Category Archives: Thoughts

Citizen Journalism: Verified or Violated?

By: Brett Andrew Rikke P. Bungcayao

     Citizen journalism has been a fruitful product of digitalization since news, knowledge and information has reached not only nation borders but international territories as well. Video-sharing platforms has been a good avenue for citizen journalists and news organizations to produce informative and in-depth content that viewers can appreciate. Ironically, with the continuous progression of citizen journalism, questions like “does reliable fact-checking exist” since news organizations would tend to air their reports real-time do they have an ample time to verify these facts and do they check if videos being contributed are attributed properly and does not violate copyright issues. Although restricted rules still aren’t mandated in citizen journalism, and the only thing that it would require you is your basic knowledge on writing and simple videography skills, wouldn’t it be nice that these contributors (citizen journalists) have enough training, not rigid but sufficient training that would equip them the necessary knowledge that real journalists practice – truth, objectivity and accuracy should always be practiced and known even though you are not journalist by profession. Indeed, citizen journalism is unstoppable and while it offers great interactivity and have accessed numerous information portals, there will always perils along the way.

Photo by: Amazonaws

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By the Grace of God

By: Brett Andrew Rikke P. Bungcayao

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  Catholic devotees religiously observe practices and traditions in celebration on the passion and death of Jesus Christ during Holy Week. It also becomes an opportunity to become vulnerable amidst solemnity, to become sad but regain strength and happiness, right in time for Easter Sunday, when our Christ has risen.

   It wasn’t grand, nor was it stellar – but I’d like to define my past week as a spiritual renewal, a newfound strength and happiness and a week that was full of passion. I was fascinated how churches got so crowded during the Holy Week – but I noticed that there were so many Catholics that attended Palm Sunday rather than Easter Sunday. Was it a connotation that Christ’s death is more celebrated than his resurrection? Perhaps. Because it bothered me that there we large gaps between seats in the parish I attended last Sunday.

   Resting wasn’t even a part of my week. Amidst academic overload, I just couldn’t find the balance between relax and stress. I was busy lay outing our magazine project- and I was so desperate in watching Korean Dramas stuck in my waiting list – but I had to finish my requirements first- and there were a lot. My entire week, I devoted it to the completion of these requirements – hopelessly hoping that somehow, I could lessen my workload this week. It was a struggle, and there are times I was unthankful for it – but I became optimistic enough to have reasons to be thankful for. First, it ignited my passion. I’ve always wanted to become a part of a magazine staff. Back in my high school days, I was frugal just to save money for a new issue. I was so into lay outing, that’s why when the magazine project came, I just got excited and for the past whole week, I just did what I had to do just so that I can impress my classmates and the outcome would somehow be “phenomenal.” Second, I came to realize that I was a creative person. I just steadily and freely let my creative juices flow as I got to explore more functions of Microsoft Publisher.

   I knew it was a bad thing to curse during Holy Week – but my mouth uncontrollably twitches and I’d always say bad words whenever my mom would interrupt my work and ask me to clean the house. It was a burden to be washing the dishes every day, cleaning the rooms and even the backyard. Thank God burning was prohibited during that week, it could have been respiratory-challenging since the smoke and fumes would become so bothersome and irritating. But I liked cleaning, and I loved the fact that I had time to arrange my books and magazines, change my bed sheets and add mega Jadine posters unto my walls.

   Holy Week would make you realize that you should pause, take a break and find yourself again. And so I did. I did things I wouldn’t usually do in school weekdays (but in between I was editing out reports and the magazine). So I bought a copy of Cosmopolitan’s April issue and with Bella Padilla on the cover and Metro’s March issue fronted by Maja Salvador .I also must confess that I still haven’t read since I really can’t escape from lay outing.  I vowed myself that I’d read them this week, but the chances are slim to none.

