JoeAm’s 2012 Philippine Blogging Awards

I wanted to nominate myself for a Philippine blogging award this year but discovered that, in the purest of nationalistic fervor, the Philippine Blog Awards gives awards only to bloggers who are Filipino citizens . Boy howdy, that’s a slap on the white but nicely tanned cheeks.

Here’s their web site blurb which I agree with, actually:

The Filipino Blogging Community is a diverse and vibrant mix of personalities and individuals. Bloggers of different tastes. Bloggers of different views. Bloggers of different ages. Bloggers of different persuasion. Bloggers of different forms, shape and purpose. All Filipinos in spirit.

    Well, I’m aspiring to be Filipino in dedication, but I don’t know what it means to be Filipino in spirit. Is that the same as dedicated and loyal, or do I have to have the right paperwork? I live here. Drive the roads, go to the hospitals, bank at the banks, run over the dogs, pay the taxes, face the gunslinger neighbors. Am I not properly qualified to comment on the Philippine condition, and if not, why not? Seems wholly unbloglike, rather typical of the uber-nationalists who somehow believe only a Filipino is qualified to breathe the good island air. Rather like the people who wrote the Constitution, now that I think about it.
    Well never mind anyway, that blog award organization seems like it is fading. The web site reports only the 2010 awards, although I guess there was an award in 2011.  I have no idea what’s going on for 2012. The 2011 awards seemed rather obscure. I never heard of the 2011 “Social, Politics and History” guy. This must be some club on Mindanao or something. I dunno.

    I rather think it falls to JoeAm to acknowledge the stars and the otherwise, the ept and inept, of Filipino blogging. I don’t give a rodent’s patootie where you live as long as your subject is the Philippine condition.

