Wednesday, October 05, 2011


I felt relaxed and calm while sitting in front of college students in one classroom setup. It’s just a bit hot inside the room, but everything is alright. I was informed it’s part of their interpersonal communication subject, and particularly, the bone of contention would revolve around the tragic media killings in the Philippines. I honestly mentioned that I am a newbie to be speaking on media killings. My more than three-year experience would not be sufficient to answer in full details the ever complex and elusive issue of media killings. And as my rule, I simply answer questions I know.   

The first part of the interview focused on the onion-skinned layer of inquiries about how I get into media. Questions after questions, I enjoyed giving my answers. For more than three years, I’ve been the one asking questions as part of news gathering, and that special hour, it changed. I was the one being pampered by interesting and insightful questions I myself had to think twice before answering.

Program Hosts Lou De Guzman & Joy of University of Pangasinan
during their ISYU program
“If you are not a media practitioner, what would you be?” asked by one of the program hosts. It’s always my dream to become a teacher, and I said that’s what I wanted to become someday. But I answered the question directly: I might be a missionary!

I could sense in the students’ eyes their surprise about my answer. It’s like a bombshell to many, a “big-what?” to a few others, and a so-what expression maybe for one or two more heads. To support that, I mentioned how fulfilling campus ministry was during my college life, and how it transformed me. Indeed, campus ministry was one of the most joyful and challenging chapters of my life. For two years, I served voluntarily as a graduate team member of InterVarsity in Baguio. During those years, I learned many challenging things, from depending and trusting God for provisions, to realizing how wide and great is the world to just live it for oneself. I learned to live simply while enjoying God’s goodness and faithfulness extravagantly. I learned how feeble and vulnerable and weak I was to realize my sinful nature, but at the same time, affirming my identity in Christ as a justified, redeemed, atoned and part of a royal priesthood, all because of God’s grace.

I could have answered these during the interview, but I did not elaborate actually. Besides, they did not ask for follow-up questionsJ. But I was glad because at the end of the interview, I felt I have answered not just their queries but my future concerns as well. And to put it straight, I have no regrets of becoming a media practitioner because this is what I prayed for and love to do. I also reconciled within those years that where I am is my mission field. It is where God puts me, and in my own way, I could be a missionary, a herald of truth, a voice for the voiceless, and a hope for the hopeless.

This brought me to answer another question: How long are you going to become a news reporter? My answer: “Until my heart says so, until there are people who trust in what I do, until I could still hear people grateful to have been given attention, until somebody is inspired with the stories that I pursue.”

“No story is worth dying for.” Yes, and that I will uphold in every story I make.

The more than one-hour interaction with the students turned out to be of greater help to me. It was an informative discourse that paved light to my own confused future concerns. And as of this writing, I do not still know what my future will be, but I know, I am on the right tract. My God, the Alpha and the Omega, whom I trust, has already gone there.