UP to hold the 5th National Communication Research Conference


The Department of Communication Research of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) is holding the 5th National Communication Research Conference in Baguio City on 22 to 25 November 2017. This year’s theme is “Filipino Communicative Experience,” in time for the country’s 120th Year of Independence next year.

Over 600 communication and media students, faculty members, and professionals are expected to participate in the two-day main conference on 23 and 24 November 2017 where seven plenary speakers, ten competition papers, and 66 parallel session papers will be presented at the University of Cordilleras Main Campus (UCMC). Two parallel pre-conference workshops on research reporting will be held on 22 November at the UCMC and two post-conference workshops on research design will be held simultaneously on 25 November at the University of the Philippines Baguio (for students) and at the University of Baguio (for graduate students and faculty members).

Hon. Mark O. Go, Representative of the Lone District of Baguio City, will give the Opening Keynote Remarks. Professor Maria Cecilia Gastardo-Conaco, PhD, 2017 Gawad Tsanselor para sa Natatanging Guro awardee of UP Diliman, will talk about Filipino values and social media during her keynote marks at the Closing Ceremony.

Interested parties can contact the NCRC2017 Secretariat at ncrc@up.edu.ph or visit https://www.facebook.com/NCRCPhilippines/ for information about the conference.

The onsite non-refundable registration fee is P500. It covers the conference kit which includes the Book of Abstracts, a conference ID, the certificate of attendance, a pen, and a small notebook.

The NCRC is being staged together with the College of Arts and Communication of the University of the Philippines Baguio, the University of the Cordilleras, and the Philippines Communication Society. The Philippine Press Institute is NCRC’s press partner.

Now on its fifth year, the NCRC is the geographical expansion of the Communication Research Student Conference, first held in 2008. It is the first time that NCRC is being held outside the UP Diliman campus.

The NCRC is endorsed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and its organizer, the Department of Communication Research is a CHED Center of Excellence in Communication. It has received a Quill Award on Communication Training and Education from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).


For more information contact:
Contact Person
Fernando Paragas, PhD, Program & Publicity Team Head
National Communication Research Conference 2017
Email fcparagas@up.edu.ph
Phone 981-8500 loc 2671
(PPI as official media partner)

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JASCOR Gets a Quill

PPI-Holcim JASCOR Awards for FB

JASCOR Gets a Quill

By Tess Bacalla

Stories that made the cut in the 2014 and 2015 Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction, otherwise known as JASCOR, were collectively recognized at the recently concluded 2017 Philippine Quill Awards for Communications Skills — Publication Category.

Holcim Philippines, the building solutions company that funds JASCOR and a member of LafargeHolcim Holcim Group, a global leader in the construction materials industry, received the Philippine Quill award from the local division of the International Association of Business Communicators during the 15th Philippine Quill Awards held at the Marriott Hotel in Manila.

The Philippine Quill is considered the most prestigious award in business communication in the country.

JASCOR is a joint undertaking of Holcim Philippines and the Philippine Press Institute, the country’s biggest national association of newspapers. It  aims to recognize stories from the print media that help generate increased public awareness of the concept of sustainable construction and relevant issues.

One of JASCOR’s winning stories — which bagged the annual competition’s 2015 grand prize in the national newspaper category — is an inspiring piece, “Strong, cheap homes for ‘Yolanda’ victims,” penned by Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent Mozart Pastrano, that gave the nod to the “wisdom of vernacular architecture”.

Take that to mean — in the case of some of the survivors of typhoon Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan), which packed winds exceeding 300 kph and toppled just about every structure in its path — new and sturdier homes that leveraged indigenous innovations, making “passive cooling, natural lighting and ventilation” possible. The structures, built where old and typhoon-shattered ones used to stand, were designed to withstand winds up to 250 kph and are a “pioneering community-driven approach to recovery and rehabilitation.”

Nanay Marina, the proud owner of one of these structures, beamed with pride on seeing her newly minted house for the first time, a collective achievement of a community of survivors who put their hands together to build their homes, assisted by UN Habitat.

Gone are the scraps that made up what had been her home for close to two decades until it was levelled to the ground by the 2014 super typhoon. “Now we can go on with our lives,” said the then 69-year-old  resident of Barangay Baybay, Roxas City, in the Capiz Province, one of the areas ravaged by the typhoon.

