Sunday, October 01, 2006


THAT’S what you get when an oldie discovers blogging.

Until I sat beside JV Rufino, editor chief, I confess to a lifelong habit of ignoring technology.

Young but au courant, Rufino was one of the Manila journalists invited to a Press Freedom Week forum on the challenges of using the new media. During the luncheon preceding the forum, the first question he threw my way was: “Do you blog?”

My mumble that I occasionally visited the blogs of fellow writers and friends was carried away in the undertow of his engaging but personally confusing commentary on web logs or online journals.

When I had the chance to check the Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, I found that the word “blog,” when used as a verb, means to “maintain or add content to a blog.”

The more honest answer to Rufino’s question then should have been: no, I don’t blog.

I inherited my late father’s belief that the reading of books alone can keep one occupied for a lifetime. Anything newfangled was to be acquired only after the hype was over and the price of the old model dropped.

So we replaced our busted black-and-white with a colored television set when the former was phased out. While everyone was watching VHS, we were just discovering Betamax.

If I couldn’t shut out the Internet and texting altogether, it was because I worked in the newsroom when sources’ tips and assignments were no longer relayed through Pocketbell.

The Net did not just make research faster; it stirred up less allergen than digging in the newspaper morgue or tramping the city streets.

But if technology could be rationalized for acquiring information, I couldn’t quite get over my neo-luddite tendencies when it came to information sharing on the Internet.

It wasn’t just that I had no interest and no resources to go beyond text and explore uploading photos (photoblog), videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting).

Keeping a diary online seemed, in intent and habit, the total reversal of the diaries and notebooks where I crammed the untidy, disjointed and totally without public merit musings from childhood, adolescence and advancing years.

What were the chances for an old-style journal-keeper to keep her head in the brave, new world of social media?

For someone who never could finish the instructions creating a Friendster, Flicker or Multiply account, the process of following the three-step instructions of Blogger disproved the adage that you can make stone bleed before you can make a blogdie learn new media.

By way of content, is little more than an online folder where I file some of the pieces published in this space, albeit in my chosen template featuring pleasing shades of green.

Other blogs beat typecasting. According to wikipedia, citizen-journalists have used blogs to apply political pressure. Blogs can even challenge traditional news media, as demonstrated in the “Rathergate” scandal when bloggers presented evidence that TV journalist Dan Rather used less than the highest standards in journalism to question President Bush’s military records.

While highly unlikely that I will be moving into a moblog (written on a mobile device like a mobile phone or PDA), I learned something from the whole afternoon it took me to find a way to comment on a comment left in my site.

Whether recording, commenting or advocating, blogs are newfangled ways to do the old-fashioned: stay connected.

(,, or 09173226131)


jeneen said...

well, this certainly proves that no matter what the medium (or the age), excellent writing will always be a good read. looking forward to more blogging from you!

Mayette Q. Tabada said...

Salamat, Jen, for noting with kindness my efforts to, ehem, breach the digital divide, which is all inside my head. The best thing about blogging is reading blogs and catching up with colleagues and friends. The Boljoon i saw in your photos were both familiar and exotic. Ayo-ayo!

veraLeigh said...

finally. :)

Michael U. Obenieta said...

Hi, X-Man! Welcome to the club. Timely, indeed, to start your blogging life at 40. Looking forward to more of your stories.:)

Mayette Q. Tabada said...

Hi, sultry Vera: am plodding on :-) Salamat for dropping by!

Mayette Q. Tabada said...

Hi, X-Man. Maayo na lang i finished creating the blog a few days before I turned 41. So your mistake of still keeping me 40 pleases me a lot :-) Salamat kaayo for always encouraging writers, young and, ehem, advancing like me :-)

jac said...

Madam!!! Blog hopping lang ko... read ur article pagLast sunday... ahehehehe mao to cya gi-search dayon nko imong blog... mga 6 days ago na tka gi-Link sa akong page... I just had the time today to drop a note. Ahehehehe Miss yah Madam! Was so surprised that into blogging na sad ka!!! MagCelebrate ta!

Mayette Q. Tabada said...

hi, jac, how are you? Salamat for dropping by. Also for being so surprised i blog :-) Kaila gyud ka nako! What is your blog? Amping :-)

jac said...


Madam..pwede raman imo i-click akong name and or the pic and mo-direct ra na cya sa site!