LINKING up with people who can help our local causes is something I like when participating in global conferences like the recent Global Voices Citizen Media Summit at the Cebu Provincial Capitol.

In the panel on indigenous languages and online media, for instance, I found myself seated beside anthropologist and heritage advocate Joy Gerra, Bob Reyes of Mozilla, and Eugene Alvin Villar of Wikipedia Philippines.

Among the things that emerged is the need for local language advocates to actively link up with the tech industry. There is this development involving the use of the mother tongue in the academe. Akademiyang Bisaya is coming up with language standards, for example, but their work should be used by the geeks making language websites and apps.

On second thought, I also told myself that perhaps language advocates should also work on absorbing more young people into the fold. Not that many are now within the “gurs” age bracket. Haha.


It’s heart-warming to hear when one’s 15 minute talk on conversational Cebuano helped a 17-year old girl feminist and Global Voices delegate from Kyrgyztan (a land-locked mountainous country somewhere between China and Russia) move around Cebu City.

Summit organizers asked me for the talk during their closed sessions because the delegates – some 140 advocacy bloggers from 60 countries – wanted to know more about people in the places they visit. Yes, I gathered that they actually read up on the local culture, economy, and politics. And knowing conversational Cebuano is necessary as they moved around.

For you guys who wanted a copy of the presentation, I posted it at


How should we handle trolls – our bashers and haters online? One Global Voices participant said she retweets the offensive messages and lets her followers deal with them. But there was one particular offensive troll that she dared to meet in a coffee shop, if he had the balls. The troll did not come and never bothered her again.


Was there really a threat on Pope Francis during his recent Philippine visit? A lot online are saying this is a Malacañang lie. Perhaps this is an indicator of an effective anti-Malacañang campaign online or the credibility of Palace spokesmen is not that pristine anymore.

Still, I made an effort to look into different stories about the so-called kill plot in Manila and Tacloban. And I found out that Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte was responding to questions about the so-called plot. She merely confirmed the existence of such unverified reports.

But who made the initial disclosure about the so-called attempt? Here’s what Yahoo News said:

“A former military intelligence officer claimed there were two attempts to assassinate the pope during his visit in the Philippines – one in Manila and the other in Tacloban, Leyte.

The unnamed former officer claimed that four plotters with links to Islamic militant group al-Qaeda were nearly cornered by Manila police hours before the papal mass at the Quirino Grandstand last Jan.18. The plotters, the former officer said, managed to slip away in the ensuing commotion.”

Who is this unnamed former officer? Was he in the position to know the existence of such a raw intelligence report? Is this not something an enterprising reporter heard from an unreliable source and baited Valte into commenting on to make the story legit?

Or was this a deliberate PR leak? Has Valte upgraded the art of lying? Hmmm.

(@anol_cebu in Twitter)