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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About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

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