Archive | January 2014

Mistakes, a reflection

Sometimes, we are in a hurry. And in the course, we make mistakes.

Yes, we can race with time and run (or drive) faster than we used to just to catch up.  Yes, sometimes, we can be there and beat the deadline. But sometimes the problem is we forget some other aspects.

I drove from home to work to catch an interview. I made it. But in the rush, I inadvertently turned the park lights on. I learned about it hours later. So, car battery went drained. What a waste. I’m glad the car electrician was on call. To the rescue he takes the battery to his shop. After an hour, I get it back. He gets some bucks in return.

That’s the cost. That’s the Pxxx.xx mistake. I hated the incident. I promised to learn from this.

Lesson: try not to be in a rush situation so the case will not be repeated. In case it is inevitable/ unavoidable try to be more watchful. After the rush, review, go back to the way and check.

Lastly, maybe take out MSG or ‘instant seasoning from Lunch or dinner.

But really, we cant blame substances all the time.


Reporting Environment: An important focus for Mindanao’s media

Citizen Journalism has been a field so close to my heart. This is what we wished to help enrich in Mindanao’s communities with MindaNews’ Grassroots Documentation and Reporting Training (GDRT). So when I first proposed a master’s project (the equivalent of a thesis at the Asian Center for Journalism in Ateneo de Manila University) I immediately thought of looking into Bukidnon’s treasure chest of citizen reporting experiences.

I poured energy and time to pore into documents and interviews around Mindanao on the topic of DXBB’s (forerunner of today’s DXDB in Bukidnon) own brand of citizen reporting using the Bandilyo newsletter way back during the dark age Martial Law.

However, several consultations thereafter my proposal did not prosper. I botched my intended research and resumed study only now. My materials had become obsolete or at least needed updating. So when asked for a topic again I was forced to propose a new one, another important topic.

Meantime,my research on citizen reporting in Bukidnon during martial law will be sidelined only as  a master’s project. It still remains my dream project outside this academic requirement to graduate.

I choose an equally compelling subject: the state of environment reporting in Mindanao. Of course, I choose only to look into two weekly newspapers in Bukidnon considering the constraints of a master’s thesis. When I submitted my proposal, I did not forget the request by both media and government officials back in 2011 during the 7th Mindanao Media Summit.

I wish to add to the knowledge on environment reporting in the community setting – to check on the extent and depth of environment issues covered by community media, how these issues are presented, what limitation and challenges abound the community media. This should compare with the expectations from the community, that is to check if the reports live up to the issues raised by the Bukidnon Environment Summit in 2008.

I would also like to check on how the two newspapers coverage of environment issues stack up to the coverage of Manila-based broadsheet newspapers with national circulation. Yes, I also plan to compare this to the state of environment reporting portrayed in a research of the subject in an Asia-Pacific context.

In an earlier training on Reporting Environment in Bukidnon, I have called on colleagues to level up to the tenets of environment reporting. I hope this research looks more clearly into the practicality of that encouragement.


Low pressure area, high pressure impact

I saw the news: they counted the dead and the injured. I have to blink faster when they said repeatedly that what we experienced for a week is only “low pressure area.” Already it has killed many.
Maybe it is timely to provide basic education on environment and climate change to all. I don’t care if it will be formal or informal education as long as it clarifies and enlightens.
LPA , I think tonight, is misunderstood just like “storm surge” during Yolanda’s time.
Another way at looking at this is via vulnerability. The number of dead and hurt tell how vulnerable we are in Mindanao.  Let’s assess the hazards in every area and prepare ourselves to face challenges like LPA.

A kababayan in Tel Aviv, anywhere

Congrats Rose Fostanes, a caregiver based in Tel Aviv who is “originally” from the Philippines. She is now popular in Israel after winning the X-Factor Israel reality television singing contest. Such a raw talent Rose have. She admitted having “small” self-confidence. But really raw talent comes out.

I admire her humility and courage. She must be a very hard working person. Most Filipinos abroad do not have Rose’s singing powers. What they have is love for family, perseverance, and unwavering human spirit.

I think that’s the inspiring part – Rose somehow represents all hard working, simple, loving family member anywhere they are in the world.

I also remember a relative in her voice. She talks like an aunt who passed away in a bus accident back in 1995 in Cagayan de Oro. Iya-an was strict, ambitious, and vocal. But she was also kind, hard working, and family-centered.

Thanks Rose.

Cardinal Quevedo

Congrats and prayers for God’s servant Orlando Cardinal Quevedo. I remember in our trips to Cotabato, the MindaNews team would drop by him. Aside from light moments with the humble bishop, my favourite part is when we invade his ref for ice cream.

I have a reflection upon hearing the news that Mindanao finally has a cardinal. It could be a sign that the Vatican now sees Mindanao as even more important in its work.  It could also be a drop of coin for peace: the Pope appoints him as Cardinal – sending him to do more prayers and work for peace.

In the Gospel, when God puts up a man in his ministry – aside from trust, God actually gives the man more work, more responsibility. He actually sends the person to buckle down to earth for work. It’s not really elevating them but making them more grounded.

I think his appointment came late – he deserved it earlier. Mindanao deserved a Cardinal long before. But yes, God’s time takes its pace.

We should see more of the cardinal going around Mindanao for the work he has already started for peace. In the parishes, in the GKKS, in the dioceses – not in St. Peter’s. Good luck sir and God bless!

Firecrackers: to ban or not to ban?

This is a question of policy. Local government units must decide to consider this as a priority legislative concern. Instead of rushing to make decisions, however, there must be genuine public consultation on this. People should own the decision. Unless a local leader has the brand of political will of Davao City’s Rodrigo Duterte, the decision should emanate from the people themselves. In that way, the people will implement, they will enforce. 

2014: Centennial year for Bukidnon

Welcome to 2014!
For those living in Bukidnon, this is a special year. It is the year the province turns 100 years old.
The provincial government decided to celebrate this event this year after realizing based on recent discovery that it was wrong for many years. Historical accounts used by the province trace to 1917 as the year of the creation of the province.
But based on findings recently put forward, the province was created in 1914, not 1917.
Still there is debate but the formal preparations have already began with the provincial government’s creation of the centennial steering committee.
We should be able to tackle this even more clearly in more interactive platforms.