I STARTED my blog www.betsynegrense.com last year and it was when I realized that blogging seriously is not a walk in the park. The park has rough pathways and is strewn with stones and, sometimes, dog poop.
“Madugo” as we say in Hiligaynon colloquial to mean back-breaking, stressful work; and sometimes, underpaid or unpaid work considering that bloggers have not yet been fully accepted as media professionals.
I appreciate how the Rotary Club of Bacolod South under its president Elena Gatanela recognized bloggers in the 1st Annual Bloggers Excellence Awards 2017. I was given the Readers’ Choice Award for my article “Uplifting Young Minds with Rotary Club of Bacolod South’s Oplan Hilam-os.”
We bloggers can get excited about writing our latest post and this excitement can turn to frustration when the internet does not cooperate. We often write until the wee hours of the morning to beat a deadline, or to deliver what we promised. I take my hat off to those who have persisted in this profession and hurdled many obstacles along the way (including avoiding the turds).
Last weekend, I wrote Part 1 of this article. This weekend, hats off to the rest of the members of the Negrense Blogging Society Inc. (NBSI is SEC-registered, by the way).
• One of our featured bloggers is a familiar face to SunStar readers. Claire Marie Algarme is a lifestyle columnist for SunStar Bacolod and owns the firsttimetravels.com blog. She was a finalist in the Tourism Authority of Thailand Medical Tourism Blog Contest in 2010 that brought her to Chiang Mai, Thailand; a winner in the Globe #Wonderful Blog Contest that flew her to Auckland, New Zealand; and one of the winners in the Kerala Blog Express Season 4 that granted her a trip around Kerala, India in 2017.
She was a featured blogger in the Lonely Planet Blogsherpa program for three years before the program ended. She has contributed to various travel magazines for she does travel a lot and oftentimes at her expense e.g., we travelled together to Brunei in 2016.
Prior to moving back to Bacolod, Claire was the Corporate Communications assistant vice president at The Manila Hotel. She was the head of Media Relations at Summit Media, the company that publishes magazines like Yes!, Candy, Cosmopolitan, Preview and many more. She also handled brands like Jollibee, BPI, Knorr, and Rexona, to name a few, when she was the senior PR manager at Strategic Works.
Apart from her PR and Communications background, she spent most of her career in the non-profit sector where she was corporate communications head at the Habitat for Humanity Philippines and she was even seconded in the Habitat for Humanity Indonesia office for a year. She was also the resource mobilization manager of Hands On Manila Foundation and her most recent post was executive director of the Dr. Pablo O. Torre Foundation Inc.
At present, she is a content and marketing associate at the Entrepreneurs' Organization Australia-Victoria and also lectures Advanced Marketing in the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program of La Consolacion College-Bacolod. Follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/firsttimetravel
Twitter: http://twitter.com/firsttimetravel and Instagram: http://instagram.com/firsttimetravel.
• Our fashionplate Dhadha Garcia is a Bacolod lifestyle blogger and social media advocate. A mom of one, an entreprenuer, and a shutterbug, she is happy, busy, and always on the lookout for exciting projects to work on.
She is one of the pioneers (2009) and a proud member of the Negrense Blogging Society Inc. or the #NegrenseBloggers. She won Best Lifestyle Blog (www.theblueink.com) and Best Parenting Blog (www.twenteenmom.com) in the Rotary Club of Bacolod South 1st Annual Bloggers Excellence Awards 2017. For Fashion and Beauty, check out www.classysweets.com.
A Computer Engineer (she graduated in 2007), she taught herself to be a web designer and makes and manages/maintains websites. She worked as a CSR in Teletech in 2007 but quit after a few months and focused on earning through her blogs that she started as a hobby in 2002. In 2007, the money started coming in.
• Our go-to person for insider showbiz information is the sweet Sunshine Dacudao who is popularly known in showbiz circles as Chan-Chan Torres. She has been an active member of NBSI for almost two years now.
