From Beh to Bezzie: The Evolution of Language

Over time, changes in languages, including those affecting the Filipino language, have become prominent. The creation of new words has turned into a relentless habit, forming numerous sub-languages. “Bekimon” and “Jejemon” for instance are examples of sublanguages produced from people’s creativity and from the sturdy influences inflicted by pop culture.

Bekimon, a sublanguage initially used by members of the LGBT community particularly the gays, has become rampant and widely spoken by almost everyone. Jejemon on the other hand, which is often considered as a bastardization of language, was the term used to name the language of a small group of people in the society called the “Jejemonsters” or the “Jejemons”. These sublanguages has also developed their own alphabets and dubbed them as the “Bekibeth” and “Jejebeth”.

Changes in how people speak, write, communicate and use words prevailed over the centuries. It is fascinating how languages survived and have prospered, even if others, like Latin, died because of the lack of utilization. The creation of new words and systems of writing is unlimited. In this sense, it can therefore be concluded that language is productive, creative, alive and dynamic.

In our family alone, we have created new words we exclusively use. Most times, we have inside expressions we get from movies or television series.

Words that we adopted from the Bekimon language are as follows: Kabogera, Pweds, WiP, Shoray, Pagoda, Thunders, X-men, Wapakels, Surelaley, Lafang, Mamita, Chiminiaa, Gerlalu, Boylet, Keribells, Warla, Gora, Echosera, Chaka, Charot, Charing, Churva, Chenelin, Char, Chos, Echoss, Eklabu, Keme, Uhmma, Awlalu, Awwie, Ahiks, Awit, Nuy beh and a lot more. In conventional language, these words mean impressive, pwede, work in progress, ang taray, pagod, matanda, former man turned gay, sure, kumain, mommy, katulong, girl, boyfriend, kayang kaya, magaway, pumunta, sinungaling, pangit, and the others are random expressions respectively.

Other expressions are sometimes based on the names of famous personalities.

Kuya Germs means Madumi, Hagardo Versoza (Gardo Versoza) means Pagod or Haggard, Rita Gomez means nakakai’rita’, Tom Jones means gutom, Winnie the Poor means Mahirap, Dora the Explorer means Magala, Gandara Park (Sandara Park) means Maganda and Janno Gibbs means Magbigay or give derived from ‘Gibbs’.

 Sometimes, words are turned spelled reversed or the syllables are intertwined to create new variations. Examples of these words that we use in our family are Matsala and Rapsa, which mean Salamat and Sarap respectively.

My grandfather alone has expressions he often use: Anak ng pating, Nahulog ang kalbo, Ay kabayo, Anak ng Tokwa, Manang biday, Saksi ni huba, Arujusko, Pinutukan ka ng Kabog and Nako po ay. He uses these expressions when he gest frustrated or annoyed or when he drops something. He says he used those by accident often times.

As for my brothers, they use expressions they get from cartoon shows and the movies. Examples are “woah there”, “what’s cooking”, “whatcha doin”, “that freaky thing”, “you ain’t the boss of me”, “give momma some honey”, “oh no you didn’t”, “the hell was that” and “you feel me”.

 Language develops as society progresses. It grows side by side with modernization and the necessary changes in the society. It is bound to undergo changes and it needs to be kept alive.




Senatorial bets Ople, Romulo say PH is not ready for K-12 curriculum

The K-12 basic education program is necessary for the development of the Philippines’ education system, however, the country is not yet ready, senatorial candidates Roman Romulo and Susan “Toots” Ople told the University of Santo Tomas (UST) students in a forum on March 1.

Romulo, who is on his third term as the Pasig City representative, said the implementation of the K-12 curriculum should have been suspended because the Department of Education (DepEd) is not fully prepared.

“The K-12 is a good concept, unfortunately, hindi preparado and DepEd para sa implementation nito ngayong taon. May lack of classrooms, facilities, equipment and teachers,” Romulo said, adding that his platforms revolve around the promotion of quality education in the country.

Romulo authored the Unified Financial Assistance To Students in Tertiary Education or the UNIFAST Law, which offered free college education to students who are financially unfortunate, and the Scholar ng Bayan Law, which gave the top ten graduates of public high schools free college education.

