We're participants of the 4th CALD Communications Workshop!! Having loads of fun and learning a great deal! Let's hope we'll all be able to grow together as party partners!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Women reserved seats ?

Hope all the cloggers are clogging away! I am writing a report examining the effectiveness of quotas or reservations in legislatures for women. My submission which I 've shared on my site is that for inclusive politics women reserved seats are not the answer. In Pakistan we 've had reservation for over 59 years but the results are left wanting.

I will propose in the report that political training of men and women is needed rather than stop gap measures of seats etc.

If anyone out there has any material on the subject, please share it with me.


Gulmina Bilal

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Attn caldcloggers: urgent action required

Bad news dear friends! Our collective Blogging guru .. .. our man of immense patience.. our man with all the techi answers , Abraham Olandres aka Abe is down with the flu virus. In other words, while he might be apt at keeping his laptop free of viruses, his physical body is another story.

I've been told by his doctors that he can only get well if he get ``hits" of get well soon messages. The more the ``get well soon Abe hits" the faster his recovery .

So lets start people... we have to have our guru back in action.

Gulmina Bilal

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Progress from PDI-P

Soon I got back to my office, I prepared my presentation about all things that I've got from CALD Workshop that would be presented to my central board. And yesterday, in weekly board meeting, I had a big apreciation for my presentation from everyone who attend the meeting.

Although they still didn't know very well about how the things work, they really got some points that the internet could be an alternative media. The meeting also decided to endorse all politician from our party to make a blog!

Now, I've manage a blog entitled "Suara Oposisi" (Voice of Opposition) and I plan to make a podcast in the next week with the theme "Rice Import" as an actual issue (an interview with member of parliament).

Hendra Kusumah

Friday, September 15, 2006

Communications Workshop Highlights and Awarding Ceremony Videos

Relaxing Exercise!

Awarding Ceremony

Narwin Espiritu

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

09 Sept 2006, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Headquarters, Taipei, Taiwan - DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun (center), former Premier of Taiwan, welcomes CALDcloggers Mr. John Coronel (right), Executive Director of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) and Ms. Pia Artadi-Facultad (left) of the Liberal Party of the Philippines (LP) to the DPP Headquarters

Now back in Manila after a hectic week in Taipei. The 4th CALD Communications Workshop was indeed successful thanks to the active and dynamic participation of the delegates. We will be updating the CALD website to include a new chapter featuring this event under CALD conferences and workshops.

Our flight back was delayed due to inclement weather and the ride was quite bumpy. I trust that all participants returned home safely with new found skills.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Ronald Meinardus reviewed

The Fourth CALD political communication workshop ended on Sep 9th. At our ``graduation” ceremony each one of us were given the Dr. Ronald Meinardus penned book ,``Liberal Times in the Philippines”

The book is a compilation of RM’s articles during the last ten years of his stay in Asia. These writings first appeared in the Korean Times, The Individual to read my fascinating thoughts!

CALD's 4th Communications Workshop: Day 4 & End

09 Sept 2006, Radio Taiwan International, Taipei, Taiwan - CALD Communications Workshop participants with RTI officials

After having gotten some rest back home in Singapore & the ability to recollect my thoughts, here are the last of the happenings of our last day of CALD's 4th communications workshop entitled 'Political Communication in the Digital Age'.

As the various working groups were given the better half of the 3rd day to work on and publish their podcasts, their works were presented in the morning after brief reports made by the respective teams covering the areas of Logistics/News of the day, DPP Liaison & Entertainment, Blogging/Daily Newsletter and Documentation.

As podcast after podcast were presented by the various working groups, quick comments were made by the producers of the podcasts followed by important recommendations from Dr R.M with regards to the content and overall presentation of their podcasts and how they could be made better in the near future, this was followed by other remarks made by fellow participants in relation to that.

After which Dr R.M proceeded to discuss on how the workshop should go from here onwards as in strengthening the network of media specialists in CALD, the usage of blogs and the need to cross-link to one another for easy reference was one of the few points that is important apart from the traditional means of exchanging contacts, and also permanent.

