Last April 28, 2018, BS Development Communication students from the University of the Philippines Los Baños were invited to attend the #FactsMatterPH Bootcamp held in the headquarters of Rappler. The event was organized by Rappler inviting campus journalists from Metro Manila and the nearby provinces. The campus publications that are present are Plaridel from De La Salle University, Matanglawin from Ateneo De Manila University, *insert MC, PUP*, The Lance from San Beda, The Philippine Collegian from University of the Philippines Diliman, and our very own, The Los Baños Time from the University of the Philippines Los Baños.
The event started with the registration from 8:30 am to 9 am then followed by an icebreaker activity, the Human Bingo, wherein participants of the boot camp would get to know each other, and the activity winners were all from UPLB. After the activity was an Introduction or the Opening Remarks by the Rappler CEO herself, Ms. Maria Ressa. “It’s not a good time to be a journalist but there’s absolutely no better time to be a journalist.”, Maria Ressa added that the country needs more journalists today more than ever with the rise of the fake news and that it is not only the Philippines which needs more young journalists like us but also the world today because of the rampant increase of fake news is also present like in the case of the United States wherein President Trump won allegedly because of fake news that has been spread in Facebook.
During the lunch break of the program, Angeline, Sam and I had the chance to interview one of the writers of Rappler, Ms. Abigail Abigan. She was also the one who invited us to the bootcamp. We reached out to her first through one of our groupmates, Sam Sutare, and she said we could interview her during the break of the bootcamp and that we are required to attend since she is the head of the event. Prior to the bootcamp in the Rapper headquarters, Rappler already held a #FactsMatterPH forum and workshop in UPLB particularly in the NCAS auditorium and in the CDC LR 1 last April 23, Monday and we already attended the event since some of our Devcom subjects required us to attend so we were thinking if the concepts discussed in the forums we have attended would be repeated in the #FactsMatterPH bootcamp but to our surprised, we experienced something new that redefined the traditional seminar on fake news since there were activities, discussions, and engagements from different universities.
In today’s information society where every bit of information counts due to its accessibility in the internet, many people easily believe anything they see from any source especially online sources since it is the easiest way to retrieve information by just typing queries in the search bar. Some people take advantage of the current situation, by brainwashing people through the spread of fake news online.
One of the media outlets greatly affected by this is Rappler. Ever since the Duterte administration, they have been under fire especially by Duterte Die-Hard supporters (DDS) giving them hate comments and threatening them. Now, they are being attacked to be shut down, but they are fighting back by targeting fake news since it is one of the cause why the country is shifting, and it can even reach and influence politics. Because of this, Rappler has organized #FactsMatterPH where students, professors, and citizens of the country may take part and delved into the discussion of fake news. Aside from this, they also held a #FactsMatterPH workshop in UPLB CDC and #FactsMatterPH bootcamp in their headquarters.
The two most important lessons I learned is first, to never believe anything you see online and second, to think twice before sharing and before engaging in an online argument filled only with hate. Before, I was astonished by how some people have so many likes but now I know that some of these likes may be from bots and fake accounts and that they pay for these as their intentions is really to proliferate fake news so as responsible netizens it is our job to make sure to double check before we share anything online as we do not know the limits of the reach of our post as anyone can see this and be influence by what we share online.
Last April 3 and 4, 2018, the UP Alliance of Development Communication Students held a film showing at the NCAS Auditorium in UPLB which screened the movie “Paki (Please Care)” directed by Giancarlo Abrahan.
Paki is a Filipino film about an old woman wanting to divorce her husband of 50 years who has been continuously cheating on her, but their children do not support their mother’s decision causing a family conflict. The film revolves around the family, their own lives, and how they have been casting aside their mother, prioritizing their own life. The mother realizes this and asked one of her daughters if there is an “ex-child” where a mother can abandon their child like “ex-husband” where a married couple will be no longer related. The mother goes out on her own causing a panic to her family and they realized how much they really love their mother in the process as one of her daughters has been calling out to her when she was in the hospital. The film ended with all of them laughing together and despite all the troubles, they are the only ones who will be there for each other. From watching this film, I remembered my family and how I ignored them focusing on my academics and I reflected that as I’m aging, my family are also getting older and that there will come a time that we won’t be meeting as much as before so I want to spend more time with my family and tell them more that I love them.