Ople, who is running under the Nacionalista Party, said there are still gaps that need to be filled to efficiently implement the K-12 system.

“The K-12 is necessary for the improvement of education here in the country, but there are still gaps. Madami pa tayong kulang,” Ople said.

Ople explained that there is a need to hold campaigns about what the K-12 system really is for the masses to get a good grasp of the system.

Opele’s main advocacies are however centered on the promotion of the rights of the Overseas Filipino Workers.

The former labor undersecretary’s platforms include the establishment of a department for migration and development, the construction of hospitals for OFWs, and the development assistance programs for human trafficking survivors.

Ople, daughter of the late senator Blas Ople, tried but failed to secure a seat in the senate ion the 2010 elections.

Department of Justice secretary Leila De Lima and Former senator Richard “Dick” Gordon, who were also invited to the forum and are gunning for senatorial seats, failed to make an appearance.

De Lima and Gordon were voted first and second respectively by UST students in a survey conducted by the Varsitarian, the official student publication of UST.

Free Wi-Fi

In response to the clamor of the students, the two candidates pledged to solve the country’s drawbacks on slow Internet services.

“Dapat maging part ng learning investment at education plan ang free and accessible Wi-Fi in all schools. It will make us competitive lalo na at dito magaling ang ating mga kabataan,” Ople said. “Creative ang minds ng youth. Technology will be their competitive edge.”

Romulo added that the Internet is the advantage of today’s generation and making it accessible would be beneficial to students.

Jan Dominic Castro, Faculty of Arts and Letters Student Council (ABSC) president said the forum was an opportunity for the youth to be enlightened about the platforms of the senatorial candidates especially issues concerning education.

“In the Liberal Arts college, we want to know how they’ll be able to sustain and promote quality education and avoid education disparity,” Castro said in a text message.

In celebration of the 120th founding anniversary of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, the forum titled “I AM: Senatorial Forum 2016”, was spearheaded by the ABSC, in partnership with the UP College of Arts and Letters Student Council and the De La Salle University Arts College Government. ###



Pinocchio: Media on Sensationalism

Pinocchio is a Korean television drama series that managed to portray the ruthless boundaries of journalism. The series, which aired from November 2014 to January 2015, showed how the media, through, sensationalism destroyed and made miserable the life of Ki Ha-myung and his family members.

The media is a very powerful institution in the society. It can either make people famous or ruin one’s priced reputation forever. The series also showed how some reporters refuse to honor and follow the journalism code of ethics and are only in the industry to manipulate events and gain popularity and market. This defeats the purpose of journalism, which is to inform the masses with the truth through accurate and credible reportage.

In Pinocchio, the media managed to defame Ki Ho-sang, the chief fireman of a firefighting squad. Ki Ho-sang was blamed for the death of nine firemen and was said to be hiding. In truth, Ki Ho-sang died a hero along with the firemen for trying to save alleged factory workers inside the burning building. The media manipulated the audience by making them believe the opposite of what really happened. Although it was not entirely the media’s fault to have obtained falsified truth, it was supposed to be their job to investigate and expose the truth. The media immediately believed the witnesses, who told lies, and did not conduct further investigations.

A Lot of damage was inflicted to the family of Ki Ho-sang. His wife committed suicide and his children grew to live without the perfect family they used to have. Ki Ha-myung, the younger son, changed his identity to Dal Po and Ki Jae-myung, the eldest, lived his life to despise the media. He managed to get revenge for his father and reunite with his brother, however, was put behind bars for murder.

Song Cha Ok, a reporter of the MSC broadcasting corporation, is an example of a fame-oriented reporter. During the coverage of the fire, her husband called her to say that they are getting divorced; instead, she made it looked like she was talking to someone who knew an eyewitness to the fire incident. She said that the eyewitness was in a store to mislead other reporters be the first to get the coverage in the hospital. This shows how journalists are forced to be competent to be able to get the better angle of news stories. She had to lie to be able to raise her networks’ market. The media also looked very insensitive about people’s emotions. It was always business over privacy and love.

Sensationalism was the prime delinquency portrayed in the drama series. Media cared too much about impact and attention rather than authenticity, proof and facts. Media showed the angle that people wanted to see, not the angle that people really needed to see.

It can also be inferred that the media is not always right. Most times, the media just looks like it is right. The media only shows a portion of what really happened, but not the whole of it. There was a lack of balance and composition, and excess in biased views and phenomenalized stories.

The media is supposed to be the tool to a well-informed community and journalists are supposed to work in accordance to the journalism code of ethics. However, it is inevitable for the media to side with the wrong stories and commit mistakes. The best way to defeat media delinquencies is proper training, thorough research, unbiased perspectives and irrefutable investigations.

Gender Equality in the Newsroom

The newsroom in the earlier centuries was “no place for a lady”. Female writers were discriminated and looked down upon by the male-dominated media industry. Editorial positions were mostly handled by men and women were hired just to be researchers and not legitimate journalists. Miller (2013) said the thinking of the people in those particular periods was that women cannot really handle the tough career of speculation over governmental and political agendas, international news and crime stories. However, over the course of time, the media industry eventually welcomed women as imperative members and leaders of the newsroom.

In my opinion, I honestly see no gender discrimination in the 21st century newsrooms. In a world where gender equality movements have gone a long way, barriers that were built to patronize over a single gender are finally crashing down. Female reporters are as good as the male reporters and it is the same otherwise. Men can do what the women can and so do women with men’s tasks. Newspapers are under the editorial directions of men and women and both are not really under-represented nor dominant. How good and effective a reporter is does not necessarily rely on his sex or preferred gender orientation, rather on the hard work, passion and dedication exerted in everything the person does.

On a personal basis, I firmly believe that men and women co-exist harmoniously in the media industry. As a news writer of the Varsitarian, I have observed that everyone is treated the same on all aspects. The division of labor favors no gender and there is fair share of articles. Men and women write for the soft and hard sections altogether. Editorial positions and promotions are given to writers based on their performance, dedication and skills certainly not on their genders. One gets what he or she deserves.



The Importance of Correct Grammar in Journalism

People often argue that as long as we seem to understand each other, the observance of proper grammar is not really imperative. Some people forget or deliberately settle for incorrect grammar as long as they are able to express themselves, even in the hardest ways possible. However, misunderstandings are proven to be unavoidable when grammatical errors are proliferated.

Grammar is the foundation of communication; therefore, incorrect grammar hinders the establishment of an effective way of communication. Communication forms civilizations and it is the factor that keeps the world intact. If we fail to establish efficient communications because of bad grammars that lead to misunderstandings, we will also fail in establishing good relations with people who we think are important. In a highly competitive world, effective communication is much needed. Studies say that people who are able to communicate ideas while observing proper grammar are most likely the ones who make it in the professional realms of the industries and become successful in their own disciplines.

Good grammar is important in journalism so that journalists would convey the right messages to the public. In the field of Journalism and in all other platforms of the media industry, good communication skills are especially essential. Given that correct grammar makes communicating easier, it is strongly prioritized and observed. The job of journalists involves writing articles that would be disseminated to the public. Through these articles, journalists are able to communicate facts and important information, which the public needs in order to be aware of their environment and be able to form wise opinions and well-thought out conclusions. In this sense, as scholars would put it, the media shapes the thoughts and opinions of the public. If the public would get the wrong message out of the articles because of bad grammar, then the way people form their opinions would be intensely affected.

Confusion is avoided when proper grammar is used. When grammatical errors are committed, people might get confused about what a message is trying to convey. For example, when punctuation marks are misused and misplaced, the meaning of a single statement might become different, resulting to misunderstanding and misinformation. It is safe to say that when proper grammar is used, people would understand the message easily.

Correct grammar can also mean higher productivity. Correct grammar enables people to convey clear information and therefore saves up time, effort and energy. When you are able to express yourself clearly and immediately the first time around, you do not have to repeat yourself over and over again – you can then proceed to doing other important tasks.

Observing proper grammar when writing or reporting can also affect the way people look at you. Professionals are expected by society to be good speakers and writers. When you observe proper grammar, people normally give out a good impression on you. They may respond to you with respect or adoration at best.

