Wednesday, December 6, 2006

This On-going Journey and Development Communication

Almost two years have already passed since I graduated from Ateneo de Naga University with a Development Communication degree. Until now, I still look back at how I got into the course some years ago with fondness and intentness. I started out in college as an accounting student, with the dreams of passing the board, becoming a topnotch CPA; and then eventually proceeding to take up law to become a hotshot lawyer. But as fate would have it, I ended up traveling to Manila to begin a rather premature career in Network Marketing, Business Development, Sales, and Training in one of the tall buildings along Ayala Avenue (Rufino Towers); going around the jungle that is Manila and some other places outside of it; returning here from that adventure or misadventure(?); transferring from my old Alma Mater to my new one; and shifting course from Accountancy to Development Communication to start my life here anew.

I am not going into the details about what transpired from the time when I temporarily dropped out of school to accept an offer to work in Manila to the time when I decided to go back here in Naga. I would not also talk about the reasons why I changed courses and took up Development Communication, nor would I talk about just what in the world was I thinking during that time when I accepted that offer in exchange of my studies, my editorial duties (as Managing Editor of our college publication) and my outside job(s) that time (I was an independent guy as early as I turned my back from those good ol' but callow high school days). All of these deserved separate posts.

What I would like to throw out this morning is that, firstly, it dawned on me that the journey I am into right now which has been dependent on and sustained by faith, hope and vision has been one exhilarating ride - a roller coaster haste, a life-changing cruise, an eye-opening campaign.

It has not been easy, but it has been worthwhile. I still feel that the place I long dreamt about, or the place promised to me by my dreams if I may put it this way, is still somewhere over that skyline and it could still be a long way to go. But for me, it's okay.

As long as I don't stand still, as long as I become a better person along the way, as long as there are still some little sparks of hope that I could always hold on on some darkened days and nights, as long as I could still breathe and live, as long as my reasons are still intact and right, as long as the vision of a good ending still looms on the horizon ahead, I only got three words for the 'gods of fate' - BRING IT ON!

Secondly, in my opinion, Development Communication, combined with my past experiences with the jobs I had and the further studies that I have taken since I graduated, has been a perfect fit to what I do now and what I intend to do in the future.

This leads me to think of some things - and if you may, I am sharing them to everyone who might be interested.

We all are at the threshold of defining changes that could take the world by storm in a matter of seconds, or a push of a button, and having been educated on, and inspired by how we could harness the boundless power of human communication to usher in a better world (or the opposite of it) for everyone brings me mixed feelings of great confidence, excitement, and fear.

Nowadays, many forms of communication media have once again been shaping and reshaping the way people live their lives - and the way they live their dreams. Phenomenal changes have been occurring inside and outside of us that are being brought to us by these revitalized and new breed of communication tools (i.e. art films, digital animation, digital photography, edgy advertisements, a more creative and bolder public relations, more sophisticated mobile phones, blog, virtual chat, 3D chat, on-line gaming, social media and video, interactive tv, and others) and who knows what is going to happen next.

At the end of the day, I believe that the ever-powerful media would be as noble or as evil as the one who use it. A great sense of responsibility, selflessness, oneness-with-the-world, and conscience is therefore more needed now than ever as the power of communication media and processes becomes more advanced and in a lot of ways, efficient, thus, for me, mightier; and as the world becomes smaller because of this , thus, for me, more vulnerable or reachable depending on which side you are at. That is where the principles and mission of Development Communication would be most critical.

People, especially communication specialists and media practitioners, should learn how to strategically harness the vast power of communication media and measures to bring about social and economic improvements, especially in developing countries like ours. Having said that, the same should not allow other people to utilize the same power to bring about the opposite for all the wrong reasons.

These people in whose hands this power has been 'entrusted', including myself, a DevCom grad, believer and practitioner, a community worker, and a Marketing Communication officer, and those who will, in one way or another, be engaged in some forms of media or communication works in the future, should take their journey up to a whole new level - with a vision not only for themselves but for others.

Sabi nga nila, kung hindi pwede ang BAYAN MUNA, pwede bang kahit papaano'y BAYAN DIN?

So what differs Development Communication from other communication-based perspectives or courses? For me, simply put, it's communication with a vision, with a heart, with a purpose, with a greater sense of responsibility. In business, it could be likened to doing business with a social conscience or pursuing business while espousing and championing the Corporate Social Responsibility and 'profit with honor or dignity' concepts.

Development should be the goal. Development of the human spirit and potential. Development of economic and human conditions. Development of the arts and culture. Development of local and international understanding. Development of vision and value-based leadership. Development of the other intricacies of life vital for the betterment of the human society.

I just hope Development Communication would someday enjoy the attention and the respect that, I believe, it truly deserves in this fast-paced, technologically-advanced, highly-wired, greatly-connected, yet oftentimes impatient, indifferent, troubled, and angry world.

(Note: This is a re-posted entry from my other blog.)

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