All posts by: Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.

The myth of Filipinos being “matulungin”

Hand Reaching

I was in Megamall earlier when I stopped by Chris Sports to look at their exercise bikes. After canvasing the prices, I began walking out of the store but then suddenly fell from an approximately 3-inch platform. I was on all fours wincing in pain for about a minute then stood up shakily. I have week knees and I’m prone to such accidents. This particular accident however disgusted me. There were quite a number of people in the store and not one single person offered any help nor asked if I was okay when I stood up. Even the salesperson who earlier assisted me just stood silently as I told him that they should put warning signs about the platform lest it cause more accidents. After telling him that, I left the store sorely and procedeed to do my errands.

As I was walking, I began thinking why nobody offered any help or showed even the remotest sign of concern. Are Filipinos so cold now that they only help others when it affects them personally or there’s a major disaster. I’ve heard of mugging cases when there were witnesses but they were just that, witnesses. Filipinos are known for being “matulungin,” right? Or is that just a myth? Guiltily, when I help other people, it’s usually coursed through charity work but when there are signs of danger, I freeze up and become one of those mute witnesses. Why is this? What happened to us? Is our sense of self preservation hindering us from helping our fellowmen?

When I tripped and fell in Europe, so many strangers were concerned about me. They even wanted to call an ambulance. Here I’m lucky if someone offers a hand so I can stand up. I hope I am wrong about how I see our helpfulness. I don’t want to think badly about our race but my experiences say otherwise.

Rock Supremo: Heroes are human too

I came to the Silliman Luce Auditorium with hardly any expectation except that I will be watching something about the life of Andres Bonifacio. When I exited, I had goosebumps all over and pining for a chance to watch it again.

Rock Supremo is a joint project of RockEd Philippines, Ballet Philippines, and the National Historic Commission of the Philippines. RockEd tapped local musicians to come up with songs with Ka Andres in mind, musicians such as SandwichPeryodikoEbe Dancel, and Gloc-9  among others. Since not much is known about the facts of the Supremo‘s life, the bands created songs as how they imagined Andres was when he was still alive. They presented Andres as human and not just a hero. He fell in love, was betrayed by his best friend, had moments of cowardice, etc. just someone as human as we are.

The songs the artists created were put into choreography and a cohesive stage performance by Ballet Philippines. I don’t think this has ever been attempted before in the history of Ballet Philippines. The approach to the choreography is modern. Raw even. It’s as far from classical as I’ve ever seen with the dancers changing costumes on stage, pirouettes and other moves not perfectly in synch, and there’s a big video screen as part of the backdrop. The overall effect was four-dimensional with the whole audio-visual modern approach and the presentation of the facets of Andres Bonifacio’s humanity.

It is my wish to watch Rock Supremo again, this time with the bands performing live. I regret not watching when that happened at CCP. It’s a blessing that I was to catch it in Dumaguete. I’ve grown to appreciate even more our OPM, ballet, and our heroes. Somehow, I can now relate more to Andres Bonifacio and I “know” more about his life, imagined it may be.

Free Seminar on Video Production for Organizations

Free Seminar!!!

Video Production
for Organizations
September 13, 2012
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

If pictures are worth a thousand words, imagine the value of a video.   Moving images with accompanying sounds designed to sway emotions and convey messages.

Videos can increase the effectively of your organization’s internal and public communications.  It can document events, show actual systems and processes, induce sales, detail instructions and highlight important statements.  Videos are more than a marketing tool.  Take advantage of the accessibility the internet offers, the increasing distribution avenues available, the advancement of technology and lowering cost.  The potential impact a video can have in relaying your institution’s messages are only limited by your application.

