“Yes I’m a Medtech Student” (Rappler’s #MoveCebu Chat Series)

“Yes I’m a Medtech Student” (Rappler’s #MoveCebu Chat Series)
#MoveCebu promotional poster courtesy of http://www.Rappler.com

“So you’re a medtech student?”, was the common response I received from most of the people whom I got acquainted with during the #MoveCebu chat series hosted by Rappler and the University of San Jose Recoletos last November 21, 2012.

Honestly, I have expected their responses to be that way because I have already anticipated that the people who would swarm the venue would either be journalism students, or journalism students. Kidding. However, because of my great belief in Social Media and my desire to quench my thirst to learn about Social Media, I dragged myself. The next minute, I would see myself sitting just a row away from the stage.

Change in Perspective

Maria Ressa talks about the impact of Social Media to the world.

#MoveCebu was very timely and needless to say, relevant. With the increasing numbers, minute per minute, of Filipino people engaging in the different activities on the Internet, you could not help but become worried if we are using it for the right reasons or the wrong ones.

#MoveCebu became a venue of learning things on the internet we least expect to actually matter at all such as bashing despite anonymity, writing one’s thought over Twitter or blogs, photos and videos we upload, cyberbullying, advocacies and a whole lot more.

Prior to joining the activity, I could say that I had a different perspective of the social media world but everything changed after I was able to listen to the different talks of people who are experienced on these fields. Just like what Ms. Maria said during the event, “The way you see the world changes in perspective”. Indeed, the talks during the #MoveCebu made me change my perspective about Social Media World. That it was a fragile place, where every bit of information influences (up to the third degree!), matters, and it actually stays there, regardless of the fact that you have that big delete button in front of you.

Social Media Smart, not narcissist, attention deficit, or stalker

Chay Hofileña shares some steps on how to become Social Media Smart.

I did not know until during the event that there was such kind of phrase, “social media smart”. Chay Hofileña the head of Rappler’s Citizen Journalism explained the importance of being a Social Media Smart, some of the ways include:

  1. Remembering that everything is public.
  2. Minding one’s privacy settings.
  3. Assume everything you post is fair game.
  4. Avoid feeding the troll.
  5. Never lie, cheat, threat anyone.

Indeed, being social media smart all boils down to being responsible when you use the Internet. She also explained about the three psychological effects on spending too much time in social media sites: Narcissism, ADHD and Stalking.  Friends, you are warned!

Ms. Chay left us with this, “If you cannot say it face to face, don’t post it”.

Pushing advocacies, multimedia reporting, and the stories behind the story

Josh Villanueva encourages students to push their advocacies through Facebook.

Although it is not new to me, Josh Villanueva explains to the crowd that Facebook can be used in pushing one’s advocacies. He said, this can be done in four ways with the help of Facebook Pages:

  1. Mobilizing
  2. Building (because content is the king)
  3. Engaging
  4. Acting

He further adds that with the Philippines as the number 1 socially engaged country, with 30 Million Facebook users in the Philippines, 800 000 of which is from Cebu. One could surely push for his advocacy if the four steps were coupled with determination and perseverance.

Ayee Macaraig would make me realize that anyone, in any place, and any time can be a journalist. Gone indeed are the days of traditional journalism, more so of the print journalism (but I know Pat Evangelista would object to this). With a smart phone, and a microphone, you could record reports, be the witness as news happens.

Ayee Macaraig and Voltaire Tupaz in their skit about Multimedia Journalism.

Lastly, Pat Evangelista shares the stories behind every story. She tells that there is no such thing as objectivity when it comes to journalism because she believes that “How you look at things may color how you write”. She emphasized that it is not the platform that makes the journalist; it is the heart that makes a journalist. When doing the report, it does not actually matter what you say, what matters is how you say it.

And the reason why she writes news is that she cannot forget about her experiences in Maguindanao and she hopes she never will.