In her winning story, Business Mirror correspondent Marilou Guieb, sharing top honors in the national newspaper category with Pastrano — described, in great detail, one of the remaining “pockets of green and spiritual spaces” in the City of Pines, now hobbled by a slow but steady shift from the once chilly air to “concrete island heat (and) pine-clad open spaces to traffic snarls.”

In her piece, titled “The Maryknoll nuns’ Earth House provides calm in a city of chaos,” the Baguio City-based journalist talked about an ecological sanctuary that is at the heart of the Cosmic Journey, a guided tour organized by the religious order, comprising 14 stations that “go back in time, featuring “pathways strewn with flowers and ferns and shaded by towering pine trees.”
The ecological stroll winds down at the Earth House, an interesting and innovative “mix of old architectural wisdom and modern construction,” showcasing sustainable construction.      

The builder, neither an architect nor an engineer, and admittedly “totally naïve about construction,” was given free hand by the directress of the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary,

Emma Villanueva, who lived near the Maryknoll compound and whose kitchen cafe that she personally designed impressed the Maryknoll nuns, embarked on her own creative journey when she was tapped by the latter to build and design the Earth House.

Among others, she experimented with clay soil, sand, and straw until she came up with the right formula for creating bricks that remained intact even when dropped to the ground. The resulting mud bricks reinforced the bamboo slats that formed the walls. Shards of used wine bottles and discarded jars — featuring an array of colors — were tucked into the bamboo weaves, letting natural light in while enhancing the aesthetic look of the entire structure.

Broken Italian tiles that sold for P40 per box, and which were cut to the desired sizes and shapes, formed the sink while natural dyes in their organic hues that gave the house an even more impressive look were extracted from plants — knowledge of which came in handy, thanks to village women familiar with these plants. Other notable features of the earthen house were cogon roofing fitted with sprinklers, and solar panels given freely by a local distributor, one of many who donated time and effort to building the house.

“If she can do it with just mud, sand and water, so can communities, and governments—and no one needs to be ever homeless,” concluded Guieb.

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'FAKE NEWS IS NOT NEWS." The officers of the Negros Press Club (NPC) were among the 300 participants who led the signing of the covenant against disinformation and misinformation in the seminar on 'Let's Get Real on Fake News' at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNOR) in Bacolod City. This is the second to the last of the scholastic series organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) with support from Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) in collaboration with the local press club. The final leg will be in Dumaguete City.
Photos by PPI's Kier Labrador

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2 Asian Communication Icons Win AMIC Awards

PPI Home Photo Gallery-15

Two Asian communication icons—a theorist and a practitioner—will be given one of the highest honors in the field of communication in Asia by the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) on Sept. 27 at Miriam College, Quezon City.

Shelton Dhavalasri Gunaratne, a former Sri Lankan journalist who is now professor emeritus of Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), will receive the AMIC Asia Communication Award for 2016 in recognition of his “ground-breaking scholarship and intellectual contribution to Asian media and communication research.”


Wijayananda Jayaweera, a Sri Lankan broadcaster who spent a lifetime developing broadcasting in Asia up to the end of his distinguished career as UNESCO Director of Communication and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), will be given the AMIC Asia Communication Award for 2017 in the field of institution Jayaweera


The awards will be handed out at the 25th AMIC Annual International Conference Sept. 27-29 at Miriam College, Quezon City. Over 400 foreign and local communication scholars, educators, researchers, practitioners and students have registered for the conference.

About the Conference

This is the first time the annual conference is being held in the Philippines since AMIC’s transfer from Singapore to the Philippines in 2015.

Themed “Rethinking Communication in a Resurgent Asia," the conference includes sessions on Asian Communication Paradigms and Theories; Asian Philosophy, Religion, and Communication; Freedom of Expression in a Post-Truth Era; Communication and Culture; Communication Education and Training; Political Communication in Traditional and Online Platforms; Media and Information Literacy; and Children and Gender Issues in Communication.
“The theme forces us to question the seeming dominance of Western philosophies and paradigms in communication media in the Asia-Pacific. The event hopes to provide a platform for reasserting the pioneering contributions of Asians in communication as well as examine the impact of Asian philosophies and religions on communication paradigms, strategies, and practices, said Crispin C. Maslog, AMIC Board of Directors Chairperson.

Some “legends” and experts in communication and journalism education in Asia Pacific have confirmed their participation. Among them are John Lent, Shelton Gunaratne, Ronny Adhikarya, Ang Peng Hwa, Cherian George, Arun Mahizhnan, and Peixin Cao. They will be joined by Filipino communication scholars including AMIC Chairperson Crispin C. Maslog and Florangel Rosario-Braid.

