A Tale of 2 Hashtags: Yahoo Pitong Pinoy #PitongPinoy and Globe Tatt Awards #TattAwards
With, perhaps, the exception of Tonyo Cruz and Anna Oposa of Save the Philippine Seas, I think I was the only person who was lucky enough to be in 2 awarding ceremonies last August 27 that has social media written all over it. I was able to attend the Awarding Ceremony of Yahoo! Philippines Pitong Pinoy in the morning (9:00 AM at Seventh High, BGC) and the Globe Tatt Awards in the evening (6:00 PM at Rigodon Ballroom, The Manila Peninsula) with Ms. Lady Anonymous, who, by the way, is the Internet Marketing Supervisor of Collins International Trading Corporation. I might be wrong though, so feel free to correct me, but I really believe I was in a special position to see from an outsider’s perspective (read as not being one of the nominees or winners, hehe!) the clear similarities and the glaring differences between the 2.
To be honest, Yahoo! Philippines’ Pitong Pinoy Awards is closer to my heart. This is because one of the well-deserved awardees, COA Commissioner Heidi Mendoza, is someone I truly believe in. If you’re still not familiar who she is, ask Google or anybody you know who actually reads newspapers. If you’re not familiar with why I consider her cause to be close to my heart, it is because I am fortunate enough to be one of the people who formed a humble Facebook Fanpage for Heidi Mendoza during the time she was still technically a nobody for a lot of Filipinos. At that time, Former Presidentiable JC de Los Reyes posted a news article about her plight on Facebook (If I recall correctly, it was in The Noisy Minority) on which I commented on with some of the founding members of “We Support You, Heidi Mendoza!” The rest, as they say, is a wee bit of on-line history.
As soon as Yahoo! Philippines opened up the nominations last May 31, with the rest of the active members of her on-line support group, I quickly submitted our entry that fortunately caught the attention of whoever was in charge of the selection process. Nevertheless, as what I have stated in my previous blog about our entry, I don’t think Heidi Mendoza needs my writing skills or the said commendation to get things done in COA.
But, just a disclaimer, that’s my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect that of Heidi Mendoza and the other members of WSYHM Facebook Support Group.
This is why seeing her in a roomful of Advocates last Friday really humbled me. We have Alex Betonio whose inventions made me remember my Philippine-Science-past and whether I would have made more impact on society if I stayed on the Science Track. But his greatest invention, he says, is sharing. To quote him during the event, the stove is just the beginning. Isn’t that quotable or what?
Then we have Jean Enriquez who campaigns against sex tourism and makes broken women feel whole again. I found this truly relevant (when I say relevant, I meant it was on a Top-of-Mind-scenario and not merely because I think something as ghastly as this isn’t happening in reality) since I just finished watching Dexter Season 5 where Lumen Pierce as played by Julia Stiles was somewhat in a similar position. In fact, the main antagonist of that season, Jordan Chase, speaks about our “broken selves,” hence, the references. Anyway, at first, she reminded me a lot of Dr. Cherry Catly-Santiago whom I had a chance of working with during our Thermos Grand Launch at Shangri-la Plaza last month. Jean Enriquez shared a piece of her mind that in her fight, it’s not the women who actually lost their morality and their humanity through prostitution, but the men, or if ever in some cases the women, who abuse and use these women’s financial needs and ignorance for their worldly desires. Arguably pornography would be merely one step lower than prostitution which I would be transparent enough to admit that I’m no longer a virgin with no matter what artistic excuse I could come up with why I chanced upon such websites on-line. Now, where do we draw the line of what is OK and what is inexcusable with regards to the oldest profession in the world? Black is black and white is white and there’s no gray area in sight.
Jay Jaboneta, on the other hand, raised funds for children who had to swim on the way to school. Just recently, I came from a weeklong provincial trip from the province, specifically Baguio, and I could not help but feel bad seeing kids walk up the mountain from school along McArthur Highway. Jay Jaboneta and I saw the same problem. I merely tweeted about it. He did something more though and it made me feel a little sorry for myself to always have that “I’m too busy excuse” whenever I feel like I have my own shortcomings in trying to assist the lives of other people. Yes, I’m not Superman and I’ve donated to World Vision and UNICEF for some time and yet, at the back of my head, I just know it’s never enough.
For the benefit of cancer-stricken patients, Tomas Leonor started StepJuan, volunteering to travel without any motored transportation. In short, he became the Philippine Forest Gump. But unlike Tom Hank’s retarded character who ran without reason, aside from the fact that Jay Jaboneta has a lot of things going on in between his ears, he covered miles and miles for a purpose. I’ve participated in 5 full marathons and countless other races and weekend runs since my feet began to let me. I did it all for myself alone. Tomas Leoner did it for everyone else. Although I have always said nothing beats the satisfaction of finishing a grueling race ahead of
most of the crowd, I believe, even if the end is nowhere in sight for Tomas Leonor’s fight, his satisfaction would instantly dwarf whatever rewards my mere pastime has to offer.
