“The Search Project was initiated out of the belief that even without monetary prize, a mere recognition will make an OFW/Expats blogger happy, together with the instant “fame” that may come along with the winning. This presumption of the contest may be true and maybe not. Nevertheless, the joy of being recognized for being one of the top 10 Expats or OFW blogs and for inspiring the Filipinos in general and the expats and OFWs in particular would be enough inspiration to carry on one’s excitement and enthusiasm to continuously blog.”
– Jebee Kenji Solis, Founder and Organizer
PEBA was launched on July 1, 2008 to recognize the growing popularity of blogging among Filipino expatriates and OFW. Being expatriate bloggers ourselves, we’ve witnessed how expatriates artistically narrate their sob stories, stories of trials, opinionated posts about the Philippine politics, etc in their blogs. Thus we thought of recognizing their efforts – not with monetary reward but an award of some sort.
The top 10 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog AWARD or PEBA is a search contest aimed to recognize and honor the exemplary work of blogging Pinoy Expats/OFW. PEBA wishes to present their blog work and bring their creative talents to light. We want to highlight the inspiring blogs of expatriates and learn from their lessons, their stories, and their work normally contained in their blogs.
Considered as "Bagong Bayani" (new heroes), we believe we ought to hear their voices and amplify it for the world to hear.
PEBA’s rule is very simple. We asked the blogging community to nominate their favorite blogs; we select the top 10 from various locations around the world and honor the winners with award badges and widgets.
We have sought for help from both popular and emerging Pinoy bloggers blogging about OFWs. Not surprisingly, only a few heeded our call for assistance – most of them are working expats and newly-emerging in the blogosphere. Still, we pursued with the contest. What amazed us the most is the dedication of those people coming from all parts of the globe: Korea, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, and the USA. And the bond that ties us together: we are unknown OFWs wanting to help fellow OFWs. Aside from the couple, Pete Rahon, Lionel Gonzaga and Kerry Blair are Kenji and Shiela's partner in pursuing the project along with some minor sponsors who posted the project to their blogs.
Bloggers of the round table
We were always in consultation with team members, through Chat Conference, since it was a small team. Works are easily delegated hence targets and output were achieved more quickly. We realized something: it is stimulating to work with creative minds. We were, most of the time, complementing and harmonizing with each other’s ideas making the global work and coordination a lot easy.
How has it fared?
As expected, the award left some bloggers dissatisfied while others expressed their comments – positively, vitriotically, both.
Overall, the effort proved to be a worthwhile endeavor. Through the first PEBA, we were able to discover a wealth of -- not only online information but -- inspiration. It is amazing to read stories of Filipino Expat and OFWs dealing with culture shock, with loneliness and their other issues akined living abroad. Aside from getting entertained, one who reads an OFW blog also get to read best practices, success stories and honest-to-goodness kabayanihan (heroic deeds) of OFWs. Truly, some OFW blogs and the stories that make them are truly remarkable and admirable.
PEBA is a TWIN to the founders first born
The birth pains of initiating PEBA as a twin to the founder’s baby girl (The Thoughtskoto’s first baby was born here in Saudi a couple of months before they launched PEBA) was a fulfilling experience -- fathering or parenting it. You just have to go to the process, journey on and in the end, get this feeling of achievement. Recognizing the Top 10 OFW/Expat Bloggers by their peers, for us, is very meaningful experience. Thus, we decided to pursue PEBA and take it to the next level.
We worked quietly and many were amazed how we managed to pull through a global search for the best Filipino bloggers. It was a collective effort by a dedicated team. We were questioned as to the integrity of judging but unknown to many we had a set of criteria and several Filipino bloggers who assessed the winning blogs. It is sad to note that some bloggers are so hung up with their popularity, but you see, we believed in the collective wisdom of bloggers to determine the best among their ranks.
Some of the established bloggers/individuals in the blogosphere who heeded our request to judge PEBA include the following: Ellen Tordesillas, Janette Toral, Avel Manansala, Kevin Ray Chua, Mark Agana, Aileen Apolo, Sandro Rafael, Jehzeel Laurente.
Results of PEBA 2008
The Final Results for the 2008 TOP 10 are here: who all proudly displayed the PEBA banner in their sidebars. Headed by Jim Paredes of Australia, the winners are from different countries with 6 OFW’s and 4 Expats.
Plans for improvement
Owing to the success of PEBA 2008, we launched PEBA 2009 more visibly this time. Almost simultaneously, around 50 blogs posted the announcements of PEBA 2009’s launching. It reached as far as Canada, America, Australia, Middle East, Europe, South East Asia, and even the Philippines. Hundreds of SUPPORT PEBA banners are likewise displayed online by several prominent bloggers.
Currently, we are in the process of incorporating PEBA as an official organization. In fact, PEBA’s registration under the Philippine’s Stocks and Exchange Commission (SEC) is underway and we hope to finish it in a couple of months. Joining our team now and headed by Nereus Jethro, as the 2009 PEBA team President, as well as the original members, Pete Rahon, Lionel Gonzaga and the infusion of young and enthusiastic bloggers, like Reana Bautista, Azel Venerable, and a few others who works out of the spotlight. Currently, Kenji and the PEBA team is being advised and in consultation with the former president of the Philippine Blog Awards and prominent blogger named Noemi Lardizabal Dado.
KABLOGS - gateway to PEBA
PEBA 2009 in Manila
This year we hope to see face to face with those kindred souls behind the first PEBA award. Having created our mark in the blogosphere, we want to pursue the assistance of Pinoy bloggers to advocate for the cause and issues of OFWs. We believe in the power and potentials of bloggers and tapping these resources will eventually make PEBA 2009 more successful than its first year.
We are hoping to get sponsors and venue for a proper awarding ceremony somewhere in Manila by December 2009. Yes, PEBA 2009 will be coming home to honor its kababayans! We will not only entertain and inspire each other but we will proactively help ourselves and others.
The driving force and spirit in every OFW is the same spirit that guided PEBA: initiative and hardwork. We will continue blogging and addressing issues and concerns of OFW through our blogs. We will fulfill our civic duties as Filipino, as netizens and global citizens as well.
For the above reasons, PEBA 2009 is thus themed: “Filipinos Abroad- Hope of the Nation, Gift to the World”. Does it not truly embody the spirit of Pinoy Expat/OFW bloggers? We hope that PEBA 2009 will serve as an opportunity to solicit more support to address the concerns and issues of OFWs worldwide.
Mabuhay ang PEBA!
Mabuhay ang OFW!
“It began as a leisure pursuit of an OFW blogging couple
It began at an OFW home in the eastern region of the Arabian Desert
In the desert where tells and tales, woes and challenges ensue endlessly
It became the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards…”
- NJ, President, PEBA Team 2009
©2009 Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards