A TRIBUTE TO PINOYEXCHANGE.COM
Okay, first of all, PinoyExchange is very much alive and kicking. I’m not saying goodbye to it nor is it saying goodbye to us.
This particular entry just merits my sheer love and appreciation for the longest-running Pinoy online community, which has become an influential avenue for Filipinos all over the world to “speak their mind” (as their previous tagline suggests) about various issues talked about and dealt with in the society. These issues range from the most serious and pressing matters shared within the political, religious, professional and academic circle to the lighter and more personal topics that revolve in a typical Filipino way of life.
Obviously, it’s about Pinoys exchanging ideas, thoughts and interests by interacting with, fighting with, and teaching/learning from each other.
Founded by Dr. Michael Nolledo (username: “batanguliran”) in 1999, PinoyExchange (or PEX for the more familiar) has grown to become more than just an online forum over the years. It does not only offer key information and valuable knowledge on different “topics under the sun” but also serve as a significant channel to unite Filipinos in interest-sharing, critical thinking and unabashed assessing on the most challenging issues of the modern times.
I’ve been a member of PEX since 2003. But prior to that, I was already a member of our university’s own online community, which first introduced me to the world of online forums. Right then, I was easily fascinated with the exchange of ideas and preferences between various types of people. The feeling was altogether thought-provoking, overwhelming and fun as you go along with it. It was even addictive at times as it demands all your attention, away from homework and weekly readings for school. Along the way, I realized my fellow Thomasians clearly are an opinionated lot. We were talking about school and student affairs, the ridiculously difficult (and often unnecessary) subjects, the professors we respect or frown upon and other issues around the country and the globe which we think merited a student’s point of view.
However, I felt that the avenue I was in was too “constrained” for my taste as I only get to converse with people who were studying or studied at the university. In the most opportune times, a friend introduced me to PinoyExchange, which at that time was where he’d particularly spend a lot of time dissing and teasing haters of the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe (for which my friend and I were both fans of.) He told me to join him so we can both kick a freakin’ ass or two.
Of course, I was curious enough to check it out. FYI, I wasn’t intending on the possibility of waging war with other university students. They were bitter. Period. That was all I knew and wanted to point out to my friend. I was most convinced to join because it seemed like the perfect opportunity to extend my online forums heydays to a notch. This time, it’ll have a wider coverage, encompassing thousands of people not just living in the Philippines but also abroad. It’s a welcome change as being a daughter of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) also sparked my interests to know more about how the Filipinos are doing on the other side of the planet.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Today, PinoyExchange has become more aggressive at promoting this unique hub for quality thinkers, opinion makers and key influencers in the country. It now has 249,398 members, 302,860 threads and 24,873,894 posts. Loads of corporate advertisers have recognized its effectiveness in terms of reaching out to their targeted publics. (I’ve forgiven the frequent downtime because of the availability of avatars. I know, shallow. :D)
Through PEX, I’ve come to know great people along the way and even made friends with some of them. These people I came across with in various topic threads where we share our random POVs. My frequently visited threads delve on basic interests like In The Zone, Music and Radio, International TV and Movies and Arts and Literature; “scholastic” matters like The Realm of Thought, The Academe, Local And Foreign Issues; daily social and personal affairs like Love Courtship and Marriage, Buhay Pinoy and Family Friends Society and interactive threads like Campus Chat and Small Talk. In Small Talk, we also get to enjoy a little Petiks time with its array of short Q&As and games. Once, I also signed up and was chosen to participate in a Survivor online fantasy game based on the popular reality TV show. I was busy with school, though, and didn’t last longer than I had hoped for. (Benj was a co-player during that installment. In fact, he was the one who got me voted out. LOL Remember your “my tribe” declaration? 😛 During the game, he kind of had a reputation with everyone. I won’t elaborate anymore. Haha!)
PEX also triggered my once-closet fangirlism. Sometimes, I hate myself for being so gaga over someone or something that it seemed almost ridiculous. But knowing that there are people like you who also get obsessed over a show or something, it makes you feel normal around these people. It makes your excessive fixation forgivable.
I only got a few encounters of abrasions from the flames and the trolls who only post at PEX for the stupidity of it all. A heated (sometimes too personal) argument is an unfortunate staple in this community. The longer your patience and the tougher your composure, the longer you’ll survive. Just like life in general.
Although at one point I did take a hiatus over PEXing around 2006, I always find myself checking it out once in a while during that time (read: LURK). However, I started actively posting again the moment I realized that I feel like I’m missing out on something. (Once you’re a member, you’ll get to appreciate the fact that sometimes PEX (pre-blog phenomenon) gets faster and more comprehensive information than our national dailies.)
When I came out of the said hiatus and went back, I discovered how much I’ve changed, judging on the previous and current posts I made. Looking back at previous threads and re-reading my previous comments, some of those beliefs I shared before were no longer intact with me. Those issues I used to disagree with, I now employ in my life. It’s part of the big change, I guess. And it’s nice to know that PEX has the technology to keep your thoughts when you need to reassess at one point in your life.
Some of the PEXers I knew are also some of the smartest people I’ve come to know in my sweet existence. Those who are not only intelligent, logical and eloquent but also who have shared a wonderful story of success or failure that have inspired me. In PEX life, it’s not just about the braggadocio of knowing a thing or two about something. It’s not just about vanity. It’s not just about getting extensive information on the latest Cinema Francaise films or the US Presidential campaign. It’s not even about having the best-viewed and top-commented threads.
It’s also about being able to share what you know because you want to and you need to. It’s also about helping someone make sense of certain situations and letting them know that there’s another way out. It’s about having your experiences teach someone so he/she can learn from them.
It’s not just about conversing with strangers. It’s about communicating with people.
Disclaimer: Hah. This is hardly a commercial for it. @_@