Remember, good grammar is sexy.


Angela Mercurio: Through the Walls of the Fourth Estate

Other people spend large amounts of money to have fun and feel alive, others simply grab pens and papers to write and harbor the same happiness — only cheaper, quite laborious, but a lot more meaningful.

With her spirited love towards writing, Angela Lorraine Celis Mercurio defines journalism as a ball of light that provides guidance to the world through truthful reportage. Journalism, not only as her profession, but also as her passion, has brought her to the position she would not trade for anything else.

After years of passion, hard work and dedication in the field of business reporting, Mercurio constantly brought home the bacon and bagged three consecutive reporter of the year awards in the Journalism Awards of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) and Ayala Group of Companies from 2013 to 2015. EJAP is the main organization of business reporters, editors, and publishers in the country.

A graduate of the Journalism program of the University of Santo Tomas in 2009, Mercurio applied for a writing career in the Malaya Business Insight, a broadsheet newspaper in the Philippines situated in Intramuros. Armed with faith and her strong drive to pursue a career in journalism, Mercurio landed a job at the Insight and is now a senior writer and reporter.

Mercurio said she is particularly interested in business reporting because of her desire to understand the economy and business in itself with its own nature.

“There is a career in business reporting. I am part of this economy and I ought to know the things happening in it. I figured that this would be my chosen field in journalism because I myself would want to understand business and market structures,” Mercurio said.

Mercurio is currently covering two main beats: macro economy and public finance. She monitors multilateral agencies like the World Bank. Agencies like the National Development and Economic Authority, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs, and the Insurance Commission are also part of her beat coverage. Her regular stories report about gross domestic products, external trade, employment, national budget, and fiscal performance.

No sweat in journalism

A practicing journalism for five years, Mercurio proudly said that she has not experienced hardcore challenges in the field. She further explained that there are no real struggles in journalism once the writer is well aware of the basics. The basics include appropriate sourcing, in-depth research and having an active nose for news.

“Once you have figured your way in the industry, you will have smooth days ahead of you. Writing could be really easy when you know what you are doing and you know what you are doing it for,” Mercurio said. “When you know where to look and who to talk to, you will make it in journalism.”

Although Mercurio said journalism could be an easy task, she explained that not everyone has what it takes to become professional journalists.

“It’s easy to report news or write stories, yes, but it takes more than that to be a journalist.

A real journalist must be responsible or accountable for everything that he or she writes. A journalist must always double-check, or even triple check, his or her stories, if the details are accurate,” Mercurio argued. “There must also be balanced reporting of the news, making sure that you get both sides of the story.”

Role of technology in business reporting

 With the emergence of technology, Mercurio signified that journalism became undemanding as it evolved into something much less complicated than it was before.

As a business reporter, her job requires her to be able to delve in into a mountain of files, which are now up in the World Wide Web. Technology made everything accessible, transformed presswork into child’s play and allowed journalists to write stories faster. Editors can now edit news in their phones or personal computers without the struggle of dealing with paper trails. Newspaper layouts can be done in laptops or tablets. Through the Internet or through efficient mobile communication, research is made easier as well as information became within reach. In today’s digital age, journalism continues to flourish.

“There have been some major changes in the industry and technology plays a big role in this impetus, with news expected to be delivered as it happens. One online search, one text, one call, that’s all we really need.” Mercurio said.

Covering the APEC

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has received a lot of attention from both the traditional and mainstream media institutions. The 2015 APEC summit held in the Philippines last November 17 to 21 filled in the jam-packed “to-do-lists” of journalists most especially the ones covering in the business field.

According to Mercurio, the Philippine media coverage of the APEC had its ups and downs. Journalists failed to deviate from reporting about non-newsworthy happenings like the fashion wear displayed by the APEC leaders or the fact that Kris Aquino attended the events. She said that this distracted the audience from grasping the real essence of the APEC Summit.

“The APEC Summit becomes newsworthy because you get to hear the insights of world leaders and business tycoons. If the mainstream media diverts the attention of the public to something interesting but unsubstantial, the essence of the reportage is defeated,” Mercurio said.

