Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press ( for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Opinion: Blogging from Mindanao

Originally uploaded by waltzib.

Although I could not speak for the rest of the bloggers in Mindanao, I would like to say my piece about it anyway, at least about why I do this.

I had been asked, probably more than 10 times, why spend my free time on blogging? Another friend asked if I get paid for blogging. Then another one said "make use of your blog to earn money from online advertising schemes".

Why do I blog?

This is a form of free expression. Istambay sa Mindanao is a personal blog.
This allows me to publish in a personal way, what I wanted published. But above all, I want this blog to evolve into something more useful. Ask me what? No idea yet. A while ago, Claire and I were talking about what to do about our blogs. Frankly, I have the slightest idea.

But I'm sure that in blogging, I use the medium to practice writing. It is my passion to write either it is hard or not so hard news, opinion or about anything. Most of the time the articles posted here are "drafts" written in one sitting.

When I make use of this technology to express my thoughts, aspirations, advocacies among other things, I have allowed my own private life to enter a public sphere (the blogoshpere that is).

Whether anyone reads this, is not really as important as my expression of the postings here. But I'm glad there are some visitors. In due time, they will multiply, probably, when this blog has also evolved.

In this blog I also want to use some assertion about my choice of themes in the internet about Mindanao and our province of Bukidnon. In blogging for free, I defy the mainstream media to reach an audience. I’d like to talk about the peace process, about the products of Mindanao among other things. In short, this blog is an effort in leveling the playing field.

Looking around Mindanao, blogging isn't that popular yet. If you go around, you'll see a lot of poverty, although there is hope also that slowly, people are already starting to move from poverty. People around just got so many issues that need to get across! I see this blog as one way to get the message across and communicate to the world what communities want to tell. However, there is still a lot of things to work on this.

I assure you, I am turning this blog into an illustration to friends, especially those in the media, about blogging in general. How can I invite them if I don’t have anything to show them?

At the very least, this blog is a repository of articles, not only a showcase of free expression.

Now do I get paid for this? Of course no, and I refuse to incarcerate myself in that dungeon of commodification and reduce all my actions into monetary terms. Yes I need money to live decently and freely. But no money can buy freedom.

I also refuse to box myself about the style of this blog. It is written in both formal or informal tone/style. Its language is also open. It is in its free form. That's part of the freedom.

Sure, there are rules to follow in blogging, especially in making use of materials owned by others, but here, when you blog, you don't leave your personality behind and become one with most bloggers.

In blogging, you keep your persona in as much as you keep your advocacies. Here you can talk about music, food, issues, gadgets--anything under the sun or over it like God and eternity. Here you can discuss, debate, invite, propose, react, inform, pray, rant. Anything.

There are rules, there are no rules. You choose.


Blogger peterlavina said...

Blogging as tool of communication or expression presents us with multitudes of potentials and possibilities. It's a life-changing experience and our blogs, who knows, might change others too. Keep on blogging!

10:56 AM  
Blogger Waltzib said...

Yes sir, I could not agree more. Let blogging be a bridge for understanding!

11:02 AM  

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