"My challenge is for you to be part of the national discourse..... Through blogs you can share to your countrymen what you see when you are in different countries. You can share with us the good and the bad. Through your blogs, Facebook accounts, and Twitter, you can inspire those you left at home to be better and to strive more."
Thus says Carlo Ople, keynote speaker of the 3rd Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards held at the Teatrino Promenade, Greenhills, San Juan last December 18, 2010.
Indeed, blogging has evolved from just a simple "online diary" where we can chronicle our personal thoughts and the personal events and things that occour on a blogger's life. Today, bloggers are given the unlimited power to speak their mind about issues. We are given the liberty to participate in the national discourse of relevant issues and events in our country.
Thus, we are now called to be more responsible in what we write. We need to be more careful in sharing our thoughts, knowing that our ideas may somehow affect the future of the nation.
The challenge is to participate in the National Discourse. And today, I respond and take part of the challenge.
SIYETEHAN participates in PEBA
I got a tweet from Azel, a college classmate and friend of mine suggesting me to take part in the 2010 PEBA under the OFW Supporters Category about the middle of October. Not wanting to disappoint her, I tried to compose a rush short story and submitted it to the event organizers. Back then, I knew I had little chance of making it to the short-listed finalists because 1) I didn't invest much time and effort in composing the story (madalian lang dahil malapit na rin kasi ang deadline of submission when I learned about the contest) and 2) Popularity is one of the criterias for the selection of the finalists (sadly, I don't have that much blogger friends to rally behind me when the online votation comes).
And so was I surprised when Yanah, one of the event coordinators, adviced me thru email that I am one of the awards recepients.
The Awards night was held at the Teatrino Promenade, Greenhills last December 18, 2010. I had the greatest honor when my wife willingly accompanied me on the event.
Well, we came at around 6 in the evening but were told by the security on duty that we are not yet allowed to enter into the theater, so we went to a nearby shop to sip coffee while waiting for the event to start.
The program proper started a bit later than schedule, however, you can somehow feel the excitement in the air as the finalists look forward to the awarding.
To cut the long story short, my entry, Wander Milyoner, made it at 8th Place for the Top 10 Outstanding Blogs Supporters Division (not bad for a neophyte participant).
SIYETEHAN would like to congratulate all the PEBA Awardess, but most to ANIMUS and to FELMAR'S MISSIONARY JOURNEY for bagging the Top 1 Spot on the Outstanding Blog for OFW Bloggers Category and OFW Supporters Category, respectively.
We didn't have the opportunity to mingle with co-bloggers, judges, and the PEBA organizers after the event, but truly, we are so grateful for being with all these great people on the event.
Hanggang sa muling pagkikita sa mga susunod pang PEBA Awards Night!
Personal thanks to Azel, Yanah, and the rest of the PEBA team. Also to those unnamed persons who chose Siyetehan during the online voting.
Thank you to all who have taken the time to read my post, Wander Milyoner. It has always been my dream and desire that people will become entertained, encouraged, and blessed with the things I write on my blog (this, in a way, is the answer to the call of the National Discourse that Carlo Ople has been trying to emphasize).
Most thanks go to our Sovereign God who has given us all respective gifts and skills to harness and use for His glory.
This will also be my year-ender post, so let me all greet you a Blessed New Year.
Magkita-kita tayong muli sa 2011!