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Don't Travel w/ Fake DVDs
Third World Cameraman
Art Tibaldo Web Site
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Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Topic: Third World Cameraman

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Posted by artibaldo at 3:26 AM EDT
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Posted by artibaldo at 3:24 AM EDT
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Thursday, 25 May 2006

Topic: Don't Travel w/ Fake DVDs
Going Abroad?.... Know What Not to Bring.

by Art Tibaldo

During my travel to the US and Canada after the eventful 911 tragedy, airports including our very own NAIA have intensified their security measures to a point that almost every bits and pieces that a traveler carry are thoroughly checked and scrutinized.

In 2004, I learned from an email group portal that a Filipina who just passed her nursing here was immediately deported by immigration officials at a US terminal upon inspecting from her luggage pages of photocopied CGFNS reviewer originally published in the states.

Carrying pirated DVDs, VCDs, audio CDs, softwares or computer programs is strictly banned all over and this has caused the deployment of media forensic experts in many points of entries worldwide so that fake items can be immediately be checked.

As of this writing, I am not yet sure whether powerpoint presentrations in CD-ROM or optical media authored by a person other than the traveler are allowed at airport terminals without a written consent by its creator. "Content Creator" is a term or title used to identify the authors of the disc's contents.

In my case as a multi-media artist, I authored and "burned" my own powerpoint and video presentations into compact disks (CDs) and digital video disks (DVDs). Confident that my name appears in the file properties of my presentation as inscripted by my working software, I wonder if media forensic experts will go to the extent of verifying the true authors of such materials.

A question can also be raised with the mass use of USB flash drives or portable storage devices nowadays. These solid state media are small enough to be concealed in small bag pockets or used as a key chain. One or two gigabyte of storage capacity of a flash drive can accommodate as many files as that of two to five CDs.

The Philippine's Optical Media Act of 2003 states that t he Optical Media Board shall prescribe source identification codes or SID codes for all persons, establishments or entities authoring and mastering optical media. As for me, I'm not yet sure whether to secure one since I haven't heard of someone having such.
I also see a grey area from the provisions of the Act when it comes to USB drives. Since it is always best to be sure, one should not carry a drive with copied contents especially original movies from Hollywood.
Hawai'i Consul General Ariel Abadilla whom I have met during my cultural diplomacy as ethnographer-in-residence at the East West Center issued a warning to Filipino-Americans there that visiting relatives carrying pirated items can spoil and jeopardize their travel.

Abadilla also reported that the US Embassy's Consular Section recently received a report that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) searched the bag of a Filipino on NW 72 in Detroit. During the said search, 70-80 compact discs, 30-40 empty DVD jackets and 10-20 DVDs were found. Abadilla added that since the travelers were not American citizens, their visas were cancelled and they returned to the Philippines. Had they been Americans according to Abadilla, they could have been subject to arrest and criminal prosecution in addition to civil fines and penalties.

When I went to Honolulu this February, I actually brought three Ilocano Karaoke VCDs and I saw to it that it bears the hologram of the Videogram Regulatory Board which is now the OMB. To ascertain that my travel to US is trouble free, I even carried with me the receipt of the VCDs.

My Friend Gabby Ruliva of Pinsao, a retired US navy felt sorry to his relative who refused to carry a DVD containing my coverage of the successful 2006 Lang-ay Festival in Bontoc for fear of a possible problem that they might encounter upon reaching a US Terminal. By the way, traveling with a laptop with an unlicensed operating system (OS) like the latest Windows XP and upgrades may also pose a problem so think again before bringing an item out of the country.

Posted by artibaldo at 10:29 PM EDT
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Sunday, 14 August 2005
The Baguio Reporter Art Tibaldo Aug 8 Column
Trade Talk by Art Tibaldo
The Baguio Reporter
August 07 2005

Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, Tubog Sa Ginto, Kastilyong Buhangin: these may be typical titles of Filipino films but same are lecture topics of a forum conducted in Baguio by Gateway East and Department of Trade and Industry Region 2.

The forum was dubbed Barangay Consumers Assistance and Production Team or Barangay CAPT participated by about three hundred Kagawads and Punong Barangays from the Cagayan Valley area.

Atty. Willy Clemente of DTI-CAR discussed what the buying public should do in “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang” and how consumers can detect and report opportunists who do not follow weight standards.

The topic Anak Ka Ng Pirata presented by a speaker from the Optical Media Board outlined how pirated products in VCDs, DVDs and softwares destroy our economy and steal the rights of intellectual property owners.

