CNU stude bags Essay Writing tilt-A A +A
Thursday, September 19, 2013
EARL Jon Rallos said he often “innocently” walked along M. Cabigon and Tormis Sts. in Barangay Sambag 1, Cebu City in his childhood.
When he visited the Museo Sugbo last week, he was stunned to learn something new about these people.
“It was only then I realized that they were Cebuano Media icons,” he said in his prize-winning essay.
Maria Alcordo Cabigon was famous in her advice column, “Panid Ni Manding Karya.” Antonio Abad Tormis was killed in 1961, while exposing anomalies at the Treasurer’s Office of Cebu City Government.
With his essay, Tainted Museum Pieces, the 18-year-old mass communication student at Cebu Normal University (CNU) won the Sun.Star Cebu’s essay writing contest dubbed as “In the Chronicler’s Eye.”
He received P5,000 in cash prize from Sun.Star Cebu Editor-in-Chief Isolde Amante and Managing Editor for Special Pages Cherry Ann Lim.
“I’m amazed even though I was a bit shy because I seldom receive an award,” said Rallos. “It is not every day I experienced to be congratulated by my classmates.”
His essay begins with a stunning sentence: “It’s the ink that stains meaningful words
on a newspaper, but it is the blood of our not-so-distant media forefathers enabled such.”
He said sacrifices of journalists and writers before helped in the nation-building.
A fan of poetry, Rallos is the eldest child of Baby “Earl” Rallos, a former broadcast
journalist and now Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) agent.
The agent was the officemate of slain former PDEA 7 spokesperson Jessie Tabanao.
Rallos said he liked writing, but he dreamed of becoming a teacher someday.
“Being a student sa akong klase (in our class), maka-witness ko nga (I can witness that) there are teachers who lack passion,” he said. “Kon ma-maestro ko, tarongon gyod nako’g klase (If I’ll become a teacher, I will perform my tasks well).”
When he was chosen to write for the contest, he visited the museum last Sept. 6.
He started writing the essay last Sept. 9 at 12 a.m. He finished his piece three hours later.
“Dili mo-activate akong creativity kon dili hilom among balay,” he said.
Rallos was the editor-in-chief of the high school magazine, Ang Sulu, of CNU’s
Integrated Laboratory School (ILS).
Rallos said he is not a fan of a specific writer, but he is fond of reading young adult fiction pieces like the Hunger Games and Horry Potter series.
“Wa gyod koy talent. Kon unsay style sa usa ka writer, ako nang isagol sa ubang writer (I am not talented. I will just mix the style of some writers),” he said. “Di man sad sa ingon nga nangopya ko kay naa man koy akoang ideya nga gisuwat (It cannot be considered plagiarism because I have my own idea of what to write).”
TAINTED MUSEUM PIECES
By: Earl Jon Rallos, CNU Communication student
(Rallos is the winner of Sun.Star Cebu’s essay writing contest for mass communication and journalism students in Cebu entitled “In the Chronicler’s Eye.”)
It’s the ink that stains meaningful words on a newspaper, but it is the blood of our not-so-distant media forefathers that enabled such. It’s a simple broadcasting voice
we hear over the radio, yet such voice emanates from a past with deafening silence.
These I pondered during my experience at the Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) gallery in Museo Sugbo.
It was my first time to visit a gallery for Philippine media origins. It was as if I walked inside a network of aged mechanical gears operating as a foundation of a modern device. Displayed there were some of the oldest Philippine newspaper articles, old printing machines, radios and mind you, people in the ‘50s didn’t need to be envious of today’s DSLR cameras; they had their own versions too.
As I positioned myself and channeled my vision into the old cameras’ lenses, there were no pictures to see, but there was a lot to think about; that a mere vintage camera could summarize the humble beginnings of Philippine media.
Just looking at the senescent newspaper articles—many of which were written in Spanish—absorbed my presence into them and immediately changed the atmosphere into a dimension that the modern time proudly disowns. 1942, 1956 and 1959 were some of the years indicated in the articles which surely means they endured and resisted much and rightfully deserve the preservation, for they are not just museum pieces but a fraction of our media entity.
What might the unlit “on the air” sign above the radio booth mean? Perhaps it signified the dull and impoverished era of the radio industry; the period when the voice of the voices became the most silenced instead, choked by invisible hands of power. A single side turn away from the radio booth was a strange-looking box-shaped device. I was about to reheat the snack I brought in it when I realized it was an antique radio. Technological advancement rampantly revolutionized the world so that before the poor radio knew it was too old, its grandchildren were already living happily inside our pockets; and that after I mistook a radio for a microwave oven, I gulped my own thoughts of “I should learn more about my field.” Though it’s a crying shame for me to be unable to fill my own blanks of knowledge about my very field of study, I look at it as more of a big-time slap so I may be awakened from this embarrassing ignorance.
The gallery room’s size was similar to a typical classroom with a variety of items that might not be countable by our fingers but sure could fit into my gadget’s memory. Nevertheless, space does not limit the amount of learning and the degree of pride that is added to me and other visitors. More essential than the preserved items was the sense of nationalism I felt inside the gallery.
A constellation of portraits and biographies of our most respected media founders and pioneers could be observed. As I was looking at some, I remembered the time I just innocently passed through M. Cabigon and Tormis streets in Private way back in my childhood. It was only then I realized that they were Cebuano media icons.
The practice of broadcast and print media before was more of a struggle than a livelihood. Disseminating news before was a big step towards nation-building, unifying the people and instilling in them the idea to combat for a single endeavor—freedom, even at the cost of some lives. Nowadays, media has established a strong denotation and connotation of its name, with a parcel of the law to enjoy privileges. Yet media is seemingly taking sides with corruption; and the more both of them collide, the more it becomes harder to detect.
Not all portions of learning are from the four corners of the classroom. Some are from those of a gallery. A simple visit to the CJJ gallery imbues a vast surface of knowledge to my journalistic character, on par with the expanse of knowledge I have gathered in my three years of Communication study.
Tracing back the roots is always a wonderful activity. It elevates one’s sense of self and enables a collection of disciplines, values, principles (journalism in this case) to propagate. We can contain valuable pieces and information more than a gallery can.
The next time you read a newspaper, try to heighten your senses and look past the words. There is more than just one writer, more than just one generation, more than just one purpose. The next time you listen to radio news, strive to acknowledge that the voice you hear has more than just news to share. And the next time the word media comes to your thinking, remember that we are still in the struggle.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 19, 2013.