Category: Youth and Students sector


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)

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Want to have a free YOGHI Manga?

Then head on to the 2009 Anime Overload Festival.

On November 8, Sunday, YOGHI (Youth Organization that Gives Hope and Inspiration) will participate on the Anime Overload Festival 2009 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex.

We will be giving away free copies of YOGHI Manga to everyone who will participate in the event. 

Get a chance to know the organization and its advocacies and find out how you can help. 

There will also be a meet and greet opportunity with the cool artists and the Palanca award winning writer behind the Manga and you can even have your own copy signed by them.

The YOGHI Manga is the project entry of YOGHI in the recent Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Year 7. The organization was among the ten youth organizations awarded with the recognition this year. 

The TAYO Year 7 was made possible by the National Youth Commission, TAYO Foundation and the Office of Senator Kiko Pangilinan and presented by the Coca-Cola Foundation. 

For more Information about the YOGHI Manga check out the following links:


YOGHI Manga Launch



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.


Hospitality – This is said to be among the core values of the Philippine society. Another treasured core value is the Bayanihan, where collective action and the sense of community are put into action.

Just think back to the last fiesta you have attended and surely you will recall these core values in action. “Magandang araw tuloy kayo,” is one greeting you can hear during local festivities sometimes even inviting strangers to eat in their homes. And surely the whole community pitched in to make decorations for the event.

There are actually a lot of core values upheld by the Filipinos. However, with the reality of migration and generations of second degree to third degree Filipinos born abroad, these values along with the ties to the Filipino cultural heritage is threatened to be lost.

According to Republic Act 8044 or the Youth in Nation building Act of 1995, the youth “is the critical period in a person’s growth and development from the onset of  adolescence towards the peak of mature, self-reliant and responsible adulthood comprising the considerable sector of the population from the age of fifteen (15) to thirty (30) years.

Nationalistic devotions to the Philippines are said to diminish among immigrant children as they look upon their parents adopted country as their homeland.

Youth and Migration

According to the book “On the Subject of the Nation; Filipino Writings from the Margins 1981 to 2004” migration has existed in the Philippines even before the Second World War. Majority of the migrants then were composed of working class males. 72 per cent of overseas contract workers were found in the United States of America. In fact, 120, 000 workers were contracted to work in plantations in Hawaii in 1934 that they eventually made up 18 per cent of its population.

Fast forward and decades after, more countries became a migration destination for Filipinos.

In a 2003 document of the National Youth Commission (NYC), they stated the concern on Filipino youth abroad. They identified migration as one of the major issues of the youth. According to their data in 2002 there are around 20, 567 young Filipino emigrants.

During the Youth Forum on the Second Global Filipino Networking Convention in 2003, seven issues were cited to be faced by the youth sector. These issues are access to quality education, providing alternative education, youth unemployment/underemployment, alternative livelihood opportunities, strengthening participation of youth, promoting adolescent health, mobilizing youth in the preservation and protection of the environment

As stated by the National Youth Commission, the participation of the youth is a major area of concern. With this in mind, it is something particularly to be concerned on how Filipino youth abroad can partake in their identified sectoral issues.

The Filipino youth abroad includes the following categories:

1. Filipino youth who are born of Filipino parents abroad

2. Filipino youth who are born of inter-cultural / inter-country marriages

3. Filipino youth adopted by foreigners

4. Filipino youth who are born in the Philippines but migrated with family

5. Filipino youth who have come to study or work abroad

6. Young Overseas Contract Workers

7. Filipino youth who have joined their parents as political refugees

8. Filipino Youth who are married to foreign nationals

9. Filipino youth who are irregular migrants

They face varied issues but share similar experiences with discrimination, confusion on identity, culture shock and difficulty in adaptation and integration among many others.

New Media in the Age of Globalization

As the infamous saying goes, “the youth is the hope of the nation” thus, active participation and cultural awakening is crucial.

The concern is how to involve the young population abroad on their stake to their cultural heritage. It is a task to involve them to concerns in the country in which the culture also flows in their veins.

Across the globe this concern has been materialized by various youth groups. From Canada, to the United States and across Japan, ties were rekindled and networks built all made possible with help from cyberspace.

The new media is said to have opened doors for networking and real-time communication across borders. With its accessibility, this platform’s use have been stretched and maximized.

According to Digiactive.org, a site that promotes usage of digital tools for activism, the Internet and mobile phones as tools makes it possible if not more powerful and effective “[to] communicate with other people who share [similar] concerns, to disseminate a message of change, to organize and inform, to lobby the government, [and] to take part in activism.”

The new media facilitated the link of youth with their cultural heritage. From social networking sites, to blog sites and video or photo sharing platforms, New Media has made it possible to establish your presence and project your message for everyone to see.