Following the discussion, the participants evaluated the workshop and gave needed feedback to the organisers in which each point raised was explained by John Coronel of CALD and Dr R.M of the FNF, it was concluded after the calculation of the results filed by the participants, that the workshop was a success, it definitely was in my opinion.

The Participants were given certificates of participation, a thumbdrive and a book by Dr R.M as a gift as he'll be leaving the Philipines after 4 years of work there.

The workshop came to a close, the participants went forth after lunch to observe the sit-in protests being conducted just outside of the presidential offices, the local media speculated the amount of protestors to be about 200,000 people but the downplayed amounts could be as low as 80,000 as it was reported, a few comments though, well organised and peaceful, though i think 'they' being there is really a hopeless cause as the subject of the protest, president Chen already stated that he won't be stepping down, thus i can only assume that the protest might not go anywhere for the moment.

The day ended off with some participants visting Taipei 101 for some shopping and a scenic view from the world's tallest structure at the time (Weather wasn't in a good state so spending for the ticket would be futile).

Many thanks to the organisers for a great workshop, and to my fellow Liberal participants in Asia, have a bright future ahead in your respective fields and don't give up in the fight for democracy.

Flickr Site on the Workshop in Taipei.

Kao Wen Sheng, Singapore

Saturday, September 09, 2006

To all the participants of the workshop.

It was fun to work with you. I wish you a safe trip back home and hope to stay in touch.

Read a short post on the mass rallies on Saturday in our vicinity - and a personal comment.

Dr. M/RM

Friday, September 08, 2006

From Blogs to Podcasts

On this third day of our workshop, audio has taken over text writing for blogs. All participants are busy experimenting - no, working - with the new software applications and

Tomorrow is our last day and the grand finale with the podcast auditions: We will listen to four presentations - talk shows and interviews - dealing with the promotion of a liberal party platform at an upcoming election.

This has been group work pure. As a result, a sense of camaraderie has set in. Hopes are high that this blog will stay alive - and strengthen the network of CALD media specialists.

Before long, the documentation tean will post a summary of our activities. Then we may look at the pictures also - souvenirs from Taipei in September 2006.

CALOG (Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats that Love to bLog)

The Blog of Senator Kiko Pangilinan was born on September 7, 2006, in Taipei, Taiwan, during the 4th Annual CALD (Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats) Political Communications Workshop. Entitled, “Political Communications in the Digital Age: A Hands on Workshop on modern Political Communication tools,” the workshop was created to address a sincere and urgent desire to learn the latest technology and software that can boost communications practices of political parties in Asia.

Led by Dr. Ronald Meinardus of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and CALD Executive Director John Coronel, CALOG is comprised of delegates from Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Pakistan, Thailand, Japan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and even Myanmar. CALOG in Filipino, connotes a sense of humor. And that’s exactly what the participants had. Aside from enjoying the overflowing ice-cream, the participants enjoyed discussing the success and trials of their political parties. The workshop is on its 2nd day and its success is already evident.

Last night, BBC and Taiwan Radio International interviewed Pia Artadi-Facultad, Political Communications Head of Senator Kiko Pangilinan, along with Soe Aung of Myanmar and Keo Phirim of Cambodia to ask if the use of the Internet was truly an effective practice in emerging and struggling democracies in Asia. “The Philippines’ pervasive use of the Internet and the infinite possibilities that it brings for our countrymen, can only be effectively felt if it becomes a venue for political engagement and if it resonates in volumes the needs and wants of our people. Getting our countrymen engaged, especially the youth, is a significant step in our continuous struggle towards better governance, transparency and accountability.”

