The SoCCSKSarGen Bloggers successfully held the first-ever BlogFest SoCCSKSarGen last 11 December at the Grand Royale Ballroom of the East Asia Royale Hotel, General Santos City. It is the largest gathering of bloggers in Mindanao this year.
More popularly known as the Sox Bloggers, the group is composed of more than 200 bloggers and new media enthusiasts who have bonded together for the common advocacy of projecting South Central Mindanao in a more positive light through their blogs.
For the past three years, their blogs have increasingly influenced other people’s perceptions about the region and have won in different blog award bodies such as the Philippine Blog Awards and Digital Filipino’s Emerging Influential Blogs Search.
BlogFest SoCCSKSarGen 2010, aimed at enhancing the blogging capabilities of its members and increasing their passion for its advocacy, featured several web luminaries who gave talks on different topics.
The speakers are: University of the Philippines Journalism Professor Danilo A. Arao (Journalism Ethics for Bloggers), Google Inc. Philippine consultant Aileen Apolo-de Jesus (Making the most of the Internet and Google), Zamboanga blogger and IT consultant Ryann Z. Elumba (Spicing Up Blogs With Animation and Video), Head for New Media for the Presidential Communications Operations Office of Pres. Benigno Aquino Jay Jaboneta (The Role of New Media in Nation-building), with Avatar Media and Davao blogger Maria Jose (State of the Philippine Blogosphere).
They were joined by Web Developer and ENoa Corp. Online Marketing strategist Dale Palileo (SEO and Traffic Generation and Monetizing your Blog), Tactical Technology Collective member Bobby Soriano (Internet Security for Bloggers), REACH Networks Country Account Manager and Travel agency operator Michelle Lopez Solon (Exposing Local Gems on New Media), and E-commerce consultant/trainor and author Janette Toral (New Media and its Role in Businesses).
Atty. Jong Gonzales, City Administrator of General Santos, subbing for Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio delivered the first keynote speech entitled “Effecting Change through Blogging” in the morning., Later in the afternoon, South Cotabato and General Santos’ Representative Pedro B. Acharon, Jr. talked about the “New Media’s Role in Defining the Legislative Agenda”.
A total of 119 delegates from all over Mindanao attended the BlogFest. The Sox Bloggers’ lead convenor, Avel Manansala, reported that some bloggers from the Visayas and Luzon have also participated.
After the last of the talks, Janette Toral, the lead organizer of the search for the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs awarded three of the Mindanao bloggers who made it to the list of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2010 – Orman Manansala (Ganda Ever So Much), Brendel Balaga (Get Prettified) and Maria Jose (Kusina Maria).
In the end, the Sox Bloggers and their counterparts from other areas have solidified their aim to continue with their advocacy to present a more balanced view of the region in particular and Mindanao in general and with all the new learning tools presented to them at the Blogfest, they will be more than equipped and up to the challenges posed before them in achieving their goals.
The event was sponsored by East Asia Royale Hotel, Sagittarius Mines, Inc. as its Platinum Sponsors. The Gold Sponsors are Smart Communications, Inc., the office of South Cotabato Rep. Pedro B. Acharon, Jr., Gaisano Mall of Gensan, and Dolores Hotels & Resorts. The Silver Sponsors are STI College Gen. Santos, Opera Software ASA, and Robinsons Place GenSan. The Bronze Sponsors of the event are Geiser Maclang Communications, Montage Digital Photography, Inc., PCWORX General Santos, Royale Iris Studio Productions, OMF Literature, Gensan News Online Mag, Ganda Ever So Much, Alexis Chua, South Cotabato Tambayan, Go Sarangani! Travel and the office of Councilor Margareth Rose N. Santos.