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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

String: Blog Action Day 2008

Today marks the day of a special event in the history of the blogworld. The purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a discussion. Bloggers are asked to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue. Last year's topic was The Environment. This year we focus on the mammoth issue of global Poverty.

Growing up, we were taught that we live in a third world country. And there are limits to what we can do and what we can get. I've always been a big dreamer when I was young and I always wanted to prove the grown ups wrong that we can only do as much. I also used to be a strong believer with the statement Kung hindi ka kikilos ngayon, kelan pa? ("If you won't act now, then when?")

Here are the facts:

The map of the world with classifications:

First (blue), Second (red), and the Third World (green) countries during the Cold War era. Does not necessarily represent a current world view.

But according to the list of third world countries, the Philippines is not included in terms of Political Rights and Civil Liberties, Gross National Income (GNI), Human Development, Poverty and Press Freedom.

There are 50 countries listed in the United Nations comparative analysis of poverty, 34 African countries, 10 Asian countries, 5 Pacific Island Nations and one Caribbean nation.

The 10 Asian third world countries are: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Timor-Leste and Yemen.

And just recently have I encountered the term fourth world, and these are nations without states. But that's another story.

I guess, now that I have passed the age of idealism, agitated adolescence with radical actions, adding that i went through a personal dark age of my life.. time killed the passion. I remain in support and still believe the causes of course, but not as active as before.

Now joining the blog action day reminds me that time is really an issue with the long battle against poverty and change. One random act of kindness per person, when accumulated, creates change.

So I leave a question for everyone, if we won't act now, when will you? When?

update: now i leave you with an old collage i made back in 2005.. "hidden places"
click the image to read the poem i wrote esp for this piece

22 Park your thoughts here:

Blogger Dennis Villegas whispered...

I am with you in your thoughts, Atomic...It's about time that we do something against poverty, and the effort should always be collective. This discussion is very timely in light of the recent financial meltdown which can have adverse effects on the world economy. Thanks for sharing. I will try to do my part.

15/10/08 1:38 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

oh thank you for taking time to read this.. i know you know how i feel being in the same country and seeing the same things everyday.. its really heartbreaking to see how extremes people live here and how some people are ignored when they need help. im taking my part in little steps and indeed if everyone would try and do a small act each day (a big one would be better)something will eventually come out of it as a whole.

15/10/08 2:29 AM  
Blogger Ambres whispered...

I made post about poverty. If i had a week maby it would be bit better but maby it's start for a debate.

And yes it has to be collective. The crisis is not an argument i think we still have enough!


15/10/08 4:03 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

mmm thank you for the thread babe.. and im reading halfway already! i must say.. to those who read this to go over and read your reply. this is the direct link to the post.

poverty is really a debate depending on which culture or "world" looks at it. first world countries like the Dutch (Netherlands) of course has a totally different perspective compared to third world countries like the Philippines.. but well ok i must finish reading your post first before i say more..

15/10/08 4:22 AM  
Blogger Ambres whispered...

That's one of the things i'm interested about. Your views from a "third world" country. (I gave a few opnions that life here).
Btw the gap between rich and poor here is growing too. A few years back volunteers started distribute free food under people with small incomes. Who thought that that could happen here..


15/10/08 5:11 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

funny i almost had a debate with a colleague just now about "poverty" and us being in a 3rd world country. some people just refuse to accept that fact and say ..philippines is not third world because of the high rise buildings, cellphones, computers, technology etc. and according to him everybody has a mobile phone already so this is not to be considered a third world country. well i said yeah, in makati. but has he gone to the outskirts and really been to "the streets"? how about trying to go out of manila to see if everything is the same. then he shut up. well i do not mean to start a fight or something (we are at work lol) but it just saddens me to see people with minuscule minds and being so insensitive about these issues. well before i blow my top.. we talk about this later. 8)

now id like to know what my friends and readers from the blogworld think about this topic.

15/10/08 5:51 AM  
Blogger Josh (musarter) whispered...

Interesting post; and really liked the art piece.

I used to live in San Diego and crossing the border to Tijuana was always an eye opener. Over the years I was involved with groups, mostly church affiliated, that did some community work down there. The problem was staggering; how can I as one individual change anything? It can make a person freeze and not do anything. It makes me remember this story I heard at my church:

As the old man walked down a Spanish beach at dawn, he saw ahead of him what he thought to be a dancer. The young man was running across the sand, rhythmically bending down to pick up a stranded starfish and throw it far into the sea.

The old man gazed in wonder as the young soul again and again threw the small starfish from the sand into the water. The old man approached him and asked why he spent so much energy doing what seemed a waste of time. The young man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun.

“But there are thousands of miles of beach, and miles and miles of starfish. How can your effort make any difference?”

