Marahil marami sa aking mga kaibigan, kamag-anak, kapit-bahay, ka-barangay, kabatch, ka-alumni, ka-facebook at ka-lahat na (assuming lang na concern sila) ang nagtataka kung anong ginagawa ko dito sa America?! Ako rin kaya hanggang ngayon ay may mga pagkakataon na naiisip ko kung paano ako nakarating sa punto na ito ng aking buhay na tatapak ako sa teritoryo ni Uncle Sam.
Ang pasimuno sa lahat ng labas ko ng Pilipinas ay ang aking pinakamamahal na samahan ang YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association). Noong 2012 naghanap sila ng dalawang kabataan na kakatawan sa Pilipinas at babansagang “Change Agent”, at naghagis ng swerte si Lord at isa ako sa mga nakasalo, yung isa napunta sa Pangasinan at nakuha ni Marvin Tapiador na staff ng YMCA of Pangasinan. Ang mga Change Agents ay mga piling 220+ kabataan mula sa mahigit 80 na bansa na makikibahagi sa pagbuo ng bagong imahe ng YMCA bilang pangunahing samahan na naglilingkod para sa mga kabataan.
Noong 2012, kasama ang mahigit 40 na kabataan sa Asya at Pasipiko ay pinadala kami sa Sri Lanka kung saan kami nakipanirahan sa isang komunidad na naapektuhan ng digmaan. Noong 2013 ay nakilahok naman kami sa Europe Youth Festival na ginanap sa Prague, Czech Republic at dito namin nakasalamuha ang 200+ na kabataan mula sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng mundo at nag-aral tungkol sa pamumuno at sa mga gampanin namin sa mga susunod pang buwan.
At ngayon nga sumapit ang pinaka-highlight ng aming pagiging Change Agent, matapos ang maraming online meetings, seminar at assignment sa pagitan naming mga Change Agents, oras na para maglingkod kami bilang facilitators sa 18th YMCA World Council dito sa YMCA of the Rockies, Colorado, USA (may Pinay na nagtatrabaho dito graduate ng FEU, tsismis ko lang) mula June 29 hanggang July 6, 2014. Ang YMCA World Council ay ang pinakamataas na pagpupulong ng mga pinuno at staff ng YMCA mula sa mahigit 120 na bansa.
Kaya ko bang sagutin ang lahat ng gastos ng mga labas ko ng Pilipinas?! isang malaking HINDI! kaya ganun na lamang ang pasasalamat ko sa Panginoon sa pagkakataon na ibinigay sa akin bilang maging Change Agent ng YMCA sa Pilipinas. Sa aking murang edad ay narating ko ang ilang bansa na hindi gumagastos mula sa aking bulsa. Ang YMCA mula sa global office (World Alliance of YMCAs sa Geneva, Switzerland), regional office (Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs sa HongKong), YMCA of the Philippines at YMCA of Manila ay nagtulong-tulong upang tustusan ang tatlong taon naming pakikibahagi sa Change Agents Program mula sa pamasahe, pagkain, accommodation, registration at pocket money. Isang pamumuhunan sa paniniwalang kami ay gagawa ng mga kapaki-pakinabang na bagay para sa aming kapwa kabataan sa pamamagitan ng YMCA. Isang responsibilidad na aking isinasabuhay.
Ang aking pagpunta dito sa Amerika ay isang pangarap na hindi ko inaasahan na mabilis na matutupad. Ang aking nararanasan sa mga gawaing ito ay nagbibigay pa sa akin ng ibayong inspirasyon upang ipaglaban ang karapatan at pakinggan ang mga nais sabihin ng aking mga kapwa kabataan. Sa pagkakataong ito ay napatunayan ko na hindi lamang pera ang maaaring magdala sa atin sa ating mga pangarap, sapagkat higit sa lahat ay ang ating pagsusumikap at paniniwala na sa bawat pagsubok na ating kinakaharap ay may biyayang kaakibat.
Sa aking mga susunod na blogs ay ibabahagi ko ang aking mga karanasan dito sa Ameika. #MissingPinas
On Sunday, May 11, we will celebrate a day full of hearts, as we honored the greatest women in our lives on Mothers’ Day. Let me share some facts about my Nanay (Mother) that not everyone in our community knows.