Real People, Real Stories

Different youth organizations across the world have been able to use new media tools for various reasons such as expansion of membership, connecting with networks, posting messages of solidarity or voicing their advocacies. The New Media made possible what geographic limitations have hampered before.

With the recent devastation left by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in the country, different organizatoins manifested their concern on their kababayans in the Philippines.

Two youth groups based abroad – in Japan and the United States – have been among many which lead relief efforts to help those in the Philippines.

One is the United Japanese-Filipino Children (UJFC) association composed of Japanese-Filipino Children (JFC) from Japan and the Philippines. The UJFC membership managed to collect goods from other JFC as well as supporters and partners in Japan to support relief efforts for identified communities in need in the Philippines.

According to Yasuhiro Tominaga, committee member of UJFC in Japan, “with the use of internet, we can maintain the spirit of bayanihan even if [abroad].” He also, admitted that the Internet allowed them to communicate their cause easily.

Some platforms they used included social networking sites like Facebook and Friendster as well as chat platforms for making their cause known as well as allowing communication among the membership and between partner organizations.

Also, they posted the cause on the Youth Japan online magazine (http://youthjapan.net/). The said magazine is a publication of young JFC and Filipino migrants in Japan.

Another initiative was formed by youth group Anakbayan New York/New Jersey. Where they held a youth Pulong Bayan in their chapter in which the agenda is to help out fellow Filipinos who fell victim to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng’s wrath.

They have similarly made use of social networking sites like Facebook as well as microblogging platform Twitter. They also posted information, messages of solidarity and updates on bayanihan activities on their website found at http://anakbayan-nynj.blogspot.com/. Communication was also established with local partner organizations through the employment of chatting tools.

The employment of New Media on advocacy allowed youth organizations abroad to explore, create links and build bridges with their Filipino cultural heritage and rethink nationalistic practices from its previous geographically-confined definitions. Bayanihan is alive and prospering within the young Filipinos abroad.

Sources:

Castrodes, Marc Fabian. (2003). An Overview of the Filipino Youth Here and Abroad. [Powerpoint]. http://www.youth.net.ph/download/Overview%20of%20the%20Filipino%20Youth.ppt

Hau, Caroline. (2004). On the subject of the nation: filipino writings from the margins 1981 t0 2004. QC: Ateneo de Manila Unversity Press.

(1995). National Youth Commission. Republic Act 8044: The Youth in Nation-Building Act. Retrieved from http://www.youth.net.ph/about/ra80044.php.


“…because of this
I have valued
more my role as
a youth, a youth
who serves the
people and works
for social change,
liberation and justice”

Hiroshima Peace park
On this photo (L-R):
Murell Kumano, Emu (JFY Foundation Japan),
Miyukie Atsuchi, Mikas Matsuzawa,
Christine Azuma


It was the 26th of March and the sun was not yet out. It was a day different from any other, I was expecting the sun to greet us a safe journey as we board the plane. However, even though it was past daybreak the clouds got in the way and hid the rays I long for. I along with four other young Japanese-Filipinos fastened our seat belts. I knew that it would be the beginning of a new journey for us.


We boarded the plane, Miyukie Atsuchi, Takeyoshi Tomita, Cristine Azuma, Murell Kumano and me, along with our chaperones Miss Gamay Solis from Assumption Missionaries Association (AMA) and Andrea Anolin of Batis Center for Women, each one with their own expectations.

Batis Center for Women is the partner of the Japanese-Filipino Youth (JFY) Committee in Kasai Church which raised the funds for our 11-day study tour. The idea of the trip materialized when the JFYs in Japan noticed how they were able to experience the Filipino culture when there are JFYs who grew in the Philippines who have no chance to see with their eyes their fathers’ culture. With the help of a charity concert by Jose Mari Chan and his family along with the Philippine Embassy in Japan the trip was finally made possible.

After five hours on the plane, we already reached Narita airport, there the sun welcomed us at last, and I knew then that this shall be a meaningful trip. We stayed eleven days in Japan and had a really strict itinerary. It was fun that we were able to have a taste of the Japanese culture and lifestyle both in the fast-paced city life and the sanctity of its traditional life. But the real experience is with the integration in the JFY family or the home stay. There we saw how the JFYs and their family live and how they go on everyday. Everyone was just so kind to us. Even though we felt foreign in the land of our fathers they made us feel just right at home.

However, what struck me most on this trip is Hiroshima. It was a lesson indeed, a lesson that tells us to learn from the past however, people seem to forget that lesson. I saw at the Hiroshima Peace Museum how savage war could be and how it is used by the powerful few to serve their own interest, even if it costs the lives of many innocent men, women and children.

