Get Real Philippines was started by benign0 as a page hosted on the seminal but now defunct community Web site Geocities.com accessible through the address www.Geocities.com/benign0. The site was originally named “An Honest Evaluation of Filipino Culture” and consisted of various short articles questioning the rationale behind Filipinos’ being beholden to certain cultural artifacts that, seen from a different perspective, actually reflected dysfunctional traits that contributed to a continued failure to prosper. Its creation was also largely inspired by similar amateur sites springing up all over the Web at the time calling for then President Joseph “Erap” Estrada to resign.
On the 1st of August 2000, a logo bearing an image of the Philippine islands and the words “Get Real!” splashed on top of it was uploaded. Since then, use of the original name declined in favour of this catchier phrase. The 1st of August 2000 is, today, considered to be the founding anniversary of Get Real Philippines (GRP). On the 10th May 2001, the thread An Honest Evaluation of Philippine Culture was opened in the pioneering (and now largest of its kind in the Philippines) message forum site PinoyExchange.com. It was in this forum that the first core team of “getrealists” first met and collaborated on various initiatives revolving around the key concepts that underpin “getrealism”.
Notable works published on GRP since then included Manuel Gallego III’s “Zero Population Growth” and PinoyExchange.com netizen Remington870′s “Blueprint for Our Future” both in 2002, Mike Portes’s “What’s in a school” and Orion Pérez Dumdum’s seminal “Key to social change: Enlightenment of the Elite“, both in 2003, as well as Ben Kritz’s “Does the Philippines Have a Dick” in 2007.
On the 8th of February 2005, Get Real Philippines registered the domain GetRealPhilippines.com. Migration to the new domain, however was not to be completed until the 27th October 2009 when Yahoo! finally decommissioned its Geocities service. In that period, Get Real Philippines remained a partially-migrated Web site, with content in both the GetRealPhilippines.com and the Geocities.com/benign0 domains becoming increasingly interlinked as new content was added. Luckily a robust migration solution was found and the site fully migrated to the new domain in time for the shutdown of Geocities.
The essence of Get Real Philippines was finally laid out in book form on the 31st of July 2006 with the release to the public domain of the e-book Get Real Philippines Book 1 which could be downloaded for free from the site. The book was well-regarded by the public with the Noted One himself, blogger Manuel L Quezon III calling it among “the most provocative works in the past twenty years”.
The Year 2008 was a glorious year as it saw three significant milestones for GRP. First was the November opening of the e-zine GetRealPhilippines.NET where the elite articles — the most substantial and timeless — of GRP are published. The second was the establishment of the GRP Channel on YouTube where top-notch original video productions showcasing “getrealist” ideas in moving pictures are broadcast to the Net.
Third was when GRP Web master benign0 on the invitation of Nick Cugtas forayed into blogging on April 2008 writing for the collective blog FilipinoVoices.com (FV). FV was voted among the “Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs” in 2008 and for a time was the most successful Filipino blog of its kind. Benign0 went on to write more than 200 articles for FV, coming up as one of the (if not the) most prolific of its writers. It was there that the GRP team came across Warlito “BongV” Vicente who was then an avid commentor there and had contributed several articles himself as a guest writer.
Backed by encouragement from the “getrealist” community, BongV went on to found AntiPinoy.com (AP) on April 2009. Together with the other key creative forces behind GRP, benign0 then focused on writing for AP, again going on to become one of the site’s three most prolific writers along with BongV and then blogging newcomer Ilda. Benign0 also designed the original and iconic Juan Tamad logo of AP. Other authors and content designers who contributed mightily to the rise of AP were BetterPhilippines, ChinoF, Filo Efaielo, Mike Portes, Huseng Batute, Ben Kritz, Iya Justimbaste, Rafterman and Orion Pérez Dumdum.
The timing could not have been better. Buoyed by the election fever of 2009-2010, AP soared on the back of brilliant insight and exposés on the true character of the campaign of then presidential candidate Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as well as groundbreaking perspective provided around other issues and, of course, the cultural character of Filipinos. Together with Arnel Endrinal’s radio show Sentro ng Katotohanan (Centre of Truth), which channeled AP/GRP insight into the airwaves assisted by the voice talents of Orion, Iya, Chino, and Ben Kritz (anchored by Arnel himself), AP and GRP became a force that the Mainstream had to reckon with.
In 2011, the official blog site of Get Real Philippines, Get Real Post, opened for business and promises to continue delivering the same groundbreaking insight that GRP’s thousands of fans and followers have come to expect and demand of the GRP team.