[OPINION] What covering the local elections taught me
Covering the 2019 elections was definitely not something I expected to be part of in my summer break, but it definitely became an unforgettable experience.
For starters, I finally learned a little more about the politics in the city I call home – Dipolog City. I knew nothing even prior to my brief stay in Cagayan de Oro City for senior high school, and I'm aware that what I know right now still isn't enough.
Still, I feel like I was able to do the least that I could as a responsible citizen of Dipolog City, despite my ineligibility to vote. (READ: Rappler trains citizen journalists ahead of 2019 elections)
For me, covering the local elections in Dipolog City served as an opportunity for me to improve my skills in journalism – at such a historical moment at that.
I got to venture out of my familiar territory of writing campus news. My livetweets have grown from brief text updates, to “LOOK” stories with photos that provide additional context, and to brief “WATCH” clips so that even people outside of my area could catch a glimpse of what's going on.
At the Sangguniang Panlungsod office of Dipolog City, I took a footage of where the canvassing was held. Being there gave me a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes and it made me realize that there are so many questions I didn't know I wanted to be answered.
WATCH: A party claims that VCMs from Brgy. Estaka are currently being dismantled. Meanwhile, the CCS reflects that 100% of votes have already been transmitted. @phvote #PHvote pic.twitter.com/dBOIkMnPe0— Ria Te, #PHvote (@mvictoriate) May 13, 2019
I wrote two stories on the local mayoral race. I got to go on air twice via phone patch to provide updates live from where I was at. Hearing my name out there is cool and all, but hearing the words "updates from Dipolog City"...now how about that? (READ: Darel Uy poised for reelection as Dipolog mayor)
Dipolog in the headlines
This is extra important to me, as I rarely ever see my hometown make the headlines. The name of Dipolog has only become more resonant lately, thanks to the unbelievably high heat index. In the words of a friend, "how have you not cooked from the inside yet?"
Now, people know a little more about my home other than "makamatay man ang kainit diha oy (The heat there is lethal)!"
Lastly, my journey to this point would not have happened if it weren't for MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm. I didn't just find colleagues there. I found friends. I found family. I found people who inspire me with their undying passion for capturing real-time stories that matter. I found people whom I can go and share laughs with after a long day of coverage. (READ: WATCH: Why be a Rappler mover?)
At a time when having the title of a journalist can be risky, these people give me hope.
Despite the pressure, the stuttering, the lack of sleep, heavy shoulders, and the near-collapse and splitting headache due to sweltering heat, ako ay lumaban at patuloy na lumalaban.
Padayon, mga igsuon! (I continued to fight, Let’s continue!) – Rappler.com
Maria Victoria Tenido Te is a Rappler mover in Cagayan de Oro City. She is a Grade 12 student of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan and the editor-in-chief of The Squire Publication.