The Wanderer's Dream World

Web traveller. occassional writer. lurker.

My take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Surely, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has helped a lot of people since it has gone viral. It has already earned US $15M (and still counting) from the donations of people worldwide. A lot of the big name personalities around the world have even taken the challenge to raise awareness.

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed (ALS Association).

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity that involves dumping a bucket of ice water on one’s head. The challenge dares to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads.

The taker of the challenge has the chance to dare other people to do it as well. Within 24 hours of being challenged, they are expected to film themselves doing the same thing. The challenge is done for the people to feel ice numbness – a brief sensation of what it feels like to have ALS.

My take

Like any other causes, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge aims to raise awareness and generate money to help the people who are in need. Since it has gone viral, it has already earned more than US $15M from the donations of the people worldwide. But at what real cost is this challenge really for?

I worry that because of the fame it has gotten, some people are just doing it just to feel “in” and/or “cool”. How many of those who filmed themselves doing the challenge really bothered to at least google what ALS stands for? It makes people think that helping out requires a cool selfie.

I understand that it is really hard to make campaigns that would really catch the attention of people. Companies around the world spend millions just to make sure they reach your timeline on social networking sites. Obviously, the brains behind this challenge have succeeded in reaching their goal. But do we have to waste a bucket of water?

Campaigns on preserving water still do exist. I think that we do know that until today, some people from other places still do not enjoy clean water. While we waste buckets of water for this challenge, some suffer from thirst, and diseases brought by unclean water.

If you really want to help out, don’t just dump a bucket of ice water – take time to get to know the cause. Do not just do it just because it has gone viral and you think it is uncool not to do the same; do it because you really want to help.

It’s not that I am against the cause. It really has raised awareness and earned money for people those who are need. What I am just trying to say is that it doesn’t hurt to at least give the challenge a thought first before doing it. Well.. Charlie Sheen did dump a bucket of $10k over his head. Ice melts but money doesn’t. *winks*

Sayaw Mindanaw | 8-14-14 | Davao City Recreation Center (Almendras Gym)

Sometimes we’re too focused on the bigger picture that we forget the tiny details which also make up the picture.

Sometimes we’re too focused on the bigger picture that we forget the tiny details which also make up the picture.

Tunog Mindanaw ‘14 | 8-13-14 | SM City Davao, The Annex

And sometimes those who are physically impaired are more capable of doing things than those who are physically fit.

And sometimes those who are physically impaired are more capable of doing things than those who are physically fit.

Different Stories, Same Recipes: Filipinos’ Guilty Pleasure

Humans have natural appetites for leisure – often, Filipinos spend it watching soap operas or what is now more popularly known as “teleseryes”. Over the course of time, Philippine entertainment has produced countless of them. Its fan base has also expanded from what were predominantly loyalists (housewives and senior citizens) to younger generations. Many of what were already been produced even received several awards and recognitions. Though given these facts, Filipinos cannot deny that most of them were just recycled versions of older ones.

It can be remembered that Philippines have been colonized several times in the past. Even how Filipinos live today is influenced by the practices of the colonizers. And also, before Philippine networks were able to produce locally made teleseryes, Filipinos were first exposed to foreign ones – not because of incapability to do so but because of practical reasons.

According to the National Commission for Culture and Arts, “Importing programs was cheaper than producing them locally. Canned programs also appeared to be more popular among local audiences.”

Teleseryes have become undeniably inseparable part of Filipino culture. It has even become a surrogate partner to some. Unlike before when it was still considered as “bakya”, now it is just normal to hear people in white collars talk about it.

It has been a common observation that most of today’s teleseryes no longer showcase anything new. Makers use the same clichés in producing their stories. The lack of originality has been overlooked by public. Same storylines, predictable endings, and overexposed artists to name a few.

While it is true that some can really relate to the stories and that these shows actually get good ratings (which is a must for a show to survive), these shouldn’t be used as primordial reasons to stick with what have been established. Is the industry continuously producing the same stories because those are what people want or are they just too lazy to think of something else? People settle for it because makers do not give them the choices – nothing more, nothing less.

Another problem that has been observed is the imbalance of elements. The makers tend to always overdo certain elements without them knowing – too much love, too much misery, too much violence, etc. – there’s always this “too much”.

According to a study conducted by the Asian Mass Communication Research Center (AMIC) based in Singapore, Philippines has the most violent TV shows among ASEAN countries with Thailand and Indonesia come next respectively. The most common complaint: dominance of sex and violence. What does this have to say about Filipino culture?

By continuously portraying these situations over and over again, it gives the audience the impression that these things are actually acceptable in Philippine society. Philippines is known to be a Christian country and thus it values conservativeness. As a result of these portrayals, teleseryes do not really promote moral lessons.

No doubt that the Philippine entertainment has grown. But has it been growing up? It has been on a sluggish pace for quite some time already. It is about time to break from the “different stories, same recipes” trend.

Sun.Star Davao | Sunday, July 27, 2014 | Sunday Essays