Do you have a commuter story? Vlog it at Freedom Vlog: Ang Kwentong Komyuter Ko!
A common scenario along EDSA during rush hour would be the long lines of commuters waiting to get a ride. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a train, jeepney, taxi, or bus, the lines and the traffic itself could get very long that some workers would rather choose to give up their jobs than go through this challenge on a regular basis. It doesn’t help that the heat is always unbearable in the summer and the streets could get flooded during the rainy season, making commuting a very stressful activity for many. If you would factor in the air and noise pollution, overcrowding, dilapidated vehicles, and the physical difficulties for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and older commuters, then you have the ingredients for a full-blown transportation crisis.
It is our right to move freely
According to a study conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), commuting in the post-lockdown environment is even more difficult than in pre-pandemic times. The same study also found that the level of difficulty does not vary between urban and rural areas.
People must remember that freedom of movement is a human right and that we deserve safe and accessible means of mobility so we can work, pursue our interests, and freely go wherever we want. Many of those who have experienced the sad reality of commuting in the Philippines have tried many times to express their sentiments, but these issues are often sidelined to make way for strategies favoring car-centric infrastructure and solutions.
It is, therefore, imperative that commuters be given a bigger audience and wider platforms so they can share their narratives. This is the first step in communicating the needs and opportunities related to smart mobility.
The Freedom Vlog: Mga Kuwentong Komyuter
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation - Philippines (FNF-Philippines) is providing one such platform so commuters themselves can shed light on the gaps in our public transport system—as well as possible solutions to the problems—via vlogging. The Freedom Vlog aims to promote and enhance smart mobility through creative storytelling.
The Freedom Vlog Masterclass in 2021 paved the way for content creators to produce short videos on the topic. The following vlogs were shortlisted as the top 10 entries in 2021: “Kwentong Aeta” by Kelvin Aguilar; “Bagong Araw, Parehong Kalsada” by Jomar Soriano; “Of Red and Green Lights” by Ruth Arielle Pedir; “Saan Aabot ang P100 Mo?” by Enrique Tibas, Jr.; “Ano ang pwedeng bilhin ni Dorah nang naka-bike?” by Regine Tejada; “Pusang Gala” by Phoebe Ann Ramos; “Kwentong Komyuter” by John Wendell Pepito” “Mobility in the PH for a Filipina Commuter” by Marielle Ilagan; “Freedom to Move” by John Rafael; and “Bike Commuting in the City” by Marienella Adriana Balanay.
Kelvin Aguilar's vlog entry focused on the lack of a transportation system in Sitio Malasa in Bamban, Tarlac, an Aeta village. Jomar Soriano's entry was a plea to shine some light on the problems of ordinary commuters, especially those who can't afford to buy their own vehicles. Ramos expressed in her video that she uses her bike even for short errands (like buying cat food), but feels that she is risking her life every time she goes out on her bike.
This year 2023, FNF-Philippines hopes to attract talented participants with great commuter stories to tell.
Ways to tell your story
Participants may use various angles in telling their stories. For example, they can opt to raise awareness on transport challenges that citizens are facing and amplify best practices being done in various communities. They may also choose to highlight safer and sustainable commuting practices by sharing success stories and showing real-life examples to motivate and inspire positive change among the audience.
Content creators may also encourage community initiatives, citizen engagement, and collaboration with local organizations to effectively address sustainability and safety issues. Or, engage netizens in discussions or conversations related to smart mobility in the Philippines, with an ideal reach of at least 10,000 engagements on Facebook and TikTok.
If you want to join The Freedom Vlog Masterclass
The Freedom Vlog Masterclass is a mentorship program that is open to Filipinos 14 years and older, specifically content creators, transport advocates, and environment enthusiasts. From among the applicants, participants will be chosen to take part in learning sessions on sustainable transport and a workshop on content creation.
The first masterclass will focus on advocacy building and will take place online on June 22, 2023. It will feature topics and discussions on climate change and its impact on the transport system and mobility rights. It will also feature the importance of freedom of movement, promotion of mobility rights, and people-centered mobility.
The second masterclass will focus on content development and will take place on-site at Vera Studios in Intramuros on June 24, 2023. It will discuss video production, storytelling, and TikTok editing. Henry's camera will also conduct a workshop on using the available market tools for easy production.
Participants in the masterclass sessions automatically qualify for the Freedom Vlog Video Contest. After the two masterclass series, participants will be asked to come up with a 30-60 seconder-video at max using the video techniques and the concepts that they have learned. Ten (10) videos will be selected by the committee, and will undergo a review session with the mentors. The revised version of the selected 10 videos will be featured on the culminating activity and will receive the following:
Ø Feature article (500 words max) on the FNF Philippines website and other social media platform
Ø PHP 15,000 as contribution to the output
Ø Vlog Starter Kits (from sponsors)
Ø The video with the highest number of views on TikTok will receive an additional PHP 5,000.
It is important to improve the quality and efficiency of a place’s transportation system because it is a crucial element in building smart and sustainable cities. Aside from that, smart mobility is a symbol of a healthy society and a progressive economy. Freedom Vlog will allow participants to use different tools at their disposal to advocate for sustainable transportation in the accessible platform of vlogging.