Ako Mismo Campaign and My Conditional Support

      22 Comments on Ako Mismo Campaign and My Conditional Support

Update (May 7)

I now support Ako Mismo. Read my updated entry on Ako Mismo.

““Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality.”

Update on May 6

There is Who is Behind Ako Mismo? and an FAQ but it is not easily spotted in the main page unless you click two links “Skip intro” and “already a member?”. It is still silent on the use of the database they collected.

What a wonderful idea! I like it. AKO (I, me) mismo (myself or me, personally) is a very rough translation. Me, myself, and I… am doing my part in making the world a better place to live and work in.

I am not helpless. I can solve most of my problems. I have the power to solve the problems that is mine to solve. In my own little way, I contribute to the society through my children. Self-reliance begins in our homes. I hope to instill self-reliance in my children even if they have to inherit this crappy economy. That was what I wrote in my reaction to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo State of the Nation Address (SONA 2008).

It is good to hope. It is better to hope than despair. Declaring one’s commitment in writing is the first step in making your good intentions manifest into reality. What you perceive becomes your reality. Imagine what it would be like to have millions of Filipinos — and those who advocate our Filipino causes — share their altruistic acts to all of us.

But wait… I visit the site at akomismo.org and I am faced with a log-in . I cannot view anything else except the HOME page with the links to the Privacy Page and Terms and Conditions because I have to register first. Fishy! If they were truly sincere in their AKO MISMO campaign, they won’t limit access to the site. They’d give us the freedom to frolic in their virtual playground or plaza before declaring our commitment in writing.

I am faced with all these information with so many required fields:

After going through the site, I certainly agree with the email from Jaime Garchitorena with reports from ABS-CBN, ‘Ako Mismo’ campaign questioned over privacy.

The sponsors PLDT-Smart Foundation, DDB Cares, and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) or whoever owns this patriotism campaign need to answer some bloggers’ concerns.

1. What are your future plans for the database gathered from the Ako Mismo sign ups? (Update: Read their FAQ). Here is their reply:

Q: The registration for Ako Mismo requires information from those who sign up. Will the database be used for commercial or political gain?
A: No. The basic information we asked for will be used to guide us in the deployment of the dog tags to the right people. The information will also be useful as we mobilize our socio-civic activities, as it will determine where and what projects are relevant in specific areas. It is important to point out that this whole movement is one of volunteerism. And while we hope more people will sign up, or that our members will participate in future activities (the choice of which will be guided by feedback we receive about what matters to them), ultimately each individual has total freedom to decide whether he will participate or not. We are very protective about the information we receive and we have taken security precautions against people accessing the information for their use without our knowledge. We are zealous about protecting the movement from being exposed to those with political or commercial agenda.

2. Why do we have to sign up to write or view the wall? It is fishy that you have to collect our information before we can view your site properly. (Update: We can now see the site through their Who is Behind Ako Mismo? and an FAQ and Wall of Commitment)

3. How do we opt out? When we try to use contact page, it says “Sorry, you’ll need to register or login to access this page.” (Update: Contact Page is up)

ako mismo

(Smart Denies Owning Patriotism Campaign Site)

““If it’s not Smart, then who owns it? No one claims the website until now,” said Jaime Garchitorena, president of Edu Pro, after he learned that Smart has denied the ownership of the website.

(Update on May 6– DDB Philippines says they are the ones behind Ako Mismo. Read more at Who is Behind Ako Mismo? and an FAQ)

As of this writing, I give my conditional support because I don’t want to type in my “personal information”. I am sure others don’t mind giving away all the information specified in the Privacy Policy but I do. I certainly don’t want to receive spam and unsolicited political campaigns or surveys. I am not alone in my observations.

(Update: I now support Ako Mismo. Read my updated entry on Ako Mismo)

Garchitorena said that though it is not yet clear what the campaign really aims to do – it could be a legitimate website or a “malicious” campaign – all he wants is to clear the structure on how personal information of users are collected, stored, and used by the people behind the campaign to protect the privacy of individuals who join the site.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the concept of Ako Mismo. I believe that I have no control over people, places and things yet I have control over myself. I have control on my own actions and attitude. Change starts with me. Others may start to follow suit. But first, it begins with me.

I, myself.

I don’t really need an Ako Mismo site to bring this point across, do I?

