Team Philippines


Packing my bags I felt the blow of nostalgia creeping through my veins. My stay here in BSU had given me so much realizations and learnings that my heart overflows with gratitude to the people who had made my stay worthwhile. I have learned so much not only as a communication student but also as a Filipino. I have grown to love my country more and I have developed this sense of responsibility to its nation building.

Along with me were five other Filipinos, full of enthusiasm and passion to make a difference through this experience. They had been my family for the past weeks and this note tells all five of them how much I’m thankful to have met them.


Jester and I are from the same school. In the past academic years, we never actually socialized with each other, not until we met in various seminars and stints that I came to know him more as a person. He is full of surprises! I did not expect him to be this fun to be with. In this entire SUSI program we had each other’s backs. We have the same love for our university and our college that it made us certain that we were here for the purpose of sharing what we learned to those people back in our university.


Anthony reminds me much of Nong Mark. His towering height and insightful remarks had made him an academic hero. He is always full of curiosity, proof is his infinite questions during our SUSI lectures. You can always count on him when it comes to facts or figures about everything and by everything I mean EVERYTHING. Anthony also has this love for music and the arts that is so contagious. Despite having this serious facade you will be surprised to see/hear him singing Broadway without warning – I still find it a funny thought. What made me admire this young man so much is his vast interest in everything, his love for learning and passion for curiosity.


A mystery – when I first met Matthan in Manila I didn’t know how to describe him. He was silent, docile I couldn’t really figure out his personality not until we arrived at BSU. I came to find Matthan as a creative soul just about ready to paint the world with his ideas and notions about life. His instinct in learning had made me admire his uniqueness to convey a message that can touch millions. I know Matthan is really happy right now, LOL, he’s the luckiest guy in the planet [*wink] and I wish him the best in everything.


My roomate, my sister in Christ – Mimille is one of a kind, in a sea full of oysters she has a pearl inside. We had been through a lot in this SUSI program from perfecting the skill of fixing our beds to our deliberate but always foiled attempt to wake up early in the morning. I had grown to love her as a sister.  We shared talks, whispers and perspectives about being a girl. She always has so much love to share, it is indeed a blessing to have her as a friend.


Where do I start? I met Eduard February of this year in a Leadership Congress but we never rubbed elbows or talked before. And after knowing him, I must say that he is an enigma. He can be hilarious and crazy for a moment and in the next succeeding seconds he can be deep and insightful. Eduard has this skill to make everybody laugh – I have never laughed this hard in my life before. It’s like death is better than happiness when he makes you laugh [super sakit tiyan ku sa kadlaw]. People always listen when he talks. His gift of leadership shows much promise. I can picture him as an/the Ambassador/President of our country promoting mutual diplomacy, ending disputes and bringing the Philippines to new heights. Our country is lucky to have him as one of its young dynamic leaders. I’m lucky to have met him. Malaswakkkkk. LOL.

I’m sure I’ll still meet these amazing people after the program. I’ve shared so much with them in a short period of time that I feel like we’re this one big family. My SUSI experience would never have been complete without them. It’s four in the morning – I can’t sleep and maybe I won’t sleep, will just contemplate and finish this book I’m reading. Good night!

Professional Ethics

Smoke filled the air as sirens howled in twilight. La Paz is clouded with smoke. People watch as their homes burn along with memories forged throughout their childhood – broken.

On the other hand cameras echo the air, recorders flood. And while all these commotions take place an offended mother curses a journalist while pushing him aside to cover her daughter’s eyes.

 Much has been said about journalism and its ethics.  Truly, one can distinguish morality from professionalism. Most times however, both are not on the same page.

As a future journalist I have yet to encounter such a choice between the two but I believe establishing values in my future career would be of great help.Responsibility, in my opinion, is the most essential value of a journalist. It is but important that he takes full account of his words and his actions. A journalist writes not for himself but for the others – a crucial role.

