In a country with more cellphones than landlines, cellphones are a powerful tool to mobilize the masses. Choose your style: Billy Joel’s “Honesty,” or Lipps Inc’s “Funkytown”? Both are ringtones paired with President Arroyo’s voice: “Hello Garci? So will I still lead by more than 1 [million]?” Following Arroyo’s apology for talking with an election official, one can now download an Arroyo “I am sorry” ringtone.
At a fraction of the cost of a voice message, text messages are increasingly being used to foster political activism and awareness. An amalgamation of cellphone users, TXTPower mobilizes activists entirely through the text message: “Calling all patriotic, self-respecting, honest, anti-corruption and progressive Filipinos: Starting today, let’s take part in a ‘Texters Revolt for Justice.’” Sample ring tones can be found at TXTpower.org and qc.indymedia.org.