Fortunate Sons by Carmen Pedrosa, Philippine Star, May 8, 2011
It is good that young Filipinos here and abroad are forming discussion groups in the social networks. Those who are abroad are exposed to a wider world while those at home transmit the intensity of their dissatisfaction about life at home – its politics, its lagging economy and the seeming lack of concern from ordinary citizens. I remember while living in exile abroad, most Filipinos were interested only in their work, their pay and occasional get together parties. Politics? Problems of the country? Hindi naman kami involved dyan.
They would not even hear being asked if they knew why they should be separated from their families to earn their living abroad. That is how powerless Filipinos abroad were more than 20 years ago. But that is changing. With Facebook, Twitter, email and their mobile phones they are in touch not only with their families at home but also with each other. The upshot is a bubbling community of voices unrestrained by the strictures of oligarch-owned media. Social networking has broken the myth that communications is the business of money and power.
Let me quote from Paul Farol of the group called “Get Real Philippines”: “Best way to describe FB and all that goes on in the online world is that it is a SANDBOX — for testing ideas and getting support for them. After which, it should be easier to go out into the real world and try to implement your ideas. One thing good about (GRP) Get Real Philippnes and (AP) Anti-Pinoy as well as other groups is that you get to learn so much from interacting with so many people. With so many critical thinkers (and hecklers) around, it’s a good way to slough off misconceptions or toughen up your stand.”
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