About Gunaratne, communication theorist, 2016 Awardee

Shelton Gunaratne started his distinguished career as a journalist in Sri Lanka and went on to conquer new journalistic worlds in Malaysia, Australia and the United States. Go West, young man, he was told. He did, like many other Asian communication scholars of his generation, and eventually became the first Sri Lankan to receive a doctorate in mass communication from the United States in 1972.

He did come back to his roots briefly, to conduct pioneering research for his doctoral dissertation at the University of Minnesota, by studying the role of communication in rural development in Sri Lanka. The results were published by AMIC as one of its first research monographs in 1976.

He then switched to academe as a journalism educator for the next decade in Malaysia and then Australia. From there he went to the United States to teach at the Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) from where he retired as professor emeritus in 2007. All throughout his teaching career in the West, he continued his love affair with Asian journalism and communication.

After 2000, Gunaratne focused his academic energies on globalizing communication/journalism studies with his attempt to merge Eastern philosophies—particularly Buddhist and Daoist phenomenology–in his seminal book, TheDao of the Press, published in 2005.

Gunaratne argues in this book that the classic Four Theories of the Press, articulated by Fred Siebert, Theodore Peterson and Wilbur Schramm since 1956, and which had become standard textbook in communication and society courses in Asia as in the rest of the Western world since then, was based on Eurocentric history, theory and practice.

Gunaratne said he wrote the Dao of the Press as an attempt to de-Westernize communication theory. This new book interprets press theory from the perspective of Eastern philosophy—particularly Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism and Confucianism. Gunaratne proposes “a more humano-centric theoretical framework that reflects the marriage of Eastern ontology with Western epistemology.”

Dr Gunaratne’s development of a humano-centric theory of press freedom presumes a world system that reflects the characteristics of a yin-yang (libertarian-authoritarian) spiral-shaped continuum. Therefore, he argues, communication theory must concede the Daoist notion of diversity within unity (varying degrees of freedom in different countries) because it describes the reality of nature.

About Jayaweera, institution builder, 2017 Awardee

In his career of about 50 years in the communication media sector—starting as a production assistant in 1969 at Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation up to his distinguished career as UNESCO Director of Communication and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)—Wijayananda Jayaweera has either initiated or introduced “revolutionary” programs that are redefining communication policies, standards, and programs.

The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) 2017 Asia Communication Award recognizes Wijayananda Jayaweera for being an innovator in media development.

Jayaweera’s initial major contribution to media development was the establishment in 1984 of Mahaweli Community Radio, a pioneering Asian community radio project. This facilitated the relocation of nearly 60,000 families under one of the most ambitious resettlement projects implemented by the Government of Sri Lanka. Throughout his career, he has played various significant roles in institutionalizing community radio in many other countries including Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. These initiatives were under the aegis of UNESCO and the Asia-Pacific Institute of Broadcasting Development (AIBD), among others.

As an institution builder, Jayaweera led the reform process for the Paris-based International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), successfully reinvigorating it with renewed donor confidence as the main multilateral instrument to support the development of free, independent, and pluralistic media in the developing countries.

He was also instrumental in bringing safety of journalists and the issue of impunity to the Intergovernmental Council of the Press in Developing Countries (IPDC), and in making the Council a global oversight body on the issue by obliging UNESCO member-states to report on the judicial follow up of the killing of journalists in their respective territories.

During his tenure as Director, he led the crafting and introduction of Media Development Indicators, now regarded as the only set of internationally approved indicators to determine media development needs. It was also under his directorship that UNESCO set the standards for journalism education with UNESCO’s Model Journalism Curricula and criteria for instructional excellence applicable to media training institutions.

Among his other significant initiatives is Media and Information Literacy (MIL), now a major pillar of UNESCO Media Development Programmes. In this age of post-truth, hate speech, and fake news, MIL has evolved as a potent tool in empowering media users to be discerning media consumers and responsible and ethical content producers.

AMIC also acknowledges the strong partnership forged between AMIC and UNESCO during his incumbency as Regional Communication Adviser for Asia and, later, as Director of the UNESCO Communication Development Division and IPDC.

After his retirement from UNESCO in 2011, Jayaweera has remained passionate and active in promoting an enabling environment for free, independent, and pluralistic media in the Asia-Pacific and throughout the world as adviser in several communication programmes and projects.

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Statement on National Day of Protest


Today, as declared National Day of Protest, is a grim reminder of the horrors of Martial Law.

