CASE STUDY: The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was indeed something that served as a catalyst with regards to promoting awareness among people. It was a very efficient way of using social media since people would post their videos on several social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to name a few. In addition, several personalities such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake, and so on also participated in this event. However, it sort of neglected the fact that the world has other basic needs that need attention.

UCCP General Secretary puts weight on Prayer

United Church of Christ in the Philippines General Secretary, Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza speaks of the bombing in Pikit, North Cotabato in the midst of the Midweek Prayer service on the eleventh of October 2014.

Marigza tells the press of the several deaths and injuries of worshiping members of the church. After the incident, two men riding in tandem on a motorcycle were seen speeding away from the church.

Left in the dark, as Marigza says, is left with no choice but to put weight on prayer due to the fact that there are no evidences traced by the police as of the moment. An hour every Sunday is allocated to the prayers towards the families of the departed and troubled ones, praying for peace.

When asked how the incident has affected him and his church, he replies with a “we choose not to be angry, we choose not to think of revenge.”

Despite summoning the police for help because it falls under the standard operating procedures, he admitted that they did not want any police near the churches to avoid giving off the impression that it was not safe. He adds that they are a very peaceful religion as they are part of the peace process in the Mindanao region. Mindanao has always been bloody, whether it may be religious conflicts or not, they have put the people’s safety as first priority since there is nothing much they can do.

A decline in the number of attendees in the church is expected, although they are hoping that it may not affect the members greatly enough to stop worshiping. Marigza puts trust in the Lord as he admittedly told the press of the toll the bombing took on his fellow brothers and sisters since this was the first instance that their organization was targeted. Southern Christian College has been one of the many that have been continuously sending their support and sympathies for their brothers and sisters.

The front part of the church was the affected part, which made the people transfer into a temporary location where mid-week prayer services are held every Wednesday. “The objective of the church is to make peace. Despite of what happened, I think this is something that will not happen again. But at the same time, I want them to be vigilant.”

Marigza leaves it with the same verse he mentioned in his statement at the start of the press conference: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  -Jesus (Matt. 5:43-44)

What’s Behind the Counter: A Feature on an Everyday Hero

From the mere finds in any old bookstores such as pens, papers, and of course the most obvious – books, the Animo Bookstore offers more to cater to the students today. Although DLSU merchandise are a definite must-have for the said bookstore, there are more than what meets the eye on the first level of the Brother Connon Hall of De La Salle University.

Any company would be nothing without the staff that builds it up. Reynaldo Ragasajo, or “Rey” for short, is the eldest of two siblings. At the age of 45, he is yet to fulfill his life-long dream of having his own business in the merchandising industry, supplies in particular. This dream probably came from the nineteen years he has been in the industry of bookstores or supplies. However, the irony is he actually took up mechanical engineering when he was an undergrad.

Engineering means serious stuff and unfortunately, Kuya Rey failed one of his subjects, which made Adamson University transfer him to another branch of engineering, Mining Engineering. At first it was quite a shock to even have that branch of engineering, because mining was not thought of something as an undergraduate degree; but some job occupation that was somewhat the same level as the term basurero in the Philippines. He seemed to have liked the environment he was exposed to while studying the field of mining, because he did not bother transferring back to the program that he originally enrolled in, which was Mechanical Engineering.

Fresh from graduation, Ragasajo’s mind was set on working as soon as he could. So he did, he worked as a merchandiser in at SM for a contract’s worth of five months. In his 20’s, being active in his church’s choir was probably the best decision he made then, because up until today, the people whom he calls barkada are his fellow brothers and sisters from the church in the vicinity of the place he calls home.

Valenzuela is somewhat a great compromise for him and his younger sibling Ronnie, because his brother works at Coca Cola in Bulacan. The distance from Manila did not hinder his work ethics; it was in fact something he got used to and made him a better person. When he chooses the 7:30AM shift, he wakes up at 4:30 to have some coffee and goes on with his morning routine, as he needs to be out of the house by 5:30 in the morning.

It is indeed questionable on how one can endure that type of travel on a day-to-day basis. Travelling via public vehicles is almost never a smooth ride and it takes a lot of getting used to. But then again, in the words of Kuya Rey himself, there is no place like home.

It was no shock that he loved the place he called home since he loved to spend time with his family and friends. From scrumptious lunches to late karaoke nights with his barkada, it was never a trouble for the gang to get together since they all live in the same neighborhood as they met in their neighborhood church’s choir. Admitting with a chuckle, he tells some of his favorite pastimes used to be sports when he was much younger. Badminton, bowling, and volleyball were some of the activities he would engage in to get his mind off of everyday life, to name a few.

In the twenty years he has been in the industry, he once took a year off to take care of his application abroad. He was supposed to work in Brunei as he was able to have all his paperwork approved, all but one – his medical. To his shock, his blood sugar was quite above the normal, which threw all of his hard work taking care of all the paperwork to waste. This seemed to have scarred him for life, since he never bothered to attempt applying for a job abroad again. Once asked where he would work if given the chance to, he answered Singapore. He mentioned that he has friends that currently resides in Singapore and still gets to see his family often, unlike other Filipinos who work overseas in other countries, who usually gets trapped in a two to three year contract.

Being diabetic is no easy task, talking from having a mother that’s diabetic herself. Kuya Rey was never admitted or was rushed to the emergency room, fortunately. On the other hand, it took quite a toll on the financial side of things. The medicine a diabetic needs, including the equipment one needs to monitor their blood sugar is no laughing joke. To make up for the expensive medicine a diabetic requires, he results to more natural treatments such as boiling Banaba, Guyabano, and Ampalaya leaves for him to drink.

Changes are inevitable in everyday life and once given another choice there were a few things he would have changed he had the chance to. First is that he wished he was not so faint-hearted at the time he graduated and would have taken the bar exam. On the contrary, he wished he took up accountancy or any other business-related course instead of having to deal with engineering all his undergrad life and not putting it to good use. Lastly, if he was given the chance to have the lives of one of his kabarkada, to have married at the right time and have children right about now, he said yes.

Everyone has their own story to tell, sometimes it’s just hidden under some layers; maybe behind a cash register or in the middle of the street – a new story is bound to let the audience see through a different lens on life.

Digital Media: My First Encounter

In the early 2000’s, I was merely a kid who went to school, learn about things that society dictated as important, went home and did my homework, eat dinner, then sleep. The only things I did aside from school-related things were simply to watch cartoons on television. However, what changed my daily routine was DSL Broadband.

My dad first introduced me to the internet when I started getting tired of all the re-runs shown on my favorite TV channels such as Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network. These were the top three channels that appealed to the audience that was children in general. What gave kids like me at that time an opportunity to take it to the next level was their websites.

Obviously a kid would do nothing but play games during their free time outside of school work. Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network were all able to channel these as their sites featured an endless number of games for children to enjoy. Games from every single show that aired on television had games on their website.

As a kid coming from watching television, the digital media that was available on the Internet was a whole new ball game. This made a huge impact on my childhood because from being just a pastime, it somehow became a part of me. Before the Internet was a huge hit, the only purpose I turned on the computer was to use Paint and use the paintbrush to make a crazy outline and then I would fill each space in with a different color. However once the Internet was a thing, I felt like my day was incomplete when I didn’t get to play on any of the sites I would usually go to.

Digital media has now been playing such a massive role in my life that I can’t say that media being digitized is a bad thing.