Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Journalism… from the experts themselves.

The Inkblots 2005 is seminar/workshop attended by different student publications from all over The Philippines. The event, also known as the National Journalism Fellowship, is organized by University of Santo Tomas’ official student publication “The Varsitarian”. Held in Thomas Aquinas Research Complex and Beato Angelico Building, University of Santo Tomas from October 17-19, 2005, The seminar/workshop is a three-day series of lectures on news writing, features writing, culture and lifestyle writing, cartooning, broadcast journalism, campus paper management among others. I and staffers Patricia Aurora Cruz, German John Sipin and Associate Editor Mary Claire Mercado represented Heraldo Filipino, the official student publication of De La Salle University- DasmariƱas. Mr. Christopher Gabriel, Student Publications Director of DLSU-D, attended the event also.

The first day was held at the Thomas Aquinas Research Complex. It was started by Charie Villa, a former Reuters correspondent who is now part of ABS CBN. She relayed her experiences on being a journalist for more than a decade. After the keynote speech it was followed by lectures on Investigative Journalism by Sheila Coronel of Philippine Center on Investigative Journalism [PCIJ], Filipino literature by Michael Coroza and Culture and Lifestyle writing Ruel De Vera, a Philippine Daily Inquirer writer. The lectures were very informative and the speakers entertained questions from the audience. Mr. Coroza and Mr. De Vera livened up the discussion with their sense of humor. The lectures ended around 6 PM after that an opening cocktails followed however, the Heraldo Filipino team did not attend due to time constraint.

On the second day, the seminar was moved to the Beato Angelico Building. Two lectures were delivered on that morning first was News writing conducted by another Inquirer writer, Luige Del Puerto followed by Features writing conducted by Mr. Nestor Cuartero, entertainment editor of Tempo and feature writer of Manila Bulletin. The latter conducted a “mock” press conference to test the participants’ skill on writing. The “mock” press conference featured Champ, the lead vocalist of the popular band Hale. Several participants (mostly girls) lined up to ask questions to Champ. However a lot of time was consumed for that activity since the participants also asked for an autograph and to take their picture with Champ. When the speaker noticed that he is running out of time he announced that they will not entertain “questions and requests” for Champ anymore. He then asked the participants to write a lead for an article that will talk about the aforementioned activity. His comments on our pieces was that it was more of a “news lead” rather than a “features lead” but staffer Patricia Cruz was commended for her lead since it was creatively written and not stiff. On the afternoon session of the seminar, there were four parallel sessions lined up namely Photojournalism by Ernie Sarmiento, Cartooning by Rene Aranda of The Philippine Star, Column writing by Rina Jimenez David and Broadcast Journalism by Arnold Clavio of GMA 7. However, we were not able to attend all of the sessions since we were asked to choose only one session since all four sessions will be done simultaneously. The HF team picked cartooning by Rene Aranda. Aranda discussed that what is important in drawing an editorial cartoon is the concept. He also cleared that sometimes not all he draws is exactly the same way he felt. He said that it is the paper’s stand and not his personal conviction. After his discussion he asked the delegates to make an editorial cartoon base on the topic Calibrated Pre-emptive Response. Later on he selected the three best editorial cartoons and fortunately two members of the Heraldo Filipino made the cut, yours truly garnered third place and German placed second. Aranda commended my concept despite the lack of artistic style and he liked the sarcasm of Sipin’s work [He referred the hosing down of the rallyists as “patubig ni Gloria”]. After the parallel session we went home.
The third and final day of Inkblots started with a Plenary Session with Christian Esguerra, former Editor in Chief of ‘The Varsitarian” and currently working with The Philippine Daily Inquirer. He discussed Campus Paper Management; he was an effective speaker since he really knows what he is talking about and is experienced with the topic. He also gave advice to the student publications that are having conflicts with their school administration. After that session was the lecture on Sports writing with seasoned sports analyst Quinito Henson. He also conducted a “mock” press conference, the guests were coach Ryan Gregorio, rookie Jondan Salvador and veteran Richard Yee coming from Purefoods, a team from the Philippine Basketball Association [PBA]. This time several guys lined up to have their chance to ask questions to the three. After that Mr. Henson asked the participants to write an article about the press conference. He picked top five articles and unfortunately no one from HF made the list. The winners were awarded with Chunkee corned beef gift packs. The next lecture was about Journalism Ethics delivered by Marites Vitug, publisher and editor in chief of Newsbreak. The last activity was a Panel discussion and open forum with the topic on the dangers of being a journalist. Panelists include Alice Colet Villaloid, a former New York Times correspondent, Jiggy Manicad, a GMA 7 reporter and Glenda Gloria, managing editor of Newsbreak. It was enriching activity since the speakers gave out sensible answers to the questions raised by the respondents. However Ms. Villaloid talks so much that she took a lot of time when she answers questions which sometimes bores the delegates. To cap off the night and the whole seminar as well the organizers conducted a Fellowship night where the different student publications are expected to mingle and share experiences. But due to the fact that we live in a far place and it’s not really practical to stay that late we decided not to attend the said activity.
Inkblots 2005 is one of the best conferences, campus journalists could be a part of. This is where student writers learn from the people who know well how powerful the media is. It inspires the student scribes to further hone their talent because we after all are destined to be at the forefront of the media industry in the future.

