Category: Human Rights


Earlier this morning I attended my Film 177 class in which the course description is ‘Women and Cinema’. I came in late and the class was already doing an activity. Good thing the professor was in a good mood. The professor, Miss Avie Felix, asked me “and you are?” in which I dutifully answered by saying my surname. She joked to me “no, you are really late.”

So anyway, my seatmate is kind enough to explain to me what the activity is about. As it turned out the class was asked to explain, deconstruct, make a poem, explain or just plainly continue the words stating “I AM WOMEN.”

I got excited with this activity, thinking this could be a good excuse for me to do poetry which is totally different from news writing. So after a few minutes I ended up with a poem. I explained to the class the content of this poem before reading it out loud (everyone was asked to read out loud and explain their respective concepts). Here is the poem:


I AM WOMEN

I hold half of the sky
half of the world
half of my nation
I AM WOMEN

Look at me
I am not just breasts
nor just vagina
I AM WOMEN

See me
I am your wife, mother,
daughter
, your sister
I AM WOMEN

Stop mispronouncing me
My place was never just at the kitchen
not even the bedroom

My place is not at home
No, it is not just at home
My home is in the struggle

I am half of the force for societal change
I AM WOMYN



I remember just recently, when I went to Japan for a conference, I had the opportunity to meet the Philippine Ambassador to the said country. I went there as part of a multi-sectoral consultation for the rights of Japanese-Filipino children (JFC). The Ambassador asked all the youth participants there their collegiate courses.

He then asked me what I am taking up now, I proudly said “journalism Mr. Ambassador.” He smiled and said that the profession I am taking is dangerous and deadly.

I have heard such commentaries a lot of times and such statements are sadly validated by statistics and the different human rights watch groups. And now, in a disgusting manifestation of warlordism and brute force of those in power, ticks are added on the number of killed journalists, women and innocent civilians.

Worst, the said warlords of Maguindanao, the Ampatuan clan, is a known ally of President Gloria Arroyo. It is saddening how a woman president who is expected to advance women’s rights as human rights does otherwise.

As of now, 57 bodies were dug up and there are reports that all the women were raped first before they were killed. Also, the bodies of Mangudadatu women (the rival clan of the Ampatuans) were found to be severely mutilated.

Yesterday was the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. A commemoration of the date when in 1960 the Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic were brutally assassinated by the dictator Rafael Trujillo. The three sisters Minerva, Patria and Maria Teresa were political activists who then actively opposed the dictatorship.

The three sisters were called “Inolvidables Mariposas” or the “Unforgettable Butterflies” whose death helped propel the anti-Trujillo movement that brought the end of the dictatorship.

According to the online site of United Nations “[t]he memory of the Mirabal sisters and their struggle for freedom and respect for human rights for all has transformed them into symbols of dignity and inspiration. They are symbols against prejudice and stereotypes, and their lives raised the spirits of all those they encountered and later, after their death, not only those in the Dominican Republic but others around the world.”

This celebration was first declared from the 18th to the 21st of July in 1981 by the Feminist Encuentro for Latin America and the Caribbean in Colombia. During that time the women voiced out their condemnation of gender violence (domestic battery, rape, sexual harassment, state violence including torture and abuses of women political prisoners).

And in the year 1991, through the Center for Women’s Global Leadership with the 23 women participants, from 20 countries, of the Women’s Global Institute on Women, Violence and Human Rights, the global campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence was launched.

This 16 Days of Activism involves other significant dates namely:  November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women); December 1 (World AIDS Day); December 6, (the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, when 14 women engineering students were gunned down for being feminists); and December 10 (Human Rights Day).

In light of this campaign let us all vow to put an end to such a system that coddle violence against women and violations on human rights. Let us strongly condemn this culture of impunity.

Let us pledge to end this system that breeds a feudal-patriarchal culture. Let us not forget the contributions of the many martyrs who in the time of darkness have offered their lives so that we can gain freedom and celebrate our democratic rights.

Let us demand justice from a woman president who for the past years have empty boasts of narrowing the gender gap.



JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE!

STOP THE KILLINGS!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

* United Nations online (http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/news/vawd.html)


 

Hello cyberworld! Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza is now on Plurk!

 

Add her up and get in the know with the latest on issues regarding women and the country.

Check out the site here –> Rep. Liza Maza on Plurk


BABAE, BATA, OFW at BAYAN!
IPAGLABAN!


Nobela: Pinaglahuan

Awtor: Faustino Aguilar

Taong Nailathala: 1907

Mga Tauhan:

Eduarda “Danding” Gutierrez

Luis Gat-buhay

Victorino Rojalde

Don Nicanor Gutierrez

Ñora Titay Gutierrez

Mr. Kilsberg

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Ang mga kasawiang-palad na ganiya’y dapat nating daanin sa tiis.

Ganiyan na nga ang nabubuhay na tao, mag-aasal patay”

— Pinaglahuan, 1907.

 

Pinaglahuan ― isang nobela ni Faustino Aguilar na may temang pag-ibig at iniluwal noong 1907. Ngunit piksyonal man, ang nobelang ito ay mayroong makatotohanan na pagsusuri sa lipunang Pilipino noong panahon iyon.

Sa kasalukuyan, mahigit isandaang taon na ang nakalipas ngunit patuloy pa rin na sinasalamin ng nobela ang kalagayan ng batayang masa at ang kinahaharap nila sa ilalim ng imperyalismo. May tatlong matingkad na puntos akong napuna sa nobelang ito.

Una, ay ang pagpapakita ng nobela ng pagka-unawa sa kalagayan ng bayan sa ilalim ng imperyalismo. Ipinakita dito kung paano ang mga tauhan (na representante ng mga uri sa lipunan) ay nagtutunggalian sa ilalim ng iskemang ng imperyalismo.

Ikalawa, ipinakita ng awtor sa nobela na may mga ideolohikal na aparato ang estado na siyang nagbubunsod sa mga tauhan na manatiling docile na lamang. Ang mga institusyong ito rin ang nagpapanatili sa moda ng produksyon ng mga ideolohiya ng naghaharing uri sa pamamagitan ng pagrereprodyus nito.

Ang huli, napansin ko sa nobela na mayroon na itong abanteng pagsusuri sa kalagayan ng mga kababaihan sa lipunan, at buhat dito ay ipinakita ang sitwasyon na dinadanas din ng Inang Bayan.

 

Tema ng Pag-ibig Bilang Pagpapakita sa Kalagayan ng Bayan

Ang mga tauhan sa nobela ay siya ring mga tampok bilang mga aktuwal na tauhan sa lipunan. Nariyan si Mr. Kilsberg na siyang manipestasyon ng imperyalismo. Si Rojalde bilang representante ng Malalaking Burgesya Kumprador at mga Panginoong may Lupa na siyang mga masasalapi at nakikinabang sa mga iskema ng imperyalismo. Sila Don Nicanor Gutierrez na mga representante ng Pambansang Burgesya.

Si Luis naman ay siyang representante ng uring manggagawa o sa uring anakpawis. Samantala si Danding naman ang manipestasyon ng lipunang Pilipino sa kaanyuan ng Inang Bayan. Sa pamamagitan ng tema ng pag-ibig ay naiangat ni Faustino Aguilar ang istorya upang mulatin ang kamalayan ng mga mambabasa. Ano nga ba ang pag-ibig na ito kundi ang pag-ibig sa bayan at ang paghahangad ng bawat masang Pilipino na naduhagi ng imperyalismo, na siyang rurok ng kapitalismo, na matamo ang tunay na kalayaan sa lipunan at wagas na pagkakapantay-pantay.

Sa paumpisa pa lamang ng nobela ay ipinakita na nito ang mito na ang U.S ay may pag-aasam na palayain o idemokratisa ang Pilipinas. Bagkus, ay ipinakita kung paano sa pamamagitan ng Paris Treaty ay napaloob sa bagong kolonyalista ang bayan. Ipinakita din sa nobela na noong panahon na iyon ay may pagkakahati sa mga Pilipino.

Ang una ay yaong mga nagsipagsandata upang matamo ang tunay na pagsasarili. Ang sumunod naman ay yaong mga makikinabang sa pakikiugnay sa U.S. Nagpuna si Aguilar sa umpisa pa lamang ng kanyang akda na sadyang may kahirapan para sa huli na pumanig sa pagsasarili sapagkat puro sariling galing at hindi kagalingan ng bayan ang pinaiiral.

Mayroong pag-aanalisa sa uri sa nobelang Pinaglahuan. Sinuri nito kung paano ang bawat uri ay kikilos upang dumulog sa panawagan ng bayan. Nabanggit sa nobela na: “Bayan ang tumawag at bayan ang dumalo” ibig sabihin ay may kahandaan din ang mamamayan na dumulog sa panawagan ng bayan.

Ngunit, mayroong uri sa lipunan na maaaring isawalambahala ang panawagang ito. Gaya ng puna ni Luis Gat-Buhay doon sa nagmamay-ari ng tanghalan na ayaw ipahiram ang kanyang lugar sa pagpupulong.

Ayon kay Luis: “Kung walang nilit sa kanya’y [ang nagmamay-ari ng tanghalan] di tatalikwas.” Palibhasa ay nagdadalawang isip sa takot na maapektuhan ang kanilang kalagayang nakaaangat sa lipunan.

Ito ay sapagkat silang mga masalapi ay walang interes na dumulog sa pulong na pag-uusapan ang pagsasarili ng bayan sapagkat ayon sa nobela: “Manapa’y nagsisipangambang makisama sa bayan at baka mangapahamak.” Sila ay nariyan lamang tuwing may tagumpay ang bayan. Sa ganitong pagkakataon ay sila pa ang nagkukumahog na manguna.

Samantala, ipinakita sa mga nais ni Luis ang hinahangad din ng kabuuan ng masang Pilipino na binanggit sa ika-anim na kabanata ng nobela.

Ang anim na pinaka-aasam ni Luis ay ang una, panahon na walang panginoon at walang alipin.

Ikalawa, na ang kawanggawa ay hindi na mabibili.

Ikatlo, na ang bawat isa ay magkasya sa kaniyang kailangan na lamang.

Ikaapat, na ang kagalingan ng lahat ang siyang mag-udyok sa tao sa pagdaraos ng ano mang akala.

Ikalima, ang kapangyarihan sa pamamahala ay maging kahulugan ng kalooban ng lahat at huwag ng iilan.

At ang ikaanim, ay ang pagkakaroon ng isang panahon na ikatutupad ng mga aral at haka-hakang ngayon ay inaring panaginip lamang.

Ito ay ang mga adhika ni Luis na siyang nais niyang makamit ng bayan. Ngunit siya namang hindi hinahayaan ng interes ng imperyalismo at mga kaalyado nito na maisakatuparan. Ito ay dulot ng pagnanais na magkamal pa ng maraming kayamanan at kapangyarihan.

 

Mga Represibong Institusyon ng Lipunan

Samantala nirerepresenta naman ni Danding ang abang kalagayan ng mga Pilipino sa gitna ng mga institusyon na siyang nagpapalaganap ng ideolohiya ng naghaharing-uri sa lipunan. Nariyan ang kaniyang mga magulang o ang institusyon ng pamilya. Nariyan din ang institusyon ng ekonomiya, ng pulitika at ang institusyon ng simbahan na siya ring nagpapalaganap ng naturang mga ideyolohiya.

Ano nga ba at nabanggit ni Luis na ang salapi at pananampalataya ay mga napakalalakas na kaaway niya. Ito ay dahilan sa kalagayan na kinahaharap nila ni Danding. Nalalaman ni Luis na hindi maaaring maisakatuparan ang pag-iibigan nila ni Danding dahilan sa ang kapalaran nila ay itinakda na ng mga institusyon na nakapalibot sa kaniya.

Makikita din sa nobela ang kalakaran sa lipunan. Dalawa sa mga ito ay kung paano pinapananaw ng mga tao ang kaunlaran at ang sumunod ay kung paano nga ba naisisilang sa lipunan ang mga kriminal. Napansin ko na mayroong macro-objectivist na pagpapananaw si Aguilar sa kung bakit nga ba may mga krimen sa lipunan. Tinitingnan nito sa kabuuan o malawakang perspektibo ang pagsusuri.

Sa ilalim ng mga teorya sa macro-objectivism sinsabi na ang pagsalungat ay bunga ng mga kondisyon sa lipunan. Dito, sinasabi na bawat lipunan ay may mga pinahahalagahan na mga values. At sa isang kapitalistang panahon ang mga values na pinahahalagahan ay yaong mga materyal na kagaya ng salapi. Sa loob ng lipunang ay may tatsulok, na siyang nagsasabi na mayroong pagkakahati-hati sa uri, at kabilang dito ang malaking bilang ng mga uring anakpawis.

