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I was fortunate to get invited to iBlog9: The 9th Philippine Blogging Summit (#iblog9). It was held on May 31 and June 1, 2013 at the Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law, UP Diliman. Seeing as I’ve only started this blog last June, I felt small compared to the other bloggers. Their blogs has more traffic, they get paid to post articles on certain topics and issues, and they get to advertise a specific brand.

I’ve learned a lot since I attended this two-day free event. I was afraid to start a blog at first; I have many options to choose from on what to blog: food, travel, movie, book, lifestyle, and political and social issues. Finally I settled on animal-keeping, specifically turtle keeping.

I felt awed when I heard and learned what the other bloggers post on their sites: women empowerment, the rise of social media, the legal actions in relation to blogging, and even the use of blogging as a tool for business. I mean, how can I compare my simple blog about my pet turtle? (There was a moment where cats were made fun of). There was also a discussion of how long can your blog last? I was confused — at first I thought blogs were made so that you can document, share, and remember every moment of the topics you like. I thought that if you have a food blog, you would only have to comment on every meal you had at any restaurant. I thought that if you have a travel blog, you would be able to comment only on a specific resort or area that you visited. My conception is that when you have a movie or book blog, you would only have to rate the technical aspects of each, from the performance of the actor, to how the book was translated to the screen, up to how the movie missed some important plot points. I thought that the topics to post in the blog were limited.  Identical. Sticking to one. This event squashed those misconceptions. I learned at the end that the topics covered in a blog is varied, and that if you have passion for the things you have to blog about, you can never run out of ideas and thoughts.

I was hesitant to share my website to people. There were many moments during the event where they invited the bloggers to advertise their blogs. I didn’t want to. I’ve always said that I have no blog yet, and that I plan to start once I have learned enough, just to get the vibes of other bloggers. I don’t want to boast my very simple page. Since this is also my first time to the event, I have no idea what to expect. I was surprised when I experienced great camaraderie among the bloggers and the speakers. The ambiance was light and fun. Questions were informative and illuminating, and the points highlighted in each presentation were actually helpful to a newbie blogger like me.

Overall, I had fun. There was simply no other word for it. Passion, fun, and a fast internet connections are the three words that I would associate with this event. Passion because this is where ideas and notions come from. If you are passionate about something, words will flow from your heart to the tips of your fingers. Fun because you would be able to enjoy an 20-minute talk without getting bored, and actually learn a lot in the process, as well as being able to meet new friends. A fast internet connection would help you translate your thoughts to the social media. You would be able to comment, share, and expound on what you learned.

I guess my final word would be something about being new to the blogging scene. For new bloggers, or would-be bloggers, do not be afraid. Do not hesitate to put your toes in the water. Feel free to write about anything that you have passion for. Look at me; I was hesitant, and I never get to enjoy the chance of splashing in the water. I didn’t promote my blog for fear of indifference and apathy. The best thing to do is a cannonball — it would hurt at first (your blog would have no visits aside from your mom or your siblings), yes, but you get to enjoy the chance of seeing yourself (and others around you) have fun and ask for more.

More power to the organizers of iBlog9, and I hope to see you next year!

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