Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Archive for July, 2012

Let the Bosses Evaluate

President Aquino giving his SONA while Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (left side of the picture) and House Speaker Sonny Belmonte (on the right) listens. Photo courtesy of pcoo.gov.ph

After one and a half hour, 8,890 words, and a three-year review of the present administration, the nation listened to President Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA). For once again, we were able to look back at his accomplishments, expect new expectations, and evaluate what transpired in our nation under his government.

It was no extraordinary SONA. Most of what Pres. Aquino mentioned were a rehash of some of his past speeches from different occasions, especially the review of figures and promises hopes just like our ability to export rice and end of classroom and textbook backlogs in schools by next year. And one of them was the comparison of his administration to that of his predecessor.

I would agree that his SONA was a very comprehensive report. Thirty-three pages for that one and a half speech. I can say that most were facts, yet the promises are the ones to watch out.

Every president’s SONA is more than words. It just takes one to more than listening to it. Just like a spoken (and a written) contract, the public should be more careful to check and see if the government are still in the right track. If you would take time to ask the common people what they think about the government and his SONA, most of them would say, “We don’t want to mingle in politics.”

I must admit, it’s a hard thing to give your attention to serious things especially government stuff. In fact, knowing issues would make one even more aware on what’s happening – even causing us to think on the how’s and why’s of everything around. When I first covered Pres. Aquino’s SONA last year, I was very confused – one reason was because I was not following the daily issues and news. It was information overload and it almost blew my mind.

A year after, I was more able to watch out and know the should be’s and should not have been’s from his SONA. It’s not a hodge-podge of words. And we have to watch out his promises – especially the ones he said would happen next year.

A year after, I can’t tell was it good or bad? All I have to know if his speeches are more than words. He must remember that his bosses are on the watch.

As his bosses, the public must always watch out on his administration’s actions.  We are not called bosses for no apparent reason. If the president was flattering for calling us his bosses, then we should realize that we are originally having that privilege and position guaranteed by the Constitution:

Art. 2, Sec. 1: The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.

This is not only our right but our privilege. Not knowing and remaining neutral and complacent will not only leave us ignorant, but our rights and freedom slowly abused by those in power. With this right, we can voice our thoughts, take action, and cause those in authority to think, rethink, and perhaps change for our cause.

I have but a very small evaluation of his SONA. One year is too small for my observation of his three-year tenure. Another year to go…I’ll make sure I’ll make a better review of this year’s SONA. And I hope the public will view it was more than words.

For the rest who has been following his SONA since he was elected, your evaluation?

The Shift

Have we missed so much of His great calling? Have we become lost through the years?

The 24/7 call is echoing into my heart again. But I don’t know what to do.

As I was going though Pete Grieg’s “Red Moon Rising”, I was so moved on how God moves to mobilize 24/7 houses of prayers across Europe. Young people gather to pray as that of the Moravian prayer house more than 200 years ago. I couldn’t believe how an antagonistic society as Europe become a hatching point of an unbelievable prayer movement no one has imagined through the years.

And I wonder how God can change an overly religious society just as ours.

The Philippines have had its taste of revival in the 80’s, the same season when the Iron Curtain was ripped open to let the world’s fresh wind breeze in and the Berlin Wall crumbled down to welcome the new world. It was also the time of renewal in every point of society, government and all. At the same time yellow ribbons and white flowers flew across EDSA when a new regime sat in, the church was making a cultural shift in our nation. This is what we have known as our pentecostal movement. Churches breaking from the known “idolatric bigotry” sprang forth, a new Jesus movement raged through, and countless young people gave their lives to Jesus, miraculously from drugs and vices. This was the time the church turned back to who Jesus is, and the Holy Spirit gave forth a fresh revelation of God’s love to us.

Fast forward twenty years. The Holy Spirit was quenched. We have lost our focus from our first love.

Why? We have become so engrossed with our “religiousness”. We love to talk about God but we do not pursue to talk to Him. We listened to all those great speakers but we did not pursue to listen to His Spirit alone. We keep on working in ministries but we did not wait upon His Spirit. We keep on doing good things, but are we still doing His will?

We keep on doing so much, but we don’t realize how burned out we are. We don’t realize that much of what we do are not aligned to what He really wants us to do. But enough is enough. He wants us to refocus at His heart.

And so I’m struggling. I want to hear Him again. But I don’t know what to do.

I’m itching to see revival in the land as the Moravians did after praying night and day, day and night. I can’t wait to see a sea of drunkards and drug addicts come to Christ in one snap of a finger. I can’t wait to see the Church spring forth in genuine love to the lost and the poor. Right now, it is the government who does the social work for the poor and outcast, because the Church prioritized conferences and ministries rather than love.

This is what the 24/7 HOPs are for. We are to call forth justice and deliverance. We are to refocus our identity as the Bride of Christ. We are to know more who God is. We have to realign once again into His perfect will by seeking His heart.

And this call came years ago. I’m almost at my thirties. And I still haven’t seen these 24/7 rise up. And I still don’t know what to do.

