Flawed nomination process in the Philippine Blog Awards?

To be considered as a nominee in the Best Blog division in the Philippine Blog Awards is honor in itself. It means that your blog, a product of hard work, has great content and is worthy of recognition. But what if it got wind of technicalities that the blog owner does not have any control? What are your chances of making it as a finalist in the Best Travel Blog category? ZERO.

Last 22 August, I received an email telling me that my travel blog, Langyaw.com was nominated, however, it was under the entertainment section. After the initial euphoria of hearing the news, I checked their website to clear some doubts and found that it was the wrong category. I sent a clarificatory email and asked that it be transferred to the proper one. Unfortunately, an email from Gail who responded, said, to quote:

Hi Estan,

As much as we would like to allow changing of categories, I’m afraid that we would have to deny your request to be fair to all and to respect the nominator’s decision to nominate you under the Entertainment category. Please note that this is not a reflection on your blog.

Entertainment, as what the organizers define it is:

A blog that focuses on news and commentary about the entertainment industry. This covers the following areas of show business – from television shows, film, popular music and concerts. It may also cover personalities and people involved in show business

while Travel is:

A blog that focuses on the different aspects traveling for an extend period of time from point A to B. It may be a narrative or even an advice post focused on a trip or destination.

However you look at this blog, it can never be under Entertainment. How then are my chances of making it in the list if all I talk about is being fined for breaking a ritual taboo in Batad while the judges are expecting you to talk about chismis and showbiz?

Despite this predicament, I still submitted the required 5 posts:

Crossing my fingers that later they will discuss it and make the corrections. They never did.

Looking at it, I think that there is a flaw in the nomination process. Of course, it is good for the nominating entity to categorize the blog but it is apparent that the organizers doesn’t have a way to correct some errors that might have been committed. My being a nominee is important for my fledging blog but I have to say good bye to opportunities in making it known the shorter route.

What if a person wrongly submitted a blog under the wrong category either intentionally or not? And because there is no way to correct such a major blunder to be fair to all and to respect the nominator’s decision, I guess, I must question the entire process. Despite that it is not a reflection on your blog, anyone who will be reading it wouldn’t find it very difficult to understand. Are there also cases out there that is similar to what I have experienced? Other problems?

Frankly, I’m really disappointed with it. Despite this, life goes on. I just need to keep on blogging and telling my travel stories with or without the Philippine Blog Awards. Sourgraping? Gapahungaw lang ko sa akong gibati.

Update: Despite this setback, Binary Silver made it to the Best Photoblog Category. In the Best Single Post category, two of my posts were included: Travel – How I Broke a Ritual Taboo in Batad and Photoblog: Night Photography in Mactan.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.


  1. nina
    September 19, 2008 @ 1:56

    Eep! I was wondering why you weren’t in the travel category. The PBA is still quite new and there are certainly kinks that needs to be ironed out. It sucks that this happened to you though. 🙁

  2. erick
    September 19, 2008 @ 2:18

    i am wondering sino nagnominate sayo sa entertainment section?

  3. biyahengpinoy
    September 19, 2008 @ 2:25

    sorry to hear that. i guess we cannot do anything about it. it’s their event and it’s their rules.

  4. donG hO
    September 19, 2008 @ 8:47

    sad to know estan. siguro importante na i-highlight ito para hindi na mangyari sa iba.

  5. Ferdz
    September 19, 2008 @ 9:02

    Hmmm… I was actually expecting to see your blog up there as well. This so called “rule” is a bit of a flaw to me as well. What if your blog has been nominated 3 times by different people in different categories? That could pose a problem. I think the blog owner should have the final say which category he should go for and I think the committee who sorts them out should also somehow “see” which blogs really fits into which category looking at their content.

    Sad to hear… but awards or not I still thinks this blog deserves citation.

  6. Jeryc
    September 19, 2008 @ 9:14

    So, sino nga ang nag-nominate sa ‘yo sa Entertainment category? 🙂

  7. benj
    September 19, 2008 @ 14:54

    Ok, that just sucks.

