Speaking Our Native Tongue on the Web

June 17, 2010 | 1 Comment

When WordPress Philippines first launched, I left a comment saying we should try to write in our native language. We it owe it to all our heroes who died fighting for our right to be free. Language is one of the most important signs of sovereignty. And besides, if you’ll look at the sixth box of links at the footer, all those foreign WordPress sites are written in their own language!

It appears blog provider giant Blogger has translated its service to “Filipino” and this has got me thinking. Google owns Blogger. Google also provides localized versions for several other services for us Pinoys. Several other sites do, too. But what does a “local” version mean, really? Is it the Filipino language? Or is it Tagalog?

Filipino o Tagalog? Ano ba talaga, kuya?

Google Language Tools: When you select Filipino as the language of your choice in viewing Google Search, the abbreviation in the link is “tl”, which clearly stands for Tagalog.

Google Directory: When you click on the Filipino language under World Languages, it is actually linked to Tagalog.

Wikipedia: There is no Filipino language version of Wikipedia, only Tagalog, Bikolano, Cebuano, Chavacano, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Waray.

All of this is pretty ironic considering the page on the topic Filipino says:

Note: “Philippino” and “Philipino” are misspellings of this word and are not considered part of standard usage. Pilipino is used to describe the people of the Philippines. The term “Filipino” is commonly used when you are talking or writing in English or other foreign language. “Filipino” is the Philippines’ national, official and constitutional language (While the Filipino language is largely based on Tagalog, pure Tagalog has slight differences to Filipino).

This is the accepted definition of Filipino, as well as Filipino versus Tagalog, right? Then why do these websites—which are multi-million dollar companies no less—assume that in order to be a little more user-friendly to its Filipino visitors, it should create a custom language version in Tagalog instead of Filipino? What gives them the right to do so? As Filipinos, should we accept their bad judgment on something that affects no one else but ourselves?

Philippine-based wiki competitor WikiPilipinas has acknowledged this and created a Filipino language version of its wiki. But then there seems to be no Tagalog counterpart along with other provincial languages. So did they drop the Tagalog because it’s essentially Filipino anyway?

Ano ang problema?

I know I’m getting into a huge debate here, one that might never ever be resolved so long as our country remains an archipelago, so long as we have strong affinities for provincial languages, even foreign ones. After all, we are a nation of provinces and a nation of balikbayans. Our national language has never been that strong especially in the midst of the languages we’ve had to deal with.

But I am not asking you to be a little more patriotic (especially in the spirit of the EDSA Revolution, whose anniversary we commemorate on Monday) by choosing to write in our own language. I just want to underline what we may be overlooking:

On the web, is it correct to say that a Filipino speaks only Tagalog? Are these two terms interchangeable?

Should we be content that websites like Google consider Tagalog as the language of choice for Filipinos?

Should we be content that other Philippine languages from Cebuano to Waray are represented on some websites, but not the lesser known but equally Pinoy ones?

The Web is as liberating as speaking in one own’s tongue. Blogging, for example, lets you do exactly that. How lucky are we to find a new medium by which we can express ourselves as Filipinos? Other times, however, our identity as a people gets eroded just because a website assumes and restricts, despite the best of intentions. We accept it because we know technology still hasn’t found a way to seamlessly translate any language into another. Or is it because it just doesn’t matter anymore?

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Philippines Top 100 blogs in 2009 according to Alexa.com

January 27, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Pinoy Money Talk has compiled a list of the top 100 Filipino blogs for 2009, ranked according to traffic using statistics from Alexa.com. Also listed were the biggest gainers, losers, and newcomers to the list.

Finally, we bring you our listing of the Top 50 Blogs in the Philippines for the year 2009, ranked based on each blog’s 3-month Alexa.com traffic rank.

We started monitoring blogs in 2008 (see our 2008 Top 50 Philippine Blogs list) and, in 2009, we see a diverse collection of old and new blogs alike.

In this list, 19 blogs or 20% of the Top 50 entered the list for the first time in 2009. They either became popular or started only in 2009. This means the length of time a person has been blogging does not necessarily translate to higher traffic rank.

PMT itself, which is 6th on the list in 2009, admits that the ranking is flawed (the traffic stats are only for 3 months; it also removed porn and warez sites from the list), but still gives people a good grasp of the biggest names in the Philippine blogosphere. View the complete top 100 list here.

