For a Tumblr meet up to reach 11 cycles in four years, it must be the persistent organizers, combined with sociable tumbloggers and a bond that will never get old. Tumblr Ala Eh has established a mark as the only provincial meet up to be this consistent throughout the golden years of Tumblr. We interviewed seven organizers (from the pioneer, the recent ones, and the first timers) to take us in the four-year journey of a gathering that made Batangas a meet up haven from here on out.
Take us to your first TAEMU experience. When and where was it? How was it?
BEBEN (@beben-eleben): I was one of the organizers of the first TAEMU with masterbaker held at Starbucks and Robinsons Lipa last October 2010. Some elbikadas (bloggers from UPLB) were present on our meetup and we were able to meet some bloggers from Batangas (finally) because I think there were only few Batanguenios who were blogging on tumblr that time. The meetup was fun since we were able to communicate with each other well because we had just, I think, 10 attendees. We played card games and hanged out inside the mall. For a little trivia, the time I was thinking of a general name for meetups in Batangas, I thought it would be catchy if I used TAE short for Tumblr Ala Eh.
AERON (@porchipor): Yung una kong punta ng TAEMU at kaunaunahan ko ring meetup sa talang buhay ko ay nung August 2011 ata yun. Hindi ko na tanda kung TAEMU # ano yon eh. Sobrang saya kasi first time ko at madaming nagpunta, maraming naging kaibigan at kakilala. At sobrang cool katulad ko nung meetup!
MARCO (@): My first taemu experience eh ung taemu4 na di pa ata naka 20 ung mga ummattend. Kaya ang dami ko nakuha souvenirs. Mga 3 pin at 3 keychain. Oh diba? Haha
PAOLO (@paolodee): My first TAEMU experience was TAEMU11. I can’t remember when, pero ang alam ko sa SM Lipa yun. Actually, dapat sa Sizzling Lomi ang punta natin pero nagpatak tayo sa Hotel La Corona sa tapat ng SM para magvideoke and have some fun. My first experience was fun, kasi dahil dun I have friends na from Batangas na super close na sa akin.
BRY (@brytamins): The first Tumlr Ala-Eh Meet Up I attended was TAEMU10. Also the first time I hold and organized such event. It was an unforgettable experience for me because I never expected the whole thing will work, from all the faulty ideas and childish thoughts of how a TAEMU event suppose to happen. It was held last October 28, 2013 at SM Batangas from 1:00 PM onwards. It went well and as the head organizer, I was very happy with the feedbacks coming from the best Ala-Eh bloggers and yes, I can’t still hide the fact that I was in awe seeing them in person. And from then on. TAEMU is a must attended event for me.
PERALYN (@pusongpera): First Taemu experience ko was Taemu4 sa Sm Batangas around August 2011 yun siguro. As a first timer I must say na sakto lang yung first meet-up na na-attendan ko. I met Yani, Maw, and others na naging friends ko na din outside tumblr. It’s like the usual “barkada hangout” kasi. Ewan ko nga ba, after namin mameet yung isa-isa parang naging instant close kami agad. Well maybe that’s a Batangeño thing (yung maging fc chos! haha).
Of all the Tumblr Ala Eh Meet Up you’ve been to, which one is the most memorable and why?
MARK (@marckbolero): Ako kase, dalawang TAEMU na yung na-organize ko na mag isa lang ako. TAEMU 8 and 9 so para saken yun yung memorable kase sobrang nahirapan ako.
BRY: The most memorable for me is of course TAEMU11, very fresh from all the TAEMU fanatics. We made it special starting from the place it will be held, up to the prizes and souvenirs each and everyone will get. What made it memorable is that it happened within the height of the Christmas spirit and everyone did enjoy what the efforts of the organizers have produced. The smiles of the attendees is already worth the hard work we gave to make TAEMU11 special and successful.
MARCO: Di ko makakalimutan yung 1st christmas party meetup ng ala eh. Masaya din naman yung meetup nitong huli pero angry bongga lang talaga nung first christmas party. Kung katulad sa glee na may uuliting kakantahin sa 100th episode nila, yung 1st christmas party meetup ang gusto kong ulitin.
AERON: Yung TAEMU 11. Unang una, kasi part ako ng organizer at first time ko maging organizer ng meetup. Pangalawa, sobrang daming bagong mukha at bagong kakilala ang nandun. Pangatlo, kasi may venue kami nun, syempre parang awesome ang datingan nun kasi Christmas Party na hindi lang sa tapat ng SM o sa tapat ng CBTL yung event.
BEBEN: Can I answer two? LOL. The first one was TAEMU 5 held at SM Batangas on September 2011. It was memorable because that was the first time that some bloggers from Manila attended TAEMU and that was the first time that the number of attendees increased compared to the prior meetups. The other one was the latest meetup (TAEMU11) held at Wanam Sa Bukid on December 21, 2013. It was memorable because it was the first time, we held a meetup inside a function hall with food catered by the restaurant. I think the attendees enjoyed well the program we prepared since there were funny adult games, awards to those who stood out that day and raffle prizes.
What was the hardest part of organizing a meet up?
