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UNILAB’S IDEAS POSITIVE: Transforming Communities with the Filipino Youth October 12, 2011

Last September 17, 2011, Unilab held its second year of Ideas Positive campaign awarding at the Bayanihan Center in Mandaluyong. Unilab’s Ideas Positive program is a contest for social marketing plans proposed by different teams. Its theme focused on “Transforming Communities with the Filipino Youth”. The goal of this contest is to help students generate ideas and prepare them to implement these ideas. The activity did not just stop in being a contest, but rather a learning experience for the students.

The semi-finalists went through informative and fun trainings wherein experts in social marketing taught them current social marketing practices that they could use for the improvement of their ideas. The event did not only focus on training them, but in building the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ among students regardless of their teams. The 3-day long clinic helped students to better hone their critical thinking skills and in putting them to reality.


On the day of the final presentation of the social marketing plans, the finalists were ready to face the judges with their well-thought-of social marketing plans. The panel of judges included:  Ms. Amparo Fabe – an economist, sociologist, and social marketing consultant; Dr. Angelito Manalili –  a UP professor and former dean of UP College of Social Work and Community Development; Mr. Gino Tingson – NYC Commissioner; Ms. Anna Alejo – 2010 Ideas Positive Winner coach; Mr. Randy Aquino – Ogilvy Philippines Country Head; and Ms. Rhodora Palomar – Senior VP for Corporate Affairs and Executive Director for Unilab Foundation.


The program started with an opening remarks from Ms. Rhodora Palomar who extended her appreciation to all the participants and the people behind the event. After the presentation of the criteria for judging, the final teams pitched their social marketing plans.


A total of five teams made it to the finals. These were Phata Team, AweEIGHTS, Kabalikat, High Five, and Team SEND. The teams addressed different issues in their plans. These issues involved campaigns like 3B Laban sa TB (tuberculosis); KKK (Kalat, Kapaligiran, Kalusugan) Rebolusyon sa Malinis at Malusog na Kinabukasan about solving the issues of waste segregation; Deofer solution program which focused on modifying fertilizers into deodorizers; project Cloud ++,which was about using rain water to address water problems; and Hitong Buhay, Hitong Buhay which was about providing barangays with income-generating activity involving agriculture.


After the presentation of proposed plans, the judges came up with the list of winners: 3B Laban sa TB (Team High Five) won the 1st place, while Project Cloud ++ of AweEIGHTS team got the 2nd place, and Hitong Buhay, Hitong Buhay of Kabalikat team placed 3rd. The winners got seeding money for their campaigns to be implemented and monitored. However, the students who lost the contest were also given seeding money to implement their campaigns. At the end of it all, the campaigns generated by these students will take place.


The event ended wonderfully with inspired students and participants who saw the problems of the society and are ready to address these problems with solutions that will benefit the people. The youth should be encouraged to take their significant roles in the society. With IDEAS POSITIVE, students can make our society a better place to live in.




Goodbye, Ym. Hello, Skype!

Just recently my group mates and I decided to meet online for our SPCOM133 subject. Since we are doing a thesis proposal, we recognized the need for group work and conference. We cannot just divide the parts and collate it, but we need to think as a group and decide on major parts. And so we went to the default yahoo messenger, which is commonly used whenever there is a conference. However, during the conference, we had difficulties seeing each other’s instant messages. Most of my group mates suggested that we go another platform and try it for convenience. They were talking about Skype.

Skype is a social media platform where users can do peer-to-peer conversation through voice and video calls, instant messages and file transfers. It was founded by Niklas Zennström from Sweden and Janus Friis from Denmark. If you would look at it in bigger picture, it is somehow the same with yahoo messenger. But what is in it that makes it attractive?

I have heard about Skype from my friends before, but I never tried it. Although I heard comments from others that it is better than Yahoo messenger, I did not have time back then to create an account. My friends who work for RareJob are required to have an account because they use this for their work. They teach English to students from other countries. Furthermore, students who work for Rarejob also served as influencers. Besides, Yahoo messenger started to lose its image when connection and difficulties in communicating increased. Users are now looking for an alternative and Skype is a good one.

My experience with Skype was great. I definitely enjoyed it. In the end, these software applications offer something to the users. It is up to the users to choose which one is better and appropriate for them. For others, they do not want to create new accounts but rather stick with an account that gives them what they need. Maybe Skype is attractive because it is something new to the eyes of the people. But we will yet to see who will prevail in the end.







Facebook Survey: Ready-to-go! October 11, 2011

Just this morning my groupmates in my PA132 (Marketing for the Arts) class agreed in conducting random sampling survey for our marketing plan. We intend to, at least, know things that can help us better understand our stakeholders. Since our target market involves students from Universities in UAAP, it is going to be a hard time going to different universities to conduct a random survey. The group came up with a solution— do it online.

