Defining a World with New Power

Technology gives journalists new power. Instead of complaining about the dramatic shifts in our industry, we celebrate it because it provides new ways of solving age-old problems that allow journalists to go far beyond storytelling.

In a country like the Philippines, where institutions are weak and corruption is endemic, we can capture the zeitgeist of a frustrated society, push action and help build institutions bottom-up.

Which is exactly what we set out to do in Rappler.

Using a patented user-engagement model, we link the main components into a cycle driving action. Content creation is amplified by social media, which allows engagement that leads to crowdsourcing. The most immediate easy action is to click how you feel – a mood meter with every story, and every mood vote is aggregated into a mood navigator that displays the top 10 stories (with the most number of votes) and the crowdsourced mood of the day. Pulling all that data together, you can see trends in months and years – only one of the strands of big data we monitor, giving more insight to the public we serve.

The growth of social media has trounced the powerful gate-keeping power of traditional media and democratized information. Now we no longer need expensive equipment and corporate structures to ripple a message through society.

Crowdsourcing capitalizes on the emotions driving social media, which affects us biologically. Numerous papers have been written about how the use of social media affects the plasticity of the brain and is mildly addictive. Among others, FMRI studies show those using Twitter and Facebook have elevated levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain linked to addiction, and oxytocin, known as the sex or love hormone.

As we learn more about how this changes us, we see how easy it is to drive action. When you have crowdsourced actions, you have an engaged community which can then be funneled to act for real world impact.

Rappler has four main initiatives turning social media crowdsourcing into civic engagement working collaboratively with our partners:

1.#BudgetWatch: How can we stop corruption? Show me the money. Which is exactly what this microsite, working with the Open Budget Partnership, is about.

We present budget data and concepts in easily digestible and visually engaging ways like the game of Slides & Ladders to show the budget approval process or another interactive game allowing the public to submit their own budget priorities and see how their proposals impact different sectors.

Moving easily between real-world forums with newsmakers, social media interactions and virtual actions, this is the first iteration of Rappler’s anti-corruption efforts.

2. #ProjectAgos: We turn the same tested workflow to deal with climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in a country that has an average of 20 typhoons every year. According to the World Disaster Report 2012, the Philippines is the 3 rd most disaster-prone nation globally.

In collaboration with the Philippines’ Climate Change Commission, the Office of Civil Defense, the Department of Social Welfare & Development and other national and local government units as well as private sector partners and the UNDP, Rappler is piloting a one-stop online platform that combines top-down government action with bottom-up civic engagement.

Project Agos includes a risk knowledge database and interactive tools like hazard maps, compliance trackers that aid officials in preparation for the storm. Our microsite includes a wide range of information necessary beforeduring and a fter any weather disturbance.

During a typhoon, a crowdsourced map of floods and calls for help provides real-time reporting, and first responders see and reply, allowing others who want to help a broader view. We’re in the process now of adding machine learning, an algorithm the crowd can effectively “teach” and which will then automatically map social media inputs building on the work of the Qatar Computing Research Institution (QCRI).

3. #HungerProject: The Philippines’ incidents of hunger continue to increase despite its growing GDP, among the highest in Asia and the world in recent years. Working with the World Food Program and the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development, we tell the stories that show how this can impact our future.

Stunting is a serious problem: we are #9 globally from a list of 14 countries where 80% of the world’s stunted population live. Stunted children are not only physically smaller, but they grow up with impaired cognitive development and suffer other health conditions.

4.#WomenMatter: a new initiative looking at women’s rights in a country that took 14 years to pass the contentious Reproductive Health Law, making sex education and contraceptives easily available. More than a year after the law was passed, it still hasn’t been implemented, after a Temporary Restraining Order was imposed by the Supreme Court. These are only some of the more apparent challenges for women in Asia’s largest Roman Catholic nation.

We will build this on top of an ongoing partnership with Pantene for #WhipIt, a campaign focusing on labels and gender bias. Rappler organized a women’s forum to launch an innovative ad campaign and commissioned a survey looking at how society perceives women today in the Philippines. The online ripple reverberated globally and hit a tipping point when Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg posted the campaign, prompting P&G to announce it would bring the Philippine-born campaign to the West.

