I’ve organized several events and staged a number of plays over the years but nothing prepared me for the challenges we experienced while putting together our first bloggers ball. It was an uphill climb and the paths were all rough. But I am thankful because not one of us gave up and we finally found people who believed in us and in our cause.
How the CDO Bloggers 10th Anniversary Bloggers Ball Started
The idea of celebrating CDO Bloggers’ 10th anniversary with a bloggers ball actually came from my fellow officer, Edu Ragpala. His idea was to come up with an event where bloggers can get together and socialize. Since our VP for Events, Ruby Caberte, has long suggested that we do a food tour, it was decided that the ball was to be held on the last day of the food tour.
This was towards the start of the year when we had our first officers’ meeting. We, however, did not start working on the said events right away as we had other priorities to focus on. We only started working around two months ago – and it wasn’t easy.
Along the way, we encountered a lot of challenges, the biggest one of which was our venue. But we weren’t about to give up. Even if we had to hold our ball in the middle of the mall, we would do it. We just wanted it to happen because, well, we deserved a big celebration for our 10th year.
Last Minute Blessings
Fortunately for us, SM CDO Downtown Premier warmed up to the idea of us holding our event at the Downtown (BPO) Tower. They eventually said yes and that was all we needed to really start the ball rolling. Take note that this happened just a few weeks before the event. So, our friends at SM Downtown are really our saviors….a miracle from above!
“Rebels in Black & Gold: The CDO Bloggers 10th Anniversary Bloggers Ball” finally happened last Saturday, November 17. It was everything I expected it to be. Yes, we had last minute technical challenges but we didn’t allow this to dampen our spirits. I was quite worried and felt bad at first, but it was only for a brief instance. I saw how everyone worked together to make sure that our event would push through.
Our friends from Vital Audio (lights & sounds) and Mr. Louie Yee, who provided the projector and screen for the event, did everything that they could to remedy the situation. Without them, we would have partied with only candlelights!
More than anything else, however, what really amazed me were the people who were dressed in their best; ready to celebrate. Our theme was “Rebels in Black & Gold” and everyone really pulled out all the stops to make sure that they followed it. I saw a lot of beautiful and handsome ladies and gentlemen that night.
Our program hosts, Edu and fellow officer EmEm Aban, kept the guests entertained, especially when they started giving out raffle prizes.
Also helping CDO Bloggers celebrate was homegrown band Rockaholic. Their music kept everyone in good spirits.
For our feast that magical evening, we partnered with Restaurant Damaso, one of the best in Cagayan de Oro. Their crostini buffet is the only one of its kind in the city and it’s deliciously satisfying. My favorite, as always, is the homemade liver spread.
I never really eat a lot at parties, especially the ones I help organize, but Damaso’s buffet just kept calling me! I couldn’t stop eating!
Although we had no big and tall cakes or sweet cupcakes, our friends at Krispy Kreme Limketkai Mall gave us four dozens of their Original Glaze doughnuts. Of course, we feasted on them!
Our Special Guest
Every celebration has a special guest and ours was the witty and energetic Atty. Rufus Bautista Rodriguez. A solid supporter of the local blogging community, he spared a few hours of his precious time to celebrate with us. In his speech, he stressed the importance of social media and highlighted the role of bloggers and influencers, particularly in terms of bringing people and communities together.
While he is fairly new to the world of social media, he said that he has been spending quite a lot of time reading the messages sent to his Facebook page. He also believes that it is a good platform for sharing information about his projects, programs, and activities.
Towards the end of his speech, Rufus commended the bloggers for “constantly writing about and promoting Cagayan de Oro to the world”. He further added that as he is a writer himself, he understands the process one goes through when blogging – thinking of a topic, doing research, editing and re-editing, and so on.
Before going down the stage, Rufus congratulated CDO Bloggers on its 10th year. He also encouraged us all to keep on blogging – to keep on writing. “You have already proven yourself in the digital world. You will become increasingly relevant not just in Cagayan de Oro, but in the entire Philippines in the coming years.”
I’m sure that everyone in attendance that night – not just me – felt really important. It was a nice feeling knowing someone believes in the things we do for our city. Putting Cagayan de Oro in the map is, after all, the main goal of CDO Bloggers.
Another much-awaited part of last Saturday’s special event was the giving of special awards. Aside from the Best Dressed Male and Female (Lee I. Tan of Manolo Fortich Bloggers Association and CDO Bloggers’ very own Germz Nabua), we also handed out prizes to the most active pioneer and non-pioneer/non-officer bloggers, the May Forever sa Blogging award (to the husband and wife team of The Explorer’s Channel, Alvin and KC Curay), the Most Active Youngest Blogger, and several other special awards.
The most exciting part of the evening, however, was when the Blogger of the Year was awarded to CDO Mommy Blogger Ruby, followed by the drawing of the winner of a gift certificate for an overnight stay at N Hotel, which was won by EmEm.
Guests went home happy and satisfied that night because of the generosity of our sponsors. Special thanks to Ororama and Centrio Mall for the gift certificates, as well as to StreetBy for the gift cards (of which I won one!). You certainly made the evening more special and memorable!
All in all, after the challenges we hurdled, our first bloggers ball was a success. Our venue (SM Downtown BPO Tower), with its industrial look and feels, was perfect for the “rebels” we unleashed. And although we didn’t have a lot of glitters and we sat on simple monoblock chairs, we couldn’t help but rave about how beautiful everything was (despite the limited lighting).
Most of all, we were genuinely elated that many of our co-CDO Bloggers and blogger and media-friends joined us and celebrated with us. Even our guests from Manolo Fortich Bloggers Association and Iligan Bloggers Society joined in the fun! For a while there, we thought no one would show up (except us, of course!). We will forever be grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of our first bloggers ball!
Thank you to all our sponsors Atty. Rufus Bautista Rodriguez, SM CDO Downtown Premier for our venue (especially Ms. Ivy Guantero), Restaurant Damaso for the uber delicious crostini bar, Centrio Mall (for the Robinsons gift certificates), N Hotel (for the overnight stay gift certificate), Ororama (for the gift certificates), StreetBy (for the gift cards), Smart (for the delicioso porchetta), Krispy Kreme (for the four dozen Original Glaze doughnuts), Louie Yee for the projector and screen, Vital Audio (for saving us with their lights – and for the audio system), Odyssey Airport Vans (for transporting our non-CDO-based bloggers) and John Teves for the photos.
Endless gratitude also to our friends KC and Alvin of The Explorer’s Channel, Kim of CDO Dev, Dave of Urban Life-Mindanao Gold Star Daily, Manolo Fortich Bloggers Association (Lee, Heterae, and Keinly), and Iligan Bloggers Society (Xy-Za).
My biggest thanks go to my fellow CDO Bloggers officers – Ruby Caberte, Jenjacqs Agbon, EmEm, Judy Teves, Karen Chayne Sanchez, Phebie Normandia, and Edu. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! And, of course, to all CDO Bloggers who celebrated and had fun with us, daghang salamat!
Happy birthday, CDO Bloggers!