Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘senate’

From Selfies to Frontpages

I was caught in a surprise this morning when a fellow reporter tagged me with this frontpage photo from a prominent newspaper.
Miriam Selfie
This was when I was attempting to take my own selfie with Sen. Miriam Santiago. Right after her press conference, the reporters flocked around her for pictures. I thought of taking a chance to have my own memoir. Pushing through the crowd, I did not mind the photogs and the other journos who flocked for her attention (and were taking our photos!).
I have always looked up to Sen. Santiago as a respected, outspoken politician. Fearless, she’s never hesitant to criticize or to be criticized. And she made sure to remain as sharp as iron in mind and heart despite of her condition. Her announcement that she had stage 4 lung cancer was a shock to most. But despite of this, she appeared undaunted as she took her time to pose for a smile with the media.
I have always been careful to take pictures with popular personalities. I don’t usually ask for a pic with them though I personally interview them. I try to be discreet much as I can. Though it is not against ethics, I as a journalist should remain my distance to ensure that the image of fairness is not discredited. Pictures can betray even a group pic has no deep, background story.
But there are times when we journos can sense that taking pictures with them is ok. For me, it is to remember them, the respectable and interesting people who earned a reputation for who they are.
And one of them is this brave senator. She has made very rare public appearances nowadays. Right after the reporter in her left finished her own selfie with her, I took the chance to have my own selfie with the senator.
It’s a bit blurred though, but I’ll cherish it. I tried to take another but I became too shy because the other reporters wanted to take their turn.
Yes, even reporters can become shy when taking pictures. 🙂
IMG_20140702_120459
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The Search for Wisdom

Whenever I open my journal, I’m always prompted to reread past entries. I couldn’t believe what I was thinking then, as if I was reading another person’s entries. But through them, I could see how faithful the Lord has been and countinually is in my life.

Here’s a journal entry last July 29, 2011 worth sharing. Enjoy!

I am quite enamored by the thought to take up law. As I gather information from Malacanang as a reporter, I would sometime think that upon the need to understand more of the differences of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branch, I need a hardcore study of the constitutuion. Thanks to issues like the Spratlys visit of the five congressmen and the Ampatuans’ deceiving demand for a hospital visit (which was a supposed to become a hospital arrest), I am beginning to get a more details understanding of our nation’s law — but it seems not enough. As Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said in a Senate session on the PCSO anomaly, you cannot read the constitution in a day because it takes eight years to study the whole of it.

It’s true that world government interest me, but somehow the urge to gain more knowledge in the political arena is enticing. Now, I understand why most broadcasters end up as politician — the ones who monitor the law, become makers of the law to ensure their own protection. As they say, being educated and knowledgeable can make one survive this harsh world. But it is not enough to last for eternity.

While I considered law in my next five-year-goal, I have mixed feelings. I fear that pride was just trying to set in, as my craving for knowledge is not in the right motive, perhaps. On the other hand, I am hopeful, maybe I might have a purpose in dwelling into the barbaric side of politics, hoping to change its tides.

Though powerful, the law and the knowledge of the world will one day be gone. The Lord said that heaven and earth will pass away but His Word will remain (Luke 21:33). All of my supposedly eight-year study will all go to waste, and compared to an intimate five-minute meditation to the Word, which is the Highest Law, it’s no match. So what if I become a good lawyer yet I am foolish towards the Greatest Judge of all? If I am to dwell in these things without setting my heart right, and for myself and in Christ, all other things that I’ve worked for will burn in fire — so then, only my love for Him will remain. In this way, I see how foolish is the way of the world but great is the way of His love and wisdom.

To study or not to study? I guess I don’t have to study — unless the Lord tells me so. For now, I believe that while I am placed in the midst of mass media and politics, He is just opening my eyes to the truth of these things. But I am not to look at them by its physical state. I believe that one day, no one will set aside God’s compelling presence at the Senate and Congress. It’s true that we had to put the spiritual aspect into the physical facts. But there’s no reason to separate His love and glory just as our law separate the church and the state. One day, His glory will fill the earth and we’ll drop our law books and tear up every house bills because of His everlasting glory — such a glory that none has yet experienced and yet it is so wonderful we would shut up, bow down, and worship Him.

Sustaining My Passion

The media world is a harsh realm. Ever since I started covering in the senate, I felt a sense of strong competition among different media personnel compared to that in the palace. I am used to the teamwork in the palace press people and so I am appalled by the reality that the media world offers for the sake of popularity and ratings in the outside world.

And so I experienced a belittling of my own entity.

During the first days, I felt desperate. But I had no intention of complaining. Although it’s fun to be with the people in the same feathers called our team, going around looking for ambush interviews were a shock for me. But I had soon beginning to gain a few friends outside our team, mostly young reporters.

But the biggest test was my character check. And it is in here that refinement is beginning to take place.

Naturally, I’m a bit shy…and childish, in fact. I always smile, thanks to my happy-go-lucky character. But the world states that one has to be harsh to win the top. But I don’t intend to be overly popular on TV. I don’t intend to bag awards or win public approval. I am just doing my job. However, this world is trying to put you into compromise.