Dahil sa may mga mamamayan na walang kakayanan na makamit ang itinakdang values ng lipunan sa pamamaraan na aprubado nito ay napipilitan sila na kamtan ito sa ibang pamamaraan. Paraan na ayon sa batas ay mali sapagkat silang nagtatakda ng mga patakaran, ay siya ring mga naghaharing-uri na ang interes ay ang mapanatili ang sariling kagalingan.

Mula sa pagpapakita ng mga institusyong ito na siyang nagsasagka sa ikakatuparan ng pag-iibigan nila Danding at Luis ay nasuri ni Luis na siya ring mga naturang institusyon ang dahilan ng pagkaduhagi ng mga mahihirap sa lipunan.

Ang mga institusyong ito na siya ngang nagpapalaganap ng ideyolohiya na kumakalinga sa naghaharing mga uri ay siya ring pumipigil sa ikasasakatuparan ng mga hinahangad ni Luis na mga pagbabago sa Pilipinas. At siya ring pumupigil sa tunay na kaginhawaan ng masang nakararami. Ang buhay nila sa pagkakasabi ni Luis ay “ang sa alamang, paglukso ay patay.” Ano pa nga ba at itinakda na rin ang kapalaran ng mga dukha na masasalimin sa madaming tagpo sa nobela.

“Doon na nanghina ang kaniyang malalakas na butong mula nang mapasabahay na iyon ay ginamit na lamang sa paglingkod sa iba at minsan ma’y hindi sa sarili. Palad ng dukha, katalagahan sa buhay ng mahirap.”

— Pinaglahuan, Kabanata 9

“Nagbubukang-liwayway sa kasilangana’y ngumingiti na ang masayang liwanag, ang mga manggagawang maaga kung pumasok ay nagsali-salimbay sa mga lansangan at ang mga dukhang ‘di naghapuna’y gising nang nangag-iisip kung saan kukuha ng makakain sa maghapon.”

— Pinaglahuan, Kabanata 9

Samantala yaong mga interes at pagpapalagay ng masasalapi at mga opisyal sa pamahalaan sa mga dukha at rebolusyonaryo ay ipinakita din sa nobela.

“Ang mga dukha ay di maaaring makisilong man lamang sa lilim ng aking panambi”

— Pinaglahuan, [Don Nicanor] Kabanata 4

“[K]ahit sa paninirang-puri sa ganito o gayong manggugulo, gaya ng tawag sa mga may damdaming mahal na ‘di nagbibili ng kanilang pananalig at layon, palibhasa’y nangakatatalastas na hindi ang lagay na kasalukuyan ang marapat sa Pilipinas, kundi ang isang kapalarang lalong may mataas na uri, bilang kapalit ng dugo ng kaniyang mga bayaning sa lahat ng dako’y nagsuyo ng buhay na yakap ang watawat ng isang banal na adhika”

— Pinaglahuan, Kabanata 10

Sa nobela ay ipinakita din na ang mga tauhan doon ay mayroong pagkilala sa pangangailangan ng isang rebolusyon upang makamit ang tunay na pagkakapantay-pantay.

“Upang mabago ang kalagayan natin sa pamamayan ay nangangailangan tayo ng paghihimagsik”

— Pinaglahuan, Kabanata 7

“Walang kapoon-poon kundi ang katwiran, sa kaniyang kahulugang talaga, ang katwiran ay siyang panginoon ng lahat, haring makapangyarihan na ‘di kumikilala ng lahi, kulay at pagkatao”

— Pinaglahuan, Kabanata 7

 

Sitwasyon ng Kababaihan sa Lipunang Pilipino

“Sasabihin lamang na napalaki ang isinulong ng sansinukob, gayong ang katotohana’y kasangkapang kung ipalagay ang babae, kasangkapang pamuno ng isang kailangan at alipin habambuhay”

—Pinaglahuan, Kabanata 18

Palibhasa ay mayroong pagsasapananaw sa kaunlaran na ayon kay Danding ay “sa malinaw na tubig tumitingin, [at] hindi sa mabahong burak sa kailaliman” kung kaya mababaw din ang pagsasapananaw sa kahulugan ng kaunlaran. Kadalasan pa nga ay sa ngalan ng kaunlaran ay lalo pang naisantabi ang kalagayan ng mga naghihirap na Pilipino.

Sinabi sa nobela na si Don Nicanor Gutierrez ay may paniniwala na ang anak na babae ay puhunan. Tila ganito din ang pagsasapananaw sa kalagayan ng Inang Bayan na ang kahalagahan ay nasusukat hanggat ito ay makukunan ng kapakinabangan.

Bukod sa pagpapakita ng kalagayan ng mamamayan na impluwensyado ng mga institusyon sa lipunan ipinakita din sa katauhan ni Danding kung paano ang kalagayan ng inang bayan na siyang kinadenahan ng mga institusyon ng imperyalismo upang masiguro ang kanyang pagsunod. At ang mga masalaping anak ng bayan ay nakikialyado pa sa imperyalismong interes dahil sila ay may kapakinabangan din.

Maigting na ipinakita sa nobela ang kalagayan ng mga kababaihan sa lipunang Pilipino na masasalamin sa mga pahayag ni Danding sa nobela. Ipinahayag niya sa nobela kung paano nga ba ang sektor ng kababaihan ay itinatakda na ang buhay kahalintulad ng kapalaran ng bayan.

Sa mga pananalita ni Danding na ang puso niya ay di kailanman makukuha ni Rojalde ay naalala ko ang sinabi ng lider katutubo na si Macli-ing Dulag: “Ang katawan ko lang ang mamamatay, hindi ang diwang ipinaglalaban.” Maihahalintulad ko sa porma ng pag-aaklas na ginawa ni Danding na kahit na ang pisikal na katawan niya ay hindi na niya hawak ay naniniguro naman siya na ang kanyang diwa ng pag-ibig ay hindi maaagaw mula sa kanya, pag-ibig para sa kasintahan ─ na siya ring pag-ibig sa diwa ng kalayaan.

At yaong anak na isisilang ni Danding ay siyang rebolusyon na bunga ng panawagan ng mga dukha na makamtan ang isang tunay na kalayaan ng bayan. Ang pag-ibig ng mamamayan sa Inang Bayan ang siyang nagluwal sa himagsikan.

……………………..

(isang rebyu para sa Panpil121)

Matingkad pa ang aking pagkagunita sa mga naganap sa nakaraang State of the Nation Address (SONA) ngayong taon. Noong Hulyo 23, nagtipun-tipon sa Ever Gotesco Commonwealth ang mga mamamayan mula sa iba-ibang sector ng lipunan.

