Monday, May 08, 2006

Advocacies for the Philippines

There are a number of organizations being formed with the aim to revitalizing our sense of patriotism and national pride. There’s Ang Bagong Pinoy, Galing ng Pinoy, Yabang Pinoy, Philscan, …..

I think that this is a reaction to what is going on around us. People are tired of feeling helpless and/or hopeless and are taking it upon themselves to try to make a difference.

One of the more recent initiatives is the “Yabang Pinoy Campaign”. As garnered from the website,, “this is a campaign to raise awareness and heighten Filipino people’s ethos, dignity and pride by advocating the use of a piece of braided abaca band that aims to make a statement. The abaca band aims to signify a Filipino being truly proud to be one.” An interesting twist to Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong advocacy, it is a reminder for all of us to take pride in our nationality.

I glance at my abaca bracelet and I do not feel a sense of pride but rather, a sense of responsibility. It is a reminder that instead of being passive and cheering heroes from the sideline, I must take an active step in fulfilling the promise that my parents saw in me. It is about time that I stood up and did something to help this country. If it means paying the correct taxes on time, then so be it. If it means taking a more participatory role in the community, then so be it. If it means following road rules, then so be it.

Alex Lacson’s has his “12 Little Things you can do to help your country. Tonette has Tulong Pinoy, the Cyber NGO mobilizing Filipinos all over the world to take an active role in poverty alleviation. Darwin Mariano has Aksyon Para sa Edukasyon, socio-political organization composed of idealistic Filipinos committed to improving the quality of public education and governance throughout the country. Edwin Horca has Volunteers Anonymous. Ike Senares has PHILSCAN, the umbrella organization of SAMA KABUHAYAN (SAMA KA), an association of entrepreneurs and employees, GOOD SAMARITAN MISSION (GSM), an association of businessmen and professionals, and SELF HELP ALLIANCE FOR REVENUE ENHANCEMENT (SHARE), an association of students and out of school youth. Individuals with vastly different visions of what is needed to rejuvenate this country’s spirit and yet united in their passion and willingness to sow the seeds.

We all have our own advocacies. What do you think your advocacy can be?

P.S. Yabang Pinoy bracelets may be obtained from Pat at Pat at; or 0917-5277141. The abaca bands are made by underprivileged communities. The bracelets cost P50 each with the net proceeds going to Yaman Pinoy – a foundation which teaches children about indigenous animals such as the dugong, butanting etc. Gawa ng Pinoy, para sa Pinoy, para maimalaki na tayo ay Pinoy.

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