Hello world
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Hello world

For bloggers, “Hello world” is that very familiar title of the first post of a brand-new WordPress blog. It is an invitation for an introduction to the blog and the blogger.

I’m also using it today because I just started to write here at Asian Correspondent and I just want to state that: It is an honor and a pleasure to be part of a team of bloggers from across our great continent.
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/>I’m bringing here several hats: Blogger, advocate of new media and consumer welfare, freelance journalist, and even activist. I bring my fondness for the technology and how we can use it for empowering people to attain change.
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/>Through this new blog, I hope to capture and share to a wider audience the major events unfolding in the Philippines and my commentaries on some of them. I intend to inform and hopefully even to entertain. To entertain and nourish as well the hopes of Filipinos which, come to think of it, are common among Asians: peace, freedom, democracy and opportunity.
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/>Filipinos continue their love affair with their cellphones. We’ve used it to court lovers, to vote for our idols, to report the news and even to bring down a corrupt president. Text messaging and mobile phone services are a rich treasure trove of stories which I also hope to share.
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/>Right now, a bright sun shines over the Philippines, and it is the active engagement and involvement of bloggers and social media users in providing much-needed relief to millions ravaged by typhoons Ketsana and Parma. Although the two supertyphoons have left the country, there is much work to do and online Filipinos appear to be ready to take on the work of putting technology and themselves in the service of others. A good number of bloggers and online Filipinos have been routinely leaving their computers to repack relief goods and to join mercy missions to be side by side with our people.
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/>That, for me, is an inspiration to continue to write online. That, is a pride which many online Filipinos now share.
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/>There are also many other developments in Philippine technology and politics that ought to be known in Asia and the world. Some are bad like plans to blanket our 7,107 islands with broadband access which was later exposed to be a mere cover for top-level corruption. Elsewhere, the people themselves, through their organizations and movements, are going online and transforming the internet and social media into tools to empower themselves with information and with the means to build broader networks and thereby wield more influence in the various spheres of our national life where we ought to have a say in the first place.
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/>No, the internet is not the antidote to the many problems that have beset the Philippines. I don’t harbor any illusions that the internet would usher in a new Philippines. From the looks of it right now, the internet would be a key medium in the years ahead and its many tools priced additions to our toolbox in building that better country we all want to have.
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/>In the next few weeks and months, online Filipinos will take their first great test as the nation embarks on a quest for a new national leadership. The choices are clear from the very start: To ignore everything and attempt to insulate ourselves from what’s happening nationwide; to allow ourselves and our media to be coopted by the worst traditional politicians in exchange for a paltry sum; or to ourselves be the change by covering the elections, engaging in debates and discussions, focusing a laser on the candidates’ records and platforms, and guarding the vote.
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/>I hope to be able to report here on Asian Correspondent that we online Filipinos passed that test.
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/>Meanwhile, let’s sit down and relax. Let me start writing so you can start reading.