My mother is called Edith, Aling Deth or simply Nanay, but her real name is DELITA PARONI SAN RAMON. She is 62 years old now and a surviving spouse as my Tatay died in 2010.
Sharing about her past, she was born in Tacloban, Leyte. Unfortunately there are secrets in the family that up to this moment that are not yet revealed in the whole clan.
Since childhood Nanay was not cared in by my real Lola (Grandmother) because of the fact that she is a love child. My Lola met another man when my real Lolo (Grandfather) died, so, my Nanay was left in the custody of my Auntie. The most painful part of it is the truth that up to this moment, my real Lola still treats my Nanay as her sister, never her daughter. Anyway, since then they never lived near from each other.
Living with this drama on my mother’s life, I pitied my mother so many times. My real Lola is still alive and already a widow from her second husband but still living on the lie and saving her face from the shame of having a child from her first husband or I am not sure, boyfriend. My Lola has three more children, but out of these three, no one knows the reality that my mother is their half-sister. As well as, our cousins don’t know that they are our cousins; the only thing they know is that we are Facebook Friends or a long relatives.
Another story on the past that I discovered is that our eldest brother, Michael is a son of Nanay from another man. I knew this since my Brother Michael rest with God when I was just 10 years old. As the saying goes, history repeats itself, but Michael is lucky, my father accepted and treated him as if, he is his own child. Michael was baptized and registered after my father’s name.
On the brighter side of things, I believe that her experiences as motherless pushed her to be the best mom to us, her children. I have four siblings, Michael, Edwin, Catherine, John Paul, and I, as the youngest. Our family doesn’t live in a silver plate, instead we live in a box space where every part of a house can be found. Our humble space transforms from dining, living and bedroom at night. That space gave Nanay the opportunity to serve us as best as she can as she can easily hold us with that small distance.
As I am writing this, my mother is in the house, currently suffering from headache, back pain and dizziness since Monday, I gave her medicine still the pain doesn’t go away. So I promise tonight, I will have her sleep at my side and give her the sweetest hug a child can give to his mother. I don’t have all the solutions to her problems and struggles, but I have the gratitude and concern for her strength and forgiveness every time we, her children, go the wrong way.
The fact that our mothers bear us inside their wombs for nine months is already a great manifestation of their love for us. No amount of money can pay the sacrifices that they made for us. We should never be ashamed of showing through our words and gestures how much we love them especially on Mothers’ Day.
To the workers who do everything for us for 24 hours, 7 days a week even without payment, SALAMAT PO SA AKING INA, SALAMAT SA IYONG INA at SALAMAT SA LAHAT NG INA! (Thanks to my mother, to your mother and to all mothers).
BIG QUESTION WALL. A freedom wall was installed during my participation to the YMCA Europe Youth Festival last August 4-10, 2013 at Prague, Czech Republic where young delegates can ask God any question that they may think about.
Salubong or the Easter Vigil is a traditional celebration of Filipinos where the Black Veiled statue of Mother Mary welcomes the statue of the Risen Lord as angels sings Alleluia. Then, an angel (child) or for some, a bird will fall on top of Mother Mary and unveils the black cloth that covers her to signify the end of agony. Colorful confetti, flying birds and fireworks will give colors to the celebration of the Easter Sunday.
This reaction paper was submitted to my Public Relations Class in College year 2010.
Background of Information/ Additional Perspectives
Wag the Dog (1997) is a satire film produced by Barry Levinson and written by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet. The story is based on the book American Hero by Larry Beinhart. It’s about how the media manipulates the people to believe on a certain issue.
The plot is based on a president who faced an accusation of having a sexual act with a young girl aka Firefly two weeks before the elections. But before the issue turns to a big burden to the candidacy of the president, Conrad Brean (Dustin Hoffman) as a spin doctor, with Anne Heche as a White House aide, manipulate the public into believing there is a war going on with Albania with the help of Stanley Motss (Robert DeNiro) a Hollywood producer. Their team-up produced a pseudo war in Albania by a fake video where an Albanian Girl (Kirsten Dunst) running from the small town, which was being bombed while holding a small kitten in her arms while screaming, and the only person who could resolve the situation was the current president. This video was seen worldwide on CNN.
The president heroically ends the war and his compassion and exceptional leadership qualities are presented through the mass media to the people, winning back their faith.
2. Situational Analysis
I will used the variation SIP
The people of America are the target audience of the propaganda to distract their attention away on the scandal of the president with a young girl. The movie shows that people are somewhat easily swayed by information given by the media even without criticizing or confirming if it’s true.
In the movie, government used the public sympathy for their own cause. The propaganda was creatively delivered to the public with the enforcement of patriotic songs and a story of an old shoe. The people go with this campaign without even thinking that were just staged events.
Film industry has been used to increase the awareness to the people on the possibility that politics is actually controlling directly or indirectly the media. It was a call to action to be critic on every news or information that media is serving to the people.
Different techniques in film making were used to emphasis some messages visually to the people. The use of light in the private conference room of the elite group of the president’s advisers creates an atmosphere foreboding corruption and deception.
The story encircles on how the government influences the public to believe them even they are telling lies. This shows how the government holds a big power to control the people. This power is actually abused by some political leaders for their self-image satisfaction that will put them in the bright-side of the eyes of the public.
The character of the president in the movie was actually dramatic that his face was not shown on the first part of the film, the shots are actually just revealing his back, it was a mysterious metaphor about his character. He only appears to deliver a speech prepared by a Hollywood producer.
Politics was shown in this film as the art of media manipulation.
Public Relations is actually shown in such a bad way in this movie. PR is about giving benefit mutually to the organization and to the people. But in the film, the propaganda was just made to retain the good image of the president from a bad deed he made. This action of his advisers is an ethical because it was constructed to fool the people’s perception about the president; it doesn’t serve the truth for the public.
The good point in the propaganda is the creativity of the president’s advisors to produce different strategies on a certain time that battles back the tactic of the opposing group of the president. They took some action based on the moves of the opposition.
Personalities were also used on the propaganda such as singers and composers that gave more impact to the people. It was a good publicity to the campaign when they used music to encourage people to indulge themselves on the campaign making their attention away from the scandal of the president.
The story in this movie is said to be same with the sex scandal of President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, and the hasty bombing of some minor African cities. There is a part in the movie when Stanley said that war is show business. War is perceived as a great event to get the focus of the people. It is used as an underlying excuse on a certain issue involving higher officials of a state.
Fooling people sometimes leads to some legal suits that may put someone inside the jail. The worst case scenario is that powerless people are the victims of these suits.
The advisors of the president are some of the people who will serve the need of his client even compromising the truth for the people. It is somewhat unethical to swayed peoples perception on a certain issue just denying that it is not true even though their client is really guilty about an offense.
Another thing against the norm in this movie is that Brean used some people to be part of his what we called “pageant” even without explaining the purpose of their part. Characters such as a little girl and her kitten in the war-ravaged Albania are created, as are the heroic tale of a suffering American soldier left behind by his troops are just mask of some people who were blindfolded by Brean and Stanley.
Wag the Dog places a heavy emphasis on the power of media in our modern society. It represents new level of understanding of our mediated world and induces overdue contemplation of our society’s obsession with media in all its manifestations.
Government can exploit the used of media for its self-interest. The movie awakens us to be aware of the propaganda and moral bankruptcy of politicians, never place our trust unquestionably on the media, a system that welcomes corruption and exploitation by politicians.
5. Personal Learnings and Insights
This movie made me believe about the tactics done by the government to put the people’s attention away from an issue they are held responsible.
I believe that Pres. Arroyo already watched this film that is why there were some instances where she is on a spotlight of controversy and then there is another issue that will flood the screens and airwaves to distract the Filipinos about the shenanigan. I still remember when the issue on Charter Change was shifted to the decreased of Rice Supply in the country, and the news was highlighted to the moves of the government to surpass this problem.
The same tactic is used when an ordinance in the City of Manila to retain the oil depots in Pandacan was tackled on the sessions. Oppositions were raising the danger of these depots but the news was overlap by a resolution in the city council focusing on the advantages of these depots on the economic area of the city. But I can say that the one who really got a big advantage on this issue was the councilor who was the author of the ordinance, as if she didn’t got any big amount from oil companies.
The movie for me is a reflection on how politicians grabbed the opportunity to abuse media for their own cause. It was also a chance for everybody to be aware on every event involving politicians.