Sunday, November 20, 2011

A speaking engagement in SG

The aim of the 2nd ASEAN-Japan Forum on the Development of Content Industry : "Creation, Commercialization, and Protection of Digital Contents" was to provide insights on Japan's content industry, share knowledge and experience on respective creations, its commercialization, copyright protection, and network building. Many of the delegates presented their respective accomplishments in terms of revenues, projects, and the services their business can provide. More importantly,it felt that the ASEAN Forum's goal was somewhat biased in favor of promoting Japan's soft power industry and how it has elevated its culture to the world stage.

In this event, the definition of “content”or “content industry” emphasized to mean its most basic form – storytelling. That stories require expressions in varied platforms – music, film,advertisements, animation, and just recently, online games.That content is a major player, although underrated, in the economic growth of a nation. I agree to this.

With the former, it has been and perhaps always a challenge to quantify that content is key to economic sustainability – especially in the Philippines. There is not one story I know to date that has made it to global acceptance. Is it because it’s intangible? Is it because creativity embraces no exact form? Is it because art naturally averts structure? Or it is it because we fail to protect the expression of ideas?

And therefore the Philippines’ content industry consequently resort to copied products.

In my presentation, I attempted to explain the face of the “standard” music industry and my sector’s proposed “new look” with Artist Ko being the frontliner. My speech included milestones in my sector, its seemingly hopeless challenges, and possible avenues for collaborations. After my presentation, a delegate from Brunei inquired about how the organization was established. Mr. Haji Tanaguchi (Chairman, Music Publishers Association of Japan) asked if he could be a member. I took those as positive feedbacks.

Mr. Aroon James Tan (Magma Studios Pte. Ltd.) caught me as he presented his product called ‘Temasek’, an online game designed to retell the very ancient and almost lost history of Singapore. The game’s goal was to distribute in schools as alternative education tools in history classes. His idea reminded me of Christine Diaz, a Filipino historian retelling the untold stories of the Philippines’ history (I attended a couple of her forums and own a couple of her books)

Temasek inspired me to think that it would be a wonderful project toretell the truth about our country’s history as an online game.

While I enjoyed almost every slide from other speakers, the forum I believe failed to address a very important concern which I actually raised – if there is a collaboration to take place between ASEAN in the future, who (or what ASEAN country) should take ownership on the administration? Ms. Nora’in Ali (Head of Culture and Information, ASEAN Secretariat) took my question well and thought it as a goal to address in the future.

Overall, the forum promoted fresh perspectives on the importance and benefits of creative content.  Today, I’m receiving updates via email from the ASEAN Creative Centre promoting their culture through information on upcoming events and activities. Perhaps if I am invited again, I wish to speak about the accomplishments we had made since my last talk and more importantly a project collaboration proprosal with Singapore and/or Japan.

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