Tuesday, September 23, 2008
First of all, if anyone in the audience knows who actually won between Ateneo and La Salle, I’d appreciate it. Who won? Oh, you mean the blue and white? All right. That’s good news. I left just before halftime to make it all the way over here from Quezon City, from Cubao, and I was totally out of touch already with the developments when I came in, and so I am happy to know that people through their own way were keeping in touch of that.
I’m very happy to be here with you this afternoon. It’s a very important event that gives recognition to the Philippine blog community that has been active over all of these years. This is the second edition of your blog awards, I was asking Noemi, the other organizers in fact, whether the awards were being given for content, for editorial value, or relative to the number of hits and other technical details relative to a blog. She was saying that it’s a bit of a combination of these all, and what is the Oscars to the movies, or the Emmy’s to television, this is for the Philippines's blog community, so congratulations to all of the bloggers and all of those who’ve put this evening together. Let’s give them a warm round of applause.
I just want to say a couple of things, I don’t want to take too much of your time. I’ve been engaged in a little bit of blogging over a period of time, and always I’m amazed at how such a public activity, such an engagement with a multitude of nameless, faceless people whom you don’t know, are out there and who may peruse, go over what you write, can at the same time feel very, very private.
As you sit in front of your keyboard and compose your thoughts, as you reflect on some of the ideas that course through your mind, and go through what it is that you would like to communicate, it is in a very introspective activity, at least I find that for myself. And as I reflect upon it, I think that on one hand, it’s so introspective, it’s so solitary in fact. And at the same time, you really are communicating with multitudes all over the world.
I think it’s in that sort of paradigm, that conflict, where creative tension arises and through that creative tension, all of the ideas, all of the emotions, all of the thoughts, dreams and aspirations, and tears that you all have individually in each of you, are then expressed and then can be shared by everyone. Not just Pinoys but by everyone in the world.
And truly, it is a special, unique undertaking to be engaged in blogging. It’s quite difficult; it requires a lot of discipline. I myself have not been as disciplined as all you have been. I very rarely now get around to actually sitting down and going through my thinking process and updating my blog once a month. But nonetheless, what is an individual activity is really one of sharing with the world and I congratulate all of you for your discipline, for your "committedness" and for sharing what your thoughts and hopes and aspirations with the rest of all of us. Congratulations to all of the bloggers here! Give yourself a round of applause.
The other thought that I wanted to convey to you this evening is more of just a coincidence. Today happens to be September 21. And as I was thinking about coming over here and be with you, I reflected upon our own Philippine history. Thirty-six years ago, on this very day, former President Marcos came on TV and basically crossed out, cancelled out, democracy in our country. It was a time for what George Orwell talked about of in his novel 1984; it was the beginning of groupthink, it was time for a Big Brother that was so intrusive and so controlling and wanted to intervene in every aspect of Philippine life. It was a time to use computer, or electronic language; it was a time for centralized processing, where there was one central thinking entity that attempted to do all the thinking for all of us here in our country.
And so we fast-forward to where we are today. Thrirty-six years later, celebrating what is in the history not only in the Philippines but also in the history of the world the most democratic, free, and libertarian mechanism that allows for self-expression all throughout the world. What a contrast. What an irony. From groupthink, through blogging through the net, we now celebrate individuality, of what you might even think of as the atomization of ideas, where it’s not one major big blob but really, what everyone takes away from it and then is able to express on equal terms with everyone else.
It’s been called niche-thinking, it’s been called niche-programming, it’s been called, in general, niche-ing because everyone is allowed to express his or her own inviduality. What was centralized processing, in effect, is now distributed processing. There is no groupthink, there is now only what each and everyone of you thinks, and feels, and hopes, aspires to, and in that process we are all the healthier as a society and as a team.
And lastly, relative to what we are today versus to thirty-six years ago, when this dark cloud of Martial Law descended on our country, what we have today through each and everyone of your blogs, through each and everyone of the e-mails that you write, send, and distribute and you cascade all across the globe, what we have today is a sense of personal responsibility. It is you. You put your name to those thoughts. It is you, your individuality. It is the uniqueness, the specialness, the glory of each and every one of you.
And in so doing, it is no longer hiding behind some organization, some unit, some group but actually an expression – here I stand, this is what I think is important and I share it with you. It is a more expressive way, a more expressive manifestation of taking responsibility for one’s self, for one’s thoughts, for one’s ideas. I cannot find it anywhere else in the globe. Here in the Philippines, we see it alive, we see it thriving, and we see it as a way of moving the country forward individually, and together as a nation.
Mabuhay ang mga bloggers! Mabuhay and kalayaan dito sa Pilipinas!