Remnants of a wrecked building

due to Hiroshima bombing


This made me appreciate more the value of life and the reason why I should live it to the fullest. I knew my role as a Filipino-Japanese youth and how I should give importance to the freedom that our ancestors worked hard for. I know that I should work also to keep this freedom not only for the current generation but for the future generations as well.

I realized the relevance of the final lines we said in the play we presented. Indeed, we are the young Japanese-Filipinos, we are unique individuals, raised in a family filled with love and care and we want to be great examples of a strong and determined generation.

The fast-paced Japanese lifestyle taught me to see things in both of its sides. I was harassed, rushed, awed, humbled, silenced and strengthened by this trip. I learned a lot from this study tour and now I value more the importance of self-assessment and self-reflection. And because of this I have valued more my role as a youth, a youth who serves the people and works for social change, liberation and justice. It is one thing when we learn from our experience but it is a greater thing to take action and use this learning for the better.

Crane origami made by a girl who got sick and
died due to the radiation of the atomic bomb.

As one famous Filipino said, the youth are the hope of the nation. We shall continue to be so by collectively working to serve the people and learning from the lessons of the past.

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.

Last October 29-30, the second Global Forum on Migration and Development was held in the Philippines. This yearly informal gathering was attended by UN member-states to discuss migration as an instigator of development. However, the event was also attended by giant financing institutions such as the World Bank and Citibank, big corporations that benefit from remittances such as Western Union, private organizations as well as labor-export recruitment agencies.

A girl looks into the camera as she listens at the program during
the civic society action held by progressive groups in Manila

(Photo taken by Mikas Matsuzawa)

Labor Export Policy in the Course of Philippine History

The Philippines, according to Hau (2004) has become an “apparatus for labor capture.” The term which she partly borrowed from French Philosopher Gilles Deleuze means that the country has become an apparatus to insert, create, channel and manage labor flows from within its territory to other nation-states.

The Philippines has indeed become a major exporter of labor, manifesting even in the term Overseas Filipino Workers or OFWs signifying the phenomenon as a national trend.

Before the World War II, migrants were predominantly male and working class. Now however, feminization of labor-export has been apparent with Filipinas leaving to do work abroad for 3D jobs, dirty, dangerous and demeaning. Feminized labor increased.

The Marcos regime promoted and regulated the export of labor. The oil price hike during that period created a huge demand for blue-collar labor in the Middle East. It was also during this period that Filipinas were heading to Japan to work as “entertainers.”

The IMF-WB pressured a deeply indebted Philippines to undergo an economic “structural adjustment” which aimed to

consolidate light-manufacturing exports, keeping
down wages, eliminating “economic nationalist”
resistance among technocrats, weeding out
“inefficient firms,” and expanding foreign invest
ments
in the domestic economy (Hau, 2004, p. 229).


When the economy failed to take-off, IMF-WB washed their hands and blamed the political instability, corruption and cronyism in the country. Though, these factors added to the failure the IMF-WB failed to note that their suggested adjustment didn’t work precisely because light-manufacturing was losing popularity in the world market.The dictatorship was toppled though the Philippines continue to promote migration policies. The Aquino administration was the first to capitalize and recognize the remittances of OFWs by calling them the Bagong Bayani or the Modern Day Heroes.

Announcing the migrant workers as heroes helped the Aquino administration to cover up the reeking situation faced by our fellows abroad. Migrants are forced to work abroad and get separated from their families only to face physical and sexual abuse.

Ramos, in his term passed the RA 8042 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995. The law was passed as a reaction to the hanging of Flor Contemplacion in Singapore in 1995.  The policy was then given another name from exporting labor into “managing” labor.

The law however, gave contradicting views on labor-export. On one side it states that it doesn’t promote labor-export to sustain economic growth as well as national development. On the other side, it has provisions that institutionalizes overseas employment policies. What it did in the end is to follow the dictate of global capitalism and deregulate the flow of labor and lessen the intervention of the state. Migration then has become a matter between the worker and the employers, exempting the state from accountability.

The Estrada and Arroyo administrations made the export of labor as a cornerstone policy. Estrada called out to the OFWs to help in reviving the heavily battered economy and to pray for his political critics.

GMA however went as far as naming OFWs as Overseas Filipino Investors, adding that the economy will be greatly dependent on the remittances. Currently, the Philippines rank second to Mexico in terms of migrant workers. There are about 10 Million Filipinos working in 197 countries.

Filipino Migrants the world over have sent remittance that reached a total of $17 Billion just in 2007. Migration has not spurred development for the Philippines, what it did is to slow down the ticking of a looming political and social crisis.

Instead of concentrating on the real needs of the people such as social services, genuine agrarian reform and jobs for the people, the Arroyo administration opted to promote labor-export.

