Friday, June 02, 2006


I’m breaking my over-a-month-long’s-blog-silence. And first posts after being mum for quite a time are usually full of issues and updates. Information over load downloading…

DEMOCRACY SUMMER FEST: Civic Engagement Module
Last May 17-21, 2006, I was one of the 50 luckiest young people in this millennial generation to participate in a Civic Engagement Module sponsored by the US Embassy. It was a great experience, getting to know and interact with student leaders oozing with so much idealism and hope. I was inspired myself to continue and even do better to make a difference in this poverty-stricken country. Let the power of the youth reign! It all starts with us.

I got sick and my taste buds haven’t completely recovered. I force down at least two tablets per meal and I’m surprised why I’m still walking vertically from the ground. Earlier this evening, the grossest insect on the planet by the name of cockroach was flying around the room and had it pooped on my McDonald’s Chicken Meal, I would still have loved it to the very last bone (eeeyeeew!) without an ounce of suspicion that I just committed the gravest Vianney’s rights violation. Ugh! Anyway, I am getting better although my appetite has changed a bit and something is always gurgling in my stomach. Side effects? Maybe.

I was thrust into the colorful, hectic, and deadline-beating world of journalism through the theories and practical exposures of Mrs. Maria Theresa “Mayette” Q. Tabada, the event coverages from Ms. Pura L. Kintanar, and the beauty of meeting new and different people from Mr. Michael “Myke” U. Obenieta.

I am one lucky budding writer because these people gave me the chance to blot my name on the paper they work for as early as second year in college and they continuously and patiently give me the opportunity to develop myself in the field.

But this internship aimed to go beyond the special pages and features section and envisioned the young UPian Mass Communication student as someone versatile and well-equipped with skills for print, radio, and television. ‘Yan ang tatak UP!

Because my stint as a news writer for Tug-ani was brief (and high school campus journalism is way too different), I had generally forgotten that working in a newsroom involves a lot of constraints and experiences, as well. So now I recount my print internship days with both pain and pleasure -- pain because the experiences and memories were good and I hate the thought of bidding the newsroom and all the wonderful people and experiences in it goodbye, and pleasure because even if I had shed tears and sweat for this internship, I would never trade the lessons I learned from it for anything else in the world.

I would have to say that the highlight of this internship lay not on the number of articles I published during the entire period. The highlight lay not on the number of free meals I savored and definitely not on the perks of covering an event. Sure, published articles translate to points and points translate to grades, but there’s such a thing as the school of hard knocks, where one learns important bits of lessons like (s)he never will in the four corners of the classroom. As my father told me many years ago, not everything in this world can be graded. And indeed, I found those precious gems in the people directly or indirectly associated with the profession, down to the least likely news source to the writers up to the editors and the big news makers. These people have enriched me with wisdom that two months of exposure in the field can’t completely give. I felt like I have been in this job since forever! I felt what it is like to be a print journalist in two months, but the knowledge I gained from it can span as far as two decades…two centuries…

It’s true that there are two ways in which you learn: the first is through your own experience, and the second is through other people’s experiences. Hence, this internship was a healthy blend of both the former and the latter – with enough lessons that kept my spirits strong but planted both my feet firmly on the ground.

No comments: