I am Joining the Blogfest Soccsksargen 2.0!


November 26, 2011 is going to be a remarkable day since I am joining the largest and funnest gathering of bloggers, online media and social networking enthusiasts in Southern Philippines. I am raring to  receive valuable information and insights from internet stalwarts and blogging celebrities from all over the Philippines.

My excitement is mounting up since my beloved husband, Mosler Paul Lapore, and some of my Mass Communication students from Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges are also joining. We will savor this enriching experience together as we  learn as much as we can.

Yebah! I am joining Blogfest Soccsksargen 2.0 as a registered participant and as one of the hosts!  Thank you, Sir Avel Manansala and organizers, for the opportunity! Thank you, generous sponsors, for supporting this event!

I will catch some sleep so I can have a preview of the program in my dreams tonight. I will make sure that I wake up early so I can be at the venue way ahead of call time. I will because I must. Whoaaaah!

 See you, fellow Bloggers!

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1st Blogoversary!


It’s 11-11-11 and it has been a year since I started this personal blog.

In celebration,

  • I LOOK BACK and remember how blessed I am to be surrounded with influencers who challenged and inspired me to get into blogging. They  enthused me to share my journey through a different platform. They impregnated me with ideas to explore the possibilities  and infused me with courage to hit the publish button. Thank you, Sir Avel Manasala and SOX Bloggers   for igniting the fire and fanning the flame! 
  • I LOOK AROUND and reaffirm that we live in a global village. In this beautiful planet, there are a lot of people I can encourage, a lot of people I can learn from, and a lot of people I can journey with. Thank you, global readers, for going through my posts and giving your comments!  You keep me fired up!
  • I LOOK FORWARD and realize that the possibilities are enormous! Considering immensity of  the astounding things that are yet to happen,  I am all the more stimulated to give my best in everything that I do.  Thank you, Mosler Paul Lapore, my beloved husband, for holding my hand as we anticipate bigger adventures and greater blessings. 
  • I LOOK UP and recognize that far beyond the power of great men and women is the  sovereignty of the Almighty God and Father,  the ultimate source of wisdom and creativity. I consecrate myself  once more to God as I boldly declare that amazing things are going to happen in and through this blog as I keep advancing in His presence. Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity to live, love and blog!

Friends (and critics), thank you for dropping by! Love hugs are coming your way! Your comments and suggestions would surely make this day extra special! Go ahead, and give this baby-blogger an extra boost that would charge her in her journey towards her 2nd Blogoversary on 11-11-12!

Enriching Gifts Via Blogfest 2010


“Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.”

~Ruth Ann Schabacker

This Christmas, I take time to ponder on how God has manifested His great love for me throughout the year. In the silence of the night, just before everything turns chaotic for the last minute preparations for Noche Buena, I breathe with gratitude. Thanksgiving is my heartbeat as I take stock of God’s creative expressions of His unwavering commitment to transform me from glory to glory.

One of the best things that I experienced this year is being a part of the biggest and grandest blogging event on this side of the planet which took place on December 11, 2010. Continue reading

The Biggest Blogfest Ever!


Two weeks before Christmas,

a grand event is going to happen right in Magandang Gensan!

Yes, on 12.11.10, BLOGFEST SOCCSARGEN 2010,

The Biggest Blogfest Ever,

is taking place at the Grand Ballroom of East Asia Royale Hotel.

BlogFest SOCCSKSARGEN Countdown
As a lifelong learner,

I am excited to listen to some of the country’s most respected web luminaries.

The State of the Philippine Blogosphere Address

will be delivered by the Diyosa Blogger:

Journalism Ethics for Bloggers

will be  by shared by an assistant professor

of the Department of Journalism at the

University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication:

New Media in Nation Building

will be expounded by

Head for New Media under the Presidential Communications Operations Office

of President Benigno Aquino III:

New Media’s Role in Businesses

will be explained by the founder

of The Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs Awards:

Making the Most of the Internet & Google

will be shared by the country consultant for the Philippines of Google Inc.

and an adopted daughter of the SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers:

SEO and Traffic Generation and Monetizing your Blog

will be discussed by the owner of Commerce Collective,

an innovative and successful full-service web presence management company:

Exposing Local Gems on New Media

will be revealed by the current President of the Sarangani Tourism Industry Association

and Chairperson of Sarangani Tourism Council:

And here’s more:

Powerhouse Cast, di ba?

