Oct 29, 2010

Framing Environmental Issues for the Everyday Juan

It would probably need a miracle to have a fruitful discourse regarding the environment to a vocational student whose sole purpose is to have a decent job above minimum wage after graduation, or to an unemployed mother who has at least five mouths to feed every day. You can’t say, “we got a really big problem! Don’t use a straw! Use public transportation more! We need to save the whales and the polar bears!”

My friends and I were doing some groceries last night for a house party, and as I was talking about the perils of using plastic and aluminium cans, they kind of just mocked me. Especially when I said not to use the plastic cups “in order to save the whales” – my favourite line. I can’t blame them since 1) I didn’t use the right perspective or framework to discuss environmental degradation and 2) they can’t appreciate the whales since they and even I haven’t seen one. (This may be the reason why I wanted to go to Bicol and swim with the whale sharks)

“When you talk to the head of the government, your language is economic; when you talk to the communities, your language is welfare; when you talk to businessmen, your language is their future profits; when you talk to NGOs, your language is environment" - Thomas Friedman, Hot Flat and Crowded

And I guess when you talk to Filipinos, your language would have to anchor on job creation and poverty alleviation. It’s difficult to see the connection right now, but part of biodiversity conservation is the creation of jobs so that the locals would not illegally or hyperexploit our seas and forests like what happened in Indonesia. Since (i think) there is a decreasing number of jobs that require man power or blue-collared jobs (that’s why there is high unemployment), people should shift to green-collared jobs since it’s the industry to be after the enineering economy of the 1990s and the information economy of 2000s.

Aside from employment-leads-to-poverty-reduction effect, going green may also mean growing your own food or harnessing your own utilities (electricity and water) at your backyard to reduce cost. I have learned from my liberation theology class that marginalization has to do with the system – an institutional immoralization. So eliminating that structure like capitalism may actually serve as a catalyst for social change. These people/communities are independent so they don’t have to rely on structure from which they deserve more benefits. An example of this would be an ecovillage with all the characteristics mentioned above, plus their zero waste management and the use of their own currency.

People, especially Filipinos, have the tendency to respond to rewards, and if you’d say that going green can directly affect their lives, they’ll be more interested in the green revolution. Right now, i think the perception of Filipinos regarding this shift is an elitist movement wherein environmental talks are for intellectual people and making a difference may come from those who have resources. There’s a more effective solution than gathering the brightest of the brightest which may have the tendency to keep the knowledge for themselves or their group. We should create a dialogue with the everyday Filipino, because before you can instigate solutions and get Filipinos moving, you have to inform the everyday Filipino of the vision and what I mentioned above may just be the proper framework to spark this dialogue with them.

Oct 28, 2010

Day 2 from the 2nd Row

Philippine Fashion Week Day 2 - Mens Wear Collection.

Designing for men can be a tough challenge because the silhouettes are limited, but I was glad that there was still "soul" in most of the collections last night.

There were eleven designers last night, and this one is Nicole, a print ad model:D

Since it's Spring/Summer, I'm glad that Bang Pineda used bolder colors compared to the others.

I love the big neck cowl on him!

I have to say that these waist bands, belt or whatever you call it is slimming! I should definitely get one.

Especially this one! Oh so slimming!!!

Less and less clothes from here on.

My favorite collection last night was Ulysses King. Hands down on his bohemian concept! I like it from the color to the silhouette and even to the accessories he used.

I don't know why but this reminds me of Victoria's Secret. Haha!

And I'd probably kill for this capelet. I've been wanting one of these since like forever!

The hair that could launch a thousand ships. Andre Chang's hair last night was do divine, like a creation from Aphrodite and Hephaestus themselves. I died.

Oct 25, 2010

3rd World Election Day

Was able to vote for the barangay elections.

Here's what it's like to vote in a third world island like the Philippines.

Hot, messy and crowded. The corridors were really jam packed.

In our barangay, it only took us 5 minutes to vote (even in the last presidential elections), but I heard that some of my schoolmates had to line up for 3 to 5 hours just to vote.

I don' know how much change a barangay election can bring to our country since you basically vote the people you or your parents know.

But I like participating in a bureaucratic exercises so here we are.

Oct 23, 2010

Celebrating Nationalism

My brother and I got invited to CCP watch the production which will be performed for the Shanghai World Expo next week.

We arrived extra early so we took some photos first around the venue.

We didn't know that we were up for one of the richest productions - in terms of music, costume, talent. (My brother was too lazy to get camera passes so we weren't able to take photos of the performance)

There were three main groups who performed:

Philippine Ballet

Philippine Fold Dancers 

UST Singers - who won Choir of the World this year

Some Photos of Jaime Zobel de Ayala was also featured in the set design. He was also there last night.

The two hour performance was divided into the geographic (distinguishing the differences of the three main islands of the Philippines), historic (from the Spanish invasion to Philippine independence) and diplomatic (exploring the relations of China and the Philippines which dates back to pre-colonial era)

The production that I enjoyed most was when Pandanggo sa Ilaw was danced. The light was dimmed to emphasize the moving lights and colorful costumes.

Words aren't enough. It was probably the most authentic Filipino performance I saw. You can really see the commitment of the people behind it.

It was also the first time that I got teary eyed when Lupang Hinirang was sang because the intensity of the production was really overwhelming.

Compared to the other plays/musicals, the crowed who got invited was very small. We were even able to sit at the 4th row from the front.

We still didn't want to go home so we went to the harbor to take more photos

That night really made me proud to be a Filipino:D