Sometimes, I have sleepless nights.
It usually happens after a difficult coverage. Images of the persons I interviewed come to mind. How are the farmers in Hacienda Luisita and Hacienda Dolores? Have the urban poor in Isla Puting Bato rebuilt their shanties after the fire? Have the contractual employees of GMA 7 received their salaries? How are the relatives of the disappeared?
I would say journalism is a blessing as it is a curse. Writing is my only way of trying to help out those whose voices are either unheard or muted. There are times I feel it is not enough.
Then again, I would like to believe that telling their stories somehow provide them even a tinge of hope. That in the mere act of listening, they know they deserve to be heard. It is okay to break what Paolo Freire calls the “culture of silence” which has been imposed upon them by the powers-that-be.
The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development defines participation as “organised effort to increase control over resources and institutions for groups hitherto excluded from such control.”
In the many communities I visited for coverage, I witness how many Davids band together to confront the Goliaths. This they do to defend their resources, livelihood, right to decent living, to fight for what to them is “authentic development.”
By Ronalyn V. Olea, Bulatlat, 2016
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Also access the UNRISD Classics Vol.III Revisiting Sustainable Development