Wenceslao: Uncharted

·3 min read

I had been to many places when I was younger. I have always had an adventurous streak. I was in high school when I started going unaccompanied to the home place of my parents, the Camotes group of islands. It was the only way I could go on a summer vacation without disturbing the plans of my siblings at that time. Camotes was a virtually uncharted place then, unlike now when tourists are getting familiar with the place.

That was why I never hesitated when I was asked to help organize the peasants in the countryside. There were fears of the unfamiliar, but I successfully suppressed these. I already had enough experience to be able to do so. These days I am in another unfamiliar ground knowledge-wise: a writer trying to master the craft of vlogging.

I started my career in traditional media in broadcasting. I joined dyLA as a transcriber and later became a reporter covering the Cebu City Hall beat. I once handled radio programs as a pinch-hitter. It was then that I realized I was more of a writer than a talker. I loved writing. But I didn’t like to talk too much. So when I quit dyLA, I went to The Freeman, and then to SunStar Cebu until I retired in 2019.

But the new technology, sort of, has overtaken me. Now, it is not enough to be merely a writer. One has to plunge into uncharted waters to stay relevant. With social media, the delivery of information and opinion has been democratized. That can be a negative and a positive thing. It can be negative because people without training on the law and ethical standards can become reporters and “influencers.” We now have in our society a mix of lies, half-truths and the truth.

But it is not only information and opinion that have been democratized but their profits, too. Social media has taken a chunk of the revenues that should have gone to traditional media outlets. That can also be a negative or a positive. The profitability of traditional media outlets has been put to a test. But individuals can now profit from social media activities.

When I retired in 2019, I also said goodbye to my salary and benefits. I was forced to subsist on a meager pension. I sought activities that could provide me with additional income, but these were few and far between. So I am now forced to do something I am unfamiliar with, which includes doing a big deal of talking. I am again in a strange territory.

I need to recover the adventurous streak that I had when I was younger. That adventurous streak was mixed with a love of nature and people. I am confident I would recover that adventurous streak this time around because it would be mixed with my love for serving people. And a dose of writing and a long journalistic experience.

The first thing that I am experiencing now is the excitement to be doing what I want. This was the same excitement I had when I started working in traditional media. This old dog is happy to be learning new tricks again.

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