BY: JUSEPH ELAS
Our profession–Mass Communications–is not only informing the public about the event/news and the truth of the matter but contributing in building a democratic and humane society,
That’s how Mr. Alih Sakaluran Aiyub described the role of the profession that new breeds of mass communicators must understand.
Mr. Alih Sakaluran Aiyub (47 years old) took up Mass Communications at Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) and graduated exactly twenty-five years ago. He is the son of Hadji Tahir Aiyub and Hadja Fatima Sakaluran. He resides at Barangay Kasanyangan, Zamboanga City.
Mr. Aiyub followed the path his degree would dictate. He was a field reporter and a contributor writer for the local news dailies–Zamboanga Times and Morning Times–for less than a year before calling it off. After which, he worked for a Non-Government Organization (NGO) group, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines as it was named. He worked on Information, Research and Education about Human Rights for the said NGO for eight full years before deciding to take up a Master’s degree in Social Work in 1994.
After acquiring his Master’s diploma, Mr. Aiyub took a detour from the path, which he started to take.
In 2001, he started his teaching profession at his alma mater and handled development studies/community development major subject at the College of Social Works and Community Development (CSWCD), WMSU. However, fate seems to have other plans for this smart and achiever of a man.
Mr. Aiyub found himself drinking a different working environment– far from all the press works and teaching agendas–when the Bangsamoro Transitional Committee tapped him to work for them.
“My involvement in peace education and peace advocacy were the reasons why I was invited by the [Bangsamoro] peace panel to help them in the technical working group,” Mr. Aiyub said in Filipino. He was invited to work in the technical working group specifically in the negotiation process. That is the reason why Mr. Aiyub have had to file a leave from his teaching profession to help in a cause he knows that is worth fighting for.
New work, new environment and new mission. However, Mr. Aiyub can’t seem to leave his real calling behind. He can’t deadpan the idea that he is a mass communications graduate.
Asked if he still applies his knowledge in the said field in his new work, he said, “of course! You need to communicate with the people. I am not just involved in the technical aspect of drafting the communications papers and stuff, but I need to communicate the peace agreement to the people.” He said.
His work needs the so-called peace constituency building wherein one needs to write and communicate with the people. Moreover, he is proud to say that his knowledge and skills in mass communications is very helpful in his new work.
Some people wake up in the morning for their family, for their work, for the love of their life. However, for one Mr. Alih Aiyub, it’s his passion to contribute in the peace-building process in Mindanao.
“Our humble and little contribution to make Mindanao peaceful so as to eradicate the never ending conflicts and for peace to finally exist. Those are the things that motivate me to wake up in the morning.” He said.
As per conclusion, Mr. Alih Aiyub left a message to all current Mass Communications students of Western Mindanao State University. A message we all should contemplate as we journey to be the next vanguards of truth and the voices of the marginalized.
“You know, we are in the information age already. And from the very beginning, information is very powerful. You talk of guns and ammunitions, but the effects these things have are only temporary. But when you talk about communications, when you talk about information, it’s molding the minds and hearts of the people. Therefore, communication is very important in shaping the society.
“To those who are taking up Mass Communications today, that profession is not all about business alone. It’s a noble art in changing the society. Because we serve as the checks and balances of our society and we have to tell the truth. Our work is very important in balancing what’s right and what’s wrong.” He finished.
Mr. Aiyub is positive in saying that the Mass Communications department will evolve into a college wherein it does not only teach the theories but really putting the profession to actual practice.