LEARNING is a never ending part of our well-being and I believe that the process to which we gain knowledge and learn new things is unlimited. Now that I have become a certified grandfather being challenged by a five year-old grandchild to play chess, I started to re-learn the game all over again as it was decades ago when I first lifted a game piece from rook to the king. I was also reminded by my ward who said that the queen is the most powerful piece in the chess game as it can move vertically, horizontally or diagonally and can also jump at any number of squares.
As I moved my knight two squares away for a striking position, I was reminded of the epic Iliad that narrates the story of the Greek struggle to rescue Helen, a Greek queen, from her Trojan captors. I first learned about the Trojan War and the epic Odyssey from my Literature class back in college and from the movie Ulysses starring Kirk Douglas.
I couldn’t forget the line “the face that could launch a thousand ships” in the epic about the queen, Helen of Troy who was said to be so beautiful that, when she was abducted, a fleet of a thousand ships set sail to win her back from Paris, sparking the Trojan Wars. The Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta.
Today, a different Trojan or Trojan horse is known as any malicious computer program which misleads users of its true intent. It is a software developed by hackers and cyber-criminals to spy on the victim user, gain illegal access to the system and extract sensitive data while disguising as legitimate software.
As for me, I have conquered my Helen in my late twenties and both of us have hurdled and surpassed battles in life.
With a few more years before my retirement from public service and eager to visit the social welfare office to avail a discount card as a senior citizen, I am also proud to say that I have become a foster parent to a number young officers and some are already in the armed forces, air force, coast guard, national police and merchant marine.
Recently, I attended a two-day training conducted by the Philippine Information Agency-CAR and the Association of Government Information Officers Cordillera (#ASGIOCO) that basically scratches the surface of Quad Media since it takes weeks or months to completely review the rudiments of print, radio, television and social media.
I registered as the interim President of ASGIOCO and I was pleased to note that two of the resource speakers were my former students in communication when the University of the Cordilleras was still the Baguio Colleges Foundation. During the first day of the training, my wife, PIA-CAR Regional Director Helen Tibaldo warmly welcomed the government public information officers from regional line agencies and local government units who came from the six provinces and 2 cities of CAR saying that the event is the first of its kind to happen in the region.
On her topic on writing for traditional media and social media, Jane Cadalig said that the Baguio Midland Courier want the public to be aware of problems so that they can help themselves and that something positive can be done and not dwell on problems alone. In his lecture Jordan Tablac of Bombo Radyo-Baguio stressed the “So what and who says what?” and discussed the role of radio personalities as representatives of the public. Radio broadcast is also the theater of the mind said Jordan impressed who I recall had stints in cable television as a segment producer.
For his part, Dhobie de Guzman of ABS-CBN North Luzon informed the participants of the importance of moving images and telling audio-visual stories that are shown in proper context. He adds that in about three to four years’ time, news teams may no longer include a cameraman as smartphones are likely to become the standard multi-media recording system as it is already being used today.
No matter how fast things are shaping up especially in the field of communications and other related fields, I still believe in the old wisdom of going back to the basics like starting from the Greeks.
As a fine arts student over three decades ago at the University of Santo Tomas, we studied human anatomy by drawing every curves and lines of the replica statues of Aphrodite, Venus de Milo and Discobolos Lancelloti, the discus thrower known as one of the most iconic artworks of classical antiquity sculpted in bronze by an Athenian man called Myron. While I can adapt to new ways using photography, computer programs and digital gadgets, I prefer to be as primitive when it comes to my art.