Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ratsada Inquirer: Why Carlos Celdran militates against DMCI and Ayala Land Premier projects in Manila

Performance artist and social media practitioner Carlos Celdran just appeared before the City Government of Manila with one mission---prevent DMCI, a big real estate developer, from building a 42 storey condominium in one of the historical places in Manila. 

Celdran, a long-time resident of Manila, points three reasons why he, along with hundreds of netizens, oppose this "tower" project: first, the building would just appear like a sore thumb in the historic stretch of Taft avenue. The area where DMCI wants to build their "tower" is a historical landmark. If built, the tower would be the tallest structure along Taft avenue. And being the tallest, it would obstruct other views in the area. That's the second reason. Lastly, the area where DMCI will build its own, is a hazardous area. Several studies point that the ground there cannot support such a big structure.

Last Friday, Celdran along with hundreds of others, appeared before the City Council of Manila, to specifically discuss the DMCI issue. The group has submitted a position paper before the Council. This coming Friday, the City Council will invite DMCI for it to give its side of the story.

This demonstrates how powerful social media is becoming right now in the Philippines. Aside from this issue, there were three other issues which got flak from netizens: the Pasay ordinance asking for registration fees for bike and dog owners, the "God" bill filed by Mong Palatino and the Tricia Bonoan-David proposal to solicit $50 more from Overseas Filipino Workers. These obscene proposals were discarded shortly after netizens found them out and talked these proponents out of their irrelevance. 

Social media has become a force to reckon with in the Philippines. It is slowly developing its voice, and becoming more and more influential as more and more Filipinos engage themselves electronically. 

Social media maven Noemi Dado pointed this out during our Ratsada Inquirer show last Saturday. 

She gave as an example, the advocacy of Mindanaoan, a blogger based in Cagayan de Oro, who created a movement out of a single tweet. 

At the height of Typhoon Sendong, Mindanaoan was the first to gather people together to help. With just one Tweet, Mindanaoan was able to unite people of different persuasions to come together and help other Filipinos in need of assistance.

Such a feat is becoming more and more possible right now, what with the Internet becoming more and more user-friendly and turning to be a suitable platform for causes. With its speed, the internet is now becoming a repository of the collective consciousness, now being tapped and being used to empower movements and peoples.