Pat Evangelista tells us why she writes stories

BEST Advocacy

I was lucky to be one of the selected people who participated in the workshop given by the Rappler Team. Ms. Natashya Gutierrez mentored our team. We were told to think of an advocacy, create a Facebook page for it, and apply what we have learned from Josh’s talk. Our’s is the BEST (Bisayang Estudyante para sa Saktong Tumong) Advocacy, an advocacy about youth empowerment particularly of the youths coming from the Central Visayas region. Please support us by liking our page here.

With our mentor that day, Natashya Gutierrez

Indeed, attending the #MoveCebu activity was a good decision that I made. I have really learned a lot from it. I even had my copy of “10 days, 10 years From Bin Laden to Facebook” signed by the author herself. Lastly, the most important thing that I learned out of attending the event is this:

“Yes, I am not a journalism student but a Med-tech Student. A med-tech student who has a changed perspective about social media. A med-tech student who has an obligation to be social media smart all the time. A med-tech student who will push my advocacies, be a citizen multimedia journalist when the need arises, and most importantly, share and tell stories”

For responsible Internet usage,

Had my book signed by the author herself.
Chit-chatting with Ms. Maria Ressa.


6th Regional Science Camp 2012

6th Regional Science Camp 2012

High school years were the best years of my life. You wouldn’t know how much you miss it until you go to college, or even post graduate perhaps. High school years were full of countless memories, adventures and even misadventures. Unlike in college where you are being molded into a better person through the courses you need to learn to be able to obtain that degree you have been wanting to finish, in high school, you are being molded into a better person through the experiences, activities, friendships that you develop while you are treading on it.

For the most part of my high school years, it was spent on participating different extra-curricular activities. Surely I wouldn’t be where I am right now, and what I am right now, had it not been because of such activities. One organization I am always grateful of is the Science Club of ZSNHS, and the Science Clubbing experience that I had with them. Now that I am in college, it has always been my desire to pay homage to one of the organizations that have helped me hone my skills.  Continue reading “6th Regional Science Camp 2012”

Mindanaoan thoughts on the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement

Mindanaoan thoughts on the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement
Signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement courtesy of GMANews.tv/Reuters

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh!

International Peace Conference

From the Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers Conference that I attended last month, I have really learned much about Mindanao. I must admit, although I have lived in Mindanao for 19 years and counting, there are many things that I do not know about my homeland. One of which is the conflict between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Peacetech Country Manager Zabra Yu Siwa discussed about the history of Mindanao Conflict. There, we learned about the struggle that dates back to the Spanish Era where the Spanish colonies were not able to fully penetrate the whole island of Mindanao, but only a few places in it, this was due to the strong resistance of the Moro people and because governments that were solidly established during that time such as the Sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao.  Continue reading “Mindanaoan thoughts on the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement”

“It’s the Economy, Student”. GMA schools Pnoy and what I think of it.

Last week, the Philippine Social Media was abuzz with rumors that the former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is going to release a paper which netizens called as “CGMA Paper”. I didn’t know until Paolo Bediones, a media practitioner from TV 5 confirmed through tweeting that the paper is in the works and will be released on January 12, 2012.

Today, at about 2 in the afternoon, then President GMA, released the CGMA Paper entitled, “It’s the Economy, Student!”, thru Arroyo’s former professor from Ateneo de Manila, Dr. Gonzalo Jurado.

Continue reading ““It’s the Economy, Student”. GMA schools Pnoy and what I think of it.”

To the Women of Malo-“lost”?? The new generation of Filipina.

A century ago, Philippines has been under the colony of Spain. For 300 years, we’ve been held in our throats and had experienced many partialities from those Spaniards. During such time also, education was uncertain, it was only given to those who can afford and poor people were left behind, some educational institutions were biased, racist and debasing. To a point, Spain didn’t want Filipinos to learn Spanish, or even just the basic of it, because they were afraid it shall be used against them. Such unfortunate conditions have moved some Filipino scholars to grab education overseas, one of them was Rizal, because they felt that in the overseas, people are more liberal, government is more partial, democracy is tangible, unlike in our own country.

