On April 4, I joined my friend Kiko Acero at a panel discussion on “blogging and activism” at the 10th Philippine Blogging Summit at the University of the Philippines’ Malcolm Hall.
Bloggers should continue to use their popularity and influence for activism.
It is a challenging task and not a “normal” thing to do because activism challenges bloggers to go beyond the usual “me” and focus on the oft-forgotten “we”. But it must be done because there are causes, advocacies, organizations, towns, unions, NGOs and other groups of people just waiting for a chance to be taught how to “go online” and “go social”. It must be done because – at the end of the day – bloggers are citizens too, part of a larger community and when change happens in that community, bloggers also stand to benefit. It would be awesome if bloggers offer their skills, talents and time to causes, especially those of the marginalized and oppressed, the voiceless and the invisible.
We have done lots of activism: We used social media during disasters, regardless of the topics of our blogs. We exposed the virus that is the Cybercrime Law. And the many posts about traveling around the country, meeting new people, discovering new sights, featuring the best scenes and most colorful festivals, and mapping the country — all these made #itsmorefuninthephilippines possible and an epic win.
We have our own issues online – the Cybercrime Law and the substandard internet services we endure – and we should take action to delete the bad law and compel telcos to give faster, more reliable and more affordable internet. Freedom must be preserved, and the internet should be accessed quickly and without aggravation.
We netizens should not forget that, altogether, we are just one-third of the national population. Let’s campaign that the digital divide be bridged for the other two-thirds deprived of access to the internet.
Activism is not just for “political bloggers”. It is for everyone. We have done it before and we will do it again. Because there are so much stuff that needs change, so much stupidity to challenge, so many good things to win.
Below is the deck I presented at #iBlog10:
Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app