Life in the Plateau
Thanks to all who sent messages to my Kamuyot bag.
Ma’am Prix (and to all who are unfamiliar with it), Kamuyot is Bukidnon’s version of the tinalak. It’s made of sinamay from abaca fiber, from plantations scattered in Bukidnon’s rugged terrain. Of course, its woven mostly by indigenous women who sell it to buyers from the lowlands.
It’s a business beginning to die –unless the government and the lumad communities could save it together against fiber plant diseases haunting even planters in our beloved Davao City.
I’m in for some updates from the Bukidnon plateau.
We have started to provide local and community-sourced content for our local newspaper the Central Mindanao Newswatch. We begin to invite contributors to send in news stories, opinion pieces, photos, and even useful information. Thank God, good responses come despite our financial constraints.
Our goal is to beef up coverage of local stories. But the resources come in trickles. Sometimes, I get discouraged, frustrated and exhausted.
I’m working on the internal resources of the office, trying to help management improve its use of limited resources and also organizing in-house trainings and consultations to respond to human resource needs.
I missed our work in MindaNews, but I’m also directing our own efforts here to be able to afford our subscription to the Davao-based news agency, which a group of journalists of which I’m a part of, have operated with shoestring resources but proudly with wide-ranging impacts. 🙂
It’s not an easy thing to do all these efforts.
I’ve got branded to be “someone who did not use his coconut”. “Why waste so much time on a media work when it won’t make you rich?” That has been “thought of the day” for a week. One of our interns at MindaNews told me, her father considered media work as worthy of no “(professional) identity.” In short, it is worthless in a society of lawyers, doctors, engineers and other professionals.
I didn’t have to argue that. I don’t want to recycle what figured in conversations between me and my father over the years. We have already agreed to disagree on that.
Oh yes, what so much I can do, still won’t be enough. What I thought is enough is never enough.
But I would still continue to stick to my dream to run a newspaper that covers the community’s issues. I won’t be lured to working in an 8 to 5 job that guarantees my tenure, assures me excessive bonuses on Christmas and promises my job would be as easy as preparing an instant coffee mix.
I still believed in the role of the media in an ever-changing world, especially in the scale of a province like Bukidnon.
Life here is difficult. I can take other paths to make it easy.
But without compromising my own and my families’ right to life, I’ll stick to what I think is my own trail in the jungle of uniformities and conventions.
We should be equal but we don’t have to be alike.
Anyway, thanks for dropping by!