THIS week, your news tunnel, the MWBuzz, marks its second year as an online newsletter focused mainly on the affairs of Mambulaoans and their municipal government.
It was launched on November 12, 2011 as Mambulaoans Worldwide Buzz, or MWBuzz for short.
I and my buddy Percy A Ostonal of Michigan, USA (Batch '66, JPHS), would like to thank our readers for continuously taking interest in what we report.
It has always been a tough grind to produce an edition every month, since the source of our stories are all coming from Mambulao and we are overseas.
It was different when I was in Mambulao and directly talking to the sources -- Meyor Dong among them.
As a journalist, it was easy for me to find important stories and they were plenty but away from the awareness or consciousness of our Kababayan.
Right now, our distance from the source of raw information that we believed important to our readers has made it truly difficult for us to decide whether to report it at all.
This is because verifying the veracity of such information has been quite difficult.
And individuals – including those in the municipal government – who have the information proved to be uncooperative.
MWBuzz wanted to report on the Mambulao government’s revenue, budget and spending, healthcare, livelihood, security, etc etc – matters that online Mambulaoans would be interested to read.
But those in the local government, including Meyor Dong, seemed jealously guarding such information.
They may say that all are posted on the municipal bulletin board at the first floor entrance to the town hall for the world to see, but that doesn’t really work.
As I have observed during my stay at the town hall, nobody among the ordinary people who visited the municipio bothered to take a look at those documents posted on the board.
Who would bother about the municipal government’s financial report, budget reports, technical reports and many more.
First, everybody would be busy chasing papers on the counters of a particular unit of the municipal offices to stop in front of the municipal bulletin board and have a look
In short, only very few would really know what those documents posted on the board really meant.
Unless, they are translated into English, explained their significance and disseminated to the general public.
The local government will never do this. Even its own website has remained inactive, with all the stale postings. This website should have been used to inform on what the LGU is really doing. But it has become a big waste of resource.
They would say: We can do it on Facebook.
We have reported events that became staple on Facebook, particularly the one operated by several groups of Mambulaons who are based either overseas or in town.
We believe that whatever postings that appeared on the Facebook sites of our fellow kababayan would just remain a posting with no impact to the readers unless it was reported as news on MWBuzz.
When the bridge linking Parang and the poblacion was finally completed and opened to traffic and pedestrian, a posting about it on Facebook just became an ordinary Facebook stuff.
However, when we reported it as news, it assumed an added value and the impact and value of the story to the readers climbed several notches, as if it was only happening now and they were reading about it for the first time. And there was urgency in the news.
Despite our handicap in logistics, we will continue to look for stories that deserved to be carried on this online news.
We will continue to advocate the protection of our environment – the Mambulao Bay, the beaches and the community where our families, relatives and friends live.
We will continue to write about problems besetting the community and the people and try to find the solution.
We will stay connected with you, people.
-ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
Editor and Co-founder
November 12, 2013