Azrael Coladilla is a is the blogger of Azrael's Merryland. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media.
Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards.
He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, PBNetwork PH, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, and Philippine ToyCon. He loves traveling, eating, watch movies, meet new people, photography and collects Transformers toys.
Blog : www.azraelsmerryland.blogspot.com
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/azraelcoladilla
Multiply : www.popazrael.multiply.com
Google+ : www.gplus.to/azrael
1st Place Winner of the Buhay Coke Video blogging contest (2008)
Nominated Audience favorite nominee @ the Philippine Blog Awards 2007 (hindi ito award lol)
Most Influential Blogger for Luzon (Philippine Blog Awards 2009)
TV Appearances Extra Extra (GMA)
Kids on Q (GMA NEWS TV)
The Beat (GMA NEWS TV)
Jack TV Peep Show
Tribe (Net 25)
Convergence (Net 25)
Unang Hirit (GMA)
Umagang Kay Ganda (ABS CBN)
97.1 (We Are Anime segment)
DZMM (collectibles christmas show guesting)
99.5 RT (Toycon guesting)
Magic 89.9 (Toycon guesting)
“Learning never stops, and blogging provide me this.”
.:Annalyn S. Jusay (now blogging at www.annalyn.net)
This week we interview Azrael Coladilla, a graduating student of Far Eastern University who’s taking up Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Major in Computer Science. He describes himself as a freelance multimedia artist, convention and events organizer.
"I’m really hooked with the culture and arts, and my blog’s content is all about toys, comics, movies, events, music and technology." For more about him, check out his blog at www.azraelsmerryland.blogspot.com
Q. When did you start to blog? Did anybody influence you?
A. I started blogging last June 2003 and since then I became one of the active bloggers in the Philippines.A friend named Ariel Atienza of figuritivity.blogspot.com and Jaclyn Ting Lim of jactinglim.blogspot.com influenced me to blog, at first I was out of place when all of my friends blogged, I didn’t get the idea on why we should blog, until they guided me in making my own, then it already became my habit and hobby at the same time.
Q. Why do you blog? What do you like about this activity?
A. I blog because I want people to know that I exist. So that they will recognize me as an individual who is actively participating in different happenings. I can do lots of things to inform and entertain people who are in the Internet.
I like it a lot, especially when I post some personal events in my life, people can know me more by reading all of my post. Publishing my production notes and events diary, for my freelance work,. I boost up marketing and it helps my sideline job to expand. My blog is like a morning newspaper or magazine sometimes.
Q. What benefits do you derive from blogging?
A. It connects me to other people who knows me and people who are strangers to me but later on become my friends. Also I earned money from it too, and thanks to some online advertisers who truly believed that my blog is one big portal for everyone, a perfect ground for marketing and advertising.
Q. On the other hand, what do you dislike about it (blogging) if any?
A. When people crash by and start to bash you whenever you are caught off guard (offline) ,sometimes they do it on a regular basis, that’s why I changed my tagboard to myshoutbox.com, so that I can trace their IP address and block them or report them to their office boss for using their PC to bash me during office hours. It’s okay to have a personal comment in one post or have a natural reaction to one article, but bashing you and insulting your loved ones publicly is one different scenario for me.
Q. Do you still see yourself blogging five years from now? Please explain.
A. Yes, I can see that I may have my own domain and host for all my blog entries. Going indepedent from free web based blogging services. And readers will also increase.
Also having my own TV blog channel. Well it sounds so funny but blogging is here to stay and it is already a part of my life. Its already a time capsule, and my blog will remain here forever.
Q. How many blogs do you maintain? Would you recommend keeping multiple blogs?
A. Yes, I have lots of blogs, around 10 weblogs, all of them are active blogs, some of them are moderated by a group of bloggers. Others are personally built by me. But I maintain TransFormers Philippines (transformersph.blogspot.com), the live action movie is coming out next year. Next is the Philippine Toy Convention blog, (toycon.blogspot.com), the blog of our toy event and also all about the hobbyists and collectible toys, comics and anime.
It’s okay to have multiple blogs, it’s a way of dividing your audience and also the content. But if you have multiple blogs, make sure that you have a lot of time updating it and maintain it well, so that you won’t lose readership in the net.
Q. How do you choose which topics to post? What topics do you most often write about?
A. My topics are about me and the events happening around me. If a talk about movies, I will choose only the movies that I like, and later on make an entry of it or transform my blog into a movie theme. The topic is also about relationship with my life partner, Lace Llanora, she too has a blog ( suzakulace.blogspot.com) and together we sometimes post about what’s going on between us, the fun, the romance and sometimes the fight! hahahahaha.
