By Izah Morales Sheâs 57 years old and is blogging for two years now. âIâm not embarrassed to say my age because it proves that Iâm still kicking and blogging,â says Marianita Girlie Villariba, educator, feminist and psychologis t at the Education for Life Foundation. Yes, Villariba is not your ordinary golden-aged woman who is afraid of technolo gy and would rather stick with what is conventional. âParang may kulang sa araw ko âpag hindi ako nakapag-blog or nakapagbasa ng mga blogs [When I have not blogged for a day or have read othersâ blogs, I feel th at somethingâs lacking],â says Villariba. Blogging has indeed become part of her daily routine aside from reading newspap ers and magazines. Her conversation with a friend who is into the study of babaylan or priestess l ed her to blogging. âShe asked me about my blogsite. Sabi ko, ano âyun? [She asked me ab out my blogsite. I asked, whatâs that?],â Villariba recalls. Villaraba became interested when she learned that blogs can be a venue of her a rticles about babaylan. âI want to blog about babaylan because I want to find out about other women and culture,â she says. She began writing blogs at blogger.com but then she realized that she doesnât want to be confin ed by just writing about babaylan. Hence, she put up two more blogs at Multiply and Wordpress and writes various topics, such as spirituality, sexuality, culture, women and Filipino psychology . Writing blogs also allowed her to reconnect with friends whom she has not met f or a long time. But not only friends communicate with her but also other blogge rs who can relate with what she writes. âI learned to phrase my ideas that it resonates to other bloggers. It makes you part of a community,â shares Villariba. Though Villariba blogs to express her ideas, she values feedback from her reade rs because she learns whether she got her message across when someone reacts to her blogs. Even if she welcomes comments, whether positive or negative, she could not forg et when someone posted a pornographic video as comment to her blog. As an educator, Villariba was used to writing formal articles. But when she bec ame a blogger, she found a way to humanize her stories and go beyond the confin es of theories. âBy blogging, Iâm still able to organize what I think and feel and make myself clear,â said Villariba. Who says a golden woman canât blog?
November 2008 Archives
By Izah Morales INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines â For the past few days, subscribers to the online social n etwork Friendster were complaining about having unknown people in their friends â list. It happened right after the website announced that it was undergoing maintenanc e. In a recent blog entry, Friendster explained that the power outag e in their outsourced data center in Santa Clara, California caused the downtim e. Friendster said its servers are located in Santa Clara, California along with o ther 50 companies. Friendster said it was not the only company that experienced the unscheduled do wntime. âAs a result, Friendster, as well as a number of other online compan ies, experienced unscheduled and unavoidable downtime. At this time, Friendster is back online and our team is working quickly to restore everything back to n ormal,â the company said. âWeâre working through the friends list update for every userâs account now, al l 85 million of them. All friend lists will be back to normal shortly,â added J eff Roberto, Marketing/PR director of Friendster.com in an e-mail message to IN QUIRER.net. The Friendster team also clarified in their blog that despite the inconsistenci es in the number of friends, the original data for a friendsâ list is not lost and is intact. A third of the traffic going to Friendster are contributed by Filipinos or at l east the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses coming from the Philippines, David Jo nes, vice president for global marketing of Friendster, told INQUIRER.net in an inter view early this year. Of the 39 million unique visitors recorded in March 2008, about 13.2 million un ique users are from the Philippines, Jones said. Thus if there are 14 million I nternet users in the Philippines as of 2007, about 98 percent are going to Frie ndster. The Friendster executive has said these figures indicate that Filipinos make up the biggest population of Friendster users in the world, even surpassing the U nited States, where the service was originally launched.
By Agence France-Presse KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysia's leading blogger, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, wa s Friday released from detention under controversial internal security laws aft er a court ruled the government had no right to hold him. Raja Petra, a vocal government critic who had been held at a notorious detentio n camp since September, wept and embraced his family after being freed by the S hah Alam High Court. "I'm realy glad it's over. I'm really tired. The judge's decision proves that t here was no justification for my detention," he said, calling for an end to the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows for detention without trial. "We have to fight all-out and get the ISA abolished," he told reporters. Looking haggard and dressed in a brown T-shirt and jeans, Raja Petra was garlan ded by dozens of supporters outside the court before stepping into a maroon Rol ls Royce provided by a supporter to ferry him home. "It's a great day for human rights and fundamental liberties," said Malaysian human rights commissioner Denison Jayasooria. "The executive must use the ISA only in situations where there is a real threat to national security," he told AFP. Raja Petra, founder of the popular Malaysia Today website which has outraged to p leaders with its stream of critical stories, was detained in September for wr iting articles that allegedly insulted Islam. His lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said the High Court ruled earlier Friday that Ho me Minister Syed Hamid Albar had acted outside his powers by ordering Raja Petr a to serve two years in detention without trial. "The judge ruled that the circumstances which existed at the time that Raja Pet ra was detained did not satisfy the threshold conditions under the ISA," he tol d AFP. Malik said it was the first time a court has ordered the release of an ISA deta inee since 1989, when courts were barred from interfering once a detention orde r has been signed by the home minister. "It is certainly an historic ruling and a profound moment for civil liberties i n this country," he said, while adding that the government can appeal the decis ion. Opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang said the ruling "sustains hope that ba sic judicial decency, independence and integrity have not been completely destr oyed, despite two decades of judicial darkness." He called on the government to "fully respect" the verdict and "slap down any t rickery or stratagem to frustrate the judicial decision, such as a re-arrest." Raja Petra is best known for his articles on politics, and had already been cha rged with sedition and defamation for linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman. But he was also accused of threatening public security and causing racial tensi on by inciting hate in his articles on Islam -- a serious offence in predominan tly Muslim Malaysia. There has been a rash of detentions in recent months under the ISA, which allow s for renewable two-year periods of detention without trial. Raja Petra was detained on the same day as opposition lawmaker Teresa Kok and j ournalist Tan Hoon Cheng, both of whom have since been freed. Tan's arrest in particular caused a furore as she had merely reported on racist comments from a ruling party member who was subsequently suspended by the Unit ed Malays National Organisation.
I AM just wondering if there is a possibility that our legislative body can ena ct appropriate regulations or laws perhaps to put a stop to all bullying going around the Internet. As of now, negative blogs and comments are spreading aroun d the net through various sites. Decent beings are disturbed and many innocent souls are put to shame. Reputations are put to risk. I learned that in some par ts of the globe, Internet bullying is a criminal act. In South Korea, identitie s of people who post comments and the like are required to be disclosed, their contact numbers need even to be placed in the Internet for easy identification in event that someone wants to sue for libel or one infringes on privacy. In th e US, teenage suicide linked to Internet bullying is becoming out of control. W e do not want this to happen to our youngsters, and even to adults who cannot s tand the pressure of being intimidated. I don't know if Internet bullying is al ready incorporated in our Electronic Commerce Act already but if it is, well an d good, let us put it into operation. Cindy Hisona, Banga, Bayawan City via e-mail