Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 Fine Year, And Not Over Yet

Age?  None of Your Business

June 24th, we had a simple brunch trip to Tagaytay.  It was Jeg’s birthday (never mind how many years).  This was my first time to visit the popular stop-over called the Bag of Beans Coffee Bar.  Nice place. Jeg’s guests were niece  Danyelle, sister Ruby, and mom Lita.  The place is actually nice.  Wouldn’t mind going back there for a tumbler of coffee, together with their over-sized wafer cake.

Jegs is looking just great these days.  Of course, both of us do need to get rid of some amount of excess luggage such as on the midsection.  But it’s difficult to go against centrifugal force.  Even the earth can’t.  See, as the earth rotates on its axis, it tends to bulge on the middle, which is why the point that is farthest from the center of the earth isn’t Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth, but Mt. Chimborazzo in the Andes mountain range in South America, which is located one degree above the equator.  As the earth rotates on its axis, it bulges on the midsection, which is where Mt. Chimborazzo is nearest.

Couple of Publications

The year 2012 seems a good year for me.  During the first half of the year a couple of books came off the press,  Both carried works I’ve done earlier (meaning the previous year and earlier).  Let me tell you about these two books.

The first book, titled Development Communication in Directed Social Change, A Reappraisal of Theory and Practice.  It was edited by Professor Srinivas R. Melkote of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA.  Professor Srinivas is an expert in communication for social change. This book, organized in four parts (Introduction; Rethinking Theories in Communication and Directed Change; Social Change Communication in Action: Macro & Micro Contexts; Case Studies in Communication and directed Change).  All in all, the book has 13 chapters, the 12th one I prepared.  This chapter is titled Development Communication Education in Los Baños: Contribution from Graduate Research.

In 2011, Dr. Sundeep Mupiddi, Secretary-General of AMIC in Singapore, visited Los Baños and specifically requested me to contribute to a book he was organizing at AMIC.  He did mention that the book would deal with some kind of reappraisal of devcom from a theoretical point of view.  Well, I’m not a theoretician, but I did tell Dr. Sundeep that I would gladly participate in the project although I would prefer to write on a specific topic of my choice, to which he agreed.  I chose to write about the role of graduate research in the training of devcom specialists at UPLB.  I focused on the PhD dissertations produced at the College of Development Communication at UPLB from 2000-2010.

In general terms, the thesis of my chapter is that graduate research in devcom done at UPLB is a good measure of how devcom is taught in Los Baños.  Devcom graduates of UPLB are highly skillful in the use particularly of ICTs.  However, due to the heavy expectations on devcom experts in the university to help solve the development problems of the country, they (experts) have not been able to do substantial research that contributes to theorizing.  In fact, the great bulk of staff and graduate research done in Los Baños has been focused on solving development problems, largely from the points of view of government agencies or the mother institutions of graduate students.  There has not been enough time and financial resources to do research that substantially leads to theorizing in development communication, which is one reason why devcom remains a skills-oriented field for many practitioners and academics.

This book is available from AMIC in Singapore.  Visit this website:

The other book is titled People’s Radio (Communication Change Across Africa), authored by Dr. Linje Manyoso, a development broadcasting expert from Malawi in Africa, and currently lecturer and director of the MSc Programme in Media and Communication at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  This book is Linje’s doctoral dissertation at La Trobe University in Australia.  I’m honored that he  made substantial use of my book titled Rural Educational Broadcasting, A Philippine Experience, which was published in 1985.

Dr. Linje asked me in 2010 if I could write a preface to his book since I, too, have been in the field of development broadcasting plus the fact that my book was a major reference in his dissertation.  Little did I know that the piece I wrote for him would end up as a special chapter in his book, titled Manifesto for a Development Radio Broadcaster.

This book was published by Southbend Sdn. Bhd., publisher of development communication books, based in Penang, Malaysia.  People’s Radio is one of the titles in the  Communication for Development and Social Change Series, where a good friend, Professor Jan Servaes is Series Editor.  I invite those interested in this book to email my friend Chin, owner of Southbend:  You may also visit:

Visit the UPOU HQ

Do find time to visit the campus of the UPOU in Los Baños.  But don’t pick the luscious-looking bignay berries just yet.  They have been sprayed with chemicals, perhaps to get rid of the excessive ants.  Perhaps the UPLB Institute of Food Science has contracted the berries for their wine-making project.

By the way, Dr. Armand Palijon, the UPOU Landscape Architect, has been really taking care of the landscaping requirements of UPOU.  Quite easily, I’ve heard someone else say so, the UPOU frontage is much more beautiful than any of the other campuses of UP.  Well, you gotta be in the place to appreciate its beauty.

We’ll see when the entire frontage will be full of sunflower during graduation next summer.  Could be more beautiful than that of Diliman.  We’ll take bets later.


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