Most favorite of the topics posted now is my video blog, it’s a new trend in the blogosphere. I tried one, and then later on people got entertained and also got informed about the latest update. Its like watching comedy news like John Stewart.
My favorite post for me is the production notes. People can see around on how I work and organize events and conventions. I can share to them my ideas and insights on the loops of being an event organizer.There they can see how hard it is and how I enjoy it. Readers can view behind-the-scenes of projects and sometimes the latest developments.
Now I am organizing the event for the 4th Annual Manila International Comic Creation Seminar on Oct 14-15 in Megamall. It’ a big production and putting it up on the web really increases the marketing.
Q. Your blogging habits...
A. Well, I post something that I like and upload photos, people love pictures and images, that’s why my blog is graphic intensive. I just share with them what I see by putting pictures. But blogging at night gives me more creative juice, and sometimes I can post 5 entries in one day, depends on the mood.
Q. Can you tell us more about your blog design and what platform you’re using? What makes you stick with Blogger?
A. I already got 4 blog designs when I started blogging and later on I composed my own design just to study all the html tags, but later on I scrapped it out after a long run and decided to download skins in the internet. The current design I used is a skin download and it stays for 2 years already.
I like Blogger, because they are user friendly and my entries and template are easy to maintain and manage. Also I don’t have any problems with bandwidth usage.
Q. In your own opinion, what are the qualities of a good blogger?
A. You should be responsible of what you have write in your blog, being original in all of the entries you posted and also giving credit to the photos and snippets of articles you used for your entry. Just be true to yourself and to the people who read it,so that you can gain more readers because they trusted you and they too rely on your articles sometimes for information.
Q. Can you tell us more about what kind of readers you have? What have been the feedbacks from your family and friends?
A. My readers are very open minded to everything I post. They are the people who supported me since I started blogging and now new readers emerged after googling their interest and then... bam!!!! found my blog. There are famous people who have read my blog, one of them is Neil Gaiman. It was a honor to see his email in my inbox, and later on I thanked him for the surprise letter and reading my blog. My family too, my mom,sisters, brother, cousins and aunts are my blog readers.
YOU BLOG ADDICT @ Inquirer.net
Azrael's online playground
To all bloggers who are interested in being featured, just keep on sending those e-mail messages. You could be the next YOU Blog Addict.
When and why did you start blogging and who got you hooked?
I started my blog "Azrael's Merryland" in July 2003. At first I used the blog to post all my angst, rants, anger and sometimes about my ex-girlfriend who left me. Instead of narrating all my stories to every friend I have, I told them to browse my site and read it.. Merryland is a happy place where all my friends stay with me in one Merry place. Azrael's Merryland was given to me like a fan club of a group of girls back in the year 2000. So at the time I decided to use it for my personal blog site at www.azraelsmerryland.blogspot.
Now my blog has evolved and has become a pop culture newsmaker because I organize events such as conventions, and have been involved in lots of activities such as comics, anime, cosplay, indie bands, film making and geeky stuff,
that people are tagging me now as the Tim Yap of anime-comic-pop culture.(Sheesh!)
A female friend told me to go blogging. She found out that I write articles in my anime-comic-pop culture online magazine, Omake Omake News Philippines. But instead of making an online magazine site, I just made my personal online journal for the public. Also I was convinced by my friend Ariel Atienza who has his own blog "In Between Panels" and Jaclyn Ting Lim of "Jac Strips For You." Ariel Atienza is the man who guided and taught me how to blog.
What makes a blog better than a regular website? Did you try putting up your own site before you started blogging?
Having your own blog is cool. I already published more than 10 website online and my blog seems to be the most successful of all websites I created. I just loved to publish anything, especially when it comes to my life and adventure stories. At first I didn't plan to put up my personal website. I'm into e-commerce -- I made an online shop that ran for three years, but after the death of my online shop I decided to put up my own site just for fun, after I saw all my friends have their own blog sites. I have a lot of friends and I want them to be updated on the latest happenings in my life.
Would you say that blogging is very addictive? How many people have you convinced to also start blogging?
Yes, it is very addictive! It is habit-forming. And because of that, I keep updating my blog site, sometimes daily. People sometimes react negatively when they find out that I haven't updated my site. My readers are the only one who push me to do this. Now I update it regularly, when I go to parties, events, gigs, dates -- everything that happens in my life, I put it there on my blog.
