Is your perspective empowering?

Juan and Pedro are brothers.

'Juan' gathers and sells junk as a source of livelihood and he lives in a nipa house. When asked about his life, he said, "Still the same. Life is hard for me." Meanwhile, 'Pedro' lives in a big house beside Juan's and he owns an expensive jeep, so it is assumed that he is rich.

This is a true story that Lester Dan Sollesta, director of the Iloilo Chamber of Commerce and Industry has witnessed in Mindanao, a story that he shared with journalists and bloggers during the Globe Media Excellence Appreciation Lunch held in Iloilo City recently.

“It is a typical Filipino story; individuals of the same blood but are in different life situations. What made such difference in these brothers' lives?” Sollesta asked.

2015 Globe Media Excellence Awards nominees with Globe Telecom representatives

"It is not our fault if we were born poor. But, if we die poor, that is our fault. The difference between Juan and Pedro is their perspective. Pedro wants to grow and become better," Sollesta explained.

To stress his point, he showed the Becel Heart Health Makeover Commercial “Stuck on an Escalator” where a man and a woman waited for help to come when the escalator they were riding stopped.  Of course, even a child would know that the simplest action to take is to go up the escalator's stairs.  The video highlights perspective – how some people are content in waiting for help while others would take a pro-active stance of getting out of the rut.

"Perspective can inspire and empower people. That is why I admire journalists because of their perspective of empowering others," Sollesta added.

He cited several situations when journalistic pieces have changed his perspective.

Lester Dan Sollesta, director of the Iloilo Chamber of Commerce and Industry receives his certificate from Riki Ferrer of Globe Telecom

Having experienced an attempt on his and his wife's safety, Sollesta thought of buying a gun as a form of protection. But he was dissuaded after reading an article that refers to "Guns with History", a website and store that features guns but actually describes the tragedies caused by each version of the gun. “It showed that persons who own guns either commit suicide or meet a gun-related accident. So I didn’t buy a gun anymore,” Sollesta said.

He also stressed how Iloilo City's advocacy "I am Iloilo" can be empowering despite the criticisms it has received from some.

For those who don’t know what  “I am Iloilo” is, it is a “statement that embodies what Iloilo is all about -- its rich history and culture, heritage houses and mansions, majestic river, colorful festivals, warm people, sumptuous cuisine, grand churches, breathtaking countryside... the list could go on. It is a passionate declaration that there is nothing else like Iloilo. It is claiming ownership of the place and personifying it in one's being.” (Source: Antoine Greg, I am Iloilo You Tube)

So, Sollesta encourages journalists to provide the right perspective, one that inspires and empowers.

2015 Globe Media Excellence Awards  judge Carmencita Robles (second from left) with Globe Telecom representatives

After his speech, Globe presented some of the journalists and bloggers who were nominated for the 2015 Globe Media Excellence Award and gave them certificates and tokens.

The Globe Media Excellence Award recognizes excellence in journalism from the best breed of scribes in Visayas and Mindanao. The award pays tribute and gives recognition to print, broadcast and digital media practitioners who have excelled in their respective fields. This year, 53 entries were shortlisted among a total of 688 entries. As in previous years, the entries explore and promote advocacies in business and entrepreneurship, information and communications technology, environment and disaster response, governance and social progress and youth and education.

For the complete list of nominees, click here./Kathy Villalon


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