Yesterday, I attended the 4th Philippine Blogging Summit – iBlog 4 – even with a bout of rage-induced depression. One of the highlights of iBlog, on a more personal note, was exchanging small-talk with Mr. Manuel Quezon III, who was rather surprised to meet me in person for the first time.
(If you were in iBlog 4, I was the guy in the t-shirt with a fiery skull design who doesn’t talk to anybody. I have issues with crowds. No, I’m not emo. And yes, I sound like Satan whenever I talk through a microphone.)
An important insight I learned from iBlog 4 is the growing importance of blogging as a means towards genuine social change. As Luz Rimban, Manolo Quezon, and Jeanette Toral pointed out in their talks at iBlog 4, there are few political bloggers in the Philippines. The few political bloggers that we have, given the number of blogs – or “blogs” – that there are in the Philippines would mean that the “growing importance” of blogging is still on the embryonic stage.
Please disagree with me on this one: I think – and this is a completely subjective and personal observation – that most bloggers do not utilize their blogs enough as a vehicle to (at the very least) exact a political influence among their peers. It’s not that people don’t see the importance of political blogging, it’s just that people do not exercise their political views and commit them to a blog entry.
I’m not saying that this practice is wrong, it’s just that blogging can mean so much more than a healthy dose of emo or psychological prostitution. We, as bloggers, need to speak out more on issues. Not personal ones, but social ones. Or maybe social ones that we find personal affinities and empathies with.
I can personally vouch for the dangers and consequences of having a disagreeable view or an opinion. I’m not talking about people who disagree with me online, but people who disagree with me offline. I don’t have time to check spam messages or Google my own name to look for people who want to kill me. Yet realities sink in all too often when you have to delete a threatening comment or an e-mail (thankfully, they are few-and-far-between), or hear about real-world slander.
Yet in effect, this is what resistance is all about. Blogging is not about resistance, it is resistance. Even in the embryonic stage of political and social blogging, The Media look upon us as, well, threats. I myself am quite dissatisfied with the way The Media treats blogging, focusing more on the irrelevant non-issue that is Brian Gorrell vs. DJ Montano, instead of the growing social and political resistance in the blogosphere…
But that’s for another entry.