And a Blessed Christmas to you all
By Raïssa Robles
I would like to greet everyone a Blessed Christmas and to thank you all from my heart.
Since I put up this present site a little over a year ago, the 332 stories I have published here have been viewed a total of 3,035,101 times.
This would not at all have been possible without you all, visiting and discussing daily, and forming a community that aspires to create a better nation to hand over to our children and grandchildren. In the course of the year, we have referred to this round-the-clock gathering from all parts of the world as our “CPM” – Cyber Plaza Miranda.
Before I go on, I would also like to thank my hubby Alan who edits the content, making sure that sensitive stories are complete before I upload them, writing the heads and suggesting story structuring. He has guided my efforts in more ways than one. On top of cooking me gourmet meals everyday. Yes, he does :) Yum.
I also want to make a confession, especially to those who frequently post very incisive and well-researched comments on my site. I did not want to divulge this earlier because I didn’t want anyone to feel conscious, including myself.
But now it’s time to tell you all. That your comments are often read by senior government officials and politicians of all stripes. I know because some of them have personally told me so. For instance, I happened to bump into presidential adviser on political affairs Ronald Llamas during ex-President Joseph Estrada’s pre-birthday party. Llamas told me he read all the comments on this blog.
The funniest comment I’ve received came at the height of the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice (CJ) Renato Corona from Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. I met her for the first time during the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit. She told me, with a very deadpan face – “Love ka ni CJ.”
I did know how to reply to THAT ONE.
Looking back, I now realize that the first joint project of that MOA between the Ombudsman and the COA was the meticulous analysis of CJ Corona’s movement of money in and out of his various bank accounts as captured by reported transactions to the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
This year was a very heady, exhausting roller coaster ride for me, punctuated by a foot sprain and a visit to a hospital emergency ward. But I would not have it any other way.
This is the year I came to know all you guys – perfect strangers before these – and now my eager and jolly boon companions on this dream of a better country.
What can I say?
I am blessed.
A reporter’s life had always been a lonely, even monastic one. That is, until the Internet, blogs and social networking sites were invented. Suddenly, a reporter like me has become part of an interactive community like our CPM.
Next year, I expect our CPM community to grow by leaps and bounds. I can’t do this alone.
We’re in this together.
Before I close, I would like to thank as many of you for not only coming together but sharing your thoughts, your dreams and your criticisms on this site.
There are also some who gave me vital information that contributed to the disclosure of new facts during the CJ Corona trial. I especially want to thank someone who doesn’t want to be known by name, because he said he wants to contribute more information in future investigative reports.
I would also like to remember one of us – Elena Lemi – who left us all too soon. She passed away on May 15, 2012. Here is how I came to know about it.
Based on the statistics provided by Akismet (which filters away spam and virus-filled comments), the most number of comments came from:
Leona – 2,660 comments
Johnny Lin – 2,622 comments
Mel – 1,735 comments
Baycas – 1,684 comments
Victin Luz – 926 comments
Many, many more contributed to the oftentimes lively discussions (and if I did not mention your name, please remind me).
I just managed to cull the names from the latest 132 pages of comments — there are actually 3,079 pages of comments.
I am sure there are thousands more visitors out there who are just lurking, hesitant to post any remarks. I encourage them to join one of the most vibrant and fun online political communities in this country.
I thank you all.
Among the names I managed to extract from the first 132 pages of the 3,079 pages of comments are those of:
Guy With A Blog
Tomas Gomez III
john c. jacinto
priscila sereno -reyes
Muhammad Eisa de Jesus
AUGUST C FERNANDO
REY NATHANIEL IFURUNG
Annie von Nebenan
J – 12
Santa Monican Pinay
Manuel C. Diaz
edgardo m. oreta
Antonio Yang III
line of flight
rallie f. Cruz
Jak n d’box
In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to share with you two photos I took. The first one (above) is a painting of the Nativity I took inside the Cathedral in Siena.
The second one (below) is a photo I took of my favorite Cathedral – the one in Assisi, where my favorite Saint is buried.
Here is an excerpt from the movie “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” shot on location there.
And below that is a song from the same movie which expresses how I feel about this blog and our ever-growing Cyber Plaza Community. We have to build democracy stone by stone.