23.7.11

Ethics and Perspectives

When I was young, I used to ask what more could this life really offer. You grow up, you learn in school, you got to work when you graduate, then you marry, grow old and that’s it. It’s like a time frame of past, present and future that keeps on happening all over again. And when our lives end, we come to ask what difference have we made in this world in our lifetime?

In that moment,I realized that I view life in its temporal aspect. But then I looked at the journey a person undertakes within those years, a look at life on its two ends, and it made me feel it's colorful. It’s full of different stories, from different people with different walks of life.

I believe that life is a puzzle in which we need to fit in each other’s interests. We are born in this world with certain standards that we all have to abide. On a lot of cases, I feel that choices aren’t genuine enough to be real. Choices we take are always contrasted based on cultural norms, parental fit, goal orientation, social acceptability and things like that. So even though there are universally accepted values, this is highly relative based on our situation and how we would project ourselves on that instance.

I have always lived myself independently. I believe that individual freedom is one of the greatest values this world should celebrate. But I can admit that the principles I’m holding on are always based on what I think are for the greater good of the people around me. Beyond that, I personally care about how my environment affects the way I am and how it could possibly constrain me from achieving my goals. I want to inspire a common vision with my immediate community.

Leadership is a key that factors to every system that exists in this world. I believe that everyone, in any moment of his life, has been a leader. And I am really abiding to this value. Because I think that for you to achieve success, you need to be a good leader for yourself and as well as a follower to your own principles. And this idea certainly deduces to the fact that one’s greatest enemy is himself, and that’s why he needs to overcome any personal issues before he can overcome greater issues outside his personal boundaries.

Other values are founded on our objectives. Honesty, for example, is not an absolute principle. It is all about a matter of check and balancing. When we feel that the situation demands a compromise, it now depends on our discretion in lieu with the hierarchy of our interests.

At the end of the day, we realize that our perspectives are subject to different conditions. It is just a matter of how we take it. It is just a matter of holding on to what we believe in.

Freedom to choices, selfless leadership and situational engagement, these are the ethical values that I am living with as a student-leader.

I believe that everything is possible,but only to be taken one step at a time.


The word cloud represents my beliefs well. The words "life", "different", "believe", "values", etc. are in bigger fonts as compared to the others, exactly the way I expected it. This reflects the principles that I am holding on wherever I go. I particularly like this exercise because it allows us to contemplate on what we really are fighting for. Sometimes,we get confused by  our own values. On a lot of instances, we change the way we prioritize them based on our situation. Either ways, we will bear the brunt of all our actions. And that becomes the foundation of our values in the future.

19.7.11

Social Media, In and Of Itself



What is social media and what makes it unique from other forms of media?
Social media essentially is a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online - Ron Jones
With the coming of the age of social media, the media has been democratized and the world is getting a lot smaller. It brings about relationships and conversations which aren't possible in other forms of media like newspapers and television. The social media gave an opportunity for everyone to have a share in developing a certain piece of story, which makes it able to take all sides of a story. This is quite different in a one-sided media where interaction is very minimal.



Another thing that social media can forward is that it can reach a lot of people in a specified time. With a lesser bureaucracy at hand, we are able to promote causes as efficient as possible. Advocacy groups could get mileage, elicit support without being able to spend for the space. So I must say that social media is a very effective platform of information exchange.


The social media reaches a lot of audiences. It projects an open platform of networks where people can do a lot of things. They can chat, play games, bookmark, advertise and others. You can also meet a lot of people with different interests. People who are of the same interest can find each other given their parallel backgrounds. With the opening of new media, the world has been continually supplemented of multiculturalism.


 Social media embraces passion and identity. Aside from opening up to diverse cultures, you also identify yourself with your own qualities. In social media, you are able to know your limitations more as you recognize your own personality, interests and even strengths and weaknesses. You profile yourself based on who you truly are or what you want others to think of who you are.
Beyond those benefits of community sharing, marginal advantages brought about by social media also exist. But it's highly contextual, and highly depends on how a social media is being utilized. It was said that ever since the institution of the social media, government has become more transparent as check and balances are now existing. Things are likelier to be exposed with the use of social media because there's an open engagement of people. As opposed to newspapers and televisions, wherein information is already filtered based on pubic acceptability.

In general, social media is unique and props advantages not just to the media world but to the society as a whole.And I believe that as generations come by, it will continue to lead us to the greater good if we use it in the right ways.

A Leap of Agenda Through the Social Media


How are governments and agencies using social media to advance their agenda?

Governments and agencies have well adapted to the call of times. Indeed, a lot of government institutions in status quo already integrate social media with the promotion of their agenda. The "Facebook Diplomacy" is a very good example of how the government utilizes this platform to forward its own objectives.

This video below manifests how the Philippine government used the social media to spread this informative campaign video on citizen's participation for a cleaner elections. 


As a direct result of this promotion, the electorate has been vigilant in guarding their votes and participated in the agenda of the government to have a more transparent election.  It's basically calling for vigilantism to anything suspicious or wrongdoing all throughout the elections and reporting them to the authorities with the use of new media. It gained a lot of feedbacks and many cases of electoral fraud were reported and given with due recourse.

Given the different perspectives on how the government can possibly use the social media, the people in return has been very positive to the interaction that this platform provides. Facebook and Twitter have been top social networking sites for the government to tap to reach out to its own people.Government officials have fan pages in Facebook and make updates there. Agencies build advocacy pages wherein people could just sign-up virtually if they wanted to join the cause. They also use Twitter to reach to more people. It's just like a way of catering to different interests of individuals that's why they're widening their horizons.