The OMB speaker said that legitimate companies spend on research and development, quality control, royalties and government taxes while pirates ride on the efforts made by others.

Ex Cop Reynaldo Jaylo who is now a Director of the Presidential Task Force on Illegal Recruitment explained how to detect and report illegal recruiters in Ang Nilokong Bayani.

Jaylo with his self styled presentation explained the causes of illegal recruitment as; Disfunction in society, Employment scarcity, Value distortions, Ignorance and Liar recruiters and traffickers completing the acronym DEVIL.

In Patay Kang Baka Ka, the speaker from the National Meat Inspection Committee explained how one can detect fresh meat from double dead meat.

The NMIC speaker illustrated condemnable meat products as having tell tale signs such as inflamed and swelling body parts, signs of hemorrhage, pale soft exudatives and severed liver or lungs caused by larva or roundworms. Meat buyers should check for normal meat color with no blood splashes and unusual odor.

One topic during the forum discussed what consumers need to know about the price tags and labels in ‘The Price is Right”. The speaker from DTI Region 2 quoted provisions of the Consumer Act which states that all consumer products shall bear an appropriate price tag, label or marking indicating the price of the article.

In a lecture that could have been entitled “You Light Up My Life”, the speaker from the Energy Regulatory Commission enumerated consumer rights such as; the Right to Notice Prior to Disconnection, the Right to Tender Payment at the Point of Disconnection and the Right to Suspension of Disconnection.

According to the Magna Carta for Residential Electric Consumers, Disconnection of services shall not be made on any weekday beyond three o’clock (3PM) in the afternoon, Saturdays, Sundays and official holidays and under circumstances where a permanent resident is sick and dependent on a life support system requiring electricity.

Further, electricity shall not be cut during the funeral wake of a deceased permanent resident, when the customer can prove that he or she did not receive a statement of account or a disconnection notice.

These and other sub topics discussed during the three day forum has equipped the Barangay officials of region two with the necessary information that can guide and help them serve better in their respective communities.

Mr. Cesar Cueto of Gateway East told this writer that there is a planned similar forum this September in Baguio. With the able partnership of the Department of Trade and Industry, creative forums such as the Barangay CAPT will definitely empower leaders and stakeholders.


Posted by artibaldo at 11:29 PM EDT
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Saturday, 13 August 2005
Capturing Images

Art Tibaldo
Behind the Scenes

Once a cameraman, always a cameraman, that’s probably the reason why friends oftentimes look at me and wonder as if something is missing whenever they see me without my gadget.
I often suspect that people invite me to their functions and programs because they want their event to appear on cable television or on the pages of the local weeklies.
There are times even when people mistook me as an ABS-CBN cameraman or a Midland Courier reporter. Once, I was called “Kodak” then somebody asked, “saang Studio Kayo?”, well, that’s what I get for wearing a multi-pocketed vest and not carrying a press card at all.

There are odd reasons why my group is called BCBC. Baguio’s members of the fourth estate are really “Busy-busy”, always on the lookout for any eventuality worthy of publication. While Baguio is normally festive during vacations, the lent is our period of penitence by hosting the annual lucky summer visitors. It’s hard to stay sober since drinks are overflowing courtesy of sponsors and friends but we have to take turns to tour the visitors because it is an obligation-as I said it’s our penitence.

Whenever we attend a press conference and served a decent meal, I jokingly tell my wife that I must be an occasional “free lunch” journalist but she’s quick to reply that there’s no longer such thing as free lunch. True, those who usually call for a presscon want to access the media for their personal, political or corporate gains. But when it comes to civic activities, journalism lectures and other worthy causes, expect the BCBC to be a good partner.

During the return of “Apo Anno”, a centuries old Benguet mummy to his original cave in Buguias a few years back, lensmen acted like Paparazzis disobeying every guideline that the National Museum imposed. Anno became an instant celebrity when every hole, dent and cranny of his tattooed body saw print in wide reaching publications. As a result, the words “cultural sensitivity” became a byword to working journalists. In fact, two journalists reportedly felt ill during the coverage when they did something “inappropriate” like sneezing during the solemn ritual.

