Saturday, February 18, 2012

Intramuros Bloggers Challenge 2012: The Wrap Up

Intramuros Bloggers Challenge 2012.

I thought at first that this project was an impossible dream. In the second module of my online classes at the Ateneo-Digital Filipino Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur Program, we were only given about two weeks to create a campaign for our blog. My blog is about Intramuros and in my mind, there’s just no other way that I can truly promote it but to let others experience the beauty of the Walled City by themselves. From the start I know that it is going to be an event for bloggers who shall be experiencing the Walled City and then create blog posts about it.

And yes! It turned out how I envisioned it to be.

IBC 2012 Official Poster | [Creatives by Cristel Diaz]

Three days of creating a full campaign plan. Ten days of making cold calls to potential sponsors and donors and convincing them to invest on my humble project. Three days of encouraging the heritage-loving bloggers to join IBC 2012. Two days of implementation. And then at last! All my efforts paid off. And this is my wrap-up post.

This post- I’d like to fill with my overwhelming gratitude to everyone who supported my project from beginning and until the end and for agreeing with my belief that there is so much to see within the Walled City- that the whole wide world deserves to know about.

First of all, I’d like to thank my Ateneo-Digital Filipino mentors, Ms. Janette Toral and Ms. Fleire Castro, for patiently answering all my makulit questions and countless Facebook messages asking for tips and advices on what should be done and what more can be done. They are my greatest motivators and cheerleaders for getting this project done. Without them, I am not sure if I will have my own initiative to think about creating a project like this- in the middle of my work and other personal responsibilities.

But it turned out to be one of the most fulfilling things I have achieved as a blogger. Thank you so much, Ms. J and Ms. Fleire!

Our first Google Hangout | [Photo Credits: Ms. Fleire Castro]
Secondly, to IBC 2012’s generous donors and sponsors. I can’t imagine IBC 2012’s Food Blog Challenge without the FOOD and the Travel Blog Challenge without the TRAVEL. Your “yes-es” made all the difference for this project and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being our “gateway” to get inside the “Walls”. Thank you Sir JC of Barbara’s Restaurant, Sir Carlos of Celdran Tours, Jeff of Mabuhay Guides, Mr. Sta. Maria and Sir Georgy Porgy of Castillan Tours, Sir Jun of Intramuros Administration and Sir Lito of Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. To my friends- Dan of URC’s Payless Pancit Shanghai, Ate Wyeth of Starbucks Philippines, Ruth of Ruthilicious and Kuya Jonel of To my family and to my ever loyal co-organizing friends who helped me during the event- Gian, Iris, Cristel and Marco. You are all gold to me! I thank God for you all!

Ms. Lorna Quion and Mr. JC Delos Reyes of Barbara's Restaurant
Mr. Carlos Celdran of Celdran Tours

Mr. Jeff Velasco of Mabuhay Guides

Me with Mr. Geronimo Sta. Maria and Sir Georgy Porgy of Castillan Tours

Intramuros Bloggers Challenge 2012 is, to the truest sense of the word, an event for bloggers. Without my ladies and fellas’ from the crazy and beautiful world of Philippine blogosphere, IBC 2012 won’t be the same. You are the letter “B” in IBC 2012. It CAN'T be and WON'T ever be just- IC 2012!

The bloggers posing with the management team of Barbara's Restaurant

I’d like to thank you all for always being excited, for always having the need “to be there”, for always having that insatiable itch to express and share your thoughts to the world through your blogs, for taking extraordinary pictures which I can only wish I took and for crafting words that create positive impact and influence – I THANK YOU. This project is for you and for Intramuros. You are the modern-day bricks and mortar of the online world. The old Walled City called for our help. Thank you for responding with me.

Florencio Jusay, Jr., a blogging participant, dancing Tinikling with a Kultura Filipina dancer 

Let us all hope that in our own little way, we can usher many to discover what’s within the Walls and to experience the same beautiful experiences that we have had within it. Kudos to all of you!

Briefing the Travel Blog Challengers

Above all, I thank the Almighty who is the source of all beauty, creativity, gratitude and positivity. Thank you, Papa, for this wonderful experience.

San Agustin Church, the oldest church in the Philippines and the only surviving structure within Intramuros during the World War II

With all pride, I’d like to share to everyone the blog posts created by the participants of the Intramuros Bloggers Challenge 2012.

The Food Blog Challengers at Barbara's Restaurant

Food Blog Challenge
February 3, 2012
Barbara’s Restaurant

It was jampacked that night at Barbara's Restaurant

Binausan, a Filipino folk dance that requires great amounts of balance and grace. We were wow-ed by this performance that night.

A Spanish-inspired dance by the Kultura Filipina dancers

Tinikling, a Filipino folk dance that uses bamboo poles

Intramuros 1, the exclusive tranvia of the Intramuros Administration official and guests

Travel Blog Challenge
February 5, 2012

Redge of Starbucks Intramuros initiating a coffee tasting that day

Ms. Racquel Flores of Intramuros Visitors Center before the 12-minute video documentary about Intramuros

The facade of Fort Samtiago with the image of St. James of the Moors

A painting of the last few days of Jose Rizal by the National Artist, Carlos "Botong" Francisco
The paved floors of Calle Luna and Rela de Palacio near Plaza San Luis Complex

Reminders: The Best Food and Travel Blog Entries shall be declared very soon. Please keep yourselves updated with IntramurosManila.Asia blog. Also, the Photo Challenges shall be rolled out in a short while. Please bookmark this page or follow the blog through these social networks:

A blackboard with special messages from the blogging challengers for me. Thanks Kathy for this awesome surprise!

Thank you and hope to see you on the next Intramuros Bloggers Challenge!


  1. Congratulations Mark! You dreamt big and you got it! :) Keep dreaming BIG and HIGH! Aim for the universe!

  2. Congratulations Mark! This is just an inspiring story. You see, blogging is not just about company events, celebrity encounters and all other perks - it's doing what we want and inspiring others. :) I wish I were there to learn and experience new things. I am positive there will be second round for this ;)

  3. Hi Mark,

    Its my pleasure to be part of IBC 2012 basta kailangan mo ng quality PICS at write up you know where to contact me. (wag you mag alala di ka mabibigo sa akin)

  4. Congrats mark! thanks for making me part of IBC 2012.. beacuse of this, i stated my blog.. i will forever be thankful to you.. good luck Mark and God bless!! :)