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Philippines: Phenomenal video protests

‘Juana Change’ protest videos are the newest YouTube sensation in the Philippines. The videos were introduced last month when various groups were opposing the proposal to amend the Constitution which would have extended the terms of office of incumbent politicians, including that of the president. Thanks to the internet and mainstream media, Juana Change (played by artist Mae Paner) has become a popular figure in the country today.

Pepe Diokno writes about the ‘Juana Change’ phenomenon:

“An unlikely star has been born on the Interwebs this month: Juana Change is a high-energy, pleasantly plump woman, whose hilarious videos on YouTube have generated over 50,000 views in their first week alone. The catch: Juana is an unapologetic social activist, whose clips center on corruption and Charter Change.”

Juana is a common name for Filipinas. Lightandshade explains the meaning of “Juana Change”:

“'Juana Change’ dares us to think…

See one of the newest series of productions created by a team of concerned Filipinos for web-connected viewers all over the planet. They use political satire, existing technology and cyberspace to enlighten viewers and hopefully inspire the change that we all need.

“Juana Change, as the production team admitted, is double-edged and could mean “Want a change, Want to change” (to express hope, to call for action) or “Wala nang change” (to express resignation). The creators of this video will be releasing satires on corruption, behavior of general's daughter and other topics.”

‘Juana Change’ first became famous because of the anti-Charter Change video protest. J. Villanueva Cabrera provides a backgrounder on the video:

“This is a satire about Charter Change or in the Philippines, it's what we call, Cha-Cha. This satire also tells about the common Filipinos’ reactions or in this case “no actions”. There are two main characters here, the first one is the lady with her dancing partner who just love to dance Cha-Cha, she symbolizes some of the Filipinos who stand for what is right and just and the woman in blue hair is the politician with her bodyguard, She is using Cha – Cha (the dance) to show their step by step plan to fool the people into changing the constitution.”

Another ‘Juana Change’ video (“Fixer”) tackles corruption in the bureaucracy. Atty. Marichu Lambino reviews the video:

“My review of the video: Witty, sharp, well-edited script, crisp dialog. The acting: the actor/actress has perfect timing and a thousand and one facial expressions. The direction was unobstrusive and at the same time, stylized for a satire. The editing of the video itself (cut-to-cut of the same scene, of the same frame) gave this video a pulsating pace.”

The ‘Juana Change’ Christmas video – “12 Days of Scandals” – highlights the various “crimes” committed by the current national government. Below is a ‘Juana Change’ video about the sad plight of Filipino migrant workers.

Memorandum Circular commends ‘Juana Change’:

“More power to Juana Change and to the people behind the magic that makes her alive and relevant… May you continue your powerful art and may it spread like an elixir to our dying land. May your message run like fire and burn the apathy that slumbers within the rickety heart of the 21st Century Filipino.

“Now be safe, we do not want anything bad to happen to you… Obviously you have upset one too many people, in fact, I bet that you have upset many powerful people. People that might look at it as a threat…”

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