Ang bawat sektor ay may mga kaniya-kaniyang lehitimong panawagan. Tunay na reporma sa lupa mula sa mga magsasaka sa kanayunan, edukasyon bilang karapatan mula sa mga kabataan, pagtigil sa demolisyon para sa mga maapektuhang mga taga-komunidad at pagbasura sa Human Security Act (HSA) mula sa mga progresibong grupo na lumahok. Tinawag itong Tunay na Sona ng Bayan, ang tunay na kalagayan ng bansa na nadadanasan ng nakararaming masang Pilipino. Ito ay ang kanilang ipinantapat sa isinagawang State of the Nation Address (SONA) ng gobyernong Arroyo.



Ito na ang pangalawang SONA na nilahukan ko, iyong una ay noong nakaraang taon kung saan sinalubong kami ng bagyong Gloria na nagpalit sa pangalang Glenda. Kagaya ng mga nakaraang SONA ng Bayan, masigasig ang mga kalahok na aktibong makibaka para sa kanilang mga lehitimong mga panawagan, at sa isang banda ay manghikayat pa ng iba para sumali at makibaka. Kagaya muli ng nakaraang mga SONA maraming midya ang nandoon upang iulat ang mga kaganapan.Naalala ko na ang mga lumahok mula sa Kolehiyo ng Pangmadlang Komunikasyon ay may panawagan na: “Alagad ng Midya, MAGMULAT, MAGLINGKOD, MAKIBAKA”. Ito ang isinisigaw nila sa kalye na panghikayat sa mga nasa industriya ng pamamahayag. Sa kasalukuyang kalagayan ng midya sa bayan, kapansin-pansin ang madaling akses dito ng mga tao, lalo na ng mga bata na nasa formative years pa lamang.

Ang midya ay maituturing na bahagi ng tinatawag ni Louis Althusser na ISA o ideological state apparatus. Ang ISA ay kinokonsidera na pribadong domeyn at mas kumakalinga sa ideolohikal na pamamaraan ng panunupil ng estado, at pumapangalawa lamang ang paggamit nito ng dahas.


Isa itong paraan kung saan ipinasusubo sa mga tao ang ideolohiya na ipinalalaganap ng naghaharing-uri sa pamamaraang hindi nga tahasan, ngunit lagi namang makakasalamuha sa mga institusyon sa lipunan kagaya ng edukasyon, politika, simbahan at midya kung kaya’t nagsilbing mahalagang aspeto ng social formation.


Nirereprodyus nito ang moda ng produksyon na kumakalinga lamang sa mga naghaharing-uri, nandiyan ang reproduksyon ng mga eksployter, naeeksployt, mga ahensya ng eksploytasyon at ahensya ng represyon na may kakayanan na ipatanggap sa mga mamamayan ang pagiging masunurin nang walang pasubali.

Kagaya ng nabanggit ni Joan Salvador sa “Docile Minds, Commodified Bodies: Young Women in the Context of Globalization ang Neoliberal Education,” ang mga kababaihan ay lalo pang na-mamarginalize dahil nga sa neoliberal na aspeto ng edukasyon, kung saan nasasadlak na lamang sila sa mga trabahong kinikilala na “pambabae” ng lipunan. Dagdag pa dito ay kinakasangkapan ang mga kababaihan sa kapitalistang interes dahilan sa mas mababang pasahod sa mga babae kumpara sa lalaki.

Maski ang midya ay kaugnay sa mga kaapihan sa kababaihan, nandiyan ang pagpapatuloy nila ng mga programa na sinasalamin ang maigting na impluwensya ng relihiyon. Isa na dito ay ang pagpapakita ng dalawang uri ng babae sa mga palabas: si Maria (Birheng Maria) bilang ideyal na babae dahil mapagtimpi, masunurin at huwaran na ina at asawa, at si Magdalena, isang tukso at makasalanan.

Bukod pa dito, pinapalakas din ng midya ang hindi pantay na katayuan ng babae at lalaki, at ang pagpapalaganap ng kaisipan na ang babae ay parausan, kalakal at dapat kaakit-akit sa mga kalalakihan.

Nabanggit sa SONA noon ni GMA ang kanyang pagpapaunlad pa ng science and technology sa bayan, at kasabay noon ay ang pagpapakita ng isang pagawaan ng kompyuter chip na puro kababaihan. Isa itong patunay na ang kaunlaran na iniaalay sa kababaihan ay taliwas sa tunay na esensya ng pagpapalaya sa kanila sa lipunan.



Ang midya ay sadyang auratic, ito ay mass-produced ngunit ang indibidwal ang inaadres nito. Ito ay isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit nagiging manhid na din ang mga manonood sa mga isyung panlipunan. Nag-aalay kasi sa kanila ng mga limitadong choices na dikta na din ng naghaharing-uri. Sa makatuwid walang tunay na choice ang mambabasa ng teksto ng midya at siya ay binibigyan lamang ng mga mensahe na naglalaman ng mga bagay na ayon sa kasalukuyang anyo o istruktura ng lipunan ay dapat niyang pag-isipan.

Ang midya ay nagpapalaganap din ng mga mensahe na naglalaman ng mga bagay na instant na makakamit. Kung kaya’t ang nangyayari ay nagiging sapat na lamang sa mga mambabasa ng teksto ng midya ang mga short-term o kagyat na sagot sa mga pangangailangan kaysa sa mga long-term na mga plano.

Bukod dito, ang auratic na katangian ng midya ay tila nangungusap sa bumabasa ng teksto na ito ay kalahok sa mga kaganapan na napapanood niya o napakikinggan. Sa gayon, may pag-aakala sa parte ng manonood na nandoon siya sa mismong lugar na pinagdadausan at ginagawa na ng midya ang dapat ginagawa niya, kahit na ang sa totoo ay nakaupo lang siya sa loob ng sala.

Dahil dito ay lalo pang napapalaganap ang pagiging indifferent, consumerist at individualistic ng tao dahil sa mga mensahe na nakukuha niya sa midya. Siya ay nagiging passive na tagatanggap na lamang ng mga ideolohiya na pinalalaganap ng kasalukuyang anyo ng lipunan na siyang nakakaapekto sa kanyang social formation at bagkus lalo pang nirereprodyus ang sistema ng produksyon ng naghaharing-uri.

Sinasabi na ang mga mambabasa ng teksto ng midya ay kritikal at hindi dapat tinitingnan na mga docile, ngunit paano kung ang mismong midya ang siyang nagiging instrumento ng docility. Isang mass-produced na produkto na siyang nauuwi na lamang bilang lunsaran ng mga kaisipang neoliberal.