Those harrowing years of abuses and violence inflicted on civilians, activists, and media would go down in history as one of our nation's worst periods.

How these have shaped our quest for democracy and freedom - and their restoration - are narratives worth telling and re-telling today and for generations to come.

While #NeverAgain is a mantra and a verbal protest through the years, we enjoin the public in keeping our democratic instutions in check by speaking to power if and when necessary and calling out abuses.


Photo Credit: Reuters

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PPI Board in Kapihan, re-affirms ‘no to fake news’


Coming at the heels of its scholastic press seminar-series on "Let's Get Real on Fake News", the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) sat in the panel at Tapatan sa Aristocrat, a regular Monday Kapihan organized by seasoned journalist Melo Acuna. PPI chairman-president Alfonso Gomez Pedrochejoined other panelists Prof. Danilo Arao of the University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Mass Communication, Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files, and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in the forum on "Fake News, Media Trends and Media Ownership" moderated by Acuna and Sky Ortigas.

The PPI is exploring a 'partnership' with Acuna for some topics it can recommend for his Kapihan.

The scholastic press program is being supported by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC). The last two remaining legs this year will be held in the cities of Bacolod and Dumaguete.

This was followed by the PPI Board's regular meeting. Discussed were the organization's training programs and partnerships.

(Photos by Ariel C. Sebellino)


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No to Fake News


NO TO FAKE NEWS. Criminology students do the thumb-down sign at the scholastic outreach program on "Let's Get Real on Fake News" at the Andres Bonifacio College in Dipolog City. They were among the 240 participants from 6 schools who attended the seminar organized by the Philippine Press Institite (PPI) with support from Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC). The final legs will be held in Bacolod and Dumaguete. (Photos by Kier Labrador of PPI)


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Ten conservation advocates receive 2017 ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Award

The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes were recognized in an award ceremony in Manila, Philippines. (left to right) H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community; ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) Executive Director Roberto V. Oliva; Mr. Eyad Samhan (Brunei Darussalam); Mr. Sophea Chhin (Cambodia); Mr. Alex Waisimon (Indonesia); Mr. Nitsavanh Louangkhot Pravongviengkham (Lao PDR); Prof. Zakri Abdul Hamid (Malaysia); Dr. Maung Maung Kyi (Myanmar); Dr. Angel Alcala (Philippines); Prof. Leo Tan Wee Hin (Singapore); Dr. Nonn Panitvong (Thailand); and Prof. Dang Huy Huynh (Viet Nam).
The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes were recognized in an award ceremony in Manila, Philippines. (left to right) H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community; ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) Executive Director Roberto V. Oliva; Mr. Eyad Samhan (Brunei Darussalam); Mr. Sophea Chhin (Cambodia); Mr. Alex Waisimon (Indonesia); Mr. Nitsavanh Louangkhot Pravongviengkham (Lao PDR); Prof. Zakri Abdul Hamid (Malaysia); Dr. Maung Maung Kyi (Myanmar); Dr. Angel Alcala (Philippines); Prof. Leo Tan Wee Hin (Singapore); Dr. Nonn Panitvong (Thailand); and Prof. Dang Huy Huynh (Viet Nam).

Ten biodiversity conservation advocates representing the grassroots, government, academic, and business sectors received the 2017 ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Award at a ceremony held in Manila, Philippines on 07 August 2017. The inaugural award forms part of the celebration of ASEAN’s Golden Anniversary.

The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is a program designed to recognize outstanding individuals from the ASEAN region who have contributed significantly to biodiversity conservation and advocacy efforts in their respective countries.

From an indigenous community leader who is protecting Papua’s forest to a national scientist who is championing coastal resources management, the inaugural ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes honors inspirational and valiant individuals who have risen to the challenge of helping curb biodiversity loss. Each of the heroes, in their own different ways, have made significant impact on biodiversity conservation in their respective communities, countries, and the region.

