Saturday, October 15, 2011

Miss Representation

Miss Representation is a documentary written and directed by Stanford University graduate Jennifer Siebel Newsom about how women are portrayed by the media. It premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival under the Documentary competition on January 22, 2011 and was shown at the Athena Film Festival in New York City on February 12, 2011.

Its broadcast rights was bought by Oprah Winfrey's OWN to premiere on October 20 9/8c in the United States.

From its official website:
...the film exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself.
An interesting documentary this is. We've had two female presidents in the Philippines, have voted for female senators, Congress representatives and provincial governors, appointed female judges and Ombudsman and such but media still plays a strong role in packaging women in molds that place them on pedestals or re-create stereotypes that make them "desirable" and unreal.

In other words, we do have our own mis[s]-representations of women's issues that aren't fully addressed or handled exhaustively despite more women significantly visible in media as media practitioners themselves. Having more women in this field does not mean more women (in general) have become fully aware of their rights as citizens or of their roles in nation-building. One only has to note young girls' role models (mostly female celebrities on covers of the glossies) or the rising incidents of violence against women and children.[1]

More details on

[1] "...From January through November, the (Philippine National Police) PNP reported 9,225 cases of domestic violence against women and their children, a 91 percent increase over the same period last year. This number likely underreported significantly the level of violence against women and children."2010 Human Rights Report: Philippines / Download the PDF

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inspire: Makeshift Magazine and Newspapers in Education

Launching on 30 September 2011 at the A Better World By Design conference is Makeshift Magazine, a project. It is a
"...quarterly magazine and multimedia website about creativity in unlikely places, from the favelas of Rio to the alleys of Delhi. These are environments where resources may be scarce, but where ingenuity is used incessantly for survival, enterprise, and a self-expression. Makeshift is about people, the things they make, and the context they make them in."
Makeshift Magazine is co-founded by Making Do author Steve Daniels who also co-founded A Better World By Design. Wishing Makeshift Magazine the best. (Also watch Steve Daniels' TEDx-Brooklyn 2010 talk "ICT in Emerging Markets" here.)

Makeshift from Makeshift on Vimeo.
Video credits: Editing: Zach Caldwell / Footage: What Took You So Long and Steve Daniels
Voiceover: Jerri Chou /Music: "Generator ^ Second Floor" by the Freelance Whales

Also sharing something closer to personal experience which happens to also be an advocacy (my mother is a journalist; we grew up eating news for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so to speak, and her newspaper work sent us to school) is Newspapers in Education (NIE)'s video of a case study in Colombia.

It is a well-made video that speaks a lot of what I believe our education thrust should take inspiration from considering how television has taken over households as "news sources" but that televised news sources, especially on free channels, intersperse their broadcast with more showbiz gossip than necessary just to get viewers hooked.

While the fate of newspaper publishing in the Internet age is slowing being shut, the benefits of reading the news ON paper (and of reading in general) is irreplaceable. The video clearly features more advantages to reading than watching, particularly when educational institutions use such programs in the proper context.

The video is from the WAN-IFRA Newspapers in Education site.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Aug 2 2011

Typhoon "Kabayan"

To "enjoy" a full day of  downpour my brother-in-law calls "torrential rain" when he texted a greeting; classes were suspended and public and private workers were asked to take the rest of the afternoon off. My sister called.

Some Metro Manila main streets were flooded since this morning (a car was captured on lunchtime news floating in flood waters and Marikina River had overflowed to above street level by late afternoon).

Then a 3-way business-and-pleasure Skype session with a good friend from the old campus-theater days, now based in Penang.

And Nora Aunor arrived today. For real, finally.

Nora Aunor in "Himala"

Somebody posted an hour ago:
"Si Ate Guy?" RT "Overheard: Bakit kasi pinapayagang makapasok sa (why was [it] ever allowed to enter the) Philippine Area of Responsibility!" "panalo" ("Winner!")
Funny. This is Pinoy humor that's amusing even to a "Noranian" like myself. Say what? This is the first time I have ever written that: Noranian.

It's another August 2 day today that has generated other random thoughts:

  • About the alleged Election fraud hearings, etc.: If it is proven that FPJ won in 2004, what would declaring him a winner do besides correct history books? Will it invalidate all decrees, laws, contracts, etc. signed by GMA? Will it invalidate the election processes that succeeded it, like who he may have chosen fielded instead? I feel inadequate not knowing the answers, knowing that those who opened the can of worms have no idea themselves what vermi types they are.
  • Have the authorities learned from real climate change — and its effects — beyond just lip service?
  • Do we really need another TV game show that caters to the masses, give out houses and lots and other money prizes because there's just too much of it in the pocket? And after the winners cry tears of joy on air, are they equipped to handle the responsibilities of being real homeowners and instant millionaires?
  • Cultivating a culture of mendicancy. Everyone's on it.
  • Encouraging a culture of gossip through trial by publicity, disinformation, abuse of social networks, irresponsible reporting and such. Wring it on!
  • A bungling rescue effort in a historic location by The Bay is nearing its 1st anniversary. It's the one that caused an erosion in leadership confidence, unfortunately. "Heads will roll" said he in the headlines. One year hence, not one has.
  • The elite Philippine football team has taken attention away from honest-to-goodness sports development program/s that should have benefitted other local sports and athletes. Seriously. And the local rugby team should have been called AZPEENS instead in honor of the brown boys.
  • Oh, a fugitive elected official resurfaces, then makes a subtle public entrance by riding on, literally, the bandwagon. For reference, check a Cavite event the President attended this year.
  • Ad nauseum.

Our Manila-Penang Skype afternoon session was a mix of stats and data, requirements, opinions, touching base with global and national issues and such — yes — and, like a pendulum, swung from good times past to harsh realizations of the present. Has anything changed?