Habang ayon sa Directing the Real: Orapronobis Against Philippine Totalitarianism (2000) ang telebisyong pang-kapitalista ay may kakayanan na lusawin ang tunay na kahulugan ng ibat-ibang uri ng pakikibaka sa pamamagitan ng pagpapamukha na ito ay isa lamang insidente na malayong mangyari sa katotohanan. Dito naipapakita ang tunggalian sa pagitan ng totoong kalagayan ng lipunan at ng kung ano lamang ang hinahayaang makapasok na mga ulat sa mainstream media.

Sa Orapronobis, ay ginawang tampok ng pagmulat at pakikibaka ni Lino Brocka ang pelikula. Dito ay ipinakita niya ang konsepto ng demokrasya ang isa ay ang ayon sa grupo ng mga Pronobis at ang isa naman ay ang sa tunay na demokrasya na dapat sana ay tinamasa ng taong bayan. Sa pelikula ay ipinakita ang makasaysayang EDSA revolution na malawakang iniulat ng internasyunal na midya. Nabanggit ni Althusser na ang state power at state apparatus ay may pagkakaiba.

Maaaring matapos ang isang rebolusyon ay maagaw ang state power ngunit ang mga dating porma ng state apparatuses na kontrolado ng naghaharing uri ay manatili at dahil nga dito hindi naglalaon ay bumabalik ulit sa dating porma ang lipunan dahil ang state power ay hindi makakasulong kung wala itong kontrol sa state apparatuses lalo na ang ISA.

Sa pelikula ni Brocka ipinakita na kahit natapos na ang diktadurya ay nananatili pa rin ang mga hindi makatarungang mga pamamaslang at mga grupong vigilante. Nagbago nga ang namumuno pero ang control ay hawak pa din ng imperyalistang mga aparato, pinarangalan pa sa pelikula ng gobyernong Aquino si Komander Kontra (Bembol Roco).



Matingkad pa sa pelikula ang pagbabanggit ni Komander na nakamit na ang demokrasya, ngunit nananatili na lamang siyang salita dahil walang totoong hakbangin mismo mula sa kanya maging sa gobyerno na itaguyod ang demokrasya.

Ipinapaalala nito sa akin ang SONA ni GMA at ang mga tagapagsalitang kabilang sa panggitnang uri na paulit-ulit na sinasabi ni kinukondena nila ang mga pamamaslang sa mga aktibista, lider unyonista at mga mamamahayag ngunit nananatili itong salita na lamang dahil wala ring konkreto na aksyon na isinasagawa sa pagkondena nito.

Kadalasan pa nga ay palusot na ng gobyerno na terorista, NPA, komunista o miyembro ng isang organisasyon na prente ng CPP ang napaslang  para lamang mabigyang hustisya ang ginawang paglabag sa karapatang pantao. Isa sa mga dahilan ang midya sa opresyong political at pagpapalaganap ng interes ng naghaharing-uri.

Nariyan ang mga pansalang ginagamit nito upang makontrol ang lalabas na mga impormasyon. Ayon kila Noam Chomsky at Edward Herman ang mass media ay may 5 pansala: ang ownership, advertising, sourcing, flak at ideolohiya (pagpapalawig sa susunod na blog entri). Ngunit, malaki din naman ang naging gampanin ng midya upang maging isang tampulan ng pakikibaka at makataong mga programa. Ang Orapronobis ay nagsilbing isang makasaysayang pelikula at isa na rin tala ng mga kaganapan noong panahon matapos ang Martial Law.

Kinabukasan matapos ang dalawang bersyon ng SONA ay naglabasan sa mga mainstream na pahayagan ang mga litrato ng naganap na SONA. Higit na naungusan ng mga litrato ukol sa mga dumalo at ang mga suot nila ang balita, at tanging ang simbolikong pagsusunog lamang ng effigy ang binigyang puwang malathala. Wala ding paliwanag na ang isinagawang panununog ay pakahulugan na may hangganan din ang mga nabubulok na sistema.

Ito ay dahilan sa kontrol ng mga naghaharing-uri at ng mga media conglomerates sa mga pangunahing porma ng midya. Dito ay pinapalaganap lamang ang mga ideolohiya na maaaring magsilbi sa interes nila. Ayon kay Althusser ang ideolohiya ay isang sistema ng ideya at representasyon na siyang nagdodomina ng kamulatan ng isang tao o uri sa lipunan. Sa loob ng ideolohiyang ito kikilos at magdedesisyon ang mga tao hindi lamang dahil sa namulat sila sa ganitong kaisipan kung hindi dahilan rin sa ang pagkilos sa loob ng ipinalalaganap na ideolohiya ay siyang pinagmumukhang may kabuluhan.

Ang ideolohiyang ito ay nabubuhay sa isang aparato ng estado, kasama na din ang pagsasapraktika ng mga ipinalalaganap ng mga aparatong ito. Nabanggit din ni Althusser ang interpellation ng ideolohiya (sa kasalukuyan na kontrolado ng naghaharing-uri) kung saan nagsisilbi ito sa isang paraan kung saan ginagawa nitong sabjek ang bawat indibidwal o dinedepoliticize ito.

Dahil dito ay bumababa ng bumababa ang kalidad ng mga mambabasa ng teksto ng midya o nadedegrade sila. Ito ay ang dahilan kung bakit kadalasan ay mga masang naiinis sa mga aktibista, dahil sa mga imahen na ipinapakita ng midya ukol sa mga tibak.

Isa na sa mga bunton sa mga aktibista ay ang pagdudulot ng matinding trapik sa tuwing may mobilisasyon, hindi na gumagawa pa nag midya ng paraan upang ipaliwanag ang ugat ng problema sa trapiko. May nakapagsabi nga na mula sa Anakbayan na wala naman sana talagang trapik kung hahayaan lang ng mga pulis na umusad ang mobilisasyon sa pagdadausan ng SONA ni Arroyo.

Ang mga naisantabing mga mamamayan ay gumagawa ng alternatibo sa pamamagitan ng pagtungo sa lansangan kung saan kinikilala nila ang kanilang mga karapatan at isinisigaw ang pagkondena sa mga hindi makatao at makabayang mga hakbang na dulot ng pribatisasyon, deregulasyon at liberalisasyon na dikta ng mga imperyalistang institusyon gaya ng World Bank at International Monetary Fund dagdag pa ang rehimeng US-Arroyo.