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Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards 2009 on December 27

December 16, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Now on its second year, the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards will be held on December 27 at the Philam Life Theater on UN Ave., Malate, Manila. There are 37 nominees whom you can vote for at the sidebar of the website.

Aside from the blog awards itself, there’s also a photo contest open to all Pinoy bloggers abroad.

Can’t make it to the awards night? Check this page for live streaming of the event.

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Saranggola Blog Awards recognizes Filipino-language blogging and gives kites to children

July 23, 2009 | 1 Comment

Saranggola Blog Awards logo

The Saranggola Blog Awards is not your typical blogging contest. Aside from recognizing blogging in the Filipino language and in various formats (short stories, children’s stories, poetry, video blogging), there is a charitable aspect to the event: every blog entry submitted will be matched with a kite (saranggola) for children and children’s causes throughout Metro Manila.

Ang pagsulat ng blog ay gaya ng paglikha at pagpapalipad ng saraggola, kailangan mong buuin ang mga salita at pakawalan sa kalawakan ng blogosphere o blogosperyo. Maraming makakakita at makakabasa, nagmimistulang makulay ang kalawakan sa ating mga sinusulat.

Gayundin, ang bawat entry ninyo ay tutumbasin namin ng saranggola. Sa madaling salita, kung mayroong 50 entries, magkakaloob kami ng 50 saranggola sa mapipiling mga bata / organisasyong pambata sa kalakhang Maynila. Ito ay upang hikayatin ang mga batang maglaro, mangarap at bumuo ng kani-kanilang saranggola.

The contest is open to all bloggers in and out of the Philippines and runs from July 8 to August 31, 2009. Bloggers’ Choice, Judges’ Choice, and Finalists will be announced on September 15, 2009. Special prizes will also be given, such as caps, mouse pads, PANPIL Pipol books, and of course, kites. Complete mechanics listed here.

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Win a mobile broadband modem, domain registration & hosting, Bob Ong books from Tinig.com

June 24, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Buwan ng Wika comes early this year with the launch of Tinig.com’s writing contest entitled Wikang Filipino sa Panahon ng Twitter.

Ayon kay Gat Jose Rizal, na ang kaarawan ay ipinagdiwang natin kahapon, “ang hindi magmahal sa kanyang salita, mahigit sa hayop at malansang isda.” Ngunit sa panahong ito ng Twitter at iba pang makabagong kagamitan sa pandaigdigang komunikasyon, lalo na sa Internet, ano ang papel na ginagampanan ng ating sariling wika?

Very good question. In fact, it feels inappropriate to even write this blog post in Filipino.

But anyway, the mechanics are simple: register at Tinig.com and submit an essay with 500-700 words discussing the importance of the Filipino language in this modern era. Entries should not have been published elsewhere (including blogs). Deadline is on August 19, 2009.

Join now!

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Philippine pride is alive and well on the internet (Happy Independence Day!)

June 12, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Proclamation of Philippine Independence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898

It’s the 111th Philippine Independence Day today, meaning there’s no better day to take pride in our heritage as a nation. If you’ve been keeping tabs on online Pinoy culture, however, you’ll notice how we don’t need to wait for June 12th come around to celebrate all the things that define who are as a people, big and small.

Pilipinas kong mahal

Let’s start with our lovely flag, the elements of which has inspired clothing lines, magazine covers, and every Pinoy-centric campaign you can think of.

Google and Yahoo Philippine independence day logos

Of course it does help with big companies like Google and Yahoo! join in the festivities too.

Filipinos biscuits

Speaking of festivities—food! Lechon, balut, isaw, taho, mangoes, bananas, rice, or the biscuits called Filipinos, our love for our delicacies is found around the world, websites included.

Noli/Fili meets the Katipuneros and Propagandistas, Facebook-style

June 12th is also a time to remember how our heroes, from Rizal to Ninoy, fought and died for our country. Apart from reverence, there seems to be a different kind of fascination with our ancient elders. There’s a LOLcat version of Mi Ultimo Adios and a series of Noli/Fili meets the Katipuneros and Propagandistas here and here, Facebook-style.

