Monday, May 07, 2007

Just finished talking in Bahasa

Just came back from Jakarta last Friday after launching the latest book of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and attending the regional World Press Freedom Day activities there.

The book, launched in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day, is Philippine Press Freedom Primer: Quick Answers to Your Questions.

An easy reading material about the media situation in the Philippines, the primer is meant to provide those unfamiliar with the state of press freedom in the Philippines a quick guide to and overview of press conditions in the country. CMFR executive director Melinda Quintos de Jesus describes the primer as “designed to serve those making their first step of inquiry into the subject. It should be useful in planning research strategies for academic papers and as a quick reference for those writing articles and reports. For the general public, it is a ‘quick fix,’ a resource that will help contextualize current news about the press, from the violent attacks as well as the cases of libel which have caused journalists to be jailed.”

For more information about the primer, please click here.

I am currently writing an article about the World Press Freedom Day activities there in Jakarta, which I will later post here. It was great to see journalists around the region gathering together, taking a united stand for press freedom. Journalists as far as Afghanistan, Nepal, and Pakistan were also there in Jakarta to lend support.

It was also fun to see my old friends there -- like Siew Eng of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) and Indonesian journalists Abdul Manan, Handaru Putro, and Anggara (If I am forgetting anyone, it was not intentional so please don't be sad.) I also made new friends there, so even though I was the only one from CMFR went to Jakarta and attend the activities, it was never that lonely. Plus I spent some time there with Filipino journalists Joe Torres (of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines) and Red Batario (Center for Community Journalism and Development), two journalists I sincerely admire. These guys made me "celebrate" my birthday in Jakarta (photos at left) even though it's still a few months away, and told everyone that I am the Philippine Idol. Sheesh. Imagine my fright when the Indonesian and Afghan journalists I'm with in a karaoke club (on my last night before I left) began talking about my "Idol" stint and egging me to sing. Horror of horrors.

Thanks to these guys, my stay proved memorable. Of course, it helped that SEAPA provided me with a nice room at Santika Hotel. Nice facilities I must say (By the way, the first photo above was taken in my room).

Of course one section in my room is devoted to the infamous "green envelopes."

Anyone who has worked with CMFR for at least five hours will know that the green envelopes contain the gazillion work we do there. In my case:

Election monitors -- what else is new

Since I was CMFR's publicity person in Jakarta, I did not forget to bring copies of CMFR's publications, including the primer.

Also discovered the Indonesian versions of Chippy. Forgive my MSG-addicted taste buds, but the Filipino versions are waaay better.

The view outside my room:

Since there is no direct Manila-Jakarta flight, I have to stop by Singapore's Changi Airport. It was my first time to go there. The place is so modern. And expensive. I never thought that jelly beans could be that expensive. So, to the guys in the office and back home, please, please, savor them slowly. Yes, even the coconut- and rootbeer-flavored ones.

Love Changi's sunflower area by the way.

So, now I'm back here in Manila. Lots of work to do. Sigh.


jam said...

nagpunta din pala si sir joe? hindi ko naramdaman na nawala siya sa, haha. :D

bryant said...

alam mo naman iyon. his presence is everywhere.

dana said...

hoy, bakit tumawa ka? /:)

Belated happy!

bryant said...

dana, laughter is my middle name.

hahaha. belated happy amp. :P

dala ko na bukas iyong pasalubong. you should be there. baka maubusan ka.

jam said...

dati marunong akong magsalita ng bahasa e. bahasa malaysia nga lang. saka onting-onti lang, like, sugar (gula) at pinto (pintu). hahaha. dahil mas masarap talaga ang local version ng chippy (nakakain din ata ako ng malaysian version dati), i therefore conclude na mas magaling ang pilipinas. choink.

wideyeshut said...

damn, you look so good here! ;)

Anonymous said...

damn, you look so good here.


wideyeshut said...

damn, u look so good here.


bryant said...

@ jam

hehe. i even know somebody who has to buy chippys here for her relatives outside the philippines.

@ alain

wahehe. thanks.

tintin said...

sir bryant,

welcome back po! mukhang enjoy po yung trip ninyo. hehehe.

how do you say "where's my pasalubong" in bahasa? hala, ang kapal ko. I'm just joking.

Pero wala lang po, hello again. :)

bryant said...

@ tintin

ahahahaha. thanks for the bati. I think Bahasa and Tagalog have the same words when I say "Wala na." hahaha. just joking. :P

hope to see you this week -- your last week of the elections monitoring. sad.

tintin said...

ay, oo nga no, sir. haha, wow, ang bilis ng panahon. haha.

may post-monitoring karaoke party/ Indonesian-chippy-fest po ba pagkatpos? hehehe. :D jas kidding!

siew eng said...

hey, bryant. great fun meeting you, too. And catching up. Let's chat more next time.

bryant said...

@ tintin

yes. only few days with you guys. so you should come on friday or saturday ha?

post-monitoring videoke party or indonesian chippy fest? why not? hahaha. then we can sing out hearts out why we reminisce our teledyaryo-viewing days. hehe.

@ siew eng

yes. why can't we meet and just talk about light things? hahaha. nice to see you again. hope to see you soon.

Anggara said...

since when you can speak in Indonesian Bryant, so in this article i found out that you are not happy to see me :((

bryant said...

anggara, of course i am very happy to see you. why, i was even asking handaru and abdul about you, hoping to see you on my last night in jakarta.

i was making this post quickly so i was not able to put all the names. will revise this.

hope to see you again, anggara!

bryant said...

and i was joking i could speak bahasa. :)

Anggara said...

well, i'm just joking for the comment bryan, my home is so far different province with jakarta. no need to revise anything actually, i know that you are happy to see me. anyway thanks

blogerista said...

sir, bakit parang mukhang taquitos yung chippy nila? hehe..

bryant said...

anggara, of course i am happy. hahahaha. hope to see you again soon!

bryant said...

yes, jerome. even the chippy itself does look like the taquito ones.

tintin said...

sir alam mo ba na tuwing gabi, pag walang tao sa bahay, naririnig ko yung opening at ending song ng 'bandila.'

it's freaking me out na.

hahaha. yes sir, see you!!

bryant said...

@ tintin

hahaha. your comment inspired me to post something here. hahaha!

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