Interview with Blogger Kevin Ray

Would you please tell us something about you and your site?

I’m Kevin Ray N. Chua, 18 years of age and currently a 2nd-year student of Bachelor in Science Major in Information Technology in Cebu Institute of Technology. I am from the Philippines and a proud Filipino! Our country has a lot and growing number of bloggers and I am priviliged to be the first Filipino blogger to be interviewed by this blog, The Pakistani Spectator.

I started blogging last 2004 though I stopped during 2006 because I was a high school graduating student and I need to focus a lot on my studies. I returned to blogging last year and started the first 2010 Philippine Presidential elections blog last July 29, 2007.

The Mar Roxas for President in 2010 Blog is a trailblazer in the Philippine blogosphere. It is dedicated to the people who want to encourage and support Senator Mar Roxas as the next President of the Philippines. Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II is the son of former Senator Gerardo Roxas and grandson of former Philippine President Manuel Roxas. He garnered the highest total of votes for an elected public official during the 2004 general elections in the entire Philippine electoral history. He has continued to advocate consumer protection (that’s why he is called “Mr. Palengke” or “Mr. Wet Market”), educational reforms, cheaper quality medicines and removal of expanded-value-added tax on oil. In 2010, Philippines will elect a new leader to replace the unpopular incumbent, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and I believe Senator Roxas would be the best choice for our country.

Do you feel that you continue to grow in your writing the longer you write? Why is that important to you?

I agree. The longer you write, the more comments and insights you get from your readers. You can also gain a lot of friends and be informed on the feelings of other people. It’s important to know what the people’s pulse is. In that way, I can be able to adjust my approach to them.

I’m wondering what some of your memorable experiences are with blogging?

My memorable experience with blogging is when my blog was mentioned in Inquirer.Net, the online edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, last August 2007. That was the one that made Senator Mar Roxas call my cellphone and thanked me for my support for him. It was truly a stunning moment. Another experience was when I was invited by Senator Roxas to the Liberal Party event where he was elected as the party President. When we met personally, he told me that I was his “inspiration” in doing better as a Senator. That made my jaw drop!

What do you do in order to keep up your communication with other bloggers?

I use social networks like Friendster and Facebook. I also use Plurk, Twitter, Yahoo Groups, Yahoo Messenger and Gmail Chat to communicate with them and if possible, I try to attend meet-ups to meet them personally.

What do you think is the most exciting or most innovative use of technology in politics right now?

It’s the internet. In this world that everyone seems to shift focus from the traditional media to the new ones, politics also has to adopt. We have seen how internet presence translate to awareness just like the success of Barack Obama’s campaign.

Do you think that these new technologies are effective in making people more responsive?

Yes, and I have seen it personally. I thought I was alone with my advocacy at first, but the number of people who have e-mailed me and texted me disproved my thinking. If I can just have one day to mobilize everybody to my advocacy, I believe it would be very productive.

What do you think sets Your site apart from others?

My blog is the most active 2010 election blog in the Philippine blogosphere. There are already other blogs, with the same intention, sprouting in the community but they’re not too active in spreading the word and letting people know about their blog.

If you could choose one characteristic you have that brought you success in life, what would it be?

Determination. If the odds would really go against you, you would easily surrender to everything, but never if you have determination. You would really think any other ways to achieve your goal and that’s what I’m proud of. I’m determined to make Senator Mar Roxas the President of the Philippines in 2010 no matter what the odds are.

What was the happiest and gloomiest moment of your life?

If you could pick a travel destination, anywhere in the world, with no worries about how it’s paid for – what would your top 3 choices be?

If given that chance, I would choose to go to Germany, Spain, and France. That’s “Guten Tag”, “Hola” and “Bonjour.”

What is your favorite book and why?

“Call to Service” by John Kerry. He was my bet during the 2004 US Presidential Elections and I really bought the book in order to know him more and his plans for America. Unfortunately, he lost to George W. Bush by just 2%! At least he almost defeated a wartime President. Now, I’m saving money to buy Barack Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope.”

