On the Big Bad Blogger, Georgia, the (PR) Firm, and What the Hell Happened
Our SPOT.ph blogger’s much-awaited reaction to the current Big Bad Bloggadocio.
The last few days have seen my text and email inbox light up, primarily because of this.
As always, with something this juicy and explosive, speculations abound and fingers point in every direction from Aparri to Timbuktu as to who exactly is the "Big Bad Blogger,"The (PR) firm, "Georgia," and what the hell happened.
I won't lie-I'm not going to come out and say I have no thoughts on this, or have the cleanest opinions about the food world, the scene and the people involved in it. No, I can bitch and point with the best of them, but ultimately I will keep my mouth shut, because I know deep down that all that bitching won't help anything and is really beside the point.
The truth of the matter is this: beside all the places who have mediocre food, we also have some very talented and hardworking people in our food scene. They truly want to make things happen, but the odds are against them, for whatever factors they may be: sky-high rents, indifferent cooks and wait staff, and yes, the controversial Wild Wild West known as the blogosphere.
Don't raise your eyebrows just yet, you lot-you can argue 'til you're blue that food blogs are only opinions being written, and they're great for information, and that you should form your own opinion-we all know that, but I think that a lot of people still follow some blogs religiously and even blindly. Certainly, that is an example of a blog's power.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are also the unscrupulous restaurateurs who, yes, are really sharks in aprons, and just want to take advantage of you and your hard-earned money. For example, since I know a thing or two about pricing, I really get pissed off when vegetarian items are even more expensive than ones with meat (a great excuse to just eat the damn meat instead, right?). They should definitely be called out.
The point I am getting to is this: if you notice many of the great countries and cities of the world, the ones with the great tourism scenes and happy locals, they almost always have a vibrant, eclectic restaurant scene-something that we, if we put our minds to it, are very capable of achieving. Imagine if we ramp that up to something at par with, say, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, New York, or San Francisco? Imagine the loads of tourists from even around the region, coming here to spend and eat? What would that do for the economy? How many jobs would that create?
Yes, I may be a bit naïve and a grand optimist in that sense, but it's a great dream, don't you think?
Bloggers can write anything they want, for such is the nature of the beast-but to me, if your purpose is to be read by many, putting your stamp of excellence on your work and leaving your mark by writing with a sense of responsibility and integrity-that's not really an option. It's a must. As for restaurateurs, they should rediscover the joys of practicing good service and good, honest cooking. I think that, too, is a must.
We have the capacity to police ourselves while our scene is still growing-writers report objectively on how things can be improved, restaurants go out on a limb to deliver the best food and best experience possible, and PR and money is kept out of it all-that way restaurants are kept on their toes and people's bars are raised. It's really a win-win situation, because it will only make things better.
Looking at things from outside the fishbowl, I see this whole scene as something we have to freshen up, revitalize, and be proud of-just like a lot of things in this country.
Payola for food? Hanggang diyan ba naman may bayaran? Cut that s*$t out. It's just food, peeps. Food is for nourishment, nostalgia, pleasure, sensual experiences, good vibes, and good conversation and taken in that context, that's why a lot of people are in this business in the first place. At the end of the day, it's how well you cook and if you serve with heart and passion that will set you apart.
In so many simple words, we have to work together even harder to make this scene work for us. It can be done.
And that's my final word on this. Signing off, the (trying to be kinda smaller) Big Good Food Writer.