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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hillary Clinton: A Conversation In Manila

An interesting video featuring US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton billed as "A Conversation In Manila", a town hall meeting-inspired public forum that also featured a wide array of bloggers and student journalists from all over the Philippines. From the description of the Clinton entourage itself, the forum is  described as 'groundbreaking' for its youth-oriented social media component, breaking away from the formalities of many of the globe-trotting Clinton's public events. Speaking of 'youth-oriented', Winnie Monsod and Mel Tiangco - famous celebrities in their own right, did not hesitate to make their presence felt in the audience to see to it that Clinton did not lack not-so-young admirers.

Questions for Secretary Clinton were fielded via YouScoop, Twitter, Facebook, Skype and SMS. Members of the young audience were also given time to field their questions. Among those distinguished personalities from the  audience were actress Heart Evangelista and fellow celebrities Isabel Daza and Maxene Magalona who were both lucky to have fielded their questions to Clinton. Vicky Morales and Howie Severino served as moderators while Ramon Bautista (the lesser illustrious namesake of the one who sired 75 children) made sure an audience participation became lively.

The forum largely went smoothly apart from one notable distraction courtesy of Marjohara Tucay, the editor-in-chief of the 'The Philippine Collegian' who interrupted Clinton in between discussions and held up a banner protesting the VFA thing. Despite his show of rudeness (he could have conveyed his concerns in a rather refined manner and shined given the nature of the forum), the audience instead responded in crisp laughter as Clinton repeatedly addressed him as a she. Well, Mrs. Clinton did not mean to be rude judging on the high-pitched soprano scream of Tucay that started to reverberate inside the hall before he was being led away while still frothing in anger. Hmm, not a really nice stunt to pull off for a future journalist who should have demonstrated some measure of civility without being rude and dissenting.


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Some of the photos above courtesy of Arnaldo Arnáiz Díaz

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