The SOX Bloggers are overflowing with gratitude to the generous sponsors:

Mosler Paul Lapore and I made sure that we register early.

Convinced by the value of learning from the web luminaries,

interacting with Mindanao’s Funnest,

and rubbing elbows with Avel Manansala & Alexis Chua,

more than a dozen students from Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges

have signed up alongside Piao and I.

Joining The Biggest Blogfest Ever happening on 12.11.10

could be one of the best treats you can give yourself this December!

As of last report, there are only limited slots available!

Pahuhuli ka pa ba?

Click this link to register:

http://soxbloggers.com/blogfest-2010-registration-page/

 

General Joana Meets the Rainbow Warrior


Rainbow Warrior challenged General Joana to be a Greenpeace Cyberactivist

I was like a kindergarten student who was so eager to go on a field trip. Together with the SOX Bloggers, Paul and I went to the Makar Wharf one Sunday morning to meet Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace flagship.

With the SOX Bloggers

Early on, I made a choice to set aside lofty expectations about the trip and the ship. When we arrived, there were other eager “trippers” lining up for their turn. The SOX Bloggers were ushered by Leah Guerrero, Greenpeace Communication officer, to the ship’s upper deck. I just allowed the curiosity in me to savor every information that was dished out to us by the accommodating crew.

My eagerness showed. I was like a 7-year old Girl Scout trapped in a 38-year old body.

Aboard the Rainbow Warrior, interesting stories were told.

Little did I know that the General in me would be awakened by the Warrior as I listen to her stories of courage and determination. The Rainbow Warrior reminded me that we can do something about our environment.

With my inspiration and mentor in blogging, Sir Avel Manansala of Bariles Republic

The Rainbow Warrior sails around Southeast Asia to “urge governments to take immediate and decisive action to combat climate change.” I could not ignore the call “to help make positive change happen.”  (Find out more at www.greenpeace.org/seasia)

There are a lot  of practical things that we can do.

We can research on necessary, beneficial and practicable steps that we can implement.

We can start at home.

We can influence others.

If we come together in unity, we can surely turn the tide!

We can turn the tide!

I made a commitment to do my part in saving our planet. How about you?

Photos courtesy of Mosler Paul Lapore.

Thank you, my Piao, for capturing the moments!

Times of Refreshing at Lemlunay Dive Resort


About a year ago, I won a prize from the the blogoversary contest of  www.gensantos.com: an overnight stay for two at Lemlunay. Lemlunay Dive Resort in Tinoto, Maasim, Sarangani Province is the Home of South Point Divers.

My crazy schedule and multifarious commitments stopped me from availing the prize. During a session with SOX bloggers at Little Dubai, I was prodded by Sir Avel Manansala that it is high time to claim the prize.

I won! I won!

When the opportune time came, I seized the moment. I coordinated with the beautiful and vibrant Michelle Solon who made sure that her staff in GO Sarangani Travel and Tours will provide the much needed assistance. Since friends from DBC were coming with us to Lemlunay for a treat and a staff meeting, Geraldine Oville and Carla Geane Fernando facilitated the group’s reservation. Michelle’s staff were very accommodating, providing us with all the necessary information.

Lemlunay, for the B’laan and T’Boli, refers to “the good place one goes to in the afterlife”

Paul and I decided to bring with us our little girl, Duday, since kids below 12 years old are free. Together with Auntie Susan in the first trip, we looked forward to times of refreshing in the much-talked about destination.  It was about 5:00pm when we arrived at Lemlunay. To my delight, Sir Avel Manansala was there with Marz Fernandez Bendol and Sir Marthin Millado!

Sunset at Lemlunay

The efficient staff welcomed us and directed us to our rooms. Immediately after settling our bags, we went around the area.  Sunset at Lemlunay was a treat!