The 2017 ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes are:

1. Mr. Eyad Samhan, Former Field Supervisor, Tasek Merimbun, Brunei Darussalam
For significant contributions to research on fauna and flora in Brunei and in the region

2. Mr. Sophea Chhin, Government Official, Department of Biodiversity, Cambodia
For sparking interest in wildlife research among Cambodians

3. Mr. Alex Waisimon, Conservation worker, Indonesia
For protecting Papua’s forests for future generations

4. Mr. Nitsavanh Louangkhot Pravongviengkham, President, Union Development Agricole Import-Export Public Company (UDA Farm), Lao PDR
For promoting environment-friendly agricultural production and protecting migratory species

5. Prof. Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Malaysia
For making a lasting impact on analysis and assessment of global biodiversity and ecosystem services

6. Dr. Maung Maung Kyi, Chairman, Rakhine Coastal Region Conservation Association, Myanmar
For effectively promoting community participation to conserve various habitats

7. Dr. Angel C. Alcala, Professor Emeritus, Silliman University, National Scientist, Philippines
For championing coastal resource management and terrestrial biodiversity conservation

8. Prof. Leo Tan Wee Hin, Professorial Fellow and Director (Special Projects), Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore
For championing biodiversity outreach and education

9. Dr. Nonn Panitvong, Founder and Webmaster of Thailand Biodiversity Conservation Group, Director, NakornPhet Sugar Limited and other companies
For raising public awareness of biodiversity through taxonomy

10. Prof. Dang Huy Huynh, Vice Chair, Viet Nam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment
For fostering the exchange of knowledge and solutions to conserve Viet Nam’s biodiversity

“At the heart of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025 is the commitment to lift the quality of life of its peoples through cooperative activities that are people oriented, people-centered, environmentally friendly, and geared towards the promotion of sustainable development. Today is a celebration – where we rejoice the achievement and recognition of these ten remarkable individuals. It is also a celebration for the peoples of ASEAN. The Heroes will bring to the peoples of ASEAN a better understanding, awareness and appreciation of the diverse values of biodiversity and underpin the willingness of individuals to make real changes and actions that will bring about a more sustainable future for all of us,” said H.E. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) Executive Director Roberto V. Oliva said, “We are honoring 10 ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes who have dedicated their lives for the cause of biodiversity conservation. Under great sacrifice to themselves and their families, they have shown tenacity, perseverance and focus to protect our web of life. Our heroes have shown us clearly what love for self, what love for children and grandchildren and what love for one’s country is. It is embracing the cause of biodiversity conservation. ASEAN biodiversity which is the region’s life support system is still rich because of you,” he said. The ACB serves as awards secretariat.

Representing Secretary Roy Cimatu of the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Undersecretary Jonas Leones said the search for the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes holds a special significance for the Philippines and the entire ASEAN region. “Without biodiversity, there will be no life, for biodiversity is life in itself. Without biodiversity in its myriad forms and inter-interdependence, we will not survive and prosper. Biodiversity feeds us, sustains healthy living, maintains a healthy and productive environment, helps nations develop and grow economically, promotes human development and well-being, and provides recreational facilities. In short, biodiversity is with us and around us, every moment, and in every breath we take,” he said.

The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes is supported by the ASEAN Secretariat; the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs; the European Union through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP) project; and HARI Foundation, Inc. (HFI), the corporate social responsibility arm of Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI).

Mr. Michael Bucki, EU Climate Change and Environment Counsellor to the ASEAN, expressed pride in supporting the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes through the Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP) project. “We need a global vision and a political will at the highest level to halt biodiversity loss and I have no doubt that the ASEAN – EU partnership can reinforce that vision towards a common objective and interest. We also need biodiversity champions who are making outstanding efforts, always acting beyond their personal interest and often taking personal risks. They make a significant difference in our day to day life and more importantly they lead by example in order that each and every one can contribute ‘to make the planet great again’.”

Each ASEAN Biodiversity Hero received a cash prize worth USD 5,000, a special Heroes medal and trophy.

Apart from receiving the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Award, the 10 heroes also received the Hyundai Icon for Biodiversity Award, a special prize from HARI Foundation, Inc. (HFI). “HFI opens a new leg in our journey of working and caring for Man and Planet as the Philippine automotive industry’s champion for biodiversity. We have covered substantial ground in our advocacy for education in environmental stewardship, but we know we can still do more to heed Mother Nature's desperate call for help. Partnering with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity is an important step towards expanding the scope and scale of our advocacy for social and environmental sustainability. I warmly congratulate this year’s ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes. With you in the spotlight as models for everyone to emulate, we can do more in broadening the awareness about biodiversity and in creating actionable measures toward its conservation,” Ms. Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, president of HFI, said.

The ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes were selected by the ASEAN Member States. The nominating agencies considered the relevance of the nominees’ contributions to biodiversity conservation, the impact of these contributions to biodiversity conservation efforts in their respective countries and the region, the replicability of their actions, and the recognition they received in communities where they belong.

