“My knees were still shaking when my name was called as the Blogger of the Year. I climbed up the stage with a feeling that, finally, my work was being recognized. I dedicated the award to the indigenous communities we visited” said Ariel Lalisan on his win as Blogger of the Year during the 2015 Globe Media Excellence Awards for Mindanao.
It was in the year 2003 when Lalisan started blogging and it served as an outlet for his thoughts and a tool for communication between him and his friends who got to read updates about his activities. Eventually, he realized that there are other uses for blogging when he entered the student publication. He created the org’s blog and online forum as well. Even after college, as a teacher, he used blogging as a creative tool of teaching. He finds inspiration from his interests outside of work such as mountaineering and helping underprivileged communities.
Lalisan’s personal blog post about Sitio Kiahe was his winning entry to the Mindanao GMEA. Sito Kiahe is just one of the many communities in the Philippines that needs the attention of the government because of existing issues such as poverty and child labor. According to Lalisan, it is important to write about these places to spread awareness and to drumbeat development in these areas.
To be truthful and responsible are the two things emphasized by Lalisan on what would make one successful in the field of blogging. “We have to make sure that any information we post online are well-researched and based only on facts. We have to help the Filipino netizens develop critical thinking. Also, in our own social media accounts, let us practice modesty. In our discussions, let us be objective and balanced. Furthermore, let us be role models of positive values”, he added.