    Before getting to JoeAm’s awards, however, lets go back to look at  how those other award-givers saw things back in 2010. I refuse to list the 2011 winners. It might gum up my keyboard with irrelevant trivia.
    2010 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARD AWARDS(with notes by JoeAm)
    If you click the links, you will find an astounding array of topical, high quality blog publications on a variety of subjects: food, photography, boxing, parenting, travel and more. Three of the blogs appear to have expired.  The other 16 are still at it, and most post their blog awards in a side column.
    The only two on the list that I was previously familiar with are The Professional Heckler  and The Pro Pinoy Project. They are both on my blog roll at The Philippine Blog Center.
    My favorite on the list is for its variety of subjects, humor and quality of publication. For entertainment buffs, Without Wang2  is also excellent.
    Clearly, I need to add these blogs to the Blog Center because these are some fine quality blogs. The consistencies I see among them are: (1) high quality presentation and photos, (2) narrow, generally technical or apolitical subject matter, and (3) associated advertising to try to generate money.
    My own engagement has been in the category of “Social, Politics and History” where Pro-Pinoywas the winner in 2010.
    Well, boy howdy, things have changed in the “Social, Politics and History” blogging world this past year. First, Raissa Robles came on the scene and demolished any competition in terms of quality of edgy writing and volume of comments. Pro-Pinoy  languished with few articles and a site under construction for much of the year; the site has been more active lately. JoeAm on The Society of Honor  has been gaining readership by pushing the limits as the most opinionated blogger in the Philippines, six articles a week. And the anti sites have faded into the irrelevance they deserve for failing to join in and promote through constructive acts the rise of a healthy, growing Philippines.
    In the interest of good humor and constructive intent, that being to promote a blogging COMMUNITY of vibrant, active, varied and impactful writers, JoeAm hereby gifts the JoeAm’s 2012 Philippine Blogging Awards as follows:
    JoeAm’s 2012 Philippine Blogging Awards
    Most Awesome Blog in the Philippines: Raissa Roblesby Raissa Robles
    Raissa has been in the journalism business long enough to know people and sources, so she gets into the real world of politics with information and insights the outliers don’t have. Her blogs are topical, interesting and informative. They are edgy, poking at the vulnerabilities of the existing ways of doing business and thereby acting as a catalyst for change. Her cadre of commenters, called CPMers (Cyber Plaza Miranda), whack away at the topics in a relentless binge of inquiry, information and opinion. This is a well-read, powerful blog. The only weakness is the tendency of some commenters to dominate the dialogue, and Raissa’s often passive role as she is off investigating her next piece.
    Best Unrealized Potential for A Community Blogging Site: The Pro-Pinoy Project by Cocoy
    The defunct Filipino Voices lives on, sputtering and chugging, in The Pro Pinoy Project. The idea is right. Quality writers. Important topics. Good discussion. There just is not enough consistency of commentary, and not a large enough discussion base, to raise the site to the importance it ought to have. And that the quality of its writing staff deserve (Doy Santos, manuelbuencamino, Cocoy).  I wish someone there would get fired up and demand a publication schedule that attracts more readers. Filipino Voices was a pioneering blog. Pro-Pinoy is just there.
    Biggest Flame-Out For A Journalist Turned Anti:  ellentordesillasby Ellen Tordesillas
    I’ve already beat up on Ellen and don’t wish to continue. I’m looking for her to return to the balanced, journalistic platform that would make her a credible analyst of the Philippine condition.  She has the history and journalistic contacts similar to Raissa Robles, but has not leveraged them into the kind of vibrant dialogue you’ll find with Raissa. It is rather like a one-woman lecture and of late it has done a lot of criticism of President Aquino. Rather like  the views of Obama you get on Fox. My comments on the site never get posted for some reason. Is JoeAm banned there??
    Best Journalistic Opinion Monger: The Philippine Daily Inquirer Columnists
    The Philippine Daily Inquirer makes the transition from paper rag to electronics better than most. Sound group of opinion columnists offering up a range of views. I am not able to discern a slant. Discussion is active, especially for the more established writers such as Randy David.
    Best Oneway Blogs: blogwatch.phand blogwatch.tvby Noemi Dado
    I cannot decide if Blogwatch is a blog or a news site ala Rappler. The information flows one way, and it is generally good information. But there is little dialogue. Even at site, which is mainly commentary.  I get the sense that the information could be leveraged for more MEANING through active dialogue. The site would then be a lot more powerful. The base information is there. Or else the site needs to build its news team and go that direction with greater variety and more original material. A lot of the content now is re-publication of materials written by others. Like Pro-Pinoy, this blog has yet to realize the power it ought to have.
    Best Cross Cultural Dialogue: The Society of Honor by Joe America
    JoeAm is a sly satirist and opinion monger who eschews data in favor of concept. He leverages his outsider’s history and insider’s experiences to dissect Filipino culture, social institutions and politics. But he is not simply a destroyer. He seeks ways to build, to move forward and upward. He has an American’s lack of tact but also an open mind. His clever word play is entertaining for those who get it and a snore for those who don’t. This is a blog for those who want to fire up their problem-solving creativity.
    Most Irrelevant Blog in the World: Get Real Post by Benigno
    Tinnier and tinnier the carping becomes as credibility hisses relentlessly off into the internet ether. The entire blog still seems to rotate around shrill criticisms of President Aquino and Filipinos in general. Three years now they’ve rapped on this obsession. Talk about a snore. Where’s the intellectual might, the ground-breaking insight? For sure, to build a new building you have to tear down the old. But at some point you need to lay bricks, if you know what I mean.
    Funniest Blog in the Philippines: The Professional Heckler by Loi Reyes Landicho
    Always topical, always on top of current events with a devilish twist and satiric wit. I get about 25% of the humor and it’s great. Those of you who speak Tagalog would get more. And those of you who know entertainment personalities would get more. I like the blog because it proves the point, Filipinos are as creative and insightful as anyone. First class entertainment blog for the bent of mind.
    Best Newsblog: Rapplerby Maria Ressa and Friends
    Rappler is not a newspaper that has gone electronic. It is a fast-paced news, opinion, and discussion forum built on an electronic framework from the ground up, with a wide range of articles and commentary. Content is timely and informative. Often groundbreaking. Rappler is always measuring the mood of the Philippines. Discussion is an important part of many of the articles. This is a very dynamic, modern journalistic style and I hope they can keep it up.  First class. The Pacquiao of Philippine information vending.
    The Blogger We’d Most Like to Read More of: The Nutbox by “J”
    Well, “J” has a name, but it’s not on his blog. He is a comparative youngster at 21. Brilliant. Schooled in international relations. His blogging is among the most intelligent out there. He has the applied practicality of a journalist with the intellectual nuance of a professor. Alas, he has a real job, so he cannot crank out a lot of articles. But the ones he does are always worth reading. If there were big money in blogging, this guy would be the best. Alas, he must butter his bread elsewhere. Youth is the promise of the Philippines, and this blog shows that the future has great potential.