In addition, Tzarina Saniel, collects and preserves books which, without her effort might have been lost forever. But a book is not just a book, judging from her own words during the event. It is a reflection of our colorful history and a not-so-glorious past. At first glance, she might just be a book collector for a lot of us, but if we look closely, her works is actually so much more. One of my fave quotations from George Santayana, a Spanish born American Philosopher, Poet and Humanist, goes, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Tzarina Saniel helps us remember just that.
We also have the Director of the Law of Nature Foundation, Anna Oposa, who is behind the Save the Philippine Seas Movement. Anna Oposa, just like the rest of her fellow Awardees is an Advocate of Change. She campaigned to save whatever is left on our oceans and reefs and seas even to the point that her capacity and her efficiency has long been questioned by others even her father (or have I heard her speech differently?) And yet, although she took the road less travelled, although I believe the Yahoo! Pitong Pinoy awards does not have any financial rewards in store for her or any of the other 6 awardees as what Efren Penaflorida experienced with CNN Heroes or the past and current Nobel Prize winners, Anna Oposa has shown to all of us that virtue is its own reward.
This is why I really can’t help but connect the dots to the event later that very same day dubbed as Globe Tatt Awards. Whereas the event in the morning was full of emotions and heartwrenching disclosures that can even put Charo Santos-Concio to shame, what I experienced at the Manila Peninsula with the rest of the movers and shakers of this side of the Internet felt like the MTV Video Music Awards, not that anything was wrong with it. Hell, I personally believe the Globe Tatt Awards logo was highly inspired by it.
Honestly, I was just so sure Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and Ashton Kutcher was hiding somewhere. Anyhoo, we got the next best thing as Arjohn Gilbert gave us his Jackson 5 moves and angelic voice that should make him the next big thing with proper guidance and talent management. After hearing a lot of “salamat po’s” and “God bless you’s” during his performance, I am pretty sure this kid is gonna get somewhere. I’m gonna support you, kid!
On the other hand, there’s Maria Aragon who sang the same songs she performed during the awards for Yahoo! Pitong Pinoy. Yes, that picture above was taken around noon that day. As such, Tim Yap’s statement that this was the child wonder’s live debut in the Philippines is not at all accurate #Peace! In fact, if I would trust my capacity for eavesdropping, I heard her mom or talent manager or sister tell the TV reporters at BGC that she’s off someplace outside Metro Manila presumably for another engagement. Perhaps that’s the reason she came in late and just ended the show instead of performing side by side with Arjohn Gilbert or something? At any rate, hearing her voice the second time around was just majestic. Her untarnished talent should remain just like that: untarnished. If you know what I mean.
Picture above taken from INQ7. I would have had more pics (and live tweets about #TattAwards) if I actually brought a camera with me or, at the very least, a Blackberry Curve 9300 with full Blackberry MYBB Services, but that’s another story….
I do believe almost all of the winners of the 2011 Globe Tatt Awards deserved it (Why, would you believe me if I had no complaints?) But what I would just like to say is that while the people in the Manila Pen crowd – myself included – just tweeted and liked and shared and blogged through the Digital World, the people who have done more are those who received awards earlier that day. I’m not just referring to the nominees or winners themselves though (Heck, Carlos Celdran went behind bars for doing more than just tweeting! Anna Oposa was also nominated for a Tatt Award! Leah Salonga is Leah Salonga!) but I am talking about the millions and millions of Filipinos who turned the country into the Social Media Capital fo ze world and yet, 1 year after the 2010 Presidential Elections, nothing seems to have changed. Only the griping, ranting, and denial seems to go viral and interactive!
But then again, I shouldn’t – like the rest of the world – take the power (and responsibility) of Social Media lightly. The Arab World would still be the same as it was decades ago if Facebook and Twitter were not as powerful. I just want to say that after all the buzz has been done on-line, perhaps it is better if all the netizens of our country who I would like to think as the more educated ones, should log-off once in a while and see the real Philippines the way it really is. I am also guilty about this, but believe me when I say I don’t want to be guilty about this anymore.
I have these sentiments coming from the last 2010 Elections which I have been much involved with. I have tried my best to convince people on-line about the candidate I believed in and yet, with the usual “I-am-too-busy-excuse,” I failed to go down to the grassroots where their votes and opinions actually mattered. Maybe it is for this same reason why I hope, this coming years, the movers and shakers of Facebook, Twitter, and whatever websites there may be, should do more than just be felt on-line. As a marketer (as what I believe myself to be,) what happens online still isn’t a good representation of what happens offline.
Perhaps, in the 2012 Globe Tatt Awards, it would be nice to see another category added to the roster: The Doer! Sans the greenminded interpretations (hehe), The Doer is the Social Media Influencer who has actually done something worthwhile offline. Of course, the on-line votes, metrics, and tribal council hullabaloo should be a prequisite. But this award should be one step higher into attaining that goal of a better Philippines for all Filipinos with or without Facebook/Twitter accounts. After all, if the Globe Tatt Awards aim to highlight the best and the brightest the Philippine Social Media landscape has to offer, why stop now? It’s not impossible, if we’re all in this together.
Yahoo! Philippines Pitong Pinoy Awards and Globe Tatt Awards has made me proud and happy about being a Filipino in their own unique ways. I will be happier and prouder though if the differences between the 2, maybe by next year, won’t be as far as I perceive it to be.
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