Duday with the Blue Turtle that holds the key to Ocean View Room #16

Just a few minutes after, Ninang Pastora Edna Garces and Ninong Dr. Felix Garces arrived. They decided to celebrate a memorable anniversary there. After dinner, we had another treat,  a romantic moonlight!

Romantic Moonlight at Lemlunay

My Piao and I gave in to Duday’s persistent request to try Lemlunay’s Infinity Pool by night. The experience did not disappoint our little girl. She was delighted!

The team from DBC arrived before midnight. We had our brainstorming session until 2:30 am. With only a few hours of sleep, Piao and I decided to wake up and get going at 5:30 am to catch the magnificent sunrise. Our little girl tagged along, excited to have another round of pool experience.

"Times of Refreshing, here in Your Presence. There's no greater blessing than being with You. My soul is restored, my mind is renewed. There's no greater joy, Lord, than being with You."

"Thank You, Lord. I just want to thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord!"

Refreshed!

Duday by the Infinity Pool

We explored the area and took advantage of the great view. What is a trip to a new place without loads of photographs to document the experience?

Duday and I at Lemlunay

Lemlunay is a refreshing place despite the humidity. It is a great place to savor gastronomic treats.

Special Burger that will make you crave for more! Delicioso!

Breakfast at Lemlunay

By the Pool Side Rooms with Auntie Susan, Ate Judith, Honey and Duday

Duday loves Honey! Honey loves Duday!

Thank you, Sir Bing Cariño, for the conical hat (Non La) from Vietnam!

Auntie Susan: Vietnamese?

This Lemlunay experience helped my husband and I realize the value of mini-vacations and fresh perspectives. While there, we were so fired up in planning our next escapades. We decided to be intentional in exploring new destinations. We wanted to be more aggressive in launching new adventures. We will stretch ourselves some more!

I will never be the same again!

Lemlunay is also where fresh insights were discussed and the theme for DBC’s 48th Anniversary was conceptualized. The theme, thanks to the wisdom from God, was put together through the brilliance of Honey Arreglado and key people in the DBC leadership. I have realized that the theme is not just applicable for the anniversary celebration but is so appropriate for my personal declaration.

Yes, it was in Lemlunay when I first took hold of the lines: Leaping Forward, Leading Change.  The Lemlunay treat was availed at the appointed time by the Lord. He engineered the circumstances and has beautifully woven the details. The days that ensued after the overnight experience were simply amazing! Now, I am convinced that times of refreshing can do a lot of wonders!

We are definitely coming back!

My Time Has Come!


It is 1:01 am of November 11, 2010 and I am wide awake. My desire to capture this moment in writing is much greater than the wish to go to a far away land where penguins dance and eagles sing. Right now, I do not wish for sleep to transport me to that place of serenity. My fingers are unstoppable in breathing life to the thoughts of my heart and passing it on to the screen. I can no longer contain the ideas and the possibilities that are welling up within me. I am roaring with passion. I am bursting with energy.

After the 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit  (MBS2) which I hosted with Migs Hipolito in 2008 at General Santos City, I thought of shifting from Multiply to Blogger or WordPress. I thought of being an active member of the SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers.  I thought of eventually getting a domain name and availing of web hosting. I thought of finding my niche and making a difference through my blog. But the thoughts just lingered in my mind.

I knew there is so much to write about Gensan and Mindanao. I knew I can write and inspire people with my words. But knowing and doing are different. I recognize that there is a disparity with what I really wanted to do with what I actually do. I have allowed the daily grind to get in the way of my blogging adventure.

The seed that was planted through MBS2  may have not shown any visible growth right away but the labor of Sir Avel Manansala was not in vain. All along, the ideas were brewing. The possibilities were expanding. All along, God was preparing me for greater things to come. He was changing my perspective. He was expanding my horizon. He was enhancing my capacity. He was shaping my character. All along, the seed was watered and nurtured.

After three years, my time has come! I can no longer stay in the confines of my safe and secure shell. I can no longer remain the same. I am bursting into the blogging realm. I am spreading my heart wide open. I am ready to share to the world what General Joana Grace Banting-Lapore has to say.

There is still so much to be done, so much to be shared.  There is no time to waste. I am so fired up, I can’t stay silent. I am leaping forward and leading change!