Every week, iJustDid.org will feature the some of the best, top and talented people in the blogosphere. These talented and inspiring individuals could come from all walks of life and various expertise from Bloggers, Community Managers, Designers and even our loyal Readers. This week’s Featured Blogger is Marin of UnPocoDeRojo whom I met during the Generation Change Project in Davao.
1. Tell us about yourself and what do you blog about (niche).
My name is Marin, and I’m an art, culture, and history enthusiast with a passion for preserving our cultural heritage through social awareness. I’m a full-time writer for now (hoping to get a job in the arts and culture sector). I graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in European Studies and a minor in Hispanic Studies. I can speak two other languages aside from Tagalog and English — Spanish and a bit of French.
Netizens can find my blog over at UnPocoDeRojo, (which means “A Little of Red” in Spanish) where I blog about the history of art in the Philippines (mostly the principal arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, film, poetry/literature, music, dance, photography, and comics), indigenous culture, and issues concerning heritage conservation. Every Friday I also post American Jazz from the 1920s-1970s. I post once a day, but sometimes, when there’s a trending topic that’s relevant to my blog, I will write about it.
2. How did you get started blogging and what constantly keeps you going?
I actually started blogging as early as 2004 or 2005, when I first heard about xanga.com and it was just a personal diary. In 2006 I moved to multiply.com where I mixed my personal journals with Philippine culture. I kept that blog until 2008, when I started a DeviantART account for my photography which lasted until early 2010. While keeping that I also had a wordpress.com blog which featured my photos and tips on photography. Finally, in early 2010, when I saw that information regarding cultural heritage is not well disseminated to the public, I made my big move to tumblr.com because I heard of its ‘reblogging’ feature, very similar to sharing, but only within tumblr. I was very happy with the responses and the friends I’ve made. The dialog just kept going! I’ve actually been blogging there for almost two years, but in July 2011 I had to make a new account because my previous one turned very personal.
As you can see, I’ve traveled throughout almost half of the blogosphere and I’ve been doing my best to spread the word. Of course it’s very hard because my topics are very specialized and academic, but I infuse my personal experiences or the experiences of others while adding an educational flavor. I believe that while it’s good to go to museums and view our art and history, it’s equally important to put into daily life our appreciation for cultural heritage. I apply a story-telling approach and try to make use of sense-verbs (feel, touch, taste, smell, etc.) so that my readers can feel what I’m writing. At the end of the day it’s my loyal readers, my love for Philippine culture and history, and my dream to be a cultural manager, that keep me going. I’m driven to improve and write more because of these three qualities.
3. If you would be given a chance to interview someone famous for your blog, who would it be? Why?
The Thirteen Moderns. They are a set of artists who, in the mid-twentieth century, debated against the Classicists (headed by Maestro Fernando Amorsolo and Guillermo Tolentino) regarding the use of art techniques. The Thirteen was headed by a triumvirate of modernist painters, namely: Victorio C. Edades (personally, my favorite Filipino painter), Galo Ocampo, and Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco. I just want to hear their stories of living in the Philippines in the early to mid-twentieth century, to hear their stories of surviving during the Second World War, and what happened to society after that. I’d be great to have a first-hand interview of artists who lived through wartime.
4. What has been your greatest achievement through blogging?
My greatest achievement as a blogger is being able to guest-blog in a few sites and being invited to blogging seminars and training workshops. I believe being open to such invitations is a must to share your beliefs, aside from your blog. It also shows that you want to spread the truth and transparency through personal stories or whatever it is you know.
I co-write in the Philippine Studies Group on Tumblr, but only every now and then. My co-writers and I form what I call a ‘brotherhood of really awesome people’. I also guest-wrote in The Filipino Teacher just recently, where I explained what I believe teachers should teach their students in the 21st century. Recently as well, I was invited to the iBlog 8 Blogging Summit and the Generation Change — Social Media training seminar in Davao. When I was an intern at CCP, I also did a quick seminar on blogging where my audience was a group of Mindanao youths.
5. What’s your greatest advice for those who want to get started in blogging?
I learned this from a friend of mine: “You’re always going to get criticized, so keep doing the right thing.” For bloggers with an advocacy in mind, we are aware that there are many pessimists and ‘trolls’ out there who want to see us go down. It’s a fact of life that you can’t please everyone. But if in your heart you know its true and what you do spreads truth, just keep doing it. For a heritage preservation blogger like myself, no matter how many criticisms and put-me-downs I get in a day, online or offline, I still do what I do, because, to be honest, it gives me a good reason to experience the world every day and go to sleep at night with so much hope that what I’m doing will help the Philippines become a better place. And I think that can apply to other bloggers — just keep doing the right thing.
5. How can we connect with you?