The Philippines is doing well. Major credit ratings agencies Fitch, Standard and Poor, and Moody’s have upgraded the country’s sovereign credit ratings. The Philippines is the frontrunner as an investment destination among key cities in the ASEAN in a survey by Standard Chartered of more than 900 investors in the region. Analysts predict that “the Philippines will outperform the region and enjoy another year of strong growth momentum in 2013.” Public optimism is at 75%, the highest level reached in the last 30 years. President Benigno Aquino III is one of Time Magazine’s top 100 influential people of 2013. And Filipinos are starting to realize that we are at the threshold of a Philippines we can all be proud of. Indeed, today is the best time to be Pinoy.
Still, the Philippines has a long way to go before reaching the ideal economic, social, and political status. But, we must celebrate the substantial gains today to be inspired, encouraged to do more, and get closer to this ideal. Improving the lives of Filipinos is the responsibility of everyone, not just the government’s, and we must work together to achieve this dream.
In view of these economic and social developments, a group of communication professionals conceptualized The Kayanihan Project, an advocacy campaign to help ensure that the positive momentum is sustained through to its desired national outcome. They realized that there was the risk that Filipinos, while rightfully thinking that the country is well on the way up, would become prematurely complacent, thus forestalling the headway that had been made. Kayanihan was their way of taking up the consistent call of President Aquino for Filipinos to unite in positivism and contribute to a national project for continuing progress.
The campaign involves two components: a music video that aims to rouse national pride and mold a strong and upbeat national psyche, and an initiative to enable Filipinos to display the bayanihan spirit. It harnesses the power of crowd sourcing to enable the participation of the broadest range of Filipinos across sectors.
The Kayanihan music video. This component of the campaign involves the creation of a song and video by and for Filipinos.
Using the melody of “Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika,” the public was invited to contribute lyrics that express how they feel their lives are better today. Ryan Cayabyab, Regine Velasquez, Gloc9, and Itchyworms collaborated to create a new song from the entries. A fresh arrangement was applied to the music to make it current and more inspiring.
Next, the public was again enjoined to take and send photos and video clips of themselves singing the song. Contributions will be edited into a seamless music video featuring Filipinos from all walks of life – together with artists and celebrities, and representatives of government, business, civil society and special sectors – singing the same song. Thus, the treatment itself is part of the message of the campaign.
The Kayanihan Initiative. This component translates the spirit of the campaign by maximizing the digital sphere for cooperation in community development.
The Kayanihan website and social media accounts, to be administered by the Ad Foundation, will serve as “good deeds” trading sites by matching needs to solutions. Organizations, communities, groups and persons can post calls for help which others can respond to. For example, a community day care center could find a corporate partner through Kayanihan to help them provide toys and other materials to the children they serve. Or the beneficiaries of a charity organization could get entrepreneurship training from a professional who is willing to volunteer a few hours a week to teach them. The possibilities are almost limitless. The envisioned result is a mass of groups and individuals doing their own small bit for nation-building, united regardless of geography, religion, politics or ethnicity.
Kaya wag nang magkanya-kanya, magkayanihan na!