PAOLO: The hardest part of organizing the meetup, siguro for me yung sa mga attendees, yung mga pasaway. Yung tipong, we gave them a lot of time to make sure na makakasama sila tapos magcoconfirm eh tapos na yung cut off. Medyo mahirap kasi pag ganun. And kaming mga organizers din yung nahihirapan.
BRY: Organizing such event without having no idea of what to expect is very challenging for me. Knowing that I broke the silence of the Ala Eh People from being snoozed off from the previous TAEMU events and gaining their interest back starting from the announcements and teasers from a not well known Ala Eh blogger is a hard job to do. Also compiling all of the requests of the attendees of how they wanted their TAEMU experience be held.
PERALYN: Well may downside din naman yung pagiging oraganizer. You are the one who’s in-charge of everything. Plus, nandun yung kaba if magiging successful yung meet-up or not. Pero at the end of the day, sobrang worth it naman yung hirap at kaba kasi makikita mo naman yung smiling faces ng mga attendees pati yung mga appreciation posts after meet-up.
What is it with Batangeños & Tumblr Ala Eh Meet Up that makes it one of the most interesting, consistent, talked-about, and attended tumblr gathering now?
BEBEN: Of all the meetups I organized and attended, TAEMU is the most interesting because I always feel the positive vibes on the meetup. We practice equality because we don’t care if you’re “tumblr famous” or not. As much as possible, we communicate to all attendees so that they may not feel being out-of-place. One thing I love about TAEMU, we don’t care about the posts you blog or reblog, but we just accept you who you are.
BRY: Maybe its because of the interest we give and how the past TAEMU events from 1 to present became a success. We all know what are the purpose of having these kind of meet ups, it is to gain more friends, not getting out of place and specially feel welcome by the company of the other bloggers in person. And in TAEMU, we bring the dashboard to life.
PERALYN: It’s a Batangeño thing. Kung gusto niyong malaman kung anong meron, go na kayo sa Taemu12. haha Pero seriously, feeling ko yung pagiging friendly, hospitable, and madaldal talaga ng mga Batangeños yun eh. Yung after ng first meet-up magiging friends mo na sila in and outside tumblr.
MARK: siguro dahil hindi kami yung basta meet up lang na hindi katulad na nangyayari sa ibang meet up dito sa maynila or kung saan pa.. gusto namin may nangyayari. tipong hindi masasayang yung pagpunta ng mga bloggers don sa meet up. not just a meet up, but a gathering na hindi makakalimutan ng lahat.
How do you see TAEMU in the future? Do you think the enthusiasm will live on? Any future plans for this meet up?
MARCO: Feeling ko, habang tumatagal lalong tumataas ang standards ng taemu so hindi ko masasabi kung gaano ka-bongga ang meetups sa ala eh sa future. Pero ang gusto ko talaga ma-push na taemu ay ung mala project x na meetup. Pagbigyan na natin ang kati ng mga tumblrista diba?? Haha kidding. We’re planning taemu goes to Enchanted Kingdom para naman hindi lang dito sa batangas. Explore din pag may time.
BRY: From all the feedbacks I got from the attendees. Based on the joy that they felt both Batangueños and Non-Batangueños from attending TAEMU events, surely they would regret it if they wouldn’t be able to attend the next TAEMU lined up. I can predict that the next TAEMU will have a massive number of attendees just because of how they enjoyed and treasure how was it in the previous TAEMU they have attended.
MARK: Naumpisahan na namin yung bonggang meet up at inaasahan na namin maraming magtataas ng epectation nila sa mga susunod na TAEMU, and yes pinaghahandaan na namin sya para hindi namin mabigo yung mga taong nanghinayang sumama nung 11 kaya sasama sila ngayong TAEMU12. Mananatiling maganda, maayos at organisado ang meet up na ito , lalo nat nanjan si beben na nagbuhos ng sobra sobrang effort maging successful lang. pati yung mga co organizers ko. And we’re planning nga na kung hindi SWIMMING eh mag EK kame sa TAEMU12. at sana mas maraming sumama. coz, we’ll make sure na ipaparanas namin sa inyo yung feeling na “ mga isang linggo na ang nakakalipas di pa rin kayo nakakamove on sa meet up.”
AERON: Mas magiging masaya at exciting ang mga darating na meet ups. Sana matuloy yung EK/Swimming Meetup sa Summer. Kaya sumama na kayo, kahit outside Batangas, we, Tumblr Ala Eh Bloggers will welcome everyone.
BEBEN: I don’t want to make TAEMU a weekly or monthy or quarterly meetup to preserve the excitement on every event. Twice or thrice a year is enough. I’m excited about TAEMU in the future and I strongly assure everyone that enthusiasm will live on. For now I have plans, but it depends on the external factors. Some of them are TAEMU on other towns in Batangas such as Tanauan and Taal. I’m also thinking about TAEMU on EK, collaboration meetup with other groups (I’m eyeing Laguna Tumblristas), sportsfest and Amazing Race Batangas. Hopefully, we may able to pursue this kind of TAEMU in the future.
(photos courtesy of Israel Lumanglas, Melvin Tordecilla, Faye Alcoriza and Paolo Dimaculangan)