We seriously thought that it is the easiest way. Well, people, most likely students, use it. I encountered this situation when a friend of mine did her baby thesis. She asked me to fill up a survey that she sent online. The only thing she sent me was a link. After clicking the link, there you go! A ready-made soft copy of survey form that I could fill out. I got curious, so I checked it. I turned out to be one of Facebook’s applications that users can go to. I was amazed.


As I researched about it, I found out its features.

Again, I was amazed at happy about it.


I never thought that there would come a time that such social media platform would offer an application. Not just for entertainment, but for academic purposes. It is funny to know that Facebook keeps on making its brand a necessity for us, students rather than a hindrance to our studies. I really think this has something good to offer. It gives people more access to people from remote areas, an easier way to answer a survey, and it does not defeat its purpose of helping the users.

I hope everyone would maximize this application and probably take it seriously. I believe that if optimized properly, we can really use this for our own benefit.


Internet’s role in times of trouble October 10, 2011

Last Saturday I experienced one of the things I did not want to experience in my whole college life, my phone was snatched. That was my first time. Moreover, it turned out to be very memorable. I left school in the afternoon to meet up with friends and visit our Kuya and Ate who just got home from Singapore. And as usual, I was about to go home to our house in Caloocan because I do not stay there during class days.

When I got off the FX along Quezon Ave., someone rushed to me and started snatching my phone, which I was holding at that time. I did not let go of my phone and started playing tug-of-war with the stupid snatcher. We even reached few steps away from where he started grabbing my phone. There were people around and I asked them to help me, but all they did was to swing their faces from left to right to tell me they will not help me. The game tug-of-war lasted for some more seconds and I insisted not to give my phone. The snatcher told me to just give my phone or he will stab me, but I said “Ayoko (No)”. More seconds of the game then my hands started aching and I was getting less hope because of those mannequin-like people around us. I finally lost grip of my phone. There he was, that stupid black-skinned ‘JEJE’ snatcher running so fast with my phone.

I was shocked, but not scared or maybe because it did not sink in to me yet that it happened to me. I turned to the men who were there and began talking aloud because they did not help me. I began looking for someone who would let me borrow a phone and call someone from home. An old woman told me she would let me use her phone so we went to a 7eleven store nearby. When we reached the store, I realized I could not remember my friend’s number who will meet me that day. I remembered I have my netbook with me and my Sun Broadband. I quickly searched my bag and went online. I was hoping someone could help me. I went to Facebook and Twitter to look for my friends and snap! I saw my friends online. They made a way to contact my friends who will meet up with me and told them where they can fetch me. I used the old woman’s phone to call my sister, so she could inform my family. I waited for about half an hour in the store while crying because of those men who did not help me. Someone from the Barangay went to see me and retell the story. They asked me if I need contact someone and I told them I already contacted them online. They were a bit amazed by that because the sites they saw were Facebook and Twitter. They were smiling at me. Few minutes later, my friends arrived and we left.

After what happened, I realized that my experience was better than the others. Well, not because I played tug-o-war or shouted at those ‘afraid’ people whom I accused to be accomplices, but because I was online right after it happened. I even used it for my own help. I tweeted about it, used my Facebook status to inform others, and now I am blogging about it. Isn’t it great to know that the internet can do a lot even in times of trouble? It was the most accessible tool I used to reach my friends and get their contact numbers. In fact, though I still do not have another phone, I do not mind. I have my netbook and internet to access and communicate with my classmates. Thanks to my netbook and Sun broadband for the fast connection. They both played an important role when my phone was snatched and until this day that I still do not have a phone.


Computer-mediated communication: The inevitable trend October 7, 2011

I am now in my senior year and currently doing my thesis about computer-mediated communication. Part of my thesis is to look for theories that I can use for my framework. While doing my research, I came across a long-known theory called, “Media Richness Theory”. I have encountered this theory during my first two years of stay in college, but it was only at that moment wherein I finally gave attention to it. I analyzed it and checked if it is okay for me to use it in my thesis. This was my understanding of it.

Media Richness theory states that the richest form of communicating is through face-to-face communication. There are four criteria that are used to consider a particular media effective. These include feedback, channel, source, and language. Feedback refers to the immediate response that a receiver can give in a face-to-face communication. Although response can be given through other forms of media, Ftf is believed to be the richest. The next criteria will support this notion. Next is channel. This shows how personal it can be in a face-to-face communication. Unlike any other type of media, this is direct and both the key players, the sender and receiver, are physically present in the actual conversation. Source, on the other hand, involves first hand message. This means that the message is primarily transferred from the main source. There are no other media to be used. And lastly, is language. The problem with computer-mediated communication or other means of communicating is that language cannot be adjusted. In a face-to-face communication, the sender can adjust to what is more appropriate to the receiver of the message. Therefore, we can say that face-to-face communication is richer. However, I cannot fully submit to the fact that computer-mediated communication is not as rich as face-to-face.

