BY: JUSEPH ELAS
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Students coming from the different majors and year levels of the Masscom Department of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) came together in solidarity December 16-17 as their beloved department celebrated its 30th anniversary.
The anniversary celebration came in sync with the “Media Days” celebration where different events were put up which were participated actively by the students.
Recall that the Media Days celebration wasn’t celebrated a couple of years ago due to other events that came in conflict with the schedule. That is why a very happy and overwhelmed department head, in the person of Ms. Ma. Marissa Makasiar, is very proud of the people behind the celebration and the all those who were responsible for making the event a success.
She said that these changes in the environment has something to do with news gathering and dissemination that aren’t dependent on trimedia (print, TV and radio) alone, but also to new communications technology as well (e.g. online journalism).
“Today, the public’s response to information is very quick and immediate. They give feedback directly,” Ms. Makasiar pointed out while adding that public opinion have become a primordial element in the media world.
It was very significant, according to the very esteemed and enthusiastic department head, because the celebration need not to become very loud and extravagant. It was a very simple celebration with modicum time of preparation. “What is so special about it is, it was memorable and was able to push through because there was cooperation among the students.”
“The students were taught the value of being happy without spending too much.” Ms. Makasiar underscored when asked what learnings can one gain out of the two-days event.
Ms. Makasiar wanted to reiterate that it is important to build relationship among the students no matter what major and year they belong because at the end of the day, it’s going to be them who will watch and catch each other’s back.
Ms. Makasiar also said that the line must be drawn between where classroom instruction ends and where fun starts.
She also would want to commend the 1st year journalism and broadcasting majors whose performances during the Media Days celebration really made her proud of them. She said that it was a good sign of competency because the new members of the community are not easily intimidated by their kuyas and ates.
When asked for a short message, here is what Ms. Ma. Marissa Makasiar said:
“I am very proud of each and every student enrolled in the department because they made the celebration a major success. The two-days event was not only a celebration of the department’s existence but a celebration of the students’ talents as well. What they [the students] showed in the celebration is a sign that they have the potential to create a significant track in the history of WMSU.”
The two-days event, as mentioned, wasn’t only a celebration of the department’s 30 years of existence but a celebration of the students’ talents as well.
The celebration was opened by the active dean of the College of Communications and Humanities (CCH) where the department belongs, in the person of Dr. Ma. Socorro Yvonne H. Ramos. During the opening program, she reiterated that the students of masscom are a great part of the college. “We are one big family,” she said.
Headed by the masscom society president, Raymond Faustino of the Broadcasting III, the students enjoyed the different competitions.
The results of the competition are as follows:
A. Concurso de Talento de Mass Communicaciones
- 1st Placer: Renzo Delos Santos (BS Broadcasting II)
- 2nd Placer: Mara Andico (BA Journalism II)
B. Essay Writing Contest
- 1st Placer: Errol Gonzales (BS Broadcasting IV)
- 2nd Placer: Carl Carolino (BAJournalism I)
C. 30-Seconder Commercial Contest
- 1st Placer: Johnver Gonzales (BS Broadcasting IV)
- 2nd Placer: Robert Tarona Jr (BS Broadcasting IV)
D. News Writing Contest
- 1st Placer: Juseph Elas (BA Journalism III)
- 2nd Placer: Macia Dagalea (BS Broadcasting II)
E. Photo Contest
- 1st Placer: Ann Margarette Cariño (BS Broadcasting IV)
- 2nd Placer: Jason Louis Timoging (BS Broadcasting III)
F. Debate Contest
- Best Speaker: Arthur Joshua Rodriguez (BS Broadcasting II)
- Best Debater: Anthony Colico (BS Broadcasting III)
Most of the afternoon events of the second day are composed of several parlor games in which the students actively participated.
According to Ms. Makasiar, the masscom department of WMSU is trying to upgrade/enhance the courses available to equip the students in terms of their skills in media.
She said that the department has phased out the title ‘Masscom Major in’ on both courses and phasing it in as a straight course. Both courses, come June of 2014, are already a stand-alone independent courses named as BS Broadcasting and BA Journalism.
She underscored that these changes are approved and certified by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in lieu on the goals of the department to meet the new standards in media.
Ms. Makasiar went on to describing that since both courses are facing a major revamp, the system/curriculum also were changed.
In BS Broadcasting, for instance. Spanish lessons are injected “because we believe that as communication students, it is imperative that they learn at least 2-3 languages to further make them competitive.” Ms. Makasiar said.
Also, computer courses were added wherein they will be taught of technical aspects of production. Furthermore, subject wherein their skills in writing for TV/radio program and Audio-Visual editing procedures was also added.
The new curriculum also trimmed down general subjects. Meaning, subjects like euthenics was already removed; science-related subjects’ units were also trimmed down.
Recall that major subjects are introduced when students reached their junior year, but now, subjects like ‘Introduction to Mass Communications’ and ‘Introduction to Statistics in Communications’ were included in the curriculum of the sophomores.
Job Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) subject, a 12-unit course, has to be taken by the students of masscom to further enhance their communication skills that will equip them for employment in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry or any media-related work.
The same is true for the new curriculum of the BA Journalism come June of 2014.
But the most anticipated milestone of the department is the opening of two new courses: Diploma in Journalism and Masters in Journalism.
The Diploma in Journalism is a one year course intended for those who are working in the press but did not graduate as a journalism major student and would want to have a diploma in the said course. Meanwhile, the masters program is intended for any media practitioner or newly grad of the course who wants to further their studies.
The Diploma in Journalism and Masters in Journalism is not only available for those in Zamboanga, but also for anyone within Mindanao.
All of these are going to be opened come June of 2014.
Ms. Makasiar admits that the department is struggling in terms of equipments. ‘We have to augment our existing equipment so that the students will have a feel of how it is to be in the real media world,” she said.
When asked if the department is struggling in terms of faculty members, she said that “that is subject to the dean’s approval. The university is strict in hiring additional workforce for some reasons,” she said.
Recall that rumors were spreading that she would already retire come June of 2014. But she failed to give a comment about it, saying “we already talked about this Juseph. You know the answer already.”
Ms. Makasiar though is very positive in saying “years from now I see the department blossom into a college. The department itself has a lot of potentials. And we have the students, the students who make this department what it is, despite the scarcity in equipment, still can deliver their best in their OJTs. We are not like the Ateneo, but we are very much competent. The students are very talented and smart. And that makes this department rocks!”