November 29, 2015 – My co-participants and I together with our teacher slash coach travelled to Oroquieta or also known as the “City of Good life” to participate in the Regional Schools’ Press Conference with the theme; “The Role of the 21st Century Campus Journalists in Upholding Good Governance, Leadership and Transparency”.
This is actually my first time joining a regional journalism contest. And sure, I was pretty excited about what was going to happen that time. Imagine: we will sleep in an elementary school for 4 nights! So that’s like almost a week.
Our first day in Oroquieta was fairly fun. We had time to wander in the sea side and also enjoyed the wonderful sights. The abode in Canubay Elementary school was also pleasant and “too welcoming”. As soon as we got to the school, little students comfortably welcomed us and students even got to call me “Ms. Pastillas” for they say I was like her doppelganger or sister or something. Of course it made me shy and laughed at how preposterous their views and thoughts are.
The next day, was full of review and write-ups. We had to prepare for the upcoming contest and we can’t handle being such irresponsible participants. We woke up early and prepared for the whole morning “assessment”. During the afternoon, we paraded around the city with the other 13 divisions. The 14 divisions comprise of 2900 plus participants. That’s like even more than enough to inaugurate a new school.
December 2, 2015 – Streaks the contest day for all the events. I could just feel my hands shaking, mouth trembling and mind exploding (kidding). Before my contest, which is at exactly 1:00 pm, I reviewed my works and the signs used in Copyreading and Headline Writing. For further information (char lhungszxs), Copyreading and Headline Writing is a way to correct an article without altering its essence, and to improve an article by writing its headline. The things a copyreader does is to correct errors in mechanics and facts, rewrite lead if necessary, revise libelous statements and recheck for accuracy and fairness. So, this thing? Is easy as pie – not.
As soon as we were already called to the holding area, I prayed and asked guidance from God. I also brought my lucky charm which is the Holy Rosary that is –in fact– the most effective “thing” to calm your nervousness or any negative feeling.
I started editing the article, erased the unnecessary marks and words and did the things a copyreader and headline writer should do. I thoroughly re-write my finished work in a yellow pad and made sure my handwriting was big enough for the judges to read since my handwriting has always been too tiny and cute.
After the contest proper, I went outside and inhaled deeply. I wasn’t quite sure about my answers, neither about the headline. But I don’t have to worry about anything since I knew I did my best and tried my hardest.
We went home early after the contest. But before that, we dropped by to the sea side and took a breather. We enjoyed playing in the sand and let our skin feel the calming ocean breeze. It felt relieving though and at that time, we forgot about the contest and erased all our worries. Hakuna Matata! 🙂
After the contest day, the moment of truth has arrived *drum rolls*. Nervousness and tenseness were etched in everyone’s faces. I can’t even afford to listen to the results. So what I did was I plugged my earphone and turned the music on to full blast. In that way, if I won’t be called, I won’t be crying or throw out a teenage drama or something.
But then, I jolted in surprise after someone shook my elbows and they’re already congratulating me so I was like, “what is happening bruh?” They just smiled and then I realized, I was called for top 7! I wasn’t expecting to be an awardee since I know it’s too hard to reach the top 10 because you’ll be opponents with the other good journalists. I almost lost hope back then but God never failed me and gave me another blissful blessing.
My coach and I marched our way in the stage and received our certificates and my medal. I can’t even imagine how a first timer could win/join the top 10 in a regional contest. But just like what they say; nothing is impossible with God.