We have seen tremendous progress in our experiments, starting with Rappler itself. Our multimedia news site is just a little more than 2 years old, and these principles have made us the 3rd top online news site in our country, according to Alexa.

Let me end with big data and social network analysis. In the end, technology empowers by removing barriers to entry and engagement. Big data is publicly available – starting with what we put out there voluntarily on social networks. Understanding that and the way messages ripple out through social networks give us added insights into the kind of content we create for our audience.

I’ll leave you with 2 final examples of the impact of big data on our society:

1.In our mid-term elections, Rappler signed an agreement with our Commission on Elections, giving us access to the full data set of automated voting results. With that, we created a real-time reporting template that broke results down into granular details. No longer do you need to wait for the television anchor to announce the results you’re interested in. Now you can search – and go back in time – instantly. This made reporting transparent, and removed old allegations of bias or “trending” when reporting election results.

2.In August, 2013, a Facebook post against institutionalized corruption – a scandal Rappler reported on extensively – took 7 days to mobilize a protest of more than 100,000 people out on the streets. This outrage continues to simmer beneath the surface, demanding accountability from both the public and private sectors.

It’s a brave new world of endless possibilities – all of which give new power to citizens, who – armed with information – can work collaboratively with other stakeholders to solve age-old problems and strengthen democratic processes.

Source: (posted on Jan 22, 2014)

By: Maria Ressa


List of 86th annual Academy Award nominations

Here’s the complete list of 86th Annual Academy Award nominations announced Thursday:

1. Best Picture: “American Hustle,” ”Captain Phillips,” ”Dallas Buyers Club,” ”Gravity,” ”Her,” ”Nebraska,” ”Philomena,” ”12 Years a Slave,” ”The Wolf of Wall Street.”

2. Actor: Christian Bale, “American Hustle”; Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”; Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”; Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”; Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club.”

3. Actress: Amy Adams, “American Hustle”; Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”; Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”; Judi Dench, “Philomena”; Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County.”

4. Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”; Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”; Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”; Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”; Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club.”

5. Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”; Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”; Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”; Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”; June Squibb, “Nebraska.”

6. Directing: David O. Russell, “American Hustle”; Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”; Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”; Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”; Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

7. Foreign Language Film: “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Belgium; “The Great Beauty,” Italy; “The Hunt,” Denmark; “The Missing Picture,” Cambodia; “Omar,” Palestinian territories.

8. Adapted Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, “Before Midnight”; Billy Ray, “Captain Phillips”; Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, “Philomena”; John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”; Terence Winter, “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

9. Original Screenplay: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, “American Hustle”; Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine”; Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack, “Dallas Buyers Club”; Spike Jonze, “Her”; Bob Nelson, “Nebraska.”

10. Animated Feature Film: “The Croods”; “Despicable Me 2″; “Ernest & Celestine”; “Frozen”; “The Wind Rises.”

11. Production Design: “American Hustle,” ”Gravity,” ”The Great Gatsby,” ”Her,” ”12 Years a Slave.”

12. Cinematography: “The Grandmaster,” ”Gravity,” ”Inside Llewyn Davis,” ”Nebraska,” ”Prisoners.”

13. Sound Mixing: “Captain Phillips,” ”Gravity,” ”The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” ”Inside Llewyn Davis,” ”Lone Survivor.”

14. Sound Editing: “All Is Lost,” ”Captain Phillips,” ”Gravity,” ”The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” ”Lone Survivor.”

15. Original Score: “The Book Thief,” John Williams; “Gravity,” Steven Price; “Her,” William Butler and Owen Pallett; “Philomena,” Alexandre Desplat; “Saving Mr. Banks,” Thomas Newman.

16. Original Song: “Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone,” Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel; “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2,” Pharrell Williams; “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez; “The Moon Song” from “Her,” Karen O and Spike Jonze; “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen.

17. Costume: “American Hustle,” ”The Grandmaster,” ”The Great Gatsby,” ”The Invisible Woman,” ”12 Years a Slave.”

18. Documentary Feature: “The Act of Killing,” ”Cutie and the Boxer,” ”Dirty Wars,” ”The Square,” ”20 Feet from Stardom.”