Bukod dito ay nagsasagawa din ng mga hakbangin na maglunsad ng mga alternatibong porma ng midya upang tumugon sa mga isyu ng naisantabing mamamayan. Nariyan ang Pinoy Weekly, isang lingguhang pahayagan at ang mga alternatibong online na mga lathalain gaya ng Bulatlat.com Tinig.com dagdag pa ang umuusbong na mga blogs na tumutugon sa masa.

(Nirebisa na bersyon ng papel na ipinasa sa Communication 141-Midya at Lipunan sa klase ni Ginoong Rolando Tolentino)

I have never imagined I would actually experience being part of an advertisement shoot especially from a prestigious ad agency like DM9JaymeSyfu. It’s not that I don’t like to try it out even once, mind you I love adventure and trying out new things once in a while. It’s just that I am not sure if I am willing to succumb to all those detailed acting and long hours of shoot included in the package.

So anyway, here is the story.

It all started when I received a message from Miss Lana Linaban of GABRIELA. It read:

DM9JaymeSyFu, a multi-awarded ad agency and a staunch advocate of women’s rights, is doing a commercial for Gabriela’s 25th anniversary. They are in need of 9 women, age 25-40, who are willing to share their talent and time for this advocacy project. Interested individuals may send their photo on or before Oct. 14 (yes, that’s on wed). The schedule of workshop is on Oct. 15 and actual shoot is on Oct. 16. We appeal for your help. . For inquiries please contact Emmi 0917 *** ** ** or Lana 0908 *** ** **/0922 *** ** **.  Thank you so much.

Here is the scenario: I was pretending to be busy with my paper, reviewing for my finals, and okay exploring the web. I was aiming to be real productive as the end of the semester was over a week away. So, I was really wondering if I will pursue this offer or not.

In the end I decided to go for it. The issue being brought out by the advertisement is an advocacy close to my heart plus I support GABRIELA (100% supporter/fan girl haha!) as I have been working with their UP Diliman chapter for a long time now. I knew the concept was about violence against women and that it involves bruises, scars and you get the idea.

I imagined that I would just be casted as one of those passers-by or a clueless neighbor so it’s no big deal actually in terms of acting.

And so October 15 came and the casting workshop commenced at the ProVill Studio in Makati. All the women there, went in by groups of ten for the VTR. I went with the second batch along with my friends from the UP-Diliman, Fudge and Rej. We were made to do some acting stuff (awkward!) inside and headshots of us were taken.

The three of us were chosen in the end. However, the production staff called out my name along with five other women inside the room again. I was wondering what it was for, though, later I found out that we were chosen to do some minor acting (rawr! spell awkward the second time). Also, we will act with bruises on our faces.

Now this time, I was about to back out. I have never imagined myself characterizing the role of a battered woman. With the experiences that I and my friends encountered while working with the different community partners of GABRIELA, and meeting battered women, I seem to have pledged within me to be strong. To never show weakness, as a woman in a patriarchal society, and to have strength specially in times when others need support.

Also, I don’t think I have the features to act out the part. As I have always said, my default face is characterized by a fierce expression and not the stereotypical kind-faced girl you see on all those television shows. I was asking myself how I got into this situation.

October 16 came, it was the day intended for the shoot. I went to the studio and had a chance to talk with the other women there. I found out that they were all doing the shoot for their advocacy and involvement in the women’s movement. I got inspired by their stories and that inspiration gave me strength to do whatever I can to do my best for the ad and muster whatever acting skill I earned from all the workshops I got from PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association) a long time ago.

In the end, everything went smooth and easy as the directors helped me out to change my fierce face into a smiley expression. I hope I did not give them a hard time (haha!). I characterized the role of a social worker who shared in the pain of the VAW victim (portrayed by model Elle Velasco).

I’m so happy to meet women involved in different fields of work advocating for the elimination of violence against women, from concerned mothers, students and professionals, women from urban poor communities, daughters, grandmothers and sisters. Women from different generations and line of work in one room united in one cause.

I vow to fight VAW!

I vow to end violence against women!

Towards the continuous struggle for women’s rights!

Happy 25th year to GABRIELA!

Below is the link to see the advertisement.

GABRIELA
25th year advertisement/ iVow to Fight VAW campaign


(This interview was made by me for our J111, Feature Writing,
class last semester. Our class project was a magazine named Noypi.
Access the Magazine here: NOYPI)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


You might have seen these huge caricatures paraded during various protests actions. But, have you ever wondered why they bother making one just to burn it all up in the end?

Read on to know what it takes to build these huge masterpieces of the street. And read their views on art, with an Interview from Iggy Rodriguez, Project Coordinator of UgatLahi.

NOYPI: How did UgatLahi came to be?

IR: Ugat Lahi started as a transmedia collective of artists who use different media like theater, literature and visual arts. UgatLahi artists see that there are problems in society and from there, uses different artistic and imaginative expressions to voice out these issues. We try to create projects to serve as venue for balitaktakan or talks like exhibits, fora and effigy-making among others.  

NOYPI: How long have you been making effigies?

IR: We started in 1997, for the “Kalbaryo ng Mamamayan” held during the Lent. But, officially we started making effigies of personalities and presidents in 1999, from the Estrada administration up to the current one.

NOYPI: How long does it take to create an effigy?

IR: Our timeline in making an effigy is exactly one week though there was one time during the Estrada administration that took us up to three weeks.

NOYPI: Why do UgatLahi artists involve with such advocacies?
 
IR: It is important to be critical of the social realities. We believe that artist as human beings, as Filipinos, should be active participants and not passive bystanders in society. Creating art that reflect social realities is part of an artist’s responsibility. Whether in streets, in a factory, or a mainstream gallery what’s important is that the artist can broadcast the message as a social being.

NOYPI: What creative process does creating an effigy go through?

IR: Well, first we unite in the concept or idea to be portrayed. We identify the call, for example [during] the State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2009 the main call is “Tapos ka na Gloria.” We want to show that her 9 years of staying in power is [nearing its end] and that people are in discontent.

At the same time we want to show a “Rotting Glo,” where she continuously finds ways to extend her term either as president or as prime minister. She was portrayed riding a bulldozer which symbolizes the administration move for a charter change (cha-cha). The bulldozer symbolizes how the Arroyo administration wants to derail all efforts of the masses to oppose her moves to extend her term.


NOYPI: What does an effective effigy look like?

IR: Among our collective, we try to raise the standards of creating effigies [as artists]. But actually, it depends on the objective, the concept of the artist and the purpose or use of the effigy. The most important consideration is the concept, identifying the most effective concept, and then we try to raise the aesthetics. Like during the Marcos years effigies mostly use chicken wire, now we use clay which is easier to sculpt, add details and mold.

