I spend a period of time in the morning and a period of time in the evening attending to blog comments, generally on three sites:
Get Real Post
The Pro Pinoy Project
The Society of Honor by Joe America
I visit the Anti-Pinoy site from time to time to see if BongV is still there. He is, and so I don't comment. There are agendas on the table and agendas under the table and I don't like skating on a lake of ice I don't trust.
Get Real Post and the Pro Pinoy Project are polarized spin-offs of the former contributors to Filipino Voices. FV was a reasonably apolitical forum welcoming commentary from all perspectives. Three FV writers, BongV, Benigno and BenK, departed FV mainly because FV moderated their comments. They set up the Anti Pinoy site and went on the attack, against vacuuous Filipinos, against FV, against presidential candidate Aquino, and against "censorship", which is how they characterized FV's editorial policy.
FV floundered some months later due to lack of a steady sponsor and editor. At about that time, the Pro Pinoy Project was started by FV blogger and short-term FV editor Cocoy as an apolitical news and blogging site. However it retains a pro-Aquino, or, maybe more precisely, a pro-Philippines perspective, and therefore is opposite in view and tenor from Get Real . A regular contributor, Manuelbuencamino (MB), avidly defends the President. But the Cusp (Doy Santos)provides commentary that is not shy of being critical of President Aquino's economic policies. So there is some argumentative balance . . . and not a lot of name-calling. Although MB can get a tad snippy.
AP appears to have had a falling out, too, for reasons I don't know or care about, so Benigno left that site and simultaneously originated Get Real Post. He was joined by Ilda, and now BenK seems to be getting involved. Interestingly, AP now moderates, as does Get Real Post. So I guess the founders of AP have abandoned their once holier-than-thou view on "censorship"; one wonders how much other superficial bluster resides on Get Real Post. Get Real Post does not include any blog-writers who present an alternative view to the anti-Aquino chants found there.
Here is my take on some specific bloggers. Please understand that they are just my impressions alone and may not reflect the whole of the man or woman.
Benigno: A master wordsmith and brilliant thinker. I know of no other writer who can cut through the meaningless chaff so precisely to get to the principles that are at the root of the act or behavior being examined. One must think to grasp what he is saying, and, accordingly, I learn more from him than any other blogger. I fail to understand how he can be so one-way against President Aquino, for I see layers of cultural and governmental complexity surrounding and underpinning the President that make simple dismissal rather too easy.
BenK: I appreciate his perspectives because he is my brother import and faces many of the cultural rubs that aggravate me. He is much more knowledgeable about activities in the Philippines than I am, as I mostly float around the edges offering up wordful slants on things. Even making up words to do it. BenK also teaches me a lot because we differ on some points of view and he keeps me humble. Yet we each never need to insult the other.
Ilda: She and I are oil and water. She drives me nuts, accusing me of this and that whilst engaging precisely in those same activities. She is smart and writes well, but does not push me to much new knowledge. She thinks I am biased against women. She is certain there has to be a reason other than her views and style that would cause someone to criticize what she says.
Cocoy: A really good guy. Sound writer. Overly sensitive. Well informed. Productive. I like him.
Manuelbuencamino: I like "MB" because he is, I think, Irish at heart. He loves a good argument and can fire up defense of President Aquino like a pro. Well, he is a professional writer, so he has skills. He also has a sense of humor and can whip up a fine satire. He keeps me balanced against the onslaught I receive at the Get Real site when I support (not defend) President Aquino. There is a difference. I can rely on MB to have an intelligent perspective that is unwaveringly pro-Aquino.
The Cusp (Doy Santos): It is educational to read of Philippine economics from someone who actually understands it. Doy shoots straight and stays on the point. His blogs are impeccably meaningful because he both writes well and picks good subjects. Also, he does not descend into personal insults. President Aquino is not his favorite, one can conclude, so it is a good read to observe Doy and MB spar.
Joe America: I write to learn, to play with words and to keep my balance in a very different culture. Like most people, I make my mistakes.
Bencard, Primer, Dean, UPn, JCC, PDQ and all the other missing former contributors to Filipino Voices. I fear these remnant sites miss your perspectives. It is a problem finding a balance of views in the modern era of the easy distortion, the sound bite or blog deceit. Quick hit writing pushes opposing views into increasingly defensive, unreachable positions. Like we see in the US political arena. Neither Get Real Post nor the Pro-Pinoy Project have yet achieved the richness of dialogue, or balance of opposite thinking, that was available on FV.
Ye Olde Conclusion: Get Real Post preaches well to itself. It is AP Junior, and my original view that this was a cerebral site have been shaken. The tenor of the site reminds me of how the US has gotten so polarized. Views that are aligned with the authors are praised and the rest are bludgeoned. This tends to produce a site of like thinkers with well-cemented views.
Pro Pinoy does not wield such a heavy hand. Discussions are more varied and more civil, but the site has not yet achieved the variety of articles or richness of debate that was once found on FV. It is heavily into "tweet" posts, so the articles often miss the depth of discussion that I personally prefer. Still, one can find meaningful debate there, and there aren't as many juveniles hanging about trying to prove their manhood by diminishing others.
Of interest, each site - including AP - is a clan unto itself, reflecting the Filipino style of antagonism toward any who would be critical. Pro-Pinoy has a shot at becoming a balanced site if it does not drown its readers in information, forestalling deep debate.