I well remember my first visit to the Tuna Capital of the Philippines that dates back to the year of 2008 for the Mindanao Bloggers Summit 2; I tell you, it was epic. An experience unlike any other. Attending events in General Santos City just can’t be compared to other typical blogger gatherings anywhere else, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has this on mind too. I revisited General Santos City last May for the Summer Safari. Another mind-blowing occasion that was one of the most exciting and adventurous bloggers gathering that I have been to, not only for this year, but for my whole blogging life. But, there was one event, one event meant to place the Summer Safari in its shadow – The Blog Fest Soccksargen 2010 last December 11, 2010.

I was supposedly to be accompanied by one of my writers, Princess, who was supposed to represent the Philippine Teens Media blog at the said occasion, but I had to head on out there on my own because she lost her wallet. I left Davao for GenSan at around 6:30 in the evening, and arrived there at around 10. I was too excited to sleep in the bus (and somehow also pretty scared), which made me very exhausted upon arrival, desperately seeking for a place to spend the night at. I ended up at a place which name I can’t recall, seriously.

As always, – whenever there’s a blogging event – I went to bed very late. But surprisingly I’ve been up on my feet very early this time. Of course though, I had this haggard look. I arrived at the venue, the Royale Hotel as one of the first, even earlier than the technician from Smart Bro who was tasked to setup the Wireless Internet Connection at the venue. One of the organizers even thought that I was one of them aiding the setup of the place in preparation for the bloggers that started flocking in around the 8 hour mark in the morning.

I could keep you bothered and bored with my point of view of the blogging summit, but I’m sure others have blogged better and more comprehensive about it. I will just leave you with some of the exceptional highlights of the event. Time won’t allow me to keep this narrative going on and on and on.

We had a number of speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. From Aileen Apollo, to Ria Jose, down to Janette Toral, you name it! The talk that I’ve looked forward to the most, was the one of my Idol in blogging, Ms Janette Toral. And of course, one of the outstanding talks was presented by the hacker guy Bobby Soriano. I was amazed at how swiftly he has cracked open the Facebook accounts of the people in attendance. He truly left some of the most important reminders to all bloggers about internet safety and precaution. It often happens that if one account gets cracked, you can say goodbye to the others as well. And he really emphasized that it’s important to have different passwords on different sites which I immediately followed through.

Janette Toral discussed the New Media’s Role in Businesses. It made me recall the days that I began blogging, it made me reflect “why did I even bothered to start blogging?” or “why am I even bothering to blog despite the very lows I experience these days?” She brought me back to the reality, that 1) I’m not too far of from my initial goal of this blog and 2) that there’s no reason I should end what I have began. She emphasized that we all should place goals ahead of us. We should look at how our audiences are, the needs of them and so on. Even though her talk may have been aimed at the Business and Marketing Bloggers, it really struck me most. You could call managing blog a business. With the readers as your customers. It’s just a bit different. You are not selling any products, but the content that you have for them, your wisdom, your knowledge in exchange for their loyalty and their friends loyalty, maybe too.

And that’s where I’ll be heading in 2011. Getting back to my goal to blog to educate, inform and to entertain as well. Another big project that I’m slowly conceptualizing will be introducing blogging to universities and colleges… but that’s worth of another blog post as this one gets too long already.

Salute to everyone who has worked behind the scene of this blogging event. To Avel, Orman, the Sox Bloggers, all the speakers and everyone who came.

If you blog it(, and market it), they will come, and I indeed came to General Santos City along with over a hundred of other bloggers, with a decent number coming from Davao City.

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