    & & & & &
    16 Responses to “JoeAm’s 2012 Philippine Blogging Awards”
    1. andrew lim says:

      Content. That's why the winnowing of blogs continues. In the course of my research for my pieces here, I come across all sorts of blogs, majority of which are too shallow, repetitive, have terrible writing or downright bizarre. But there are some gems out there, and the public seem to know where they are. They get the most responses, and people stick around. It is democracy and capitalism at its finest. Ayn Rand would have been proud of the blogosphere. ha ha ha ha

    2. Edgar Lores says:

      1. It’s good to know there are a number of good blogs out there. In a way, democracy is about voices being heard. The election cycle is too far and few in between to offer instantaneous corrective response. And polls just reflect public moods. Thanks to technology, government officials are now aware of public scrutiny and as a result are more responsive.2. The voices are mixed, ranging from clearly paid propaganda to outstanding critical thinking. Some columnists in news media — such as the much-maligned Daily Tribune, the Manila Standard Today, and even in PDI — clearly belong to the former category. But even Rappler sometimes features too conservative thinkers for my liking. And some of these thinkers are at the forefront of academe or of their professions. But color me extremist.3 The tones of the voices, both in the main articles and the feedback, range from lofty prose to sharp satire to vituperation. Randy David in PDI has an elegant turn of phrase but sometimes lacks clarity in thinking. This blog drips satire and, boy, when Maude writes you can actually see the fangs. I don’t mind vituperation if used infrequently and to good effect.4. As to be expected the coverage of topics is wide. I like topicality and long-term analysis. Raissa reigns in the first area, and Rappler and this blog have a good balance of both. Rappler recently added a science section but I am under the impression that it is largely ignored.4.1 Unfortunately, one has only so much time and can only read so much. I feel the danger of just punching and counter-punching automatically. One needs to suss out the reasons for punching, and there are many levels of analyses to go through. Happily, most of the time one’s intuition is borne out. It amazes me no end that you, as a writer, have the human equivalent of nine cat lives to pour out. As a commentator, I feel exhausted and need time-outs.4.2 Speaking of punching, I like that this blog takes time out to give awards, like in this piece. Part of the journey is making stops, not only to rest, eat and piss, but to take in the view.5. What would I like to see? Mostly what is going on now. But sometimes not only pretty words but deeper reflection. No, not in this blog but in other blogs. This blog is outstanding in this regard.5.1 What to write about is mostly reflexive. How to write is various degrees of instinct, inspiration and sweat. Why write is also, at bottom, mostly self-reflexive. At the very top, why is the light of the moon on the waters.

    3. andrew lim says:

      Edgar,I was thinking maybe Joe can come up with the Toxic Awards, which honors columnists who come up with the most self-destructive, self-defeating and self-delusional articles over the course of a year. But that may benefit them even more, so it is better that the public exercise its decision best- by ignoring them.

    4. There are some gems, and some are hidden, I fear. One of my projects this year is to advocate for a more powerful Philippine blogging community. The content exists. The electric media exist. The messengers are good. It needs more readers and a bit more organization and marketing.

