‘Watching TV is like dieting–be selective on choices’

MTRCB Chairperson Eugenio Villareal

MTRCB Chairperson Eugenio Villareal

Nearly a thousand college students and various media stakeholders gathered at the Maria Josefina Auditorium of St. Mary’s College in Quezon City for the 3rd Family and Child Summit (FCS3), organized by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

The summit tackled the theme “Matalinong Panonood Para sa Kabataan,” and sought to give participants an overview of the media and entertainment they see, as well as information on the different initiatives being done by both public and private sectors to address issues on audience-sensitivity and content age-appropriateness.

More importantly, the summit oriented the youth on research and communication techniques that can empower them, their families and communities towards discerning viewership.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the FCS3. It has been a fruitful coming together of the MTRCB and its various stakeholders, including its deputies and other volunteers, to empower the Filipino family. A vital component of the family is of course the youth,” said MTRCB Chairman Eugenio “Toto” Villareal.

The program included lectures and panel discussions by academicians, media personalities and other resource persons. There were various open fora, even as the event was spiced up by numbers of television celebrities and other talents. The summit was capped by the participating students expressing their commitment to discerning viewership for the family.

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, FSC, also delivered a poignant keynote speech focused on the topic “Empowering the Youth through Media.”

Bro. Armin Luistro, Education Secretar

Bro. Armin Luistro, Education Secretar

Comparing people’s television consumption to their engagement in social media, Luistro noted that “the more consistent influencer on people is still television” and left the audience with two significant questions to ponder on.

“The big question for us is—are we able to communicate to young people the values, the stories, the culture that we should be able to move from one generation to the next? The second more important question is, do you just watch, are you just victims of television and absorb everything or do you contribute or are critical with what you are able to see and watch on television?” he said.

Sr. Consolata Manding, FSP, directress of the Paulines Institute for Communication in Asia, for her part, encouraged the youth to be critical in their overall media exposure and enjoined them to practice the so-called “media diet.”

“Media diet has the same principle as food diet,” she said. “Kung sa pagkain nagiging selective ka sa food that is not good for your physical health, ganoon din sa media, you have to be selective and not be overexposed sa media for your mental and spiritual health. You should only take what is enough, like food, what’s enough for the body, what’s enough for the mind.”

Other guest speakers and panelists included renowned economist and former Commissioner of the 1987 Constitutional Commission Bernardo Villegas; Nicco De Jesus, President of the Marketing and Opinion Research Society of the Philippines; Josa Marie Salazar of the National Council for Children’s Television; actress Yayo Aguila and daughter Nielli Martinez; actress Danica Sotto-Pingris with her children; and MTRCB Board Member Bibeth Orteza together with her son Rafa Siguion-Reyna.

The celebrities and news personalities present during the event were GMA News and Public Affairs’ Suzi Entrata-Abrera and Pia Arcangel; ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs’ Niña Corpuz and Ginger Conejero; Bloomberg TV Philippines’ Shawn Yao and JP Ong; father and son tandem Niño and Alonzo Muhlach; Elha Nympha, Esang De Torres, Sassa Dagdag, and Reynan Dal-Anay of The Voice Kids Philippines Season 2; The Climax Band; and cast members of the phenomenal Filipino contemporary musical Rak of Aegis.

The summit was hosted by ABS-CBN talent Robi Domingo and GMA actress Bianca Umali.


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