Thoughts on MBS2
25th October 2008, General Santos City — the 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit was conducted and concluded with flying colors, thanks in large part to Avel Manansala and his team. The bloggers of Soccsksargen really made a fantastic showing! But let’s not forget that a blogger from Zamboanga City, Ryann Elumba, made a big contribution by designing the Summit’s creatives.
When I stood before my fellow bloggers that morning, I felt a swelling of pride and a sense of great fulfilment. MBS1 was a big success because it was the opening salvo. MBS2 turned out to be the affirmation of this fact: the Mindanao Bloggers initiative has become a true community.
Through our efforts as a community, more bloggers are now more aware of their unique role as messengers of peace and truth. Young Mindanaoans and (ahem!) more mature ones alike are all in agreement that there is a responsibility to present Mindanao truthfully and aggressively to the whole world via blogging.
In MBS1, it was only a handful of bloggers who carried the torch. Perhaps this was natural, because most of the attendees then were probably still in wait-and-see mode. But with the achievement that was MBS2, more bloggers of Mindanao are firmly on board. Not to mention, a growing number of Metro Manila-based bloggers who support our community. To name a few: Janette Toral, Aileen Apolo, Jay de Jesus, Jayvee Fernandez, and now Pierre Galla, who gave a rousing talk about an observer’s point of view with regards the Mindanao issue.
Aside from the cooler swags and more coordinated movements, what sets MBS2 higher than the previous Summit was the more active involvement of the bloggers. This year, the Summiteers were a lot more participative, and displayed a deeper interest in what the Mindanao Bloggers community was all about. We had a bit more participants, too. And this time, we had a couple of bloggers from Zamboanga, especially Jerome Locson, who was interviewed at length by ABS-CBN. I was also delighted that there was an unexpectedly large number of Dabawenyos who went to General Santos for the event.
Whoever we will appoint to organize MBS3 will be hard pressed to deliver an even better Summit next year! The tour of General Santos that we went through the day after the 2nd Summit was a splendid idea. The bloggers who signed up for the tour went to the fishport, a restaurant overlooking the bay, Manny Pacquiao’s residence, and a tuna store. I’m sure the purpose of the whole tour was to show the visiting bloggers that General Santos is now a progressive city — and I agree!
Many still say that GenSan is still a few years behind Davao City. And yet, there are a number of establishments there that can rival ours. Places like Coffee Club 101 and Grab A Crab can certainly put a lot of restaurants in Davao to shame. Plus, wifi hotspots there are mushrooming all over town, just like here. Many businessmen there are now aware of blogging in particular — and IT in general — as a means to develop their city. Before I and five friends left for Davao, we were invited to have lunch at Sud-an Grill & Restaurant. The owners didn’t want to pass up the chance of getting their place featured by bloggers. The food we were served tasted simply impressive! Check here for one of the reviews.
Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. was with us after the Summit and during the fellowship night. Despite his busy schedule, he made time for our event and was game for some interviews. It is apparent that the good mayor is aware of the power of the blog and what it can do for his town. (Although we now have a few city councilors blogging, I wish Davao City’s local government would be as appreciative of the new media as well.)
At MBS2, I apprised the audience of what we have been up to since the 1st Summit. Highlights of this were the blogging seminars, my participation in Media Nation 5.2, and of course, WordCamp Philippines 2008. There will be more bloggers’ activities in the near future — all for achieving our goal of connecting the world to the reality of Mindanao.
For MBS3, it is necessary that we upgrade the Summit Resolution that we formulated last year. Since we have already begun to realize the original objective, we have to follow through by expanding our view, our reach. Now that we have made waves, it’s time we explored the ocean some more.
My heartfelt greetings to everyone who made their presence felt at MBS2! Three cheers to General Santos City for a very fruitful Summit!!!