But just like the Facebook Diplomacy, the government is becoming more strategic in utilizing the social media.  In this instance, they used it to counter terrorism. So apparently, government and agencies have evolved their standards in dealing with their operations, in lieu of the improvement of technology.

And now, social media is integrated into the system and continually leads us towards mobilization and development.

Social Media And Its Integration To Political Strategies


How do candidates and campaign managers integrate social media into their political strategies?

Today, we can see how the social media continually creates an atmosphere of change in the world. The political sphere, undeniably, is one of the institutions that have been responding to the revolution of development. And it is very important to recognize the value of technologies and innovations to improve the way these political structures work.

When you talk about politicians, they are always equated to a popular mileage. You get a platform of support from the people when you have good public relations. And that is the reason why they have to be strategic in deploying political mechanisms to gain a support base. Because every action that they do faces commensurate response from the public.

In the recent elections that we had, we've seen how social media has been used by candidates and campaign managers as a political strategy. As how Jose Vargas quote it in The Washington Post, Barack Obama is the social networking king after having profiles in a lot of social networking sites to reach out to many people.

He's the first candidate to have profiles on BlackPlanet.com and MiGente.com, popular soc-nets in the black and Latino communities, and also on newer soc-nets such as AsianAve.com (for Asian Americans) and GLEE.com ("GLEE" stands for "Gay, Lesbian and Everyone Else"). - Washington Post
This strategy was seen effective as a huge turn-out from the young people voted for Obama,the ones who also comprise the biggest fraction in social networking sites.

Other politicians also use video advertisement campaigns being spread into social media.


This video shows the commercial campaign of the newly elected President of the Philippines Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino. As you can see in the video, his platform was shown by promoting the ideals of the masses. He is catering different interests in the video by showing different people from different walks of life. Through this, political platforms can be shown in an entertaining way that people would more likely attend to. And that is the kind of strategy that has been used by a lot of politicians to forward their ideals in the recent election that we had.


Twitter has been a widely used social media today. Political candidates use twitter because it can reach a lot of mileage and you can update easily. In Twitter, people feel closer to politicians especially when the Twitter page of the politician is interactive to its followers. Through that way, politicians are able to appeal as individuals who listens to all concerns of its people. And this also neutralizes the norm that they are a distant entity from the public.

So in  general, we see how social media has been used as a platform of candidates and campaign managers to reach more people. They see it as an effective tool to forward their advocacies and even gain a good image in the public. When you have good projection to the public, they'll more likely vote for you. When they see you accessible to these media outlets, they'll more likely attend to you over someone they only see in TV. And this is precisely specific with the fact that politicians who gain political seats today have very good public relations.

Social media brings you political leverage. It now depends on how you use it.

9.7.11

Visiting Michigan


This is taken in Detroit, Michigan facing Windsor, Ontario,Canada. I and my friends were joking to prepare our passports so that we could start swimming to Canada. One thing I've learned about is that Canada and United have very good relations to each other. So even if there are border and security controls, there are parts in which people could freely go cross-country without getting caught. The regulation isn't that tough because Canadians and Americans are very good friends to each other.


This is a pic with the statue of one of the Wright Brothers who flew the first plane.


Right there is a fountain in the interjection of Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village. For all you know, the Henry Ford Museum is the greatest American history attraction. It contains different artifacts and in every angle of the museum, you're like travelling in different decades in the past.


This one is taken near the railway of Greenfield Village. We really had fun in this place as well because it's like Enchanted Kingdom back there in the Philippines. But it's really a modified village with food stands,gift shops, rides and people wearing character costumes. I love it.


Mary Ann Cooper and Elexx Freeman are some of the awesome friends we've met in the Greenfield Village. They are the subject of our story (together with Mel).


I just absolutely love this float. The glaring difference that it has is the spoon for the ice cream. McDonalds in Philippines don't place spoon for the float.


And there you'll find some skycrapers of Detroit.

6.7.11

Happy 4th ofJuly













I and my friend Mel really love taking pictures. We were so amazed by the fact that there were a lot of Americans who came to Minnetrista.They're all eager to witness the fireworks.The Independence Day for them fuels some sense of patriotism, and that's why they see the value of coming together for their nation.The pictures above are some of the pictures I took in this very happy event.

Happy 4th of July!

2.7.11

Homestay





I'm now in my homestay with Mr. Dailey and I guess he's really a good guy. He definitely talks a lot. And that is the reason why Jay-r, my Malaysian host bro, and I said that he doesn't really get tired talking. He's a good communicator anyway. But he has an accent.

So how are days going on for me exactly?

Well, I guess finally, the idea of being in United States had finally sunk in my mind after we get ourselves in Indianapolis. I mean, it's really an amazing city and it's very organized. All the structures are really great so it defines what America should be.

Also,that idea was coupled by the fact that we finally stayed with our host dad in an American house. So I guess I finally made the generalization that yes,I'm in US. Well, that just sounds crazy since it's already my 7th day here. But then fine, it's my way of adjusting to the new environment.

I was thinking lately how will I ever be able to do my assignments for the weekend. Maybe, I should try working on it later after the dinner. We're watching Jackie Chan movie right now. John, our host dad is preparing our dinner and we're plainly sitting here in the couch watching the screen.

I gotta start my essay now. See you later Alligators.
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