Saturday, 29 December 2012

EXTRA: Trending 2012: Top 12 newsmaking Twitter stories of the year

MANILA: What makes a Twitter trend, well, trend?
As it is loosely defined, the trending topics show what is buzzworthy in a particular area at any given time. In this way, the 9.5 million Filipinos using the social microblogging site tell the world what is on their mind in ten keywords or hashtags.
This year, the Philippine trending topics have seen a lot of action. Besides fan clubs fervently trying to make their favorite celebrities popular, and people asking for #25factsabout you, Filipino tweeps have used Twitter as an avenue to discuss timely national issues and personalities, as well as to encourage action.
Here are some of the newsworthy Twitter trends that we won’t forget this year.
1. #ReliefPH and #RescuePH -- The “storm with no name” took Metro Manila and nearby provinces by surprise with almost a week of non-stop rain and consequently, a great deal of flooding throughout the region. The torrential rains were brought about by the habagat which was intensified by a storm outside the PAR.
During the week-long deluge, people used Twitter and Facebook as means to inform  the media and other concerned government agencies of their situation as well as to  ask help for their relatives and communities.
Government encouraged media and netizens alike to use the unified hashtags  #ReliefPH and #RescuePH to better track places that needed relief and rescue. Non- government organizations also helped by creating databases that would track the  status of requests made via Twitter using the hashtag. It just goes to show that  even the smallest initiative--a hashtag--could do a world of good when used for  the right reasons.
2. #SottoCopy and #Sinotto -- The hashtag #Sinotto emerged amid plagiarism accusations against Sen Tito Sotto. At first, the hashtag was used for tweets containing famous quotes or song lyrics that were translated from English to Filipino and vice versa as tweeps mocked Sen Sotto's alleged translation of parts of US Pres Kennedy's speech into Filipino without attribution. 
As other variations of #Sinotto came about like #Sottocopy, #Sottonism, and others, the hashtag was then meant to refer to anything plagiarized or copied without proper attribution.
More than being a testament to Filipino humor and originality, the creation and use of #Sinotto showed how the online community can spur mass actions on controversial issues. 
3. #PacBradley and #PacMarquez - There is a joke that when Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao has a fight, the crime rate in the Philippines drastically goes down for one day because everyone is glued to their TVs.
This year, Pacman faced off with Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez in two epic fights that had netizens glued to their smartphones too, as they followed the flurry of live tweets.
This wasn’t Pacman’s year, however, as he lost both fights. As expected, dejected Pinoy tweeps took to the trending topics to show their support for Pacman.
When Pacquiao lost to Bradley via unanimous decision, #RIPBoxing took the top spot on the trending topics, with fans showing their disgust over what they called a questionable decision.
Meanwhile, the term “Manny Pacquiao” and the hashtag #FilipinoPride trended  worldwide immediately after the bout with Marquez, with the latter staying at the top  spot for hours.
4. #AMALAYER -- Maybe it was just bad luck that Paula Jamie Salvosa's public argument with a lady security guard at the LRT Santolan station was caught on camera.
The cellphone video went viral on Facebook on the same day and garnered more than 68,000 shares and 17,000 shares. On Twitter, the hashtag #AMALAYER, which came from Salvosa’s pronunciation of “I’m a liar” trended both worldwide in the Philippines for days as netizens reacted angrily to the incident.
A lot of discussion ensued afterward about cyberbullying, and if the video should have been posted publicly online at all, given that viewers will make judgments about what was filmed, without knowing the context of the incident. Paula Salvosa did air her side that same day, saying she was not treated well by the guard and that was what caused the confrontation.  
Nevertheless, we all learned something from #Amalayer: a reminder to all how to conduct ourselves in public, in an age where anything can be uploaded online.
5. #MsPHILIPPINESforMsUniverse2012 -- Still reeling after the devastating effects of Typhoon Pablo as well as Pacman’s second loss, many Filipinos were looking for a morale boost--and they found it in Janine Mari Tugnonon, the country’s representative to this year’s Miss Universe Pageant. 
Tweeps were quickly charmed by Janine’s grace and poise that was evident throughout the entire competition. The local trending topics were on fire with well-wishes for the 20-year old beauty, who seemed to have a great chance of bringing home the Miss Universe title. Even if she didn’t get the crown (and settled for a still-impressive 1st runner-up finish), Janine’s fans catapulted her to Twitter fame. Miss Philippines trended worldwide after the coronation and stayed on the trends for hours afterward.
6. Jessica Sanchez - For the first time in American Idol history, a Filipina came through to the Top 2. This Filipina-Mexican-American powerhouse became a fan favorite and a serious contender for the American Idol title.
Jessica Sanchez blew away the crowd and the judges, even impressing Jennifer Lopez so much that she saved the 16-year-old from elimination. Filipinos in the US and in the Philippines rallied behind her on Twitter especially on Finals night. While Jessica did not win American Idol, her fans made sure that the Twitterverse knew how proud they are of her as her name trended for hours after the competition.
7. Salamat Dolphy and Salamat Jesse - 2012 saw the country grieve for two Filipino icons. One was an exemplary public servant while the other was the Philippines’ Comedy King.