I don’t want to miss Your call again, Lord. Should one generation pass without doing what You want for our time, it would break Your heart and so will mine. I am but a minion. You are God and God alone. Will You come and rise up in our midst? We have never heard You so clearly, we keep on saying we heard You but we really haven’t. Come change our hearts, let us refocus to what Your heart really wants and go pursue Your perfect will. Your will be done and Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.

The Magic of Dinner Over Movies (First Bite)

I love eating. I’d choose dinner over movies. A plateful of baked penne or a 14-inch three cheese pizza is a real treat after a day’s work. But the real catch here is the people I dine with and the friendship we build over food.

Dinner has not been my habit until lately. It has become an outlet after work. Once when the camera lights dim and the taping wraps up, we’d go together to look for a good place to eat. A friend of mine told me that food is a good comforter after a stressful day. But once we take seats, that’s when the magic happen. We become ourselves, we express our hearts, and share each other’s thoughts and desires. Food has this magic that binds us together. It’s not only how it tastes that makes us alive – it’s the moment we share together in this dinner time.

It is over these dinners where habits and a part of ourselves are being revealed.

You’d guess who’s the slow eater and the raging consumer (take me for that…*hungry grin* “Can I take a small bite of your burger??” *big bite*).

Memories suddenly pop-up over one’s food (like “Oh, my Mom used to make lumpia rolls like yours but with cheese sticks inside. Can I see if these have cheese sticks? Thanks!” *big bite*).

It is also at these dinners that we release our feelings and comfort one another (like releasing frustrations, *frowning while cutting the chicken* “They shouldn’t have done that. We need support. If not, I’d faint with anger.” *giant munch*)

And this is where we practice our talents as food critics (“These nachos are good except that it needs more crunch. Now, how how does your chicken parmigiana taste? Let me have a try.” *spoonful bite*).

My friends and I got to know more each other every dinner time. We’d cry, rant, and scream over food. But the best part is our laughter mixed with the rich aroma of the restaurant. Once dinner is done, our stress is gone, and our bonding renewed.

I believe that food has been given to us not only to satisfy our stomachs but also our social being. It’s never fun to eat alone, unless we really need it. But as food is meant to be shared with another, the time spent in eating should also be a time of sharing one another. It’s no wonder I’d sometimes feel bad or empty when no one eats with me at home or outside. When we share not only our food but our time and hearts to the ones we cherish, it is not only our physical bodies that have been replenished but also our emotional selves being renewed.

It’s a natural thing to look for food buddies and be someone else’s food buddies for there’s another Food Buddy who lovingly made us as we are. I’ll share that in our next bite… 😉

Reviewing the Creed

I’d never thought my teacher’s assignment would haunt me again.

Well, one, at least. When my first journalism teacher asked us to recite Walter William’s “The Journalist’s Creed”, I did not know its purpose.

I thought I’d recite it just like any other recital piece: memorize it, perform it, then forget it. By performing it, as usual, I got a standing ovation because of my acting talent. But the purpose of this creed is not to be a declamation piece.

I only realized it after a year of being in broadcasting.

For the second time, I’ve encountered “hao shiao” or our term for fake media personnel.

It was only yesterday that I got to talk to some of them for the first time.

I’ve heard that hao shiao are not there to cover but to ask for favors and freebies from hosts who request for media coverages for events like a city’s foundation day or a national forum. As a complement, these hosts would give lunch or snacks to media men while we cover their events. However, some politicians dare to give more than that to media people. And that’s where the hao shiaos are for.

Yup, they come in IDs complete with an affliation, usually from print or radio. Others pretend as photographers. I sensed that it was dangerous to deal with them. They asked me if I can invite them to any media conference I know and they’d invite me everytime they got a scoop.

Here’s the strangest part: none of those who talked with me interviewed the personality I interviewed, except for one. Usually media people, when one interviews a prominent personality, they would push one another to join along the interview. That fella did stick with my team to ask questions but he has no recorder nor did take notes along!

That’s proof that they are not there to get a story, but was hoping to get favors from that personality.

It’s sad how they use the profession of journalism just to get what they want. This also got the real professionals in trouble, in which we’re falsely accused as fakes.

But I would admit I’ve just seen an overview of this profession’s tragic instance. As I thought about this instance, I thought of reviewing The Journalist’s Creed after years.

Now, I understand why we are made to memorize it.

In this way, the principle attached to this creed will stick to my mind and soon enough to my heart.

A journalist’s profession is a public service not a gold mine.

We should take heart to inform not to gain.

I am young and inexperienced but with the Lord, I pray that I am one of those to take broadcasting to its honest self, once more.

And I am here in this job to spread out facts, not to sensationalize or distort a personality.

And there’s so much more to learn from this profession.

I just hope I’ll always remember this creed with all my heart.

And I hope I won’t use it as a declamation piece again. 🙂

So, here’s the creed that I’m talking about…

The Journalist’s Creed by Walter Williams

I believe in the profession of Journalism.

I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of responsibility, trustees for the public; that all acceptance of lesser service than the public service is a betrayal of this trust.

I believe that clear thinking, clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.
I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.

I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.

I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocket book is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.

I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.

I believe that the journalism which succeeds the best-and best deserves success-fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent; unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power; constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of the privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and as far as law, an honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship, is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world

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