    5. Edgar, interesting you should mention Maude. She just returned from the U.S. and started storming about when she saw the picture of the three UNA ancients praying with Governor Garcia. She sprinted for her keyboard and it's smokin'. Unfortunately, it will probably have to wait for a slot next week.The nice thing about Rappler is that the comment field allows balance to the conservative views you mention. And I wonder if the views are conservative because that correctly reflects the tenor of education in the Philippines. Re 4.2, this review is a part of my 2013 effort to agitate for a stronger blogging community. It is meant to be constructive, even the negative awards.As for exhaustion, yes, I get it, too. The holiday break was from need of rest. But the writing also energizes me, like if I come up with a nifty turn of phrase or people write back with the kind of superior insight you don't always find on other blogs.

    6. andrew, I'd have to work too hard, and read too much awful stuff to do that. I could, however, work anecdotally by focusing on a given article that I think does not represent a newspaper well. I'll ponder that.

    7. Edgar Lores says:

      Andrew, There is some toxin in there although not as obvious as the Blutto awards.JoeAm, I forgot to describe the fangs as luscious.

    8. "Vituperative, luscious fangs." You should be in advertising. I'll have to use that description to promote Maude's upcoming angry rant.

    9. Anonymous says:

      JoeAm, how about the thoughtful although fewer articles of Leo Alejandrino's blog, Wired? Or the hilarious lampoon tweeter of a blog named Armando Doronilla?DocB

    10. Yes , thanks for mentioning them. The "Wired" blog is similar to that of "Nutbox", infrequent but excellent articles. With "Nutbox" I basically wanted to mention one example of "youth" blogging that I thought was quite mature, and promising. Not a vanity blog that most young people produce. The "Mosquito Press" parody of Doronila is indeed hilarious, but it isn't really a blog.Here are the links to the two sites:

    11. J Elza says:

      I so totally agree with your awards to:1. Raissa Robles (best blog ever… of course, I am one of the CPM'ers).. 2. Rappler (yes, not a newspaper but an online news platform updated every so often- want current news? – log on to Rappler)…3. Society of Honor – very honest opinion on current issues; dishes out a lot of lessons and bitter pills…Thank you for pointing out other blog sites. Still have to check them out… (never really liked Get REal Post …so negative)Happy New year Joe! Bet your native Dumaguete City was up to the brim with tourists…

    12. Happy new year yourself, J Elza. I'm looking forward to another rich, drama-packed year in the Philippines . . . and I'm not referring to the television shows.

    13. Anonymous says:

      Despite all the great insightful commentary that could be found on the internet, I'm DUMBFOUNDED at the morons that continue to display their ignorance in comment boards in places like Philippine Yahoo News and other local news agencies.- patrioticflip

    14. Yes, I agree. The way I argue with myself about it, though, is to recognize it would be a very boring place if we all thought the same.

    15. J says:

      Wow! An Award from Joseph America! Thanks a lot for this. It keeps me inspired to write from time to time. Two people I'd like to see blog again are Rom Sedona and Manolo Quezon. Rom was very witty and her commentaries were always thought-provoking. Kind of like Maude. Quezon contributed a lot to the blogosphere, and did a great job promoting blogs with his "daily dose" articles summarizing what the blogosphere says (and linking to blogs). The anti-blogger benign0 saw malice in his efforts though.As a side-note: I agree that the Blog Awards' rules limiting eligible awardees to Filipinos is xenophobic. Similarly, I disagree with the Constitution limiting presidential candidates to natural-born Filipinos. Naturalized citizens are Filipinos too!

    16. Maybe Q will be back in 2016, eh? I agree. He is incredibly smart and talented. I've not read Sedona.I'm not sure of the reason for the "born citizen" requirement. It holds in the US for President evidently, but not some governorships. Schwartzenegger (sp?) was gov. of California but can't be President. I suspect half of it is xenophobic and the other have is some specious reasoning that someone born elsewhere is a security threat. Just like going abroad and getting citizenship elsewhere is considered a security threat to the Philippines. I agree these are unfortunate values.

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