First Laguna Blogging Summit: My Top 10 Learning Experience!Part 1

Cultural Center of Laguna , Capitol Grounds, Santa Cruz , Laguna province -Philippines

Governor Jeorge ” ER ” Ejercito Estregan Jr.

Laguna province is known as “Resort Capital ” , ” Silicone Valley ”  and ” Detriot ” of the Philippines “ as promoted in their tourism slogan. In fact , Laguna province is one of the most visited provinces south of Manila. The province was regarded by the Department of Tourism as one of the country’s Top Tourist Destinations of Choice .

Province of Laguna:

 Lucky students , professors and early birds were given breakfast meals and lunch  courtesy of the Laguna provincial government thru the office of Governor Jeorge “ER” Ejercito .  The governor aside from being known as a multi-awarded  film actor and producer. He is the only Laguna governor which was awarded  the ” Presidential Lingkod Bayan ” in 2011.

Gardenia’s mangoes creme filled rolls balloon  delighted visitors and guests to the blogging summit

The province is accessible to commuters in Metro Manila.   When I saw an advertisement about the blogging summit to be held in the province last July 2012, I quickly took the opportunity to register  at the on-line site. I also filed a leave in order just to attend the two-day summit.

old- provincial capitol building done during the American colonial regime under going restoration process

The 2-day summit is sponsored by the province of Laguna thru the office of Governor Jeorge ” ER ” Ejercito Estregan and the provincial council led by District II board member – Hon. Neil Andrew Nocon and other municipalities like Angeles City by Mayor Ed Pamintuan.

 replica of the carriedo fountain  and  the  pyramidal  shaped – Cultural Center of Laguna within  the capitol grounds.

1.) Learning is never ending process !  learning new  ‘things’ can always be never ending and often cyclical process !!! . When we arrived at the summit, we were greeted by the friendly staffs of the summit , vips , organizers and students from various colleges and universities from different parts of Laguna.  Some of the students took time taking notes on whatever inputs we can share to them, from personal experiences in school,  work experiences  , our advocacies and even blogging know how. We also learn something new from them  and same with the rest of the group. Just like sponge , We would tend to absorb water or in our case,  knowledge  into our system . Hoping not to squeeze it out .

students , faculties , media practitioners , bloggers, vips in the  jam- packed venue.

There were at least 600 attendees  from STI Laguna, AMA Computer College- Sta. Cruz branch , University of the Philippines – Los Baños, Laguna State Polytechnic University ( LSPU )  of Siniloan campus and Santa Cruz ,  Laguna State Polytechnic College , writers, bloggers,  media practitioners , industry experts and among othersSome of the early birds  were given exclusive seats , hand-outs , goodie bags, historical poster map of the province  together with those who registered in the summit . In fact , this is our chance to mingle with them and learn some of their stories.  These students will soon become the future bloggers , social media influencer ,  policy makers  ,  advocates themselves, and would eventually become the future leaders of the country, so it’s just appropriate that we should take care of their “social” and intellectual development. The professors and students told us that they are very fortunate to be invited by the organizers to the summit.  The topics are very informative and are also relevant to the syllabus in their courses.

Laguna State Polytechnic University :

Gardenia booth

Gardenia :

Since  most of the students came early and  from far flung places, the organizers  and Gardenia gave away great tasting muffins, creme rolls and sandwiches  .  The venue can accommodate  more than 1,200 people in any given event.  This is the cultural hub of the province,  According to the caretaker of the center , There are between 6 to 8 events that are being held at the  cultural center every month.  Events like Miss World -Philippines 2012 ,  Miss and Mr. Laguna 2012 , First Laguna Blogging  Summit  were  among the top crowd drawers at the convention center.  In fact,   just before lunchtime, the summit became one of the top trending topics  in Twitter , Facebook  and other social networking sites  ! This shows that even those people in far away provinces  like Davao , Zamboanga , Ilocos regions, Cagayan province  and even abroad are connected to the summit thru their social media accounts and are showing support to the summit.

Some lucky ones also got interesting freebies from Tiny Buds , one of the sponsors of the event. The company is known for their baby item materials such as cotton buds , hypo- allergenic hand sanitizer, baby powder and  many other items, which is very good for daily use and as  Chistmas gifts . I have personally bought several hand sanitizer and immediately use them, unlike the commercially available  brands , Tiny Buds hand sanitizer leaves no sticky residue on hands.

Tiny Buds at Face Book :

participants name  tag sponsored by COMELEC

2. Learning with the aid of celebrity– Celebrity can help promote one advocates, role model and in education .  Before the Honorable Mayor Of Pagsanjan was presented to the public, a video presentation about Laguna and its wonderful tourist destination was shown to the public.   Honorable  Girlie Maita Javier Ejercito, was exceptionally stunning in her  white outfit that morning when she welcomed the summit participants . One of the participant, told me that she looked like Ms. Kuh Ledesma .  I say what? , then  I told the participant that i think she used to play some  roles in movies and even commercials.

