Saturday, October 4, 2008


The provincial government has recently latched on to the realization that, in order to be truly “visible and heard of,” the media – in all forms – must be taken advantage of. In one of my classes in KASC where I teach Development Communication, I keep stressing the power of media to popularize and endear leaders to constituents.

Of course, we expect media practitioners to go out of their way to rein in the news and bring them right to the doorstep of their audiences (by way of the newspaper, the radio, or the internet). But with the growing bulk of information to be generated, processed and finally packaged, our local media practitioners just might overlook one area while zeroing-in on another. In other words, a news gatherer may possibly prioritize one source of information over another (translated: one reporter may ignore one personality and instead focus on another).

The city government has its City Updates over RN-FM every Monday, anchored by City Information Officers Oliver Gacuya and Estanislao Albano Jr. – a proof that Mayor Camilo Lammawin does recognize the power of being heard. Also, the City Hall can always be read about in the pages of this paper. And it has a regularly updated official website.

The provincial government, however, has only recently added the broadcast medium in its all-out IEC campaigns. We can now listen to The Governor’s Hour every Monday, and Isangguni (of the vice Governor’s Office) over DZRK every Tuesday. Both run from 6 to 7 in the early evening. And, according to Engr. Domingo Bakilan, the Kalinga Advocate (the official paper of the provincial government) shall resume printing this October.

Now, these are positive developments with regards to the creation of a favorable image for those who are holding key positions at present. Take the number of actual news gatherers in Tabuk and set that against the loads of information that they have to cover, then it is easy to imagine that there is always the tendency to miss a lot of important messages. Not because the media practitioners chose to ignore some offices, but because they simply cannot encompass all areas.
So, to avoid such occurrence and ensure being read about and heard of, our local leaders must really go out of their way and establish a sure-fire tactic of being in the news.

Enter The Governor’s Hour and Isangguni. Both are hosted by Provincial Tourism Officer Grace Kidang – in addition to her anchoring the Inter-Agency Segment of The Soldier’s Hour at 5-6 every Saturday (this means being on-the-air three times a week for Ms. Kidang – something she must truly enjoy, since broadcast was her first true love… what with her degree on MassCom from the University of the East).

The Governor’s Hour, Isangguni, and City Updates all cut into our TV viewing time for the newscasts. Still, I strongly recommend tuning-in to the radio for the simple reason that each bit of information dispensed on-the-air by the anchorpersons and their guests has a direct bearing on our daily lives.

Besides, Mel Tiangco or Mike Enriquez of the 24 Oras Newscast cannot respond to our gripes and complaints. The anchorpersons at DZRK and RN-FM, however, can. They give out their numbers at the start of the programs. So start tuning-in and, with zest, begin texting-in you queries, observations, criticisms and praises. Only then will our leaders know that you do care.
(As for Mel Tiangco or Mike Enriquez or those at ABS-CBN, you can catch the remaining part of their newscasts – or, catch the rerun of the day’s events in the later part of the evening).

One year ago, I figured in an incident that could have ended tragically. A friend asked why I am not writing a sort of an anniversary article about it. Well, one month after the incident last year, I had a two-issue article about it. My feelings were, I believe, accurately encapsulated in that outpouring – thus I see no point in re-visiting that dark segment of my 2007.
The world is full of ill feelings as it is. I refuse to be embittered by such a sad episode. I still believe in the human potential to truly love and be at peace with one another. Our forefathers have long ago perished proving that. We, on the other hand, are here to sustain that quest – and, at the rate things are going, we may not find it in our lifetime. But we shall go on anyway, because as we watch the last fading light of the day, we somehow know that there shall be another ray of light tomorrow.
See? The tendency to be dramatic – this is one of my reasons for not looking back at September 2007.
To think that it was not a dramatic event which I figured in – but action-packed. I still have that bruise in my left palm… the one I raised to ward off the knife that was descending to butcher me.
But I no longer shudder whenever I reconstruct that scene. My wounds have healed. Why shouldn’t the rest of me?

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