At least in UST’s Journalism curriculum, that is how it all seemed. You are bound to learn something, whatever it may be.

You learn some and then you lose some. The academe, together with its mentors, can only teach you what it contains. In our case as journalism students, we were taught how to write properly in terms of grammar and sense, and to put everything concisely-all while attracting attention, inspiring, informing, and attempting to remove our own biases and judgment. We were seemingly asked to swear by the rulebook of journalism, following it to the letter and writing about the truth in every ethical manner possible.
We learned and wrote as we were taught by the lessons written on the papers and those experienced by our professors. In the midst of all these, we were also ironically reminded to know when to learn and to unlearn.

In these four years of struggle, I became used to face bloody red-inked papers almost every day that it already became part of my system. Journalism students’ intellectual capabilities are rewired to write, check, and edit-all while following the tenets taught to them. Compared to how subtle learning something new is, it is not always easy to simply unlearn something.

Learning does not end the day we march up the stage and get our diploma. Our wit and wisdom continue to grow as the person in us grows. Perfection is overrated. It may be impossible and elusive to have the perfect education and knowledge of our craft. We can only learn and take in as much as we can and make the best out of it.

The academe, through the professors who mentored us all the way, can only teach so much. However, the rest of our educational journey lies in our hands as we go on to the “big league.”

The world beyond the protective walls of the University is bound to teach us that not every piece of rule taught to us is crucial and correct. Therefore, it is our duty to tweak what we know once the need arises. 
With all those babbling made, the point is to know when to abide by the rules and know when to change them-whether it is a simple grammar rule or a journalistic ethical guideline.

I, for instance, had to learn and unlearn my lessons when I had my on-the-job training last summer. It was a tough learning process but the lessons learned and unlearned from the experience honed and transformed me into a better person. Indeed, experience may be a harsh teacher but it is the best.

It may now be proper to say that being a writer or even a journalist is not an easy profession that is always better learned outside the school. There are lessons that only the academe can teach and those that only life can impart. To know how to write is far different from being a journalist. Journalism, just like any other career, is more than just a hobby. Being a journalist is a vocation that can make or break a person as it attempts to inspire and speak of the truth.


My four-year journey as a journalism student is a surreal roller coaster ride infused with emotions of heavy television drama that I could have never survived without the help of certain people. As this journey nears its end, I would like to grab this opportunity to take my hat off to those people who made this ride worthwhile.

I thank God and my family who patiently helped me push through this course-hopefully with success-despite my apprehensions, constant whining, and all-nighters.

To my 4JRN1 family, thank you for injecting pizzazz to my college life and for being (probably) the most supportive class I will ever know. Most especially to my “bading” friends, Alex, Bea, Thaene, Claire, CJ, Lars; thesis-mates, Bianca, Joanne, and Nickky; thank you for the constant encouragement and help, for staying with me despite my incurable pessimism, social incapability, and for always being there no matter what the cost may be.

To the Flame staff, both the old and new, who constantly suffered from my dry sense of humor and weirdness-especially to Jenn and the previous editorial staff who allowed me to stick around despite my lack of confidence in what I write-thank you.

I would also like to congratulate our batch for at least reviving this publication especially during the point when it was only a flicker away from being extinguished. To our junior staff, I wish you the best of luck to continue what we have started to keep the Flame burning.

To all of my professors who have contributed a piece of knowledge about life and journalism, I will always be grateful for everything you have taught me. To our “well-loved” thesis adviser, Sir John Manuel Kliatchko, who made our thesis writing journey exciting and fearless rather than suffocating, thank you.
I would like to thank also the staff of the Journalese for bearing with me and allowing me to stay and be part of the family.

Much of my thanks also go to the publication where I had my internship. Its lifestyle section was an extension of my Artlets home. I owe them not only my surreal journalistic knowledge and experiences but as well as the confidence in myself where I found my niche as a budding writer.

Lastly, to those who have not found their names but were part of my college life, I will always be grateful and indebted to the wit and wisdom you have shared with me. F
YR 47 Issue 1 2011
Touché           ANGELICA CLARISSE R. ESMERNA, Culture Editor
Learn and unlearn
UNLIKE some young adults who already have concrete plans for their future, I, among the few others, have always been lost in the deep abyss of uncertainty.

I initially thought that I would never find the way out of my self-confined labyrinth, but I am proud to say that after spending four years at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, (Artlets), I think I just found myself.

Journalism was neither a choice out of sheer whim nor a childhood dream of any sort. Choosing to study, chew, and swallow it was a leap of faith-a risky decision brought by uncertainty, hoping that it may stand in place of what I wanted to do but could not do. It was a risk that eventually paid off teaching me more than what I thought was possible.

I must say that learning was inevitable during those four excruciating yet fruitful years-whether you slacked off or became attentive. It did not matter whether you were a regular newspaper reader or simply someone who could not care less with what was happening around.
Year 47 |  Issue 3 |  2011
Year 47 |  Issue 4 |  2012