Honorable Mayor Girlie Maita Javier -Ejercito of Pagsanjan

Everyone was mesmerized with her short but very powerful welcome remarks , Then suddenly almost everyone shouted ” Sample, Sample ” ng kanta  .  It was then followed by an impromptu but surprisingly very energetic song number – complete with a backdrop music video entitled Bangkero, Lahat ay Masaya, and a few hints of dance steps. The promotional video highlighted the beauty of Laguna,with the focal point is the majestic Pagsanjan falls. She granted  few photo opportunity as the hectic schedule allowed her to stay at the summit for just a few minutes. She is to accept an award from the DEPED .

 3rd from the right top row -Engineer Grace Bondad- Nicolas, Mayor Girlie Maita Javier -Ejercito ( Pagsanjan ) Honorable Niel Andrew Nocon -councilor second district of Laguna , bloggers, media practitioners.

The honorable mayor  formerly  known as  Maita Sanchez,  the  wife of the Mr.  Jeorge  E.R. Ejercito Jr.  She recalled how she was part of the movie in the late 1980’s  and ”  Hindi ko na pinakawalan si Jeorge ”  referring to his husband and now with 4 kids.  She is like a walking promotional billboard , when she speaks , everyone stops and  listens .

Mr. Tony Ahn – an event organizer , blogger and website developer

Mr. Tony Ahn unique blend of education and experience makes him one of the most highly sought after social media evangelists in Asia.  His  degree focused on ethnography, a branch of anthropology that studies and describes contemporary human cultures. Ethnographers capture and communicate “webs of meaning,” defining the inter-working of cultures from an inside perspective.

Mr. Tony Ahn holding ” BLOG Like a Star ” Six Tips for Digital Fame booklet

Tony holds a master’s degree in counseling from Pennsylvania State University, giving him rich insights into human motivation and behavior. Simply put, Tony knows what consumers want and why. He has used this knowledge to reshape online customer service practices on two continents. While heading the digital team there, he designed a line of signature social media marketing products that has been used by Ayala Land Corporation, Krispy Kreme, Alaxan, and PSBank, among others.

Mr. Tony Ahn being interviewed by a television news reporter from TV channel 5 – Kapatid Network

Tony’s first entrepreneurial venture came in 2005 when he co-founded a publishing company. As CEO, He innovated new uses of social media for crowdsourced content creation. In May of this year he opened Tony Ahn & Co., as part of a new emerging class of agencies: hybrid traditional/digital marketing/PR firms. He’ll be drawing back the curtain and giving an insider view of the business of blogger relations, from an agency perspective.

                Business Address : 18th Floor PhilamLife Tower, 8767 Paseo de   Roxas Street  , Makati City , National Capital Region , Philippines

Land line : (632) 814-95-77

Website : Tony Ahn and Company :

 Mr Sonnie Santos wrote “W.A.V.E. Your Way To The Top!” a guidebook to keep a growth conducive work attitude, values and ethics, in the midst of corporate politics, misconduct and other issues.

 Mr. Santos had been tapped as a resource person in various corporations, academe-giving lectures on technology matters such as (1) Responsible use of social media and crafting of online policy (2) Cyber wellness and (3) Cyber Bullying. On people development, Sonnie gave seminars on (1) Leadership Development, (2) Work Attitude, Values and Ethics with Spiritual Intelligence as framework (3) Digital HR or HR 2.0 (4) Organizational and Personal Branding (5) HR for Non HR among many others.

Ms. Elizabeth Angsiaco

Ms. Elizabeth Angsiaco is a columnist – Manila Standard ,  RH bill advocate , mother and award winning blogger.  Ms. Angsioco is also the national chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines. She spoke to the audience about the role of social media and how to help those people from the depress communities . She also cited some examples on how bloggers can use in helping those in dire need  ” What we should have is social media ++  plus, plus ” I  must totally agree with her statement .

Honorable  Niel Andrew Nocon– board member 2nd district of Laguna

Mr. Niel Andrew Nocon is a councilor / bukal of the 2nd district of Laguna . He is a University of the Philippines, Los Baños graduate and handling the Tourism, History, Culture and Arts, Education and Public Works of the province. The current President under the Turismo Los Baños , Red Cross Volunteers, member of Board of Trustees HUMEIN Philippines and member of the Board of Regents-Laguna University.

Ms. Jasmine Cruz and Ms. Camille Abadicio

Before the noon time break , Ms. Camille Abadicio – a junior news correspondence of  TV channel 5 ( Kapatid Network ) interviewed some promising bloggers which includes Ms. Jasmine Cruz and her mom Mrs. Merceditas Cruz  , Tony Ahn and the organizers of the event . The interview was to be shown on September 29, 2012 on TV channel 5.

lunch sponsored  by the  Laguna government

3.) Learning with the Professionals – As they say , Nothing beats the pro,  technique on how to increase traffic on your blogsite,  advocacy bloggers, health bloggers, educational bloggers  and those people with the expertise  within the industry  .   Nothing beats getting first hand information from the blogging  practitioners ,  they are imparting valuable information which can aid newbies and aspiring future social media practitioners.

Nurse Alvin Cloyd Dakis

 Nurse Alvin Dakis is one of the few health bloggers in the country. He is the National President & Chief Executive Officer Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders & Advocates International Inc., Health Committee Chairperson National Anti-Poverty Commission, Youth & Students Sector, Office of the President and NCR Health Council Chairperson of the EDSA People Power Commission under the Office of the President.

Nurse Alvin Cloyd Dakis received a certificate of appreciation from Engineer Grace Nicolas, representatives from Gardenia and  Mer- Nels Pastries

Ms. Wenchie Flores Sabban together with the organizers of the First Laguna Blogging Summit

Ms. Wenchie Flores- Sabban is a congressional chief of staff and worked at the Senate of the Philippines for 12 years,  She is a Communication Arts graduate of University of Santo Tomas  and  served 3- terms as Kabataang Barangay Chairperson in Manila during her teens. She also worked in the Philippine Senate as Executive Assistant to the late Former Chief Justice and Senate President Marcelo Fernan, legislative staff to the late Senator Raul Roco , Now she is the  chief of Staff in Congress and consultants to some legislators.

Engineer  Fritz Gerard Villafuerte

Mr. Fritz Gerald – Villafuerte is an engineer,  blogger , entrepreneur  and a financial analyst expert, He is also good in drawing as shown in his power point presentation ” Bloggers Horror Stories ” tell stories on top bloggers who would go bankrupt overnight . financial planning and allocation is also very important .  He also conducts free seminars and lecture about financial planning – this is one of his advocates ( Financial Freedom )

Website link :

COMELEC- Director Mr. James Jimenez

 Mr. James Jimenez is a graduate of University of Santo Tomas with two degrees , received four awards, and learned zero skills that would have made him employable in a call-center.  With 52,000,000 estimated registered voters in 2013,  Using  traditional tools in voters education can take approximately  10, 400 sessions in 28 years !!! HUH such a long time !.

Mr. James Jimenez received a token of appreciation from the organizers of the event. 

That is where the need of Social Media on Voters Education comes along ,   He emphasized that there is an urgent need to  properly educate the voting public, and social media can help a great deal because of its increasing reach and usage .  The role of the social media in election campaigns of politicians. Mr. Jimenez  cited some examples of  election related – advocacy groups  formed thru the power of social media like the #Epalwatch and Anti-Epal movement where the COMELEC had recently formed an alliance with to become their arm in helping them identify the “Epals in the City.” and their campaign .

Website link :

4.) Learning from Fun,  Games and Trivias ! – The exciting part of  the summit is the fun and antics by ” comic ” speakers . While  contest giveaways,  question and answer portion , trivia  and gifts courtesy of the many sponsors like  Krispy Kreme, Tiny Buds, Chowking ,  Walk This Way Tours, Mary Pauline Salon, Star Salon, Microsoft Philippines, Mer-Nels Cake, Andrew Grace Home Builders among many others.   This part of the summit makes everyone’s adrenaline rush , mad dash to the microphone,  squeaky voices and a hell lot of  trivias about the host province. I do not know that some students somehow even forgot their basic history lessons ! Basta Bawal ang Pikon ! Puro laugh trip !!!

Mr. Pocholo de Leon Gonzales – Art of  Personal Branding ( Pochology 101)

Mr. ” Choy ” Gonzales , specializing in original character voice for animation and dubbing, voice impersonation, radio drama, radio and television ads, id’s, and children shows . His voice was already used in a thousand characters in anime, hundreds of local commercials in radio and television, and various children’s programs, films, foreign telenovelas, drama, and other TV shows,  earned him  various title like  ” The Voice Master ” , ” Man with a Thousand  Voice ” , ” Master Dubber ” , ” Comic Voices” among others . He was featured in more than 100 television shows from different television stations.