My blog can still deliver this message to my readers, my subscribers and my community.

Ako Mismo. Tayo Mismo.

A Moment of Silence or a prayer of Hope for all of you.

—-, let me be the change I want to see
To do with strength and wisdom
All that needs to be done
And become the hope that I can be.
Set me free from my fears and hesitations.
Grant me courage and humility.
Fill me with spirit to face the challenge
And start the change I want to see.
Today, I start the change I want to see.
Even if I’m not the light, I can be the spark.
In faith, service and communion
Let us start the change we want to see,
The change that begins in me


May 6- There is Who is Behind Ako Mismo? and an FAQ but it is not easily spotted in the main page unless you click two links “Skip intro” and “already a member?”. It is still silent on the use of the database they collected.

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  • I’ve been thinking of signing up for that but I heard news of those required fields which really made it fishy. The entire idea is good because I believe that change starts with oneself…but they really could do better with the website. I honestly think it might have more impact if it’s like a freedom wall first, to see what kind of things people are trying to do by themselves, and it would encourage people to sign up more instead of hiding everything and requiring registration.

    So I guess I’m going for conditional support too. I could just write the things I would do in my site anyway, and that should count as something that I, myself would do.

    • I am not signing in yet until they fix the privacy issues. In the meantime, we can still share the AKO MISMO in our blogs

  • Pingback: Technobiography.com » Blog Archive » Ako Mismo www.akomismo.org - making my commitments, taking our country’s progress into our own hands()

  • jr

    The content pages being inaccessible to the general public was the first thing that really put me off. What made me more wary about it is that it was created by an advertising agency with no clarity as to who their client is. Is it a non-profit, political party or something else?

    I like the general concept and idea. But right now, I see it as just a clever and elaborate advertising campaign. I’m gonna see how this thing goes for the time being.

    • Yup it doesn’t mean I won’t support the AKO MISMO. Ako mismo can start blogging about Ako Mismo.

  • Putting in my details without even knowing the true purpose of the site is too shady for me. Why can’t I see the about page unless I’ve signed up? I feel really uncomfortable with the whole set up. Yes, I love the idea of “Ako Mismo” that change starts with me. Pero, nakakabahala lang, masyadong tago eh.

    I would support this whole advocacy if it were open to the public.

    P.S. This is tangerine from Plurk. ^_^

    Yvies last blog post..On Things to do

    • the secrecy is baffling. I hope it is just growing pains since it is a new site. Or they didn’t test usability of the site. Whatever, they need to address these issues.

  • ivy

    I didn’t sign up yet. I read today in Inquirer Libre that’s it will be used as a campaign tool for Manny Pangilinan’s presidency in 2010. I hope it’s not true though because I think the idea of AKOMISMO is a good one. I won’t sign up though until everything is clear to me.

    ivys last blog post..Videoke-oke-oke

    • oh really? I haven’t read that in the Inquirer. Yeah hoping these issues clear up.

  • I think Smart and PLDT has already claimed ownership of the ad/campaign because when I saw the ad late last night, their logos with a brief message were displayed in less than 2 seconds.

    However, the privacy issues are still a concern.

    Jhays last blog post..Another one on “Ako Mismo”

    • What if they are just sponsors? or paid for the ad spots to be aired on TV?

  • I was encouraged to visit their website after watching the ad. But what stopped me from signing up were the concerns you raised. There’s nothing on the site that would explain what or who they really are. I hope things clear up.

    Lynns last blog post..Restaurant City and Your Management Style

  • My personal opinion… so please allow me to write while I process my thoughts… This is a clear case of being able to see two schools of thought at the same time.

    Your voices are being heard. I do know whose brainchild this is — and my perception is that it is not a political movement. It is a movement, all right, but with a unique take on how we can project our actions speaking louder than words — and yet it is the written word itself that makes any position or intention a true commitment. I cannot second-guess why this is a member-only website — except if you look at it from the paradigm of being serious about your commitment — and that when like-minded people look through these pledges, sooner or later, they will find people they would want to collaborate with or partner with in a project. OK, so it does have an “exclusive” feel to it, as if you belong to a federation. I can see that this movement is still evolving, still learning from the engaged responses, and it’s oh-so human.

    I would prefer that the AKO MISMO organizers review how they’ve positioned this altruistic movement — and to be mindful about your voices that have raised concerns.

