We Don't Need Numbers To Tell Us We're Screwed

About a month ago, I was invited by a friend to the launching of their popdev initiative - 'MulatPinoy'. Now what exactly is popdev? No, it's not population development. It's 'population AND development'.

It refers to how population growth affects a nation's key socio-economic indicators. For example, what does it mean for the country when our numbers grow exponentially?

The good news is that there are nearly enough Filipinos to keep the world running. The bad news is that there isn't enough of the Philippines for the Filipinos to run around in. I remember that during the launch, I struggled with all the facts and figures the speakers were presenting. Yeah, they were compelling. Yeah, they were staggering. Yet, how do I put all that in a blog? How do I explain GDP, GNP and all these high-faluting acronyms?
Then I realized the sad truth that I don't need numerical statistics to confirm the facts. Let's play a game. I'll throw in a few keywords and see how many of you would feel optimistic.
Well? How many of you thought we had enough of those to go around? None? Thought so. That list didn't even cover the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. 

In progressive countries, the trend is different. The more controlled the population growth, the higher the standard of living. The issue, of course, is bigger than population control.
I doubt that we'll adopt China's one-child policy anytime soon. Our lawmakers can't even get family planning off the ground, for Christ's sake. Speaking of Christ, the crap should we care about supposed Catholic doctrines when our people are suffering?

MulatPinoy wants presidential aspirants and other candidates in this May's elections to be answerable to these questions. What policies do they intend to espouse to address these issues? Where do they even stand on these matters, if at all?
To that end, MulatPinoy had been holding Kapihan sessions for the past two weekends now and will continue to do so for two more weeks. The sessions raise these very issues to political aspirants with each weekend bearing a different theme - from education in one to environment in the next.
The MulatPinoy website itself is very informative. Aside from containing links to websites of presidential candidates, the site also tracks each candidate's statement about the issues surrounding popdev.

As for the launch itself, I learned that in order to get to the truth of things, I really have to do the math. The irony is that I took up Communication Arts in college because of the minimal math requirements. Heres's a few numbers that was shocking enough to commit to memory: 
There's only one policeman for every 700+ people.
There are only 4% of the country's forests remaining.
We are the 12th most overpopulated country in the world. By 2050, we would be on the top 10.

In the end, the initiative aims to tap our net generation to bring about the message that we are in big trouble and we want our future leaders to figure out how to solve them. Personally, I believe that citizens should also be held responsible for whatever problems we are facing now. Let's begin by taking the right to vote seriously. Listen to the candidates. They may not be likable. They may not be popular. Their ads and endorsers maybe annoying. Still, who knows? Maybe at least one of them would have a solid platform to address these issues.

PopCity is an online simulation game that attempts to teach young people the relevance of popdev. The game was developed by local studio Flipside Games and can be found on their official website.


2009: The List

So I finally decided to activate my Blogger / Blogspot account and I decided to start things off with the things that made my 2009 - both good and bad. Celebrity deaths and other current events that didn't have anything to do with me were not included.

I wanted to make a list of 100 things but I couldn't populate it, so I went with the next best thing: a list of 75 things!

