In the forthcoming iBlog4: The 4th Philippine Blogging Summit, we'll be having one speaker from Davao City and talk about the Mindanao blogging community. She is Ria Jose.
Ria started out as a personal/emo blogger at LiveJournal around January 2004. "It was mostly about my rants and raves about my life, tv shows, movies, and other things. Sometimes, I would blog about politics and current events. My cousin, Andrew Dela Serna, then prodded me to start my own politics blog under his Alleba.com domain. That was my first niche blog."
Ria's blogging adventure grew from there where she now maintains at least eleven niche blogs and a personal blog. "I think I have improved a lot in terms of writing skills. Moreover, blogging has expanded my interests, paved way for new jobs and careers, and increased my circle of friends."
Last year, the Philippine blogosphere felt the strong presence of the Mindanao blogging community as they organized a get-together party and summit later that year. Ria believes that the Mindanao blogging community has the lofty task of uplifting the Mindanao image. "We can do that by providing positive content about the island while blogging truthfully about the realities we face. I think this common goal has made us one as a community. We are all working hard online and offline to encourage more Mindanaoans to blog so that Mindanao may be viewed in a more truthful and balanced light."
Blogging has its own advantages, disadvantages, and challenges. Ria believes that being based in a place "considered as a province" are not that much different from those faced by bloggers based in Metro Manila. "I believe that the internet, blogs particularly, acts as an equalizer. It gives same opportunities and has the same limitations wherever you are. I guess the only difference is we don't get invited to the offline blog events in Metro Manila. But we have our events here such as the Mindanao Bloggers Summit and the Davao Food Tour that they don't get to attend too, so there's really not much difference."
At iBlog4, Ria achieved her goal of letting people know more about Mindanao bloggers, how active and diverse the community is.