Having served the government since some few remaining months of the late Ilocano strongman, I can say that I have witnessed a historic event and experienced realities in the bureaucracy. In October 1985, I tried my luck as a neophyte VTR Editor of the defunct Newscenter-4 of the Maharlika Broadcasting System. Korina Sanches was then a fresh talking-head (newsreader) while Ces Orena-Drilon, Becky Cabral, Ronnie Nathanielsz, Bon Vibar and Lulu Matubis were among the regular anchors of the news center. My task then was to assist the Chief Editor on the U-matic recorders, edit sports clips and put together screened visuals of Imelda Marcos. As editor, my cardinal rule was to show the best shots of Imelda and edit-out some unwanted takes that showed her double chin and skinny legs that doesn’t match her heavy built.
There was a perceived imbalance of TV coverage for presidential candidates during the historic 1995 election campaign that’s why lawyer Joker Arroyo wasn’t joking when he sued Channel-4 for biased reporting
No EDSA revolt can ever come close to the first one especially from an insider’s point of view. I was lucky to have left for Baguio moments before the EDSA revolt broke out. Channel-4 was taken over by rebel forces and when I returned, new faces in yellow shirts plagued the place and Cory loyalists took over the network. Actors, singers and other celebrities including Baguio boy Bong Pineda who were linked with Tita Cory were at my news center and techno guy with a Bombay accent gave technical instructions that none of us editors could understand.
Seeing no bright prospect for a Baguio boy to stick it out with a network undergoing change, I decided to return home. Few months later, with a scar from a pellet gun on my forehead as a result of the odd jobs that I engaged in, I joined the National Media Production Center now resurrected as the Philippine Information Agency.

After Marcos fled to Hawaii in early 1986, the revolutionary government ruled the land and Cory became my big boss (will that make me a Balimbing?). Many of Cory’s programs then were tagged with the word “people” or “public” that even Malcolm Square was renamed as People’s Park. I held the position of Public Assistance Desk Officer before I became an Information officer.

Months later, I was involved with the Cordillera News Agency, a loose research and media based organization that facilitated the meeting between President Cory Aquino and Fr. Conrado Balweg in Mount Pulag. That historic encounter led to a peace pact called “Sipat” that means a slap in the face in literal Ilocano but it is understood as a cessation of hostilities to tribal Filipinos in the uplands. A bible was exchanged for an Armalite rifle and gongs were played symbolizing unity among the tribespeople and the national government.
That historic moment (September 13, 1997) in Mt. Data brought hope for the creation of an autonomous government in the Cordillera.

From the Mt. Data Sipat till Balweg’s funeral in Abra of December 1999, I have partly chronicled Ka Ambo’s quest for autonomy. I was with the rebel priest together with the late activist Peppot Ilagan when we went down south to the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao for a consultative meeting with Nur Misuari. In 1987, combatants from the other movement must have spotted my trusty camera and realized that I was just a reporter when they let us pass through few minutes prior to their bloody ambush killing eight of Balweg’s men in Baay Licuan, Abra.

When I covered the 1988 peace negotiations in Sagada but this time with NDF top brass Antonio Zumel and Luis Jalandoni, I noticed that local organizers were not happy to see me poking cameras at their cadres. I was once suspected as a subversive activist when I interpreted the Aquino-Galman murder in an experimental art form, but this time, its different…they took me as an infiltrator.
Above all, its nice to note that Sagada is the first ever peace zone in the country.

Itonomi-After two futile attempts and political pressures (as in jumping Eddie’s Bibingka concept) to get the people’s nod on the proposed form of government, the organic act was rejected twice and President Estrada thought it wise to dissolve the two governing bodies of CAR to the dismay of a handful of appointees who lorded over the region for a several terms.
Projecting a President’s image can really be a tricky task for a publicist especially if that official has a habit of pouting and frowning in public. As a matter of etiquette, press photographers are not supposed to take photos of a top official while eating, frowning, mad or even gambling. A camera buff himself, Atty. Mike Arroyo inducted the officers and members of the Cordillera Press Photographers at the favorite nesting ground near the Mansion recently. What Atty. Arroyo can’t experience as a cameraman is get collar grabbed and pushed by Presidential guards.

Back to camera gadgetry, I now carry one that is light and ideal for my new work as a trade and industry promotions officer. Of course, I give thanks to CNATV for making me an instrument to document important aspects of Cordillera history. My new gadget has a Japanese recording mechanism and a German lens- an unusual duo remembered in causing a significant mark in world history or tragedy.
Now, what is the Tagalog term for a photographer? According to the Professional Photographers Association of the Philippines, it is Manunyut ng piktyur.

Visit my other sites: my photo album at
my images at tibaldo
and Cordillera Chronological

Posted by artibaldo at 11:58 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 9 December 2005 12:58 AM EST
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