What’s the first thing you notice about a person (whether you know them or not)?

The way they speak and what their ideas are. I didn’t choose only one because some might have great ideas but can’t speak well or have a great talent of speaking but try to hide it.

Is there anyone from your past that once told you you couldn’t write?

Nope. Most of the people whom I have met told me I can write but what gets me into trouble is my penmanship. I have an ugly penmanship that’s why I prefer to blog. Nice fonts!

How bloggers can benefit from blogs financially?

I have seen a lot of bloggers making money from their blogs. Actually, when I started my blog, I didn’t expected to earn from it. But now, I’m seriously considering on monetizing it to help sustain my college education.

Is it true that who has a successful blog has an awful lot of time on their hands?

I don’t think so. Success is not determined by the number of articles or blog popularity; it’s how you convey the message and involve the people in the conversation.

What role can bloggers of the world play to make this world more friendlier and less hostile?

Bloggers around the world can unite in blogging issues that matters. The impact of that unity can bring the attention of the world leaders to act and hear our voices.

Who are your top five favourite bloggers?

I just can’t name five! I have many favorite bloggers and I hope you would understand. Most of them are Filipino bloggers who are making impact on the society in its different aspects.

Is there one observation or column or post that has gotten the most powerful reaction from people?

This is somewhat controversial because I made this post to address those who are in doubt or against the relationship of Senator Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez, one of the top broadcasters in the Philippines: Mar Roxas loves Korina… So what?

What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?

I applaud the vigilance of the Pakistani people on their government. I am aware of the present situation in your country and I know you all want change. We here in the Philippines share the same plea with you. After all, if we wouldn’t get involved, then who should be? These turbulent times would pass and altogether, we would succeed if we are determined to make a difference.

Have you ever become stunned by the uniqueness of any blogger?

Yes! That uniqueness can really make a blogger influential, controversial and even popular! When you see bloggers extending the purpose of blogging and making new ways on how it can be used, you feel proud to be part of the community.

What is the most striking difference between a developed country and a developing country?

I have observed that most developing countries are more obedient than developed countries, especially on the aspect of environment. China and the US who really refuse to sign the Kyoto Protocol, that would expire soon, shows how the power of developed countries can also be abused. Philippines and Pakistan share the same status as developed countries and on the future, I am hoping that both our countries would be moving towards development for the betterment of its people.

What is the future of blogging?

Blogging is such an incredible kind of media platform. It has made an impact in different kinds of fields and it’s popularity is unstoppable. The future looks somewhat bright for the blogosphere. Some countries might find ways to create regulations on it and more bloggers might get imprisoned. I hope these doesn’t happens.

You have also got a blogging life, how has it directly affected both your personal and professional life?

My personal life changed dramatically when I returned to blogging last 2007. It was unbelievable for me to read a lot of e-mail from fellow supporters and critics with regards to my advocacy, meet a lot of fellow bloggers who, although some didn’t share my ideas, and made friends with more people. Then came the time that my name became synonymous to “Mar Roxas.” As a student, that’s quite flattering.

In the school, humbly speaking, they are all hands-up to me when it comes to blogging. I told them to blog also and contribute to the blogosphere. Now, I am currently running for our Supreme Student Government as a Representative and I am determined to connect our organization to the blogging community. In that way, we can be able to tell the whole world on what our organization is doing for the benefit of our fellow students.

What are your future plans?

I am planning to further expand the reach of my blog to spread my message from blogs to social networks and even on print media. In this way, I can be able to gain more people involved in my advocacy in urging Senator Roxas to run for President in 2010.

Any Message you want to give to the readers of The Pakistani Spectator?

You should be glad that you have a great blogger here who is making a mark in the blogosphere. I urge all of you to get involved in shaping the future of your country. Don’t just sit on the side and shout, clap, cheer or sob. Be the change you want to be. Also, please do drop by my blog, the Mar Roxas for President in 2010 and I would be glad to hear from you on how to improve it. Thanks!