TGIS cast

That’s not the only kind of nostalgia we Filipinos enjoy on the Web. We can watch all the retro TV commercials and telenovelas on demand. And if that isn’t your thing, we’ve got present-day stars to watch too: Charice Pempengco, Manny Pacquiao, Arnel Pineda, Christine Gambito, the Philippine All-Stars, the Cebu inmates, Apl.de.ap, Nicole Scherzinger, Batista, and more.

Finally, perhaps the most important part of the Philippine revolution online are the different causes and movements to better our nation. From reactions to controversies like the De la Paz-Pangandaman golf incident and the Great Book Blockade of 2009, to politically-motivated initiatives like No to Con-Ass, to grassroots sites like Ako Mismo and One Tama.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

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Top 10 Filipino Expats and OFW Bloggers of 2008 announced

January 2, 2009 | 1 Comment

The Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards honored the top Filipino expatriates and overseas workers who are also bloggers. Here’s the list:

10. Rhapsody, Dubai, UAE
9. Mumsified, Malaysia
8. Sari Saring Kulay, Japan
7. Sleepless in KL, Malaysia
6. Manilenya, Canada
5. Pamatay Homesick, Kuwait
4. Pedestrian Observer, USA
3. The Sandbox, Saudi Arabia
2. Pansitan ni Ate Sienna, USA
1. Writing on Air, Australia

Writing on Air is written by Jim Paredes and this is what the judges had to say about his blog:

“Meaningful and inspiring posts” “Brings out pride in being Filipino” “Writing on Air has depth and substance. Jim’s blog is brilliant and inspiring. His take on issues around the world and as well as personal experiences are culturally enriching as a Filipino. The lay-out and design is clean” Some of the judges notes about Jim Paredes blog.

There was also a special award for the Most Popular Expat/OFW Blog, Ronel Livelihood from the UK.

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Filipino bloggers disrespected by TV station & PR agency

November 28, 2008 | 1 Comment

Between all the blogging parties, awards, and conferences, you’d think Pinoy bloggers have gained equal footing with mainstream media. Noemi Dado’s and Arpee Lazaro’s and recent experiences prove otherwise.

Noemi Dado vs. ABS-CBN

The first is already familiar: ABS-CBN show TV Patrol World used a photo from her blog without asking permission first. It was even worse this time because it was a photo of her daughter. It took 3 weeks for news anchor TJ Manotoc to apologize to Noemi.

TJ Manotoc, the reporter of the segment called me an hour later after this was posted (oh do I have to blog to get a reply?) but I was unable to pick the call. I just talked to him a while ago. He explained how he got the photos. He interviewed Rhett Eala for the Philippine Flag segment and was told that he could use any of the publicity photos. His team googled for the images and my daughter’s photo came about. Since they were in a rush, they didn’t bother to get the source of the photo. Ooops, not a good idea I said.

Arpee Lazaro vs. Jayce Perlas

The second is another version of awful: Jayce Perlas of the Perlas and Luna PR agency barred him from registering at a Samsung event because his invite could not supposedly be confirmed. A few moments later, two other people asked Arpee which publication he was associated with, and when he explained that he was a blogger, they were confused. They did not know what a blogger is.

Bloggers attend events all the time and understandably, some of us do behave badly. But if it is necessary for us to be humiliated please give us just cause. The lot of us are mostly decent, have above-average spending power and should be treated with respect as you would traditional media people. Bloggers are member of the new media and we are not a hype that will go away anytime soon. I ask PR agencies to please do your homework about bloggers before you have us invited to your events. As far as I know, I never emailed any company asking them to invite me; they’ve always emailed me to attend and even email me again to thank me for going. Mr Perlas and those like him should try to have a bit more PR in their PR work.

You have been warned

If there’s a type of industry that should be properly informed, it should be the media and press relations! You keep acting like you’re better than what it means to be a third world country, and yet you dismiss intellectual property rights, invade other people’s privacy, and have no initiative to stay informed.

You don’t know what copyright infringment is? Funny how you complain every time your shows are uploaded on YouTube (yet use clips from the website—most likely without permission—on your segments anyway).

You don’t know what blogging is? That’s just sad and ironic, since you’re a tech company.

And yet you consider yourselves better than bloggers, or everyone else?

