Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How is it to meet an inspirational Photographer?

photo by: Aeson Baldevia

today I met Kim Komenich.
I felt soooo starstruck, Kim Komenich is just one of the photographers who lived to freeze moments of the Edsa Revolution in film.

Earlier in the day, me and my classmates Marc, Cleo, Aeson and Dani went to visit the Museo de La Salle to check out the exhibit of "some foreign photographer" turns out, his pictures were reaaaally wonderful. They were taken during the time of the people power in almost every event that took place. He had pictures of wars, riots, deaths, Filipino depictions of bad leadership, soldiers, Marcos, Cory's oath-taking, Cory in office, and pretty much everything that took place during that time.

The best part of his photographs were that they showed so much depth that you'd feel as if you're in that exact moment, and you are living vicariously with those people, sharing the same emotions and struggles.

Whenever, Edsa Revolution/People Power is being talked about, I usually just don't care because I have the mentality that I wasn't even born during that time and that I never went through that, and I'm never gonna have to. I am however, aware that the country suffered from the dictator that is Marcos, but I also deem that it is pointless to make such a big fuss about it. I know it sounds very insensitive, but it's just me. As much as I understand how these events had affected so many people's lives, I just didn't find it in my heart to care, until now.

I saw the pictures in the exhibit of Kim Komenich, and I realized that he has been around the country(and the world) so much. It struck me even more when I saw the local pictures that were taken in Murcia, Banago, and just anywhere in Negros Occidental. It felt too close to home, it felt real, as if, although it happened a long time ago, in a way, it happened to me. My parents went through it, my grandparents fought against it, my aunts, and uncles, and even some of my cousins; they were there, and it could have been them in the photographs, those who were crying, those who were working in the farms, those who were in Edsa, fighting for their freedom, or worse, those who were dead.

When I found out that the photographer behind those beautiful photographs was in the school for a talk, I was so giddy. You couldn't understand how much I idolized this guy instantly after just a few minutes of entering his life during the 80's. I was really stoked, I wanted to meet him and ask him so many questions. People would not get the enthusiasm I feel towards meeting a photographer like him, it can only be explained in a way that I am like a 3 year old who was about to meet Santa Claus. I was glad Miss Hannah introduced me to be his assistant, but he didn't need much help in his presentation, I was just glad to be there and listen.

His film about looking for the people whose photographs he took during his stay here in the Philippines throughout the EDSA Revolution was touching. He found those people and their lives have been changed in different ways. Each person has a beautiful story to tell and I wish that video could also be shared to the rest of the world. It was very inspiring, and genuine and the man behind it all was just sitting there, making funny comments about his hair, how he looks, and the different people he met. Outside content, the material was also technically beautiful, the background music used, the environmental shots, the camera angles and lighting during the interviews, and the way the story was told. All in all, it was a great experience to realize the strength of the history of my country and how it affected the lives of many people, including, Mr. Komenich.

I was proud of being in the same room with him, he is very talented, and inspirational, and it was really nice to meet him.

Did I mention he won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for the pictures he took? Oh and he is a hero too. ;)

Friday, July 22, 2011

May Natitira Pa Bang Good Samaritan sa Mundong ito?

today I went to an unplanned out-of-town trip with six of my friends.

We just had one exam, and it ended at 8:30 am. Seeing as there is nothing to do really, we planned to head home early, until Aeson suggested that we go somewhere far and just chill. Then Anika and Cleo immediately agreed because they wanted to stay somewhere and talk. We all thought it was a great idea because, our class doesn't bond anymore. In first year, we used to go together in a large group somewhere and spend half of the day in that place, mostly just talking, having fun and what not. I miss those times, and I'm glad we went today.

Don Salvador is a 1 hour and 20 minute commute away from Bacolod, I had no idea why we chose to go to that place specifically, it had something to do with the day being really hot, and seeing as Don Salvador was the "Baguio" of Negros Occidental we all went for it.

There were a lot of instances that almost stopped our trip from happening. We didn't know exactly where to go, what to ride, how much money we should spend. It was just a spur-of-the-moment decision, we were even in our school uniforms, but we were all excited and we didn't make any other thing stop us from getting to our destination.