I believe that face-to-face is really the very primary and common means to communicate, but as the changes in the way we communicate continue, we also now have different preferences. Case in point, due to different lifestyle of the Filipinos, we do not have much and enough time to meet all the people we need to communicate with. The tendency is for us to resort to alternatives. In my case as an Orcom major, group works are done online. It is either we create a Facebook group or go to Skype. This is because we do not have enough common time to meet and finish our requirements. In the business context, CEOs, executives, or even business people with heavy schedules resort to other forms of media to attend to every appointment they have. An example of this is OPMC (Orchard Property Marketing Corporation). They did a nationwide video conference so that the president can easily reach out to the other employees in the remote areas. It goes to show that computer-mediated communication is the new trend and preference of the people.

I do not have anything against face-to-face communication. I only think that the present trend in the society causes people to depend on it. Maybe it is time for us people to look on a bigger perspective. It does not mean we have to deviate from the traditional way, it only means that we have to embrace something that offers us new and optimize it for the betterment of every individual.


Good bye, Steve Jobs October 6, 2011

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” — Steve Jobs, 2005

Just this morning my sister saw Steve Jobs’ death on T.V and told me about it. I was not much affected by it, until I checked my Twitter and Facebook accounts. I was surprised to see consecutive tweets and Facebook posts about Steve Jobs’ death. Well maybe not surprised to the fact that it went online. What made it surprising for me is that almost everyone is talking about it. I did not expect that even those who do not have any Mac products would care to post something related to his death. Several posts got my attention and believe me, I really think it was sensationalized.

Here is a post from one of my batch mates. According to her, since she is using a Mac product, she was shocked to see this post on her browser’s page.


I do not have much to say about this post because it is acceptable for the company to release something like this. However, this other post is quite different.

I have two things to say. First, the one who made this pulled it off. Very timely, I must say. It is a very creative way to show how Steve Jobs’ imbibed Mac products. It goes to show that Steve Jobs is a brand, too. When you talk about Apple, it is but usual for you to know Steve Jobs or at least know that he founded it. Second, this post was intentional. Of course, who would want to post something like this if it is not appropriate? Furthermore, the one who made this knew that posting such picture would gain a lot of views and comments.

Steve Jobs definitely influenced a lot of people. Not only people, but almost everyone. This man made sure he will leave a legacy. And I am pretty sure people will remember him. Who could ever forget the man behind every half-bitten apple product? Goodbye, Steve Jobs. May you rest in peace.


Viral videos: Senseless or full of meaning?

Three weeks ago, we did a video for our OrCom 152: Communication Trends and Styles. We did it to test how viral a video a can go. I was blinded by the fact that we need to make something viral. Little did I know that viral videos are not made for the sake of making it viral, but are born. Of course, you cannot deny the fact that organizations are intentionally doing viral videos for the sake of their own agendas. Nevertheless, before I jump into any conclusion, let us first analyze what does viral really mean.

Based on this definition from the dictionary, I came up with an analysis. The word ‘viral’ involves two things: quick and popular. A video is viral if it massively reached its target audience in a span of time. So, if you make something popular in a short span of time, it is already viral? What are the factors to be considered? In our group’s case, I admit the fact that our video did not go viral. However, for me it is more than reaching a number of hits or views. It is about reaching your goal and delivering the message you want to convey. What is the use of thousand views and comments if people will still think and do the same? I am talking about a viral video made with sense and meaning. I have here two videos that have different goals.

This video hit in 2008. According to my professor in PA 132 class, the guy in the video left his job and decided to use the money he got for this video. Soon after the video boomed, he gained producers who will fund his travels and production. What made this video so viral is that it gives the entertainment of going to different places and dancing with people. Though the main sense of this video was not clear, several interpretations were raised. Some said that it showed importance of equality among races, while others thought it was fun.

On the other hand, the concept of this video was acquired from another video that was made in support of ‘The Jubilee Project’. It only means that from the very start, the makers have a goal in mind. They did this to support the campaign and serve as an eye-opener to people who practise discrimination to people with disabilities.

The people who made these videos may have different goals in mind (e.g monetary or advocacy purposes) but at the end of it all, it is the people who make a video viral. It is our decision if we are going to watch something senseless or full of meaning. We just have to know how are we going to allow such videos to impact our lives. It should not be a practice of watching for the sake of watching, but watching to learn, enjoy, and make a change.


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