Photo Credit: Lucas Landau
What to you is a successful blogger? Is it the material things that blogging has brought you? That’s not my kind of metric. True, I plan to put up some ads here to make this blog self-sustaining. But if I fail? Just have to pay for the blog upkeep from my pocket. No sweat.
What successful blogging means to me
My relationship with my blogging buddies and readers is what keeps me writing online. It’s the fire in my belly. Makes me forgo sleep as long as I can hold out. And the first thing – barring coffee – that I look forward to in the morning.
It matters too that I make a positive difference in you my readers – however small that might be. Have I made you feel a little better – maybe you left smiling or in deep thought – when you’re done reading?
Do I make you squirm and leave red in the face? I can live with that, too, you know? The takeaway is that I make you feel alive and believe you can do much better than I can
Smarmy? Sentimental? Well, I don’t care what you call it.
For example, I went to Angeles City, Pampanga for a meet up with blogging buddies with only fare money and little else. Guess what? I ended up feeling rich. You want me to say that again? Rich! This collage tells you why -
Biggest takeaway: making memories together
For blogging buddies, any occasion is a perfect excuse to celebrate friendships that online interaction fosters. And that’s what important to me. Yes, they’re my treasure trove.
This kind of wealth is the most enduring benefit of blogging. Memories you make with your friends – the food you shared, the drinks, the laughter, the personal stories of triumphs and grief. The macbook pro that blogging bought for you will in due time break down. Your Swiss watch may be lost or snatched away. Google may decide one day to bury your blog in the search engine results pages. The joys you have with friends, however, rarely get devalued. Instead, they do appreciate in value over time.
- Jedi blogger Roy has dog named Chuchie. Sure thing, Chuchie lives up to its moniker as the dog with an attitude. I went straight to Roy’s house when I arrived in Pampanga. To Chuchie it didn’t count that I had previously slept in the house of Puroy. That I’m an influential blogger? She couldn’t care less. Snarky, snarky dog.
- Blog buddy Lyle and I bickered on Gmail Talk the night before the blog meet up on a minor issue which forced to me cut short my conference chat with him and Doc Z. I was mad but when we came face to face, my resentment melted. Of course, it helped a lot that he couldn’t eat till past 6pm in observance of Ramadan. Guess what, I brought my plate of food and gorged in front of him. Payback time!
- Emcee Erika Shayne scared me to death when she asked me to give a few words before the young bloggers. Yet again, I cheated death and survived the experience. Erika put me at ease by prodding me which Hollywood actor I resembled most. Of course, I fumbled my way out of the trap. Without the aid of alcohol, I just couldn’t let out that they could take me for Johnny Depp, right? That’s the trick – be always humble even if you look like Johnny Depp.
- The food was superb. Grilled fish, sisig and other meat dishes cooked in the best Kapampangan tradition. And I felt brave enough to eat buro – fermented rice with raw fish and small shrimps. The trick is you scoop a spoon of the pink stuff and wrap it in a leaf of radish – pretty much like you’re rolling cigarette paper. The pungent leaf is a nice counterpoint to the dish. Yup, buro is now my favorite . It’s one of the things I’d look for again when I go back to Pampanga. Hey, I almost forgot their delicious tibuk tibuk or maja blanca . That, too.
- Novz arrived with his family a little late because he took them to Subic port and other places of note in Pampanga. We had a lovely time talking with his parents. Interestingly, it’s Dad who belted songs with relish. The uber blogger son was relegated to the sidelines.
- We sampled the night life of the City of Angels. In one disco pub, we couldn’t hear ourselves talk. The show band’s music made my head throb. At some point, Lyle and Doc Z scooted up in front of the stage and danced. We couldn’t see them in the sea of pretty young things having fun. The guys went back to our table grinning from ear to ear. There was a drawback though. Doc Z nearly lost his voice dancing. Strange huh? Go figure.
- We also went to videoke joint and had a room for ourselves. More drinks, food and yes, singing. Roy did mellow songs along the likes of Jose Mari Chan. Lyle went back and forth between contemporary rock and ballads. Doc Z did Bon Jovi. Bonnie obliged us with a classic soft porn track. And our gracious host and hottest momma in the city did Karen Carpenter. Johnny Depp just took it all in, content to be a groupie of one for a change.
You are gold!
And my love is like a prison wall
But you could leave me standing so tall
Always believe in your soul
Youve got the power to know
Always believe in,because you are
I’ve the best of luck to meet the talented Eugene at last. While talking with Eugene had been a pleasure, I’d been bowled over by the singing prowess of Aiko, the emceeing talent of vibrant Erika, and the great camaraderie within this young circle of 29 talented bloggers.
Keep on blogging, guys.
Angeles is a city that never sleeps. But we’re good boys. Psst – momma Jen was with us – so we called it a night at almost 3am. Doc Z had patients to attend to even on a Sunday morning. They checked in at a hotel while I went back to the house of Puroy to mend fences with Chuchie. Failed. But at least the next morning I had the time of my life sharing breakfast with Roy and his awesome kids Angel, Ralph Emerson and Edgar Allen.
And that, guys, is what make me rich. What about you? What makes you keep the faith with blogging?