Women during those times were looked down by men, treated lower than men, and were largely deprived of the opportunities that every citizen of a country must enjoy. Only few of them were able to go to church and educate themselves. They were mostly kept at the house, given household chores, knotted in fixed marriages,  and depressingly, became servants to higher class families.

Surprisingly, when Rizal was still in Europe, he had learned about the Women of Malolos. The “Women of Malolos”, a group of women that became famous because of their initiatives to fight for equality in education. Who fought for their rights to be educated despite foreseeable consequences the Spanish Government may implicate to them. This group, because of their courage, astounded Rizal, and made Rizal write a letter dedicated to their heroic and patriotic act and described how women should be acting, should be seen, and how they should bring their selves during those times of hardships. However, it turns out that the letters to the young women of Malolos was not only dedicated to such 20 young women, but the entire women population of the Philippines back then. Were the women of the Philippines now able to continue the legacy of how they were back then? Were they able to maintain to values, morals, and attitudes that Rizal wanted them to possess? Or did they dramatically change a century after? Let’s try to answer it by comparison.

1. Rizal said that women must view the will of God different to that of the priest.  Back then, friars have made Filipinos believed that what they’re doing, they’re doing it in accordance to the laws of God. Despite being a bad action, they shall say it’s according to what God had said, naïve Filipinos were that time, they were likely to believe on the friars as they had viewed them as persons with authority, given that they are the messenger of God. Apparently, many women were in no exempt that time, and while it has become obvious as time went by that some of the actuation of the friars was becoming too abusive, Rizal has seen that such deviates from what God has given them the tasked to be. Rizal shared that women must be very cautious because the will of God is apparently different from the will of the priest.

Nowadays, women are more critical to what they believe in. Like in the latest fuss about the RH Bill where we can see a great debate from the Catholic Church and that of the supporters of the RH Bill. The RH Bill supporters, majority of which are Filipina women, had taken their stand and had been critical in their views and opinions. RH Bill, according to them, advantages them holistically for they are the ones who are in the vulnerable side when it comes to reproductive health- maternal issues, sexual issues, among others. The Catholic Church on the other side had been insinuating that such bill is Anti-Life as it may be promoting commercial family planning that may be abortifacient.

Pro RH or Not, we’ve seen that women nowadays are taking their individual stands to the different issues that concern them. Even to a point that they are risking their selves for excommunication. Unlike a century ago that women weren’t able to see the difference with regards to the actions of the friars, now, women are more involved, more educated, and more open to their views and stands.

2. Rizal said that women must have prudence, a good judgment of the just and unjust.

History will tell you how Philippines had succumbed to the abuses of the Spaniards, how good judgment of the just and unjust was lost in vain, how they had submitted their selves passively to the wrong doings of some. Because of this, Rizal tried to awaken the spirits of Filipina women regarding the changes, particularly the lost judgment of the just and the unjust.

Now, it’s like history repeats itself, not that severe though. Filipina women sometimes compromise their good judgment of the just and unjust taking into consideration the many factors that they’re considering, such as poverty. We see women trying to sell their selves, women engaging in social crimes, women allowing their selves to be taken advantage, because they sometimes believe that their compromising is for a greater cause. On the other hand, there are also women who had lived up having good judgment, who does not allow to be taken advantage, who does not allow to be trespassed.

3. Women must seek to be educated.

Remember the reason why Rizal wrote the letter, it’s because he got astounded by the courage of the women to have their selves educated, despite the disapproval of the Spanish friars for they were afraid to have Filipinos educated.