The heroes from the 10 ASEAN Member States will be known as the faces of biodiversity conservation in the ASEAN region. They will be invited to speak in forums, workshops, press conferences, and other relevant events to share their experiences in conserving biodiversity with the aim of inspiring others to do the same.

To know more about the ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes, log on to heroes.aseanbiodiversity.org. For questions, send an e-mail to heroes@aseanbiodiversity.org.

Notes to Editors:
For individual feature stories and photos of the 10 ASEAN Biodiversity Awardees, please visit: heroes.aseanbiodiversity.org.

Photo Credits: She Aguiba

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To launch new book on Duterte com style July 26


“President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s speaking style can be described as very raw -- direct, unedited, no pretensions. He speaks his mind . . . how his emotions dictate him. Being open is often thought of positively; but for the President of the Philippines who is speaking to a wide audience, this poses a lot of questions . . . we often forget that our language use defines us and shapes how other people see us.”

These are the candid comments of a University of the Philippines linguistics professor, Farah C. Cunanan, Ph. D. Cunanan’s analysis of President Duterte’s controversial communication style is one of many included in a new book, Deconstruct to Understand: Why President Duterte Speaks His Way. Edited by Crispin C. Maslog, the book is being launched July 26 in time for Duterte’s one year anniversary in office at the Roundtable@Lido hosted by Mel Acuna.

The book is based on the output of a major National Communication Conference hosted by The Asia Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) Nov. 25 last year on the theme: “Deconstructing Toward Understanding: The Communication Content and Style of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.” AMIC is headed by Secretary-General Ramon G. Tuazon.

Eight communication specialists talked on the topic during a one-day conference that brought together about 200 communication professionals to dialogue on the communication style of Duterte.

The book includes the brief papers of the communication experts and is an attempt at a balanced analysis of the Presidential communication style, which is controversial to say the least.

The book includes an essay by Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella which explains what drives President Dutertete. “By listening to what he says, one can reconstruct a consistent narrative. . . He was a reluctant candidate but ran because certain crucial national issues were not being addressed--the Mindanao peace situation, the pandemic illegal drug trade, corruption, poverty.”

On the other extreme, this criticism by National Artist and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Francisco Sionil Jose: “The President does not realize that his greatest enemy is his own self, his mouth, because he thinks he knows all the answers. This differentiates him from Ramon Magsaysay, who . . . surrounded himself with the best minds . . . Whenever Magsaysay realized that he made a mistake, he corrected himself immediately. “

On the other hand, Presidential Communications Coordinating Office Director Martin Andanar justifies the personality of his boss: He talks of a Public Duterte—“the tough-talking mayor of Davao who forged order out of chaos, the man who rides a big bike and swears like a sailor . . . and Private Rody--a mellow fellow, an introvert pushed to the brightest stage of the land, a kindly and unassuming man driven by empathy, and a romantic visionary . . . Private Rody is the man who went to his parents’ grave after winning the election, there to weep.”
Inquirer digital edition editor John Nery raises a key question: Does President Duterte listen? “We don’t know. The former archbishop of Davao, Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla, thinks that Mr. Duterte’s seeming inability to take advice or criticism is precisely the problem. . . If he can only listen … listen to other people. Last week, I heard an ambassador summarize an overview of the national situation through a plaintive question: Is there anyone the President listens to?”

Deconstruct to Understand is an attempt by the editor and the authors in the book to deconstruct Duterte’s language in order to make sense of it. Deconstruction is a method of analysis that states that a piece of writing does not have just one meaning. It shows how meaning depends on the reader.
This method of critical analysis does not mean “demolition.” In contemporary philosophy, literary criticism, and the social sciences, deconstruction means analyzing something to discover its true significance, whether intended by its proponent or not.

The 100-page book, published by the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC), is available at AIJC and will be sold in Solidaridad and Metro Manila bookstores at P200 a copy. ###

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United against Fake News


A total of 320 students, teachers, and media pactitioners from South Cotabato, Cotabato City, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City (SOCCSKSARGEN) make the thumbs-down gesture and sign the covenant during the one-day seminar on "Let's Get Real on Fake News" held at SM GenSan Mega Trade Hall. This is the second wave of the campaign against fake news organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) supported by Nickel Asia Corporatiion (NAC) in collabiration with Mindana Media Services (MMS) under the institute's scholastic press program. Next stop for Mindanao is Dipolog City on August 18.

(PPI photos by Kier Labrador and Jazztein Jubelag.)


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