Sometimes this blog gets noticed too.
Political treasure from the web dump
CARMELA G. LAPEÑA
09/27/2009 | 02:41 PM
The world wide web is like a garbage dump. It’s full of trash. Dirty laundry, too, especially when it comes to blogs. Clicking your way from link to sometimes broken link, you find yourself wondering, who cares what you’re doing right now?
Still, like all proper garbage dumps, enough patience will be rewarded with treasure. And I don’t mean one man’s trash kind of treasure. Real treasure, which should be what you click on and spend hours bothering with, unlike the usual trash which ought to be thrown out like a hopelessly ratty trapo.
I know, searching for a good website on Philippine politics is no easy task. After all, your favourite search engine will present you with pages and pages of links to sites which may or may not be about Philippine politics, if they’re about anything at all. My favorite result is a link that brings you to a page of someone who likes to call himself Political Pinoy. The page is blank.
This is funny, but not really. On to the real websites, or at least the ones that actually have content. My personal favourite is Indolentindio.com.
Apart from having a nice tongue twister of a name (say it five times, very fast, and tell me if you can pull it off without sounding like an idiot), Indolentindio.com is like a carnival. I mean this in a good way. You can spend hours perusing the entries, which are mostly clever, tongue-in-cheek, and usually of manageable length.
For instance, on the recent National Artist controversy, “As the list of someone’s critics in a Catholic third world country grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jesus approaches 1.”
Of course, clever and tongue-in-cheek often results in being misunderstood by some readers, which means you can spend even more hours chuckling at the comment threads.
Indolentindio is not strictly about Philippine politics. They have entries on culture, history, literature, and lists. Not to worry, because all their entries are neatly filed under different categories. If you like what you see, you can subscribe and save yourself the trouble of checking for updates, which are irregular.
Now, after having satisfied your need to be entertained and informed at the same time, you may be interested in visiting Betterphilippines.com.
While the tagline “blogging for a better Philippines, pointing out truths others deny or ignore” sounds a bit, well, messianic, the blog itself is actually quite down-to-earth. The entries are straightforward and simple, confident without being arrogant. The site itself is plain, no gimmicks or fancy codes.
But you’re not looking for fancy codes. Lest you forget, blog entries like “Practical Suggestions to Realize a Better Philippines” will remind you. If it still isn’t clear, the blurb says it all: “This blog may just have what you’re looking for — a slap in the face, a reality check, perhaps a new perspective on our country’s state of affairs.”
If anonymous authors make you uneasy, you might prefer to read ANC broadcast journalist Ricky Carandang’s blog (www.rickycarandang.com).
The site is updated more or less weekly, and traffic is pretty heavy, with up to a hundred comments on a single entry. Of course, like most comment threads that go over ten comments, the bulk are from people with nothing better to do than argue with the author, and the other readers.
Soon enough the comment thread begins to read like an argument on the street, complete with insults and name-calling.
Case in point: In his entry “Let Them Eat Cake” Carandang writes, “If you really want to stick it to the Filipino people, try the Cornish lamb. It’s to die for and it will probably cost the same as a kidney sold illegally by those poor bastards who have no jobs and 13 kids living down by the river from Malacanang.”
A lively discussion in the comment thread ensues, thanks in particular to one reader who begins the verbal sparring with “I saw you at Serendra, but you were not with 13 kids living down by the river from Malacanang.”
I’m not saying that this sort of activity is a bad thing. I’ll take an article that gets a reaction, positive or otherwise, over one that’s safe and all fluff. After all, it makes you think. This brings us to the next blog you should be visiting.
Prof. Luis Teodoro, former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication has his current and archived writings on the web.
Based on comment threads, which aren’t very long, it would seem that the traffic here is not very heavy. The site meter reports an average of sixteen visits per day, which is way too low for the wonderfully written pieces that can be found here. Where is everyone?
Hopefully not at the blogs which Prof. Teodoro refers to in his entry “Martial Law Redux” in which he writes, “Access to a computer and the Internet has enabled an entire class of Epsilon semi-morons to throw at the world at large anything that comes into their so-called minds — bad grammar, worse logic, total ignorance and all.” Read the entire article (and others as well) on www.luisteodoro.com.
Lest you be worried that there are no alternatives to male opinions on Philippine politics, visit Connie Veneracion’s site. You can tell from the moment you see the image of a red-lipped woman with flowers in her hair that you are in for something else.
In fact, upon entering the site, you won’t see anything that seems remotely political, but that’s because the blog, www.sassylawyer.com, has expanded to include a lot of other interesting little details from the author.
But this doesn’t make her writing any less significant. Just proceed to Houseonahill.net for the blog entries.
The Sassy Lawyer doesn’t only write about political stuff, but when she does, it’s refreshing. She writes with a rather subjective point of view, using anecdotes to illustrate her point.
At first glance you may think this should be avoided when talking about politics, but when you think about it, you know that the issue is not just something in the papers, it’s something that matters to her, as it should to you, and that, is precisely the point.
After all, the word politics is from Greek “politikoj” – which means citizens. And this means all of us. – GMANews.TV