Responsibility however is not enough. A journalist must have credibility, excellence, trust, service, courage – the list goes on. As assumed one journalist doesn’t have the same set of values as the other.

Journalism has its code of ethics, objective platforms of values on how a journalist should act. Catering this thought, it is also important to create and develop personal values you as a journalist will cling. For me faith is important, faith in God and faith in the articles that I write. Believing and assessing them for the development and consequence, for boon or bane, ethics may be far from the content of faith but at times it is your faith that will determine you ethics.

He must be fair, airing both sides without subjectivity and disseminating information for the benefit of society. He must always speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A journalist must give voice to the voiceless and not impose their opinion on the opinions of others. He should be not of himself but of others.

Interview Reflection

To be placed in an unfamiliar environment with such a noble task is so surreal. My Interview at Minitrista last July 4 was of great challenge but luckily I surpassed it with beautiful insights from the people I interviewed.

My interviewees were a man sitting next at the centre and a women in her seventies, her husband served in the navy during the Vietnam War. They were nice enough to have me record the interview and take a photo of them. The best part was hearing the their stories of inspiration and how much they value the Fourth of July. I think I didn’t ask enough questions, the thought of finishing my task was well at large and I had given no time to objectively record their full excerpts. I learned much about the art of interview and its importance to share stories, how much of it is more then just listening but putting yourself as a character in their story.

I also learned the importance of handling a recorder and taking down notes. Hopefully my next interview will be better.

A Hero’s Ovation (Part I)

Carrying his heavy bag he passed by a big apse as his mind wanders the great question of destiny. Paving way for curiosity, he paused, took a deep breath and smiled at the notion of his future.

Mark Wilfred Popioco was an ordinary student. Then again one must say that he did extra-ordinary things. I first met him in my freshmen year at West Visayas State University. He was tall, domineering yet sweet and passionate words would always overflow from his heart whenever he intertwines words on paper. I had the privilege of knowing him as our Editor-in-Chief in our publication, and there I saw who he was as a person – who he was as a leader.

He has always modeled the way for everybody. Certain about his philosophy in life, he stood as the beacon of the publication, sharing his ups and downs, making sure that one will always learn from them. He served as my role model ever since the day he told me why he took the path of the Fourth Estate.

Listening, I admit, wasn’t always his best strength, but he always gives the privilege of understanding your ideas though at times you feel miniscule when sharing it. He challenges us to take initiative and to overcome obstacles, small or big ideas will always make a difference according to him.

“Nong” Mark inspired me in many ways I can’t even remember. He taught me to love writing, read books, tons and tons of books. He always spoke of commitment to what one is doing. That there is great strength in loving what you do and doing what you love, no words would suffice how much he had encouraged me to choose the hard path of leadership, how much he had inspired me to achieve more that what is expected. I had always been blessed that I met him.

Indiana State Capitol

Indiana State Capitol

Indiana State Capitol

I had always been in-love with History or rather “His story”. Accounts of great men and women who fought valiantly for freedom and love, all these had given me the curiosity of uncertainty. I thank History for Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, Adeline Yen Mah, Jose Rizal, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, J.R.R. Tolkien – the list goes on. It is because of their books that I read. It is because of reading that I write.

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A Home away from Home

Much has been said about the definition of a “family”. They come in varied shapes and sizes with diverse beliefs, opinion and faith yet they hold the same concept of love passed down from one generation to another regardless if you came from the same gene pool or not.

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity of staying in a loving american home owned and I must say built by Sherly Swingley [She is the Internship Coordinator of the Department of Journalism at BSU] Her humble house with a quaint exterior is a sight, her backyard garden with hibiscus, roses, tiny cherry, tomatoes, asparagus and other vegetables had shown her green thumb and her passionate endeavor to appreciates the simple things in life.

The inside of her house left me breathless. Antiques on the walls, fossils, a collection of authentic Ball Brother glass jars, it gave so much history as if the the paintings would talk to you about the colorful past of Muncie. Also, the room I slept in was of noble bliss. It was a home who gave more than expected.