Apalit, Pampanga Philippines. Is TV the new Department of Education? This is what the Anak TV: TV Literacy, Jury Screening and official launch of No Blackboard Academy on Aug. 17, 2014 at La Verdad Christian College has tackled to answer.
The symposium is hosted by Atty. Regie Tongol, a graduate from Ateneo de Manila University School of Law – a juris doctor degree and a former Asisstant Secretary in the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office. Princess Leiza Manzon, a Runner-Up of Miss Philippines Earth 2012 and an Environmental Advocate and Y-Peer Pilipinas Ambassador.
[students on registration area]
Atty. Tongol shared his experiences and what he does as a former assistant secretary. The Strategic Planning Office execute press releases of what they call “tailored messages.” He tackled the following points on how to decipher and further understand the media feeding messages to the viewing public.
Anything that conveys message through sound is called media like Twitter and Youtube. Mass media is mass produced for mass consumption. In the 2013 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, 61% watch television, 56.7% listen to the radio, 46.5% reads newspapers, and the rest is in front of the computer/internet. There are 5 violent acts on primetime television that kids absorb it and channeled as aggression.
There are 4 literary skills: print, language, computer and media — watching television. There are different interpretation of different people to different situations and it also takes into many forms.
[the long line of students of La Verdad Christian College attend the 2nd batch of the symposium]
The second speaker is the Secretary General of Anak TV, Mr. Mag Cruz Hatol, as he pleaded to all television stations. “Ang pakay ay upang maibalik ang saya sa telebisyon.” He also reiterated, “ Tanungin nyo ang sarili nyo, sino ang may hawak ng remote control? Pinilit ka bang manood ng mga tsismisan? Ibinabalik naming ang autoridad sa inyo na alagaan ang mga anak sa pamamagitan ng telebisyon.” He said this with a touch of humor yet very powerful.
Is TV the new Department of Education?
Mr. Cruz enumerated some examples on how television had affected our kids. First, the way they dress up. They want to dress up like to those they see on the television. Sitting for a long time in front of the television can cause selfishness. It is alarming to see commercials of singleness – meaning, the non-contact with other people specially their families. Today, kids are restless that in their classroom, they tend to fall asleep or immediately got bored. The negative effect with this on children is that the teachers are now for starter, greet the students on how their favorite television shows is like and even placing a television inside the classroom to pump up the students’ attention.
Facebook is another tool that shows the further moving away of the children to their families. Back in the days, kids sweat, getting enough sunshine and fresh air. Now, parents, with their busy schedule, leave their kids in front of the computer screens for a very long time.
Today the use of computer is prevalent. To add up to the machinery of media blitz, they are now using celebrities to promote their products. The Anak TV Seal conducted a survey for two weeks at 6 am up to 9 pm to the grade 1 pupils in Malolos, Bulacan who is their hero. On the 5th place, Dr. Jose Rizal, our National Hero; 4th Fernando Poe Jr.; 3rd Robin Padilla; 2nd Bong Revilla; 1st Manny Pacquiao.
Miss Earth Jamie Herrel, is one of the guest that supported the No Blackboard learning. Being Miss Earth, she imparted her obligations as the title holder about the importance of taking care of the environment and even promoted the use of the recycled ruler made out of plastic cups. “Think Twice” campaign to make a difference and urge the Filipino youth to take care for the environment. She advised the students to fight for what they believe in and to have faith. Believing in oneself is important because who else would. Joshua Dionisio and Shane Velasco also graced the event both showing their vocal prowess.
Has Media changed Filipino lives?
Mr. Hatol also pointed out how the media had conditioned the minds of the Filipino on how women are in the society of the Filipino household. The reality is that media manipulates the television shows that shows the traditional Filipina women who were the rumor mongrels and portray as the lesser sex because they were beaten up or raped and still it is their fault because they are too fragile. He also pointed out, “Bata pa lang naka tatak na at pag-aari na ng mga manufacturers.” An ad showing a baby that is tattooed with different products is very alarming.
To further audience participation, they have given an anatomy of a woman and man. Two questions is asked: in woman, what (3 parts) part that they are mostly uncomfortable and want to change? In man, the first thing they look at. This activity shows that the majority of the students looked at the faces.
