The first week of school was definitely draining. I remember being caught up with the decision of leaving school and start earning instead. This idea, in fact, was never the first time that has occurred to me. Because I really should’ve been done in college by now if I didn’t transfer.
Economics and Communication Research was the subjects I am most terrified about this semester. Firstly, I am not good with Math. I never realized this until high school, when there were no more illustration of apples and paper bills that would entertain me in solving every problem. And of course, ComRes – the gateway through thesis. Know what, doing research is tough but dealing with your members is way harder (most especially when you have no self-control too). And before the semester starts, I already knew what was waiting for me.
But dude I was wrong.
It is Media Law that would be the end of me. I was literally dumbfounded for the whole three hours of class. I was like, what is this dude talking about?????? I can’t even comprehend a single thing! So if you’re someone who wanted to pursue Law in the coming years, practice yourself to read 30 case studies (or more) in just a week.
I never thought Philippine media can get more complicated than what it is right now. I was indeed walking blindly with my aspirations without further knowing what I get myself into. And creepy as it may seem, I could actually picture myself out as a kid with a random bulky guy behind me whispering, “hindi mo alam kung anong pinapasok mo, bata”.
That was the vast effect of reading From Loren to Marimar for an aspiring media practitioner like me. It was gruesome yet addicting.
According to Chua and Datinguinoo’s article of Media Ethics, veteran journalists say that pay-offs to the press from politicians are not new. Okay, maybe I’m just over-reacting. I need to remind myself that it isn’t new, it’s normal, it really happens. (Insert sarcasm) That’s how screwed this whole thing is.
For Pete’s sake, it is exhausting to hear somebody generalizing media people as bayaran. Bayaran; just like their perception of policemen and women who resorted to immoral work just to earn bucks. It is frustrating, really. And I don’t even know where to put the blame. Is it to the officials who have been blinded by their greed of power? Or merely the journalists who had no choice but to accept payola because one, they need to earn a living and two, the fear of taking risks which is already affiliated to their work?
And years from now, I wonder, will I feel the same way as them? Even if I will, I hope I could hold on to the principles I’ve long made for myself. Because I don’t want people to look lowly at me and see me just as someone whose moral and principles could easily be bought. Quoting a journalist from the article:
“Once you’ve crossed the line you can never go back. Your integrity as a journalist will always be under question; some people will consider you as someone ready to sell your writing or editing skills anytime to the highest bidder.”
Most of the people who knew me probably think I’m not gonna make it. I was timid, overly-sensitive + emotional person, and very very dependent to the people around me. That was I think the sole reason why I hardly convinced my parents to live independently when I was 18. They were terrified for the welfare of their most delicate child.
But none of those reasoning mattered to me. I longed for freedom and personal growth that no one could ever give but me alone. I’ve always thought I could do more than being swamped in an overly recurring environment. My heart was craving for risk; something that makes me want to feel alive. I remembered being caught up from pedestrian signals, chase a running bus, run back and forth at the University over again, and talk to different strangers just so I could reach my designated time and place for a University application during my first attempt alone.
I was so eager that I feel like I’m some kind of a protagonist in John Green’s story that has come to life – a sheltered teenage girl from second district who left home to find herself and comprehend the meaning of life that lies within.
Two years and I became more open to matters of social awareness. I’m a living witness of everyday’s impunity and life’s prejudice. This has been said though, I’m slowly learning to be keen for every vandals on the wall that has a message to convey, to look beyond the misery on the eyes of unfortunate people whose home are layers of carton stacked altogether on the corner of the streets. I’ve met different people and heard different life stories everyday where some of which are even life-enlightening.
What’s good about being exposed to these kind of scenarios was that I realized – you have to listen so you could see. The world has all the answers and all you have to do was to pay attention; hear the cries of the people that surrounds you, things they are fighting for and the truth that they believed in.
I remember an acquaintance saying, “Kailangan alam mo kung anong pinaglalaban mo, walang in-between o neutral. There’s only two sides, so choose”.
The thing is, life is too short to deprive yourself of the things you desire. Do not let the society dictates you of what is wrong or right; you have to stand up for yourself.
In my case, people has always defined my silence as an act of weakness; someone who cannot withstand the chaos and demands in the city. But the heart wants what it wants so I took the leap. And I’m just glad I did, because I’m continuously learning. About people.. about life.