On July 10, 2012, it was curtains down for Comedy King Dolphy after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Tears were shed not only by Dolphy’s family, which lost a father, but also by the whole Filipino nation which lost an icon who had given so much joy in times of hardships. Words of condolences poured out both online and offline. During Dolphy’s wake and especially during his funeral, Salamat Dolphy trended on Twitter as Filipinos continued to reminisce on the Comedy King’s colorful life as well as offer words of comfort to his family.
A month after the Comedy King’s death, the nation found themselves once again grieving for a man who was the epitome of a true public servant. On August 18, 2012, media organizations broke news that the plane carrying DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo crashed off the island of Masbate.
For two days, the Filipino people shared the Robredo family’s anxiety as they maintained the hope of finding the secretary still alive. The Philippine government put into action intense search and rescue operations for the former Naga mayor whose “tsinelas leadership” earned the nation’s admiration and respect. As the nation waited for news on TV, radio, and print, netizens also turned to Twitter for updates as well as offer their concern for Sec. Jesse. When search and rescue teams finally recovered the plane wreckage along with the confirmation that the secretary has perished in the accident, tweets of sympathy poured out. “Salamat Jesse” and other related hashtags and key words trended on Twitter during his wake in Malacanang and especially during his state funeral in Naga City.
8. #RHbill and #SinTaxBill -- It has been a monumental year for the Reproductive Health and Sin Tax Bills, both of which have been passed into law before 2012 ended. It was a welcome gift to those who have been lobbying for its passage--not just the lawmakers themselves, but those who took to Twitter to express their opinions about the law, whether pro or anti.
The hashtags #RHBill and #SinTaxBill were mainstays on the local trending topics for much of the second half of the year. While politicians debated various parts of the law in their sessions, netizens also kept up the debate on Twitter.
9. #CJTrial - With a vote of 20-3 in the Senate, Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato C. Corona was convicted for betrayal of public trust and culpable violation of the Philippine Constitution and was duly impeached from the highest position in the Philippine justice system.
The impeachment trial and the conviction were historic--the first time a chief justice was ousted. Such an important event was closely followed by the media, even broadcasting every session live on national TV. As people tuned in to their TV sets, netizens also saw the trial unfold on Twitter. Media organizations as well as political analysts and other government watchdogs captured the drama via livetweets, bringing the fiery exchanges among prosecution, defense, and judges to netizens everywhere.
Twitter buzz on the trial notably spiked on ex-CJ Corona’s testimony and finally on judgment day. Impeachment trial-related hashtags trended early in the morning, lasted for hours throughout the day and even after the Senate President has put down his gavel. Tweeps also hung on the words of every senator-judge, particularly Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago with her ferocious wit and humor and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s wisdom-laden statements.
The amount of attention (and the volume of tweets) generated by the impeachment trial not only on Twitter but on social media showed the increasing number of Filipinos who keep themselves updated with political and national issues.
10. #WalangPasok -- May pasok ba? is one of the first questions people ask when it’s raining hard outside or when there are news of storms and floods. Before, people would wait for announcements of suspensions on TV or radio, but with the changing times, many were waiting for official news via Twitter. 
As a way for tweeps to easily keep track of these announcements, the PCDSPO encouraged schools, LGUs, and news organizations to use #WalangPasok as a unified hashtag for tweets on class and work suspensions.#WalangPasok was even eventually used as a way to track upcoming special and regular holidays.
11. #MalingMali -- What are the things in society that people deem wrong but still do anyway? It turned out there were a lot, according to tweeps who joined in trending #malingmali on Twitter, as they aired their grievances that ranged from relationship problems to rude MRT passengers to epal politicians.
The hashtag was conceptualized by GMA News as part of the Dapat Tama campaign, advocating the need for an informed voting public for the upcoming elections. It was a success, even taking a spot on the worldwide trending topics. GMA hopes through this initiative, voters will be reminded to do what is right this election season, and even influence candidates to do the same. 
12. #itsmorefuninthePhilippines -- Why is it more fun in the Philippines? Locals, tourists, and netizens tell you why through breathtaking photos and witty captions.
Recognizing the potential reach of the internet across the Philippines and beyond, the Department of Tourism launched a campaign inspired by the virality of memes. #itsmorefuninthePhilippines trended as tweets and photos quickly popped up as tweeps outdid each other with their own unique versions of what is truly "fun in the Philippines".  – KDM, GMA News 

Friday, 28 December 2012

EXTRA: Third team formed to probe church fire

    St Peter's Church of Vinzons ... gutted by fire

NAGA CITY: Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera formed his own fact-finding team to know the real cause of Wednesday’s fire that destroyed the 400-year-old Parroquia de San Pedro Apostol Church in Vinzons, CamNorte.