Who should attend
Corporations, NGOs and Government Agencies
• Marketing Department Heads and Personnel,
• Employees involved in the Service Procurement, Accreditations and Approval Process

What to cover
Video Production – Overview
Uses of Video in Organizations
Setting In-House Video Group
Key People & Responsibilities
Basic equipment
Skills and knowledge
Hiring Outside Services
Full Production Service (Agency, Production Houses)
Independent Service Suppliers
Guides for a Successful Video
Bid Specifications and  Evaluating Proposals
Czarina Sheela Alcasid completed the Master of Entrepreneurship program from the Asian Institute of Management.  She has her own business but her fascination and passion for production keeps pulling her to work in the industry.  She started in 2007 as the program host for NBN 4’s  “Kapihan ng Bayan” and occasionally, as on-cam commercial talent after.  She had performed various capacities such as production manager, assistant director and line producer for music videos, AVPs, video viral and commercial.

To register, email the following to <[email protected]>

Company (if any):
Phone number:
Email address:

Or phone us at (2) 759-3087 / 892-5281

Seminar Venue: Philippine Center for Creative Imaging (PCCI)
2247 Don Chino Roces Avenue,
Makati City, Philippines

Register early, limited seats available!

A captive of Captive

Gritty, in-your-face, a mirror of Philippine society. These are some of the words I associate with Brilliante Mendoza’s films. This director doesn’t mollycoddle the viewers that’s for sure. He paints reality as how he sees it – no more, no less – and hopes that by showing the ugly reality, his films would somehow serve as a vehicle for change.

Captive is no different from his other films. The 2 and a half hour film is based on the Dos Palmas kidnapping of missionaries and Filipinos by the Abu Sayyaf group more than a decade ago. Most of the events in the film really happened, about 25% were added for dramatic purposes and to help the story move but they’re mostly fictional characters and scenes. One of the fictional characters is Therese Bourgoine, played by French actress Isabelle Huppert, whose perspective it is we watch. Bourgoine is a missionary who was abducted together with her motherly companion Anita Linda, two other foreign missionaries, and tourists of Dos Palmas Resort. The story progresses with ransoms paid, captives freed, captives killed, and even a Stockholm syndrome which was surprising but actually happened between a tourist and one of the Abu Sayyaf bandits back in 2001. Brilliante Mendoza used many of his staple actors like Ronnie Lazaro, Coco Martin, Sid Lucero, etc. The acting wasn’t stellar for some however because they were overshadowed by Huppert and the more commanding Raymond Bagatsing and Ronnie Lazaro.

The film made me squirm the whole time as Brilliante captured the harsh realities of kidnap-for-ransom, religious fanaticism, terrorism, and the government’s indifference neigh shady cooperation with the kidnappers for a share of the ransom money because these facts are hard to swallow, but in the back of the Filipinos’ collective mind, they all ring true.

What amazed me about Captive is Brilliante’s research on what really transpired that ghastly 18 months and how he was able to show as much details in the 25 days he shot the film. That’s saying a lot about how talented and organized he is. My film experiences scream that such a film is impossible to shoot in 25 days but Briliante was able to do so. Not only that, he made everything seem believable. I thought the film was shot in Basilan but he admitted to us that the locations were in Batangas and Quezon.

Captive will premiere at SM Pampanga, Brilliante Mendoza’s hometown, on September 2, 2012. There will also be a Manila gala premiere in Greenbelt 3 the next day. Regular screening at SM Cinemas and Greenbelt will begin on September 5, 2012.

Mulat Pinoy brings population and development awareness to youth in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao

In February 2012, 24 students from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao visited Manila to participate in Mulat Pinoy’s workshop, “Social NetWorth: The Filipino Youth on Social Media and Popdev.”  The workshop participants hailed from Manila, Quezon City, Calamba, Cebu, Iloilo, General Santos City and Davao, and were all college students and leaders in their communities.

Social NetWorth aimed to teach the participants about population and development (popdev) issues: in particular, how the population affects other things like the environment, employment and education. In addition, the participants learned about media and social networks, and how these can be used as tools to promote awareness of popdev.

During the workshop, the participants produced videos where they focused on a popdev issue and called the youth to action. These videos may be viewed on the Mulat Pinoy YouTube Account (

After the workshop, the participants returned to their communities to develop a Mulat Pinoy project of their own. The 24 participants were divided in pairs or groups, each with a cause, a vision, a mission and a blog.

