style.  I don’t really intend to offend, and I think most understand that. Well, I don’t mind offending Senator Sotto or benigno, two birds of similar feather . . . 
The blog has recently been featured in two popular newspaper columns and is being read by numerous opinion makers. One article even ended up with President Aquino, and I suspect he stops by now and then when he is winding down. If he can shop gun prices on Google, he can pop in to see what is on Joe’s eccentric mind today. One of his communications people, MLQIII, has popped in and other notables now know Joe America.
Game on.
About a month ago, after popularity got ticked up by the newspaper articles, I asked, “what can I do to keep readership up now that people are aware of the site?”  I started getting more active in making comments at other blog sites. I just keep my mug shot and writing in front of people and hope they get curious or think, “oh, yeah, I read that guy a while back, I think I’ll see what he’s written lately”.
And that has indeed produced a steady flow of visitors. I do this without prostituting myself, generally refraining from placing my own links in other people’s blogs. Just thoughts that I hope contribute to constructive discussions on those blogs.
Andrew Lim has been instrumental in keeping the flow of comments coming by posting links and references in Facebook and other blogs. He finds an article he thinks makes good points and he broadens the reach of those ideas. He has brought over a lot of new readers.
I appreciate it when readers  do that, extending the reach of the articles and the dialogue attached to them. The comments are as important as the articles.
What are JoeAm’s aspirations?
If given a choice between producing a popular, broad-reaching blog read by thousands or a quality blog read by  a couple of hundred opinion-leaders, I would most definitely aspire toward the latter. This readership would accept the views of an American blogger in the Philippines because it is the IDEAS that count, not whether the writer is American or Filipino. Readers would recognize it is the crossing of two different cultures that provides new insights. And this readership would appreciate word play, satire and quirky humor. Sometimes even off-color or irreverent humor.
This would be a readership that doesn’t mind bending its own mind . . . or challenging JoeAm’s.
It would be a readership that occasionally gets so fired up about a topic that the reader pens a long, thoughtful comment that builds depth and adds new perspectives to the discussion.
I do know that I aspire NOT to write a blog that is a pit of shallow, concealed manipulations and bitterness where tearing down others is misrepresented as insight.
I’d like to see JoeAm and readers continue to work at being genuine, a real society of honor, searching for important truths . . .searching for solutions, not just problems . . . and expressing thoughts in ways that seek to enlighten, amuse or inspire.
The competition is in the playing of the game.
Cheers. Thanks for being here.
Game on.
54 Responses to “A Candid Report on JoeAm’s Blog”
  1. Anonymous says:

    JoeRemember that old commercial. "where is the beef" keep serving quality beef, customers will keep comingSince you are clumsy with anything icy, then social visit to you in Biliran is out of the question for you couldn't serve me halo-halo. I wanted to get olympic training regimen from you on chasing girls! He he heJohnny Lin

  2. Cha says:

    Mariano Renato Pacifico also mentioned you in a Rappler comment the other day (sorry can't remember which piece exactly he commented in) . Said something like you being really analytiical and way better than most of mainstream media opinion writers/ columnists. As for the benigno taunt/ experiment, remind me again who benigno is?? :))))))

  3. benigno is an irrelevant blogger, a neighbor of yours somewhere in Australia. I think he kicks wallabies as a hobby. A link to his site can be found in the Blog Center, right column. Mariano is smart. We trade favors, as is the Filipino custom.

  4. ahahahaha, that was in there to see if anybody read all the words in that particularly self-indulgent paragraph. Congratulations on finding the punch line.My wife can serve the halo-halo. She is expert on them.

