Editor’s Note: The original article published indicated that the editing team of St. Jude Catholic School won second place; however, the team of MGC New Life Christian Academy won second place, and the team of St. Jude Catholic School won third place. The editor misidentified the two schools in the original article.
The fateful day of January 23 proved to be a busy yet fulfilling day for Celadon officers and volunteers as the organization hosted two events for students from select Chinese schools from around the metro. Strikethrough: Breaking Cultural Barriers through Journalism catered to high school students, and the workshop was organized by the Publications Department. It ran from 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. in various rooms in the Loyola Schools.
The Welcoming Salvo
Almost 60 Chinese-Filipino high school student-writers and their respective moderators accepted the invitation to take part in the workshop. Their ranks included budding writers from Chang Kai Shek College, Grace Christian College, Hope Christian High School, Jubilee Christian Academy, MGC New Life Christian Academy, Pace Academy, Saint Jude Catholic School, and Xavier School.
The participants gathered in CTC118 for the opening address delivered by the host, Candice Tan. The objectives of the workshop, explaining that the event wants to break the very barriers created by cultural differences between the Chinese and Filipino cultures with the active use of journalism and present how journalism can be a prospective and lucrative career path in life.
VP for Publications Joshua Cheng followed up with an opening remark on the concept behind the project: “Cultures are wonderful. They give people ways of interpreting the world, but cultural differences give way to cultural barriers. Cultural barriers can lead to people being misrepresented. Journalism can be the vehicle to strike through cultural barriers, to create an inclusive culture.”
Joshua continues, “Strikethrough is a formatting mark that voices out a revision. It does not simply change culture, because what has been published has already been published. By voicing out a revision, the mark anticipates aned demands another side of the story. The other side of the story gives the audience a bigger picture of what unites us, and that can be accomplished in a bold essay, in an entertaining feature, and even in a supportive design that visually interprets the content.”
The Workshop Sessions
After Joshua’s speech for the first two writing workshops of the day, the participants were ushered to SEC-A 208 for the editorial writing workshop to be given by Adelle Chua and to SEC-A 210 for the web design workshop to be given by Mhariell Mosqueriola.
Adelle Chua mainly shared her experiences as a long-time editorial writer and opinion editor of The Standard and gave tips on editorial credibility, wherein she advises to utilize the power of persuasion using hard facts as a springboard to create a convincing editorial piece.
Mhariell Mosqueriola of Potatocodes and Ideastalk, who customizes website designs for various companies, explained how a creative and organized layout will prove useful in attracting attention for online articles through the use of a detailed presentation showing how layout editors present articles in that fashion.
The first part of the workshop concluded in the SS Foyer, where a small lunch buffet awaited the participants and the volunteers. After that, the participants headed back to CTC 118 before staring their second batch of workshops. The Chinese Culture workshop was held at SEC-A 208 conducted by Wilson Lee Flores and the features workshop was held at SEC-A 210 conducted by Rebecca Lee.
Wilson Lee Flores, the first president of Celadon, multi-awarded writer and entrepreneur, delivered his own share of experiences on how his culture managed to help influence his writing career. His inspirational talk also revolved around on how one can help improve his writing skills and how writing can generally make you a better professional in any field.
As a Chinese-Filipino blogger, columnist, features editor, and student correspondent from UP Diliman, Rebecca Lee gave ways on capitalizing on online media, her struggles on her line of work in her age were the key components she shared to the participants
The last workshop session for copy-editing that was held in CTC118 was supposed feature Danton Remoto, multi award-winning writer, editor, and professor. But due to sickness, Remoto was unable to attend and thus passed his notes to Wilson Lee Flores. Mr. Flores zeroed in on how it was critical for writers to keep rechecking and rewriting their work in the pursuit of what can really be considered as well-written piece. Diverse word choices, keeping the piece concise, and never allowing its length to be too long are also some of the tips he suggested.
Copy-Editing Competition and Tours
After the first batch of workshops, the participants were led back to CTC 118 to prepare for the copy-editing competition. Two to three members from each school will be provided two short paragraphs and a full-length article to edit. The winners of the contest would be determined as to how correct the grammar, spelling, and punctuation without altering the original content and consistency of terminologies. In short, the winning piece would be decided on spelling, grammar, clarity, punctuation, and style of editing. During the copy-editing competition, the rest of the participants and moderators took a tour around the campus led by volunteer tour guides.
Drawing to a Close
With everything said and done, participants and volunteers eagerly prepared themselves for the announcement of the winners of the copy-editing contest. Based on the judgment of Rebecca Lee and Joshua Cheng, Chang Kai Shek’s editing team won first place. MGC-New Life Christian Academy won second place. St. Jude Catholic School won third place.
In an interview with the winning team, composed of Rianne Lim, Tricia Mogro and Victoria Tan, teamwork was the key factor on where the trio attributed their win to.
“Each of us really took turns in reading, correcting, and typing. It all really boiled down to the teamwork between us,” the team declared.
When asked whether they really expected to win the contest, the trio admitted, “Not really. We only had two days of short practice sessions to familiarize ourselves with all the skills needed for this competition. But they really paid off.”
With regards to the event, Lim, Mogro and Tan eagerly shared that they enjoyed were inspired by the many matters the speakers have shared throughout the day.
The participants and the facilitators were handed survey forms after the announcements. After a series of picture-takings, the workshop drew to a close and everyone who took part all departed quite contented and a little wiser.
Saint Jude Catholic School’s facilitator Miss Kathlynn Rebonquin, also was keen to share some of her insights on the event. She regarded the workshop to be a success as it managed to expose numerous possibilities to aspiring writers with the workshop sessions and the different activities held throughout the day. The workshop’s concentration on the Chinese-Filipino culture also played a huge role to the event’s success as the Chinese-Filipino students that made up the bulk of the participants were able to connect to the themes presented by the focus on their culture.
“Strikethrough really left us with many ideas that me and the editorial team could brainstorm upon in the agendas with our own school paper. I only wish that the session for the features workshop could be longer and that hands-on web design and graphics editing could be present,” she added.
Leyah Dizon, one of the project heads for Strikethrough, expressed how fulfilling the workshop was at the end of the day.
“Journalism really can have a huge effect on people. It can end up touching so many people’s lives and revealing many truths. The Chinese-Filipino culture is not as well known as many people think. Only the Chinese side is usually seen, and journalism may help in bridging the two cultures together. This event managed to help convene this message to all its participants, and that is why it is so fulfilling,” Dizon reveals.
Mieko Ma, another project head, also expressed, “The main message we want to convey with this event is to encourage the participants mainly to strike the cultural barriers in terms of writing. Through this seminar, we want them to know that they can still express their Chinese-Filipino culture despite the barriers between the two cultures and tackle more topics beyond that. We also want to express how journalism can be a viable career for them since more and more students are not taking ‘typical’ courses in business and engineering.”
President EG Dizon sums up his sentiments on the event, “Considering that Strikethrough as a new project of Celadon, it was with great happiness that we saw how well-attended the event was. Seeing the enthusiasm that our young high school participants exibited, it makes me believe that the future journalists of this country have stories to share beyond cultures.”
Written by Ervin Llobrera
Photos by Joshua Tan and Regine Choa