Learn to show respect. A blog can share all the bad moves you’ve made to the whole world. And wait ’til traditional media fades into the background and blogs become as influential as they are abroad. You’ve probably heard that several newspapers and magazines in the US have shut down print production and have gone exclusively online.

Considering the Philippines is so in love with America, it’s only a matter of time for us to “imitate” them. The question is, will your fancy media company or PR agency survive the layoffs by then?

Ample warning, folks.

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Digital Filipino Web Awards 2008 winners announced

November 6, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Digital Filipino Web Awards 2008

Congratulations to the winners of the Digital Filipino Web Awards 2008! The awarding ceremony was held last November 5 at Taste Asia, Mall of Asia.

Apparel / Fashion Category – Tesoro’s Philippine Handicrafts and Barongs
Art Category – Hiraya
Association / Organization Category – Information Technology Association of the Philippines
Auction / Shopping Portal Category – KabayanCentral
Automotive Category – AutoIndustriya
Beauty Category – Godiva
Blog – Corporate Category – The Belo Medical Group Blog
Blog – Personal Category – The D Spot
Blog – Professional Category – Tech at Hand
Books Category – OMF Literature
Community Category – TipidPC
Computer / Consumer Electronics Category – Villman Computers Philippines
Consumer Banking / Bills Payment Category – Philippine National Bank
Corporate / Professional Category – Syntactics
Events / Conferences Category – WordCamp Philippines
Financial Services Category – Absolute Traders
Food Category – Filipino Recipes
Games Category – RF Online Philippines
Gifts Category – Express Regalo
Guides / Review Category – ClickTheCity.com
Home Furnishings / Improvement Category – Philippine Interior Design & Feng Shui Tips
Jobs / Employment Category – MyNimo
Magazine Category – Candymag.com
Music / Movie/ Film Category – TitikPilipino
Newspaper Category – Inquirer.net
Pharmaceuticals Category – GlaxoSmithKline Philippines
Podcast Category – The Daily PCIJ
Politics Category – Filipino Voices
Real Estate Category – BF Homes Properties
School / University Category – De La Salle University – Manila
Services Category – Load.com.ph
Social Networking Category – GreatPinoy!
Tourism Category – Cebu CeBoom CeBlog
Travel Category – Philippine Airlines

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Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

October 10, 2008 | 1 Comment

Blog Action Day 2008 happens this October 15 and the topic is poverty. Exactly what is it?

Blog Action Day is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion.

Here’s a promotional video:

This year’s topic is especially close to Filipino hearts, so I’m sure a lot of bloggers from the Philippines will be participating. Be sure to join as well!

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Voting opens for the Bloggers’ Choice Award at the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards

September 10, 2008 | No Comments Yet

The Philippine Blog Awards 2008 has just announced the nominees for the Bloggers’ Choice Award and the voting has opened. The process has changed since last year:

  • You need to be a Filipino blogger with a blog, which “must be established at least three (3) months from today with a minimum of 10 posts.”
  • You need to pick one nominee and write a blog post about why he/she deserves to win. “Yes, you can vote for your own blog. And no, you cannot vote for a blog that is not on the list of official Bloggers’ Choice Award nominees.”
  • You need to include the list of sponsors in your blog post.
  • You need to submit your blog post here.

So why would you go through all the trouble of doing that? Every blog post counts as one raffle entry (but one post per blogger only). Prizes to that raffle will be announced soon.

Finally, congratulations to the nominees:

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NurseAko

July 17, 2008 | 1 Comment

NurseAko - A Filipino Nurses Community

It’s nice to have an online community that celebrates our modern day heroes in the business of saving lives. One where they can describe their experiences whether they live abroad or here in Manila, still in school or already practicing in the real world.

NurseAko is calling all Philippine nurse bloggers to stand up and be counted in its blog round-up.

Visit NurseAko.

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Get Ratified!

February 5, 2008 | 1 Comment

You might remember that we got this WordPress Philippines party started by asking you to contribute in several ways: submitting themes and plugins, posting at the forums, and tagging your blog posts with “wordpressph”.

This time, we’re encouraging all of you to get your Philippine blogs listed at Ratified.org. Ratified ranks Filipino blogs according to various stats from Google, FeedBurner, and Technorati. And yes, Ratified is for Pinoys, by Pinoys. Sa’n ka pa!

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