The concept of cyberactivism in the Philippines
Posted by sentimentalfreak
Okay, so the country has been going through a pretty harrowing time. With the shadow of the rift with China looming by on one side, and the sudden death of a great public servant on the other, the whole country seemed to be gripped in turmoil especially when a 7.5 magnitude earthquake rocked Mindanao and Visayas.
Good thing the earthquake’s force spread on ocean bottom rather than land. After many days of rain and flood, we couldn’t afford to welcome any earthquakes as another gate-crasher for our long list of disaster visitors.
Which brings me to my point (yes, I do have a point on this entry). The cyber space has been pretty busy lately, with posts and tweets about Sotto plagiarizing his ant-RH speech on Senate and earning the ire of most Filipino netizens, and also of anti-epal advocates reporting the campaign strategies of public officials even before the election hasn’t started yet.
And there are tweets about disaster preparedness too, thank God. One which mattered to me a great deal more than anything. I have every reason to advocate on disaster/earthquake preparedness. I live in Marikina Valley, where the infamous Valley Fault line lies. If it even stretches, or moves a little, the whole Metro Manila, not only Marikina, is doomed.
In the country where issues are forgotten when the mass media shifts to other stories, the internet offer so much of possibilities. It could get rid of our ningas-cogon mentality, of our inclination to reactive methods than pro-active ones. Just by substantial posts and tweets, we can point the attention of a good many to the issue you are fighting for. I guess that explains why cyber-activists are in the norm right now; with so many Filipino users online who says you couldn’t influence other people with just one click?
Lastly, cyberactivism can catch the attention of the President and his Kapamilya, Kaibigan and Kabarilan Party. I’m not a big fan of the current president right now (and so do his predecessor) with so many issues in the country that needs his attention. Lately, a tweet of a Filipino netizen criticizing Noynoy’s performance caught the ire of his Malacanang Press Corps, and instead of adhering to that important dogma in the internet of having to let other people speak their mind, the Reactive Press Corps retaliated with a stinging call for that netizen to shut down his Twitter account.
At least that caught their attention. Didn’t changed a thing but at least they have an idea that not all people are satisfied with Noynoy’s performance, contrary to the satisfaction rate SWS released.
Filipino netizens are among the most intelligent internet users worldwide. We already established independent social news networks, built dozens of communities for intellectual discourses and forums, and certainly upgraded the utilization of social media for humanitarian and public service functions. Yet, I believe we’re still at the tip of the iceberg of this huge potential of the internet towards social changes and reforms.
If we can just find that correct medium to eliminate ignorance to the masses once and for all, I believe this country will experience a huge, positive change. It’s the same problem Jose Rizal had faced before writing Noli Me Tangere, awakening the national consciousness of the people through education.
And if a nation is freed through the release of his books to the masses a hundred years ago, who knows what kind of change the internet can bring to the Filipinos now?