Sunday, December 04, 2011

Blogging as an Expat/OFW Social Remittance

Social remittance as a concept is not something new in the Filipino diaspora.  In the 1800’s, considering the novels of Dr. Jose Rizal and the writings from the La Solidaridad by Filipino heroes, we see that their ideas paved the way for a revolution. In the 21st century, blogging is the new form of social remittance of Filipinos working and living abroad.  Through their blogs they are publishing their stories online to inspire others. They also advocate causes, help others and muster support from their readers to help effect change in their own little ways.

For more than 30 years Filipinos has been in constant motion for greener pastures due to poverty and limited job opportunities in the country.  Today the unemployment rate is still high at 7.2%, not to dismiss that among those employed many considered themselves underemployed. Diaspora is more than  a phenomenon; it is a necessity when Filipinos migrate to work or reside permanently in the West and other developed countries.

Social remittance was a term coined by sociologist Peggy Levitt in her book The Transnational Villagers, published in 2001. She describes it as the ideas, practices, identities and social capital that flow from receiving to sending country communities. She describes social remittances being transferred by migrants and refugees that are exchanged by letters or other forms of communication that includes phone, fax, the internet or video. She suggests that social remittance affects family relations, gender roles, class and race identity, and it has a substantial impact on political, economic and religious participation.  

Levitt and Lamba Nieves in their work on Social Remittances Revisited  criticize  the failure of on-going researches on diaspora to recognize, “How social remittances are deployed collectively in organizational settings, and their impact on institution building and governance are not well understood. Moreover, much of the research on idea and skill transfers focuses on professional rather than labor migrant.”

With globalization, Filipino migrants are beginning to realize the power of harnessing the potential of social remittance. They are the students pursuing a higher education, professionals in white collar jobs or common and ordinary migrant workers doing blue collar jobs. Most of them are out of the country for some economic goals and aspirations. But they continue to think of contributing and giving back not only to their families but of making their motherland a better place to live.

This year the Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Awards or PEBA 2011 is geared to recognize these plans and contributions of Filipino bloggers abroad. This year’s theme is dubbed as "Ako'y Magbabalik, Hatid Ko'y Pagbabago." (I Will Return; I Will Bring Change.) As Balikbayan, not only their monetary remittances are invested,  but also their social remittance are put to use.

This year’s blog contest will look into narratives about how returning Expats/OFW will make use and share their social remittance or their talents, skills and fortunes to bring change to their families, communities and country. Expats/OFW bloggers who will be joining the contest will be required to write a blog entry on the said theme. There is also an ongoing blog contest for OFW supporters to blog about their memorable experiences gained from the homecoming or return of a Balik-bayan family member, relative or friend.


For this year, PEBA opens a new blog search called “PEBA’s Any Blogger, Anywhere” for all Filipinos who blogs on different topics in recognition of their global contribution for social change and phenomenal presence in blogosphere, be it on the field of advocacy and politics, health and well-being, finance, or  travel among others.

Ayala Malls VIPinoy, a service and perks for overseas Filipinos and OFWs is the biggest sponsor of PEBA for 2011. Ayala Malls is providing Trinoma Activity Center as the venue for the awards nights on December 9, 2011.  PEBA will exclusively invite some 200 guests. RSVP for invited guests can be made through VIPinoy Lounges in the different Ayala Malls.

PEBA is equally supported by one of its long time partners NOKIA and communication giant, Globe, through the auspices of its new product line, Globe Kababayan TipIDD Card.

The Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards 2011 believes that expats and OFWS should not only be recognized with the economic potential of their dollar remittances, PEBA also values the undervalued if not unvalued worth of their social remittances. This blog event is dedicated as a fitting tribute and appreciation of all expats and Filipino migrant workers of their social remittance through their blogs and photos.

Links :

Press Releases/Re-blog:

Friday, December 02, 2011

May 18 Memorial Foundation Recruiting Interns

The May 18 Memorial Foundation is recruiting once again international interns. Below is their letter to their contacts, I was an intern myself beloging to the pioneer or first batch in 2005.

Greetings friends of The May 18 Memorial Foundation,

As 2012 is approaching, we would like to announce that we have opened
the annual internship program application. The internship program is
an imperative part of the Foundation’s mandate to promote
international solidarity and further the promotion of human rights
across the world. Through the internship program the Foundation aimsto
build concrete solidarity through the exchange of human resource and
also to nurture outstanding individuals to lead global civil society.

Thus we would like to request for your help to spread our call for the 2012
International Internship Program. Please click at the attached link to
find out more about our 2012 international internship program.