19. Documentary (short subject): “CaveDigger,” ”Facing Fear,” ”Karama Has No Walls,” ”The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life,” ”Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall.”

20. Film Editing: “American Hustle,” ”Captain Phillips,” ”Dallas Buyers Club,” ”Gravity,” ”12 Years a Slave.”

21. Makeup and Hairstyling: “Dallas Buyers Club,” ”Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” ”The Lone Ranger.”

22. Animated Short Film: “Feral,” ”Get a Horse!,” ”Mr. Hublot,” ”Possessions”, “Room on the Broom.”

23. Live Action Short Film: “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me),” ”Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything),” ”Helium,” ”Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?),” ”The Voorman Problem.”

24. Visual Effects: “Gravity,” ”The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” ”Iron Man 3,” ”The Lone Ranger,” ”Star Trek into Darkness.”

 Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Rose “Osang” Fostanes wins X-Factor Israel Season 1


Filipina caregiver Rose “Osang” Fostanes wins the first season of X-Factor Israel. It was a neck to neck battle between Eden Ben Zaken but the pride of Philippines and the lone foreign contender gave her best as she sang her version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”.

The Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G. Calonge was one of the Filipinos who watched the episode live, bearing flags and cheering Fostanes on. Aside from fellow Filipinos working in Israel, Rose’ real girlfriend and her sister were there to witness the big event.

Miss International 2013 VS Her own Father


Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago recalls how she felt about her father leaving them when she was 10 years old, which has affected the way she interacts with males.

“I grew up as daddy’s girl, I’m always that kid… then when he decided to leave my family it was to the point na until I was 20 I didn’t have a boyfriend… that kind of impact…” the 23-year-old beauty queen claimed in an interview on “Buzz Ng Bayan” last Sunday.

Bea Rose shared that there were times she “hated” her father. “I had to go to Church all the time and confess. I felt guilty…”

Asked if she already forgave her father, Bea Rose answered, “Actually last December, before I joined Binibining Pilipinas, parang na-bless ako kasi that Christmas was very meaningful… All he said was ‘I’m sorry’ and everything was just okay. It felt like the lightest Christmas sa akin.”

She went on to say that “During the coronation of Binibini my mom was there, my dad was there so we had a family picture…”

A letter allegedly made by her father is now circulating via social media.

This is in reply to what my daughter Bea Rose Santiago had falsely and maliciously said during her interview last Sunday(January 5, 2014) in the Buzz ng Bayan. Also, this is an overdue reply to all the innuendos that had been levelled against me by Bea’s mother Ophelia Monterde who deceitfully uses her deceased mother’s name in her Facebook account. I would like to point out that I am issuing this statement not to ride on the “popularity” of my daughter, I have kept silent for a long time but I can no longer stand the lies and malicious imputations that are being hurled against me by my own flesh and blood.

To set the records straight, I never abandoned my children. After my former wife was forced to resign from her post in the Provincial Hospital of Masbate due to some anomalies. I, with the help of one of my siblings sent her to school to take up a caregiver course. After that my father contributed part of his retirement money in paying for my ex-wife’s plane fare to Canada in 2000. I was left with our children to stay with my parents in law while I was then waiting to be hired for job overseas. My ex-wife who had been often fired from her job due to poor work ethic, would seldom send money to help me feed our children and worse, she would course them through her parents, not to me. This is diametrically opposed to what I did when I was then working as a seafarer overseas wherein I would remit almost all my earnings to her just to let her and our children have a taste of the good life. I could no longer bear seeing my children suffer and be deprived of the good life they used to have and so I, with the permission of their mother, found a way to get to Japan and earned a living. During those times, I was the one supporting my children as my ex-wife who could barely have a stable job unfortunately met an accident that further confounded her work problems. I regularly send money for my children, for their board and lodging, as well as for their tuition fees. During their birthdays I would ask one of my siblings to bring them lechon.

