MANILA (UPDATED) - ABS-CBN's popular citizen journalism initiative Bayan Mo I-Patrol Mo (BMPM) announced on Saturday it now has over one million Bayan Patrollers, following a flash mob held simultaneously in different locations in the country.
In an interview with ABS-CBNNews.com before the flash mob routine in the Quezon Memorial Circle, BMPM head Rowena Paraan said the 1 million achievement proves that contrary to popular belief, Filipinos are socially-aware and ready to engage, especially on matters of great importance.
"Malaki 'yung significance ng 1 million mark kasi kung minsan 'di ba sinasabi natin parang 'Bakit walang pakialam ang mga tao, kapag may nangyayari, walang reaction, kapag may pinapatay hindi sila nagagalit?' Pinapakita lang nito na hindi totoong hindi marunong magalit ang mga tao, na wala na silang pakialam, na hindi na sila nagmamahal sa community.
"BMPM shows that people are still concerned, they want to take action and with the monitoring and reports they submit to BMPM, pinapakita nila na nandon pa rin ang pagiging Pilipino, 'yung involvement."
Paraan also thanked ABS-CBN management for maintaining an advocacy-driven project that helped usher in citizen journalism in the Philippines.
"Pinapakita rin nito na tama ang ginagawa ng ABS-CBN pagdating sa citizen engagement. I appreciate how the network has given time and resources para sa isang programa na hindi profit-making at magastos pa."
The over 1 million Bayan Patrollers is an aggregate of those who signed up during events and online.
FIRST IN A SERIES
Paraan, meanwhile, revealed that the flash mob is only the first in a series of activities that will be conducted to celebrate BMPM's milestone.
“This is the first. Flash mob ang napili namin dahil participatory kasi siya eh, ‘yung mga tao, pwedeng sumama, pwedeng makisaya. It’s so BMPM. “
BMPM got help from performance mob group Project Awesome to organize the flash mob.
SURPRISES FOR PUBLIC
Paul Agabin of Project Awesome said their group is all about doing surprises for the public, which is not limited to flash mobs.
"We're a mob group, we do surprises, unexpected pranks, social experiments for the public," explained Agabin.
"Naisipan namin mag-participate sa flash mob [ng BMPM] kasi it involves citizen journalism eh. It involves the public taking part on what is happening in our current events," he added.
Agabin said that the group's advocacy is to inspire people and make them happy with their surprises.
"We just want to make people happy, inspire and we just like them to get away from the normal things of life and do something crazy as a group," he said. "It's a movement. We want to make ripples--ripples sa buong social media."
Other events are scheduled to be launched in the following days to encourage more Filipinos to engage in citizen journalism.
Paraan said BMPM plans to intensify its campaign to make people more socially conscious and participative by launching many other activities.
She also said BMPM is gearing up for the 2016 presidential election, which, she believes will be another important event that would need more participation from citizens.