    Since I come from a marketing and community relations mind-set, I can understand the conditional support you gave since there are many questions that are being asked to authenticate your identity when you are signing up to be a member. (A more intensive set of questions was asked of me when I became a member of a non-profit network based in the US.)

    I do believe in getting more statistics about our Filipino communities worldwide: to show our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Where I live, our Fil-Am media is only now learning to collaborate on having ONE SET OF DEMOGRAPHICS to use when pursuing potential advertisers. We still have a hard time getting our share of advertising dollars, especially for ethnic media. We don’t speak in dissonant voices, for the most part. We are only now understanding that without NUMBERS, we don’t have political clout in the White House or with Microsoft. Does this sound like a familiar tune?

    I could talk forever about data mining and database collections — which I know a little about. It is a necessary aspect of what I do as a marketing specialist if I am to do a good job in delivering goods and services that meet the needs of our customers.

    That’s what happens in business and non-profit endeavors, especially since there are strict federal and state guidelines on how we conduct our operations, programs, and activities.

    AKO MISMO: We’re talking about an altruistic movement here — altruistic, being defined as “unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others (opposed to egoistic).”

    I believe that every little act we make is a political act (human relations). You know, the government is for the people, by the people, and of the people. Except that among the intellectual, analytical citizens of the Philippines, all events in the blogosphere become larger than life because of the environment’s viral nature.

    I am wondering why a simple wall of commitment to collectively make a positive difference can’t be perceived to be as simple as that. A wall of commitment.

    Oh boy, AKO MISMO has pushed some buttons among many of us. Why is that?

    I hope all concerned citizens and bloggers get their answers from the visionaries behind AkoMismo.org — soon.

    • any feedback from Pato?

  • Ako Mismos response to the growing speculation, read on.


  • Noems, No feedback yet. I’m patient.

    • DDB Philippines Gil Chua and Patrick Gregorio need to give a statement if they truly endorsed Ako Mismo. They know who the owners are.

  • Pingback: Ako Mismo FAQ & Who is Behind Ako Mismo? | A Filipina Mom Blogger()

  • DDB Cares is the official spokesperson.

    I have experienced directly how DDB works on social responsibility campaigns. Very commendable. Do you know that the Pinoy Power Worldwide logo of the Global Filipino Networking Convention concept was created and donated by DDB Philippines? For every Global meet that we have, I insist that people know they donated the creative services in making the logo.

  • I guested on CheChe Lazaro’s Media in Focus last night (Thursday). I was on the same segment as Jaime Garchitorena and Edu Manzano. When asked about the origin of the campaign, Mr. Manzano said that he thought of this idea over coffee (coffee w/ DDB Cares’ Mr. Tony Samson) five months ago.

    When asked again if AKO MISMO was his brainchild, he said, yes– it was his idea -except that he only had an Anti-Child Pornography Advocacy (he calls it ACAP) and that it would be too “off” if ACAP would be the ‘logo in the end’ — so they just decided not to put an ownership logo.

    If you’re interested in viewing the episode, I think MEDIA in FOCUS has replays on Sunday mornings. Or surf youtube 7 May 2009 episode with CheChe Lazaro. Guests: Tony Samson, Atty JJ Disini, Jaime Garchitorena, Edu Manzano and myself.

    Hopefully ANC will still air the replays despite Ms. Lazaro being arrested (she posted bail) this morning for a ‘wire-tapping’ accusation by the GSIS. These are strange times.

    If you ask me, I’m just happy that the audience is a little more engaged than it used to be. At least we are no longer flotsam to the tides of media.

    Thanks for posting this article.

  • roland

    hi naniniwala ako kaya natin to

  • The problem with “advocacy” and NGOs in general is one of accountability. Thus, the questions raised about who is So-and-so are very proper. For example, if an author promotes the purchase of a corporation’s stock, it matters if he has a position on that stock. If the website owner of AKO MISMO has a contract with some other entity, that also matters. At least if it were a GO (“governmental organization”) we know the rules, on paper at least, on how to hold those in charge accountable. As it is we only have contract law, and it seems that the Terms and Conditions of AKO MISMO has a void waiver clause on its liability for future fraud. Would you deal with a party who tells you that the deal allows him to escape liability if he later commits a fraud or a wrong against you?