1.Dark Reign
2.Yale New Year's Party 2009
3.Welcome Back, Kathy Repol
4.Goodbye, my dog Queenie
5.Invasion of Malaysia – Jovan's Birthday
6.Goodbye, Hec / Welcome Back, Hec / Goodbye, Hec / Welcome Back Again, Hec / Goodbye Again, Hec!
7.Joon's “Wala Lang” Party at Joon's
8.Iana's Graduation Party at Iana's
9.Singles Poker at Jovan's on Valentine's Day
10.Pirate Mardi Gras at Il Pirata – Oneal proposed to Rej
11.Victorian Valentine's
12.Aids' Prom Birthday Party at Club Dredd
13.Jihan and Albert's Birthday Gimik at 77
14.Lynn's Birthday Party in Makati
15.TAGCOM – got a lot of Avengers goodies here!
16.Welcome Home, Papa
17.The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
18.Rockeoke – this was when the Big Bang Gang was first formed
19.Broadwayoke – sang “Out There”, among other things, and got an applause from the pianist
20.COLF '99 10th Anniversary Reunion at Metrowalk
21.Fandom Live Star Trek Shoot
22.SDP Thanksgiving Party - Majority win, except the top 3 positions.
23.The Original Avengers Minimates
24.Sir Joel Birthday Gimik – my last before finally exiting Pageshop
25.Slimerrun and Swimming
26.Ricky's 2nd Death Anniversary Picnic
27.Jon's Birthday Party at Yale
28.Goodbye, Pageshop - after two years!
29.Hello, Swiftworks
30.Shey's Coffee Party at Bona BF
31.Free Comic Book Day 2009 – another Big Bang Gang formed here.
32.Karen's Birthday Rockeoke!
33.Cameron Crowe Thon at Roseroland
34.Komik Kon Summer Fiesta – got loads of Avengers back issues, including A-Next
35.Fully Booked FCBD / Geeks On Ice – Happy Birthday, Oneal
36.Legally Blonde
37.ToyCon 2009
38.Bianca's Party at Metrowalk
39.Paul's Birthday Party at Yale
40.Iana's Birthday Party at Big Sky Mind
41.VA Anniversary Party at Fandom Cafe
42.Metro Comic Con – got a complete Avengers Infinity set
43.Paolo's Birthday Party at Fandom Cafe
44.Anya's Birthday Lunch in Anya's place in Taytay
45.Shopping Spree – got to get rid of old stuff!
46.Avengers Forever HC
47.Ninay's Birthday Party in Cavite
48.Hank's Surprise Party at Big Sky Mind
49.Getting A New Phone – Nokia 3110 Classic Baby!
50.Talk Like A Pirate Day 2009
51.CosplayMania – there's a reason this was memorable!
52.The Hunger Games LARP / Manila International Book Fair
54.Spring Awakening
55.Goodbye, Swiftworks – I got fired, then re-hired, then resigned!
56.Happy Birthday To Me! - no Octoberian Birthday Bash but that's okay. Had fun with friends anyway.
57.The Gathering Storm
58.Planet X 1st Year Anniversary – I got Avengers Domination Factor sans 1 issue!
59.Dante's Birthday Dinner
60.Komik Kon – got loads of back issues, including the complete runs of The Good Guys and The Crusaders
61.Starbucks with CA4 Friends – We had four editions already
62.Goodbye, my dog Dino!
63.BORACAY! - 5 days of Paradise
64.Fizzer Launch Party
65.Thanksgiving Dinner at Adam's
66.Sweeney Todd
67.COLF '99 X-mas Reunion at Gerardo's
68.Welcome Back, Lady
69.Welcome Back, Inggak
70.College Friends X-mas Party
71.Finishing Golden Sun & Golden Sun: The Lost Age on the Gameboy Micro
72.Baul Photos – Thanks, CA4!

Now, for something fun, here are my personal favorites of everything I've experienced this year.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Star Trek
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
GI Joe


The Gathering Storm - BOOK OF THE YEAR!
Got a copy of Brida (Paulo Coelho)
Finished Sword of Truth Books 5 & 6, A Song of Ice and Fire 4

Discovered The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Once On This Island
Tried Out Jersey Boys but didn't like it
SONGS OF THE YEAR: BEP's “I Got A Feeling” and 30 Seconds to Mars' “Kings and Queens”

Bayan Knights

Spring Awakening
Sweeney Todd
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - PLAY OF THE YEAR!

CinExpo – I did a lot of the marketing / advertising collaterals for this!
Feel Harmonic – I saw the cast of “Rent Manila 2010” for the first time!
ToyCon 2009
Komik Kon Summer Fiesta 2009

So, I guess that was my 2009. I've learned to be more trusting and that has been rewarded dutifully with trust as well. Despite all the trials, I laughed and I cried in 2009. It was all worth it.
For my 2010, I think I will continue on the same path I'm already taking now. I'm learning to take more risks and improving on my relationships with people. My personal goal though is improving on my skills and talents.

(*This isn't my traditional obligatory look back for 2009 because there were some pretty personal stuff there that I'd rather not share with everyone at the moment.*)