March 2006 was when I first officially tried to make a mark of chronicling my thoughts online. This was when Friendster used to be a bustling online hang out of friends. Lynette was the one who introduced me to blogging after, if I remember it right, she distributed her poetry booklet(?) through email (yes she spammed me! LOL! Love you Lynette ).
I’m quite busy these past few months as I try to finish my thesis writing, however, a recent event urged me to blog about this to warn others.
I used to work for an international organisation ages ago. In this big organisation, email is one of the most important means of communication in the organisation and the most reliable. The size of organisation that I used to work for meant that its information technology security is one of the best in the world. However, one day a human resource staff forwarded an email. It contained, as usual, recruitment requests from other sister organisations.
I wrote this article long before the May 10 2010 elections. Decided to update and upload.
Filipinos overseas have trooped Philippine embassies worldwide to cast their votes. There were reported glitches in some areas however the overseas voting went well smoothly, generally.
With about 18 days to the deadline of registrations for the Overseas Absentee Voting, the Philippine Embassy here in Australia released the schedule of mobile registrations. Mobile registrations are scheduled this month in Darwin, Melbourne and Perth.
Filipinos including those who hold dual citizenship are entitled to register for the OAV. For Filipinos who previously registered as OAV elsewhere, kindly contact the consulate office in your area if you can skip this registration schedule. There are some Pinoys who have expressed doubt in the exercise, however, this is the best that we can do rather than watch as the votes are cast. If there will be any irregularities, I believe there will be some good representations from independent organisations who will be able to deter or at least note of such thing.
Following are the schedule here in Australia:
Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 15-16 August 2009, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Philippine Community Centre, Corner of Amy Johnson Ave & Batten Road, Marrara, NT
Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 22-23 August 2009, 10:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Philippine House, 93 Cowper Street, Footscray, VIC
Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, 29-30 August 2009, 9:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Filipino Australian Club of Perth, Inc., 1 Catherine St., Bedford, WA
The registration in Perth on Saturday will be between 9:00am and 12 noon only while registrations on Sunday will be held from 9:00 am to 5:00pm (with 12-1 lunch break ).
All registrants are required to bring a photocopy of their Philippine passport or Dual Citizenship ID. More information on OAV can be found here.
Our country’s history has had some tumultuous and momentous episodes. Some of us have been part of those episodes so, I think it is better for us to participate, for better or worse, in our country’s history. Boycotting this important election is just throwing in the towel. Bloggers who don’t blog about an issue do not get any attention that they did so unless they blog about their action. So, I guess it’s the same with us who might be planning to just dump this important exercise and say, “we’re making a statement.” Unless you blog about it, no one will care that you didn’t vote.
No matter how frustrated some of us with the system, it is worth trying, it is worth fighting, it will still be worth our vote, whether the system fails us or not. We are Pinoys, we are known to be resilient, so let’s go out on those dates and register.
I remember, I was in Grade 3 when Ninoy was assassinated. I could vividly remember watching intently the news on TV the nervous general. I remember my angry father who couldn’t believe that it had happened. In retrospect, I reckon that the feeling that he had was the same that I had when I watched in horror as terrorists flew the planes onto the twin towers–disbelief.
I remember that this was the time that I became aware of the political events in the country. I remember eagerly going to our city’s Catholic school gymnasium to have glimpse of a Ninoy exhibit when they had a roadshow, even if it meant walking a good 10 kilometers from our home to the city. I was in fourth grade then.
I remember the military trucks passing in front of our school and later watching on TV, again, history unfolding as Marcos was ousted without much bloodshed. I remember the news on Cory’s determination to oust the dictator, not out of vengeance but for love of the people that her better half has truly loved. I remember the accolades that the world has given to Cory. She was surrounded by famous and infamous advisers giving this and that advice, which I reckon made her a favorite target among military rebels. At some point, I felt the ‘uprisings’ were made not as an attack on democracy but an attack on Cory as a person as she still tries to endure insults and scrutiny in the midst of male-dominated Philippine politics.
I remember when Cory was despised that even a famous journalist accused her of hiding under her bed in Malacañan in the middle of a coup. She sued and the journalist proved himself to be more qualified as a gossip scribe rather than a serious journalist.
I remember her serious effort to make it easy for most Filipinos passing an agrarian reform law, establishing the good government commission among others.
I remember political analyst saying that after the plunder of the Philippines, it will take about 12 years of consistent good policy for the Philippines to recover.
I remember Cory trying her best putting the best men and women in her cabinet to build and manage the economy.
I remember Cory stepping down and giving in to her successor making good of her promise that she’s only there for ‘housekeeping.’ Despite some disappointments during her term, she did a good job as a president disappointing her critics that a ‘housewife’ will not be able to do it.
I remember the woman behind the great man. I remember the woman who became an icon for democracy. I remember the woman who lived up to upholding democracy and fighting for it even as a private citizen. I remember the woman who earned greatness in her own right. I remember, the Filipinos remember, the world remembers.
Thank you President Corazon Aquino.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and I apologise if it hasn’t lived up to its name lately), you know that I’m personally involved in advocating Filipinos here in Perth and surrounding areas to register as an overseas absentee voter. The campaign is a personal one and I do not have direct funding from anybody, so I am using online and offline social networks to disseminate the information (and to some point personal resources such as petrol, paper, inks, phone credits, etc.).
As a communications specialist, I know the importance of “gatekeepers.” Gatekeepers in communications or marketing are important links to your target audiences or clients. I knew their opinion will matter especially in this very important initiative. Some of my identified gatekeepers here include Asian shopkeepers, association leaders, peer group leaders and religious leaders.
I have tried to distribute a paper for Filipinos to sign to express their interest to register for the OAV and recently, I have asked a friend for help in this campaign. I have specifically asked him to show it to their church members. Their religious group is one of the biggest in the Filipino community here and their assistance would be a great boost to this campaign.
However, to my surprise their head minister turned down the request that the paper be passed on within the church. According to my friend, the minister said that there is an “unofficial” directive from Manila that their expat members (or those based outside Manila) do not participate in the coming election as the Philippine election is “chaotic.” My friend was very apologetic that he wasn’t able to help but I said that I do understand and respect their minister’s decision, who, by the way, is already an Australian citizen. I will be vague at this point as I might inadvertently give details that might identify the group.
For now, off to the next target audience and hopefully I’ll be able to reach my goal by end of July.
I’m finally returning to my temporary home Australia after a month of searching for answers to some of my research questions. I’m excited to be back and embrace my girls. You can view some of the photos during my travel on my flickr account or on my photo blog. In one month, I’ve around the Greater Mekong Subregion from Bangkok to Vientiane, to Phnom Penh then to Hanoi. From Hanoi, I had to endure 15 hours butt numbing bus ride to reach Dien Bien Province, just to interview farmers, traders and animal health workers. From Hanoi, I flew straight to the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang in Lao PDR.
There were definitely a lot of news around the Region. As of this writing, Thailand and Cambodia are in the brink of war over a World Heritage recognition. Cambodia will be having its national election on the 27th of July, Vietnam’s economy is feeling the pinch of a fast growing economy while Lao is enjoying much needed help from foreign aid agencies. I was glad to see all the roads of Vientiane all cemented though drivers do need to be educated so to avoid motorcyles getting entangled with a fine looking Humvee (it’s ironic to see so many gas-gulping humvees roaming a poor country like Lao PDR).
Well, this is just a quick note, I’m off tonight this afternoon to Bangkok then to Perth tonight.
It’s good to be back…
The Greater Mekong Subregion consist of Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Lao PDR, Thailand, Yunnan Province of China and Vietnam. It also happen to be the beneficiary of the international aid project where I used to work for. Three of the priority countries, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam, eventually became my area of interest for my studies at the university.
Well, that best describes my current situation. I’m on travel for my field work. Trying to talk to farmers in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam. I was in Bangkok last week, and now I’m currently in Lao PDR–in the beautiful city of Vientiane! It was nice to be back, though it would have been better if the family was with me. So, in my loneliness in quickly touring Bangkok, I ended buying a new lens for my camera and a DS game for my kids (nothing yet for the wife, but I’ll find something along the way) . Well, hopefully I will have good photos to show you in the coming days–well head to my flickr page, that is.
till next time!