With the inception of Sen. Kiko Pangilinan’s Blog,TeamKiko is now online all the time, not just for its countrymen but also for fellow Asian Liberals and Democrats that want to learn about the success of TeamKiko in helping its nation move forward. Members of CALOG look forward to greater cooperation and involvement of TeamKIKO in the crusade for good governance, freedom and justice.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Neighbour @ cald workshop:lady of three Ps

My neighbor at the workshop is Dr. Busarin Dusadeeisariyawong. She is the one with whom I exchanged naughty notes and jokes. But who is Busarin? What makes her tick? What is beyond her persona as of FNSt employee ? I asked her some questions:

three words that describe you : private. personal. politics. The lady of three Ps!

three goals that you have for yourself: be happy. on a resort. and travel.

Which resort: seaside not far from Bangkok . i should be able to look at the land.

Travel: to African countries and middle east. the war torn area.

Preferred mode of travel: train. Because its very slow, free your mind, talk to people

here's wishing her all the best!

Gulmina Bilal

this workshop is about me

I've written about how I felt at the CALD political communication workshop. I wrote about it previously for pleasure. I make this post out of necessity as it's a group assignment!

This workshop is a number of things. It is about political communication using new tools. Well, ahem "new" for me. I learnt that blogging which I considered ``new" has been around since 1994. (smiles) Abe, our collective blogging guru said ,`` It started as far back as 1994" OOOOOOOOO.... I thought.. that's ancient!

This workshop is about interlinking new tools. I have a website. I have a blog. How do I connect the two? Through blog roll!

This workshop is about reinforcing my political communication strategy I guess this workshop is about me. The web-based tools are merely that. They're tools.

And ofcourse, this workshop is about people. About good food. About having Hagen Das ice -cream EVERY DAY ! YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

(no prizes for guessing. I am on a sugar high)

Gulmina Bilal

who needs coffee?

I did'nt have coffee this morning. Got up late and had to be at the workshop by 9. But I certainly did'nt need caffine to jolt me. The fact on internet costs in Burma did. Listen to this. It costs US $ 5000 to buy a cell phone in Burma. It costs US $ 1000 for a Dial up internet connection and US $ 3000 for wireless. (eyes bulging out) God... . No wonder our friends from the NCUB have such an uphill task before them. You and I can however, do our little bit to help them. No, not buy them cell phones! But sign the online petition at

After all , it does'nt cost us that much to get online!

Gulmina Bilal

Support the Call for UN Security Council Action on Burma

“Please use your liberty to promote ours.” - Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
Sign this online petition at

His Excellency Kofi Annan
Secretary-General of the United Nations
New York, New York 10017

Dear Secretary General,

We, the undersigned, are writing to respectfully urge you to put the situation in Burma on the formal agenda of the United Nations Security Council and to use your good offices to support the passage of a binding resolution requiring the restoration of democracy to Burma.

We warmly welcome the first United Nations Security Council briefing on Burma conducted by your office in December of 2005. However, the briefing was only a first step to bringing resolution to the current crisis in Burma. We believe the increasingly unstable situation in Burma represents a threat, not only to the people of Burma, but to international peace and security. As a result, the United Nations Security Council has an obligation to intervene.

There is great urgency in this request because the situation in Burma continues to deteriorate. As numerous reports make clear, Burma is ruled by one of the world's most brutal military juntas. Abuses being committed by the military regime include:

1. The continuing detention of the world's only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Aung San Suu Kyi.

2. Imprisoning and torturing opponents, including more than 1,100 political prisoners, thirteen of whom are fellow members of Parliament.

3. Using rape as a weapon of war.

4. Forcibly recruiting up to 70,000 child soldiers, far more than any other army in the world.

5. Causing at least 700,000 refugees, with more to come, to flee across Burma's borders into neighboring countries.

6. The SPDC Army has forced over 500,000 villagers from their land. These people remain in Burma as internal refugees. They live and barely survive in the jungles and mountains of eastern Burma. Their only desire is to return home and live in peace.

7. Burning or otherwise destroying 2,700 villages.

8. Forcing humanitarian aid organizations such as Doctors without Borders (France) and the UN's Global Fund on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, to leave Burma because the junta refuses to permit them to carry out their work.

