This guy, Bob "MindanaoBob" Martin, is actually famous for promoting the Philippines not to his fellowmen in United States but also in the world by his top emerging blogs and websites. He was one of the keynote speakers of this year's BlogFest SOCCSKSARGEN 2.0 with a theme, "The Emergence of Blogs and Social Media".
Martin shared his life before he engaged in blogging especially promoting Mindanao to the world. It was in 1990's when internet was introduced to them. He has no idea about the internet, communicating with other people with the use of e-mail (he said that it took 30 minutes to send an ordinary e-mail to someone, it was as slowest as the dsl line) until he found out that he could do something better with it. He was responsible for posting insights about Mindanao, particularly in General Santos City (2nd for having a website in Mindanao that time, Davao being the 1st) promoting the island on how beautiful, wonderful and lovely the people are. He was also responsible for creating the first website for Mindanao, www.MINDANAO.com
He always come to Mindanao until his family decided to live in General Santos in 2000. After several months, he established his own internet cafe business (one in RD Plaza and second in East Asia Royale Hotel) using a satellite to have a high speed internet connection (well, not that really fast compared to this generation). Until his family decided to move in Davao because of terrorism activities happening in General Santos but it was not a hindrance for him to stop blogging about Mindanao. It was a challenge for him that Mindanao, as an island, is really safe to travel.
Since 1990's, Martin already visited 24 out of 26 provinces in Mindanao, including some of the dangerous places such as Lanao Provinces, Tawi-tawi, Sulu, and ARMM Provinces. Well, it was really dangerous to travel in those places especially if you're a foreigner but Martin find it not that scary or dangerous, at all.
Because blogging is now trending in this generation, Martin encourages young and professional bloggers to keep on blogging positive vibes about Mindanao, interesting facts, foods in order to promote the tourism of the place, and to replace the bad news with these stuffs. Martin started nothing but when he explored Mindanao, everything's changed. He put it on the web, people read his posts, and he influenced people to come to Mindanao to invest, to relax or perhaps, to live. A good example is the www.GENSANTOS.com by Mr. Avel Manansala, where he keeps on promoting General Santos to the world and now, one of the emerging and influential bloggers in the country.
The second version of BlogFest SOCCSKSARGEN was made possible by Fat and Fab Brothers of the Philippines, Mr. Avel (www.gensantos.com) and Orman (www.gandaeversomuch.com) Manansala in cooperation with SOCCSKSARGEN Bloggers. Co-Presentors Dole Philippines, Inc., Sagittarius Mines Incorporated, Circle of Arts Productions and Smart Telecommunications were there to support the event. Not to mention the help being extended by Gold Sponsors AirPhil Express, ACLC College, the GSC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Local Government of General Santos City, and the Department of Trade and Industry - Region 12. Official Hotel SunCity Suites, Sarangani Highlands, Google Philippines, GMA Network and ABS-CBN were also there to make the event possible.
BlogFest SOCCSKSARGEN 2.0 is considered as the biggest gathering of bloggers in the Philippines, with almost 100 bloggers from different parts of the Philippines, including bloggers from Iligan, Davao, and as far as Iloilo, Cebu and Manila, and was attended by eleven intelligent and highly-respected speakers in the country who shared their knowledge about Emergence of Blogs and Social Media.