Son of the hills of Tralala
Many things kept me busy in the past few days. Evidently, I have not updated this blog regularly. That doesn’t mean, however, that I have a drought of stories or issues and concerns to blog about. I assure you there are hundreds of stories worth writing for news and for tell-tale sake.
After our MindaNews team ran the Grassroots Documentation and Reporting trainers’ training last week, I took a leave to go home to Bukidnon. Three days later I have to be back to Davao to work on the event’s reports.
The shift from daily reportage to preparing the training and back is bumpy. While I key in this post to the internet, I still bear the effects of stress what with asthma attacks and triggered coughing. But I will never complain about playing two roles or more.
In fact, I believe, that is what most of us are doing these days. We multi-task. We become slashers.
In my part of the world, I don’t see it more as a trend of sorts. Practically, we cannot afford not to multi-task. And in the age of technology and alternative things of getting work done, multi-tasking is the way to go.
A colleague once introduced me to a workshop on media work: This is W, he writes for MindaNews; he also does marketing, he is a trainer for grassroots reporting, and teaches journalism at the Ateneo.
One of the participants later asked me what is really my position and for whom do I really work. It was a difficult question considering its ramifications on the concept of “whom we work for.” Opkors, the introduction was meant to glare my humble qualifications to at least stand opposite public information officers in that hotel in Bukidnon.
I think titles are cliche. It is now hard to encapsulate in a title the roles we play in an organization, considering the organization’s role in a bigger community of individuas and organizations.
While updating my CV just this week, I realized I have been accorded several high-falluting titles in my few years working with different organizations. But to me, what mattered at the surface was the kind of work I was doing, the lessons I learned, and the skills I acquired under those titles.
To dig deeper, I think what also mattered was if I made an impact to the people around me, if I became useful, and if I was doing the right thing, right. Wew tough reflections.
To my father, who is a friend and advisor, he would also ask me, did you also equip yourself financially so that you could feed your family and go on with your advocacies?
Over dinner at a friend’s birthday party tonight, these reflections hovered in my mind. In that informal gathering, I heard chats from a veteran journalist, an accomplished physician, a young Palanca awardee for short story in Cebuano, a young but on the go chief researcher-anthropologist, a lawyer-reporter-documenter, and a seasoned photojournalist.
They all did and are still doing many things in their professional lives. They all multi-task and their relevance are beyond question.
Anyway, I realized that faced with a myriad of issues and concerns in Mindanao, we cannot really afford to just box ourselves to play just a speficic role all thoughout.
I think there is a pressing call to learn new skills, to dig deeper, and to have ground-truthing as a way of life. We need t0 hone available resources to what is needed. Usefulness and relevance matter.
(The hills of Tralala are found in the middle of Malaybalay City’s poblacion area. The hills, previously covered with pine trees during the days of my childhood, are visible from the public market and bus terminal.)