  5. andrew lim says:

    What will keep blogs like this and Raissa's going is that while it is critical, it will point to a direction/s that people can work on, instead of just whining. Get Real Post does none of that, and so it remains to be a fringe group, with no direction on where to go.From time to time, it gets something right but then stops there- so its readers feel nothing but frustration or defeat. If getting real means feeling bad, but leads to nowhere, who wants to return there?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Joe you're wrongDid not read all, just fast reader, scan words that piqued interest, then focus on that section. Can't miss "chasing girls and gross failure plus that chart" He he heJohnny Lin

  7. Anonymous says:

    Who is benigno?Speaking of Rappler! I used to comment there when they were new. Now I cant post comment anymore, always rejected by their new server Discus as wrong password. Johnny Lin

  8. The writers at GRP are consistently good, but they (1) carry the anti-aquino agenda around like a big wet log, and (2) the tenor of the site, to attack any opposing view with personal insult, is small-minded and even smaller of heart.I predict that benigno will clean up the GRP act on both counts when he realizes he is being left behind by people working earnestly to build the Philippines. Not prove their intellectual might by tearing it down.

  9. Yes, that kind of thing is frustrating. The only way around it is to make up a new discus account. Lotsa luck.

  10. Ahh, I see, so subjects you are fascinated with, girls, failures (something every sensationalist loves) and pictures, leap out. I can relate to that. Thanks for the clarification.

  11. J says:

    I can only say one word on benign0 and his GRP mates: LOL. (You decide if that's an Internet acronym or a Tagalog word)

  12. I don't know Tagalog well enough to know the alternative, but if you are laughing, I suspect it is AT rather than WITH GRP.

  13. GabbyD says:

    interesting… he wrote the SAME THING to me. good on you, and while i dont understand you sometimes, you've always been civil. kudos!

  14. Cha says:

    Ahaha, Joe, I know who benigno is (although I always thought he was based in the Philippines, interesting that he's around here somewhere.)I was trying to get the point across that he's really a nobody as far as I'm concerned. I think I only really get to hear about him and his GRP through your blog anyway. So he probably owes you some for the bit of traffic that goes their way everytime you mention them.

  15. Edgar Lores says:

    Present and accounted for.What I like is the high-level – no, sorry erase that – civil tone, as GabbyD says, or the politeness of the discourse. We try to arrive at insights and see whether they stand the test of scrutiny by others. Apart from being able to express my thoughts and feelings, I know that my thinking has been clarified, my intuitions confirmed.I have no competitive streak with others; only with myself. (Although my argumentation would dispel that claim!) For me, if the ideas have no impact on the external world, fine; at least, there is value and solace in self-validation. If they do, finer still. That is the effect and function of truth, but that is a byproduct.So the primary motivation is self-enlightenment. When I was young, I wanted to change the world. Now, I find it sufficient to transform myself. If in the process of that transformation I resonate with others, well and good. If that resonance changes the world for the better by the most infinitesimal bit, that is a bonus.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Mondoy might the better alternative word describing them. Only few people understand this word. One of them is Ex Priest/Gov Ed Panlilio. Ask himHe he heJohnny Lin

  17. Anonymous says:

    JoeCheck Raissa blog, suggestion for you there. Will you join the joyride?

  18. Well, your are right . . . no, it is not a matter of right or wrong . . . you are wise, of course, and your Buddha style enlightenment is the best approach. In being competitive, I end up being just like benigno, seeking a win as the essential reason for playing the game. But there are two styles of playing the game. Good sportsmanship and bad. Most of the time I am the former, or at least that is my aspiration.So I shall grovel awhile along my wayward path, but appreciate your enlightenment, for sure. It keeps me from falling back into abject hacking and fouling.

  19. Right. He held you up as an example as to how he would deal with me. So you have the honor of having gotten his goat first.

  20. Is that why he doesn't do articles on me, you suppose? I don't mind if people read GRP, or even add the site to their regular reads. There is a lot of good thinking there. And a pile that is not. I trust intelligent people will discern which is which. And discern what kind of blogging behavior is good for the heart, and what kind is bad.

  21. What comment number? To dump Angara Junior? I'd dump Angara Senior in a flash, but withhold on Angara Junior to see how he responds to the ongoing cybercrime crisis. If he is a good tiger trainer, I would allow redemption. I'm well versed in forgiveness, being schooled in Christian fundamentals.

