Today, November 8, 2008, Bariles Republic is celebrating its first birthday, or in the world of blogs, its first “blogoversary“.

A lot of things have transpired since I first came out with my first post that day, which sported the boring title “Banana Snack Vendors at the Oval Covered Court”.

As I related before the participants of the 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit late last October, I began Bariles Republic as a photo blog about General Santos City.  I wanted to showcase the “positive” side of the Tuna Capital because, admittedly, a year ago, when one google searches about it, all that comes out are news from mainstream media about “bombings”, “terror attacks”, and the like.

Developmental news, if any are relegated far behind the searches, thus painting a dismal view about General Santos City and its environs.

That was why I made it a personal cause to do something about it, in my own small way.

Being a former overseas contract worker myself, I know that this would benefit not only my townmates but also those who are now based abroad and are hungry for good news about home.

So, I started blogging, and blogging, and blogging…… all for the love of General Santos City.

And, now, 268 articles/posts later, I am proud to say that Bariles Republic’s GenSantos.Com has already made it to the front pages of Google Search, landing among the TOP 3 RESULTS if you’re looking for “gen. santos“, or among the TOP 10, if you key in the longer “general santos” or the shorter “gensan“.

Click on the image of the screenshot below for a larger view.

And other than introducing the name “Bariles” to the blogosphere, this blog has also hugged the top pages search for that word.

More rewarding achievements also came in, even before I turned a year old.

First, in August 2008, Bariles Republic was awarded one of 2008’s TOP 10 EMERGING INFLUENTIAL BLOGS, a project of Ms. Janette Toral.

Then just this week, Ratified.Org, one of the top blog ranking sites in the Philippines, released its Top 100 Blogs in the country for 2008.  And guess what?  Bariles Republic also made it, landing #15 among the 2nd set of newer blogs!  Yeheyy!!!

And so to celebrate this milestone, my dear readers and subscribers, I AM RUNNING A CONTEST.

Here are the CONTEST RULES:

  1. First, you have to be a subscriber to be able to enter this contest.  The SUBSCRIBE TO BARILES VIA YOUR EMAIL Box is just below the list of Sponsors for the 2nd MBS on the right sidebar, waiting for you.
  2. Second, write your short and sweet greetings in the COMMENTS portion below this article PLUS your Blogoversary WISH(es) for Bariles Republic.
  3. A team of jurors will decide on the best comments and winners will be declared on November 12, 2008 at exactly 12:00pm (Philippine or Eastern Standard Time).
One of the priceless perks I have received in the past year while blogging me is meeting other bloggers and forging new friendships with some of whom I have met only in the internet.  And due to their magnanimity, they have agreed to sponsor Bariles Republic’s 1st Blogoversary Contest</strong> prizes and so here goes.

  • A priceless copy of Virtual Earner Video from Bob Martin, or now more popularly known as Mindanao Bob.  Bob owns the newly-reborn Mindanao Magazine and is one of my very first Internet pals whom I met in 1996, when internet connections were just dial-ups.   His wife Feyma, is a fellow Soccsksargen native, who hails from Sarangani Province.  I happen to be godfather of their 2nd child.
  • Three (3) bundled Domain Name and Hosting for one year from my blog mentor, Oliver “Blogie” Robillo, who as everyone must have known by now, is convenor of Mindanao Bloggers. Com and heads the group (The Usual Suspects) instrumental for the Mindanao Bloggers Summit, WordCamp Philippines, the DAVAO Food Appreciation Tour, among other blog projects.  These go to 3 winners.
  • Five (5) Domain Names from Jehzeel Laurente of Jehzlau Concepts.  Jehz’s blog is the Ratified’s 2nd Top Blog in the country.  We haven’t met personally yet but he is one of the nicest bloggers in the blogosphere, ready to help out newbies like me.
  • Two (2) Domain Names from Engineer Winston Almendras of BatangTechie.Com.  Winston’s other blog, Batang Yagit, won the Blogger’s Choice Award in the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards>.  He just recently passed the board for Electronic Engineers.
  • One (1) Domain Name from Job Oberio of NokiaHost Philippine Webhosting.
  • Two (2) Domain Names from photojournalist Toto Lozano.
  • One (1) Domain Name with 200 MB capacity from website designer Dennis Paul Custorio.
  • Five (5) Premium WordPress Themes from Cagayan de Oro’s ChiQ Montes of WP Theme Designer.  ChiQ, the best Pinay designer in her field, was recently featured in Manila Bulletin.
Thanks to you guys for making Bariles Republic’s 1st Blogoversary most significant and unforgettable.
So far, these are the prizes we have gathered and we are still open to accepting a few more from kind-hearted blogger friends out there who want to be linked here and join the fun.  Whoever you are, thanks in advance.
And to you dear readers, friends, subscribers new and old, Daghang Salamat.  Magkit-anay unta ta pirme dinhi sa blogosphere ug hinaut nga mupadayon ang pag-uswag sa atong pinalanggang GenSan ug Soccsksargen arun dili kita mahutdan ug topic nga i-blog! (whew!)

Happy birthday Bariles Republic!  Happy 1st Blogoversary!