Governments exporting labor, financing institutions, foreign countries in need of cheap labor, as well as corporations earning from OFW remittances are the only ones who benefit in such labor-export policies. The Philippine government continue to promote the sale of its citizens abroad, ranging from contractual work to undocumented labor abroad, at the expense of exploitation and abusive work practices.

The Emergence of Inter-racial Children such as JFCs

"Amidst the chronic and
worsening economic and 
political crisis in our homeland, it is

inevitable that the
number of Filipinos forced
to work overseas
will increase.
At the same time,

Japan and other
countries are implementing

increasingly repressive
and anti-migrant laws

that heighten our
oppression and exploitation.”

– Migrante International



Slogans voice out the concerns of migrants.
(Photo by Mikas Matsuzawa)


Labor feminization has been increasing since the 1970s. Just in the year 2001, 72 percent of migrant workers are women. Their work destinations are as domestic helpers in Hong Kong, nurses in Dubai, Mail Order Brides in Europe or Entertainers in Japan. Due to this phenomenon there have been as a result inter-racial marriages.

In the Philippines the largest number of inter-racial children are the Japanese-Filipinos. Their numbers are said to reach up to 200, 000 in estimates. Their mothers were migrant workers and it seems they too will be migrants. This is the stark reality that these youth face.

As Japan opened its economy to inter-racial children with Japanese ancestry, a lot of Japanese-Filipino youth have been lured by recruitment agencies.  The primary reasons of these youth is the lack of opportunities in the country as well as their want to search for their fathers. Poverty and skewed policies of the state forced them to take the dark route taken by their mothers before.

At present there are reports of factories in Japan with their workers composed mainly of Japanese-Filipinos.

Sentiments of a JFC

It is sad that fellow Japanese-Filipinos I have known since childhood have to go abroad away from their mothers, who raised them and served as their fathers also. It is sad that they have to take a familiar path their mothers walked before.

I am part of an organization that caters to the needs of Japanese-Filipino children or JFCs. A few months ago, a legal battle for the right to acquire Japanese nationality has been won. Now, JFCs can secure the right to choose their nationality regardless if their parents were not married as enshrined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. A door was opened for us, however what lies on the other side is still proves to be a difficult terrain.

Slowly each one of my friends are being recruited by agencies to go to Japan. One by one they disappear each leaving letters behind. Recently a close friend *Tako left college to work in one of those factories in Japan. He is nearly finished with college and yet he chose to leave. It may be out of desperation, it may be for reconciliation with something he deems missing in him, it may be a search for his cultural heritage. The possible reasons are countless.

He left a letter behind, he said he wants to help his mother and find where his father is. He said it is a hard choice for him however, he knows how hard it is for her mom to pay for his education and he knows that there will be  no oppotunities for him here. He named the reasons like the other letters I read and the many stories I heard.

Some of my friends happen to have Japanese nationality but grew up in the Philippines like *Riyo.  He was raised by his grandmother in one of the urban poor communities in Manila. He couldn’t afford the costs of a college degree so he decided to venture in Japan.

He works now in a factory, recruited by one of the many agencies with a lot of promises. He said he have to lift kilos and kilos of chickens to a machine. That same machine has caused him a chunk of his finger. He paid for the medical expense from his own savings. He says his pay is not the same with his Japanese co-workers. He doesn’t enjoy similar rights that a Japanese citizen enjoy.

I want to imagine that such stories exists only on television drama series. I want to, but I know it doesn’t in real life. *Tako and *Riyo provided a face to all the stories I’ve heard and the many letters I’ve read.

The truth is that none of us want to be departed from our families. We want to be home with them however, the reality of globalization and the economic crisis prevents us. We are a sector amidst a sector. We are the inter-racial youth part of the comprehensive sector of the youth.

If you identify the root cause of our migration it is the same with our fellows. Yes, we have special issues such as the recognition of our fathers, our cultural heritage and discerning our identities and place in the society. However, we have also general concerns. Concerns that are similar to the youth the world over.

We are said to be the future. However, our future is being taken from us. Our rights to education, to participation and to security among others are slowly stripped from us. Like many Filipinos we must survive each day.

The youth sector participating at the GFMD
along with other sectors of society.(Photo by Mikas Matsu
zawa)

However, we are no longer going to be quiet. We want our voices to be heard. For we are not just the youth. WE ARE THE YOUTH. And we shall be in solidarity with the struggles of the people for the future, for our future.


*Not their real names

*Photos were taken from Yahoo! News


Hau, Caroline. (2004). On the subject of the nation: Filipino writings from the margins 1981 t0 2004. QC: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

MIGRANTE GFMD Primer (2008)