Best regards,

Solidarity Team,
The May 18 Memorial Foundation

Find out more information here:

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Tribute to a dear friend - Antonio Salac Santos, 55

Antonio Salac Santos, 55

He was a lecturer, creative consultant, actor, baritone, stylist, decorator, landscape artist, essayist, poet, culinary artist, editor and sage—the late Antonio Salac Santos couldn’t be pigeonholed.
To many, he was the perennial Peter Pan, playful, adventurous and idiosyncratic despite the thinning, salt-and-pepper hair at 55 years old.
Friends described him as “brilliant” and “genius.” Like a genie, he could do anything on the spot at your command.
Although Santos never completed his degree in AB Broadcast Communication, he was invited to lecture because of his experience in media.
He played Emilio Aguinaldo in Johnny Manahan’s epic TV series “Kasaysayan ng Lahi”; worked in the advertising sections of Business Day and Philippine Daily Express; edited Man, one of the early magazines in the ’90s catering to male readership; and joined big ad firms such as Hemisphere-Leo Burnett and J. Romero & Associates.
Since 1999, Santos has done pictorial direction for the fashion pages of the Inquirer Lifestyle section. He took the stiffness that was so common in other magazines then by creating mis en scènes for Inquirer’s spreads.
In 2003, he gave the now-defunct Elan section a younger look with bolder graphics. He produced dramatic and out-of-the-box pictorials with Jun de Leon, Nap Jamir, Wig Tysmans and Tom Epperson, and did digital imaging with Bobot Meru.
His aesthetics were distinct: saturated colors, natural lighting and maximalism. His theater background enabled him to teach his subjects how to pose or emote in front of the camera.
With his knack for artfully arranging objects and making subjects laugh, Santos handled many pictorials for Cocoon magazine.
Friends will miss Santos’ puckish humor; the help which he gave unconditionally; and his cryptic words of wisdom.
One of his last poems encapsulates his belief in life, death and rebirth. “In the winter of the soul/silent./Seemingly still./Spring awakening.” Marge C. Enriquez

Thursday, October 13, 2011

International Blog Awards to honor the homecoming of OFWs & Filipino Expats

Related news -


International Blog Awards to honor the homecoming of OFWs & Filipino Expats

MANILA, 10 October 2011 – Pinoy Expats OFW Blog Awards, Inc., an international alliance of OFW & Pinoy Expatriate Bloggers will put to center stage the return of Philippines modern-day heroes as PEBA 2011 celebrates the “homecoming” of OFWs and Filipino Expatriates. Joining this year’s celebration are Ayala Malls, Nokia and Globe Telecoms.

PEBA is on its 4th year of recognizing Blogs written from all over the world by Filipino workers and expatriates. This year is unique from the previous awards night as it will also honor the talent of Filipinos abroad in the field of photography.

“We wanted to bring a message to the world that despite the hardship experienced by our fellow Filipinos working or residing abroad, we continuously think of returning to the Philippines with honor and our dignity intact.” according to Mr. Segre, Director of Global Affairs. The focus this year is to promote the beauty of the Philippines and declare that OFWs and Filipino expatriates are returning home to effect positives changes learned from their respective host countries. The theme, "Ako’y Magbabalik, Hatid Ko’y Pagbabago" (I Will Return, I Will Bring Change) brings to life the aspiration of Filipino workers abroad.

PEBA is going back to the basic; it will bring the advocacy to a wider audience by increasing PEBA’s visibility in the shopping malls. We want to come closer to the hearts of Filipino people, including to those who do not Blog, to the mall-going Filipinos and help us campaign for change and support the blogging Filipinos abroad.

We would like to promote the importance of Blogging because it enable and empower Filipinos in various parts of the world, encouraging them to express their thoughts, ideas and share their individual experiences.

The PEBA 2011 awards night will be held in Trinoma Activity Center on December 9, 2011 at 5PM. The winning entries of PEBA 2011 Photo Contest will be exhibited in Market Market Mall and will be attended by OFW advocates in the government, diplomatic corps and NGOs.

Contact Information:

Pete E. Rahon | PEBA 2011 Chairman
Mobile: +63917-733-7152 | Email:

Mark Aethen Agana | Head of Public Relations and Media Affairs
Mobile: +63927.339.1454 | E-mail:

F. Jigs G. Segre | Director of Global Affairs & Strategic Initiatives
U.S. Contact No.: +1510.589.2950 | E-mail:

©2011 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards
source links - 

Sunday, July 24, 2011


 Another beautiful email message forwarded by a friend.
Sharing it with the rest of you dear readers....

Patience is our Interest Earned 
Love is our Dividend 
Children are our Bonus Issues 
Education is Brands / Patents 

Knowledge is our Investment 
Experience is our Premium Account 
The Aim is to Tally the 
Balance Sheet Accurately. 
The Goal is to get the Best Presented Accounts Award. 
Some very Good and Very bad things ..
The most destructive habit....... ........ ......Worry 
The greatest Joy......... ......... ......... ....Giving 
The greatest loss..................Loss of self-respect 

The most satisfying work......... ........Helping others 
The ugliest personality trait....... .......
The most endangered species..... ....Dedicated leaders 
Our greatest natural resource.... ......... ......Our youth 

The greatest 'shot in the arm'........ .Encouragement 
The greatest problem to overcome.... ......... ...Fear 
The most effective sleeping pill....... Peace of mind 
The most crippling failure disease...... .......Excuses 

The most powerful force in life........ ........... Love 
The most dangerous act...... .A gossip
The world's most incredible computer.... ....The brain 
The worst thing to be without..... ......... ..... Hope 

The deadliest weapon...... ........ .........The tongue 
The two most power-filled words....... .... 'I Can' 
The greatest asset....... .......... ......... ...........Faith 
The most worthless emotion.... .......... ....
Self- pity 

The most beautiful attire...... ......... .........SMILE! 
The most prized possession.. ........ .....Integrity 
The most powerful channel of communication. ..Prayer 
The most contagious spirit...... ......... ......

Life ends; 
when you stop Dreaming,
Hope ends; 
when you stop Believing,
Love ends; 
when you stop Caring,
And Friendship ends; when you stop Sharing...!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Compassion not Crackdown!

Blog post for Blogger's Unite - International Day of Compassion in honor of Dr. Patch Adams

Sulyapinoy  August 2010  Issue

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CHURPCHURP and the Ombudsman

Another historic event in the making in the Congress while I am doing this blog. Well I hope that signing up for this will not just be historical but also historic in economic returns, let see. 

I saw at facebook's friends status update about churpchurp, so joining the bandwagon am reposting info about it here in my blog.

And the Ombudsman is impeached! Her case will now be sent to the Senate for trial!

Anyway going back...

 This is from the blog of the company with the link here -




Hi Future Churpies!

ChurpChurp is now in the Philippines!

ChurpChurp is indeed a community of Social Media influencers and we’d like you to be part of it! Sign up now and be among the first among your peers to pick up the latest news, personalize it and share it to your friends and followers all over your social media networks.

As a community, we’ll be having events, contests, as well numerous giveaways on our network! Spread the word about ChurpChurp and really be a social media influencer!

Make sure you stay tuned to our blog for more announcements about campaigns, contests, events, and giveaways!

Bookmark us now!

Thanks Churpies!

And here goes the FAQ from the site.
  1. How does ChurpChurp work?
    ChurpChurp is your ultimate integrated social media solution that rewards you as ‘Influencer’ for sharing. There will be campaigns notifications provided to you from time to time. 
    Basically there are two main types of Churps available which are :

      There will be campaign briefs in your account for you to participate from time to time. Pick campaigns you’d like to share to your friends and followers and get rewarded from your clicks.

      If you are selected for a campaign, you will be notified via e-mail of new assignments and given a brief to compose your posts in any way you want with a few required keywords. Your tweets will go out on a schedule and after it does, earnings will be credited into your account.

      If you are selected for a campaign, you will be notified via e-mail of new assignments and given a brief to compose your posts in selected platforms. The brief will describe the angles you should work on.
  2. How do I start receiving assignments?
    Social Sharing campaigns are available for you in your account from time to time. To maximize your rewards, do authorize your Twitter and/or Facebook account. Upon authorization, you will receive an activation link in your email. Click on the Twitter and Facebook icons underneath "Log Out" in your account. This will lead you to your Twitter and/or Facebook accounts and you will then have to grant access to proceed receiving exciting assignments!
  3. Will I constantly get Scheduled Tweets and Seeding campaigns?
    It varies from a couple of days to a week, you will be selected for campaigns based on the campaign quota and other demographics requirement. If you are assigned only under Scheduled Tweets, the Seeding tab will not be visible to you. Vice versa. If you’re assigned to these two types of campaigns within the same timeline, then only you will see both tabs.
  4. So, you’re rewarding me to share?
    Yeap! Authorize the Facebook and Twitter settings in your account and you are eligible to receive various social media campaigns from us! That easy!
  5. What do I have to do?
    There are only 3 basic steps that you have to follow to start getting rewarded:
    • 1. Sign up with us.
    • 2. Constantly check out on the latest Social Sharing Campaigns around for you to start sharing! Secondly, you could grant access to and so that we are able to get down to work. Note that we do not store your or password.
    • 3. Choose your preferences for alcohol/tobacco related assignments, and disclaimers for scheduled tweets.
  6. Will I get random assignments for Scheduled Tweets and Seeding?
    Our Churps will be targeted to users with matching Twitter and Facebook contents and targetted demographics so that it remains relevant to your followers or friends as well as minimizing the awkwardness of generated Churps or campaigns assigned to you. In other words, we will assign to your campaigns that are suitable with your usual tweets and followers and friends’ type.
  7. How often will I get these assignments?
    Remember the max ad ratio setting we mentioned above? That is where you decide how often you are assigned Churps to be posted. 10 Churps per week is our default but you can choose to have one Churp per week or even max out your ad ratio by setting it to Unlimited. This will allow us to post as frequently as needed according to our system’s estimations.
  8. Are you automatically posting updates on your behalf on my Facebook?
    No we’re not. We are only assigning you to campaigns that require you to manually update or seed on your Facebook profile. The posting process is completely within your control.
  9. Is ChurpChurp limited to any one region?
    For now, ChurpChurp is open for registration for social media enthusiasts from Malaysia,Singapore, and The Philippines only.
  10. Are there any requirements to joining ChurpChurp?
    All you need is an active Twitter or Facebook account to sign up with us.
  11. How much do I get rewarded?
    Earnings credited to your ChurpChurp account vary depending on campaigns. For Social Sharing campaigns, earnings may vary from types of campaigns and earnings are based on the total clicks. Scheduled Tweets and some Seeding Campaigns credit you based on number of followers and friends you have.
  12. When do I get my earnings?
    You can track your earnings via your ChurpChurp account page shortly after accepting and posting Churps. A minimum earning of RM100 / SGD100 / PhP2,000 is required before you can cash out your earnings with ChurpChurp. We will process payments 30 days after the end of the month when you cashed out.
  13. Are you affiliated with Twitter and Facebook? is in no way affiliated or associated with Twitter Inc and
  14. How do I add a disclaimer to my Scheduled Tweets?
    All you have to do is login to your ChurpChurp account and access the "Dashboard" page to edit your own note as a disclaimer then save it. e.g : [ad] / [churp]
  15. How do I stop Churping?
    Once you start you can never stop! Ok we’re just kidding. Just click on the "Turn Off" button on your account dashboard and we will stop assigning Churps to you. To resume the ads, hit "Turn On" and we’ll know what to do!
  16. What if I have more questions about ChurpChurp?
    Kindly contact us at We will get back to you as soon as possible.

(source -

Checking on the address of the company I came to find out the addresses below. So I was able to find out that the company is another of those that started in Malaysia/Singapore.

Company Address

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mabuhay ang Samahan ng mga Bloggers sa Pilipinas!

I am joining a Bloggers Association here in the Philippines. The official name is still being finalized. Also, Filipino expats and OFWs find "national" (for a National Bloggers Assoc.) as limiting and may not encompass their global presence.  

I previously worked for an NGO that emphasizes the importance of CO – community organizing. We help communities organize themselves, train leaders and identify issues in their community.  Organizing is a form of empowerment especially among marginalized groups who are uneducated, poor, lacking of resources, does not have connections. The only leverage they have to be listened to and have their issue addressed is through their organized force in their effort to lobby, negotiate and meet face to face those who are in power.

I have seen urban poor leaders that we have trained consummate their community issues. Their initiative and effort of organizing  their communities and effecting change in their lives and making their settlements more livable so remarkable.  

Definitely there will always be power in an organized group and I like to see such collective voice consolidated from among bloggers as well.

Surfing the net I came across bloggers association in different parts of the world, many such groupings exist in other countries. In the Philippines alone there are several blog groups in the Visayas and Mindanao. So why not in Manila or the in the country that will also represents the global Filipino community?

I trust that the people who are initiating this kind of initiative are good with their intentions of forming such association. I admire their effort for taking leadership role in trying to bring together “individually-challenged-coming-together” – individual bloggers who are very challenging, fascinating and interesting people!

I have read blog posts about the ayes and nays of forming association among bloggers and respect all those ideas.

But I would like to be part and give this initiative a chance of bringing together bloggers,  that I hope will keep its mission of upholding freedom of expression and being helpful to bloggers. And having join the group on my own volition, I can always disassociate myself if I don’t see that the organization is keeping up with the ideals it purportedly sets forth.

Mabuhay ang Samahan ng mga Bloggers sa Pilipinas!

If interested please follow this link: