Rappler journos spell fun at the Laoag Sand Dunes

4WD Thrill

After wrapping up the #MoveIlocos event at the Northwestern University last week, I let the hardcore journalists of Rappler live through Laoag’s signature sand adventure via Lead Movement‘s own brand of hospitality.

Watching the editors outside of the newsroom, hanging  loose in the truest sense of the phrase, gave me a sense of exoneration.

Rappler journos go off-roading with the LEAD Movement

Before letting my guests ride the rough stuff, I’d rap my regulation safety spiels like a flight attendant and end it by reminding them to scream their lungs out. Rappler managing editor/book author Glenda Gloria affirms, “What a stress-buster!”

Heheh, Glenda, Zach, Chay Hofileña, Paterno Esmaquel, Voltaire Tupaz and Patricia Evangelista wouldn’t show me the incriminating footage of their 4×4 adventure. Unfortunately the Rappler CEO, Maria Ressa, wasn’t able to join in the fun.

Riding the duneSandboarding ThrillRappler Journos Hang LooseMichael Josh Villanueva at the Laoag Sand DunesCamerasPatricia Evangelista and Josh VillanuevaLaoag Sand DunesComedia

– Patricia Evangelista and Josh Villanueva in comedia mode at the Museo Iloco.

Rappler spells uncompromised journalism — more beyond your daily dose of news. Like them on  Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Rap and Ripple: Big Turnout for #MoveIlocos

Maria Ressa @ #MoveIlocos

The New Media Hall of the Northwestern University was filled to the rafters for Rappler‘s #MoveIlocos, the 12th of Move.Ph‘s “Social Media for Social Change” chat series throughout the country. Same as the two other adjacent rooms equipped with speakers.

CEO and Executive Director, veteran journalist Maria Ressa, headed the Rappler team comprised of Chay Hofileña, Michael Josh Villanueva, Paterno Esmaquel II, Voltaire Tupaz and Patricia Evangelista in presenting the growing social media trend and the whole concept of the social media network that each netizen can build to promote social change, adopting it as a lifestyle, and making online time positive and more useful.

Rappler Managing Editor Glenda Gloria (taga-Ilocos) moderated the event in the vernacular.


Smart questions were asked by workshop participants coming from various schools in Ilocos Norte. One of the queries was the origin of the social news network’s name, Rappler, which was answered with “rap” (to discuss) + “ripple” (to make waves).

If you’ll remember, the legitimacy of the online news site was challenged after it broke a story about then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona’s controversial PhD from the UST on December 22, 2011, a few days after 188 of the 285 members of the House of Representatives signed an impeachment complaint against him. On May 29, 2012, Corona was found guilty by the Senate of Article II of the Articles of Impeachment filed against him for failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.


“We are not allowed to be neutral because silence is consent,” Maria Ressa eloquently said. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, she added,  “Be the change you want to be.”

Chay Hofileña discussed how citizen journalism can alter election culture. In a separate topic, Josh Villanueva amplified the use of social media to empower.

Paterno Esmaquel described a multimedia reporter as someone who maximizes gadgets and diskarte to tell a story. Furthermore, the sterling storyteller Pat Evangelista demonstrated the brilliant, creative ways to tell compelling stories.

The power of social media to tell a story as well as its negative use such as the Chris Lao cyberbullying story which almost cost him his life was given emphasis. Rappler related that at the Social Good Summit 2012, Chris, now a lawyer, spoke: I will live the rest of my life healing wounds.

Rappler also mentioned statistics and algorithm tools that prove we are the capital of social media in the world. In Laoag City alone, there are 96 thousand FB account users.


Cesar Chavez once said, “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.”

Additional reads at Rappler.com
Ilocanos discuss local issues with passion
LIVE BLOG: #MoveIlocos

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

(Pre-) #MoveIlocos: An Honest-To-Goodness Groupthink

“Honest discussions – even and perhaps especially on topics about which we disagree – can help us resist hypocrisy and arrogance. They can also help us live up to the basic ideals, such as liberty and justice for all, on which our country was founded.” -David E. Price

#MoveIlocos Focus Group Discussion

How can I say no to a personal invitation from Northwestern University President Liza Nicolas to attend a focal group discussion for the Rappler’s #MoveIlocos event, with the theme “Ti akem ti social media tapno magun-od ti napudno nga panagpipili” (The role of social media in achieving honest elections)?

The group was composed of Rappler’s Chay Hofileña and Voltaire Tupaz, familiar local faces from the academe, media, government, private and business sectors.

Plainspoken young businessman Hanson Chua set the tone for one intense thought-sharing. The scraping went easy, free-flowing and at some points almost reaching boiling point.

The local issues changed from malls to governance, to noise pollution, to lay-offs, to taxes, to desecration of historical landmarks, to local governance again, to public hearings, to large-scale mining, to selective apathy, to vote buying, to social media practices — sentiments that are not commonly brought out in the open for sifting, prompting Chay to say that she never thought the Ilocanos are this passionate.

Next on the blog: the revolutionary #MoveIlocos

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013