Recently, I’ve posted a reaction regarding Youtube video teaser. Apparently, the video teaser has some link to a Filipino politician not a part of an upcoming comics superhero or TV show.
As my friend and former colleague, Jonas noted, there is an undeniable connection. He noted the similarity of the logo on the chest of Apokalipto and the logo of Chiz Nation, the official website for the Senator Francis Escudero for President Movement. There is no official word from the camp of Senator Escudero but if it was indeed from his camp then it is a brilliant start to the campaign. Whoever is behind the public relations strategy of Senator Escudero is definitely learning from the experiences of the recent US and Australian election.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd extensively used new media in reaching a number of voters here in Australia. From the launching of the Kevin ’07 website, which became the venue to drum up support for Mr. Rudd, the site is now an official site of the Prime Minister for Australian citizen and stakeholders to catch up with the latest initiative of the Labour government.
US President Barack Obama, on the other hand, has extensively used the new media. But his team also strategically used interpersonal strategies during the last campaign. As with Rudd, his website is now used to inform citizens and other stakeholders about his government’s recent initiative.
Now, going back to Apokalipto, while it might be a cool thing (and news worthy at that) to use the new media in the campaigns, it might not be that appropriate in the Philippines. The US Central Intelligence Agency estimates the number of Filipino internet users at 5.3 million (40th in the world). If one is able to reach even 70% of this estimates they are not assured of a sure vote. There will still be a need for grassroots, house to house campaign and Obama was able to use it effectively with the help of volunteers. His strategists could learn a thing or two from the communication research surveys that were held recently in relation to the recent highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu) and influenza A outbreaks.
Volunteerism during the election season (and even for any other season for that matter) in the Philippines is quite hard to achieve as most of the volunteers would tend to be paid (compared to the ‘real’ volunteers of the Obama campaign who have either invested their personal money). While this comparison might seems to be between an apple and an orange, what I’m driving at is that the passion/attitude for change must be addressed in the Philippines. So, for any Filipino politician to achieve a great success from the grassroots, they must be able to induce that sincerity and real patriotic ideals that some politicians were able to show it recently (whether if it is just for a show or for real, time can only tell)–‘country before self.’
On that note, Gawad Kalinga Founder makes a very good observation as to how our country, the Philippines, would be able to achieve sustainable progress and change. Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Tony Meloto said that there could never be a saviour for the Philippines but it will be a collective effort of the nation (its people) that will spell the success or failure of saving the country.
Ironic as Apokalipto’s name suggests but his message is every Filipino is hoping for–that there will be a leader who would be able to direct a self-empowering agenda for the Filipino people.