The UPLB Grange Association held a film showing event last March 14 and 15, 2018 at the UPLB NCAS Auditorium. They also promoted their event in the social media where they had a ticket giveaway in Twitter. Many students and professors attended the event.
Watching “Si Chedeng at si Apple” was a liberating experience for me. For some who watched it, they see it as “sketchy” and the person who was watching beside me said she couldn’t take what she was watching like it was very shocking for her. This made me realize how open I am to these realities happening in our society. That there exist married women with kids who haven’t told their families about their sexuality, that young men and very old women can be in a relationship or can have one-night stands, that there is polygamy in some areas in the Philippines, and that there can be instances of incest in some Filipino families. To other who watched this and was not ready to see it as something normal, it can be a shocking experience while for me who is open-minded and aware that these things exist in our society, I was entertained and interested in those scenes because these are not usually shown in media.
What people watch and see in the media influences them and sometimes it normalizes some things like today in the Philippine media, there are a lot of extramarital affairs that some people may say “Nambababae? Normal na yan, diba sa TV lahat ganun.” So in effect, when people watch TV, they have this vicarious experience where they see it as the reality now and when they turn it off, they go back to their own realities. In relation to SOSC 3, the film depicted that there are many Filipinos who are lesbian or bisexual as seen in the part where they go to a club full of lesbian or bisexual women and the character said that they don’t need to go hiding like in the past because today’s time is more open to different genders. It was great that the main character, “Chedeng” was bisexual because it had a stronger influence on the audience since it holds power being the main role making the audience pay more attention to her and her story since she is the “bida” of the film. For me, I think there should be more films like “Si Chedeng at si Apple” so that more people would be aware of the different realities some may not accept or considered controversial to others that are taking place in the Philippine setting.
8 days to go before the election day and the leading candidates remain consistent as though they will win the elections.
I hate this feeling of powerlessness – you can’t do anything to change the situation. It’s already happening and I, as an average person in this country cannot do anything.
I try to influence others but the scope of this election is nationwide. The only thing I can do for now is to share in my social networking accounts hoping it will reach my friends’ feeds.
Seeing how hopeless things are, I just wish that whoever wins will serve this country with sincerity and integrity. I hope I was the one wrong, that maybe they can really make change happen.
Unang pagkakataong maranasan,
Palarong naiiba sa kinagisnan,
Malayo sa tahanan,
Galingan sa laban.
Sugat mula sa laro’y andito,
Napagod, nasaktan at nabato,
Time may be limitless, but our time together is limited.
Taken in Teacher’s Camp, Baguio City last November 2015.
I will never forget this place that gave me different kinds of experiences in a time where everything is new to me – I recently graduated from high school and entered college, first time to join an organization and socialize with a broader community, and first time to be given a responsibility so big that it felt like it was now or never. 2015 was a big year for me; a combination of great and worst. And even though it’s gone, I can honestly say that I’m glad it’s over and although I miss it, I don’t want to bring it back.
Troubling times, these are.
Confusing moments, unsure.
Everything has no sense.
in a faraway place,
where I’ll be going.
Right now, I just don’t know,
If this is the right thing I’m doing,
I just keep on going, hoping
I’ll find myself in the process of finding.
And this is where you’ll see me leaving.
Throwback to these pictures, it was taken in Australia last summer 2015.
I don’t know why people hate goodbyes. Maybe because they are attached to certain things they can’t let go. People are adaptable beings and when they get used to the same routine happening everyday, they find it difficult to adjust to new things.
I’m a different person. I like the idea of leaving. It gives me the notion of getting to the better part. I consider myself sentimental who values memories and yet I can easily let go. What I do with loneliness is that I replace it doing the things I like. I immerse myself with workload so that I don’t get to think so much.
Right now, I am adjusting, later on I will be adjusted and sooner, I will leave again.
In this life, I know I’ll be leaving again and again and I hope you get the courage to let go of things and I hope you also let go of your personal attachments. So that when it’s time, you know you’re ready to go.