Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Salaknib, MSA, FRD and other sections of Guru Press

by Marciano "m-16" A. Paroy Jr.

For starters, I’m back from the brink. I almost felt like my self-imposed hibernation would really last long. But I guess I was able to rescue the humble writer within before I started entertaining the idea that I could not move beyond paragraph 1. For those among us who love to play with words – who love pairing words until we come up with phrases, clauses, fragments that will make up a sentence that exactly capture what we have in mind – there is no such thing as literary demise. We might have that block now and then – but it really would not last long. There is simply too much happiness and heartache to be retold – and shutting up would only worsen things as they already are.
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There. So much for an excuse. All of 125 words.
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When I came up with the word “Salaknib” and started to use it as the name of the section devoted to AFP-PNP-BFP concerns (it is usually found in page 2 or 3), my colleague Gary (Damian) asked what it meant. Recognizing that he has practically no Ilocano blood, I said it meant protection, defense, guard, safety. For its being used as a section tag here at Guru, well, being informed is one way of being protected. To know is to be moved to the confines of safety.
Salaknib is sustained by information officers from AFP, PNP and BFP. The writers change – as perhaps their immediate superior would suddenly give the writing tasks to someone else – but at least they do write. It is surprising to note that we have within AFP and PNP ranks some genuine writers.
Which reminds me of Lt. Jay Alambra (may he rest in peace). I had the opportunity to work with him when local media were gathered and requested by Governor Floydelia Diasen to fill in the pages of the official provincial paper Kalinga Advocate. Lt. Alambra was one consummate writer – not only because he tended to write lengthily but because he fearlessly expressed his views about issues he chose to write about, which were, understandably, about insurgency problems. Had he not succumbed to the snare of leukemia, I am sure he would still be churning out words from his lexical factory.
Now, of course, we do have Cpt. Adonis Bañez, the current PIO of 501st Infantry Brigade to write from the AFP side. I just hope his output is regularly maintained.
The provincial command of PNP-Kalinga used to have a productive press man in the person of police officer Loren Moron. This was under the watch of then Provincial Director Emock, who can be credited for his media savvy while he was here in the province. In fact, one of the areas he stressed was Media Relations – recognizing it as a vital tool in advancing the vision-mission of the prime law enforcement agency. In his first few days in office, he called for an upgrading seminar and Media Relations was one of the lectures that were delivered.
Impressive, isn’t it? Of course, when the potent force of our work is given value by those who need to reach out to a large and diverse audience, we automatically reciprocate by giving media mileage to them.
Congressman Manuel S. Agyao, Governor Floydelia R. Diasen, Mayor Camilo T. Lammawin Jr., Vice Mayor Rainier D. Sarol, Mayor Allen Jesse Mangaoang, and other political leaders all recognize this – including those who have set their eyes on the May 2010 elections.
When I came up with the MSA section, I simply followed the lead of Mayor Lammawin with his City of Tabuk Lives tag – which has the same acronym as his CTL initials. So I came up with Man of Service and Action – to follow the Congressman’s MSA initials. I notice that the Congressman’s tarpaulin materials also bear our Man of Service and Action tag. No problem there. He really lives up to the tag.
As for the Governor, when the info-dissemination team of the provincial capitol made a move to keep Tabuk’s only private print medium (this paper) updated regularly with vital news material that should reach readers, I also followed her example. The Governor’s planning team coined Forward Rural Development (FRD) last January and started using it during this year’s Kalinga Founding Anniversary and Ullalim Festival. Inspired by that model, I patterned our FRD section here at Guru to fit media and communication terms – thus, the Forecast-Respond-Disseminate (FRD) section was born.
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There are regular sections, though, that readers may miss seeing now and then. First in the list is the rather unabash-toned column of Dr. Edgar Naganag – Futures and Options. I recently had a drink with him and I voiced that Guru Press misses his articles and that the paper would definitely benefit from his views. Unlike other political analysts we have around, Sir Edgar is not attached or identified with political names – at least not yet.
We also do not read anymore Gary Damian’s entries into his Gadly Ruminations – his column which used to be filled with his intense writings. Same true with Native Thoughts by Regie Wacas, Pioneers by Giovanni Asbucan and the pioneering columns of Jun Albano and Daniel Cagan – Tungtungan and What If, respectively. When they shall decide to re-enter the pages of this paper, Guru Press shall have a grand day.
Thank God we still have Aparri Councilor Reginald Tamayo with his Thoughts from Aparri, and Mr. Santos Acoba with his What’s Your Side?
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Morally and spiritually tinged articles have always been one of the staple outputs that can be read in Guru – which is why we give special spaces to Edison Macusi’s Take the Land and Rency Roaquin’s Mark my Word. Of course, from time to time, we get to read the thoughts of Bishop Renato Abibico who, I think, puts several months as a gap between his articles. Whenever he writes though, the article is a worthwhile read.
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Next week, we are giving birth to yet another initiative of a leader to reach out to our readers – by way of a regularly maintained section. Do watch out for it.

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