I AM Dan Kristian N. Rivera, A 19-year-old youth journalist in The Philippines for nearly 6 years, I was born and raised here in Mindanao, Zamboanga del Sur, Pagadian City. I grew up studying in a Public School, which I believe has a high level of education, experience, and commitment that served as the platform for me to be able to transpire and grow with the necessitated skills I have as a youth. I graduated Senior High School in Zamboanga del Sur National High School – Stand Alone with an emerging knowledge of good governance, and public speaking with the help of my chosen academic track which was Humanities and Social Sciences. I am now a college freshman in St. Columban College, a private-catholic school here in Pagadian City, I took Bachelor of Arts as my course, and Political Science as my desired discipline.
Truth be told, I am not a marvelous writer in the academe of Journalism, my ability to speak and write is changing over periods of time. I was once a TV Broadcaster in my Junior High School years, I was also captivated of the idealism of being a writer under Sports Writing and Editorial Writing, to draw things close, the last journalistic-skill I have trained to was Radio broadcasting, way back in my Senior High School. There are thousands of astounding and influential campus journalists I have met along my journey, and I cannot deny the fact that at some point, they are people whom I look up to, people who are actively engaged in participating in such competitions in the journalism norm.
Indeed, I started The Spectrum with a great authoritarian influence with the organizations that I am affiliated with. Some of you may think why I started a youth-led news organization even though I am not that mindful of various and different sections in Journalism, in fact, my course is Political Science which you can tell that is far different from Journalism. To give credence to, I extremely believe in the power of story-telling, of how important it is to inform people in the sphere of Social Media, of how important it is to battle disinformation and misinformation. These factors became my uproot reason as to why I wanted this type of organization in the first place.
Social Media became an open-forum for people who are vocally active in terms of politics, current, and public affairs. As we emerge into this new generation, it is hard to battle people’s hoax statements and fraud information without even standing on a factual basis. Moreover, I want to uphold Press-Freedom, for I believe that it is a democratic right that is dying under the hands of suppressive leaders. Serving translucent information is a must, prevailing the truth is a need for this country who are suffering from different societal issues, e.g. Poverty, Social Inequality, Environmental Injustices, Abuse of Power and more. The situation that we have right now became an eye-opener for me, and it recognized my belief of how important the media is. Aside from that, I wanted to use this opportunity to improve the leadership skills, and share my idealistic knowledge and experience with the subordinates I have.
It has always been reflective as to how I should start without much experience nor resources to begin with, but without further implications, an advocacy would be nothing without actually doing something. So, I was convinced to create my own rationale, theme and ideas. Despite the trial-and-error, I still did it out of perseverance. It scrutinized and allowed me to use my talent, education and experience for the good of humanity especially for the communities around The Philippines by serving translucent information. This kind of purpose-driven plan helped me yield an intangible reward that I find more valuable than any amount of wealth.
I launched The Spectrum last May 4, 2020, this year. Together with my Co-Founder, Janelle Boquida, which was also my colleague in our School’s Radio broadcasting team. She became my support-system in turning my blueprints into a real output that actually primarily serves as a purpose during these tough times. We promote forms of News Media that focuses on delivering news to the general public or a target public. The Spectrum is a News\Media Company with an endeavor to achieve Community Engagement through the means of Creative Journalism which aims to tap and shape an effective and positive change in Communities around the Philippines. To understand the depth of our rationale, we do not just publish News but also, we hallmark Filipino’s commendable, inspiring and notable stories. We want to serve as a platform of inspiration where everybody can count on by publishing filler news and featured stories from the communities all over the Philippines.
For the most part, I named my organization ‘Spectrum’ because it is a band of colors, produced by separation of the components of light, it is reflecting in my personal belief that every person has different degrees or refraction according to what they believe in. It implies that no matter what contents we are going to post, the way how the people react to it, will always be dependent on how they interpret it, and we are existing as we serve as their wavelength.
My Co-Founder and I made a systematized process that could help us continue even if we have online classes. The decision-making process was not easy, we do video conferences every night just to make sure that things will be refined and contextualized. The Spectrum is an officially registered Youth Organization under the National Youth Commission, a government agency in the Philippines that specifically addresses issues surrounding the Filipino youth who encompasses bright Youth Organizations around the Philippines.
The Spectrum has been operating for almost 5 months now, we post daily, but we limit only up to 2 contents, we also publish News recap in our YouTube channel. The Spectrum is composed of 7 departments: Media Writing, Content Editing, Civic and Community, Social Media, Publicity, Multimedia and Advertising & Partnership. The Spectrum has already 40+ official volunteers around the Philippines. We already reached 4 thousand likes on Facebook, partnered with more than 8 organizations and is currently partnered with Southeast Asian Organization which is ASEAN Youth Forum and ASEAN Youth Organization. One of the things I am grateful for is the volunteers behind this initiative, I love how diverse the people are, and how we sought our different perspectives in life. There were people who left because of the disjointed organizational development at first, but as a leader, I cannot let anything happen without validity, I did my best to put it all up together, and I’m proud to say how we became a non-biological family that treats each other as a family during these present times.
We value attributed stories that pertain to issues or topics that are in the notoriety of public concern rather than to issues or topics about which people care less. The number of our audience whose lives will be influenced will be the subject of the story. We publish stories about events and situations in one’s home community that are more newsworthy than events that take place far away and impose the quality or power of inspiring belief with credibility that are considered as reliable sources that provide information that one can believe to be true. My goal for The Spectrum is to become one of the leading pioneer youth-led organizations in the country. We will always serve as an inspiration to every youth, that we are an empowered leader that nurtures the importance of youth in our sector.
Today, I continuously ask myself about something that I can do for the betterment of my community. As a youth, make use of your talents, and join youth volunteerism as it helps you to grow fundamentally and reach into a greater avenue, and with this, alongside with the process, you’ll be able to know yourself more. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of breaking through and self-perseverance to reach at the peak of your desired goals. Let’s always remember that the least we can do for ourselves is to decide, whether your decision boils down to failures, choose to grow. Failure is not an indication of deficiency, because the most important thing that we should bear in mind is the growth we all have been looking forward to.
We will be extending our virtual, and family news room soon, keep up to date and support our page by clicking this link: https://www.facebook.com/SpectrumMedia.Philippines