Leap year FebruaryBy VP Vamenta
Welcome to this special month of February, the shortest month of the year, with 28 days compared to the 30 or 31 in other months, but this year, being a leap year, we have 29 days to commemorate Valentine’s Day and National Arts Month.
But also 29 days to be more than ever aware that there is “a lot of shakin’ going on” as a popular song put it, not just in our fair land but in other places of the world as well, because we certainly are not alone, as modern media keeps reminding us.
At no time that I can remember, and I have been around for quite some time, have there been so many natural and man-made disasters as in the past year and month. Of natural disasters, we seldom had so many earthquakes in our country as we had last year and even now, and we thought they only happened in the earthquake-prone areas in our neighboring countries.
Now, there have been more weather extremes in typhoons, storms and temperature changes worldwide as never before experienced that “Inconvenient Truth” author Al Gore had warned about years ago, when no one was listening or paying attention, while those who did just chucked him off as an attention-seeking “prophet of doom.”
And landslides in the aftermath of reckless deforestation and establishment of high-end real estate developments, displacing established mga tagabukid or mountain folk who came down to the towns and cities, only to become our unfortunate squatters. Meanwhile here in our towns and cities the corresponding growth in population, residences and production and the corresponding waste filling our waterways have resulted in disastrous floods.
In government and politics, particularly in our country, this being a pre-election year, there has also been “a lot of shakin’ going on” in political alignments and alliances to make even the more savvy shake their heads trying to make out heads or tails. It is a daily development that bears watching for those interested and involved. Throw in for “good measure” the investigations and judgements on wrongdoing going on.
And now, for the the current hot topic: the Corona impeachment trial, which has kept me glued to the TV set for days now, and the print reports and comments by highly-read columnists. I hope I got it right before I started writing this column last Wednesday that they might temporarily suspend the trial to give the senator-judges more time to get things together and to go about their main job of legislation.
Now, on the subject of media, particularly TV broadcasting, which keeps us in touch with things as they happen, and print media which gives us details of the news. For it is news and live coverage and broadcasts that I am particularly interested in, locally nationally and on CNN and BBC, in addition to the regular religious coverages of Masses locally, nationally and usually from Rome and the United States, and wherever else in the world these are held. Toss in some of the nationally popular programs in science, travel and adventure.
My lifelong involvement in broadcast media has put me in sync with Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Nestor Torre’s comments on broadcasting. His comments on broadcasters’ news delivery and host interviewers, among others, strike a chord with me.
Let me add a couple of my own observations, first of which is about the timing of programs, having been taught and brought up to practice accurate timing, according to standard time.
CNN, BBC and EWTN are some of the few international broadcasts that start and end on time, one can even tell time by them whether one hour or half an hour.
Correct pronunciation and word choice in delivery of the language used, whether Filipino/Tagalog, Cebuano in our area and region and English still need a lot of supervision among newcomers, especially.
And the commercial content is overwhelming in some sponsored programs locally and nationally, which not only overwhelms but also makes the program go overtime.
Enough for now. Next week, let me share the results of our recent Cebu Girl Scouts election of officers and reports about artists, the late Julian Jumalon and Cebu’s Raymund Fernandez, which I promised last week.
To close, let us rejoice that our Palawan Underground River is among the proclaimed new Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Till then, as always, may God continue to bless us, one and all!
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