By Walter Ang Contributor "What does it mean to be Filipino?" is a question contemplated by Gigo Alampay, executive director of the Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (Canvas). Having lived abroad for a number of years, he said, “Without judgment, Americans find it easy to say who they are. Here in our country, it’s sometimes easier to answer ‘What is a Batangueño, or what is an Ilocano?’ than it is to answer ‘What is a Filipino?’ There may be some stereotypes for regional identities, but at least there are characteristic identifiers. However, as a nation, sometimes it’s not easy to figure out who we are.” He added, “There’s a notion that our lack of national identity may be one of the reasons why some people feel the Philippines has not really lived up to its full potential.” The center’s latest endeavor is the “Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project,” an exhibition of artworks by some of the best contemporary Filipino artists who attempt to provide visual answers to the discussion. “The project aims to collect at least a hundred artworks that will be reproduced as tarpaulin banners that will then be displayed in two highly accessible and pedestrian-friendly venues,” said Alampay. “The Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project will showcase some of the country's best creative talents. Artists, graphic designers and photographers have been asked to express their idea of the Filipino identity,” he said. “The project is designed to engage visitors with its art-driven messaging about the Filipino identity. It will be a new kind of experience that allows visitors to view and appreciate great art as well as explore important social themes in a non-intimidating, relaxed, and creative environment.” The first 40 to 50 original works that will be reproduced as banners were launched at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The artworks will be on display until June 7. This original artwork exhibit will transfer to the Alab Art Space gallery (Intellectual Property Philippines Building along Buendia St., Makati) on June 8. Meanwhile, the first outdoor banner exhibit will be at the end of May at the new Philippine Pacific Rim Friendship Park in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The second will be in June at the University of the Philippines' Academic Oval in Diliman. “Just in time for opening of classes and Independence Day,” he added. Canvas has been actively involved with The Pacific Rim Project to build a Friendship Park in Puerto Princesa. Architecture and art students from different countries like China, South Korea, the United States, Russia, and Mexico were flown in earlier this month to interact with counterpart Filipino students. These volunteers will design, present to the city government, and actually build the whole park under the artistic supervision of leading artists, architects, and urban planners in just 30 days. After the park is completed, it is given as a gift to the citizens of the Pacific and to the host city. All parks are for the public and are directly connected to the Pacific Ocean. The park will then become part of a network of Friendship Parks ringing the Pacific. There are already four parks in US, Russia, China, and Mexico. To date, participants in the Looking For Juan Outdoor Banner Exhibit include Buen Abrigo, Leonard Aguinaldo, Daniel Aligaen, Reynaldo Amido, Mark Arcamo, Moralde Arrogante, Anton Balao, Jeho Bitangcor, Plet Bolipata, Elmer Borlongan, Malyn Bonayog, Serj Bumatay, Michael Cacnio, Buen Calubayan, Jeff Carnay, Salvador Ching, Marika Constantino, Salvador Convocar, Dansoy Coquilla, Geronimo Cristobal, Jigger Cruz, Don Dalmacio, Kawayan de Guia, Anna de Leon, Crisanto de Leon, Maan de Loyola, Farley del Rosario, Robert Deniega, Anthony Fermin, Tina Fernandez, Karen Flores, Liza Flores, Emmanuel Garibay, Juan Sajid Imao, Agang Maganda, Lotsu Manes, Josue Mangrobang, Roel Obemio, Wilfredo Offemaria, Jr., Marcial Pontillas, Anthony Palo, Anthony Palomo, Jay Pacena II, Jucar Raquepo, Omi Reyes, Iggy Rodriguez, Tres Roman, Kirby Roxas, Mark Salvatus, Julius Samson, Andoi Solon, Aner Sebastian, Angelo Tabije, CJ Tanedo, Rex Tatlonghari, Palma Tayona, Jomike Tejido, Juanito Torres, Ian Valladarez, Wesley Vallenzuela, Migs Villanueva and Liv Vinluan. Selected students from the UP College of Fine Arts, members of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, various creative writers, as well as a number of graphic design and advertising studios, are also involved. After the end of the outdoor banner exhibits, the banners will be recycled by two women's communities in Antipolo and Laguna into tote bags and sold as original works of functional art. Proceeds from the sale of the tote bags will support Padyak, a UP Mountaineers-led movement to promote environmentalism and cycling as a healthy lifestyle.
May 2009 Archives
(Editor’s note: INQUIRER.net found this item by lpgd in the blogosphere—at www.betterphilippines.com—interesting and tracked him down. lgpd agreed to post this item, originally entitled “Basic Respect and Communication,” on the INQUIRER.net blog, but asked that he keep his anonymity.) By lpgd The ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) did a great job of giving the general public a chance to get to know more about some of our presidential hopefuls. The station provided real public service with that ANC Leadership Forum. I wasn’t able to watch the live telecast—only the replay and just parts of it so I didn’t catch all that was said. However, I did hear enough to be able to form an opinion about the first batch of participants, namely Senators Richard Gordon, Mar Roxas, Francis Escudero, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, and Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio. Judging how they responded to the questions asked of them, I would rank the participants this way with 5 being the lowest. 1. Panlilio 2. Teodoro 3. Gordon 4. Roxas 5. Escudero Without referring to the validity and political implications of their responses and just focusing on how they addressed the questions, I would say that Panlilio and Teodoro did well. I felt that Panlilio was the most candid. I also appreciated Gordon’s responses although I thought some of his answers were a little too wordy and circuitous. As far as these three are concerned, I’d say they did not disappoint at all, communication-wise. On the other hand, I think Roxas and Escudero proved themselves to be bad communicators. Neither one of them provided any real substance with their responses. Roxas even thought it was appropriate to inject his “lalaban tayo (we will fight)” campaign slogan in his closing message. He did it in bad taste. Fortunately, for him, Escudero was even worse. To most people, Escudero would probably sound like he is making real sense. But if you really listen hard to his statements, you will easily realize that there’s really nothing there. I’m sure the young senator has the brains, but unfortunately he chooses not to show it. Instead he wastes his and other people’s time—precious airtime included—with his oppositionist, motherhood crap. Interestingly, Escudero got some of the biggest applause from the mostly young audience. This is a telling and troubling sign that Escudero’s worthless verbiage is working. It’s that or those who clapped for him were just gullible or plain dumb. At this point, I would like to reiterate that this is not about the validity or the political implications of the statements made by Escudero and the other participants. My only focus here is whether or not they can communicate sincerely. In my book, Escudero failed miserably in this regard. Why am I making an issue out of this? It’s simple. I equate sincerity with respect. A person who talks to you without any sincerity is basically disrespecting you. He is basically telling you that he doesn’t hold you in high regard; that he looks down on your intellect; and that he is convinced he can get away with giving you his bulls__t. It’s even more insulting if the person talking to you in such a manner is asking you to give him something as important as your vote. I wonder about the forum audience present at the Leong Hall of the Ateneo de Manila University. They applauded Escudero’s crap. Were they not insulted at all by his manner? I sincerely hope that come 2010, all Filipino voters will have already learned to demand respect from politicians.
By JOEL GUINTO INQUIRER.net What should patriotism sound like? Singer Martin Nievera did not sing “Lupang Hinirang” to the tune of a march, as called for by law. Does that make him less of a Filipino? Artistic license is no excuse to violate the law, according to critics. But more than just words set to music, wasn’t the national anthem intended to unite a nation? Other artists who failed to sing the national anthem correctly in past Pacquiao fights—Geneva Cruz (she wore a terno, did that make up for it?), Jennifer Bautista (she sang off key in the end, is she more culpable than Nievera?). Christian Bautista forgot the words during a mall show. Shouldn’t he be in jail by now? Or will a spanking by his elementary school teachers do? Nievera can’t speak straight Filipino, even if he has been in Philippine show business since the 1908s. How can he be expected to sing “Lupang Hinirang” correctly? But that’s a different story.
By Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan 1. We are strategically located at the heart of East Asia. Northeast Asia (Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) and Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos) combined makes East Asia. We are only at most four hours away from every major city in East Asia. If the Philippines were a real estate venture in a commercial area, ours is a location to die for. We can be the shipping and air transport hub of East Asia. We can be the top tourist destination of the region. We can be the cultural center of the region for performing arts. 2. We are No. 1 in aquamarine resources worldwide. “We have the most diverse aquamarine ecosystem in the entire world which, if managed properly, will feed not only our hungry people but will be a source of huge revenue coming from a world in dire need of aquamarine resources such as fish, seaweed, and other similar products. We can be the seafood basket and aquamarine resource center of the world, the aquamarine resource powerhouse of the world. 3. We have a huge tourism industry potential. Our people are by nature extremely friendly and hospitable. We only have some 3 million tourist visits every year, while our neighbors are doing 4 or 5 times more with 12 to 15 million tourist visits annually. It has been said that other countries in the ASEAN are doing so much more with so little in terms of natural wonders and beautiful sites while we are doing so little with so much. With the right infrastructure such as highways and airports and seaports in place, we can be the number one tourist destination in ASEAN if not Asia. 4. We are now No. 2 in the BPO industry worldwide and can become No. 1. We are, I am told, currently second to India in the business process outsourcing industry. I am told as well that this industry expects 30 percent growth this year despite the worldwide recession as foreign companies look aggressively to lowering costs of doing business and therefore look to business outsourcing. 