Friday, March 14, 2008


Think Positive

This from my friend. Pareho kami halos ng mga views sa lahat ng mga nangyayari ngayon. And she was able to tackle it without being antagonistic as I sometimes come off. Please read, dahil hindi ko pa 'to napapaalam sa kanya haha! Though I'm sure OK lang sa kanya...

March 14, 2008
Nakatanggap ako ng email na naghahanap daw ang i-Witness ng 80 participants for a docu-making workshop. Syempre, kumahog naman ako para mag-submit ng aking application. Unang hakbang sa katuparan ng pangarap maging docu filmmaker!

Kasama sa requirements ang 400-800-word essay about your "Favorite i-Witness episode." Dahil hindi ako nakakapanood ng TV, bumili na lang ako ng DVD ni Kara David para may maisulat ako sa aking essay.

Maraming maganda sa collection na iyon. Nagustuhan ko rin ang kanyang episode na, "Sa Mga Mata ni Ekang." Pero pinaka-panalo para sa akin ang "Gamu-gamo sa Dilim."

Gusto ko lang ibahagi ang essay na ipinasa ko sa i-Witness (saka halos dalawang buwan na akong walang blog entry, so ito na muna for now). Ipagdasal nyong sana makasama ako sa workshop na ito.


Essay submitted by: CHERYL B. INGLES

In times like these when difficulties and challenges are plentiful everywhere, good news are rarely heard. Or told.

Used to working in an industry that is a hodgepodge of beliefs, characters, backgrounds, cultures, and politics, I have discovered a strategy to help me cope with such a chaotic environment: exert deliberate and conscious effort to always look for the brighter side of things. Yes, I am a self-confessed positivist. This is the reason why I loved the i-Witness episode, “Gamu-gamo sa Dilim.”

I believe a narrative could only be considered effective if it stirs emotions in the viewer. The story of the people of Little Baguio featured in Gamu-gamo sa Dilim is truly very inspiring. And moving, too. Having lived in almost total darkness for decades, there are a lot of reasons for the locals there to complain and despair. But they choose to educate their children and look for creative ways to survive and even enjoy! If there is one thing Gamu-gamo sa Dilim taught me, it is this: Light could spring even in the darkness.

My work as a freelance PM, researcher, and writer have exposed me to various tales of success brought about by empowered people in small communities: People in a small barangay in Sorsogon with barely enough money for food building a school with, almost literally, their own hands. Townsfolk in Camarines Sur putting their houses on stilts so that they could be transferred to higher ground via the traditional Bayanihan when the floods come. A community radio station in the municipality of Labo operating through the brains and muscle of local volunteers. Former entertainers in Japan struggling to change the Pinay ‘Japayuki’ image by educating themselves and taking caregiving courses.

It frustrates me, though, that most media effort is poured on coverage of killings, crime, accidents, corrupt officials, showbiz personalities’ disastrous love lives…when there are a myriad of wonderful, inspiring, rousing stories of people from the grassroots that don’t get noticed at all. The Philippines seems like a hopeless rut because all we watch, hear and read about are news on strife, hunger, deceit, and danger. I hope that media practitioners would someday come to realize that corruption and lousy governance are not the only truths in this country. As demonstrated by the people of Little Baguio and the examples I wrote above, Good News are just as real, and even evident, if we only know where to look. Sometimes, we don’t even have to look too far to find them.

In times like these when everything but the weather is being blamed on a dysfunctional national government, stories of self-reliance, empowerment, and united communities are unfolding in the grassroots—but only very few seem to be paying attention.

Perhaps the hope and future of this great country lies not in the hands of whoever is seated at the top, but in the commitment and passion of the people at the bottom.

And it is this bottom-upward success story that I would just love to be able to document and share to the rest of the world.

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