FOR the past two weeks, I have been coordinating with friends and strangers to raise funds for the spine operation of vlogger or video blogger Randolph Novino.

As of this writing yesterday, more than P120,000 has been raised out of the P270,000 needed for the operation. Details are available at As Randolph doesn’t have a family he can rely on, reaching out to peers in the blogging community was important to raise money.

I think creating a blog post about it and keeping it updated was critical to show transparency on the fundraising.

We shared it with online connections who became interested on the situation and paved way for donors to come forward and contribute. This, I thought, was a more reasonable approach rather than sending everyone an email and risk appearing like a spam message.

My only disappointment, however, is my impression and feeling that the brands Randolph featured in his blogs lacked the interest to help out.

This impression is bolstered by the feedback given by Randolph’s peers that support is unlikely. II thought these companies hardly have a clue on public relations or their current PR officers do not know what a PR professional should be.

But perhaps I’m wrong. I got used to PR practitioners like Mel Dominguez of Dominguez Marketing Services whom I first met in the late 90s when I was still starting as a freelance writer. She was friendly and caring to everyone, whether you are a prominent journalist or a freelancer or a beginner. Even for a simple moral support, there is a lot of empathy there. You will not feel ignored or forgotten. Through the years, despite our flaws and imperfections, I find myself blessed to have her as a friend as she reminds me on the importance of humility and how I must treat others.

Most likely, I will not be able to see these brands Randolph dealt with in the same way again. Or maybe I am wrong. That everything I thought what PR officers should do, based on my experience with Mel, was an exception, rather than the norm.

I think with the developments lately on bloggers and journalist getting sick, and not having enough resources to cover for the expenses, I am sure that more of us are now thinking of health and life insurance – the need to invest in one. We need to proactively take care of ourselves and be ready for the unexpected future ahead.