Vibrant blogging community in Davao

Christmas in November. Globe Telecom officials led by Corporate Communication head Yoly Crisanto surprised young Davao City bloggers with a festive Christmas party last November 10, 2011 at the Probinsya Restaurant at Victoria Plaza.

Three events during an overnight stay with Globe Telecom people in Davao City last week gave me a glimpse of a vibrant blogging community that shows us two contrasting perspectives in this southern Philippine urban center.

My wife Doris of PRworks can’t come to assist Globe Telecom (my youngest daughter had inflamed tonsils that week) and asked me to be present in her stead. Thanks to Mafe Barcelo who devoted most of her time ensuring the success of Globe events for bloggers and journalists, I was able to meet old friends like The Edge editor Tony Ajero, CQ (bay, wa gyud ko kabalo unsaon pag-spell imong pangalan), and Germelina Lacorte; making new ones like Davao’s Blogie; and muse about Davao’s blogging community.

First, over two dozens of young bloggers led by Rhia Jose (Life with the Diyosa Blogger) who are mostly into travel, events, and technology gathered for the first Globe Telecom’s ‘Christmas in November’ party for journalists and bloggers in the Visayas and Mindanao.

In my view, they are the cream of a growing number of youths in the country who engaged the cyber world head-on and integrated this with the yuppie lifestyle of a growing urban center.

Davao City, after all, possesses the combination of ethnicity (live ethnic music of a cultural group, in fact, met us at the airport) and the exotic Durian aroma that blend seamlessly with modern malls and a vibrant nightlife. Abreeza, the newest mall, felt like The Terraces in Cebu and Greenbelt in Makati. And The Aquarium is a must for visiting machos (hehe).

Second, sir Tony introduced me to journalist and blogger Roger M. Balanza (Durianburgdavao Mindanao Newsblog) at the height of the ‘Christmas in November’ party with members of the Davao media (print, radio, television, online) and beneficiaries of the anti-child abuse center Tambayan at D’ Leonor Hotel on Friday, November 11, 2011. Sharing Christmas cheers with abused teenage girls delighted members of Davao’s media community. But this will be a subject for a separate post. (I just want to add that after the party, I had the chance to enjoy coffee with Alex Casiple, an old friend of Doris and husband of Tambayan’s Edith.)

Third, I got to meet the 30 something Oliver ‘Blogie’ Robillo (Ang Dabawenyo) at the Chocolatier at the Abreeza. Blogie, as I was told earlier, is one of the pioneer of blogging in Davao City and had been at it for around a decade now.

Perhaps because of his youthful exposure to the politically turbulent 80s in Mindanao, Blogie was a study in contrast to the younger batch of bloggers I met the night before.

Like my Mindanaoan freelance journalist friend Romy Elusfa ( who is into peace advocacy, Blogie is into environmental advocacy and networking with like-minded bloggers. In fact, he was involved in the recent Mindanao Bloggers Summit that focused on environmental issues.

It was with Tony and CQ, Balanza, and Blogie (PDI writer Germelina Lacorte was with us) that I separately discussed the political blogging project called Politika 2013 (check this out guys). Envisioned to become an online forum of political writers, bloggers, and observers, we hope that the blog would be able to impact on 2013 political campaign discourses.

In two days and one night I spent in Davao City, the glimpse of the vibrant local journalist and blogging community impressed me.


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