The bishop’s team would be the third investigating group organized to look into the fire that razed the church, built in 1611 by Franciscan priests.

Two other investigating teams had been formed by the municipal government of Vinzons and the provincial government of CamNorte.

Bishop Garcera quoted Fr Francisco Regala, Vinzons parish priest, as saying faulty electrical wiring caused the fire.

“But I will wait for the official findings of the Bureau of Fire Protection,” the bishop told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday.

Garcera said he would talk with parishioners on New Year’s Day amid still unverified reports that the fire was not accidental.

“I have heard only the side of [Regala]. He’s the one that keeps on talking. I want to know what the people have to say,” said the bishop.

“If the cause was faulty electrical wiring, then why had no one fixed it?” he said.

In a phone interview, Regala said he was not sure if the fire was caused by faulty electrical wiring in the old convent.

He said he just woke up smelling something burning, only to discover flames at the old convent. - Inquirer

He said he immediately rushed to the fire station of Vinzons, which was just a few meters from the church, but the firemen came late. 

“I was disappointed by the response,” he said. - Inquirer

EXTRA: Overpopulation good for Filipinos, says bishop

Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet. – Contributed photo/CBCP website


Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet.
NAGA CITY: Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet,the capital of  CamNorte, believes overpopulation has been advantageous to the  Philippines and to the world because it has increased the number of  overseas workers and migrants who could send remittances back home while  taking care of ageing people abroad and spreading the Christian faith.

Contrary to the aims of the reproductive health (RH) bill, Garcera said the huge Philippine population could be part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to be caregivers to ageing nations whose populations had become stagnant”.

He also said many Filipino women would make “good wives” for foreigners in countries that have low population growth.
Garcera said many countries such as Germany and the United States had a stable but ageing population that would need people to take care of them, and that purpose could be served by Filipinos.

 “Filipinos have a big mission to the world. Every Filipino child born is a blessing to the world. Let’s look at the increase in our population in a more comprehensive sense,” the 53-year-old prelate told the Inquirer in an interview at an orphanage in this city that he visited on Thursday.

In light of the Christian faith, Garcera said, the big number of Filipinos should not be seen as a problem but as an opportunity to help other people in the world.

“Filipinos have a duty to take care of them,” he said.

He said that the overpopulation that breeds poverty was not a problem because poverty itself was not a problem.

He said poverty even brought people “closer” to God and was instrumental in realizing God’s plan for Filipinos to take care of other nationalities by inducing migration and working abroad.

Economically, he said, the country also benefits from the “mission” because the migrants and overseas Filipino workers send back money from working as caregivers.

 “When you help poor people they help themselves too. This is the reason we have so many pedicab drivers, for instance. Everyone, when given the chance, will strive to earn a living,” he said.

In fact, he said, poor people were more willing to help compared to the rich. Hence, a poor person was not a problem, he said.

 “We should stop looking at poor people as a problem,” he added.

He said the diaspora of Filipinos was also a way to spread the Christian faith.

 “There was this story of a babysitter in Dubai who started singing the Ama  Namin (Our Father) as a lullaby to the Arab baby she was caring for. The Islamic parents of the child found the song too good that they started learning it, without knowing that it was a Christian prayer,” he said.

He said there would come a time when nations that have decreasing populations would rely on the care of Filipinos.

He said the problem in the country was neither overpopulation nor poverty but corruption and the unequal distribution of wealth.

He admitted though that not all provisions of the RH bill were bad, but he also believed there were some proponents and supporters of the bill who “were against human nature and against what God wants.” - Inquirer

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Latebreakers, By PERCY A OSTONAL

Gathering of the Eagles. A week ago, all 27 baranggay chairpersons and Sanggunian Members of Jose Panganiban were treated to an early Christmas celebration at the Talisay, CamNorte residence of Congressman Renato Unico Jr. Candidates for May 2013 election present were: 1st (Tagalog speaking) and 2nd (Bicol speaking) districts for congress; five vying for Sanggunian Pang-probinsiya; ex-governor Roy Aquino Padilla, Jr; Mayor Ricarte Padilla, JP administration slates for Sanggunian-Bayan and Unico. Vice-Mayor Ariel Non was sick and unable to come. Unico, in his speech, said he is running for CN governorship against re-electionist Governor Edgar Tallado and mentioned to the crowd "how optimistic he is" with the Padillas on his side. Unico expressed confidence on his running mate for vice-governor, the former governor Padilla Jr.

