SoxBloggers Bootcamp — A Prelude to #SoxBloggersDekada

To celebrate ten years of showing the real image of Mindanao to the world the SoCCSKSarGen Bloggers conducted the SoxBloggers Bootcamp, a series of seminar-workshops to equip local web and social media enthusiasts to contribute to the cause of the Sox Bloggers.

Over ten years ago, Google searching the terms, “General Santos,” “Sarangani,” or “Mindanao,” you would expect to stumble upon news articles about bombings, abductions, encounters between the Philippine Army and armed rebels. These articles that appear on mainstream media’s websites shaped the image of Mindanao in the world’s eyes. Even Filipinos who have not been here are quite too afraid to visit places in the region.

Today, the web is awash with tidbits of information, photos, and video clips of locals living perfectly normal lives. New restaurants are opening, people go through their daily grind as would people in other parts of the country. Blogging and social media have become a mirror that reflects the real situation in the southern part of the country that has long been obscured by the media. Blogging has empowered locals to show the world what living in the south is like by allowing us to create content based on how we experience things down here.

“The battle doesn’t end here,” says Avel Manansala, lead convenor of the Sox Bloggers. “There are still people who are ignorant of Mindanao.”

That is why the Sox Bloggers, as a community, continues to rear a new breed of netizens who will take on the responsibility of projecting the real image of Mindanao to the world, a responsibility we voluntarily placed upon our shoulders some ten years ago.

Talks on how to start a blog was led by Avel Manansala, while I talked on how to write for the web. Van Almeria shared her PETMALU tips on photography and Smart Launchpad ambassador Fra Jamir talked about Vlogging.

In the next installments of the SoxBloggers Bootcamp, attendees will learn about Branding, SEO, Online Marketing, and in-depth and, probably, hand-on workshops in Photography and video production for blogs.

I am proud that I have been part of starting this movement 10 years ago (READ:SOCCSKSarGen Bloggers Meet @ Coffee Club 101 Gensan). Now, the whole region of Sox has been reaping the fruits of our hard work. The local, natural gems of the region are beginning to gain the attention of the country and the world. Of course, it wasn’t solely because of us, but we are happy that somehow, through our blogs, people get have a glimpse of life in Sox, of living in the south.

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