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.
Well not this site though.
Blogging Pacquiao vs. Clottey fight.
UPDATE: Well, it’s official this post has been my most popular post ever. So as not to burst your bubble that it’s just a photo of an episode in my livetweeting, I’m giving you a link to my thoughts on the fight.
This week prominent leaders here in Australia and back home in the Philippines made headlines. One could not resist noting the parallelism between the two events despite seemingly to be unrelated.
Australian journalists have a lot to be thankful for. They live in a relatively safe and free environment. The violence that they will, at most, get will probably be a bashing from their news subject. And yet the government will protect them even if they run after government personalities, not for witch-hunting, but to deliver information on the politician’s performance to the public.
As some of you might have learned, I’ve liveblogged the Pacquiao-Cotto fight. It was fortunate that we recently subscribed to a cable provider and our issues with our internet connection were resolved prior to the scheduled fight. I was so excited because this was my first time blogging an event live. I was all ready–drinks, laptop, iPhone for the quick photos among others.
Journalists are trained to be as objective as possible, however, there are inevitable times when a journalist’s bias or emotion about a story shows. There are cases when a journalist will inevitably show emotion especially if he/she is covering a human tragedy. It is inevitable, sometimes, for journalists, whether broadcast or print, to show some emotions
The number of overseas absentee voting (OAV) registrants was unofficially released recently. As expected, there was a low turnout for the OAV registrations. The Department of Foreign Affairs said that overall it fell short of its goal to have 1 million registrants by the end of OAV registrations last 31 August. Reports from GMAnews.tv said that there are over 216,000 OAV registrants worldwide.
A Filipino cancer survivor recently received a bravery award from one of Western Australia’s major football clubs.
Mel Olivarez, 17, who was diagnosed with acute leukemia in January, was nominated by the Fremantle Hospital and Health Service to receive the MBF Bravery Awards. The Award recognises “not only bravery, but [also admires] the amazing strength and determination of these special young people [in coping with their treatments],” according to a news article posted on the Fremantle Football Club website.
Mel is one of 11 winners of this year’s Bravery Awards. The recipients’ age ranged from two to 17 years. They received toys, vouchers, movie tickets, medallions and a special framed certificate signed by Fremantle Football Club Coach Mark Harvey. The Award is an initiative by the Fremantle Football Club, South Metropolitan Area Health Service and leading health insurer MBF.
Mel was described as a positive person and has shown “bravery during his treatments,” according to the statement from the Fremantle Hospital read during the awarding ceremony last May. The statement also said that staff described Mel “as enthusiastic and high-spirited all of which has helped him to manage his illness.”
Mel has had to endure intensive Chemotheraphy which also meant long stays in the hospital. Despite undergoing treatment, Mel continued with his studies and insisted to do home chores whenever he goes home. He was also undeterred despite the news during his chemo session that a famous Pinoy was also suffering a condition almost similar to his.
Mel is the first of three siblings. His father is a migrant worker for a local electric company while his mother works in a fastfood restaurant. His family had to hold their permanent residency application because of his condition.
Last week, however, Mel’s family received the good news that a confirmatory test yielded negative of cancer traces. Mel’s hair has grown back and he’s now on track to pursuing his studies at TAFE while his family slowly gets back to normalcy.
I talked to Mel recently and he told me that “natutuwa po ako na nakatanggap po ako ng Bravery Award at masaya na magaling na ako (I’m just glad that I’ve received the Bravery Award and that I’m healed).”
I was about to update some of you about the OAV initiative here in Perth when Noelle inquired on how we were doing here. Well here it goes.
At this stage, I was able to coordinate with the consul general here in Perth. While they were helpful in some way, I’m not sure if the OAV registration is something of a priority based on what the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs has been stating. I think it is common for our embassies anywhere to claim that there has been an intensive campaign to reach more Filipinos to register for the OAV when there’s hardly any campaign at all, save for a few maybe (or is it just a PR stunt?).
As Noelle complained, even the consul general in Melbourne is at lost as to how the OAV will be set up. Well, I hope that by the time we’ll be able to reach our 200 mark target here in Perth, the Philippine Embassy in Canberra will know what to do. And we will be able to participate and will not be a mere spectator to the history-making election next year.
Despite the expected automation of the election system next year, there are some Pinoys here that have begged not to register out of frustration in the electoral system some of them expressing doubt whether the vote they will cast here will definitely be counted for their candidate.
The future might still be uncertain despite the possible improvement in the electoral system in the Philippines, but for some of us away from home, we could not just sit down and watch our countrymen just slug it out themselves, we want in and yes while there might just be a few that will be voting away from home. We will be part of election history next year, we will be counted.
UPDATE: GMAnews.tv has a good primer re the OAV registrations. It’s interesting to note that the PDF file containing the comprehensive research re the OAV was from an ABS-CBNnews.com researcher. There are calls to extend the 31 August deadline of OAV registration to a later date–let’s hope that this call will be granted. GMAnews.tv is calling for Pinoys abroad/expats to air their stories re OAV registrations. So, I think this is a good opportunity for us to tell our side of the story and let them know that much of the hyped public awareness on the OAV is dud. Email your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org