   Last week was also a time of vulnerability and reminiscing the past. Yes I shed some tears, and it was a psychologically-relieving and an effective way to keep stress away. Last week I was able to copy The Space Between Us and man did it made me sobbing like crazy! It was a compelling love story of two individual and it seemed that the galaxies and planets keep them away from each other. Gardner and Tulsa’s love story was groundbreaking and gravity-defying as they proved that a young man from Mars and a girl from earth could pursue their love. It made me realize that gravity isn’t the strongest force there is but love. Love is magnetically attractive, painfully repulsive and naturally connective – and so id God’s love for us. According to the Holy Scriptures specifically John 3:16:  For God so loved the World, He gave us His only Son. That whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

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   Jesus Christ’s love has been so strong that he sacrificed his life for us – and His passion and death is the sole reason why we are celebrating the Holy Week. It was a time for penance and sacrifice. God didn’t take up our crosses because we did good things, but He was merciful enough to forgive us.

  Abstinence was also a must for us Catholics as we avoided eating meat until Easter Sunday comes.

   Jesus Christ suffered the cross, and it was fitting that we should also suffer (even just a bit). For the past Holy Weeks in my entire life, I found myself resenting the fact that there wasn’t a wide variety of television shows to watch. But last week, I found myself thankful especially to MMK’s Courageous Katie episode starred by Shaina Magdayao (who gave me goosebumps with her superb acting skills) and JC De Vera (who made me smile… because he was striking and handsome). The scene where Katie was rushed to the hospital up to her death – I just couldn’t stop crying. Then I looked for our mirror and gazed at my reflection, and it made me realize how unfair life was. Why do Kathryn Bernardo, Liza Soberano and Nadine Lustre cry flawlessly in movies, and us ordinary people… well, we look like uhm, crap? Bugling eyes and runny nose? It’s just unjustifiable. Anyways, the Maalaala Mo Kaya episode made me think that death is really inevitable, so we must make the most of our lives and make it meaningful. We must do good deeds and face every step of our lives with courage. We must not be afraid of death because there will come a time that we will all be with Him.

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Lastly, the past Holy Week taught me to appreciate my family more just as Mama Mary took care of his Son until his last breath. I ended my week with so much forgiveness, so much strength, passion and inspiration. I got to spend a lot of quality time with my family last Sunday. It felt so renewing and empowering because God’s revival and resurrection gives me a new hope that I can conquer everything (and perhaps finish my academic requirements on time). Last week made me realize that life is not full of suffering but there’s also happiness. You can only achieve happiness if you’re strong enough to admit your mistakes and be humble enough to ask forgiveness. Making mistakes is quite normal since we are human beings all characterized by imperfections and shortcomings, but it doesn’t mean that we have to do it all the time just because we have a forgiving God. Doing good deeds, following God’s commandments, being humble and kind is the answer in this world of chaos and sinfulness.

   I felt more beautiful, stronger, bolder, fiercer, braver and smarter after the Holy Week and I’m thankful that I got to experience these things because it plays a big part in my personality development. Long live Jesus Christ! More passionate and reflective Holy Weeks to come for me, and for all of us. By the grace of God, I picked myself back up again.

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Virtual Sentiments: A Review On The Raissa Robles Blog

By: Brett Andrew Rikke P. Bungcayao

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS JUST AN ACADEMIC REQUIREMENT. INQUIRIES FROM STRANGERS ARE NOT TO BE ENTERTAINED AND REACTIONS FROM HATERS ARE STRICTLY NOT ALLOWED.

     Blogging. It’s a profession, a business and it can be lucrative since it would require you online presence. Enter media. Tools that are basically meant to transmit information from the sender to the receiver. First it was conceived as a means to communicate a message from a source to a large number of people, hence mass media, and now to a more interactive model, the focus has moved from one-to-many to one-too-many. Now everything has something to say. On Twitter and on blogs. Everyone has a publishable opinion virtually projected in various platforms. While the virtual realm of blogging is fed with various fields like fashion, food and travel – opinion-blogging still matters and remains to become relevant.  One of these controversial blogs is being updated by a seasoned journalist, Raissa Robles.

