Blog Watch in 2011: The year that was

The life of a republic lies certainly in the energy, virtue, and intelligence of its citizens. – Andrew Johnson

If you missed any of Blog Watch commentaries and feature articles, here’s your chance to catch our top ten articles in terms of traffic. But before reading our top 10 articles, allow me to explain our two sites: is hosted at the Philippine Online Chronicles while I host in my own dedicated server. There is a rationale in having these two sites. is a portal for articles and commentaries. Sometimes, it takes 2-4 hours to write an article that by the time it is done, the issue is about to die down.

Innovations in 2011

The started in January 2011 for news as it happens live in Twitter or in other social media network.

There are innovations that we introduced that were soon picked up by other online news media sites. We started using curation tools in January 2011 such as when it was still in its beta phase.

Social media engagement that the Palace loves to highlight is purely lip service. We had hoped to do a follow-up interview of President Aquino (after we did a pre-election interview) but this is still in the works. Letters of requests through Undersecretary Manolo Quezon and the former New Media Head Jay Jaboneta are still awaiting action. While we patiently wait for a response in the remaining four years of Aquino’s term, Blog Watch continues to cover underplayed stories and actively engage in discussions in our social media network.

Here are our Top 10 articles

1.The Plunder of Marine Life

by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, May 26 , 2011

Anna Oposa brought attention on the “plunder of Philippine marine life” through several letters to government agencies shortly thereafter, She cited the trading activities of the Cebu-based Orcullo Enterprises, which allegedly ships endangered species to the US-based company Shell Horizons Inc.

2. Rep. Manny Pacquiao tweets on Twitter’s fifth anniversary

by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, March 23, 2011

There was an over-reaction on both sides of the camp when a piqued Pacquiao threw in the towel in Twitter. Tweets of a knockout such as “seems like no person can take #MannyPacquiao @CongMP down. However, a bird know as #twitter finally knocked him out. how’s that.”

3. Willie Revillame is accused of child abuse

by Cocoy Dayao, March 28, 2011

The questions being asked, did Willie Revelame commit child abuse on national television? Is this a sign of moral depravity in our society? Does it reflect the state of our society?

4. A personal reflection on the RH Bill—the sequel

By Ang_mungo, March 30, 2011

Evaluating the RH Bill on the basis of its merits in the light of your personal beliefs.

5. The PCSO Scandal and the Sins of Margie Juico, according to Manoling Morato

By Pat Mangubat, May 14, 2011

Current PCSO Chairman Margie Juico says the agency is bankrupt. And for how much? Juico says about P2 billion. And she accused former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointees of bringing ruin to the agency.

6. The responsible parenthood, reproductive health bill debate

By Cocoy Dayao, February 10, 2011

Whether it is called reproductive health, or responsible parenthood, the debate is a polarizing one.

7. On the Aquino-Cojuangco viral video

by Noemi Lardizabal-Dado , November 7, 2011

The 15-minute video delivers a brief overview of the Aquino-Cojuangco’s family tree and their rise and stay in power and comes in 4 parts.

8. Just how formidable is the Catholic church?

By JJ Domingo, April 25, 2011

For declaring his intention to push for “responsible parenthood” even at the expense of excommunication, President Benigno S. Aquino III got a most serious censure from the Archbishop Emeritus of Lingayen and Dagupan, Oscar Cruz. “He’s crossing over thin ice.

9. . The Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) – Is it really necessary?

By Dine Racoma , July 19, 2011

Why is it that the Philippine Government has found another way to make it more difficult for them to leave the country rather than to find ways to expedite their departure process?

10. Bakit ‘di dapat suportahan ang RH Bill?

By Eva Callueng, March 4, 2011

A satire on why we shouldn’t support the RH Bill.

Why these top 10 articles?

It is not surprising that these articles brought high traffic. It will be noted that the top four articles resulted from actual heated exchanges in Twitter that was picked up by mainstream media and even brought about interviews with the subject.

Our top article on the “The Plunder of Marine Life” brought the discovery of massive coral reef destruction which led to a Senate investigation . Three (3) Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill) articles are in our top 10. The RH Bill continues to evoke heated debates in social media forum that organic searches even lead to old RH Bill articles. This is even carried on towards the battle with the Catholic Church show of arrogance as JJ Domingo’s article on “Just how formidable is the Catholic church?” reveals.

It is Blog Watch mission to cover underplayed stories.The PCSO scandal was brought to media attention when Blog Watch agreed to interview the controversial Manoling Morato. This led to an interview with Marge Juico which uncovered more scandals in a Senate investigation. A Twitter user @xxxriainxxx suggested that we cover this unfair requirement for OFWs where all departing contract workers need to go to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) office to get a departing clearance validation.

Blog Watch does not just talk about the issues. We walk the talk when action calls for it. A child abuse case was filed against Willie Revillame on June 2011 but as of this writing, the fiscal has not acted upon the complaint on whether it should proceed as a criminal case. Anna Oposa wrote letters to Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR),the National Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB).

So it went in 2011, a year that definitely brought in some action and awareness on social issues. Despite the limitations (yes, we have day jobs), this is our modest contribution to citizen participation in government.

Thank you for being part of the Blog Watch community and for being with us on the journey of 2011. We look forward to engaging more with you in our social media network in 2012!