How To Watch The News

Watching the news is one of the activities that keep us informed and in touch with the world around us. Aside from primetime dramas and sporting events, television newscasts most probably huddle people (particularly families) together while they eat their dinner, have their coffee, etc. Newscasts, as I see them, are a part of our culture that generations can be classified by those who grew up watching RPN 9's Newswatch and those who identify with Noli de Castro's "Ti-veeeeeeeey Patrol!". From breakfast to dinner, and even before bedtime, television newscasts accompany us.

I've observed, somehow, that when it comes to watching news—especially when we're with other people—it seems that we're responding to the news instead of listening to the news. I think an ethics in watching the news is helpful for such a circumstance, especially with respect to concerned and socially-aware individuals who want to know know and then digest the news.

My suggestions are plain simple:  

1. Listen to the news

Keep quiet. Be silent when watching the news. Listening to the report is as much important as watching it. How could we (and others with us) understand the issue or report when anyone of us instantly blurt out our personal comments? Worse, the news item is just being introduced, the headline is just being read, and yet we comment instantly (and sometimes the newscasters do).

We don't know the details yet at that time, so we better know the story in full. Keep the comments to yourself. Leave it for later. No wonder commentaries (if there are any) are placed before the newscast ends. Check out TV Patrol or The World Tonight for what I mean.

And thankfully there are commercial breaks. Probably that's a good time to let the comments out, and hopefully for a discussion surrounding that comment begin.

Just to reiterate the aforementioned ethic, 

2. Pay attention

Just pay attention. Let the newscaster talk to you. Let the reporter give you the details. They are dedicated to informing you about what their newsroom thinks is important for you to know, and they are paid for that. So, let them speak.

Don't crowd the noise made by news by other noises from comments. Sometimes, though, reactions are unavoidable. But after that, may we hush and pay attention?

And lastly, 

3. Application of rules 1 and 2 depends on the items

In other words, discern what you will pay attention to and digest.

It depends on you, but I really hope you will pay attention to what's really important for you to know. News services are there to tell us what we need to know, but one way or another that isn't followed. So, choose a good source.

Following such ethics is not easy to do. It is, I believe, a habit for us to develop. Even I tend and have reacted and commented instead of listening to the details. But as much as I can, I stay put to know the news, that I may digest them and make sense of them as an individual living with other individuals who are as much affected by such news as I am, although probably in different degrees.

It has taken a blog post to tell you simple things. And this time I will type them for you to remember: Listen to the news. Pay attention. Digest thereafter. Comment later.


What do you think? Do you agree? Give a comment, if you may.

The Chamber

One of the privileges I had when I started going to college was a vast library. I only had little experiences regarding libraries when I was in elementary and high school; but when I entered UST I've been so amazed with the campus' big and wide UST Miguel de Benavides Library, just a few walks away from St. Raymund's Building, where my classes have taken place.

Whenever there's schoolwork that involves research, or whenever I just wanted to pass time and dwell in coldness, the library is the place to go. Usually upon entering that library I go right into the elevator and head to fifth floor. I would then go to my left, opening a glass door to a cold hallway to my favorite hangout—the Humanities section.

A particular place

Inside Humanities there's a portion among the rows of desks, tables, and shelves that uniquely stands out. It's actually a corner of the room, situated at the upper-left side. This box-like 'nest' has two arches, sandwiched between racks of books ranging from Bible commentaries to Philippine literature. Inside, there are more shelves filled with mostly aged pocketbooks with brown pages. Surrounded by these shelves are two desks, which make it a privilege to get in there. It is called the Esquinita de Quijano de Manila, named after a pseudonym of one of Philippines' renowned National Artist—the late Nick Joaquin, whose portrait is framed as a glass window adjacent to the desks, and whose collection of books were in those shelves.

I call it The Chamber. I was amazed the first time I saw it—a library within a library within the entire library. For me it's a kind of sanctuary, like I would call a Booksale stall. I find it as a place in the library that I can go to when I want to pause from the fast-paced world encapsulated in the campus and the classroom. It's a place to sit back; to chill out when I'm left on my own after class; to go to when I'm stressed, depressed, or feeling things mixing up that I need to sit somewhere and stay put. Aside from the library itself, The Chamber is a place where I appreciated solitude and silence, because it's a different experience when you're enclosed in a small open room and have a sort of a VIP seat there.

First time: Reviewing in solitude

The first time I went in there was a Saturday afternoon. After classes I had some bizarre blues out of feeling what I regard as some adolescent disturbance (which I prefer not to expand at this point) as expressed by a particular song by Björk. I realized I needed to be somewhere quiet. As a way to pass time, stay calm, and more importantly to prepare for an upcoming presentation in Communication Theories [one of my subjects at that time], I decided to review notes in the library. Thankfully there's a seat in The Chamber, so I took the opportunity.

Once I occupied the seat, I laid out my photocopied readings, a yellow pad, and my pencil case (pen case, rather) and let the afternoon pass while I reviewed my outlines and notes. Not only did I benefit from studying at such a solemn place, but I appreciated being there.

In The Chamber that afternoon the waves of mixed emotions were assuaged by silence, concentration, and calm.

Another time: Problem solving

Then another afternoon came when I went there after classes. I had another strike of blues under the same descriptions given earlier. Good thing there was a vacant seat at that calm Chamber.

I sat there, laid out a notebook and a pen, then expressed myself with whatever is in there that needs to be articulated in words. I wrote, hoping that writing would not only let my expressions flow but would also help me ponder about this 'matter' of mine and find practical solutions.

I found out, as I wrote, that I've magnified things, that I've made a big deal of this 'matter'. As I always have said to myself, it's all in my head. Seemingly the problem is solved: along with other suggestions, break the 'magnifying lenses'. After finishing my breaking-news-like journal account, I prayed to God about this 'matter' that I faced, which for me became a challenge between selfishness and humility, good and evil (this should've been the first recourse).

Thankfully, the mixed emotions were assuaged once more.

The Chamber is just one of those places remarkable for me in my preliminary journey in college life. It's simply a good place to be in. Not only for study, but for pausing from the play and fast-forward of day-to-day; for reflecting on things that demand your attention...and even for listening to The Corrs or The Carpenters.

(I just really like that place, that's why I wrote about it.)

How Were These Past Days?

It’s been a long time since I returned here in this blog. While I was in the campus, I didn't have the time to write here, even to keep a journal. Many things have happened in these last months that comprised the second semester of my first year in college. Finally, I'm done with first year. I miss a bit doing the things that kept me moving previously, though. I've missed writing here, and I believe there's much to tell about out of all I've been through while the Dispatch was left dormant.

This time I start with this question: how were these past days and months?

The answer: not easy, but great. 

Not easy. It's not supposed to be, anyway. The first semester of first year was uneasy as well at several, unforgettable points. Yet, the second half of the game was more burdensome. My classmates and I saw the bulk of schoolwork we have had to overcome—from readings, projects, presentations, even an event and a research!

An ordeal it was—an ordeal that consisted of sleepless nights. Add to that the distance I took each day to carry myself to school, as well as to carry schoolwork back at home. The bus tickets tell that: from KM 40 to KM 5. In terms of time, 1 1/2 to 2 hours from school to home. But I got used to it, even enjoy it whenever the commute is easy as a breeze. Some of the work I did on the road, while I'm on the bus or the train (reading or writing, for example); but I carried most of the work at home. Many of them were completed in long-term, especially my research project; but most of them I completed short-term at the desk that is originally a drawing table. 

There the schoolwork continues, facing either my textbooks or readings or the laptop; usually with YouTube playlists or WRock Cebu on the background. Sometimes it would be Retro 105.9 right from the stereo, and at other times it's as plain silent as a library, let alone the humming of the electric fan. In these conditions I continue whatever was started in the campus: beating deadlines, preparing for upcoming lessons, and above all surviving each day until I reach the wee hours of the morning. Then, I would retire to sleep between midnight and 3am, the latter being the latest; or else I didn't sleep (which occurred two consecutive times. I had no other choice). 

So it was not easy, but it has been great. Despite of the burdens and the difficulties academics bring, light moments and funny ones came along. Siguro hindi halata sa akin ang palatawa, but I've learned by experience and even through a lesson in Literature that laughter or comedy is something that—in my own words—smooths the rough road marked with problems to solve and obstacles to pass. It is these moments of laughter, and add to that good conversations, that make the day-to-day study fine. It's the side dish along with the main course.

In fact, it's a triumph whenever I got to talk to someone or start a conversation, especially when I really wanted to get off being busy and just try to talk to someone (you see, even for a Communications student like me, it's not a walk in the park to engage in a talk! But, it depends).

Once in a while we need times like those—to take a break, have a laugh, and talk to anyone.

Thankfully, the days that passed have led me to the finish line. I'm thankful (and I should be) that it was worth the efforts and the sacrifices, and that I've survived fruitful after the tiring and—at one point—sickening battle. I've been surprised I've thrived that way, which makes me appreciate how my capability have somehow elevated.

Inevitably the academic journey is never easy, but if one just goes on through the process, along with faith in God and determination of one's self, that student shall overcome. 

"Success! Free at last!" Source:

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