Some perhaps would call Silent No More and Pinoy Ako “blogs”. But that’s really just using a very loose definition of the term. The writing style of these two sites make their trashy posts more akin to adolescent Twitter tweets unchained from the 140-character limit. They don’t really fit the criteria of well-structured work befitting the term blog article. Indeed, considering that Ateneans form a big chunk of the Yellowtard community, it is actually quite remarkable that none of these Jesuit-educated folk who take pride in their cultivated Manglapusian English have ridiculed the jejemonic language and spaghetti sentence structures used by the authors of these two blogs!
The situation today is a far cry from the way things were just a short time back when the Internet was seen to be such a promising platform for discourse. As veteran blogger Angela Stuart-Santiago lamented in 2012, “political blogging used to be fun in the Philippines”…
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[…] when i took the plunge in september 2007, the pinoy blogosphere was a completely different “place,” kind of like a plaza miranda where you could mount a soapbox and sound off on your opinions and ideas re government and religion, politics and economics, culture and society, at any time of the day or night, and if you talked sense, especially if you kept abreast of current events and opinions offline and online, and you had something to add to the discourse-on-nation across blogs, AND you had an open mind and could handle comments and criticism, that is, you were receptive to other intelligent even if contrary points of view, THEN the blogosphere was an exciting, dynamic, mind-expanding space to be.
Within the timeframe that backdrops the above observation, the first successful collective blog, FilipinoVoices.com (FV) founded by Nick Cugtas in 2008 was already in decline and just a few month shy of closing down after being the epicentre of what many now call the Golden Age of Philippine Political Blogging. Stuart-Santiago’s diagnosis of the cancer that fatally afflicted FV was actually quite prescient…
[…] and suddenly there were new bloggers posting little more than cut-and-paste stuff, contributing nothing to the discourse except echoes; and someone started dissing anonymous bloggers and commenters, demanding that they identify themselves or forever be under suspicion of sinister motives or shady political connections; at kung ano-ano pa. i’m not sure at what point nick started seriously moderating FV, but i remember complaints galore, and then cory died, FV turned yellow, and then died, too.
There were two big Yellowtard sites that filled the pro-Aquino void left when FilipinoVoices.com folded up. One was (the now defunct) collective blog BarrioSiete.com founded and run by Edwin “Reyna Elena” Jamora and the other was ProPinoy.net founded by Cocoy Dayao. Jamora eventually found the light and repented his Yellowtard ways. Dayao, on the other hand, remained addicted to his new-found social status amongst the disente latte-sipping Starbucks barnacles of the time.
Nonetheless, Jamora during the heyday of Barrio Siete did justice to the Yellowtard cause being, himself, an entertaining, accomplished and intelligent writer. Dayao was (and remains) a mediocre writer at best although ProPinoy.net was once honoured by the presence of top-notch pundit Doy “The Cusp” Santos (who currently tweets as @cusp_ph).
That the Yellowtards (and the broader community of Opposition cliques and personalities) now rally around Silent No More and Pinoy Ako says a lot about the intellectual bankruptcy of the Opposition. Small surprise that mediocricy continues to characterise Philippine society seeing that otherwise impeccably-educated Atenistas, Lasalistas, Kulasas, Miriamites, Kinollers, Assumptionistas, Tomasians, and Iskolars ng Bayan are behind what is no more than a pwede-na-yan shadow of what Yellowtard blogging used to be. You’d expect more from a community of private-schooled millennials and old farts alike who are alumni of institutions with student bodies composed of people who are known to entertain themselves by ridiculing jejemonic chatter.
The blogosphere is actually a microcosm of Philippine politics — a noisy but disorganised and directionless Opposition battling a united and popular Goliath that is crystal clear in both its vision and the path it has chosen to realising that vision. The solution is quite obvious. The Yellowtards — and the Opposition that remains imprisoned underneath their shadow — need to cut their losses. All they need to do that is to simply throw Silent No More, Pinoy Ako and Cocoy Dayao underneath the proverbial bus and rebuild their brand. That’s just politics. Nothing personal. The alternative is for the Opposition to allow themselves to be dragged down by what essentially are no more than rubbish sites and a consultant wannabe. It’s a no-brainer.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.