5. We are extremely creative and artistic people. We have been called the songbirds of Asia. Our reputation as performers is legendary throughout the world (although we have never been boastful about it). We can be the center of performing arts in Asia wherein millions would visit the country annually to marvel at our cultural performances and our artistic productions. 6. We have the emergence of a new generation of progressive and results-oriented public sector leaders. Since the restoration of democracy in 1986 and the passage of the Local Government Code in 1991 (or some 20 years now), public officials have began to work with new resources (40 percent of national taxes are now plowed back to local government units compared to less than 10 percent in 1986) made available by decentralization. Today a new generation of public sector leaders is emerging, one that is empowered, that is vision driven and results-oriented. This explains why we have successful local government initiatives in Marikina, Makati, Naga City, Davao City, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Calbayog City, and General Santos City, among others. Hence from a generation of public sector leaders that by and large was corrupt, lacking in vision, creativity, and innovation, we now have the emergence of a new generation of public sector leaders with integrity, with proactive leadership, and with a commitment to reform and genuine change. New governance models and templates that are solving age-old problems in the field are being forged, being tempered as we speak. A new brand of political leadership is emerging focused on solving age old problems in governance. The old, failed methods utilized by the trapos will soon be crushed and defeated. 7. Information and communication technology advancement is enhancing our sense of nationhood. Rather than a country of many languages and many islands, we are fast becoming one nation, connected by information and communication technology. The ethno-linguistic barriers that used to keep us divided are being shattered by the interconnectivity of information technology. Today an entire generation of Filipinos fully understands, and can connect with, the Filipino language because of two decades of television news in Filipino (all TV news used to be English until 1986). The three elements of nationhood are: common language, common territory and common economy. We are now becoming a nation because information technology is breaking the barriers that have prevented us from becoming united as a people. It is also now reconnecting some 10 million Filipinos overseas to the motherland. We are becoming one nation and one people. 8. We have a re-emerging middle class mindset. After over three decades of the OFW boom, we now have a new generation of citizens steeped with modern ideas coming from the highly successful host nations like Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Sates. Europe too has become host to hundreds of thousands of OFWs. The OFWs who have experienced life in these highly developed nations can now compare and contrast these experiences with the experiences in the motherland. In highly developed nations there is, to a greater extent, a greater sense of accountability and a greater sense of justice and fair play. Our OFWs bring all that back home and having been enlightened by the experience will demand greater of their leaders back home. People are beginning to say enough is enough and are actually doing something about it. 9. We are a young nation. Close to 30 million of our 45 million voters are 18 to 35 years old. Very young. If harnessed effectively, these young voters can usher in the political and electoral change that we need to happen for genuine political and economic reforms to take place. 10. We are a people who love to laugh, who love our families. We are a resilient people. We can draw unimaginable strength and fortitude in times of difficulty in order to move ahead. We know how to survive despite so much pain and suffering. We know how to cope. We are willing to sacrifice so much of ourselves in order to provide for our family, our loved ones. This strength will not only bring us out of the mess we are in but will ensure that we are able to reach greater heights in our collective desire as a people to have a better life for those we truly care for, for those who mean the world to us. Our resilience in the long run will not only make us survive but will also ensure that we will triumph in the end. We have enough reason to hope. We have, as a people, enough reason to act on these hopes and when we do, the genuine change we all seek will finally see the light of day and yes, by all means, in our lifetime.
HAVE you seen the latest TV advertisement where celebrities like Ely Buendia, Angel Locsin, Lito Alvarez, Maxene Magalona, Chris Tiu, Susan Fernandez, Fr. Martin de Jesus, Mark Nicdao, Ramon Bautista, Fr. Martin de Jesus, Charice Pempengco, Edu Manzano, Arnel Pineda and Efren Penaflorida are saying, “Ako Mismo”? The TV advertisement posed a challenge to everyone: “Ano ang gagawin mo para sa kinabukasan ng bayang ito?” Then all the celebrities said they were committing to help move this country forward, as they declared, “Ako Mismo.” Towards the end of the advertisement, they were shown wearing dog-tags with the national colors and the words “Ako Mismo.” According to akomismo.org, the dog tag symbolized courage, but among the military it was used to identify soldiers during the war. The movement’s website further said that “Ako Mismo is a movement where you can show your patriotism and compassion, and make these traits infectious. It’s about action that eradicates hopelessness in every Filipino.” The movement encouraged people to initiate change within themselves by writing their commitments. Last time I checked, the total number of pledges on the movement’s website is 20,944. “In AKO MISMO, you get to choose the cause you wish to pursue. No cause is too small as long as it is a noble one. All we ask is that you make a pledge to do it,” it said. This movement was launched amid the upcoming 2010 elections. Would apathy still reign in today’s youth? Or is it time to make a stand and act towards change and development?