Written by Bam Alegre
For our first year, we wrote sixty articles. I wrote the first entry on June 5, 2014 entitled Father Figure, a short piece about my early years as a father. The second article was another brief creative piece entitled BLANKet that got merged with another love-centric article written by Dawnavie Dadis called The Art of Moving On. For our third offering, we had our initial taste of travel with Lian Buan’s Siem Reap, Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder.
Sophia Balod then followed it with Bullies Everywhere, an anecdote about how bullying affected her brother despite the fact that she was once guilty of being a bully herself. Up next, Apple Gamboa wrote Quick Response to outline her reasons why she love her work as a field producer for the GMA News TV newscast Quick Response Team — and why she had to leave.
Adventure was the theme of the next set of articles. Jervis Manahan wrote about how he overcame his fear of heights with Conquering Pico de Loro. Justin Joyas then followed it up with the creative nonfiction piece Why I Chose to Run.
Social issues were discussed in the next batch of articles with Toni Tiemsin writing Lupang Tinubuan to talk about the agrarian reform problems in the Philippines. Edma Remillano opened up about the delicate state of the LGBT Sector in the Philippines with LGBT Pride: A Constant Struggle.
With all the authors of SubSelfie.com contributing their first set of articles, the rotation reset back to me. I shared a two-part series about the journey I went through to become a television reporter. It started with Reporter Notes: Prequel which talks about my life as a news researcher and segment producer and it culminated with Reporter Notes: Year One, a rundown of my ups and downs as a freshman journalist.
The next set of articles brought our viewers to various travel destinations. Dawnavie Dadis wrote the wildly popular Mt. Pulag: A Guide for Hikers and Broken Hearts. Lian Buan was in England back then and thus she wrote A Love Letter to London. Sophia then recounted her exhilarating experience via Cagayan de Oro: Rapid River Thriller.
Lian then wrote another travel prose piece while in London entitled Where Shakespeare Lived, Loved and Died — about her travel to the place of birth and death of William Shakespeare. Justin then shared a poignant tale of recovery and respite with The Legacy of Mount Pinatubo.
We also received guest posts from media practitioners, with entries coming from former GMA News reporters Isay Reyes (Tambay Chronicles) and Micaela Papa (Stories We Leave Behind). Mica’s article was the reason why SubSelfie.com was nominated in the Freshly Pressed recognition of WordPress.com.
The millennials were at the forefront of the series of articles that followed. Jervis wrote about art in his his highly daring piece Nude Photography to Abstract Paintings. Apple wrote about how she was moved after visiting a charity activity for orphans with Tagaytay through Innocent Eyes. Toni shared words of wisdom in the article Note to Self (and Colleagues).
Stories from school dominated the next batch of articles. Edma recounted her zeal back in UP in the article Tibak: Confessions of a College Activist. Dawnavie remembered all the years she spent as a student of the people with the piece Iskul Bukol: The Reality within Public Schools. And in one of the first viral articles of SubSelfie.com, Sophia wrote about the anonymous story of her college friend when she aborted her baby in the feature Abortion in the Philippines: A True Story with 8,000+ views.
Jervis then narrated his passionate love affair with theater arts with the article Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Man.
This established momentum for more viral stories for SubSelfie.com back in July. Lian started the ball rolling with the controversial Why Manila Is Better than London. It amassed over 6,500+ views.
Just a few days later, I published another thought proviking article entitled The Problem with UP. It generated 14,800+ views.
The ensuing article also received viral attention for SubSelfie.com with Dawnavie’s Beks Factor: Loving a Man who Loves Men. It had 3,400+ views.
Another article that made the viral list is one that is centered on a list. Jervis wrote Ten Ideas I Never Learned in College and it was an instant hit reaching up to 11,700+ views.
Edma went out of the country for the first time and saw three countries all at once — Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. She narrates her experience in the article Travel Virgin: Lessons from Indochina. PBA Courtside Reporter Ceej Tantengco shared her love for South Korea with the travelogue DMZ: The Border Between North and South Korea.
Back home in the Philippines, Sophia remade her investigative TV news reports for Saksi into an online article called President Noynoy Aquino’s Report Card. From this article’s overtly political tone, Justin segued with the deeply personal The Science of Sadness: Overlooked Signs of Clinical Depression which got 3,400+ views.
Rappler reporter Allan Lazaro contributed the nonfiction piece Wild Card about an enigmatic love. Toni describes a different kind of love with his tribute to his stint as a segment producer with Oda sa Telebisyon.
A series of depressing stories about current events filled the pages of SubSelfie.com in August. Lian reposted about the suicide of a UP student in Kristel’s Battles. Apple discussed and dissected the silent epidemic that is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome with Living with AIDS — a story that takes off with the experience of an actual person living with the condition. The story generated 5,400+ views.
Then in an unfortunate turn of events, the cousin of our fellow SubSelfie.com author Jervis became the victim of a gruesome rape and murder. With his personal perspective, he wrote Of Rape and Demons: The Story of Anria Espiritu that has the most views in the site with 66,000+ hits. I wrote a follow-up article The Burial of Anria Espiritu: Justice and Death Penalty that had 23,900+ views.
GMA News reporter Dano Tingcungco wrote an in-depth profile about the subject of his thesis — The Myth of ‘the Butcher’ Jovito Palparan. Edma published a follow-up article about the disappeared ones entitled Desaparecidos: The Effects of Their Mysterious Abductions.
The serious tone had a quick detour with the introspective article by former GMA News segment producer Ronin Bautista entitled Frustrations of a Photojournalist.
Sophia wrote about Love in the Time of Martial Law just in time for the commemoration of Proclamation 1081. For his first article for SubSelfie.com, Ephraim Aguilar wrote about his life back in Bicol with the gripping Inside the Danger Zone of Mayon Volcano.
Dawnavie had thoughts about all those flimsy promises of love with the article Before You Promise Forever. Lian took the romantic tone of heart stories and focused on its literal meaning since the Philippines has numerous heart casualties with A Nation of Broken Hearts.
Lian and I co-wrote together to create the article Caught in Conflict: Golan Heights and Trapped Filipino Soldiers, discussing our peacekeeping forces in Israel. Lian then had another co-writing project with Toni for VFA and the Murder of Jennifer Laude — focusing on the death of the transgender in Zambales that was killed by an American soldier.
Dulaang UP had a partnership with SubSelfie.com and I wrote the review for one of their plays Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini with The Truth About Apolinario Mabini.
In an unprecedented move, SubSelfie.com had four authors collaborate in one article and it resulted in Indochina: Four Tales of Heartbreak.
For the remembrance of super typhoon Yolanda, I narrated my experience in the field when I covered in Leyte with the article Ormoc and the Onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda. This was followed by an entry I wrote about a disturbing crime I covered, entitled The Murder of a Minor in Malabon.
SubSelfie.com ended the year with a controversial article revealing the life of contractuals with the feature entitled The Life of TV Networks from Edma. This was followed up with the story of an introvert who just lost her job because of the problem with contractuals. She wrote the guest post Quietly Out of Place that generated 5,300+ views.
We closed the year with a captivating story from Toni Tiemsin after his field work in Visayas right after typhoon Ruby entitled Eastern Samar: Matapos ang Unos.