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A Portrait of Blogger As Filipino

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Joey Alarilla wrote a piece about the “Filipino and the Blogosphere” in his regular column at CNET Asia.

According to Duncan Riley, “Some of the worlds best as yet undiscovered bloggers reside in the Philippines.”

What then makes the Filipino Blogger Competitive in this International Industry? I have cited a few items here:

Good Command of Written and Spoken English
The Philippines has two national languages – the local Filipino and English. There are many other dialects spread throughout the islands but English has always been the “modern” language which Filipinos “spake” ever since the American occupation. The medium of instruction at schools is English and there has been, for some reason, a strict compliance to good grammar and language.

EDIT: I guess when I wrote about a strict compliance to English, I was referring more to a generation before the GenTXT craze. I remember back in grade school and high school we went through rigorous classes in grammar, penmanship, English and Filipino literature as well as composition classes. But maybe this was an isolated case since the schools I went to were very strong in the Humanities (we took 4 years of Latin) but a little poor on the Math and Sciences.

Affinity to Technology
The Philippines is the “SMS Capital of the World.” Probably next to Japan in terms of the cellphone craze, we are years ahead of the west when it comes to technology services. Several foreign companies set camp in the Philippines and hire them as programmers, network administrators and operations managers. The technology scene in the Philippines is quickly becoming a mainstream item as most Filipinos always want a new phone or computer every four months.

Good Compensation
Filipinos who start to work with blog networks are motivated to perform because of the cheaper cost of living here. As Darren Rowse once told me in a quick chat, your US dollar goes a long way when you’re in the Philippines.

Care to add / affirm / challenge these insights?

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

9 replies on “A Portrait of Blogger As Filipino”

Something nags me about the first point. I guess I’m going to have to back up vonjobi on this one – I have my doubts on “strict compliance” too. Yes, many of us still have a better command of the English language than most Americans, but our numbers seem to be dwindling.

IMNSHO, your second point has something to do with it. SMS shorthand, along with the use of Taglish in news programs and other media, is making many Filipinos “unlearn” the rules of grammar. Heck, in some cases, they never even learn proper English – they just go straight to the garbled, SMS-inspired, tglsh.

stl thnk flpnos hv a gd cmnd f englsh?

There’s a fine line between the good english generation and the younger txtspeak group. The overlap doesn’t help either, young girls dating mid/late-20s guys are spreading txtspeak like wildfire. Hehehe.

The Oscars syndrome*. Your article is about the “greatness” of Filipino bloggers written by a Filipino blogger. Seems like a conflict of interest.
Your argument = crap.
Cell phone craze: “therefore we’re years ahead of the west in terms of technology”? “Filipinos always want a new phone and computer every month”. Where do you live? Maybe you’re talking about your peers? The top 10% of the population in terms of wealth? Based on the World Bank’s statistics, there’s only 53.9 Filipinos per 1000 internet users. Computers? Go outside your prison (your room). Go to the provinces. Go see the real Filipinos working under the sun. Why do you think an MIT grad designed a $100 hand crank laptop. Is that for the west?
Good Compensation: you made a good compensation declaration based on a “quick chat”
Argument against your good written command of english. I’m a Filipino and check my bloody writing.
*the Oscars as you know is an award giving body/system created/decided by actors for actors.

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