Shari Cruz: The Blogger I Knew and Never Met

I don’t blog as often as I used to (mainly because I’m working), so this entry is a rather belated dedication to Sharline Cruz of Misteryosa.com fame.  In her latest entry, Shari says goodbye to blogging.  I hope that in a way, this little entry would fulfill at least one of the following ends:

  1. Shari starts blogging again (because this entry would probably read like a eulogy), or;
  2. Shari sees this entry as a fitting conclusion to the world that was Misteryosa.

Here goes…

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I first “met” Shari Cruz back when we were both studying at the University of the Philippines in Baguio.  There was this quaint computer shop at the back of Convention Center called ComShop, and by some strange accident, she “stalked” my blog.  My blog, then called “Planet Marocharim,” and now takes the form of Original TMX, was something of a horrifying exercise in writing.  It sometimes embarrasses me that she once credited me for being a sort of “inspiration” to the success of her own blog.

I think it has more to do with time, more than inspiration.  The character of Misteryosa was born on December 2005; the very first entry I ever made was dated November 9, 2004.  If the blogosphere were Star Wars, I think Shari would make for Luke Skywalker, and I’m Darth Vader.

I can honestly say that I never really met Shari.  Which is a pathetic excuse, since if we blogged at the same computer shop, joined the same political organization, and went to the same school, we should have known each other.  But if it is any consolation, we both know a lot about each other through our blogs.  Shari says she visits my blog often; if I may say so myself, no evening of blogging for me is complete without reading an entry by the blogger known as “Misteryosa.”

I think I speak for many bloggers when I say that when Shari won the Best Personal Blog award in the 2007 Philippine Blog Awards, she deserved it.  Most of us old-fart bloggers masquerade and posture as jacks or jills of all trades and topics.  Shari was different in her approach: she was completely personal.  We knew a lot about Shari simply by reading her deeply personal thoughts.  Shari was above prostituting herself in cyberspace: if asked for a political opinion, she will be vocal about it.  Her many reviews are very critical and analytical.  Her many writings over the past three years are very personal.

One of my favorite “Misteryosa stories” was when Shari got in trouble because of me.  When I “synthesized” a very unflattering metaphor involving Manny Pacquiao and Gloria Arroyo, Shari echoed it with her own take on the issue.  Needless to say, Shari got into a lot of trouble.  But I will always be grateful to her for saving my blogging hide on many occasions, and for serving as a source of inspiration.

Now that I am living in Metro Manila, there are opportunities for me to meet Shari in person and to know more about one of my favorite bloggers in my very short list of blog links.  It will always be my privilege to have, in a way, “inspired” the blogger known as Misteryosa, and to be perfectly honest, the effect is mutual.  My hope is that as I keep Misteryosa.com on my links page, you who read this blog would have a pretty good idea why Shari Cruz is there.

Shari Cruz, or Misteryosa, or whatever you want to call her, is simply one of the best bloggers in the Philippines.  Period.  To see her leave is a challenge to any blogger out there to step up to the plate, and see if your fingers would match up to her keyboard… because I know that even my own fingers cannot.