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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Humanity Of Blogging

Ever since June of last year when I decided to blog on a regular basis, I never realized that it would become some sort of a reunion where bloggers meet first through their writing and then proceed to meet each other in the flesh, some of them - chance encounters while others, a conscious choice.

In the course of less than a year, I had the privilege of meeting new people in the Philippine blogosphere. I also had the opportunity of meeting long lost friends, new acquaintances, and a number of bloggers who seem to hate me with a passion by virtue of contrasting beliefs.

Over all, the exposure to the blogosphere has been a refreshing experience, drawn together perhaps by the novelty of the medium coupled with the realization that bloggers are essentially trailblazers in a new field, establishing protocols as we move along (though we do not seem to care about our individual and corporate legacy to the field of punditry or literature).

All in all, friend or foe come home to nest in their respective blogdoms and visit other people’s sites either to spite, anger, inspire or simply thank each other. In short, humanity abounds far more in cyberspace than in the real world. Shame is replaced by courage, embarrassment by facility, human debate by by ethernet discourse. Our humanity magnified a hundred fold. That is the power of blogging.

And it is in this milieu that I have bumped into people whom I would never dream of meeting had it not been for blogging. People like Manolo Quezon III whose clarity of mind and incisiveness of reasoning manage still to accommodate the blithering banal blabbering buffoons one mostly hears from the House of Representatives. He is too kind even when he cuts the impertinent fools down.

People like Ricky Carandang whose Socratic method of questioning can slice through all the cowdung that one normally hears from people who obfuscate and muddle the issues. One must expect the unexpected from Ricky when he asks his questions and comes prepared the guest must. He does give law professors a run for their money when he asks his questions. It’s a shame (or a blessing, depends on your point of view) he never became a lawyer. What I would like to see is how he will grill El Kapitan if ever that taipan decides to guest on his show.

People like techie Josh Villanueva of GMA-7 who I knew way back in 2000 as a Production Assistant but now one of the honchos sitting on the right side of Grace de la Peña of GMA News. Josh has a wonderful and cheery disposition whose Christian outlook in life pervades his music and his relationship with his fellowmen. Had Mahatma Gandhi seen Josh, the “seditious fakir”, as Churchill described him, would have converted to Christianity.

Helga, a veteran of the EDSA Wars (like the Clone Wars), whose patriotism inspires those around her and whose single-minded belief that this administration has lost its moral compass to govern this country causes her to question genuinely the moral fiber of those who believe that we ought to move forward while letting Mrs. Arroyo run this country. She will never lose her enthusiasm for a fight especially now that the People’s Initiative is underway. That’s the Viking soul in her!

And last night, I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Ellen Tordesillas of Malaya. A very gentle lady, she writes without fear in the broadsheets, calling a spade a spade from Mrs. Arroyo down to her lackeys, Messrs. Defensor and Bunye. Facile with both English and Filipino, she criticizes Mrs. Arroyo without mincing words using both high speech and vulgar vernacular to drive a point. It is such a joy to read her work but most of all, she shares her humanity and her illness with us through her blog. She is tough as nails and a survivor!

Very recently, I also got a chance to meet up with Atty. Marvin Aceron during the Black and White debacle at Manila City Hall but whose narration of Filipino famous trials I continue to read with gusto and await for the next trial.

The blogosphere has allowed me to meet all these wonderful people. I would wish to meet John Nery, the firm believer in the chain of command and one who believes that those who do not practice journalism should not lecture those who do; Prof. Punzi whose lectures seemed to have recently given way to pathos and angst; the gadfly Dean Jorge Bocobo who posts difficult comments on other peoples’ blogs which caused his banishment and exile from Sassy’s blog.

These and more are what make blogging an exciting reality. The ability to convey your thoughts freely without editorial control other than your own, posting it in your own online journal and eliciting comments, fair and foul, to increase (hopefully) the quality of hte intellectual debate on the pressing issues of the day.

And when bloggers meet, the feeling is no longer as though meeting for the first time. Rather, so much is already known prior to the meet because bloggers have by and large revealed themselves and their innermost thoughts to those who care to read them. That is humanity at work, the unspoken common bond of brotherhood made known though the tip of our fingers, touched by our ethereal presence in cyberspace and read by many who yearn to reveal their humanity in a different medium.

Like Obi Wan Kenobi, blogging may be our last hope - to record our humanity before all sense of outrage give way to apathy and indifference.


Blogger Lord Dracula said...

Well, I hope to meet my blogging idols soon. BTW, how come I don't see you on ANC when you're being interviewed? I always try to watch ANC (specially Dateline Philippines) when I am not yet sleepy (I'm on night shift until end of March).

Keep on blogging, so that I can keep on reading and thinking. Thank you.


4:03 AM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

Caught you on Ces Drilon's Show last night. The TV medium suits your very photogenic easy-going style ED! You were so restrained, despite the fact that I think you wanted to shout at Ed Nachura. Bravo! But are you headed for the MSM too, like Sassy? Santiago vs. Comelec will be reversed tho imo. Isn't that what Maid Miriam's "indefinite leave" really means?

7:40 AM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

We shouldn't kid ourselves too much.
Wait till the boors and barbarians
get here.
The "Cool World" of Bloggerdom
is still the "Cruel World"
in which we live.

But, there too,
Thank God for friends!

7:51 AM  
Blogger Punzi said...

Pasensya na sir. Pero actually I just put my lectures/commentaries on my Semper Fidelis blog kaya puro personal na yung sa Corner Blog ko... But that' still experimental...

But in a way, you are right. Medyo going through a phase lang rin ako siguro.

Hope to see you one the second blogging summit. Buti pa kayo ni Marvin nagkita na.


7:08 PM  
Blogger mama_aly said...

whether to spite, anger, inspire or simply thank... what a blogger is really saying is: "I'M HERE, I NOTICED YOU."

by blogging we reach out and touch... and suddenly we are enriched.

the world of a blogger will never be a lonely place.

thank you for blogging, bro!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Helga said...

Thank you, Dawin! Am flattered that you include me, a baby blogger. Indeed, if you hadn't forced that first post out of me, I would've been content to read the insightful posts of all the wonderful bloggers on your list (and this blog, of course), happily quiet. Now I even manage a gentle rebuke from Rizalist now and then! :-D

10:31 PM  
Blogger Rizalist said...

Helga, I'm not really into rebuking anyone, gently or otherwise. You should rebuke me!

But ED, I think you are right. It seems that that 8-page petition must've been written by Ed Nachura himself, as you slyly suggested during Ces Drilon's show. It actually SOUNDS like him when you read it aloud! (maybe with a lil help from Raul Lambino...I swear I have nothing to do with how he turned out!)

8:29 AM  

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