+63: showcasing creative trends in the Philippines

I recently found +63, a site showcasing creative trends in the Philippines. They aim to feature work from Filipino creatives around the work. If you’re a designer or artist, you might want to pay them a visit: http://plus63.net

"+63 is a collective blog dedicated to providing an online venue for Philippine creatives. The idea behind +63 is to create a rallying point for the industry by adapting and updating the international country code for the Philippines into a recongizable trademark for Filipino culture, design, and art.

The site features articles and entries on industry trends and provides a base for interaction among Filipino artists by allowing user participation. The goal is to provide a source for updates on developments in the field and a venue for relevant discussion."

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Are you less Filipino if you lose your accent?

Sunny Vergara, in his American Pop blog, writes about how he doesn’t like losing his Tagalog accent. The implication in his post was that losing your accent was like losing part of your identity. He disliked people pointing out his American accent, presumably because it made him feel less Filipino.

I’ve heard this opinion many times before but just don’t buy into it. Why should improving your language skills suggest that you’ve turned your back on your background? Surely a big part of mastering any language is to try speaking it like a native?

We had to learn French and German at School. Aside from learning grammar and vocabulary, the top students tried to lose their English accent. None felt that this would somehow make them less English. For them, it wasn’t even an issue. Why is accent such a big thing with us Filipinos?

Related articles:

Documentary production company needs translators

A Chiswick based production company is currently filming a medical-based documentary in the Philippines and requires translators beginning the 22nd of August. They need 4-5 people to be able to translate from Tagalog and possibly Hiligaynon.

They will provide successful candidates with timecoded DVD’s from the 22nd of August and will need to have translated word for word onto a formatted word document as soon as possible.

This job is paid and will be negotiated on query.

Please get in touch ASAP if you’re interested and I’ll send you contact information.

Payatas, Metro Manila’s rubbish dump

Ivar Berglin of VBS.TV covers Payatas, Metro Manila’s only rubbish dump. Although this short documentary focuses on the dump, it does make you think about issues like poverty, entrepreneurship, ecology, over-population and the Church’s stance against contraception.

Do you understand the Filipino psyche?

Jimmy Soriano, a Manila Times columnist, writes about his view of the Filipino psyche.

While UK-born second-generation Filipinos share some of these traits, I notice that they’re also the cause of conflicts between us and our ‘first-gen’ parents, friends and relatives. I’m specifically referring to his point about Filipinos being reactive and unwilling to openly settle problems.

What do you think?

It is safe to assume that Filipinos, as a people, are among the ‘easily pleased’, as compared to the other nationalities of the world. This notwithstanding, they also get hurt very easily, very onion-skinned in a manner of speaking. Little things make Filipinos in general happy but even the slightest incident could also trigger their disappointments.

Read the rest at: soriano-ph.com or manilatimes.net.

Petition against pesticide spraying in the Southern Philippines

Nina at ForwardPilipinas.org sent this message about the effects of pesticide spraying in the Southern Philippines. We can support the ban by signing the online petition at www.dirtybananas.org.

Communities (around 40,000 people) living within banana plantations in Davao, Mindanao, Southern Philippines have been subjected to regular aerial spraying of pesticides for years, suffering from acute effects such as skin rashes, nausea and stomach cramps. In February, after an imaginative well-coordinated campaign, the City Government of Davao passed an ordinance to ban aerial spraying of pesticides.

What I love about this story is that Lia, my good friend and former boss, coordinated a perfect campaign. It primarily involved working with the affected communties, educating and organising them, so that they would be empowered to articulate their concerns and policy solutions to the government. Other stratgeies involved networking and coalition-building to gain broad support throughout the city, even from those who were not immediately affected. They set up an organic growers market as a means of linking poor rural producers to city-based consumers, and to showcase alternatives to pesticide use. The community, with support from the NGOs, regularly lobbied the local council and mayor, and engaged the bureaucracy to push for tighter regulation and environmental monitoring. The end result was Ordinance 0309-07 banning aerial spraying of pesticides. It was a triumph of democratic governance for the protection of people’s health and the environment 🙂

Unfortunately, the plantation companies did not accept this asked the Court of Appeals to invalidate the ordinance, which it did. Now, the communities have filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking it to reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals. They are waiting for this the verdict; whatever the decision it will have a tremendous impact on their lives.

It’s rare to have these inspiring stories of “powerless” communities influencing government to actually work for them. So, please please do demonstrate support for their efforts by signing the online petition at www.dirtybananas.org.

Barrio Fiesta sa London 2008 rescheduled to 13th and 14th Sept

The Philippine Centre confirms the new date for Barrio Fiesta sa London 2008:

The meeting [of the Health and Safety Working group] agreed to offer Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September as an alternative date for the Philippine Centre to hold the 24th annual Barrio Fiesta sa London in Lampton park Hounslow, Middlesex.