Sunday, August 3, 2014

DLSU’s 2nd Student Media Congress Urges Students to Be Media Catalysts Part 2 of 3

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Continuing the highlights of the 2nd Student Media Congress organized by the De La Salle University

The Congress tackled the trends and evolving dynamics of Philippine media as well as its presence and impact in the near future through the sharing of knowledge by the actual media practitioners themselves known to have given valuable contributions to society already.

Their works are appreciated by both colleagues and avid followers that have somehow used them as role models in pursuing their own dreams. We listened and interacted, and literally rubbed shoulders with the likes of media greats that we could only previously admire from afar either by reading their works in print, watching them from the television, or listening to them on the radio.

It was a great opportunity to personally hear them share their experiences and recommendations to help us improve our very own craft and skills. It is always advantageous to follow the advise of the experts as they are indeed seasoned and well-experienced enough to give out fair-sounding advise.

Below is part two of the highlights of the event presenting the continuation of the list of personalities who generously share their time and expertise for the benefit of the young audience

The Basics of Investigative Reporting 

Raissa Robles, the author of the popular political blog,, brought to light the process of investigative reporting. Robles stated that investigative reporting is “reporting with more time to spare and greater depth”, saying that it requires extensive research and should be backed up with hard evidence. Robles imparted to the delegates the basics of investigative journalism or “watchdog journalism” by using articles to distinguish investigative articles from news articles and teaching the process of investigation through narrating her experience of examining the Janet Lim Napoles case. She also emphasized the importance of evidence, where there should be veracity and verifiability of facts and established sources in the documents used. She also introduced the tool in gathering these evidences, e.g. Internet, Securities and Exchange Commission Express System. In relation to this, she said that investigative journalism is both art and science, where the art is the way it is written and the science is the investigation behind it.

Social Media Strategy 

Rosario Juan, the founder of Tweetup Manila and the CEO of The Commune, discussed about social media strategy in entrepreneurship among the delegates. The importance of social media was also tackled in the talk, where the use of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram was utilized in promoting one’s business. The workshop also included a contest, where the delegates should make their own product based on the word ‘ham’.

Creative Writing 

Mark Anthony Cayanan, the assosciate editor of Kritika Kultura, discussed about post modernism, elaborating more on the leaps, or deep images that taps into the unconscious, which is used in post modern literature. Different types of leaps were discussed, the first one being the hypotactic leap. According to Canayan, hypotactic leap subordinates one clause to another while the conclusion does not logically follow the previous argument. Through this literary device, readers are able to create their own reality or understanding of the text. Another was the paratactic leap, which was the method of presenting materials side by side without commencing definitely on their relation to one another. The clauses or phrases used in this literary device are placed one after another without words to indicate. Canayan said that it somehow simulates and concludes we the readers would do in certain situations. Canayan also gave into light the hold of capitalism on literature, which was said to be becoming a product or a commodity rather than art. He said that being ‘leapy’ helps the writers rebel against an established order, which was the capitalist system of commodity, and it opens the line of communication, where readers can freely interpret the text according to one’s own understanding of it. After the discussion, a contest was held, where delegates were given a photo and they must interpret it in any form of literature that they choose.

Graphic Design 

Lou Hansel Gonzales, the creative director of Wise & Young Advertising and Komodo Graphics and Web Designs, presented a series of slides titled “Ang Pag-ibig sa Infographics: Creating Appropriate Structures And Creative Infographics Data Visualization”. Gonzales discussed the basics of infographics in his talk and used allusions of famous romantic films in support. The talk was introduced by the importance of the data or the researched facts that would be used in the infographic and how it should be utilized. The significance of visuals was then elaborated on, where the colors, structure, and appeal was tackled upon. Gonzalez said that after refining and testing the infographics, it must be ‘released to the world’, which could serve as a litmus test on what they should work on. After the talk, a infographic contest was held, which should feature ‘selfie’ and the Philippines.

Non-competing Workshops 

International Photography and Printing 

Per-Andre Hoffman, whose works have been published with sterling brands such as Time, Vogue, Life, Stern, GEO and National Geographic, proved to be quite the comedic, heart-warming, Pinoy at heart at which everyone came to like and idolize. Heavily branded as a “travel photographer” by most of his colleagues, Hoffman’s body of works is far beyond of what is labelled of him. Most of his works are composed of a mixture of landscape, nature and portrait photography. He pays particular attention to the subjects’ reflection, always juxtaposed in puddles or large bodies of water, in addition to his unorthodox choice of compositions and vantage points. “You don’t have to capture everything in sight, just know what you want, its essence, then take it. Sometimes, only a part of the story is needed to tell the whole story itself. ” He advises the delegates of the workshop as he talked about the idea of photo composition. By just a click of the remote, Hoffman toured us all over the world through his lens. He went on by occasionally asking if the photographs are good or not, with jokes inserted of course. Hoffman effortlessly showed how whimsical and magical the world of photography is. “An interesting subject doesn’t necessarily entail an interesting photograph or story. Okay is not okay. It has to be different.” Through him, the values of patience, dedication and passion towards our own dreams and goals are amplified because for him, everything is never coincidental. It is well-viewed and well-taught of, simply because he believes in the essence of each and every one.

Defending the Filipino Language 

Antonio Contreras, currently a Political Science Professor at De La Salle University, talked about ways and means on defending the Filipino Language at this day and age. He emphasized how Filipino is a very dynamic language and how it is associated with the Philippine culture. Right now, the Philippine language is becoming a global language and that is why it has to be defended. Although he is not from the Filipino Department, he sees defending the language as an advocacy. He says, “We’re pushing for an agenda. Saka na ang form.” Mentioning how the Filipino professors emphasize that form is important. He says that the meaning must come first; the formalities like grammar, spelling, etc. can come afterwards because what’s important in communication is that people understand what is being said. He also pointed out how much is lost in our culture if we are used to using the English language. “Pag nag-Filipino ka, ‘di ka naman mababawasan ang pag-gamit mo ng Ingles.” One seminar seminar is not enough to defend the Filipino language, it has to be a continuous effort.


David Halili, a self-professed “slave of the media industry”, shared his experience in working as a successful Marketing Manager. Gathering experience from various companies such as ABS-CBN’s Star Records, Bluedream Entertainment and Astroplus, he has established himself as a marketing professional who has learned how to mold his ways depending on his target market. For him, marketing is about reaching the different needs of the target market and molding oneself to be exposed to different things. In marketing, he says, people must have four qualities: extreme curiosity, extreme kindness, exaggerated stamina, and willingness to do anything for the target market. But according to him, “The only thing you must market with exaggerated perfection is you.” Marketing is empowerment.

Wattpad: Redefining what it means to be a reader 

Louise Carreon, a Filipino Wattpad ambassador and a published author, proved to the delegates that Wattpad is changing how writers write and read. Along with her co-Wattpad Ambassador Abigail Losantas, Wattpad is evolving what the storytellers of today are going to be doing for the next few years. Bringing in new young talents to greater heights, the publishing content online has become a collaborative medium for young talents to improve and nurture their passion for the craft of writing. Because of this kind of evolution, there are limitless possibilities and opportunities for talents to change their lives because of simply sharing a good story and letting the public read what you write.

Digital Publishing 

Chad Rosario, a Deputy General Manager for Ookbee Philippines, explained the case of Digital Publishing in the Philippines and how this direction is the current trend for publishing today. In today’s time, magazines still rank higher than TV and the internet in ad receptivity. With that in mind, the emerging of mobile viewing as the new medium of reading has changed its audiences as well, especially to the “Me-llenials” or “Generation Y” where this certain audience has built itself to live by the digital age. In this case, digital publishing has certainly translated itself digital forms, giving rise to increased reach of audiences, enhanced customer brand experience because of added features like audio, video and sharing to social media platforms, instant accessibility through different mobile platforms, and better margins knowing that it is a more practical move for publishing companies to lead itself to.

Reader Empowerment 

Generation Upload/Download, as Mavreen Yapchiongco would say, is the title vested upon the millenials. On her figures, it shows that 94% of Filipinos read books, newspapers and the like in 2003 but it dropped to 88% in 2012. Yapchiongco stated that all information is just a click away. With an environment that is very much bombarded with technological advancements, reading print materials or "reading" itself is struggling to be part of the youth's lifestyle. The magna cum laude UP alumna believes that reading could still be a habit among Filipinos. She said that sometimes reading relies on preference. Filipinos prefer foreign novels to local novels. Wattpad, one of the best known sites and also one of the steppingstones in her career, is the best manifestation of empowerment among readers. The site caters to the interests of the readers and not just that, Wattpad also gives opportunities to those who are aspiring to become an author. Some were given the chance to produce their own craft into a best-selling motion picture.


Mackie Galvez, known for his expertise in cinematography, has graced the congress to be one of the speakers. The Ateneo alumnus shared his expertise using some of his works like Sana Dati and Shake, Rattle & Roll. He also mentioned some of his pegs and favorite artists like Roger Deakins and Andrew Wyeth. Cinematography as a "grammar" is the main point of his talk. It is one of the important factors of making a film a good one besides script, casting and production design. He reiterated the importance of having a peg as a source of inspiration. Also, Galvez shared about shotlisting. For him, it is the most challenging part in cinematography because it deals with translating the script visually. "Be brave with framing" and "learn to improvise" were some of his words for the delegates.

Writing for an Online Audience 

"When you write online, you call for action." Carla Hutchinson,'s online editor, discussed about writing for an online audience. She believes social media matters. If no one will see anything that you do or anything that you post online, it won't matter. Building social media cohesiveness or brand representation is one of the important points according to her. It would get not only your audience but also your credibility. After all, people read your content because they trust what you say. Hutchinson also pointed out virality. "You cannot make something go viral." Also, she recapped that it is better if we will be our own target market. We should relate to our own write-up as much as we would want the readers to relate to it. She said: "It’s not just about the kind of content you post; more importantly, it’s about the tone."

Disc Jockey 101 

"You have to know what's in." These were the words of one of the members of the well-known group Boys Night Out, DJ Tony Toni, as he talked about Radio Disc Jockeying. He together with Jojo the "Love Survivor", also a member of the said group, voices the essentials of the said topic. They gave out important reminders for our hopefuls in entering the broadcasting world like what could be their demo audition's content, etc. Branding is one of the important things in radio broadcasting as DJ Tony Toni said. He started out as DJ T2 but because of the names he received out of the T2 label, he changed it into Tony Toni. Thinking globally is also one of the essentials in Radio DJ-ing. DJ Tony Toni also gave the delegates some words to ponder on with regards to dealing with bashers: "Let them criticize you. Don't add fuel to the fire."

Digital First: Innovations in Online Publications 

Raj Bay, Editor-in-large of MadHouseManila, graduated with a honor degree in Communication Arts in DLSU. He tackled about the innovations in digital publication and how print media is a whole lot different from digital. He discussed he and his friends came up with MadHouseMNL, an online lifestyle magazine that has been up for two years, and since then, it has evolved and is continiously getting bigger; thanks to the different rounds of social media. "It should be fast and factual." He says while discussing about digital content. With the different social media platforms available and how fast one can upload information online. He also gave out some tips in writing online: It should be short and precise, highly relatable, and the titles should be good and honest. Visuals also play huge online. As Mr. Bay says: “2014 is the year of Visuals. Millennials are very visual, our photos are very stylized.“ In Digital publishing, everything is fresh as it happens. He firmly believes that one should never sacrifice speed for quality and credibility of the news.

Seriously Cool: Impulses of Assertion/Insertion in Contemporary Visual Culture 

Renan Laru-an gave out questions to understand the contemporary visual culture. Questions on how people perceive art, how we appreciate it, and what does it mean to look at it. Renan Laru-an discussed how everything has become an issue of branding especially in the world of fashion and how the Internet changed art and fashion in so many ways. He said that the notion of appreciating something or perceiving something has always been predetermined or controlled by our society. It’s not just art and fashion that was changed by the Internet but it was also how people view and show images. Images for him should not be interfered but aided by providing the images structures and orders.

Please also read Part 1 and Part 3.

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