The eleven (11) Social NetWorth Blogs are hosted by Mulat Pinoy, but completely managed by the participants. They produce all their own content, which aims to feature various population issues. One blog talks about street children, while another focuses on the unemployment problem. One pair is looking at environment issues in Davao, and a trio from Visayas is tackling the different ways in which poverty strikes rural areas. A pair from UP Diliman is exploring the pros and cons of sex education, while students from Miriam College are examining the question of overpopulation.

In addition to using these blogs as platforms for the discussion of population issues, the participants are using various social networks like Facebook and Twitter to invite other Netizens to join their discussions. To supplement the online discussion, they have also planned activities in their communities: forums and workshops to share what they have learned, debates, interviews, information campaigns and many more.

Visit the Social NetWorth portal at to see how the SNW participants are talking about popdev in their communities.


Regina Layug Rosero
Project Coordinator, Mulat Pinoy
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: (+632) 4330456

Reaction to Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.: Why we need law

ProPinoy received the following email from Frando Sarmiento, an OFW based in Dubai. We are publishing this with his permission.–locsin-jr–why-we-need-law?fb_comment_id=fbc_5006989942128_693502_5006991495128

(A reaction on the link)

Mr. Locsin is indeed right in vigorously defending the law to the letter. For all intents and purposes, the defense is commendable.

However, I believe we should take the situation not just in its strict interpretation which, arguably applies in ordinary times. Say, a strong culture of democracy such as those of the Scandinavians, the Aussies and the Canadians. But everyone knows and feels, this moment, our moment, fall under extraordinary times. We as a people have been bounded in the shackles of tyranny, oppression, impunity and bottomless amounts of plunder of our resources for so long a time, that now the public manifests more courageously the personal and moral sense to say that enough is enough. That feeling is palpable from the moment the yellow army re-emerged from nowhere to catapult a symbol in Noynoy to the presidency. If this close to miraculous turn out of event doesn’t speak volume of the people’s cry for a sense of justice and longing for the straight and narrow path, then I don’t know what is. This event preceded the Arab Spring by several months so we can definitely say that this road to self-determination was not influenced by global events, but rather became a precursor to the power of social media for other people to follow. Perhaps as much as a template of the 1986 people power revolution which was a sample of what’s to come in the collapse of the iron curtain.

The premise is that we live under extraordinary times. If Mr. Locsin will accept this, then it would be reasonable to suggest that extraordinary events may be essential requirements for necessary changes to prosper. The Martial Law years is an extraordinary time where the Supreme Court became the puppet of the dictator, and for which, if you strictly acknowledge the promulgations and decisions by the courts favoring Marcos, do we really believe that without People Power, our country could have peacefully returned to democracy and not in the hands of someone like Gen. Ver ad infinitum? When one’s kind of government and rule of law is so perverted and damaged, it is also logical to suggest that if this perversion is allowed to persist, say in a scenario where a midnight appointed Chief Justice (or cabal of inJustices) is perceived to have lost the most basic core of decency, then isn’t it also obvious that the whole country will eventually fall into chaos in much the same way that defenders say that the co-equal parts of government seen to be clashing will lead to crisis? Isn’t it more worth the sacrifice and risk to fight this injustice straight to its face using common sense and the collective support from the citizenry, than solely relying on the wheels of the supposed justice system to take its course? When the great majority feels this deep sense of injustice wrecked by the machinations of the awoken little girl, is it not also true that the people writes and decides its history, and that a constitution is a dynamic edict that is open to revision according to the signs of the times? Otherwise, most other nations and governments would not have rewritten their constitutions. Otherwise, black Americans will continue to be marginalized in a benighted land.

The voice of the people is the voice of God. Cliché as it is to say vox populi, vox dei, but how it rings more in this situation. Yes, public perception is not always necessarily right to be used as a gauge in determining justice, thus the need for the strict observance of the rule of law, but then again, we’re living under extraordinary times.

Everyone has experienced at least once in their lives that feeling that there is something palpably wrong although you ca not pinpoint a hundred per cent the culprit. We then use past actions, events, experiences, observation and a combination of all these to come to a conclusion. Sans the absence of concrete evidence, we rely on our perception, but it is important to note that we are using our judgement based on the combination as mentioned. Now, summarize the nine year rule of the inGloria’s basta*d! Will it not reek of foul, suffocating smell if we let the hands of justice be perverted by a midnight appointee, one that by the Constitution alone was not supposed to have been appointed in such an ungodly hour and whose history of kinship and political favors to the powers that be is skewered, be allowed to apply their machinations just because scholastic interpretations say this branch should be followed to the letter and respected as a co-equal branch of government? If a president can be criticized, toppled and replaced, then who the friggin hell is a Supreme Court Justice who is not even elected by the people?

Common sense dictates it shouldn’t be so. The lack of common in the senses of the supposed constitutionalists, lawyers and paid interpreters do not do justice in the practice of law in a grand manner.

Help ProPinoy win a Disqus Pro account

If you’ve been commenting here in, you’d know how chaotic our threads can get most of the time. That’s why I decided to enter the blog for a contest where we can win a Disqus Pro account. We badly need your vote though. Just look at how far behind we are lagging.

So we urge you to help us by voting for us at AppStorm. Those who comment here a lot should vote as well. You’ll benefit from this 😉

PicLyf, a social photo blogging network which is proudly Pinoy!

I’ve been a user of PicLyf since last year after hearing about the Filipino-made application from fellow bloggers. I like how it automatically posts to my social networks like Twitter, Plurk, Facebook and Google+ whenever I upload a photo. I recently interviewed Andrew dela Serna, one of the founders, about his company and their future plans.

My PicLyf dashboard

ProPinoy: What is PicLyf and what makes the app awesome?

Andrew dela Serna: PicLyf is a social photo diary, it makes it easy and fun to store and share snapshots of your moments, things and interests. I think what makes PicLyf awesome is how it lets you tell more from a single picture and the way it makes you want to document your life more.

PP: How did PicLyf start?

ADS: PicLyf came from a project called Twidl it! which was supposed to be a Meme generator on top of twitter. For that project, Eric asked me (Andrew) and BJ for help in exploring a cool idea and went for it.

PP: What made you start PicLyf?

ADS: Twidl, it was cool toy and we realized we could be doing so much more, something that can change people. We looked inside ourselves to see what problems we were passionate about and a couple of things popped up. We wanted an app that will make us want to document life (it was such a boring task) and a platform that was fully aimed at sharing Life that the noise level will be low. Substantive content will naturally float on top. So that’s how the vision of PicLyf came about.

PP: Who are the people behind PicLyf and what are their backgrounds?

ADS: There’s Eric Su, who manages the product. He’s a former university sys admin turned graphic artist and game designer. BJ is the CTO, he was a lead developer in a few pioneering tech outsourcing shops in Davao. And me, Andrew dela Serna, who helped fund the startup.

PP: Is it doing well in the international market?

ADS: We haven’t considered ourselves launched in any international market. We feel that we need to have a kickass iOS app to be competitive there, so we have spent months and months building expertise in the iOS platform and releasing a globally great app soon. Until that’s done, we are calling it open beta period 🙂

PP: Will there be an iOS and BlackBerry version of the app?

ADS: There will be an iOS app in a few weeks but we have too little bandwidth to make the Blackberry app ourselves. Hopefully we can soon work something out with a 3rd party using our API.

PP: Are you working on other apps right now? What are your plans for the future?

ADS: We are focused on the iOS app, as well as incorporating a proper thing tagging feature. There is also a cooler PicLyf userpage coming in the pipeline. Look for a proper marketing outreach once our iOS app is out. Thanks for the support!

The very handsome Andrew dela Serna

Drew, I’m still waiting for the iOS version. I promise to use it a lot.

Let’s all support the Dava0-based PicLyf! You may download Piclyf for Nokia here and Piclyf for Android here. There’s also a plugin for WordPress available at’s also like their Facebook page and follow @PicLyf on Twitter.