  Raissa Robles is the author of the blog under her name with the tagline: Inside Philippine Politics and Beyond. She is married to Alan Robles, another famous journalist who own the HOTMANILA. Both of them are opinion bloggers bravely making their blogs as an avenue to air their innermost sentiments towards current happenings in government systems as well as political issues. Most of the topics you’d find is their criticism towards the Marcos government and don’t be surprised if you’d notice that there are excessive articles about President Rodrigo Duterte – eventually they are against the EJK (Extra-Judicial Killings). As journalists, they might come off too strong and tactless – but in the perspective of opinion-blogging- what they’re doing might be ethical.

      There is evident clarity, coherence and fluency in the use of the English language throughout their blog posts. Given that their journalists, they already have a background on the usage of correct grammar, syntax and sentence structures. In fact, they use really deep English words! (Check out this link: https://www.raissarobles.com/2017/02/12/subverting-democracy-how-a-popular-elected-leader-can-impose-authoritarian-rule/ – She shares her sentiments about authoritarianism evident on President Duterte.)

     Name-calling is very much observed as she calls our current President, Rodrigoon and his supporters as Dutertards. In fact it doesn’t only exists in blogs, but it also extends in social media as she actively shares her blog posts and quotes it accusingly. As for mudslinging, there are tons of accusations that have damaged the reputation of President Rodrigo Dutere and the late Ferdinand Marcos. (Check this posts: https://www.raissarobles.com/2017/04/02/oust-leni-rally-now-circulating-petition-urging-duterte-to-declare-a-revolutionary-government-and-revert-to-marcos-martial-law-constitution and https://www.raissarobles.com/2017/02/24/have-we-failed-edsa/ ) Information (not all) might be verfied since there are back-up data that supports their claims. There are statistics, archives (of past news reports that really happened) and statements from important sources and prominent government agencies and organizations. As for blog content providers, the blog doesn’t succumb to unscientifc surveys as well, tests and unreliable sources. She uses statistics, fugures and statements from national agenices that are credible.

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       In terms of principles, truth-telling might not be present at all times since it is still an opinion blog after all. It has become a tool in providing justice as netizens who have an aptitude towards political issues become intereseted and knowledgable. Contents of this blog are aimed to give justice to certain happenings especially EJK and Martial Law. Freedom is basically practied by the author since there isn’t a resstriced flow of expression and opinions. There’s no specific length per article or there isn’t anything that’s keeping her to speak up. Any issues, she finds an angle and she exposes how she wants it. As journalists in the field of blogging, it is understandable to put people in power accountable, but to destroy reputations and call them names, it is very inhumane. Stewardship as means of being responsible is slightly observed.

     Out of thre ethical commands, there are only two that are religiously observed. The blog definitely aims to seek the truth since all these opinions are aimed to expose, make a noise and persudae people to be courageous enough to know the truth about politics and Philippine governannce. The blog also acts independently since there are no advertisments  also acts independently since there are no advertisments or pop-up ads that could possibly finance the blog. The author is also accountable for things she posts as she gives time to respond to comments. But to minimize harm? Defnietely not, because the Comments section alone is enough proof that while some may take her stand, some refuse and choose to fight back with their own opinions.

Click the link and visit her blog: https://www.raissarobles.com/

 

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Pollution is a product of our insensitive acts towards the environment. According to statistics, every year we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste. If all this waste was put on trucks they would go around the world 24 times (The World Counts). Repetitiously, we become too dependent towards garbage trucks and collectors or simply burn it together with dried leaves to lessen the garbage we have at home.

Even though garbage bags and trash bins exist, we tend to litter everywhere-whenever we like. We never fear the consequences. Environmental degradation in land is an effect of improper garbage disposal, what could be worse is when we throw our garbage in bodies of water which can contaminate as well as suffocate the species living in it.

The accumulated garbage can even produce air pollution since it is a mixture of junk and filthy rubbish that can give a displeasing scent and aura to the environment. Through improper garbage disposal, we are only increasing the chances of destroying nature’s incredible beauty.We are given the responsibility to change our old habits and change the environment’s current situation.

If change doesn’t start among us, then our environment wouldn’t change as well.

Sources: The World Counts (n.d) Tons of waste dumped this year. Retrieved from http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/shocking_environmental_facts_and_statistics/world_waste_facts