The ride took really long because of the waiting, but it was not boring at all because me and my friends started singing, loudly if I must say, old songs like from the Carpenters, etc. basically in that genre. The people around us didn't mind, some of them were even smiling. I tell you, people are really nice, if it was me, I would have been annoyed by these loud students disturbing the peace of the other passengers.

When we arrived, we wanted to trek the cliff side. We took pictures, we walked, trekked rather, we laughed, danced, basically whatever it is you do in an adventure. When we got hungry, we looked for a store that could sell us lunch, but we couldn't find one. So we kept on looking and looking. Up we go, it was reaaally tiring, but we finally found one.

It was a common sari-sari store or tiangge in our dialect that sells chips and soft drinks. When we saw that they were selling canned goods, we asked the lady if they were also selling rice, adn she was just glad to cook for us. We were so happy that we could finally get to eat. However, we knew that it would take a while for her to cook so we decided to continue trekking, and just come back when the food was already cooked.

We were a good few meters higher away when it started to trickle drops of water. We were stuck between the decision of running back to the tiangge(it was really far, and it was scary to run on a downhill road) or running into higher ground with big leaves to shade us. We decided the shade was closer, we were stuck there for more than five minutes when we decided if we could hitch a ride. It rained harder, and the shade couldn't hold much of the water anymore, it was getting into the leaves and it was not long before we were getting wet. Sadly, none of the drivers probably thought we were serious when we were waving towards them, or just none of them was nice enough to ever let strangers ride in their cars. It was kind of disappointing to us anyway, because of the realization that there are no more kind people in the world, wala na talagang Good Samaritan. Of course, I understand, we probably looked like a gang, with a modus operandi or whatever, but we were seriously wet, and the road was very dangerous.

I started running downhill, towards the tiangge, we were already wet anyway so I thought, what the heck. And soon they all followed. It rained harder, so covering my head with my bag was pointless. Marc and Aeson ran ahead of us. Me and Cleo took of our shoes and ran also, and then Alyanna, Anika and Rhaizza tried to fit themselves in one umbrella, and failed.

As soon as we reached the tiangge, we were all soaking wet, and there were other locals who were also there looking for a shade from the rain. Imagine our shock when the woman who owns the tiangge invited us in to have lunch inside her house. Of course, Filipino perceptions about towns are not usually appealing. Towns are said to be places where "aswangs" live and hide. Unwritten rules in travelling to towns include not being too trusting of the locals.

But we had no choice, it was raining really hard, and it seemed offensive to decline their harmless offer. Once we got inside the house, my apprehensions were all gone. The owners of the house seemed like a very nice couple with wonderful children, whom I knew through their certificates and pictures hung on the walls of their tiny home.

"May Natitira Pa nga bang Good Samaritan sa Mundo?"

Definitely. This couple invited into their home seven strangers, and despite the fact that they were soaking wet and presented so many hassles to the husband and wife, they still fed them.
I feel bad that I hesitated about coming in inside their house, they had no other intention but to keep us safe from the rain and make us comfortable, and here I was judging them of being "aswangs."

I was glad that I met people like them, I thought this sort of thing only happens in movies, and those movies usually end up as an urban legend or a serial killer story. Little do they know, that people in towns who live in small houses should never be judged immediately. Based on my experience, they are a lot nicer than those people who drive fancy cars.

photos by: Aeson Baldevia

Monday, July 11, 2011

UNDRESS?? and wash

(for Advertising class)

A little more than 2 years ago, when I went to Cebu for our Seniors Trip in high school I came across this billboard for a laundry shop.

My intial reaction after seeing the photo was that it was very provocative, and liberated.
Naturally, the country Philippines is very conservative, and as a 15-year old in a catholic country, that was very, lets say, different, for me to see.

Now, as I have learned the basics in advertising, I realize that it was a very bold move for that certain laundry shop to use that kind of material and incorporate it with their brand name.

In plain communication process, their message was simple."Undress and wash in 25 minutes." They have a fast service that even when you want them to wash the clothes you were wearing at that exact moment you went inside their shop, they could do it, and you won't even bother covering up, because you could wear it again in minutes.

It achieved the cognitive response that aroused the minds of the people who get to see this brand. There is no name or contact of the laundry shop but it is strategically located on top of the laundry shop itself.