I have already convinced five people to make their own blog, and because of that I can see their true colors when I read all their posts.
How has blogging made a difference in your life?
It made me a web celebrity! And I didn't expect that. After a year, I have more than 100 hits per day, and now I've reached 34,000 hits. I don't advertise my site, people just browsed it, because of their interest in my article, and then they bookmarked it and visited it again the next day. It really changed my life a lot! Whereas before I had a blog, my life was so private, now my life has become an open book internationally. People know what I like, what I do, who I kissed, where I go and my future (false) wives!
It also enabled a lot of business deals and oppourtunities, gigs and freelance job offers. Now a friend who runs WAA!Soft an indie game developer, has made a PC game, "Azrael Adventures in Merryland." And I like meeting new people. For example, I met three different people who read my blog at a one-day Filbars event in Glorietta. I was shocked when one of them said, "Hey! You are Azrael. I'm reading your blog and I've been following your career."
What blogging software do you use? What makes it better than other blogging services?
I use the blogging services of Blogger and they are the best. I can change my layout, host it on any web server, and it's easy to edit and manage. For my layout, I used the original template of Blogger and then I enhanced it using Flash, Dreamweaver and Frontpage for a better surfing experience.
-- Joey G. Alarilla, INQ7.net
Visit Azrael's blog at www.azraelsmerryland.blogspot.
Got a blog? Then drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll check out your site. You could be our next YOU Blog Addict.
- How long have you been blogging?
I've been blogging for 5 years already, I started blogging in June 2003. and Azrael's Merryland ( http://azraelsmerryland.
blogspot.com ) is the first blog that I published.
* How did you get into blogging?
A friend comic artist, Ariel Atienza and Jaclyn Lim told me to try blogging and because that i love publishing stuff online like website, email newsletter for pop culture stuff. They taught me and showed me what is blogging and how to publish your own blog. for free!
* Which blogs do you manage, and what are they all about?
I manage many blogs, but I focus more on my main blog site, Azrael's Merryland ( http://azraelsmerryland.
blogspot.com), this blog runs for personal stuff only and then it evolves into a news site into a pop culture news blog for everyone, I still discuss many personal items about me and the stuff I do, but all of it are content-friendly and entertaining. So I don't worry even that I post Out of topic stuff to my readers, but still they are amused and it get to know more about me.
* Follow up: which is your main blog among those?
Azrael's Merryland, is my main blog site, because that I started with it from the beginning and I love the way it reflect more about me and the work I do.
* Does your life revolve around blogging, or does blogging revolve around your life?
Both, my life revolve around blogging, because my life turned me into something different when I started blogging and it changes me into this (points to my face) and also blogging revolve around my life, because all of the contents in my blog are from me, my interest, my knowledge, and mainly my LIFE.
* What do you like doing when you're not blogging?
Go to malls, eat in restaurants or hunt for the biggest hamburger or pasta. Play Nintendo Wii at home, play with my pet cats, reading comic books, listening to music, play guitar, hobby photography, and think of crazy concept and ideas and try to materialize it into something cool.
* What's your PC or laptop of choice (for blogging) and why?
I'm using a laptop, Compaq Presario C500, Intel Celeron M (Az reads laptop label )
Its one of my good choice for using it for work and at home, I saw my friend, RG Guanzon, got the first early models of it years ago and I like its big screen, soft keypad, Altec Lansing speakers and speed. I like also the new models like with the duo core processor, but its pricey for me and can't afford. But I'm glad my loving parents gave money to me and told me to buy my own laptop, its a super gift last I got from them last year, right after I graduated college in F.E.U. ( I took BS MATH major in Com sci )
* Know any great places with free wi-fi where you can just hang out and blog?
Its a hobby for me now to check out wifi spots in malls and restaurants. and then I wrote some experience to it in my blog. The most comfortable wifi spot to me is in Starbucks, Podium, wow they got the speed!, and every Saturday morning from 8am-12nn, I stay there and surf the net while I wait my partner, Lace, to log out from work at 12nn. Starbucks in Podium is a great wifi spot. You can catch me there sometimes staying in the couch area up in the 2nd floor of the cafe. (they got electric plugs too! )
Also Kape Isla is a great venue for wifi, we did the Jelly in Manila meet up once and I like the ambiance of the place. Also heard that Eastwood City has a free wifi too in some of their area.
* Other than your own, which blogs do you usually check out?