Friday, October 14, 2005


I had my last exam today [Philippine Constitution] and I have submitted my final paper [Introduction to Communcation Theory].
Now I have no more academic worries..... woohooo!!!
To sum up the past months of my life, let me share to you some of this semester's higlights:
  • Of course, My big achievement for this semester is being a part of Heraldo Filipino[HF]. I learned a lot during my 3 month stay so far. I have met a lot of people, from our editors to my fellow staff to the different people I have interviewed. I have learned how to overcome some of my inhibitions and work professionally. Plus, I finally put to practice what I love doing, writing. I'm not a "good" journalist yet but I know I will be someday. Seeing my articles for the first on print is something that I will cherish for a long time.
  • The subjects this semester are more interesting than what I have taken up the previous semesters. I obtained better grades [I have gotten my first grade of 4.00, the highest grade in my school,for my REED class]. I hope to be a Dean's lister but I'm not holding my breath. The most memorable subject will be Art Appreciation, where my leadership skills was tested as I have been designated as Assistant Producer for our theater play. Fortunately, the turn out was a success.
  • The population of my class,JOU21, went down. Some shifted to another course, some have to stop because of financial difficulties while others just vanished without a trace.But also this semester we welcome shiftees and a transferee namely Gerard,Daryl and Jennifer. We also had a classmate who is part of our block but she only have one class with us, Pauline. And I must that girl is smart, she was the one who had the initial idea of doing the [award winning] story of "Sayaw sa Dilim" that we performed.
  • I joined La Sallian Speech Club but I'm disappointed since I did not really enjoy being part of it. I guess I had high expectations. It was the same feeling I felt with Friends of the Library[FL] last year. Speaking of FL, I was the Vice President of that club for a month but I have to resign since HF has this policy that the staff are prohibited to be officers of any student organizations since it might cause a conflict of interest. I must say FL is a better club compared last year, I'm so proud with the current officers.

Another chapter of my college journey comes to an end. I'm looking forward for more "adventures" for the coming semesters.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

And the award goes to...

Broadcast Journalism 2-1!

Our class won the Best Play in our Art Appreciation class. We bested out 5 other classes. We also won Best Actress and Best Screenplay. Actually we did not receive trophy, plaque or anything; just a simple "Certificate of Participation".Don't get me wrong I'm not being maarte, I'm okay with a certificate but it would have been nice if they have given us certificate of recognition rather than a certificate of participation. Anyways, The fact that we won is aready one big achievement. All the hardwork paid off. My classmates we're cooperative even the irregular students also help to make our play a success [oh... there is one who did not help but she rarely attends class] I salute all of them, the actors and the production people. Compared to our [horrendous] performance in Buwan ng Wika last year, this production prove that our class could do great when it comes to class presentations. As the assistant producer, I'm really proud that everything went smoothly. I just hope this will continue until we reach our major subjects wherein we need to really work hard because as I have observed with the upperclassmen, the productions they do are really difficult and delicate.

More Power to Broadcast Journalism Batch 4!

Sunday, October 09, 2005


....of Embarassment

Yesterday, we had our Foreign Dance Competition. As expected my group, "The Yellow Earth" dance from China made a big mess. The boys of our class were combined with Management and Marketing students and all of us did bad on our performance. Our timing sucks, we our not in unison, some forgot the steps, in short it was a nightmare! Plus our drums that we paid for 450 pesos was a joke, the drums were obviously rushed and it really looks awful. We felt cheated. One the hosts for that program was annoying, he keeps cracking up lame jokes that only he finds funny. The girls of our class who were merged with Psychology students did fine. They performed Japanese Parasol. I did not finish the program becasue I know we will not win anyway an I'm really exhausted both physically and mentally. I'm glad that this thing is over.
....of Pride
After that unforgettable experience, I went to HF's office and I was informed that the second issue of HF will be circulated today. I was excited since this is my "official debut" as student scribe. When I first hold a copy of HF2 I immediately search for my articles, two of my articles are at the front page. I felt an overwelming feeling of joy. After three months on working on my articles, I finally see it on print. Maybe to some it may sound corny and mushy but as you know this is my first time to write for a school paper and ever since I was a child I have always dream of it. Finally it happened and I'm so glad. It's worth the wait.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I am disappointed.
I cant seem to do things as I hope for. Yesterday, I had my speech for my Speech and Oral communication class and I failed to deliver it well. Although I did not hear a feedback from my professor I just know that I will not get the grade I want. Sometimes there are stuff that dont need to be verbalize for me to get the message. I messed it up. My topic was not that interesting plus I delivered it bad. I mis pronounced words, I have poor diction plus I was really conscious on forgetting that I glance constantly on my piece which is so wrong since it will really look that I am just reading my piece rather than speaking it from the heart. That was my problem, I did not spoke from the heart. I just talk and read the words. I was impressed with my classmate Nelly who gave a good speech. Her was speech was moving, she was honest and sincere, qualities that I lack. Delivering a speech is not just using deep words or voice projection but really having the knowledge on what you are talking about. The speech may have a nice content but if the speaker is like machine operated who just throw out words the speech will not be effective. Lastly, the reason for the speech must be to express and not to impress.
Another lesson learned.