9. Maintaining Burma’s status as the largest producer of illegal methamphetamines in Southeast Asia, causing devastation of individuals and families throughout the region.

10. Conducting a new military and brutal offensive against Burma’s ethnic Karen minority. The acts of aggression against the Karen include the shooting of unarmed civilians and children, burning villages, rape, torture, and mutilation.

In recent years the United Nations has employed many diplomatic initiatives in relation to Burma. Two consecutive envoys from the your office and four other Special Rapporteurs from the United Nations Commission on Human Rights have failed to elicit reform from the regime. You have called for democratic transition in Burma by 2006, but so far the regime has failed to respond.

The United Nations is not the only body to have failed in its attempts at diplomacy with the military junta. The European Union has sent missions representing the EU requesting change in Burma, again to no avail. Burma’s neighboring countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore have failed in bilateral diplomacy, and recent requests for reform from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been rebuffed.

The regime in Burma is clearly unwilling to respond to reasonable diplomatic requests. The responsibility for failure in these efforts rests solely with Burma's military junta. The international community cannot allow the current impasse to continue. It is now time for the United Nations Security Council to intervene. It has the power to pass a binding resolution requiring the regime to engage in genuine negotiations and begin a transition to democracy in Burma.

There is ample precedent for a Security Council resolution on Burma. The Council has passed resolutions on many countries, including Haiti, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Liberia where conditions less severe than those in Burma existed. Failure by the Security Council to act on Burma will cause the death of more innocent civilians.

The recent report, A Threat To The Peace, commissioned by former Czech President Vaclav Havel and South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu provides detailed reasons on why the Security Council should act, and the legal basis on which it can do so. The Havel-Tutu report recommends UN Security Council action that would require Burma's military regime to work with the United Nations on a plan for transition. Since the report was produced, the Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1674, providing further justification for Security Council intervention.

At the December 16, 2005, United Nations Security Council briefing on Burma, you suggested a course of action on Burma at the Council. We support your recommendation and we urge the Council to adopt a resolution following the recommendations by Mr. Havel and Mr. Tutu. This resolution should:

1) Require the government of Burma to work with the UN Secretary General in implementing a plan for national reconciliation.

2) Request the UN Secretary General remain involved in the reconciliation process and require him to report back to the Council on a regular basis.

3) Urge the Government of Burma to ensure the immediate, safe, and unhindered access to all parts of the country for the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable groups of the population, including internally displaced people.

4) Call for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Burma.

Thank you for your attention to this most serious matter.


cc: Representatives of the United Nations Security Council

CALD 4th Comms Workshop: Day 1

It has been a full day of discovery and much learning, after the introduction and overview of the workshop’s programme, and the formation of 4 workshop teams to handle the various administrative aspects of the workshop, we got down to a brainstorming and discussion session after CALD showed a presentation regarding the organisation and its existing communications practices and how it is working with various forms of digital media available.

The group adjourned for lunch and resumed activities at 1400hours in which the members were divided into working groups to focus on ‘Web 2.0′ applications and prepare a presentation on each of them, all participants were given 90 minutes to prepare their presentations and to which covers the following internet applications such as,,,, and a special working group formed outside of the original program focusing on Mobile Phone Text Messenging & its use on the communications practices of political parties in asia.

After which the country presentations were postponed to the following day and only allowing for 2 presentations due to the shortage of time before continuing the program planned for Thursday 7th September 2006.

The workshop group ended its first working day with a dinner at the Skyline Chinese Restaurant which presented an excellent view of the Taipei Skyline and were spoiled with wonderful local seafood , compliments of our hosts from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of Taiwan.




Nihao means Hello in Taiwanese. We were greeted ‘nihao’ along with friendly smiles and waves upon our arrival in Taipei. On the first day of our CALD Political Communications Workshop, it was critical that we assess the capacity of our countries to use the different ways of communicating. It may be Nihao for others, Hello for some or Mabuhay in my language, clearly, knowing the right and suitable way of communicating is not only important, it is the only way of ensuring harmony and cooperation.