I check out blogs of my friends, and my vast network in multiply.com (that includes you Renzie! )
I have a big list here and I visit them everyday, there's a widget in my igoogle and I receive their RSS feed updates. Most of the blogs I read are themovieblog.com, epicfu.com, toyrewind.com, komikero.com, drawwriteplay.com, suzakulace.blogspot.com and many more.
most of the blogs I visit are more on the stuff I do for work and hobby, comics, animation, toys, tech, gadgets, and showbiz stuff hehhehe.
* What is/are your favorite social networking site/s?
Multiply.com is the best! Then I'm into Facebook.com and I concentrate more to it, because I just found a way that it gives benefit to me whenever I promote an event that I organize and its easy to invite people to come. Same goes to Multiply.com great site to promote my upcoming event 7th Philippine Toy Convention for June 14-15, 2008 in Megamall.
I still use Friendster.com, but its already like an old book that already stored in my shelf.
* What is/are your favorite social bookmarking sites?
I don't use social bookmarking sites. But I try to make my own, like using the Link post in Multiply.com. I use that tool for bookmarking a site and share it to all. I have Stumble, but haven't got an idea how that thing works hehhe.
* For you, what is/are the most effective way/s to drive traffic into your blog?
To drive traffic and get lots of readership for your blog, first start sharing your blog to your friends, family and classmates. Then publish a content that interests you, write what you love and don't force yourself writing content that gives you an uncomfortable mood. Visit other blogs, and make friends with the bloggers, publish content that will make them visit again, create your own buzz and identity from your blog, that way you can label a certain blog genre and meet readers/bloggers that have the same interest and content with you.
well, this is only what I observed when I did this when I started blogging and for me its effective
* What effective link-building tactic worked best for you and your blogs?
social networking sites is a great link building tactic, all of the people in socio-networking sites are spending a lot of time on the net, and it means that the traffic and target readers are in there. Go and join, then promote it there.
* What is your favorite blog widget?
the News feed widget, I used it one time and it display some news that I want to be posted in my sidebar, it looks good for your blog to see related news that is under your interest.
* What advice can you give to a newbie blogger who's just starting out?
For a newbie blogger, before you start blogging, you should think first if you have the guts and the responsibility to write and post a content that will be visible to hundreds of readers, if you are ready for that then you can now publish one. Some newbies are too shy in writing, especially to those who will reveal their selves in blog as the author. It happens only at the start, but when you gain readership be prepared for comments, reviews and critics from your readers, you will learn more about blogging from other blogs and bloggers too, just continue reading books, magazines, newspaper and blogs. It will give you ideas on how to write a blog post and have your own content, and warning - blogging is habit forming
* What's the best blogging habit you can share with fellow bloggers?
Thats a new content for your blogs, readers will be entertained or learn something when they see a blog post in video form. They can see the blogger talking to their readers in video and it will give you great interaction with fellow bloggers and readers
* Do you think this country needs more bloggers? Why so?
If a blog is all about Batibot. Then we need more bloggers for our country.
I haven't seen a blog about Batibot, about Pong Pagong and kiko Matsing. But I will be happy if I saw a blogger creates a blog dedicated to people who grew up with Batibot. Well its an idea but I really like to see blogs that has all Pinoy material in their post.
many thanks and credits to Mr. Renzit Baluyot for the 20 Q's
By Alex Villafania
COMIC books still appeal to many people, collectors and non-collectors alike. And if there's one thing that everyone loves, it's freebies and what more can make a comic book fan happier than free comics?
At the Free Comic Book Day celebration at Comic Odyssey in Robinsons Galleria, comic book enthusiasts lined up just to grab copies of the comic books. The event, which is an annual activity for Comic Odyssey, is aimed at reinvigorating the comic book collection community.
In an interview, Azrael Coladilla, co-organizer of the Free Comic Book Day celebration at Comic Odyssey, said dozens of titles were available during the event, including DC and Marvel comics.
"Comic Odyssey had stocks that also needed to be disposed so those were also given away as part of Free Comic Book Day," he said.
Coladilla also said this was the first time their event was live-streamed through the Internet, enabling people abroad to watch.
Another highlight of the event was the presence of renowned Filipino comic book artists Gerry Alanguilan and Edgar Tadeo, who were there to sign autographs and create sketches of visitors. Alanguilan, in particular, was signing copies of Graphic Classics, which were given away to the first 200 people who attended the event. This issue of Graphic Classics features art and cover by Alanguilan.
Coladilla said the event will become a regular activity as long as there are comic book enthusiasts in the Philippines.