Mercurio gave an emphasis on the fact that journalists are wedded with the social responsibility of helping the public form critical discourses and intellectual opinions. She challenged journalists to stay true to this responsibility and be able to produce stories of national importance and significance.

“Journalists should be able to produce substantial stories, with all the resources that are already available. There’s just no excuse for journalists nowadays to make weak stories. People count on journalists for credible reportage — let us give them credible reportage.” Mercurio said.

On a more personal note, Mercurio claimed that covering major events like the APEC summit is seesawing between boring and exciting. She said that major events usually appear to be predictable and dragging. However, the historical factor of the events let her see their enjoyable side.

According to Mercurio, journalists are not allowed to conduct ambush interviews and are often situated in media centers. She said that APEC meetings are non-binding and there are only few earth shaking and market-moving reports.

“Major events, such as the APEC Summit, can be quite boring. We often get motherhood statements during press conferences, and the discussions in the APEC meetings are non-binding and are merely guidelines for its member economies,” Mercurio said.

Mercurio has covered APEC meetings in Cebu, Bacolod, Bataan, Iloilo, and Tagaytay.

Survival of the 4th estate

As a reporter in the second most dangerous country for journalists, Mercurio does not feel threatened about her safety and security. She said that although the lives of journalists in the Philippines are put at risks from time to time, they are able to work freely amidst all external and internal factors that try to silence the truth tellers.

“There is enough press freedom in the Philippines, especially when compared to other countries. Yes, Philippine journalists encounter challenges from time to time, and at times, reporters’ lives are put at risk. It is tough especially for those covering national issues, and there are those who would do everything to silence our voices, such as what happened in Maguindanao. But generally, I think journalists in the Philippines are able to work freely,” Mercurio said.

According to Mercurio, Philippine journalism will survive as long as there are brave souls who have passion in exposing the truth and critical thinkers who are willing to write unbiased stories, regardless of the circumstances.














































































Journalism: The Avenue of Expression

Journalism changed and evolved in the country over time considering the wide scale build up of industries over the regions of the world has been eminent. The medium Journalism is practiced also transformed: oral communication to written information down to the development of print media to redefined electronic media and finally to the present day convergence wherein every medium co-exists.

What is Journalism? As the oxford dictionary defines it, Journalism is the activity or profession of writing for newspapers or magazines or of broadcasting news on radio or television. It is a way of disseminating valuable information to institute a well-informed public. It aims to vanquish ignorance through making people aware with the current happenings inside and outside the country.

With the practice of Journalism comes the fragile notion of the freedom to express. Everyone having the right to freedom of expression got everyone confused about what Journalism really is. Now that technology has offered numerous platforms open for anyone to speak up, everyone seems to be considered as “journalists”.

The definition and purpose of Journalism also evolved. “Quality Journalism is under threat”. Some do not consider it to be a profession anymore because others are able to exercise it freely. Anyone who has access to the Internet can publish their side of the stories for different purposes: some publish for fame, others for their own biased agendas and there are still those who stick to the purpose of communicating the truth to the public.

Before the age of modernity and the milestones that technology reached, Journalism was limited to those who are able to write news stories and published them on newspapers. The country already had newspapers during the Spanish regime, which were black propagandas Filipinos used against the Spaniards. This continued on through the American and Japanese occupation in the country, but with the addition of the radio and television. Journalism was used as an influential tool to help free the country from the colonizers. It awakened the Filipinos to form upheavals making it a powerful manifestation of nationalism. During the People Power Revolution and EDSA dos, Journalism played an important role too. The late president Ferdinand Marcos through the establishment of Martial Law even recognized the threat Journalism brought that is why newspapers, except for those under the president, were banned from publishing.

The propagandistic form of Journalism is still visible. Now, it is not limited in traditional print and broadcast media, but widely conveyed in the Internet.

There also came a time when Journalism was monopolized. The same business tycoons owned the broadcasting companies and publications. Somehow, this is still thriving, but not as much as before.

Information travels faster today and anyone is able to publish information online through online publications like blogs, facebook posts or tweets making Journalism look like an easy task. What’s separating the so-called semi-profession Journalism from the mere freedom of expression is the content people publish. In the content, it is where credibility is found.