Sometimes, days like these makes one vulnerable because the grey, swollen skies bring with it mementos of unpreparedness and fragility (just that, minus the mori, haha).

We may need an authentic Himala without the political color. So, make it neutral tone. Or brown — it's better. (Oh, did I mention how much I love that Bernal movie? And Mario O'hara's "Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos"?)

Or perhaps something as unexpected as Oprah Winfrey springing a Charice Pempengco surprise. Come to think of it, this little girl may well be the 21st century Nora Aunor of her generation though they fulfill two different entertainment values. (Then again, there's Eugene Domingo who may aptly be the new-gen Nora. I love them who goes against the grain of industry-prescribed "beauty.")

Yet there's a lot to be thankful for in the past 365 days, and in days coming. Like that 12 year old girl named Janelia Lelis from Albay who saved the flag, solid and upright in the middle of a raging flood last week during typhoon "Juaning."

Frank Lorzano via @cesarAPOLINARIO /

Or hoping that the sun will come out tomorrow.

- 02082011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When Nature acts, no one is ever prepared. #HelpJapan

Japan earthquake 11 March 2011, 8.9M upgraded to 9.0M

(Image via Boston Globe's The Big Picture. Click to view entire post.)

Read about Japan's EXPLOSIVE GEOLOGY from

NTS: Installed the red Hello Bar above which goes to the Japanese Red Cross Society's donation details. Go to The Hello Bars and use code: helpjapan to get yours, too.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

ideas for good

We are in the latter stages, hopefully, of getting what I've since referred to as the "new entity," from a formless yet vivid concept, to a structured, albeit challenging, organization.

This "new entity" is something I had wanted to get into for some time — specifically, for many years now, really. More appropriately, it is some thing, among many things, that had played out in my mind so many times that not only have I lost count, I had, in alternate moments, believed it to be lived.

Through circumstances that have brought me to cross paths with like-minded souls, events I have chosen to take part in, people and work that have helped open up new ideas or affirmed the tried and tested ones, and, yes, the oversights and shortcomings that were charged to experience, and, with my friend and colleague with whom I share these experiences, I face an important transition with optimism. And prudence.

Time was when I imbibed the gung-ho disposition of the youth — I sure hope I still have some it left — and embraced any and all propositions that came my way boldly and with gusto. Not that I have since become jaded, god forbid I've transformed into someone as inured as a seasoned politician, many of whom populate our hallowed institutions, but I now approach such important involvements not only with care but with enough cards to draw from my bag of experience. Of course I hope that the cards be the ones that trump when called for.

And so, on with what was formerly the formless concept, this "new entity."

The path towards getting it structured was wrought with many questioning and scenarios, mostly to myself, calling up certain entries in my memory databank to see what suitable matches fit. Some weren't always exact matches which therefore needed external help; some, perfect re-enactments of past incidents that typically still occur, it has left me wondering why people, perhaps even myself, never seem to get past them. Maybe it is a "Filipino thing," say, to be acting on intuition way too much for comfort to the point of disregarding established processes and standards. And to these typical scenarios, I would then propose, in my mind, un-typical solutions, say, had I the chance to do things differently when those occured.

My colleague-friend had nagged me time and again for action regarding this "new entity," but since I would always be immersed in two or more other projects, I refused to make definite commitments until I had fully gotten hold of what, to me, was devoted quality time towards thinking things over.

Along the way, we had connected with a few more friends whose ideals ran parallel to ours, and whose enthusiasm rubbed off on, in some instances, adding to, ours, that seeing a form that would make this "new entity" more solid and graspable became less of a task and more of a shorter, lighter journey.

As they say, it is not the destination that counts but getting there, and that includes overcoming the official businesses one must go through to have a legal personality. So, with the help of the least techie among would-be partners (e.g. a lawyer), whose idea was getting around data systems and turning-over computerese linear thinking upside down, we erupted in a joint Eureka! moment when we finally got our choice name registered online — I mean, getting both preferred names, at that, after so many tries.

We were then in sort of a dilemma because we had to settle with just one name and, after minor deliberations, we have come to the conclusion that to embody what we truly would be, our new endeavor is to be Ideas for Good.

good ideas for ideas for good
Ideas for Good is a social enterprise engaged in creative communications and design consultancy. It is, however, driven by advocacy. Our new enterprise officially makes past volunteer involvements a part of what we do and I am not the least excited for the 4 or more self-initiated projects we hope would come to fruition because these are intended to truly help communities and become the means by which my partners and I are able to pursue sharing our experiences and expertise to others.

Ideas for Good is a for-profit social enterprise. After all, much as our hearts desire to reach out and help — needles to say, we are bursting with good ideas and solutions which we know and are certain will help — we acknowledge that we cannot be as effective if we go by our hunger for social change on a just handful of sustenance to get us through.

Therefore, I, in my state of shedding as Creative Partner, doer and task-er of design solutions for more than 15 years under Sadidaya Disenyo and, currently, East Axis Creative, Inc., along with my old and new colleagues, embark on what we hope would make us even more effective agents of change and make good ideas matter on a deeper, wider level.

Good ideas pertaining not just to design and harnessing collective creativity but also about sensible marketing, an equitable application and awareness of laws in order to empower and the thoughtful usage of words and writing to best communicate.

I've finally stepped onto a lane that I feel is familiar yet this transitioning is bittersweet. Though I am undeniably undergoing separation anxieties — yeah, pretty much a common phase, I guess — I am very positive.

EDIT: The domain and hosting for Ideas for Good has been activated on Feb. 21, 2011 courtesy of our friend and valued provider Thanks, Mon!


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