Then it generates people's attitudes through the medium that is the billboard whether they would find it offensive or effective thus resulting them to either use the service, or not.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kit - Kat has an idea.

(for Advertising Class)

The first worldwide site where nothing happens.

Kit-Kat has a creative idea of creating a viral advertisement that works-without working.

We all know that Kit-Kat's tagline is "Have a break, Have a kit-kat."

Contrary to other social networking sites that we often could not get enough of because there is always something to do, kitkat's site (thefirstworldwidesitewherenothinghappens) is a site page where absolutely nothing happens. You visit the site and it loads with a list of different activities that take our time, like girlfriend, internet, traffic, jump, play and many more. Once the page is loaded, We see the tag lige "Have a Break" positioned exactly where those words were found flashing.

The site has a minimalistic approach of having a white background, the tag line "Have a Break" and the sentence "The first worldwide website where nothing happens" on the upper left side with the font style of the kit-kat logo and just the time at the upper right side.Ocassionally however, there are small things happenning, like a bug flying across the screen. Probably applicable to the small written line in the bottom part of the site where they mentioned that if you spot something happening, report it to their company and you will be rewarded.

It garnered countless reactions all over the internet, like somehow it was pointless, and it was a wasted gimmicky effort. It left other people poking around the website waiting for something to happen and leaves them annoyed and somewhat feeling stupid for falling for it. But just like what my Advertising teacher said, "The company probably didn't want you to like the product itself, just the mere fact of uttering it from your mouth makes them happy."

Basically this online advertisement has gone viral and it does have the desired effect.

Seriously, go to that site, and spend maybe just 30 seconds staring at it. You will soon realize that you do need a break. Next thing you'd do? Probably look for a kit-kat just like I did, eat it, and then continue on your work for the day. Simple, yet creative (and effective!) way of advertising.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What makes an effective advertisement?

(for Advertising Class)

A few months ago, I came across a few videos in youtube released by the Coca- Cola Company. These videos were not meant to be an advertisement, but they served as one anyway.

These videos are about the so-called Coca Cola Happiness Trucks that provide happiness to wherever they are. These trucks mysteriously park in public places where a lot of people could see it, and there is a large “push” button that is very noticeable even to those who just pass by. After pressing the button, the person is given a bottle of coke, or anything that would be of interest to that person depending on the place where the truck parks. In beaches, the truck shares Frisbees, shades, foldable chairs, and surfboards. By the streets they give out skateboards, balls, toys, roses, and teddy bears. It is a wonderful gesture of just giving generously without asking for any mode of payment. The people who get gifts from this “happiness truck” are thankful, but have no idea who exactly to thank.

In a way, this strategy became effective to consumers because it gained them loyalists and people’s attention- that Coca-cola is out there, doing things like these that humbles their company down, and gives them a better reputation than all the other companies who try to seem aggressive.

One viewer from the youtube video commented,

I love that there are big corporate companies still doing thing like this; Forget about the money for a day and just remind us all how capable of compassion humans are. Amazing video, brightened up my day :)


Another said:

For coca-cola that was a little happiness for them ..

but for that people its a biggest happiness they get :)


and then more and more similar comments were shared.

Nicest thing ever! Nice one coke :)


I think this idea of the Coca-Cola Company is both for Sales Promotion and Public Relations. After seeing this project, people would get encouraged to buy coke instead of any other product, thus giving them more profit and more buyers. The idea of sharing without asking for anything in return benefits them by gaining them a respectable brand name which is I think what their communication objective was.

To say that it followed the Integrated Marketing Communications or IMC Strategy is an understatement, seeing as Coca- Cola already has many different slogans and catch phrases such as “Life Tastes Good,” “Make it Real” and “Open Happiness” internationally then locally we hear “Buhay Coke, Buksan Mo” and it does make you feel that, once you open a bottle of coke, you open up into a life that is good and happy.

As effective as all the other commercials Coca-Cola has produced both internationally and locally, their idea of making the “Happiness Truck” served the same purpose, because psychologically the truck with the name “Coke,” “opens” when it is pushed and it gives you something that could make you happy.

The video ends with the phrase “Where will happiness strike next?” and it leaves the viewers hoping that it could be their place. The happiness this promotion provides is genuine and you could really see it through the smiles in the faces of those people coke has given happiness to.