I was away during the weekend for the committee deliberations of the University of the Philippines Diliman University Student Council. Now we're back in Manila. While I was catching up with news, reading the Sunday papers, one whole spread advertisement caught my attention -- Ako Mismo! And so, being very curious about what it is and why Ely Buendia, Edu Manzano, Maxene Magalona and Chris Tiu among others are there, I registered to find out. After I registered, I saw from a friend's post that she saw this TV ad while watching the delayed telecast of the Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton bout.
The main point of the site is to make a stand and to take "real action for the causes you believe in, causes that you yourself can truly pursue to make a real, positive difference to your fellow countryman and to your country", for me, this is really good. No doubt about that. I believe that this heck-of-a-site (no pun intended) would make Filipino people aware and join in. With about 30,000 pledges, and a lot more to come, this is a great vehicle to raise consciousness of the inequalities, irregularities, and problems individuals have and see right now in society, and among our midst. This is a sample of the pledges people committed in the website:
Now, yes that this is a good site, but more than that, I have qualms regarding my full support to it. More than knowing what Ako Mismo really is (who is behind it, is it a political ploy for 2010, and all our other questions), I am more particular in pointing out that although as I have said that this raises people's awareness, this also creates pop-culture social activism or worse, an illusion of actually doing something, for change, for the nation. What do I mean by that?
This campaign only gives the Filipino people an excuse to feel-good, and feel that they are actually doing something by joining the bandwagon for social activism and change. Yes, you can easily register and pledge something. Not doubting one's capability to actualize the pledge, but I find it too superficial and hiding behind the curtains.
Bikoy clearly gives an example of my point saying, "Sure, by all means, let us pay our taxes, register to vote, obey traffic rules, sweep the floor, pray, smile at others, be nice, be proud to be pinoy! Aba, dapat lang. Isn’t that what one is supposed to do regardless of any campaign for social change? Isn’t that what we are already doing? Let’s not stop doing it, fine. But please, it reeks of great naivete to think that doing things we are already doing will change Philippine society." He adds that "let us not justify the laziness or the inability of the [people] to get out of their comfort zone to change society."
But for me, I still believe in the "I", the "ako", the individual aspirations, dreams, hopes, and actions that create a whole, that move the I to become the "we" or the "tayo". As Fritz say, We cannot engage collectively without the I. It is important for everyone to believe that he or she is the change, thus "I am Change!" Once the people or majority of the people are aware, then the collective action can take place; it enjoins more people, thus making the action bigger, louder, and maybe can actually see change systemically.
P.S. I'm sure those Dog Tags would sell like hotcakes (a really nice way to market something, don't you think?)
Bikoy's On Ako Mismo
Karla's Ako Mismo!
AkoMismo: Steak served on a black plate
What is "Ako Mismo"?
Ako Mismo advocacy for change in the Philippines taps Old and New Media
ka-edong's Ako Mismo
Gang Badoy's FORWARDED MAIL..
Ako Mismo Campaign
Ako Mismo Doubts and Concerns
Edu Manzano Spearheads "Ako Mismo" Movement
Ako Mismo Campaign and Questions over Privacy
DBB Takes Ownership of Ako Mismo Campaign
Taking My Blog's Name Back - It's AKOMISMO
Ako Mismo: No Thanks
Ako Mismo's DDB Fires Up the PR
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