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DCG tells teachers: challenge yourselves intellectuallyDCG tells teachers: challenge yourselves intellectually

06 February 2018

By Daisy CL Mandap

Think. Read. Challenge yourself. Question your existence.

These were among the words of wisdom imparted by Deputy Consul General Roderico Atienza to a group of Filipino teachers in Hong Kong who joined the 2018 news writing seminar conducted by The SUN at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Wanchai on Jan. 21.

“We have to continue challenging ourselves intellectually,” DCG Atienza told the 19 teachers and about 10 other foreign domestic workers who joined the seminar. “In the same way that we can maintain our youthful vigor, ganoon din dapat ang mind natin. We also have to exercise our minds.”

Organizer Gemma A. Lauraya, president of the National Organization of Professional Teachers – Hong Kong is joined by The SUN Editor Daisy Catherine L. Mandap, DCG Roderico Atienza and The SUN Publisher Leo A. Deocadiz.

Atienza threw scorn at “nosebleed,” the popular Filipino expression used to denote one’s failure to understand what is being said because it’s in English, saying “let’s avoid (saying) that. That’s because to him, this denotes that someone does not want to be challenged intellectually, that it is better to dumb down the conversation.

“There’s nothing wrong with being an intellectual, huwag lang tayong maging snob,” he said.

Critical thinking, as well as reading, could help open one’s mind to new ideas.

“Before you get into the writing, yung style and everything, get into the thinking (part) first,” he said.

Atienza also shared his experiences as a journalist for five years prior to joining the civil service. Two of those were spent in the Philippines, and three in Japan, where he was hired because of his fluency in both the English and Japanese languages.

The seminar was broken down into three parts, with editor Daisy CL Mandap giving basic lessons on news writing, and how being able to write could help anyone, whatever profession they’re in.

The next part, conducted by associate editor Vir B. Lumicao, focused on news gathering techniques and basic lessons on grammar.

The third part, handled by publisher Leo A. Deocadiz, started off with a video of an actual press conference given by White House doctors on President Donald Trump’s recent medical check-up. The participants were then told to write a “lead” or the first paragraph of a news story, distilling the essential information given out in the presser.

The participants were then encouraged to send stories to The SUN so they will have a better understanding of the process involved in writing the news.

Also at the seminar were The SUN’s contributors, who shared their experiences on how writing has helped them understand issues affecting migrant domestic workers, and given them the courage to express themselves and help others.

The session ended with Gemma A. Lauraya, president of the National Organization of Professional Teachers – Hong Kong, handing over a contribution from participants for the food and other expenses for the seminar, which The SUN in turn said will be donated to the Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge.

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