Ako Mismo! Ang kikilos para sa bayan ko

Revised 12 July 2009 at 0824 Manila time

MANILAAko Mismo. If it’s about commitment, I believe I’ve come to the right place: akomismo.org. I Myself, Siak Mismo (Ilocano). I registered with my commitment, ‘Ako mismo will blog creatively’ at about 1600 hours Wednesday, 10 July 2009, with the number of commitments showing 237,279. After about 30 minutes, the total is 237,468. As I am about to finish working on this at 1920 hours, the total is 237,783, or about 30 registering every 10 minutes. (On 12 July at 0905 hours, it's 238,701.)

What about the scientists and scholars of the University of the Philippines, where I happen to graduate from? Will they commit, or will they stay rooted where they are, on their ivory towers, on top of their protestations of love of country?
In the website, on the Wall of Commitments, here are some that I think are representative enough for this little essay:
Ako mismo panatiliin ang kaugaliang Pilipino – I myself will work to preserve Filipino customs & traditions.
Ako mismo ang gagawa at tatapos – I myself will finish what I begin.
Ako mismo tutulong sa mga Pilipino – I myself will help the Filipinos.
Ako mismo magiging malinis ang kapaligiran – I myself will clean my surroundings.
Ako mismo kikilos laban sa kahirapan – I myself will fight poverty.
Ako mismo tutulong sa kapwa ko – I myself will help my fellowmen.
Ako mismo ang susuporta sa musikang Pilipino – I myself will support Filipino music.
Ako mismo ang kikilos – I myself will do it.
Ako mismo ang magra-rally – I myself will rally.
Ako mismo magtratrabaho – I myself will work.
Ako mismo magtataguyod sa pamilya ko – I myself will support my family.
Ako mismo magiging tapat sa pagboto – I myself will be true to my vote.
Para sa bayan ko.
For my country.
Don’t just stand there – do something! Anything!
Simulan mo ang pagkilos tungo sa muling pagbangon ng Pilipinas. Maliit man o malaki, ikaw mismo ang magsasabi kung ano ang gagawin mo. (Start doing it for the rise of a new Philippines. Big or small, you yourself decide what to do.)
Ang pinakamalaking problema ng Pilipinas ay hindi kahirapan o katiwalian o kawalan ng kapayapaan kundi ang pagwawalang bahala ng mga mamamayan. (The biggest problem of the Philippines is not poverty, or corruption, or lack of peace and order, but the apathy of the citizens.)
What the hell!? Is Ako Mismo a brilliant, sinister plot of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo?!
Calling to arms by calling attention to apathy. Certainly, that’s a huge wake-upper. Ask Jun Lozada and the Sisters who keep him company, as well Randy David, and they will tell you that corruption is the biggest problem of the country. You know whom they mean. Ask the activists in Congress like Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casiño, and Manny Villar and even Mar Roxas and they will tell you the biggest problem is poverty. You know who they are. Ask those in Mindanao and they will tell you that the biggest problem in the country is the lack of peace and order. You know the extremists. Ako Mismo does not absolve the corrupt and the mendicants and the traitors, but that’s missing the point of Ako Mismo as a movement. A force for good.
Jaime Garchitorena writes to his gang (forwarded mail, 04 May 2009, gangbadoy.multiply.com), very much worried about privacy and being taken for a ride:
To all those that signed up with AKO MISMO! You are now part of SMART telecoms network for potential campaigns in 2010. ¶ The amount of information they have asked is so detailed that they can track you down to your zip code and contact you any time. In all my years of signing up for information, I have never had a site require so much information AS REQUIRED FIELDS. ¶ This makes for a perfect voter mapping database and campaign tool for anyone that wants to pay SMART for the information. Did you think SMART would pay MILLIONS in production and advertising and talent costs for nothing?
Jaime, if you doubt Ako Mismo's intentions, so do I yours. It is not true that Ako Mismo is the only one requiring so much data & information from someone registering. I agree that it is a Smart database that can be used to launch a campaign, any campaign, and that means Smart is really Smart. If you begrudge Smart spending millions and getting back millions more, you must ask the same question regarding your laptop, the hardware and software. Did you think that, for instance, for its Windows Vista and Office 2007 Suite, Microsoft paid millions of US$ in production and advertising and talent costs for nothing?
Ako Mismo is the genius of Smart, I must say. Or, more accurately, it’s the genius of DDB Cares, who created this project. DDB is Doyle Dane Bernbach, the world’s #3 in advertising. I want to give credit to whom credit is due. I worked as copywriter myself for Pacifica Publicity Bureau in 1974, and I remember DDB created the little ads that made the tiny car a big seller: ‘Think small.’ That was the Volkwagen. Understandably, DDB claims that its founder Bill Bernbach started ‘the creative revolution’ 60 years ago. Maybe, but DDB kept that creativity to itself. It was David Ogilvy (Ogilvy & Mather) who unselfishly made advertising a distributed creativity, to borrow from the idea of distributed computing, by writing the Bible of Creative Advertising, his Confessions Of An Advertising Man, where he laid down guidelines for creativity that copywriters follow to this day. Michael C Gray calls it ‘The Little Red Book of Advertising’ in reference to the helpful, incendiary Maoist Bible Quotations From Chairman Mao. Ako Mismo, I might say, is distributed committing.
Of all the bloggers writing on AKO MISMO, what caught most my attention was Martin Perez whose blog happens to have the title AKO MISMO (martinperez.asia). One of his posts is, ‘AKO MISMO: WEB ACTIVISM OR SUGAR HIGH?’ (ALLCAPS – I don’t like allcaps but that’s how he writes it.) He writes:
Is this something truly wonderful, or just an elaborate, high-budget phishing scam? ¶ This may be the cynic in me talking, but I’d like to think it’s also the concerned citizen speaking. For I agree with the likes of Bikoy who worry that this is nothing but a feel-good website masquerading as a social movement. … And this is the dangerous game being played by Ako Mismo. By promising a movement of change and what not, they play on the hopes and dreams of many. Now they will have to follow through on that. For making good on promises is what they should do. We should do. I should do. ¶ Ako mismo, pero paano sila? (I myself, but what about them?)
Martin Perez completely misses the whole archipelagic point of Ako Mismo. Apparently, he hasn’t browsed the website. Martin, it is not the citizen speaking – it is the citizen committing. He is not concerned if he is worried that others are not doing their part. He is not doing his part if he is not committed. He is not committed if he doesn’t begin. What he begins is useless if he doesn’t follow through. What he follows through is nothing if it is not for country. Got that?
You know, all you Martin Perezes out there, I cannot help it but this Filipino in Manila must now quote here my favorite President, and he is John F Kennedy in Boston, saying: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; rather, ask what you can do for your country.’ If each of us commits to do what is right, that is our distributed committing. Committing to caring.
If you ask me, Ako Mismo is about:
Caring. Ako Mismo in 1 word.
Caring enough.
Ako Mismo in 2 words
Caring enough doing.
Ako Mismo in 3 words
Caring enough doing right.
Ako Mismo in 4 words
Caring enough doing right, Philippines.
Ako Mismo in 5 words

No, you don't just commit to caring; otherwise, you're only good for 1 word. Only those 5 words are good enough!

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