“It is very overwhelming to be standing here in front of you to receive this award, my very first. I dedicate this to my mom. She’s sitting there, and please give her a hand. I want to thank the Lord – for giving me this wonderful talent, the PLCPD – for giving me this award, the Board of Judges, for appreciating my work, and to my mentors. That’s all, and see you again next year!”
– my prepared acceptance remarks
On the same day my employers announced that I am included in the list of would-be retrenched employees (effective on December 31), I received the Best Text Blog Award at the 7th Annual Population and Development (PopDev) Media Awards. Spearheaded primarily by the Philippine Legislators’ Committee for Population and Development (PLCPD) Foundation, the award’s night was held in the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel last November 29. The event was hosted by former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla and Mrs. Pia Arroyo-Magalona.
The Best Text Blog and the Best Photoblog award (which no one won) falls under the Citizen Media category. This year marks the first time Citizen Media was elevated as a main category, alongside Photojournalism, Print and Online, and Broadcast categories. This is in recognition of the increasing role social media is playing in shaping public opinion. Aside from a cash prize, I also got a trophy and a plaque. My series of blogs tackling human trafficking, migration, and premarital pregnancies, and sex education earned me this recognition. Here are those:
The board of judges for the citizen media category is composed of former New York Times correspondent and freelance journalist Carlos Conde (chair), UP Professor Dr. Grace Cruz (from the Population Institute), Rene Bartolo (PDMA Hall of Fame Awardee), Rep. Antonio Tinio from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, and Rep. Teodoro Baguilat of Benguet.
Among this year’s winners are Maki Pulido (Best TV documentary for “Reporter’s Notebook” – GMA News), Mel Tiangco (Best Talk Show for “RH Bill: The Grand Debate” – GMA News), and Patricia Evangelista (Best Opinion Piece for “Method to Madness” – Philippine Daily Inquirer). The PDMA recognizes “outstanding media practitioners and citizen media who dedicated time and effort to highlight population and development issues.”
Needless to say, this inspires me to write more about issues I truly care about. Still, I am wary of putting any labels on my blog, since my mantra is to write about everything I can think of. For over two days now, my blog has gotten thousands of views about my humor post re the Piolo-KC breakup. The funny thing is, the post was actually included by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in an article.
Who wouldn’t feel overwhelmed being awarded side-by-side with accomplished journalists like them? Standing on that stage to receive my award and deliver my acceptance remarks made me feel as if I’m 10 feet tall! I know there is still a long way to go before I can reach their stature, but getting this award is certainly a great first step toward that.
* Special thanks to Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman (also the House Minority Leader), former Health Sec. Esperanza Cabral, and Nina (Asia’s Diamond Soul Siren) for … having a photo moment with me.
PS: “I won’t shed a tear for you. I won’t lose a wink of sleep. ‘Cause the truth of the matter is, replacing you is so easy.” – Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”