fbpx
31.7 C
Manila
Thursday, October 6, 2022

Our XXX story

Must read

Emil Samaniego
Emil Samaniego is Chief Content Officer and one of the founders of Politixxx Today.

A revolution always begins with an idea. But ours is not a story of revolution, not even of counter-revolution.

Ours is a story of survival.

In the midst of the world’s longest lockdown, an idea was born out of the urge to reconnect with longtime friends in the US and Europe– Sir Jan Argy who is based in California and Jeff who is in Dublin. This story actually started from those usual useless debates on Facebook, among friends whose hobby is precisely to rant on anything political– who for the first time in a long while suddenly had so much free time on their hands. One morning in the middle of our Covid-19 infested new normal, that familiar annoying Facebook messenger ringtone greeted us with a message, “Hey, why don’t we do a podcast?”

And our story officially begins with our first passion project- The Naked PolitiXXX Podcast.

X X X

This pandemic has a cruel yet funny way to rebuild connections and consequently unveil the horizon of possibilities. As people began for the first time in this century to retreat in full isolation following governments’ announcements of once-in-a-generation countrywide lockdowns, we are forced to dive deeper into our digital hell holes, as if we are not yet fully immersed and drowned into this digital pit! But we have no choice. The online world compensates our need for human connection. It has become our sanctuary and panoptic prison both at the same time.

But cyberspace is also the battlefield of a new warfare—disinformation warfare which began in the early days of 2016 as political operators in connivance with digital PR strategists began to experiment and fully take advantage of the supposed neutrality of the cyberspace to alter the contours of our democracy. The result is catastrophic.

The digital sphere then becomes a place of hate and division amongst the highly partisans and even the political bystanders. It becomes a virus that infects us long before the novel coronavirus silently descended to our midst in order to wreak havoc to our fractious political lives. Is Covid-19 a cruel way of heaven to chastise the global follies of the last four years—from the election, populism, and chauvinism of Trump, Duterte, and Bolsonoro to the maritime aggressiveness of China in the South China Sea which continues to test the limits of realpolitik? This might be a positive way of framing an otherwise unprecedented catastrophe that struck humanity, but human nature longs for silver-linings even in the worst of circumstances. It is a mechanism of survival.

In fact, this platform that we created while the virus is ravaging the world becomes our own silver-lining; a source of newfound purpose. A vision conceived amid the worst of time.

X X X

When we started the Naked PolitiXXX Podcast, it immediately receives good reviews from friends and relatives who also became our first subscribers— as if they had a choice! We were then surprised that the platform has reached our extended networks. Suddenly, young people were messaging us, volunteering their services to edit, and level up our podcast gaming. Of course, we do not accept creative works for free, but beyond the little amount that our patron, Sir Jan Argy, can give out of his pockets, we appreciate the fact that these young creatives extended their service because our contents resonate with them.  Soon, many young people joined our podcast until we decided to branch out and create a youth segment- the Noisy Minority. This was followed by two additional segments- Reasonable Doubt with Atty. EM which is a legal podcast, and Love, Sex and PolitiXXX, a podcast on the intersection of politics with gender and sexuality.

But the spark of an idea once lit is unstoppable.

Two months after we launched the Naked PolitiXXX Podcast, we decided to create a new platform that will bring our insights into a larger audience. Thus, early August, we began the challenge of establishing an online magazine or webzine which we christened PolitiXXX Today.

From Naked PolitiXXX to PolitiXXX Today, possibilities then become limitless.

It is our belief that the ever-expanding cyberspace can accommodate a new source of useful and actionable information, insights, news, and analysis on politics and related fields. As a webzine, we aim to contribute to the advancement of discourse in the Philippines and beyond. We value the diversity of opinions grounded on facts and evidence as well as on the political and cultural values that we hold dear as citizens. We harbor no illusion regarding our present or future reach, but we remain humble as we embark on this new challenge.

By talking politixxx, we aim to shape discourse.

X X X

The 2022 national election in the Philippines is just around the corner and while there is still no end in sight for this pandemic, we are already setting our gaze at the next two years which we feel will become another pivotal moment that will test the boundaries of our democratic institutions.

In fact, we do not know whether President Duterte would still be around in 2022 following his announcement that his Barret’s esophagus ailment is nearing stage-1 cancer or whether Vice President Robredo will duel against Mayor Sara Duterte or Sen. Manny Pacquiao for Presidency. But with the current shutdown of the biggest media institution in the country, enactment of the draconian Anti-terrorism Law, and lingering calls for revolutionary government or a self-coup from certain ultra-political partisans, the present political dispensation demands from its citizens more vigilance and participation in whatever forms and degrees.

PolitiXXX Today is our response to this call of our time.   

X X X

We are living in an extraordinary time of hardships. As Lacanian psychoanalyst and cultural philosopher Slavoj Zizek puts it, “(as the) virus breaks the foundations of our lives… there is no return to normal, the new normal would have to be built on the ruins of our old lives, or we will find ourselves in a new barbarism whose signs are already clearly discernable.”

For the past months, we have witnessed how our old normal collapses as our government stumbles to get hold of the pandemic. This is due to years of neglect and complacency. The virus becomes an invading partial object that serves to unmask the abysmal lack of leadership in the current dispensation.

Our old ways of doing things not only in governance but also in the consumption of information have to change. We need new stronger institutions to be built on the ruins of the old system as well as new approaches and models of doing business that are resilient to the challenges brought by the new normal.

We, at PolitiXXX Today, are prepared to take on the challenge brought by the new normal. As a company created in the middle of an unprecedented global crisis, we are built on the ruins of the old ways of doing things. We are committed to delivering quality and insightful stories, news, analysis, and other high-value contents to our readers.

X X X

To end, I would like to congratulate Paul Tena for taking the challenge to become the first-ever Editor-in-Chief of PolitiXXX Today! We will fully support you in executing your editorial vision together with Angelo Bonga as Associate Editor and Denniel Layson as Managing Editor.

I would also like to pay tribute to Sir Jan Argy Tolentino [PxxxT], my mentor, and now my business partner, for giving his full support by investing not only his resources but most importantly his time and talent to this venture. The initial ideas for a podcast and a website might have come from me, but Sir Jan Argy is really the one who brings these ideas into full realization! He has always been such a force of possibilities! Without him and Jeff Reyes- who although is busy as a young CEO of Twala still has found time to support the podcast and the webzine-  the PolitiXXX Today would remain a figment of imagination!

To the rest of the members of the Executive Committee, Atty. EM Cordero, our Chief Legal Counsel, Trine De Lara, our Branding and Marketing Officer, J.A. Bayani, our Business Development Officer, Ronnie Palma, our Design and Creative Officer, Monica Ramirez, an Execom member, and Kael Bascon, our Production Manager, congratulation to us for being able to launch the webzine in such a short period of time! What a feat!

To all our writers, contributors, interns, layout, graphic artists, and guests of our podcasts, thank you for your trust and support to our endeavors! Special thanks to Rigel Kent Evangelista, Obed Sanchez, and of course, Franz Robert Dela Vega, for all the help with all the graphics design and editing at the onset of this endeavor. We owe you all a lot and we will surely return the favor!

Onto the greater heights!

Emil Samaniego is a co-founder and Chief Contents Officer of PolitiXXX, Inc.

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article