Mulat Pinoy ignites awareness, moves for change

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Mulat Pinoy ended 2009 with a great start: a successful Website Launch and PopDev Orientation held at Astoria Plaza Hotel on December 19. A total of 36 media practitioners, bloggers, student writers and PopDev experts got together to talk about population and development.

Fely Rixhon of the Philippine Center for Population and Development (PCPD) and Yasmin Mapua-Tang of the Probe Media Foundation, Inc., formally opened the event and welcomed the participants. Rixhon said that Mulat Pinoy addresses the need of the youth sector to understand the relationship of population and development. Our country has a young population: nearly half of the Philippines’ population is composed of Filipinos ages 20 and below, and 27 million of them are Internet users. The Mulat Pinoy website is intended to serve as a tool for them to practice their democratic rights of expressing views and communicating needs, while the Kapihan series engages them with the 2010 elections and gives them an opportunity to get to know the candidates. Mapua-Tang reminded everyone of the power of stories. “Stories can change life,” she stressed. As the election draws near, she thinks it the perfect time to tell PopDev issues that can effect positive changes in our society.

Mulat Pinoy aims to provide the public with accurate information and knowledge to choose leaders.

PopDev 101

To understand Popdev more, speakers Dr. Nimfa Ogena and Milagros Corpus enlightened the participants on the issues concerning population and development, and their intricate relationship. They backed their discussions with studies and alarming statistics. Dr. Ogena cited that at present, the Philippines has a population of 92 million, ranking 12th among the most populous nations in the world. If our rapid population growth and high fertility rates persist, our country, with a measly land area of 340,574.7 sq km, will climb up to 10th place by 2050. Corpuz added that awareness and a good grasp of PopDev empowers Filipinos to make the right decision for themselves, their families and their country.

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Telling PopDev Stories

Ramon San Pascual and JJ Jimeno emphasized the role of media in bringing about public awareness of population and development. San Pascual highlighted award-winning entries to the PopDev Media Awards—an annual endeavor organized by their group, the Philippine Legislator’s Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. He said that because of these stories, more Filipinos are interested in Popdev issues. He mentioned the RH bill as one of the top 3 Googled issues in the country in 2009.

Jimeno, who won the 2005 Best in Investigative Reporting accolade in the aforementioned awards, shared her experiences in telling PopDev stories. She said that as a reporter, it pays to pay attention to the numbers. Statistics can explain a lot, even the recent horror of the Maguindanao massacre. She also detailed the reproductive health policies of our country’s presidents—from Ferdinand Marcos to Gloria Macapacal-Arroyo, calling on the need for a new leader with a strong stance on the issue.

Meanwhile, game designer Gabby Dizon acknowledged the fact that the Internet has become ubiquitous in our youth’s lives today. That’s why it is important to speak their language. What better way to educate them about population and development than an online game? PopCity, one such game, is being developed by Dizon’s Flipside Games, in partnership with the PCPD.

After the presentations, the participants engaged the speakers in a lively discussion. Afterwards, each attendee came up with a story pitch (with a PopDev perspective, of course!), resulting in a wealth of ideas that can grow into stories. The event concluded with Dante Gagelonia, Mulat Pinoy’s content supervisor, presenting the Mulat Pinoy website and inviting the participants to the Mulat Pinoy Kapihan Series.

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For the schedule and themes of the Kapihan series and more of Mulat Pinoy, keep visiting our main website: www.mulatpinoy.ph!

Check out photos of the launch on Facebook.

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Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network shares credible information about population and development issues that are relevant to young people.

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