As early as 2004, I already heard rumors that my ex wife was having an extra-marital affair but because of my blind love then for my ex wife this I refused to believe at the outset. The rumors, however, did not die down and I was moved to tears when my twin brother confronted me with the confirmation from our kababayans in Cataingan who reside in Canada. Later in that year, my ex wife called me and asked me that I accompany our children to join her in Canada. Being so mad of her infidelity and irresponsibility, I told her point blank I could not allow our children to be with her much less could I join them to live in Canada and suffer the humiliation of seeing her with her paramour. Later, due however, to her assurance the she would take care of everything once the children landed in Canada, I finally agreed to allow them to leave for Canada and so I signed a DSWD document regarding said matter and I even paid for all their airfare. As a father, it was very painful for me to allow them to go to Canada but I took that pain thinking that it would be for their better future and for their best interest. Moreover, I made that decision to maintain my self-respect and honor as well as to avoid any untoward confrontation with my ex wife and her paramour. True enough, when my children got there in March 2006 they found out that their mother was living in with someone else and my heart bled to learn that my children were constrained to live in one roof with their mother’s common law partner.

I was deeply hurt and disappointed by the betrayal but I consoled myself with the thought that maybe my children will have a better future in Canada, better than what I can possibly provide. For more than ten(10) years I have already moved on enjoying a quiet and peaceful life. I avoided saying a word to my children as to how many times I’ve been hurt and betrayed by their mother in the past. I never had the chance to share my pain and sufferings with them as I do not want to run after their mother knowing that she already sought comfort in another man.

During those years that I could hardly communicate with my children she managed to brainwash my children into thinking that I left them for another woman when the truth is, that it is their mother who is living in with another man. How she managed to remain immaculate in the eyes of my children is something I cannot fathom. I could only surmise that her disorderly psychological make up brought about by the accident that befell on her, not to mention her frustrations for not being able to win me back to her life had affected badly her way in forming the minds of our children. Perhaps Bea and so too my ex wife must realize that in life “one cannot have her cake and eat it too.”

The character of my ex-wife is so manipulative and cunning that even I was deceived when she came to the Philippines sometime 2010. My father in law died and she came home with my youngest child, my only son. The thought of spending time with my son made me very excited and happy so I made myself readily available to them. I spent time with my son and ex-wife like there was no bitter past behind us. I took them to places, I was at their beck and call and I even asked my brother to take them in his house in Quezon City while they were vacationing in Manila after my father- in-law’s burial.

Everything was fine, I supported her whims and caprices. I didn’t mind selling my Rolex watch so that I can make sure that they are having a grand vacation. I was so glad spending time with my son then that I had been carried away to the point of letting him feel my being a father and being a husband again to my ex wife. We even resumed intimate relations ( I have pictures and witnesses to confirm this) and she promised me that she would help me get to Canada so that we could rebuild our family. After she left, I started working on getting a new passport but to my surprise I never heard from her.

Then came the time when Bea signified her intention of joining the Mutya ng Pilipinas. This was in December 2011. I was happy to be reunited with my first born, she lived in the house of my brother and I would visit her and drive her daily to events that she needed to attend. I provided transportation for her townmates who came to Manila just to watch the coronation night. My siblings and their spouses were present during the coronation night together with the relatives of my ex-wife. Not only me but even my siblings provided her monetary support like plane fare, her tools in talent portion for the Mutya pageant, not to mention beauty products she needs for her beauty regimen. Thus, it is quite astounding that she would claim that she never received support from me or my family when we have pictures to show for it.

Then came the Binibining Pilipinas, she had to comply with the six month residency requirement so she lived in my brother’s house in Quezon City. All the while I was the one providing everything that she needs until she told me that she wanted to transfer to a condominium in Cubao as she was complaining that the house of her uncle is quite far from Cubao. I heeded her request, I paid for the downpayment to the condo and monthly fees. Whenever she needs money she just asks her cousin who works for me to inform me about it and I immediately send her what she needs.
There was a time when she came back from Palawan and was hospitalized for alleged dengue or skin allergy, I had to travel immediately to Manila to check on her and I was the one who paid for all the hospital bills. Again if that is not support then I do not know what is?

