“There is a crisis of hope in our country today. Many of our people have lost sight of a better future, consoling themselves of the fact that they are still surviving in the here and now…But by your rants and raves, be voices of hope, upholding the good and condemning the evil with equal force.”

With much optimism for youth involvement in shaping the conscience of the nation, Gov. Panlilio, more popularly known as Among Ed, led the launching of his blogsite (www.amonged.org/blog) before a young crowd from the Manila-based Bloggers’ Kapihan and the Pampanga Youth Council. The event was held on June 7 (Saturday) at the Executive House of the Pampanga Provincial Capitol.

In the forum that preceded the launching, Jhay Rocas, a Bloggers’ Kapihan Crew and youth leader from De La Salle University-Dasmariñas spoke on blogging for good governance. “While good governance is a relatively new concept in Philippine politics and we have yet to really experience it,” he said, “we get glimpses of it every now and then in leaders like Among Ed. With the emergence of a new media (through blogging and the net), we now have greater access to information and people are more free to express their opinions and sentiments.” He added that the internet is not just for entertainment and recreation but also for involvement in serious matters like good governance. Angelica Guevarra, a youth leader from the Pampanga Youth Council also spoke on responsible citizenship.

Among Ed’s blogsite project was conceptualized in April as soon as the priest-turned-governor’s campaign website went off-line. In response to public clamor for news and updates about Among Ed and his leadership of Pampanga, volunteers from the Creative Team and the Kapampangan Marangal. Inc. (KMI) worked to transform the campaign website to a more dynamic and interactive

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“Blogging has, in recent years, emerged as a primary means of self-expression among individuals all over the world, most especially the youth. It is an excellent way of getting people to reflect and discern on matters affecting their lives. The idea of maximizing its potentials to influence others about important concerns such as politics and social development is fast gaining ground in the midst of various crises confronting societies here and elsewhere. It is essential for the one who governs and the ones being governed to communicate and engage in a frequent dialogue to make good governance happen,” says KMI Executive Director Averell Laquindanum. Among Ed is believed to be the first Governor in the country to open and launch a blogsite.

Yesterday’s launching was a joint undertaking of KMI and the Provincial Capitol, in cooperation with Bloggers’ Kapihan, Pampanga Youth Council, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., and the University of the Assumption. (KMI)