NOYPI: Why are effigies exaggerated in form?

IR: Firstly, it is more effective in broadcasting our message. Different forms get different impacts or reactions… exaggeration gives edge at the same time it can effectively articulate what you want to say as well as expose the character you want to portray.

NOYPI: What other projects do you have?

IR: We believe that artists should be one with the struggles of the masses. Our programs try to show how artists should not just be confined in studios. We believe that artists should also serve the people.

Among our projects are exhibits, trainings both internal which is among the members and external which include advocacy work in partnership with communities like in Tondo and South Alabang.

We have a monthly program where for two months we integrate with communities. This program is called BMI or Basic Masses Integration. We also plan a publication of works of artists called Engkuwentro, a folio type magazine envisioned to be a handy gallery. 

NOYPI: What purpose do effigies serve?

IR: Effigies give focus to the collective discontent of the masses. Second, it serves as a venue to channel the discontent especially in the symbolic burning. Finally, it helps to disseminate the message not only to the people present in the rally but also to those who saw it on television or the news paper.

It engages the Filipino sensibilities, so there is collaboration with the masses during the whole performance.

NOYPI: Why do you burn the effigies in the end?

IR: It is burnt because it is still tradition [and] burning uplifts the momentum and spirit of the protest as a performance. It is a ritual where we burn the image of the effigy and all the evils attached to it like corruption. This symbolic action reflects the unity of the people to end injustice.

NOYPI: How do you view art?

IR: First of all, for whom do we create art for but for the masses? Where the masses are the artists should be there to help them articulate their experiences, dreams and aspirations.

 

Ever remember the feeling when you are watching one of those game shows.  The one where the contestant is at the final round and about to win the grand prize and you are on the edge of your seat while watching it on television. Or when it is the finals on one of those beauty pageants or reality shows you follow every night. Where your heart beats fast as the hosts announces the winner. 

That is probably how YOGHI felt during the awards night of TAYO or Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations. Only, it wasn’t something they were watching on television. They were actually part of it.

Last Wednesday, October 28, members of YOGHI, representatives from Batis Center for Women, Batis-AWARE (Association of Women in Action for Rights and Empowerment) and Miss Bernadette Neri, the writer of the YOGHI Manga, attended the 7th TAYO awards night at the Renaissance Hotel in Makati. 



TAYO Backgrounder


The TAYO award is given to recognize youth organizations across the Philippines which, through their projects, have helped their communities. This award opts to encourage the young people to get out of their comfort zones and take part in society by making a positive difference through innovative initiatives.

Launched in 2002, TAYO was made possible through the initiative of Senator Kiko Pangilinan along with the National Youth Commission and the TAYO Foundation. This year the award was presented by the Coca-Cola Foundation. 

Organizations are judged on the basis of the following: Impact of Project Entry on Stakeholders; Harnessing the Spirit of Volunteerism and Citizenship; Creativity and Innovation; Sustainability and Effective Use of Resources. 

This year the panel of Judges included Senator Kiko Pangilinan, TV Host Boy Abunda, TAYO Awards Foundation President Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, young entrepreneur Crystal Henares Belo and National Youth Commisson Chairman and CEO Richard Nalupta among others.


All organizations, clubs, societies, groups, the Sanggunian Kabataan, or even barkadas can join the search as long as the membership and leadership are composed of at least fifteen (15) members who are 15 to 30 years old. 

This year is the seventh year of this prestigious recognition given to youth organizations. Twenty organizations made it to the finals of the TAYO 7. All of them were billeted at the SEAMEO-Innotech along the Commonwealth area for the whole 
TAYO week. 



The TAYO 7 Awardees

After a short audio-visual presentation of the TAYO week the lights dimmed and actress KC Concepcion ascended the stairs into the stage to announce the ten organizations that made it in the 
list of TAYO. 

To the surprise of its members, the Youth Organization that Gives Hope and Inspiration was the first one to be called to the stage with the project entry the YOGHI Manga. 

The YOGHI Manga is a comic book that tells of the experiences of Japanese-Filipino children through three stories. 


The stories tell of the issues of discrimination and prejudice, right to informed choice, right to choose the nationality, right to participate in issues concerning the youth, the right to recognition of the Japanese fathers and the right to cultural heritage.

This recognition according to YOGHI is not theirs alone but also to all the Japanese-Filipino children and to other children of migrants like them.

Other winners include the following:

NCR

Mu Sigma Phi Sorority from UP Manila

Muntinlupa Junior Rescue Team from Muntinlupa. 


LUZON

Guesset National High School Science Club from La Union

Earnest Support for Underprivileged Children 
(E-SUCH) Charity Association, Inc. from Bulacan

Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Kabataang Baltak 
(SMM KABALTAK) from Atimonan, Quezon

Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) from Camarines Sur


Visayas

Iloilo Prima Galaw Productions from Iloilo

Sanguniang Kabataan Passi City Federation from Iloilo


Mindanao

El Consejo Atenista from Ateneo de Zamboanga

The winners received a golden trophy by Toym de Leon Imao, as well as a 50,000 Peso cash prize. However, the other ten finalists were also awarded with a silver trophy. 

Among the finalists of the TAYO 7 included the following: 


Luzon

University of Luzon-Students in Free Enterprise from Pangasinan


Visayas

Tsinelas Group of Campus Volunteers from Cebu City

Special Education Students Association from Iloilo City

Pag-Asa Youth Association from Cebu


Mindanao

Kulasihan Young Achievers Inc. from Bukidnon

Dire Husi Initiative Organization from Cagayan de Oro City

Students in Free Enterprise-Mindanao State University from General Santos City

Pongolel 4H Club from Saranggani Province

NCR

Student in Free Enterprise-St. Paul University from Quezon City 

University of the Philippines-
Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants from Quezon City


The Message of the TAYO  7 Finalists

At the end of the program, the TAYO 7 finalists left a message to all the youth of today. In unison the twenty youth organizations pledge to continue to participate in societal concerns and to break the rampant indifference attached to the youth of today. 

Proving that the youth are not passive bystanders but active participants in society, the finalists reiterated their belief that the youth should be one with the struggles of the marginalized and oppressed.

 

In unison they said “we are the youth of today, and we shall continue to be great sons and daughters of this country.”
Stories usually tell us of adventures, it starts with the introduction of characters that we get to love or hate, and always ends with a lesson to learn.

Usually, in some stories, fictional it may be, the characters springs to life in our imagination. Others still, we end up identifying with.

