I am from Mindanao, a very proud son of Mindanao!

One week from now, bloggers from different corners of Mindanao will converge in Davao City for the staging of the most anticipated Awards Night of Mindanao Blog Awards 2013, a Mindanao-based award giving body that aim to recognize the best blogs from Mindanao, of Mindanao, by Mindanaoans. This blog, THE TRAVEL TELLER, is this year’s Best Travel Blog Finalist.

IMG_79461When I launched this blog sometime in 2011, all I wanted was to separate it from my old blog Olanology and solely dedicate it to chronicling all my adventures and misadventures traveling around the Philippines and beyond. Getting an award or even a little recognition was never on my mind. But like most travel bloggers on the blogosphere, I wished that my blog can make a difference – promote places mentioned on it, inspire people to go out and travel, and somehow help change the negative perception of a particular place especially my very own Island of Mindanao.

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On the same year, six months after I launched it, this blog was adjudged as the Best Travel Blog for Mindanao 2011 by the prestigious Philippine Blog Awards. It was also a finalist to PEBA International Blog Awards on the same year. Last year, The Travel Teller shared the coveted spot with 9 other Finalists to the Good Blog Awards 2012. Being nominated and chosen as finalist was already an achievement, winning was a bonus. It was a humbling experience that has inspired me to be better at what I’m passionate about – travel, photography and blogging.Mindanao Blog Awards  (5)

Today, being chosen as finalist to this year’s Mindanao Blog Award 2013 for Best Travel Blog category gives me another reason to be grateful. As you know it, December of 2012 up to the second quarter of 2013 was a roller coaster ride for me dealing the aftermath of Super Typhoon Pablo that hit and devastated my hometown of Cateel. While I considered this blog as a travel blog, I utilized it as a vehicle of change in seeking help for our people and letting our cries for help be heard. I used it – along with social media – to gather aid and support for our town and our people. Thus, I am thankful that through this blog, our voices were heard – help reached us. I am grateful that I was able to use this blog as channel of help.Mindanao Blog Awards  (3)

Being on the list sharing the same spot with brilliant travel bloggers from Mindanao (Renz, Lai, Nanardxz, and Remo), is such a great honor. Like these awesome souls, I share with them my profound hope in changing that dreadful sweeping generalization about Mindanao and see our beautiful islands as most important tourist destinations in the country. I know this is never easy but our collective efforts slowly help in letting the world see the genuine beauty of Mindanao.0003

To all who nominated and voted for my blog becoming the MBA 2013 Finalist, salamatay gayud kamayong tanan. To the organizers, thank you for recognizing the unsung heroes of Mindanao – promoter of peace, beauty and progress of our island.

My name is Olan. I am a proud blogger from Mindanao. I am a proud Mindanaoan.




And last Saturday, October 26, 2013, during the Awards Night of the Mindanao Blog Awards 2013 held at the Marco Polo Davao, The Travel Teller was proclaimed Best Travel Blog Winner.

To everyone who follow this blog, my trails – SALAMATAY GAYUD KAMAYONG TANAN! Special thanks to Kevin Pacquet of Pinoy Teens for accepting the award on my behalf. Pinoy Teens VIP is the proud host of The Travel Teller.