But only by God’s grace that I survive without seeking fame.

Focusing on the “glitter” of this world is nothing compared to yearning for the love of a God I’ve never seen physically. And yes, how I yearn for Him and want His fellowship. I’ve experienced sinking deep into His presence before but that is not enough. I want more of Him. Thinking that this world will just pull me away from His love, I decided to stay in the church. But that was not His plan.

Outside the church, majority of the world’s entities has no pastor or church worker to touch the unsaved. I remember how desperate I was when I went into “secular” work, but my mother would tell me that I have a reason being there…since no pastor can get in there, who can reach those who had not known the Lord?

I’m no preacher. And I’m not as “great” as Cindy Jacobs or Chuch Pierce and yet I am a part of His puzzle for His Kingdom. I believe the Lord is sending out His children into the remotest part of the urban jungle in order to be a voice to those who have not heard and be a living testimony of His love.

How should I sustain this? I need hunger and thirst. I need passion to lift His Name and embrace His love and give it away. It can never happen should His presence not stay with me and fill me more. I need You, God! And this world needs You!

Little by little or perhaps by one sudden move, the earth will be filled with the knowledge and the glory of Him. And yes, the senate, the palace and the whole nation will be a different place. More of you God…do not only sustain me with You presence…make me sink in You more!

Balancing the Scales: CJ Under Trial (Part 2)

Caption of this poster says: Hindi ako kulay dilaw. Hindi ako kulay bughaw. Hindi ako kahel. Hindi ako kulay puti. Hindi ako kulay luntian...Filipino ako, Ito ang kulay ko.

Now, who’s really saying the truth? When you go and listen to both sides, you tend to think more (which is a healthy practice). After dwelling in the executive branch’s side, it’s high time to turn the other ear to the judiciary.

Being in both the SC and Palace made me see both sides, but it was yesterday that made me almost convinced to go on Corona’s side: thanks to the crowd who had passionately expressed their support. I don’t know what prompts them, maybe CJ was really a good man. Yet, I don’t want to judge quickly. Perhaps they’re right or perhaps they think they’re right. But only the Lord knows what’s really behind…or in their hearts. All I could remember was that it was another momentous event in history…and we were there to see it.

Statue of first CJ Cayetano Arellano covered in black cloth...

 

Even Jose Abad Santos' statue was veiled in black...the former CJs in Black!

 

Crowd cheers when CJ comes out of the SC lobby with his wife, Cristina. Both attended the send off mass before going to Senate for the impeachment trial

 

The judicial couple now faces their supporters before CJ makes another momentous speech

Balancing the Scales: CJ Under Trial (Part 1)

Never had there been in history an ouster of a government official. So far, two big names have been impeached in the Lower House but the process was never finished in the Senate because of their abrupt leaves: the former President Joseph Estrada, who left his position because of the 2nd People Power Revolution and the former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, who resigned before the Senate trial took place. Now, another big name is going to be on the Senate impeachment trial on Monday: the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.

We Filipino journalists had taken a keen interest in this case, mostly when the President himself began ranting against supposed alleges on the CJ’s actions late last year. One is his position as a “midnight appointee” of the former president, his non-disclosure of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net-Worth or SALN, and other judicial blunders in issuing “unjustifiable” decisions in big cases.

It’s something to be anticipated for the fact that it’s the second impeachment trial that had reached the Senate grounds (Estrada’s impeachment case was the first). Another is because it involves a high-ranking official – namely the head of the judiciary. Some people view this moment as too political, as this stemmed from the President’s disappointment on the judiciary. But I see this moment as an exercise of balance in the government. There is no such thing as a “constitutional crisis” as some perceive it (because of the “word war” between members of the executive and of the judiciary). I saw that no one is above the law, not even the President himself.

If there is a constitutional crisis, then there should be no impeachment trial and CJ Corona would have just been abolished suddenly. Alright, most of the 188 congressmen who voted the CJ out last December were allies of the President. But now that it has reached the Senate grounds, I can say that this time, there is no presidential or judicial ally  issue here. The Senators are of mixed backgrounds, and I believe they will judge with fairness. The fight between the house prosecutors and the defense team will surely be listened to by the acting judges. The process was still followed. No martial law was issued. Fairness ensured.

And Monday will be no ordinary Monday for me.

While every media entity would be on watch, there are huge chances that this would be sensationalized. Sometimes, it is in the matter of delivery. Sometimes, it’s in the matter on how the public was fed by the information. The word war that happened was due because these personalities had to answer our questions. We, as media people, had to deliver their statements as accurately as they should be.

People have the tendency to react immediately without weighing it. With the public being the judge, our approval or disapproval can create a variety of reactions. This upcoming trial is now creating a flurry of thoughts to the public, how much more on the trial days?

But however the results are, may we present it as clear and as accurately as it should be. We don’t want sensationalism. We just want to present the truth. We support in keeping a record of another historical moment.

We’ll be on the watch. One day to go before the action sets in…

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