  8. Traveler on Foot
    September 19, 2008 @ 15:04

    Honestly agree that your blog deserves to be in the travel category. I agree with the comments above, PBA is still new and there still more room for change in all aspects.

    One thing I noticed though, i saw some entries that have been nominated last year. Nothing’s wrong with blogs getting nominated over and over but I hope they give recognition to newer blogs to encourage more people to create quality and engaging blogs.

    Perhaps a Blog Rookie of the Year? or a Best Up and Rising Star Blog? just a suggestion.

  9. estan
    September 19, 2008 @ 15:10

    thanx for the comments. I think it is immaterial who nominated it under the entertainment section. errors can happen. what if, due to excitement or rush it was at another category? the important thing is that I have raised this to the organizers but due to their rules, they won’t change it.

    if this will continue in the next year’s event, this can be exploited. what if i want to sabotage another potential winner’s chances of making it? i’ll just nominate it at the wrong category and he’s out! or what if i will intentionally nominate ferd’z ironwulf or ivan’s ivan about town, both well known and wonderful travel blogs, to a category other than travel, will they change it because they know these blogs? i can’t help think that because this is an unknown blog, maybe it helped seal its chances? but that is speculation.

    what is important is that i’ve raised this concern for the benefit of succeeding like events.

  10. tonex
    September 19, 2008 @ 15:31

    Hadlok noh?

  11. jack
    September 19, 2008 @ 15:51

    palpak talaga ang Philippine Blog Awards! sana alisin na yan.

  12. lagalog
    September 19, 2008 @ 15:54

    very sad to hear what happened bai.
    honestly, in my case, i was surprised to be nominated
    as i’m practically an unknown in blogging circles.
    i thought though that it was going to be in the photoblog category
    but it was another category altogether but what the hey.
    considering your plight, i should consider myself really lucky.

    tulad ng sinabi ni bai ferdz, nomination or no nomination,
    award or no award, i believe your blogs merit attention
    and citation. i’m a loyal follower and will remain one.

  13. norahd
    September 19, 2008 @ 20:53

    Hello Estan! Just opened my mail today. Was out of town – work related.

    Just thinkin… perhaps the person who nominated you felt really “entertained” by all your photos – the wonderful views and sceneries, and most especially your encounters with different people from all the places you have been to.

    Perhaps that person has his or her own definition of “entertainment”. What dya think?!?!

    He he he…paging Mr.Webster..

  14. » Consolation at the Philippine Blog Awards | Binary Silver - The Photography Blog
    September 20, 2008 @ 11:22

    […] the long wait is over! Despite being left out in the Best Travel Blog, this one made it! In the latest update at the Philippine Blog Awards website, Binary Silver was […]

  15. estan
    September 20, 2008 @ 11:45

    jack, i think this should be a learning experience but totally stopping this event is uncalled for because it’s also an opportunity for bloggers or what we call new media to shine. Blogging in the Philippines, based on a recent survey, is considered the fastest growing in the world. it has its place and we need to let other Filipinos be aware of this new trend.

    norahd, lagalog, thanx.

    There’s a good news however. My photoblog, Binary Silver is a finalist in the Best Photoblog Category.

  16. The Islander
    September 20, 2008 @ 13:11

    nah! for that correction of category alone they have done nothing and cannot do anything? thats petty. saon nalang ang mga major complications gyud? what if you have an antagonist and intentionally nominated you in a wrong category?

    na-carried away tuloy ako. hehe.
    nakakasama lang ng loob ang mga ganitong klase ng events na LAMPA/LUMPO ang mga organizers. nakakabobo.

  17. richard
    September 20, 2008 @ 18:15

    suyaa uy.. hehe.. ok ra na.. res ipsa loquitor. ur one of the best! with or without that award.. 🙂

  18. Philippine Blog Awards: 3 nominations, 1 win | langyaw
    September 22, 2008 @ 19:34

    […] the recent setback that I suffered when it came to the Best Travel Blog category (Ferdz won it and congrats to him) in […]

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