Winner of the Best Text Blog award during the 7th PopDev Media Awards

“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 acceptance remarks

Mark Madrona receiving the Best Text Blog award from PLCPD (7th PopDev Media Awards))

With much pride, let me share this to all my readers: 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.

Me and Ms Pia Arroyo-Magalona, one of the event emcees

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:

Seeing this projected on the wide screen for everyone to see gave me chills

From Maguindanao to Taguig: The Story of ‘Kaisha’

Andi Eigenmann and the rising number of premarital pregnancies in the country

Why are there too many premarital pregnancies in Pinas?

If parents and teachers won’t educate children about sex, who will?

Saudization means fewer overseas work opportunities for Filipinos

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.

Mark Madrona and Carlos Conde, former New York Times correspondent (one of the judges))

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.”

Me and multi-awarded television host Maki Pulido (Best TV Documentary Awardee)
Mark Madrona and veteran news anchor Mel Tiangco (Best Talk Show awardee)
Me and Patricia Evangelista (Best Opinion Piece awardee)

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.

My mom, me, and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, House Minority Leader
Me and former Health Secretary Dr. Esperanza Cabral
Me and Asia’s Diamond Soul Siren Nina!

See the complete list of winners in this report from

Click here to read the official press release for the event at the organizer’s website


      1. Thanks Mark. Actually, I have one, my former mentor when I was in rex. Now, if you may, I will include you in my roll of bloggers. Congratulations to your achievement, Mark! Thanks again. P.S. I always read your page whenever I am online, Mark…

      2. That is flattering to know. Knowing that I have readers makes me happy. 🙂 Again, thanks for the compliment.

        Aparting from blogging, what keeps you busy these days?

  1. Congratulations! Now you’ve a “mark” to excellence. Now you’ve got a lot of followers, a lot of readers who believe in you, who have been inspired by your writings, and who have been touched by your “mark of love and care.” But sad to note, your award is tantamount to your company’s retrenchment scheme in which you’re one of those. That’s life anyway. The more you help other people, the more people are pulling you down. Again congratz and keep it up…

    1. Hi, Mr Gil. Thank you so much for the kind words. I know the retrenchment is only a way for me to explore other career options. I am taking the time to ponder where else to go next. I just hope that this isn’t a “one hit wonder” thing for me. In other words, may more awards come in the future. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Actually, my first choice as a blog name was “make your mark” but it was already taken here in WP. Hope I can have other awards in the future. 🙂

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