Angelhouser | A Journal By Angelica Bautista Viloria

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Web as a Political Tool

In the coming days, we will see who among the politicians will be running for senator, congressman, the works. It will also be interesting to see how each candidate will use the web or internet for his/her campaign.

Gone are the days when politicians can just do a song-and-dance, go on a campaign sortie with well-known celebrities, and then hope to win an election. In addition to newspapers, television, radio, and cellphones, campaign strategists must now take a serious look at how the internet will figure in their over-all campaign approach.

In the United States, the presidential election will be held in 2008. This early, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, both senators, have already turned to the web to start their presidential campaign. I watched both Hillary and Barack's videos on their respective websites and although my opinion does not count as I am not a U.S. voter, I found Barack's video more natural and less scripted.

Will the local politicians in the Philippines also use the web to the same extent? Will they blog? Will they write their replies to all the issues that are sure to come up against them? Will they purchase "ad spots" in popular websites? Will the website owners allow politicians they don't believe in to put ads in their sites in exchange for money? Would you be willing to advertise a politician for free if you believed in him or her?

Interesting times ahead, folks. And I thought the Philippine elections couldn't get more exciting. =)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Carnival is Here (Eto Na Ang Perya ng Bayan)

It is only January 2007 but already, as is our country's habit, when you read the newspapers; when you listen to AM radio; when you watch television -- you will be bombarded daily by talk about the May 2007 national and local elections here in the Philippines. Groan.

Politicians are now in "election mode." That means either nothing will move (because everyone is busy thinking of the campaign) or everything will move quicker and faster (as they woo voters) but only until May 2007. Money will flow left and right so people are generally happy.

Will anything change with the coming elections? I've voted in too many elections to know that things will probably not change. Already, am hearing the same old names and seeing the same old faces. Sa iyo ang San Juan, Akin ang San Juan (San Juan is yours and it is mine too.) If news reports are to be believed, the mother of JV Ejercito will slug it out with the wife of Jinggoy Estrada in the mayoralty race in San Juan. Does an Ejercito or an Estrada always have to be at the helm of San Juan?

There are talks nowadays of Erap being freed from his Tanay resthouse. Why now, all of a sudden? If we release Erap now, let's return him to Malacanang. =) He was elected president anyway.

I don't know about you but this election thing is getting more tiring as the years go by. I've always voted in every election in the past and I'm still not getting the government that I think I deserve. Maybe it's time to do something different and skip the elections altogether? I wonder, shall I get better results?

Monday, January 8, 2007

Seventy Years is All We Have?

Did you read that recent article which said that the life expectancy of Filipinos has improved from 50 years old in the 1940s to 70 years old these days? The finding was based on a study made by the Department of Health (DOH), if am not mistaken, and it is also stated that females generally outlive males by 2 years (only!). Those who are not likely to reach 70 years old or the average life expectancy are those who have stressful jobs. Does that mean that I will live beyond 70 if I don't have a job now?

Kidding aside, the 70 years life expectancy even has some Biblical basis. In the book of Psalms, for example, there is a Psalm which goes: "Seventy years is all we have. Eighty if we are strong..." I guess, 80 (or even a hundred) should be the goal for me.

It is interesting to note though that the same study says that the reason for the longer life span is a "healthier lifestyle." I think I disagree. I refuse to believe that people nowadays are more conscious of their health than say, 50 years ago? In fact, I would daresay that people today live "more stressful" lifestyles. We are stuck in traffic more often, work harder, inhale more pollution, eat more greasy and processed food -- than our parents ever did. Sure, they probably didn't have gyms and South Beach diets in the olden days but I don't think they needed it much then.

So what changed? Advances in medical science most probably. We are diagnosing more illnesses now and are discovering more cures. In the early days, people most probably just dropped dead without knowing what was wrong with them or without even having the chance to do something about it.

Well, in life there is always good news and bad news. What's the bad news? Life is more stress-filled these days. What's the good news? You'll live longer despite the stresses.

Up to what age would you like to stay around? Personally -- I think living to 60 will be alright; up to 70, a blessing; up till 80, a bonus; until 90, a miracle; and up to 100? I don't think my brain could think much of it even if I wanted to. Whatever the length of our days, let us be thankful. May you and I live long and healthy. I wonder, will blogs still exist when I'm 60?

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New 2007!

Happy New Year everybody! Manigong Bagong Taon as we would say in our native Filipino language. If you happen to be reading this, then there is already enough reason to rejoice. We're still alive at the start of 2007 and that is blessing enough.

I haven't been reading the newspapers at all in the last few days, in the busy-ness of the Christmas season. I should get back to my regular routine starting today. Still, I did get to glance at the news every now and then and heard about the hanging of Saddam, the earthquake in Taiwan (which has made the internet over here in the Philippines painfully slow), the turning over of custody of Smith to the Americans, and that 91% of Filipinos face the New Year with hope.

That is a comforting thought. That despite our difficulties here in our country, majority of the Filipinos still face 2007 with hope in their hearts. That's what keeps us alive and smiling, I guess. When hope is thrown out of the window, it must be time to stop breathing altogether. So, keep hoping and keep smiling. Look beyond GMA and Philippine politics. There is a God that sees order amid the chaos that we, mere mortals, do not understand.

God has great plans for you and I in 2007. Let His plan unfold. Have a blessed New Year everybody.