The blogging circle in Manila is just very small and am kinda amused at how someone has been portrayed the Big Bad Blogger (like he’s really baaad!) I’ve heard about this BBB issue as early as two years ago, when fellow bloggers would tell me stories about talking to so and so resort/resto owner that Big Blogger approached. I didn’t easily dismiss it as a result of envy and professional jealousy, but until I talked to affected restaurant owners themselves, I wasn’t ready to believe all the reports either.
I thought to myself then: what is this blogger and his band thinking? Weren’t they afraid that the word will eventually go around and their reputation will be tarnished?
Until the Sunday Inquirer article by Ms. Margaux Salcedo exploded and put certain persons under suspicion.
From the looks of it, looks like the Inquirer article is just the tip of the iceberg as Philippine Star food columnist Stephanie Zubiri promised (in her Twitter) gather the complaints of other restaurateurs and do a follow up story on the subject.
But if I were to base my reaction on the Inquirer article, it is not so much BBB who should be condemned but the pernicious tactics of this PR firm which solicits clients, Mafia-style. Right now, I can only think of very few PR firms who specialize in online buzz marketing and even hires bloggers as consultants or on a per project basis. Hmm. Ito kaya? 😀
Here are my notes from this incident:
1. It is sad that legitimate bloggers have been given the bad rep again, but this shouldn’t dissuade anyone from blogging, if your intentions are clean. We blog about food because we love to eat, explore food territories, take beautiful photos, and see it all as part of our culinary experience. So go ahead and do it without fear or expectations of a reward. We are here to simply enjoy.
2. It’s funny how some people are so territorial about the word “FOOD BLOGGER” (as if they own the patent!) I see this among the “high and mighty” food bloggers who are so snobbish and holier-than-thou, and the irrepressible bunch who are not content with eating in presscons, me take-out pa. Tama bang magpatayan kayo nang dahil sa pagkain lamang? Pathetic!
3. Disclosures are crap. Don’t ever demand it, much less ask for somebody to truthfully declare it, then believe it, hook, line and sinker. Otherwise you’re asking for the moon.
4. But anyway, here’s an honest-to-goodness disclosure from me: I never pretend to be anything, especially anything am not. I accept sponsored posts and will appropriately disclose them, no problem. I attend events when I can because I love ’em and they contribute content to this blog. Whenever publicists email me press releases, I sometimes come out with them mostly out of goodwill and with no remuneration. What are friends ARE for? 😀 And finally, years of being in traditional media makes me love presscons where there’s free-flowing buffet food, but of course this doesn’t mean I can’t afford my food. I’ve eaten in 85% of restaurants in Manila and beyond, 65% of which we’ve paid for.
As for the freebies and schwags I receive in presscons, am beginning to raffle them off in contests in this blog, if you haven’t noticed. And that’s the fun part! That’s all, folks.