The young man looked down at the small starfish in his hand, and as he threw it to safety in the sea, said, “It makes a difference to this one!”

Now I don't care what you believe, this is a great way to think when considering doing something for someone less fortunate than yourself. If only more people had this attitude, things could really change.

16/10/08 3:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous whispered...

I am choosing Mexico. Because of the obvious Machinapolis evolving and still running out of control in Mexico.

Women are forced to work in what are called Maquiladoras, where there are no safety procedures, and humans are a number, one day at work the next day pooooof! they are scrapped; along with that horror, there is a huge issue with chemical contamination.

I therefore choose this topic. Here as a comment. Thank you for the elegant and critical informattion.... =)

Take care, this is for you...


16/10/08 5:57 AM  
Blogger soulbrush whispered...

a truly insightful post for us all. we can fight poverty in our own small ways, our money in the collection box, hand out food to the beggars on the street, give your old clothes to charities for afghanistan etc...don't just turn away and say 'im far too busy, maybe tomorrow'!!!!!!!!!

16/10/08 6:57 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

thank you for sharing your wonderful stories and insights, soulbrush, jesse and josh!

it is really inspiring to read alot of stories today from BAD although the thought that the bloggers who posted there are only a fraction of the actual people who go online.. but this will definitely spread and at some point may influence some change.. may it be little or big..

and thanks jesse for the roses! tho i see you disabled comments there.. nonetheless they are really sweet and great to share with all blogging friends indeed.. 8)

16/10/08 11:16 PM  
Blogger Dennis Villegas whispered...

Btw, lovely poem and excellent art as always...

17/10/08 2:08 PM  
Blogger Todd Camplin whispered...

I think it is important to note that there are 2nd and 3rd world areas in 1st countries.

17/10/08 11:50 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

thanks sir dennis! glad to see you back here to see my added artwork..

todd.. ohh i didnt know that! thanks for the info.. 8)

18/10/08 3:27 AM  
Blogger isay whispered...

'can't post a message before??

i remember that beautiful illustration and poem you posted before.....indeed, very timely topic....i am actually doing some volunteer jobs once in a while to help the needy, and most of the time, i try my best to hlep-- first of all, those that are inside the fence meaning those that i know - like some of the poor families in the community where i had lived before, and then go beyond the fence afterwards.

19/10/08 5:45 AM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

ohh wow thats nice to know that you do all those isay! so timely that yesterday i saw this elderly couple who are dressed so elegantly (looked really rich) on a table at mcdonalds with a small kid with no slippers and soiled clothes.

people stared at them and some raised their eyebrows. well i just said a bit loud to let those next to our table who was talking about them saying "nakakaduda naman" (doubtful) that "i wonder why when people are nice some people always misjudge it. why, have they given a beggar food and actually sat next to them? i admire this couple and narrow minded ones should start doing their part" and lo! the rumormongers left. tssk.. some people..

and btw, what do you mean you cant post a message before?

19/10/08 6:22 AM  
Blogger isay whispered...

i came back to see if you have the illustration for "late" already.

i had a problem with blogger earlier that is why i wasn't able to post my comment last wed.

i hope you are a having a nice weekend.

19/10/08 5:25 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

yay i has such a busy weekend.. a friend's wedding.. activity at work.. fixing a birthday im hosting for next week.. *sigh* etc etc.. so i hope i have time this week too..

thanks for returning to check it reminded me! 8)

20/10/08 6:31 AM  
Blogger yoon see whispered...

Hi atomic,
Look like you are very busy this past week.
Yeah, I do understand the issue of poverty. It's good that you blogged about it and let the readers have greater awareness on this.
I did dropped by to an orphanage home before for a year time to help them up. You know, they all need love, also quality food.
I saw them craving for all these.
Practically , emotionally & spiritually poverty!!!
We are so blessed by God.
Haven't experience poverty before!
So, I hope everyone of us should continue this mission to lend a helping hand in the way we are capable of.
Bye. Take care atomic.

21/10/08 7:32 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

thanks yoon! i am still quite busy now and would probably in hiatus for a few more days or even a week.. tssk..

oh and yeah i actually live next to an orphanage so i know what you mean. i see and hear them everyday. but one cannot adopt them all.. i simply admire the nun who founded it and all the staff there..

23/10/08 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous whispered...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

17/4/09 6:54 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh whispered...

Sorry, smadraji but just because im not posting lately doesn't mean people are allowed to post their spam sites here.

18/4/09 7:46 PM  
Blogger devindennis whispered...

Hi there! Lovely blog you have here, I'm happy I ran into you! Your post is looking so lovely due to your pasted material here .. Nice inspiration! Thanks for sharing!

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11/12/13 8:32 PM  

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