Vice Governor Peter Cua was the keynote speaker at both the secondary and elementary events of the 2023 Division Schools Press Conference that was held May 26-28 and May 29-31, respectively, in Virac.
And on both occasions, he reminded the young journalists to be properly guided especially on controversial issues and avoid fake news so that the public would not be confused.
Aside from a few hundred students from participating public and private schools from all over the island, also present were Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Maria Luisa dela Rosa, Chief Education Supervisor Romel Petajen, Education Program Supervisors Gina Bonifacio-Pantino and Ma. Gina Templonuevo, as well as the school heads.
The vice governor remarked that it may be true that the digital age, especially social media and the proliferation of smart cellphones and other devices, has already rendered obsolete the school paper as a source of information.
But there are several reasons why the school paper is still needed, he stressed, foremost among them its value as the voice of students and pupils in expressing their opinions, ideas and desires.
Emphasizing that journalism will never die, the vice governor advised the young writers and broadcasters to be responsible journalists.
“Learn to maintain the truth behind the prints,” he added. “This way, you will be respected and believed by the people.”
Their family backgrounds are as typical as that of similar college youths anywhere, only that the four Computer Engineering students at the Catanduanes State University have distinguished themselves recently, at least at the local level, by crafting a tracking device for use of fishermen in their motorized and non-motorized bancas.
Jaimes Eduard T. Barlizo, 23, is the son of construction worker and an OFW mother from Baras. Of the same age, Karl John S. Estoque has already lost his father and is being supported also by an OFW mother from San Vicente, Virac.
A year younger, Florendo Abad Soledad III hails from Baras where his father is engaged in administrative work while the mother stays at home. Also 23, John Michael B. Santosidad’s mother is a nurse and the family home is in Cavinitan, Virac.
All four are graduating in less than two months, with their tracking device powered by Long Range technology and GPS to be developed further by their professors at the College of Engineering and Architecture.
Their device is paired with a computer app named Glaukos, which they said is the patron god of fishermen in Greek mythology.
They got the inspiration from other tracking systems already in use worldwide, spurred by recent incidents of missing fishing boats on the island.
“We came up with an idea of a device that can also locate fishing boats just like what a black box does for airplanes in case they go missing,” they said.
What makes their device unique, the four students point out, is that it is tailored to Catanduanes.
“Halos gabos na inputs and design is based on the inputs of local fishermen, fisherfolks, personnel, and emergency responders in Catanduanes. We used open-source technology that doesn’t require additional payment, unlike other commercialized trackers. Buo na sya, unlike sa iba na parang need pa ng license and other requirements,” they stressed.
If it gets funding from DOST as promised, the two devices (one for the boat and the receiver on land) would have an estimated cost of P6,000, but the device’s range is only limited to 10 to 20 kilometers.
“To achieve greater range, it may require further modifications which may include boosters and other components that might increase the cost of the device,” they added.
THE LIE-SNIFFING ROBOT. A man bought a lie detector robot. Every time the robot detects a lie, it slaps the liar. He decided to test it at dinner on his son, who he suspected of often lying to him.
DAD: Son where were you today during school hours?
SON: “At school.” Robot slaps son.
“Ouch! Okay okay, I went to the movies!”
DAD: “Which one?”
SON: “Harry Potter.” Robot slaps son again. “Ow! Okay, jeez – I was watching an adult movie, okay?”
DAD: “What?? When I was your age I didn’t even know those existed!”
Robot slaps Dad.
MOM: “Hahaha! He’s your son, after all!”
Robot slaps mother.