The younger generations are the ones who are using these medias as their forms of communication. They are imitating these celebrities, they are encouraged to use certain beauty products patterned to a certain way the same as their favorite artists.
“Pester Power” is one of the techniques that commercials use to market these products. By nagging and continuous asking of the kids to their parents to give in to anything they want.
Toys have the same impact because the girls are forcing their bodies to be like Barbie. Many had become anorexic because they do not want to eat so that they would not get fat. The commercials had played over and over that thin is in, thin is better, thin is beautiful. Mr. Hatol had dug the very reason why women are insecure while they were growing up and always wanted to become barbie. “You have to be perfect.”
Parents are also to be blamed for these gestures of their children. He advised the parents to not to hurry their kids to become grown ups like dressing them up like an adult. These are all illusions to beautify and creating justice to a certain product for the consumers.
Teen-agers are the one who is hard to control and short presentation of a truthful narration on what is happening today. The video definitely connected to the students. They reacted to every scene and laugh. The last part was the breaking up of the supposed to be “forever” is something not to be brushed up about.
Media as people’s right
Jackie Aquino and Atty. Erin Tanada also graced this big event. It has been reiterated that information is power. Atty. Erin is a former Deputy Speaker of the Fourth District of Quezon, the Spokesperson of Liberal Party and an FOI (Freedom Of Information) advocate. He is also the main author of the FOI Bill that is designed for the people to have an easy access to whatever the government is proposing. Jackie Aquino, coming from a political family and who is a long board member of the MTRCB (Movie and Television Review and Classification Board) had the experience in dealing with different kinds of movies/issues questioning the ratings of a particular movie/tv show.
The students of La Verdad had an opportunity to ask them personally how they rate and what qualifications fall on a certain movie/tv show. The interaction between the students and Ms. Jacquie Aquino and Atty. Erin Tanada had opened everybody’s curiosity on how they regulate and rate everything in movies and television.
One student asked why there is a need for the classification board since the government already knows what is right and wrong in the shows or movies to be shown, why is there a need for such body?
Atty. Erin has this to impart. “Sa ating saligang batas, merong freedom of speech at freedom of expression. Yan ay karapatan ng kahit na sino na magsalita o gumawa ng rights mo. Ang importante, may choice kayo eh. May choice kayo kung ayaw ninyong manood. Simple lang naman yan eh. Patayin yung channel o ilipat yung channel.” Cong. Erin Tanada is now the newly appointed manager of the UNTV News and Current Affairs.
No Blackboard pilot launch
Kids tend to believe in everything they watch on television and believe it to be the truth. Same goes with what is going on in television. Commercials keep on repeating and promoting the products and its tag lines over and over. Everyone must be forewarned. In La Verdad Christian School, “ Wisdom based on truth is priceless.”
“Pag nakakita sila ng palabas sa tv akala nila tama na. May kasabihan, sa mata ng bata, ang mali ay nagiging tama pag ginagawa ng nakatatanda. Ganun din ang mali ay nagiging tama pag napapanood ng bata sa tv na iprino-promote, inuulit-ulit, akala nila yun ang tama, yun ang totoo kaya dapat po maging maingat tayo kagaya ng ginagawa namin sa eskwelahang ito, ang motto, “Wisdom based on truth is priceless.” Lahat totoo. Dapat totoo. Kagaya ng pangalan ng La Verdad, the truth. Ang katotohanan. Dapat ang mapapanood nila sa tv ang katotohanan. Totoo. Hiindi ang mapapanood nila ay puro fiction. Kathang isip.” — Luzviminda Cruz, Principal at La Verdad Christian School.
It should be based on truth even the name of our school, La Verdad, the truth. It is high time that all programs on television must speak the truth and not fiction or made up stories.
Before the event ended, they had finalized it with the raising of the had that aims to collect much signatures for Women’s Rights and the Raise Your Voice Campaign by using voice as noise barrage.
The No Blackboard launch is attended by both the parents/guardians and the scholars of the La Verdad Christian Building at Apalit, Pampanga campus. The event started with the singing of the National Anthem. Luzviminda Cruz, Principal of La Verdad Christian School welcomed all 2,500 attendees, parents and guests respectively.