Connectivity is important if we are to reach across continents and oceans. But what if we’re not yet connected? One feels a sense of panic when you’re not wired, when you can’t connect, let alone, when you can’t even find the right buttons to get your laptop working in a foreign country. Speaking in both a figurative and a literal sense, our countries and our partners see our capacity to communicate as both a boon and a bane. We want to be wired but in some countries, its too expensive. In some countries, its not even available. In other countries, where its very cheap and the different modern tools are available, it is abused because of its pervasiveness and openness.

As a new friend, Abe Olandres, raised in one discussion, all tools have both advantages and disadvantages. I say, it is up to the user or the one that wields the tool that can determine if it will be used for good or evil…but this isn’t discussion on ethics. We all agreed that there must be transparency and accountability in all forms of political communications that are used to spread your message like wildfire. What is frightening though is if we don’t use these tools. Why so? Because you will be rendered obsolete if you don’t.

Connectivity is important if we are to penetrate the thoughts of an infinite number of people, and for them to delve into your ideas and use it maybe just maybe in their lives. All democracies are taking advantage of connectivity and utilizing it as the best platform to get their message across across their country and the globe. Liberal democracies use all the tools that the world has to offer – connecting to the infinite possibilities of the world wide web, texting to a mobile provider of information, really simple syndication. If these are not made available to all parts of the globe, then the fear of the unknown becomes real. The fear of not being able to touch base with the rest of world must be prevented. People need people. Saying Nihao. Logging on. Typing your latest solution for making the world a better place. The ability to communicate is the very first significant step to fixing the world’s problems. I found in the GCAST website that Bono’s One Campaign chose GCAST to help get the word out about Africa’s problems. We need to know what’s going on in the rest of Asia if we are to help each other as a region. When a tsunami hit Asia, the first to respond were those willing to donate by mobile phone. Wow. Imagine what fellow Asian Liberals can do to help other Asian Liberals…

first day impressions: a day late!

Certainly, I have heard of the word blog, and most of you had, I am sure, heard about issues on ethical blogging (if there is such a thing), read controversial postings even on a number of blogsites, and read about digital communications tool that is revolutionizing the way people are putting their messages across.

It is our first day of the rest of our blogging adventures. Communications people from 11 countries, who represent their respective political parties or organizations, have come together in Taipei to experience blogging together—from understanding what it is, what it can do in enhancing communications within our organizations and even externally, to creating our own blogsites—all in less than a week.

To get everyone started, you are invited to post your own impressions on the first day of the workshop.

Here are some impressions we have gathered from some of our co-participants, including mine.

Vera of Indonesia: "I like the way the facilitation was done especially on identifying the targets. This way we are not going out of the line and we stay focused. We know what the participants want, making it not a one-way thing."

Bruce of Taiwan: "It's time to join this kind of meeting, this new way of thinking. I enjoyed the meeting and the interaction among the participants, especially when the facilitator categorized the expectations."

Me from the Philippines: "I sensed a huge disparity among the countries represented in the workshop in terms of the use of the new media in political communications. Some countries have just gone way ahead in using digital communications, while others still have to contend with poor infrastructure, the very basic requirement by which this revolutionary media can actually be up and running. The digital divide is, after all, an inescapable reality at this point. My hope is that we narrow this gap, in whichever way we can, and as a result, level the field by which we can use ICT in advancing the liberal agenda."

No news team ?

