What was very different about this year's program was the fact that there were actually acceptance speeches this time around, which Arbet reminded me about while going over the program. I just casually noted that being the VO guy for the evening meant I wasn't going to win, shrugged, and moved on.
The evening was great, seeing as I met awesome people like the aforementioned Gang Badoy and the Christopher Lao! He seemed a lot shorter than I thought he would, and oddly enough, without his glasses on, he reminded me of Mr. Fu. Nonetheless, it was fun running into him, and to be referred to as the "voice of God" by Gang throughout the evening.
Pretty soon, they got to the part of the awarding ceremonies where my blog was nominated in two different categories. When I didn't win the Personal Category, I kinda assumed that was the end of it already, since that was the one I've been gunning for since 2009, I believe (I was off the grid in 2007 and was the host in 2008, after all.).
Next thing I knew, I was announced as the winner for the best blog in the Society, History, and Politics category.
First of all, I'd like to thank the judges of the Philippine Blog Awards for the recognition of this blog. I've been blogging since 2002, so winning something like this, without a doubt, is truly a great honor for me. I still cannot contain my joy over this great recognition, and it never gets old. I've won best Philippine Blog in the Flying Chair Asian Blog Awards in 2003, then won one of the top 10 best blog posts in the Philippine Blog Awards in 2009, and yet, this honor couldn't have come at a better time, for me.
I am very honored that despite splitting my writing between this blog, The POC, Filipino Freethinkers, and, for a while, Filipino Voices, my blog still managed to strike a chord with the people who have read it in ways that I didn't quite expect. I've always been an autobiographical blogger, so it comes a bit surprising to me that my life has taken a turn towards the societal, historical, or political aspects of this nation. Sure, I do political satire here and there even in my blog, but I realized that with no active desire to stay relevant via my blog, my life itself has given me the opportunity to do and say something relevant that I can only hope brings, aside from the lulz, some measure of knowledge or dare I say enlightenment, no matter how unenlightened my position may or may not get.
To the people who do read this, know that I can only be grateful that you like what you see. I really can't please everyone, so I only ever write for my own sake, because I'm pretty much the only person I have any business representing in an official capacity, even if I do try my best to put forth a great picture of the Philippine Magic Industry in my blog every now and then.
I guess what I hope people take away from my blog is that I am a multi-faceted person with something to say. Whether or not you agree or even find what I have to say interesting, at the very least, I hope you can see where I am coming from and how I have come to form the opinions or even convictions I hold onto.
I have no illusions that this win would bring me to the upper echelon of recognized bloggers whose every word people wait on with bated breath. I have no illusions that my writing will directly engender changes in this nation, unless I myself take a direct, pro-active stand offline as well. I have no illusions that my writing would magically become more prolific and more enticing for consumption for the general public. Hades, I'm even shy about showing my own mother my own blog, despite the fact that I don't really write anything embarrassing about myself here.
What I do know, though, is that I will keep writing because I have something to say. I have always believed that is the first reason someone would want to blog, and that is reason enough for me to keep on doing what I have been doing for the past nine years in my own little corner in the web, ever since I realized I can't read my old diaries anymore because of my atrocious handwriting.
I'd like to thank Cracked because their sense of humor has influenced my writing immensely, and hopefully for the better. I'd like to thank the POC and the Freethinkers for having faith (I use that word very loosely, Freethinkers!) in my writing as well. Of course, I'd also like to thank everyone who has touched my life and been a part of this blog, really. It's hard to name all of you, but you know who you are. Obviously, without you, there'd have been at least one less entry for me to write, and as an archivist by nature, that would've been a travesty.
And the only thing I regret not having said onstage would be... I'd like to dedicate this win to someone who was, without a doubt, someone who did effect change in society, whether within the blogosphere or through his personal advocacies. Thank you, AJ Matela. I miss you, and I think that it is fitting for me to dedicate this honor to you, because you have, in your own way, sparked a revolution of minds and hearts, in life and in death.
Thank you, one and all, and I hope that my life continues to intersect with what is relevant and important to this nation, even if what I personally have to say about it doesn't always live up to the same standard.