The College of Development Communication (CDC) physically welcomed its freshest batch of social change catalysts in the making during the CDC Orientation for Freshies held on September 5 at the IWEP Lecture Hall.

Led by CDC’s Instruction Committee chaired by Asst. Prof. Ricarda B. Villar, the orientation was participated in by CDC’s Batch 2022 students composed of first year students, shiftees, and transferees. It coincided with UPLB’s Freshman Convocation, led by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA).

This also marks the start of the first semester of AY 2022-2023 and the return of CDC students to the UPLB campus for limited face-to-face classes.

Prior to this, the CDC Freshman Student Council (CDCFC) and the CDC Student Council (CDCSC) also initiated Freshie Devcamp, a weeklong grand welcome event, held via Zoom and Facebook live from August 27 to September 2.

CDC Orientation for Freshies

For the first time in two years since the COVID-19 pandemic started, CDC was able to hold an on-site orientation for its incoming first-year students to discuss the ins and outs of their upcoming BS Development Communication (BSDC) journey.

In her welcome remarks, Dean Maria Stella C. Tirol officially ushered them into the Devcom family and emphasized that CDC always endeavors to create an enabling environment for learning for its students. She also reminded them to always take care of their mental and physical health amid the pursuit of their BSDC degree.

The series of activities for the day started off with the introduction of the CDC workforce through its department chairs, namely Dr. Trina Leah T. Mendoza (Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication or DDBT), Dr. Elaine DC. Llarena (Department of Science Communication or DSC), Asst. Prof. Romel A. Daya (Department of Educational Communication or DEC), Asst. Prof. Aletheia C. Araneta (Department of Development Journalism or DDJ), as well as Dr. Liza A. Cabrera (Office of the College Secretary) and Dean Tirol (Office of the Dean).

CDC officials also discussed the BSDC academic life: Asst. Prof. Villar on the BSDC curriculum, Dr. Cabrera on academic policies, and Mr. Elijah Jesse M. Pine, instructor and chair of the Committee on Academic Field Instruction, on doing field work. Dr. Erick Vernon Y. Dy, who is CDC’s Guidance Services Specialist from the Office of Counseling and Guidance (OCG) of OVCSA, also briefly talked about the psycho-social services of UPLB for students.

The CDCSC and the heads of the three student organizations at CDC, namely the UPLB Development Communicators’ Society (DCS), UP Alliance of Development Communication Students (ADS), and UP Community Broadcasters’ Society (ComBroadSoc), also introduced themselves and their various programs.

Lastly, the top ten UPCA qualifiers of BSDC Batch 2022 were also recognized. One of the awardees, Aliah Yzabel N. Ombania, delivered a message on behalf of her batchmates. She expressed how grateful they were for the various initiatives held for them by CDC and that they were looking forward to becoming the college’s next breed of development communicators.

Hosting the event were Shey Levita, CDCSC Chairperson, and Ms. Charlene Mae B. Arkaina, University Extension Specialist I of DSC.

Freshie DevCamp

Led by the CDCFC and CDCSC, Freshie DevCamp was a week-long activity that aimed to equip the incoming freshies with basic information on being a BSDC student.

The event kicked off through the CDC Freshie Talks on August 27, where the freshies were introduced to the the life of an undergraduate Devcom student, including a virtual tour of the college through, an interactive online chat platform.

In her opening remarks, Danica Azur, CDCFC chairperson and CDCSC Batch 2021 representative, congratulated the freshies for their admission into the BSDC program. According to her, this success entails their responsibility – one that is beyond self-interest – for their fellow Filipinos and the entire Philippines.

“Ang pagiging iskolar ng bayan at development communicator in training ay lagi’t laging nagsisilbi para sa mga taong nangangailangan, mga sektor na napag-iiwanan sa lipunan, at mga adbokasiyang kailangan pang ipaglban,” she said.  

(Being an iskolar ng bayan and development communicator in training always serves for people in need, sectors that are left behind in society, and advocacies that still need to be fought for.)

The CDCFC also launched its latest initiative, the DevCom Survival Kit, which is a 114-page manual covering a series of topics and basic information on BSDC life.

The second part of the event was the CDC Freshie Conference held on August 29, which was a seminar-workshop on development journalism and community broadcasting, facilitated by two of CDC’s academic staff.

The lecturer on development journalism was Mr. Miguel Victor Durian, University Extension Associate II and Affiliate Assistant Professor at the DDJ. He introduced the Los Baños Times, DDJ’s laboratory community news platform and flagship public service program. He also discussed development journalism and its difference from mainstream journalism, and the principles of straight and online news writing. He also highlighted that development journalism focuses on local issues and serves as a political watchdog of marginalized communities.

On the other hand, the lecturer on community broadcasting was Dr. Trina Leah Mendoza, Assistant Professor and Chair of the DDBT. She discussed the principles in writing for radio, guidelines in preparing the radio script, rundown sheet, radio plug or infomercial, and treatments or approaches in developing scripts. 

In the afternoon session, CDCSC Chairperson Levita presided over the CDC Fresh Conference, a mock press conference that served as a workshop for the production of news articles and radio scripts. Digital press kits containing resources such as recent national and local news items and university-wide freshie activities were also distributed.

Three days were allotted to allow the participants to craft their outputs asynchronously.

During the CDC-yahan held on September 2, the last part of the event, each group composed of four to five members, presented the outputs of their chosen categories, which were either collaborative news writing or radio scriptwriting and broadcasting. 

The best outputs were published in the Los Baños Times. (Rudy P. Parel Jr.)