Its midnight and I've spent a frustrating time trying to catch up on deadlines. The lines are still there but I am dead. But before calling it a night , it suddenly struck me. In this workshop , we have the logistics team. The all important entertainment team. The blogging team ofcourse (three cheers!) We have the documentation team. But we don't have the newspaper team which scans the papers and keeps the participants abreast of the political situation. There is always a news team in Dr. M's workshops. Why isn't there a news team in this workshop? Can it be merely that Dr. M has forgotten? I hope so. For I don't want it to be the other possibility. The possibility that no news might be the ahem .. the Arab influence ?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Gulmina in wonderland

What does a country bumpkin,Fred Flinstone and I have in common? We all are overwhelmed by the world around us. This afternoon at the CALD political communication workshop I felt like all three. Or two. The first two that is.For I always thought that I was a suave- with -it kinda girl. You know the one who's aware of the developments around her and what is going on. Well, not this afternoon. Wake up sister, I muttered to myself as I heard about some site that burns you ( and it's supposed to be a good thing.) This burning site that goes by the name of can only work if you have blog lines (and here I thought my waist line was the only line I should think about).The blog lines are fed by something called the RSS... hmm.. the only RSS that I know of is the Indian militant group. And they are feeding the internet now ? (gaps)

As the day ended, thankfully I retired to my room to indulge in ancient practices. No, not voodoo. E mailing.

PS:My only consolation is that I'll have a ball of fun back home. I can just imagine asking my boss, Peter Bochmann and my Regional Director Dr. Klaff ``So have many RSS are you subscribed to ?"

The blogging team

The blogging team has arrived
(unfortunately not to a theatre near you)

Hi people! (drums rolling) Welcome to the first posting of the CALD Political Communication in the Digital Age workshop. Sounds like a mouthful right? Well, it certainly is because in these two and half days in glorious Taiwan, a group of young Asian liberals will learn how to use modern communication techniques to further their message. So whether it is through blogging, pod casting or sms-ing … people... brace yourselves.... the liberal rhythm is gonna get you!

During these two and half days, we, the seven member blogging group will keep you abreast as to what is happening during the workshop. Remember... you heard it first HERE.

So who are the members who are going to be your life line to the workshop proceedings? (The drums roll again) Presenting ladies and gentlemen, in no particular order (we are liberals after all!):

Pia Artadi of the Philippines: Pia is the head of the Political Communications unit of the Senate Majority Leader. She has set her eyes to be the Press Secretary to the Head of the State. Hmmm... But Pia, do you want to be the Press Secretary to the Philippines’ Head of the State or any head of the state? Regardless of the state, friends, Pia is the woman to watch out for!

Keo Phirum of Cambodia: Phirum is the Deputy Chief of Cabinet who when asked as to what his future dreams were declared, “I want my party to be in power.” As a footnote he declares, “And also hope that Cambodia has a functional infrastructure system. Right now, the best way to mail someone is to hire a man to hand deliver letters!” So friends, if it takes Phirum a little time to answer your mail or letter... you’ll know why.

Srey Kimheng of Cambodia: The beautiful country of Cambodia to which hopefully the bloggers group will get an invitation to visit (hint, hint) is ably represented within the group. Srey Kimheng is the website supervisor for his party whose future goal is to get married and have lots of children, in that order! Come to think of it, this goal will be very helpful for the Sam Rainsey Party: more children mean more votes for the party! Excellent.

Deedee Espina of Phillipines: Deedee is the Media consultant for the Liberal Party of Philippines who is enjoying Hagen Das ice cream in Taiwan as of writing. Five years down the road, friends, you will see her having Hagen Das ice cream while signing copies of her first book of ten chapters. What will be the first chapter of the book? With a toss of her hair, she declares, “The Experience of talking to my blogging team members in Taiwan while having ice cream.” An excellent title which perhaps needs a bit shortening. Oh, and we almost forgot to mention, the book project by the way will be supported by Hagen Das.

Hendra Kusumah of Indonesia: Hendra who has the largest laptop in the group is the Assistant to Secretary General of PDIP. In five years, through extensive blogging, he wants to become a member of the Central Board of his party.

Choi Mi Young of South Korea: Choi is presently the Promotion Planning Director who wants to work in the Blue House of South Korea. We are not sure if she wants to waitress in the Blue House or be the President but to all of the workshop participants, you have a standing invitation to tea at the Blue House from her!

Gulmina Bilal of Pakistan: Gulmina is presently toiling away in a German organization but she secretly wants to become a nun and rock star! Opps.. .. the secret is out... Aw………