Unity of Visayas bloggers levels up! What’s Next?

Miss GT Cosmetics Charlyn Noble Macaraeg poses with Leland Sacris (one of the primemovers of Cebulife.org), Ka Bino of Bantay Radyo, and Doris Mongaya of PRworks.

SUCCESSFUL events inevitably consolidate groups involved in putting it all together. But organizers of the recent Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 did more than consolidation of the ranks of Visayas bloggers.

Bringing together 250 bloggers from different Visayas islands personally in one place is no simple task.

Delighting them with an exciting and enriching whole day experience last Saturday at the SM City Trade Hall was further a challenge that officers and members of the Cebu Blogging Society admirably hurdled with ease.

Imagine the excitement of a summit graced by four beautiful Miss Earth beauties from Estonia, England, Guam, and Guatemala; the enriching inputs to improve personal and professional blogging; the tips on conducting advocacy; and the rousing presentation of Gina Lopez against mining.

We could say, the unity of Visayas bloggers has definitely leveled up.

VBS 2011 organizing committee chairman Ruben Licera being interviewed by GMA 7.

I was not directly involved with organizing efforts because events management is more of the expertise of Doris, managing director of PRworks that Ruben Licera and company tapped as a co-organizer.

But with one foot (and maybe half of my head) in, I saw idealistic young people enthusiastically coordinating, expanding their personal, business, and advocacy networks. I saw an emerging movement with lots of potentials online and offline.

What’s next, we may ask?

I am not privy to how each blogger think or their leaders’ plans. The Visayas blogging movement is independently moving on its volition based on what it believes best for each one, for the group, and for the larger community.

But allow me to present some ideas being tossed around with some friends:

1. Social Media Summit or Camp. A gathering not only of bloggers but all key players in the Cebu and Visayas online community.

This means an activity broad enough to involve those who laid down Cebu’s ICT directions way back during the Cebu IT Summit in 2001, today’s blogging community, Facebook group administrators, and other major ICT stakeholders in Cebu.

Aside from lectures and presentations, there should be workshops and plenary sessions designed to gather and synthesize ideas in mapping out the future so we can contribute better in making our country a global ICT leader.

But of course, we like serious discussions combined with fun, business, and outdoor experiences. So there must be a concert-party, tours in coordination with DOT, a trade show of online businesses, and several other fun things we can think about.

2. Promote Visayas destinations. Many blogs today are into events and promotions of specific destinations like Cebu. We could build on this in a bid to further promote the Philippines as the must-experience destination in Asia.

I like to briefly mention (am thinking of a longer separate post and also please read this news item at The Freeman) Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez’ vision of tapping the Filipino people and social media  in stimulating tourism and achieve 10 million arrivals by 2016. He elaborated on this before members of the newly-formed Tourism and Heritage Information Network (THINK) 7 during a press conference at Radisson Blu Hotel (November 29, 2011).

4. More coordinated and effective advocacy to uplift lives and our country. Several experiences here and abroad show that advocacy networks in the blogosphere and the social media are effective in achieving change. We had a glimpse of present efforts in presentations (Gina Lopez, Janette Toral, and Rep. Mong Palatino) during the VBS 2011. I believe the time has come for bloggers to band together in stronger and more united efforts at making our voices heard.

Having said all of that, now I want to hear (read) what you think.


4 Replies to “Unity of Visayas bloggers levels up! What’s Next?”

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