Istambay sa Mindanao

Personal blog of MindaNews' Walter I. Balane. Visit www.mindanews.com for more news, views and information on Mindanao.

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Location: Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines

I'm Walter Balane. I am a journalist based in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines. I initiated the group called Atong Press (www.atongpress.ning.com) for press freedom and responsibility and media education in Bukidnon.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Updates: Davao journalists' solemn mass

Davao’s journalists and other media practitioners heard a mass today, celebrated by Fr. Swamy Balashowry.

As I entered St. Paul’s church in Juna Subdivision, I suddenly felt so sad. It made me say a silent prayer I have never prayed so deeply.

“Gather your flock Oh Lord, equip, protect and bless them with your goodness,” I said. Those were not the exact words but my act of prayer was spontaneous.

There were only less than 15 people in that mass offered for all reporters who died of natural, accidental, and purposive causes. It was also for the protection of all living journalists, including the sick and dying.

It was a solemn mass, yes. Personally, I felt so powerless. Only very few sought to pray for this important concern and this sector. I thought, it seems that journalists were left so unprotected, in high-risk, vulnerable, and alone.

At the end of the mass, I decided to embrace God’s peace. After all, a journalist’s security is not just in guns, laws, lousy investigations of journalists killungs, a flawed justice system, and a violence-tolerant government.

I resolved that prayer is my weapon as a journalist. God’s protection is my real protection. Journalism is God’s work in the first place so I will rely on how He equips me to do His work.

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