Bubu Chacha – a a story of a dog who became a car – a popular anime in the Philippines in the late 1999 – Choy is one of the dubber of the main character :

Choy is best known for his young, fresh, funny, different and friendly sound. He finished BA Speech Communication and MA Broadcast Communications at the University of the PhilippinesDiliman. Choy’s  talk on personal branding was a tough act to follow (complete with sound effects and various voices reminiscent of the radio dramas during the old days.) He is one of the best motivational speakers in the summit  which  brought the entire convention area down !

Mr. Pocholo ” Choy ” Gonzales received a token of appreciation from the organizers of the event and representatives from Gardenia , Tiny Buds and Mer – Nels Bakeshop

Choy also helped in founding Voice of the Youth (VOTY) one of his advocacies. This radio program aired for two hours each Sunday for more than four years. Voice of the Youth opened opportunities for young people to voice their ideas and opinions on an array of issues affecting their lives.

I could say it was like going to a comedy bar, stage play and at the same time learning thru being funny. I learned three ” things ” from Choy,  1.) Who are You ?  2.) What do you do ? 3.) What makes you unique ?  I guess everyone is unique.

 Pocholo Gonzales :

5.) Learning thru Perspiration and Inspiration

Mr. “John ” Lloyd Luna

Few proverbial sayings can be attributed to a named individual. In this case, we can name the coiner of the expression – the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison. Edison is first reported as saying “Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration” sometime around 1902, in the September 1932 edition of Harper’s Monthly Magazine.

But somehow, I must agree with this . However not all success in life in purely inspiration but also perspiration.

Mr. Lloyd Luna together with the student from the computer college, The student initially mistaken the speaker as the ” photographer ” of the summit , the student  was taken into a surprise of his life  when he was called unto the stage  becoming an instant celebrity .

Before the next  inspirational speaker was formally introduced to the crowd, a short video presentation from Balitang ” K” hosted by Ms. Korina Sanchez narrating the lives of  young millionaires .  Mr. Lloyd Luna was one of the 4 young millionaires that was featured in the story .  Mr.  Luna, the motivational speaker , book author , entrepreneur ,  blogger knows  how to catch  the attention  of the participants .  Wearing ordinary white-t shirt , jeans and unassuming ways .His non-formal attire and looks ,  He was able to bring  the entire convention center  down by just  his  funny antics and artista way of  delivery.  Just like having a short skit imitating the famous actor  ” John Lloyd ” Cruz . My great impression about the speaker  is that he was able to use his unusual encounters  to his advantage . He cited an example of once being seated in front of a summit when he tried asking for bottled water , the organizer at first glance refuses to gave him a bottled water, When he was called on to the stage  as ” speaker ” it was the only time that the lady gave her the bottled water.  Looks can be very deceiving.  This time around ,  a group of students  mistaken him as a  “photographer” before he was introduced as the speaker . The  scenario with the students became a comic relief  for everyone. He indeed caught everyone’s attention when he got the last laugh after he showed the students he was more than just an ordinary guy, By , now everyone is calling him ” John ” Lloyd Luna  a guy who despite of modest upbringing and initial hardship in life became of the most sought after motivational speakers in blogging conventions and lifestyle summits not only in the Philippines by also throughout the World !!!

Engineer Grace -Nicolas  together with representatives from Chowking , Gardenia, Mer-Nels Bakery  and Mr. Florencio Jusay Jr.  presented a token gifts to the speaker

His company speaks to more than half a million people on career, business, and personal development every year . From a simple publishing outfit, his company has grown to a full-service people development firm that helps entrepreneurs, business leaders, and political figures in the areas of human resource development, personal achievement, career improvement, internet marketing, sales, corporate imaging, and personal branding, and political strategy.

Thumbs -Up for the two speakers ! Mr. Pocholo ” Choy ” Gonzales and Mr. ” John ”  Lloyd Luna  together with the author

He also sponsor the printing of several school papers which helps students voice their opinion and other important matters.

Lloyd Luna :

Mr. Benjamin Vergel de Dios of Knowledge Community talks about  the GTS program of De La Salle University and CHED

The Graduate Tracer Study or GTS 2012 is a nationwide survey sampling graduates from 837 out of 1,691 higher education institutions. It seeks to investigate the employ-ability of higher education graduates and assess the relevance of higher education programs vis-à-vis expectations of employers.

Mr. Benjamin Vergel de Dios gave Engineer Grace -Nicolas a certificate of appreciation

The study will focus on graduates of 20 disciplines from academic years 2005/06 until 2009/10. The target number of respondents of the survey is 58,000.  Please try to take time to answer their survey in their website.

Commission on Higher Education

Knowledge Community :

group picture  after the first day of the summit

 Please visit the the Laguna Blogging Summit : My Top 10 Learning Experience Part 2 :

Website Links:

 1 LaBS :

Andrew Grace Builders :

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