Let me start by saying I hated the government!

I never thought that I would be part of a government agency particularly the Philippine Information Agency. With the reality that it is under the Presidential Communications Operations Office, I was just like saying, “Seriously?” First and foremost, I didn’t vote for President Duterte for personal choice. And I was afraid that because of this reality, I might not be employed in any government agency. The HRMO might be ask, “Who was your President?” And I wouldn’t like the feeling of twisting things just to make the best impression and get employed for that reason. After all, I believe that the best stories are those that are genuine and not those just simply a product of playful imaginations.

But I was wrong.

Becoming a student-writer for five years in college had helped me to personally grow as an individual. It opened me to be socially involved in a greater arena and wider perspective of life. From a writer who used to write vainglory articles and unending love matters to someone who indulged in presenting bigger issues and concerns the people need to know such as socio-political, be it positive or negative. I was then a self-proclaimed activist – leftist as educated people call it.

Sometimes at night, when it’s so dark the darkness becomes almost smothering, I lie awake listening to my rants in social media and endless questions on all the things around me. My days were filled with negativities and bad vibes. My perspective about the government before was like a generic teleserye – the villain gets evil and evil, the protagonist becoming poorer and poorer, the police as usual are late in the gang encounter, etc. In simpler word’s, full of drama.

But I was definitely wrong.

Working with PIA has changed my perspective about the government. Through the editorials and features that I write, I have seen how the government through its different agencies work hard to fully give what the people deserve to have and to be. I have witnessed how the President fulfills his campaign promise on war against illegal drugs despite the sharp criticisms from some individuals and known advocate groups. I have seen how the President gives priorities on the things which he believes are more important for his constituents. I have seen how the different departments live up with their vision and mission.

On the other hand, who says working with the government is not fun? Despite of the swanky workplaces as well as the high-end life style offered by the private sector, I opted to work in the government. My almost two months stay with PIA Region 2 made me feel comfortable because of the harmonious relationship I felt with my colleagues. The level of comfort as well as the prestige and security of a government job for the case of those regular has no match. PIA has totally embraced and recognized my first love. Despite the fact that most of the time, I get to bond with my desktop computer to attend my daily work and other concerns, there is nothing more fulfilling than having myself satisfied with following what my heart desired since back then - writing.

My writing skills improved, as well. From one article that I submit for copyreading that goes back to me with significantly notable red marks to an article of leading to perfection with lesser copy reading symbols. I may be exaggerating at some point, but every day of my stay at PIA is a learning. My colleagues are always there to guide me to become better if not the best. The bottom line is it is mutual. I learn from them and they learn from me.

Lastly, I couldn’t be prouder of myself. I am part of the PIA’s 30th year of genuine and public service to the Filipino people and that’s simply amazing. For more days, months and years to come, I look forward to more opportunities that the agency has to offer me and for the rest of the PIA family. But for now, one with the anniversary’s theme Creating Opportunities for Change thru Accurate, Relevant, and Timely Information, I look forward to be a partner for change to support the government’s initiative to make our country great again. (PSL/MDCT)