Maayong GenSan! the greeting we received as we arrived at General Santos City after cramming up and tying the loose ends after closing the Mindanao Bloggers Summit 2011 organized by Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. With some of the Iligan Bloggers and I, were up for a trip down south to participate and in full support for the Soccsksargen Bloggers for the Soccsksargen Blogfest 2.0 and the Philippine Blog Awards 2011.

I, for one, wanted to experience how it is for the Sox bloggers to host an event — with these, by the way, the funniest and most entertaining  blogging society and we were in it for a treat!

Soccsksargen Blogfest 2.0 

Apologies for getting this post out too late. But I keep on going through my photos over and over again and seemed to get stuck there. That was how a great of an experience it was for me – I kept going back for the memories through the photos. I was super entertained every minute of it.

It was interesting to know how a foreigner could fall in love with a place and would call it his home. Mr. Bob Martin certainly fell for the Mindanao charm and settled in Philippines. He took us back to the time where internet in Mindanao was still “primitive” and we were all laughing at the memories of it.
Mr. Manolo Quezon III asked “Are you blogging for readership or for making a change?”. It really struck me as we gain readership, I believe at some point you get to use that to your advantage — and by that I mean, blogging for advocacy. After all, people read your posts and gets to follow you. You owe it to them and to yourself, and to the Highest Being that you use that purposely and productively.
We “become broadcasters in a sense” as was said by Mr. Jack Madrid. As we use social networking platforms to share and express our experiences, thoughts and opinions, and a little to so much of ourselves online. Before internet was a READ ONLY content, which has now evolve to READ and WRITE as Web 2.0 emerges. Soon, he says, the internet may become READ/WRITE/EXECUTE because the possibilities is endless.
And the host city, Gen. Santos City Mayor, Hon. Darlene Custodio took the spot as she shares the Computer Literacy Program that establishes computer laboratories to public elementary and high schools within the city, which really impressed me. This will provide adequate computer training services for public schools to attain sociological balance between the rich and the poor, in terms of knowledge and skills in information technology. Need i say more? I was speechless! This, indeed, will level out the plain for the products of both public and private educational institutions in these terms.
Photo Credit: Alexander | Iligan Inquisitor

Raffy Tima from the GMA Network came and shared the Think Before You Click call for responsible use of social media. Online everything is but a click away and it has the power that could make or break the person. But as they say, “with great power comes great responsibility”, use that “power” to an advantage and benefit for others that needs it all to well. Use it wisely.

I was most looking forward to the famous Mae Paner of Juana Change, who takes on current issues and deliver it straight below the belt for the people that needs the  finger pointing. Bold, frank, insulting, and honest, her videos are must watch and are mediums to change the corrupt system in the government, institutions or any issues that needs probing. 
Sir Abe Olandres of YugaTech Philippines gave an interesting show of the must-have gadgets a blogger should get and the specifics these should have. His job, I believe, would never fall as job, given that he gets to use the latest gadgets in town of which his critique on them are sought for. 
United States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. gave a message through a video for all the participants of the event before Deputy Press Attache Ms. Cynthia Cook gave her talk. Bloggers has a role when it comes to spreading the information online. They have acknowledge that power and has maximize the potentials of social media networking through bloggers in their cause and events.
Aileen Apollo of Philippine consultant for Google, Inc. introduced the Google + and it’s outstanding features. Google + allows people to “share what matters with the people who matters the most”. 
Flow Galindez talked on blogging for advocacy. With his Red Whistle and World Wide Fund for Nature campaigns encourages bloggers to hone in on their skills in sharing and spreading words and actions with blogging as their mediums to contribute to change.
I had a blast at Soccsksargen Blogfest 2.0! I’ve learned a lot from the talks of the speakers and was super entertained and welcomed by the Sox bloggers! Cheers to you all for the success of the event!
“Write in white heat. To write in the heat of eat and to edit in cold blood.”
-Manolo Quezon III