George Babiano, better known as "The Pope" in the online community, hopes he's not using the pope's name in vain. After all, he just dreamed of becoming a priest and has always been fascinated with the Vicars of Christ. With this, he took the liberty of becoming popish and naming himself "The Pope." As life would have it, he did not become a priest but he's still a disciple, sowing seeds of kindness and faith everyday through Palipasan.
As a reader of Palipasan, I've been smitten with the subheading of the blog, "Aliwan ng Pagal na Isipan." If this description is not there, I would only adhere to the English translation of "palipasan" which is, can you guess?, "diversion" or "entertainment." And no more than that. But with the caption, the diversion becomes more of a comfort where tired minds and weary souls come to rest.
MEET THE POPE.
It's no wonder why Palipasan becomes a respite to all those who find and read it. It does not speak of the author's personal life. George makes it a point that the blog speaks about life, hope, and inspiration focusing on others - YOU, the Filipinos and the OFWs around the world. This makes Palipasan a true winner.
George, who hails from Paranaque City, grew up in Pasay City. Though he was educated in the slum areas, he nurtured a belief that life is beautiful. Indeed, it is.
Working as an aircraft statistician for a military organization in Doha, Qatar, he started blogging on January 2009 in an effort to combat boredom, depression, and perhaps insanity. From then on, his daily routine has dramatically changes. "Now, I have to allocate at least an hour each day to write, read, leave comments, and reply to other bloggers' emails. My email social activities has grown, having more friends to connect online," he said. He also acknowledges that his blog became a bridge to friendships. "Blogging is a dynamic and interactive activity; it is not just about writing and creativity,it is about sharing your thoughts and ideas, visiting blog sites, reading posts, and leaving marks and opinions. It is about connecting with people and building a community."
His effort and passion to blog paved a way for him to enter the Philippine Expats/OFWs Blog Awards 2009. He emerged victorious as Palipasan clinched the 6th place at the prestigious awards night. George shares, "The PEBA 2009 was a wonderful, memorable, and humble experience. It made me feel like a pro blogger when in fact I have a lot of things to learn considering that I was a newbie in the blogging world." Though judges and readers would probably have to disagree about the "newbie" part. He certainly writes like a pro!
George makes it a point to do his rounds on his favorite blogs. He lists his top three favorite OFW bloggers: "Kenji of Thoughtskoto, for his blogging advocacy in building a community of bloggers thus PEBA is born, CM of Dungeon Lord, a total blog addict whom I always admire his blogging charisma and Nebz of Isla de Nebz for his unique creativity and blogging style."
LOVE MAKES LIFE BEAUTIFUL.
CELEBRATING LIFE AND LOVE WITH HIS FAMILY
But more than being a blogger, George is a loving husband and a doting and responsible father. He's been an OFW for 19 years. Having lived most of his life in Qatar, George describes the country as his second home. "I was given the opportunity to bring my family here. My daughter finished her secondary education in Doha and my wife and son are currently employed as OFWs here." Of course, like most OFWs, he misses his relatives, his friends, and of course, the taste of authentic Filipino food.
He has this to say to his fellow OFWs. "Let us be proud of our race as Filipinos! With our talents, skills and determination, let us make our nation and our family proud of our global contribution in shaping the world."
So you see, when you park your browsers to Palipasan, you've arrived not just on a simple leisure park. You've reached an oasis where you'll learn that the best way to make it through life is to keep on learning, loving, and believing that indeed, life, no matter where it leads you, is always beautiful. Learn from the pope.
- Written by Janelle Vales
► Read The Pope's blog here.
► You can also read our other Spotlight feature here as well as those we've previously featured in our monthly Spotlight.