Before she joined NBSI, she worked in Manila as an entertainment writer/columnist for 20 years. She wrote for various entertainment magazines and tabloids as well as handled PR jobs for movie stars and some TV shows of a leading television network. As a reporter, she interviewed actors, actresses, and even politicians. She also visited location sites and studios where shootings and tapings were being done.
She is a graduate of La Consolacion College-Bacolod with a degree in BS Hotel and Restaurant Management but she is truly a writer at heart. Presently, she enjoys work as a blogger now that she has wider options in terms of topics, places and people to write about. She’s excited to learn new things and see what’s in store as she takes a step higher in her writing path.
• Lloyd Tronco is an artist/writer/entrepreneur who writes about Negrense and Ilonggo culture. His blog, "El Talonggo" (www.talonggo.com) zooms in on the sub-culture of Hiligaynon speakers who shuttle between Manila, Negros, Iloilo, and other places. I so enjoy reading his posts on Negros because I find them to be authentic observations of the culture and so well-written.
Tronco said: "I think there's so much to hand down to the next generation which has to be documented in writing so that they can perfectly understand the traits, habits, and idiosyncrasies of Negrenses."
He added "unless these are explained, Negrenses and Ilonggos for that matter will be misunderstood as either flamboyant or snobbish."
Tronco is based in Manila and always longs for Negros as evidenced by numerous posts about Negrense cuisine.
His other blogs are digitalhacienda.com, which talks about technology and entrepreneurship; and outdoor.ph, which is about outdoor advertising).
• Glady Reyes is a Chemical Engineer, Licensed Real Estate Broker and an award-winning blogger and social media advocate based in Bacolod City.
She is one of the founders of the NBSI, Negros Island's premier blogging community and founder of ExperienceNegros.com, a tourism and real estate blog. She was awarded Blogger of the Year and Social Media Advocate of the Year by the Globe Media Excellence Awards-Visayas in 2015.
Professionally, she works as science research specialist and holds a degree in Master of Management Major in Business Management. #greenbuildings #travelandlifestyleblogger #innovation #technology
• Last but not least is the president of NBSI, Eduardo Joven. He is currently the owner and search engine optimization consultant at Aspire Search Marketing (www.AspireSearchMarketing.com). He manages the creation and implementation of the online marketing plans, optimize the brand online, whilst maintaining the overall business strategy. He conducts market research and analysis to develop strategies to improve sales and conversion rates. He plans and implements website initiatives, affiliates, email campaigns, etc.
Right now, he devises and implements SEO strategies for large eCommerce websites with more than 10,000 products.
He conducts regular optimization of on-page content on various product pages.
He was SEO project manager (Company Name ClickEleven.com); SEO consultant for Syndeo Media, and president/manager/web designer of Gobacolod Creative Technologies Corp. for four years and six months. His blogs include www.pinoyrecipe.net, www.bacolodlifestyle.com, http://www.technewsph.com/.
His YouTube channel Filipino Recipes Portal has 13,000 subscribers and his Mango Float Recipe recently reached one million views.
Awards that he had garnered are 2013 Globe TattAwards Best Food Blog-PinoyRecipe.net; 2017 Social Media Influencer of the Year awarded by Rotary Club; 2017 Blogger of the Year awarded by Rotary Club; and 2017 Best Food Blog-PinoyRecipe.net awarded by Rotary Club.
Because of his background in search engine optimization, his blogs are doing good in Google search results, making them generate generous monthly income from Google AdSense and other online advertising agencies such as Monumetric.com, GourmetAds.com, SOVRN.com, Izea.com, Amazon.com, and more.
Now, if you can’t make heads or tails of the technical jargon used by our bloggers, don’t worry – I can’t either. I still have a lot to learn from them.
If blogging is life for us, may we live long lives in this fast-changing internet-dependent world.
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on January 20, 2018.
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