  22. Anonymous says:

    What I like about JoeAm's blog is the humpty dumpty definitions. Only one in town.DocB

  23. You'd be surprised at how that eliminates all the quibbling. If I define a word to mean what I want it to mean, how can anyone dispute that? I might compile a written text of The Humpty Dumpty New World Dictionary in a couple of years. It will be a bunch of blank pages and a free pen.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh, benign0. Such a charmer.JoeAm, sorry if I'm going a little off-topic. I'm a little disturbed at what I'm reading about this upcoming elections. Seems the kids of yesterdays "trapo" or "traditional politicians" are running for all kinds of positions in office. Estrada, Cayetano, Tinga, Echeverri, Binay… the list goes on and on, and we're only talking about NCR here.I'd love to hear your thoughts on political dynasties. Are you in favor of it? Is it a necessary evil in this wacky third world country of ours?-patrioticflip

  25. chohalili says:

    Hi Mr Joe I don't mind you forgetting me, but I sense that you also have that "balat sibuyas" skin. If not why bother expressing your feeling and trying to compliment your reader as smarties. I would just keep it to myself cause we know and you know you are good and no need to rub it in. Your smarty readers are easily swayed and buy your sweet talk they are just like everybody else easily corrupted….lol BTW I think I know who Jim e and Maude is.

  26. First I would suggest a read of Edgr Lores fine article here on the Anti-Dynasties bills: http://thesocietyofhonor.blogspot.com/2012/09/anti-political-dynasty-bills.htmlClearly, even notables in the Philippines are concerned that the excessive inbreeding is creating a political machine that is trapped in favors and friendship and self-dealing within the family rather than quality of service. I look at the Binay family, all running for this position or that, and want to puke.The dynasties have an advantage because they get the best education and the best jobs and therefore arrive as candidates with the best credentials. So they win. Well, the money and power their families throw behind them helps. But they have quality credentials, often including schooling in the best US universities (Harvard, Cornell, Naval Academy).And their credentials are aimed directly at political jobs.In trying to identify quality presidential candidates, it was hard to find people from outside government who could stack up against the family sons. Attorney Alex Lacson is an example. He just comes up a little light.The political parties, as they are structured now, spawn family ties. There is a Political Party Development Bill in congress that tries to get parties to move to ideology rather than persons.But will congressmen with vested family interests ever pass a bill that harms their family's interests? Many think these bills will never get passed.Short of passing an anti dynasty bill and a political party bill, I don't see much changing. The doors are shut to outsiders.The best bet is to apply pressure on the younger family members to make sure that their futures are tied to good deeds. I think it is important for the public to show they can be motivated by good deeds, and start throwing out some of the more obvious offenses to good government. Like boxers and dictator's families for starters.That's where I stand now. I'd have to think about the challenge of how to open doors to capable non-family people. Like maybe a young general or young businessman. So I have not drawn any conclusion on this. Just observations.

  27. I "forgot" a lot of people, chohalili. For you it was because I was thinking with my brain instead of my heart! (oooooooohhhh!)You'd be wrong about one of the two, Jim e or Maude.

  28. chohalili says:

    How could you? I consider myself as the filler a commercial of a thriving household name, outsourcing, high rating pulp fiction, network?

  29. I do fear that I am being carved up by one of Anjin San's swords. I very much consider you one of the friends of this blog, a person whose writings I enjoy immensely, and learn from. Mercy, please . . .

  30. What a pathetic post. You're just trying to fish for compliments. Anyone with half a brain could see through your attempt at asking for support for your blog. You're just a Benign0 wannabe but you don't have originality. The fact that you are a PNoy apologist already proves that you will end up with nothing substancial to write about one day! It's so obvious that that is the reason you keep writing about GRP – WALA KA NG MASULAT!!! Hey guys! This Joe pretended to be a recipient of a medal of honor for a while until someone at GRP outed him. He got so scared that genuine ex-US marines living in the Philippines would kick his ass if he kept pretending, he was forced to change his avatar as a result. What a loser!You will not achieve the same success as GRP because you just love talking about yourself. That's just sick man!