“It was so unfortunate that  political ploy and misleading information are being used by our opponents to harm my candidacy,” said Padilla Jr.   

“I will be a candidate for vice-governor and everything will be okey,” he continued (this pronouncement was possibly made in reference to an earlier report on his disqualification to run). Padilla is running against Jonah Pedro G Pimentel, current vice-governor whose 2010 election votes over his closest rival Senen A Jerez were a landslide of more than 27,000.

"Ako po ay kandidato sa pagka-meyor ng Jose Panganiban sa iisang partido (PDP-LABAN/PMP-UNA) at hindi kandidato ng sinumang political parties … as claimed. Alam po natin ang mithiin nila para gamitin nila ang maayos, malinis at two years’ job performance ko, ni kuya Aye (Vice-Mayor Non) at ng ating sangguniang-bayan team. Sa patuloy na pagunlad at pagsulong ng Jose Panganiban, mas buo po nating mapapatupad ang lahat ng ating mga mithiin kung tutulungan ninyo kaming ibahagi sa kaisipan ng iyong mga kinasasakupan baranggay, sitio, ang buong bayang JP na walo ang kailangan nating kapartido sa konseho municipal,” Padilla stressed. (I am candidate for Mayor of Jose Panganiban under one political party (PDP-LABAN/PMP-UNA) and not a candidate of any other political parties ... as claimed. We know too well what they're up for and that's to use our well organized, tailored political strategy and transparent two years’ job performance of myself, of Vice-Mayor Non and of our administration town council members. Our town's march for continued growth would be a lot better if we could all be on the same side towards our expectations helping our constituents in the barrios, sitios … our town of JP understands the essence and need of eight partymates council members).

Vice-Mayor Non"s in-Laws home sprayed with bullets. Our local reporter said that Vice-Mayor and Mrs Ariel Non's old home at purok #5 at Baranggay Parang now occupied by his in-laws -- Mr and Mrs Maximo Banares -- was sprayed with bullets between the hours of 3am and 4am recently. It was believed done by hired motorcycle-riding-culprits. Sketchy reports said an M-16 was allegedly fired at the roof of the house. No one was hurt according to the report. Non and his family were at their present residence when the incident happened. JP police are currently investigating.

Our last salute … and farewell to Efren B Basquinas. Once a member of JP's "Black Rangers Police Force” during the political transition years of then mayor Roy "Casimiro" Padilla Sr (after an upset victory over re-electionist mayor Marciano Linis). Mr Efren B Basquinas died recently in Jose Panganiban. From a regular police officer, he rose to become the chief of police of Paracale, CamNorte. A community leader he ran for the 2010 Sangguniang-bayan and placed 13th, got 4,014 votes and placed 13th out of twenty four candidates. Some of his contemporaries at the Jose Panganiban police force were: Former JP chief of police Roberto Rosales (deceased), Jose Pablo (deceased), Jose "Joe" Ortiga (deceased), David Bermundo, Mr Pastor and Mr Villania. Thank you, Sir, for your community service keeping our people safe!!

PDP-LABAN/PMP-UNA Official candidates for Sangguniang Pangprobinsiya of CamNorte:
Mike Canlas (Jose Panganiban)
Tereisita D Malubay (Labo)
Erwin L Lausin
Godffrey A  Parale (Capalonga)
"Ponyong "---- A political newcomer, member of  provincial  KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas ) Daet

Grapevine talks. Mayor Dindo Villafuerte Pardo of Labo, CamNorte  (formerly of LAKAS-KAMPI now PDP-LABAN/PMP-UNA) was reportedly furious at the provincial authorities regarding the alleged passage, access to local public works/facilities and earth material containing rich ore minerals being quarried from the municipal backyard. Just like the administration of Jose Panganiban Mayor Ricarte Padilla, he wants the local government taxation code be applied as well.

Better watch-out, ninongs  and ninangs are not coming to town!!! Just too bad, by the time young and adults could see or visit their ninongs and ninangs this Christmas … they have been LONG GONE, hiding somewhere in places no one could ever imagine. An old-timer and recent Balikbayan who has more than fifty "inaanaks" from "kumpil, binyag at kasal” in Mambulao said he had to HURRY-UP and slipped through the dark a week before, otherwise he may even strip off his pant … ha-ha-ha-ha!!!! MALIGAYANG PASKO AT MANIGONG BAGONG TAON SA INYONG LAHAT!!!