“The toughest part of my job, I think, is even when I’m in a concert, I’d find someone screaming his idea to me. In as much as it is difficult because I have my moods and I need to rest, I also find it very edifying that they believe they can tell me—that they don’t think it’s useless for them to tell me.” – Gang Badoy Part-time inquisitor, full-time Filipino, Founder Rock Ed Philippines
Back in 2005, Gang Badoy went home to the Philippines after working and studying in the US, when the Hello Garci scandal broke. It was a time when the very foundation of Philippine democracy was being tested and when many Filipinos had more questions than answers about where the country was headed. In 2005, what Gang considers her life work was born, and that was RockEd Philippines—a 10-year program to Rock Society through Alternative Education with the help of artists, entrepreneurs, and musicians.
She manages Rock Ed with a group of volunteers coming from all sorts of professions, all walks of life. They organize forums, which could be live-streamed, feeding programs, and other school-based activities.
For Gang, leading the team means being a translator— explaining pressing, national issues into a language understood by the younger generation, in a media platform used by almost 30 million Filipinos, the Internet. Today, she rallies with legislators to address some issues on nation building including food, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, AIDS combat, and globalization.
“Rock Ed, is the realm of my focus. I feel very fortunate that I found my life’s work here. Many people, I understand, make a living by keeping a day job, but they don’t consider it their life’s work. I consider myself lucky because I found something that kept me steady for about six years now.”
Rock Ed had a good on air coverage back when NU 107 was still broadcasting. Today, Rock Ed Radio has found its niche online at Twitter while continuing to become a venue for alternative learning with the help of “substitute teachers.”
Being online has meant a lot for Gang and her job in contributing to nation building. She blogs at www.gangcentral.wordpress.com and interacts with as many as 15,000 followers on Twitter on a wide range of topics—that is, from the most recent Manny Pacquiao fight to the informal discussions about the RH Bill.
Before owning a Galaxy Tab, Gang stays offline when there is no Internet connection available. “I don’t like being defeated in a debate just because I’m not there!” she narrates, citing instances when she had to leave an ongoing discussion on hers or someone else’s Facebook wall because she needs to be in transit. While per kilobyte mobile browsing seemed like the next best option to staying online, a smart phone limits her to at most three inches in screen size and super small fonts. How hard, after all, is tweeting or Facebook tagging with an interface that is just about five percent of the usual laptop display?
No doubt, Gang is a busy person. The more important question for her is not what time her day starts but by when it ends. “Normally, around 5AM. After midnight or after two is the only time that my phone is not ringing and I can write and prepare for my meetings. I need tahimik so I end very late,” she says.
On a typical day, Gang attends or facilitates up to eight physically and mentally taxing meetings—with the Samsung Galaxy Tab as a her own personal mobility tool.
In most speaking engagements, the Samsung Galaxy Tab has helped her in scheduling, preparing content, and delivering actual speeches / messages—short of saying that her cheat sheet has just been upgraded to a very portable and multi-purpose gadget.
“I cannot imagine not having mobility tools anymore, especially during long drives. During such time I can do so many things. Reply to many e-mails and also monitor the news.” Gang shares, already considering going to Muntinlupa as a long drive due to the traffic. She goes there every now and then to conduct creative writing workshops with the inmates along with her Rock Ed team of volunteers.
Thanks to technology, news comes in real time, whether in the form breaking news at television, SMS alerts, or Facebook and Twitter updates, which are proven to be one of the fastest ways to give and receive information.
“I’d like to imagine that I can do without the technology, that we can survive without a connection, since we survived without it before, but one thing I know that it has definitely increased my productivity.”
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