Not a Happy Jan After Blog Suspension

After more than two years of hiatus, I decided to revive my blog life on what I thought was a perfect timing–the anniversary month of Blogbastic or seven years since I started blogging. August is the Philippine National Language month, so I thought it will be better to blog in Filipino partly to celebrate the occasion. What a great comeback post it would have been as I blogged about the very political Philippine Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). I was calling on fellow Pinoys and expats to support the call for its abolition or any move towards a more transparent and more responsible way of assisting poor Filipinos.

Alas, after about three hours from posting (probably less than that), a friend gave a heads up that WordPress.com flagged my blog as violating its terms of service  and advertising policy. This is what I saw on my dashboard.

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 3.13.38 PMI checked my blog. My horror to find out that after more than five years of active blogging on wordpress.com and on the 7th year anniversary month of my blog, Blogbastic fell silent.

Blog was suspended due to alleged violation of WordPress.com TOS and advertising policy

Blog was suspended due to alleged violation of WordPress.com TOS and advertising policy (Click on image for a better view)

I panicked and was emotionally stressed because of this. I thought one of the minions of the Philippine government got hold of my post and flagged my blog. So, I messaged WordPress.com from my dashboard and here. I also could not help it but rage tweeted about this. The timing could not be perfect as it was night in the US. So it took 15 excruciating hours of Blogbastic’s silence for them to get in touch with me.

Finally, Kris from WordPress.com emailed me and said that my blog was flagged by their bot but he failed to explain how and why my blog was flagged. My long time hiatus probably sent red flags to the bots and given that I blogged in my Mother Tongue and had so many links in my earlier blog post, it may have been enough for the bots to pull the trigger.

I’m just glad that I’m back and hopefully blogging away again, this time till death. 😉 😛 Oh and I’ll blog again in Filipino next time. 😀

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Decision 2010

I wrote this article long before the May 10 2010 elections. Decided to update and upload.

Filipinos overseas have trooped Philippine embassies worldwide to cast their votes. There were reported glitches in some areas however the overseas voting went well smoothly, generally.
Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

Election here and at home

Last Saturday, the electoral district of Willagee had a by-election after its MP, who was the former State Premier, resigned. The campaign and voting went well despite seemingly unnoticed. The campaign mainly consisted of print ads in community papers and distribution of leaflets in letter boxes of residents. If there was some exchanges between the candidates in media outlets, the topics will mainly be on policy concerns and what they can offer. Voting is also compulsory here in Australia, anyone who fails to vote risk paying a fine. I think the fine is to cover the cost of the materials and preparations allocated for each voter. Voting started from 8:00am to 6:00pm by 7:00pm votes have been counted halfway and before 9:00pm the winner was already known.
Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

OAV registrations set

With about 18 days to the deadline of registrations for the Overseas Absentee Voting, the Philippine Embassy here in Australia released the schedule of mobile registrations. Mobile registrations are scheduled this month in Darwin, Melbourne and Perth.

Filipinos including those who hold dual citizenship are entitled to register for the OAV. For Filipinos who previously registered as OAV elsewhere, kindly contact the consulate office in your area if you can skip this registration schedule. There are some Pinoys who have expressed doubt in the exercise, however, this is the best that we can do rather than watch as the votes are cast. If there will be any irregularities, I believe there will be some good representations from independent organisations who will be able to deter or at least note of such thing.

Following are the schedule here in Australia:

Darwin, NT

Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 15-16 August 2009, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Venue: Philippine Community Centre, Corner of Amy Johnson Ave & Batten Road, Marrara, NT

Melbourne, VIC

Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 22-23 August 2009, 10:00am to 5:00pm

Venue: Philippine House, 93 Cowper Street, Footscray, VIC

Perth, WA

Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 29-30 August 2009, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Venue: Filipino Australian Club of Perth, Inc., 1 Catherine St., Bedford, WA

The registration in Perth on Saturday will be between 9:00am and 12 noon only while registrations on Sunday will be held from 9:00 am to 5:00pm (with 12-1 lunch break :)).

All registrants are required to bring a photocopy of their Philippine passport or Dual Citizenship ID. More information on OAV can be found here.

Our country’s history has had some tumultuous and momentous episodes. Some of us have been part of those episodes so, I think it is better for us to participate, for better or worse, in our country’s history. Boycotting this important election is just throwing in the towel. Bloggers who don’t blog about an issue do not get any attention that they did so unless they blog about their action. So, I guess it’s the same with us who might be planning to just dump this important exercise and say, “we’re making a statement.” Unless you blog about it, no one will care that you didn’t vote.

No matter how frustrated some of us with the system, it is worth trying, it is worth fighting, it will still be worth our vote, whether the system fails us or not. We are Pinoys, we are known to be resilient, so let’s go out on those dates and register.

Blogbastic