  31. Anonymous says:

    And the mere fact that GRP and AP keep on whining about how Gordon should have won instead of Aquino THREE YEARS AFTER THE 2010 ELECTIONS means they no longer have anything else to write about, either.And the next time you try to bash Joe again, keep in mind Benedict Ignacio's (that's benign0's real name, right?) favorite Eleanor Roosevelt (yes, that's hers, not benign0's) quote: "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds share ideas."P.S. I find it strange that you used AP as your comment's URL. If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Ignacio and Mr. Warlito "bongV" Vicente had a falling out sometime before.

  32. Anonymous says:

    benign0 is not benign but malignant.

  33. Why don't you remind loser JoeAm about that quote instead? He's the one who keeps talking about people he doesn't even know. And why are you asking me if that is benign0's real name if you actually believe in that quote? Loser ka din pala. Brilliant people don't care about irrelevant details. They just focus on what is being said not the person saying it.What falling out are you talking about between AP and GRP? Is it a crime for them to run separate blogsites? There you go again talking about people instead of IDEAS. Loser!When did GRP write about Gordon? Sige nga paki cite yung article. Loser!Did I tell you you're a loser? LOSER!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Resorting to schoolyard insults, eh? I don't think JoeAm is a loser. You, on the other hand…

  35. Anonymous says:

    benign0 how dare you?You are the scum of the cyber world benign0!-The Society of Honor reader from Seattle

  36. Benigno's bye bye to JoeAm:"(3) We both sit back for the next couple of weeks (or years) and see if:(3.a) anyone out there actually cares about what you have to say about our Admin practices here;"It's nice to know that SOMEONE cares.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Man, loser and winner are so 90s. Too much self-esteem eh?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Anon Winner, Troll, Party Pooper, or Whoever you are, you're going to draw fire here lambasting JoeAm's mote. Mirror, mirror…DocB

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hello everyone..just want to say I am a Joe Am fan. since the FV times. glad he's got his own blogsite now.

  40. Anonymous says:

    That's the spirit- if you don't like someone's blogsite or get banned in one, make your own. There is no monopoly to stupidity.DocB

  41. Thanks, anon. I learned a lot on FV, from primer and bencard (arch-antagonist) and beningo and BongV and BenK and many, many others. That was a robust site for awhile, unrestrained as to point of view, split apart by petty animosities, and killed by lack of dedication to a cause. Maybe one of the writers will pop out of the internet woodwork and do a guest blog here.

  42. Hah, I am doing a blog that suggests that even the President, who I think has done great things for the Philippines, has caught a bit of stupidity lately. No monopoly for sure.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Rather like Sotto digging in instead of coming out and saying, sorry for that and can I make changes, guys?DocB

  44. Anonymous says:

    I'm excited at what's going to happen in the next 3 weeks. Bam Aquino, Pnoy's nephew(?) and senatorial aspirant, in an interview this morning at DZMM, said there are senators, likely Angara and Chiz, who're going to propose amendments. Hey, they're feeling the heat. Law-making's just like ordering fried eggs-Back to the kitchen, I want mine well done!DocB

  45. Greg says:

    Interesting post, but I’m saddened by the sudden change in the tone of some comments. But back to the topic…You’ve certainly been busy since April. I can see now your motivation for pumping out so many posts in the past six months. What I can’t see is this: how do you keep up not just the pace but the quality of the writing? Don’t you have lawns to mow, cars to fix and walls to paint? Oh, and a wife? I mean, I’m retired and even so it’s a struggle to find the time to read your posts and make the occasional comment. Slow down a bit. Please.

  46. As we say on the farm, "spittin' image" and launch a spew of chewing tobacco into the dust.

  47. Yes, I think the law was cobbled together in bits and pieces and ended up looking a lot like a scrap heap. Like the camel is a horse designed by committee. These are bright guys. Maybe they can fix the most objectionable elements.

  48. Every once in a while we have to descend into hell to appreciate heaven. I find myself waking at 4:30 in the morning these days when the wife is 3 hours from arising. A strong cup of coffee and writing, a real pleasure. Most days. And its the Philippines, so we hire people to do the grass and the dishes and washing the car and painting the paint. Cheap. The biggest challenge is not getting fat. If I slow down, I might stop. So kindly step up your pace. Hire a gardener, maybe, or get your wife out working on the lawn.

  49. Edgar Lores says:

    Hmmm. I walk into my favourite lounge room and what do I see? Disarranged furniture. Disordered people. Discordant voices shouting, crying. Hey – is that blood on the floor? Ah, no, spilled drinks.What has happened? Where do I start?I could start with a pseudo-profundity like “This is reflective of the human condition”. Or with a flippant irrelevance like, “Don’t you agree that Madonna is overrated?”But, no, as the Chinese saying goes, these interesting times give opportunity for analyses and enlightenment.From the perspective of the seven deadly sins, I don’t see Lust, Gluttony, Greed or Sloth. I see Pride, Envy and Wrath. Well, perhaps I see Sloth, defined as spiritual laziness.• Pride from Joe and some commentators• Envy from anti-Joe commentators• Wrath from almost all commentatorsFrom the perspective of Buddhism, which I always find useful, I see the accuracy of the Four Noble Truths. I won’t enumerate them; they are for self-study.Where do we go from here? I suggest just chill for a moment or two. Two things: try to develop wisdom and try to exercise compassion, however you define these. Me? I like the definition of wisdom as being a happy fool and acquiring and using knowledge objectively. And compassion is caring and sharing – and forgiving. No, I’m not enlightened. I struggle all the time. Hour by hour, day after day after day.As one of my gurus says, we are here to learn. We try to understand ourselves in order to be able to understand others and the world. And it starts from toilet training to the last breath of life. Maybe beyond that.Okay? Forgive others – and yourself. Try to forget – live in the moment. As much as possible, and as soon as possible. AMAP and ASAP.So, everyone, compose yourselves, mop the floor and re-arrange the furniture.

  50. Anonymous says:

    @JoeAm is a loser: If I'm a loser, then you're an idiot (read: using ad hominem attacks).

  51. Do the local kids run up to you and ask to rub your stomach? Hey, I got inspired from all the energy in the lounge and went off and wrote one of my best blogs ever. Catch it Monday, I implore, filled with humble pie.

  52. A Filipino do not want anyone to write better than others. It is a given. It is Filipino culture. Englischtzes is measure of intelligence to Filipinos. Perfection of englischtzes and spelling makes illogical statement true. Compelling logical arguments is false if written in mangled English. That is Filipino. That is why I love to intentionally mangle English to root out those that zero in on erroneous written English as their argument against my statement. The top of my list was benign0. I have seen that in benign0. benign0 cannot seem to see thru my bad englischtzes which Filipinos speaks and write. Filipinos' snotty englischtzes-snobbery is common. Filipinos are highly critical of englischtzes usage. benign0 criticized me of my intentional bad englischtzes. benign0 riled about my followers emulating my bad englsichtzes in one of his blog in antipinoy. Poor chap. Those Filipnos that write "well" are bad in spoken english. So they take it out writing blogs to cover up their looney englischtzes filling silence and gaps with "aaahs", "you know" "i knows".

  53. Why "englischtzes"? Filipinos are arrogant English speakers. When I was fresh-off-the-boat in America, Filipinos correct my english in front of real Americans despite Americans understood my english. Filipinos seem to squirm whenever I unintentionally speak erroneous sentence. They not only criticize my english, they criticize everyone else including REAL AMERICANS. It seems Filipinos are the only one who are goot in english and when they are before real americans they just lose it. They keep their mouth shut. When they speak they laugh. Oh, laughing, giggling is Filipino way of disarming the real americans so they will not laugh at their Philippine style englishctzes. So everybody knows assuming if they are in denial, Filipinos are upset when their englsichtzes are not understood. They call real Americans as "bobo", "high-school drop-outs", therefore, Filipinos english must be real engish called "englischtzes".So, Americans, do not be afraid your english will loose out to Spanglish. As long as there are Filipinos there will always be undiluted english. They are the protector of your language.Snooty englischtzes-snobs.

  54. Interesting, Mariano. So the emphasis on good English is rather like the matter of "face". It is an artificial standard that people look at to decide how worthwhile another person is. That's bizarre. I admire anyone who takes on a second language and actually works with it. Perfection means nothing. The thinking behind the words is what counts.

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