Some stories inspire lives, however, some stories are inspired by real life, and this is the tale behind the YOGHI Manga.

The Manga weaved together the different experiences of Japanese-Filipino children who grew up in the Philippines.

Three lives that tell of the journey on searching for identity, gaining of recognition, standing up against discrimination and promoting the rights of Japanese-Filipino children (JFC).

Three stories on growing up that serves as the voice on how it is to be as a JFC.

The story started with Yuki, a school-age child who has to deal with discrimination and questions on his identity. A slice of his life is shown through his adventures on his first day in a new school. This story is a witness on how Yuki, eventually come to terms with his unique identity, of course with help from a mysterious friend.

The story then moves to Naomi, a college student, and her contemplations on the issue of acquiring Japanese nationality as she returns to her home province. With series of flashbacks to her past and daydreams of what her future may be, Naomi seems to be caught in between. Will she be able to move on and decide in the end?

The final story revolves around the experiences of Yoshi as a factory worker in Japan. Here, Yoshi relates through a letter his hilarious encounters and the stark realities he experienced as a Japanese-Filipino in the land of his father.

The YOGHI Manga was formulated with a series of group sharing among the members of Batis Youth Organization that Gives Hope and Inspiration (YOGHI), a lead organization of Japanese-Filipino children based in the Philippines. With its first year as an autonomous organization of and by JFCs, YOGHI hopes that this Manga could effectively voice out the issues faced by them and inspire action from those who will read it.

The Manga was written by Philippine Palanca awardee, Bernadette Neri. Artists include UP College of Fine Arts Graduate John Paul Clemente, Technological University of the Philippines Engineering student Wilvic Cañas and Manga enthusiast Joseph Bautista.

If you wish to get copies of the YOGHI Manga, you can get in touch with Batis-YOGHI through email at batis.yoghi@yahoo.com, your donations for the support of the organization’s advocacies will be of great help.

Also, you can get in touch through our website at http://www.batisyoghi.multiply.com and visit our YouTube site at http://www.youtube.com/TheYOGHI or add us on Friendster at http://profiles.friendster.com/batisyoghi.


The Ruling

Last August 4 Batis YOGHI, Batis Center for Women, DAWN and Maligaya House, all organizations that focus on issues of migrant women from Japan and Japanese-Filipino children (JFCs), held a press conference regarding Japan’s Supreme Court ruling on the acquisition of Japanese nationality.  The Supreme Court ruled that the provision requiring parents to be married in order for their children to acquire Japanese nationality is unconstitutional. Japan favored the rights of the ten children to be recognized as citizens.

The decision was made due to the case filed by ten JFCs who were asking to be recognized as Japanese Citizens. The four organizations tackled different concerns with regard to the ruling.

Maligaya House with attorney Kondo explained the ruling as well as the case of the ten JFCs asking for Japanese nationality. Attorney Kondo was the one who handled the case in Japan.

DAWN discussed the results of the survey they conducted together with the Center for Japanese-Filipino Children’s Assistance (CJFCA). The respondents included 100 Filipino women with JFCs and 56 JFCs.

From the survey, it was found out that most of the women met the Japanese fathers of their children in the clubs where they worked. Also, less than half of the women were married to the Japanese fathers of their children. Most were married in the Philippines while, close to one-third of them submitted a marriage report to Japan.

The survey also revealed that most of the JFC respondents were born in the Philippines where most of their births were registered.

Batis Center, discussed the positive and negative outcomes that may be brought out by the Supreme Court ruling while the Batis YOGHI (Youth Organization that Gives Hope and Inspiration) gave a more grounded situation of the JFCs, resulting from their Nationality Discussion Part II.

A Door Opened to the JFCs

From the Nationality Discussion, the Batis YOGHI identified three concerns regarding the ruling.

First, the YOGHI lauds the ruling made by the Supreme Court. This ruling recognizes the right to nationality of children without discrimination and regardless of the marital status of the parents as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides. A door is opened for the JFCs due to this ruling.

Also, YOGHI laud the ruling because it recognized the ability of the youth to make choices and identify the repercussions of such choices.

Finally, however, it came out during the course of the discussion that the children were mainly concerned about the recognition of their Japanese fathers as questions were mainly pertaining to how they can be recognized by their fathers and not so much on how to acquire Japanese nationality.

The Other Side of the Door

Though the ruling is laudable, there are still a lot of repercussions to be considered. Even before the ruling was made, there was news already that Japan opened for the entry of youth with Japanese ancestry.

Recruitment agencies then started sprouting like mushrooms claiming to help JFCs get to Japan. The said agencies promised work among many things. With this legal battle won the number of agencies especially illegal ones could gain numbers. According to Batis Center Executive Director, Andrea Anolin “with the drastic reduction of OFWs deployed to Japan, the Supreme Court decision might lead people to conclude that there is now a market for JFCs to work in Japan. Many JFCs and their mothers who continue to struggle in life might become vulnerable to unscrupulous elements who will take advantage of their difficult plight to recruit them for possible exploitative work in Japan.”

The case of the ten JFCs who were recognized as citizens differs from the situation of JFCs who grew up in the Philippines. For one the ten JFCs granted with citizenship grew up in Japan, giving them advantage for they knew already the language and culture of Japan.

At present a lot of JFCs in the Philippines are seeking Japanese citizenship because they perceive that they will be more privileged there economically. From the discussion it turned out that the young Japanese-Filipinos want to go to Japan to gain access to education and to be able to land jobs as there are less employment opportunities here in the Philippines.

However, this poses some problems because usually they fall prey to illegal recruiters. Most of the time, they end up as laborers in factories without the guarantee of enjoying the same rights of a Japanese citizen.

What We Should Do

With the repercussions in mind, there is an agreement among the young Japanese-Filipinos of YOGHI that there should be an information-dissemination campaign regarding the nationality issue since education empowers people.

Also, the Batis YOGHI also agrees to open its organization to membership and alliances to be able to facilitate discussion about this issue.

Most importantly, the YOGHI agrees to identify and recognize the issues that have spurred the reason why they want to be a Japanese national whether it is for economic reasons or an issue of recognition by their Japanese fathers.

Nationality is not something that we acquire when opportunity arises and then suppress when it is no longer advantageous.

We are not simply the Japanese-Filipino youth, though we have issues special to us we are also part of the comprehensive sector of the youth. We face challenges along with our fellows. The issue of nationality shouldn’t be made to constrict and limit the JFCs for this is not their sole issue. What we should be doing is to help the JFCs understand their issues in order to mobilize them and help them make wise decisions.

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