Dabawenyo in Hong Kong

I was given a wonderful opportunity to go abroad last weekend and present to delegates from over 20 countries my experience in building the Mindanao Bloggers Community. Organized by the dotAsia Organisation, the event was BlogFest.Asia, the region’s very first pan-Asian conference for bloggers, held in Hong Kong from 6 to 8 November 2009.

Blogie @ BlogFest.AsiaMy participation in BlogFest.Asia was thanks to Mozilla’s Gen Kanai, who recommended me and Juned Sonido to the event organizers. We were also joined by two other compatriots: Tonyo Cruz, who talked about Filipino bloggers’ response to Typhoon Ondoy; and Atty. Jimmy Soriano of Creative Commons – Asia. (Please read my ‘official’ post about the event here.)

This was the second time that I was part of an Asian conference, although this was bigger than the first. The first time was in July 2005 when I joined fellow Japanese-language teachers & scholars from all over Asia at a week-long conference held in Taichung and Taipei, Taiwan. In both occasions, I was able to glean insights into different Asian cultures, and gain a deeper understanding of our differences and commonalities. Also, on both conferences, I felt that attending them was the next best thing to visiting the delegates’ own countries.

Lucas & TonyoAt BlogFest.Asia, I had some firsts. It was my first time to meet someone from Kyrgyzstan (although it wasn’t my first time to meet Central Asians, because at that 2005 conference I met people from Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan). I also found out that people from Mongolia use the same patronymic family names as people from Iceland. It was my first time in Hong Kong. It was also my first time to bring the Mindanao Bloggers Community (MBC) outside the borders of the Philippines.

At a parkInteracting with the Asian delegates gave me the chance to bring the MBC to a wider audience. And it was a fruitful exercise because I believe my contribution to the conference left a good impression on some of the delegates. Bloggers and new media practitioners from Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Shanghai and other places approached me after my talk and congratulated me for having delivered an “inspiring and insightful presentation.” You can’t imagine how elated and buoyant their generous words made me feel.

I have fellow Filipino bloggers like Janette, Avel, Juned, Manolo and Aileen to thank for my successful participation in BlogFest.Asia. They are my friends, but more importantly, they are people who possess an uncommon influence in their fields and exude a passion that stirs the soul. Moreso, I am grateful to my fellow Mindanao bloggers, because it is for them that I felt compelled to bring the MBC’s message to the world.

OK, on to lighter stuff.

At Ho ChoiI was extremely pleased to have sampled authentic dim sum with Juned on our last day. Going to Hong Kong, you see, I told myself I should be able to eat Chinese dumplings where it was invented. Juned and I were able to find this off-the-beaten-track restaurant that served excellent dim sum. It’s called Ho Choi, on the 3rd floor of a building near HSBC in Yau Ma Tei. No tourists there, just locals, plenty of them. One of my favorite dumplings is hakaw (shrimp in translucent bags), and they serve it at Ho Choi. It was so yummy!! Now I don’t know if I can still enjoy local dumplings…

There were many things I wasn’t able to do in Hong Kong, though. I was supposed to go to Disneyland (a friend was going to give me a day pass), but didn’t have time for it. I stayed in Kowloon the whole time, so I’ll have to save going to Hong Kong central for my next trip. At Jordan station I must say, I actually can’t wait to go back. I found the place simply fantastic! And I envy their transportation system — going around Hong Kong via the MTR subway was amazingly simple and convenient.

While I look forward to another trip to Hong Kong (and Taiwan, of course), I’m more of a mind to experiencing other exotic destinations. Hopefully, I will be able to pay my new blogger-friends in Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur and other Asian cities a visit in the near future!

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10 Responses to “Dabawenyo in Hong Kong”

  1. bariles says:

    Wow!

    Congratulations on the success of your trip and thank you for bringing the Mindanao Bloggers’ cause to the rest of Asia.

    If there is one thing we Mindanao bloggers could show to our neighbors, it is our undying commitment to utilize our blogs in our desire to effect change on how others perceive our embattled island.

    If only in this context, Mindanao bloggers lead the way.

    Mabuhay tayong lahat!

    (And next time, sama kami ha? Hehehe!)

    • Blogie says:

      Thanks for your kind words, my friend!

      Next time sama ka ha? Don’t know where the next BlogFest will be — sana sa Bangkok at sana imbitahin nila ulit ako… wink

  2. richard says:

    wow! may aunt ako dyan sa hongkong. its my dream na makapunta dyan. sana hindi trip to hongkong ang surprise para sa mga walang absent sa MBS,.. lols.

  3. flipnomad says:

    wow! congratulations!

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