The tides changed when she asked for 300 thousand pesos in the early part of 2013 purposely to spend for her facial enhancements. I told her I could not produce such a big amount as I was then running for Councilor and I needed to have funds to support my campaign which had been depleted as a result of the huge expenses I shouldered for her pageant preparation. From then on, she turned cold and even colder when her mother arrived and she won the title. I and some siblings who came home from abroad just to support her attended the coronation night but we all felt her and her mother’s indifference.

I sent her a text message a few days after the pageant but never received a reply. I again sent her a message and I told her I am not after anything that she has nor am I looking to ride on her popularity. I won the elections without her support and without any text message showing concern or that she is happy for my success. From then on, we never had any communication. So her statement that she has forgiven me is utterly false. Moreover, I never asked for her forgiveness as I have not sinned against her or her siblings. Clearly, Bea is out to bent her rancor not only upon a politician who declined her demanding request but even to her very own father who has fed and unconditionally loved her. It pains me that while under the custody of her mother she had metamorphosed into a Frankenstein who does not take qualm in killing any person, not even the person whom she has known as his father. I regret to say that in falsely depicting about her family history through live TV coverage, Bea remains insatiable with Ms. International Crown as she is trying hard to sell this cheap gimmick. In doing so, she is no better than Salome who rendered an obscene dance before Herod in exchange for the head of John the Baptist.

Worst, Bea’s mother would shamelessly claim that she has sacrificed a lot to secure a better future for our children but how come Bea had to obtain a student loan just to support her studies. And if all of you are living comfortably and affluently in Canada how come you have to run to me and ask for support in all your pageant activities, that is, despite your accusations that I have abandoned you and that you were affected psychologically by it.

The people of Mandaon, Masbate can attest to the fact that they often see you here in our town spending time with our relatives. In fact, after winning the Mutya title in 2011, you spent the new year here with us in Mandaon. Again, if you claim that you had a hard time finding forgiveness in your heart for me how come you can bear staying with me on this special occasion. Is it not contradictory?

All said, I never wanted to wash our family’s dirty linens in public but you, Bea pushed me to the wall. I am a public official in our town and it affects my credibility that you paint a picture of an irresponsible father on me when I have not done anything to take advantage of you or your perceived popularity. Also I am concerned about how the web of lies you spread on the media will affect my family members. My father is already in his twilight years and he finished serving the public with his name untainted. My siblings are professionals. It pains them to hear Bea concocting a tale in which I am being put in bad light to suit her thirst for fame and perhaps to sell a story to “Maalaala Mo Kaya”. We never wanted to thread this water but she is dragging us here with her irresponsible and scurrilous statements. For this, I reserve my right to avail of judicial remedies.

Before resorting thereto, I want Bea to retract her malicious statements and make a public apology for she is a loose canon that is firing in all directions. I do not dismiss the fact that the termination of my relationship with her mother may have had psychological effect on her especially the years she was exposed to her mother’s bitterness but it cannot justify her immature behaviour.

I do not wish to be acknowledged, I just want myself and family to be left alone. We are living modest lives and we do not wish to be used in her publicity stunts. I just want to set out what is true since Bea’s false public statement casts doubt on my honor and integrity as a person, as public official and as a law abiding citizen. If you Bea want to deny the veracity of all the points I raised in my statements despite the replete evidence I have in my possession, I challenge you to do so under oath. If not, you owe me, the public, as well as the Binibining Pilinas Charities, Inc. a sincere apology. Your propensity to lie just like your mother may cost you your Ms. International Crown!

Sources: Abs-Cbn News and Missosology

Jobs 2014: Qatar Airways Cabin Crew

Job Title:Male and Female Cabin Crew
Job Location: Doha, State of Qatar
 Company: Qatar Airways
 Date of posting: 06/01/2014 

  • Minimum age of 21 years. 
  • Minimum arm reach of 212 cms on tip toes 
  • Minimum high school education with fluency in written and spoken English. 
  • Attire: Female – knee length skirt & short sleeve blouse. 
  • Male – formal attire.
  • Please bring your CV in English personally along with full length and passport size photographs. Shortlisted candidates will be required to attend further processes over the next day.
DUBAI – (Open-day: Male and Female Cabin Crew). 
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 
United Arab Emirates. 
Date: 10th January 2014. 
Time: 1400 hours sharp. 
  For further information, please visit :