Now, education is not scarce anymore for it is being offered for free by the government, even some up to college. However, some women now are in direct opposite to how they were before. If before, they had struggled to get their selves educated, they had longed for education, now it seems that many youths (men and women) had totally forgotten the essence of education and had taken it for granted. We see young people not able to finish school, we see them impregnated earlier because of their peers, we see them asking for alms in the street. Poverty, always the reason that they say. But, what about those women back in Rizal’s time. They were not only poor, they were oppressed, they lack supplies that shall complement and supplement their needs for education, but they did not lose hope. How about some young people now? Where are we going? Are the actions we are doing will make us educated? Think about it.

4. As a partner, she must be loved not only because of her beauty and her amiable character, but also because of her fortitude and loftiness.

How common it is that when we ask some men as to how they got attracted to their partners would they say it’s because of the face, the looks. But Rizal has said that those shouldn’t be the only premises why you would court a girl, why you would try to have a relationship, you must also love her of her being fortitude and loftiness.

But what is fortitude and what if loftiness? Fortitude in my laptop’s dictionary is defined as the courage in pain while loftiness is defined us noble and exalted nature.

This message goes out to young men like me, we must not only consider loving a girl because of her looks, because of her character, but we must also love her courage especially in pain, in dealing with her problems and we must always respect her noble and exalted nature. Let’s not just chase her and immediately hurt her. Let’s not be polygamous and let’s make ways to get even with her love, courage, character and loftiness.

To the young women now, may you always maintain such character especially when you’re in a relationship.  We see some of your sisters now exactly the opposite of it, chasing men instead of being chased, involving their selves in a relationship that doesn’t even last long, changing partners as often as they would change clothes. Remember that respect begets respect, and in order for us, young men, respect you as our partners, may you give us all the reasons why we have to.

5. As a wife, she must aid her husband, inspire him with courage, share his perils, refrain from causing him worry and sweeten his moments of affliction, always remembering that there is no grief that a brave heart ca not bear.

Dating back in the Spanish era, or even before it, wives have been perceived by the society as the counterpart of their husband. They are expected to be the support person in times of difficulties faced by the husband. And fortunately, such attitude has not been wiped off in our culture, only that there are changes now. If before, wives would have stayed in their homes, now, wives too are trying to make a living to support what the husband brings. It is just so fulfilling in our parts that we have such practice while some other countries do not. May we be able to maintain it, because in cooperation there is progress. If there’s cooperation there’s unity. And if there’s unity, problems would be easier to face.

6. Lastly, as a Mother, women should bring up her child the way God would want her to be, not the friars.

Rizal cited the example of Spartan mothers with this. Spartan women were known to have loved their children so much that they make it to a point to make the most out of their children’s , particularly their son, first 7 years before getting them go into concentration camps. Spartan women were known to be courageous, not afraid even of their king, and because of the courage they possess and the love of their children, no enemy was able to put his feet upon her, or hostile army against her.

Modern Filipina women are close to their children. It has been the tradition of us, the mothers would really take the lead role in rearing her child. Filipinas are not far from Spartan women. They both loved their child, and protected them. But time changes, everything changes inevitably, while we maintain the numbers of mothers just like that of the Spartan mothers, there comes this new generation of mothers, particularly those unready mothers, who had taken their children for granted, who had aborted them, who had deprived their children the privilege to live, who had prevented their children to enjoy their rights simply because they are not ready to be mothers and they cannot put their children’s happiness above of theirs. To the young women now, may you be enlightened with what has happened with your fellow Filipina sisters, how would you be able to be the Spartan Mother if you’re not ready yet, indeed, you must have a deep calculations of the actions you do, because as a child, I would want to see other mothers just like the Spartan Mother.

And so this brings us to the conclusion. Do we still have the women of Malolos now? Or were they lost in time? The answer for me would be yes but there’s a big BUT. While we still see women just like that of the women in Malolos, the number is slowly decreasing. If this is allowed to continue, we might not let the future Filipinos know how it is to have them, Women of Malolos in the Modern age, around. We need to think it over. We need to save this characters that Rizal would have wanted us to have. He never failed us, let’s not fail him.