Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Murmurs from Manila

A Daily Diary from the IMC
UH Reporters Making Manila Friends

Find me a Fan

Kicking off the International Media Conference now under way in Manila was Sunday’s welcome reception at the National Museum of Natural History. Guests were not only welcomed with two free drinks, free food, and many fellow journalists, but they were also met with a 40-minute power outage. The brown-out was early enough in the reception for there to still be some natural light through the windows, plus the battery-operated table decorations had lights, so the room wasn’t completely dark. But bereft of AC, attendees felt the lovely Manila humidity in very close quarters. That’s one way to get a room full of strangers close and friendly.

While a sweaty, dim-lit room set an interesting ambiance for the first taste of the conference,  several journalists missed the sultry fun thanks to a different hitch. The ride from their hotel to the venue that was meant to be 20 minutes took over an hour and not because of Manila’s monstrous traffic. Turns out the bus driver thought he was headed to the National Museum of Anthropology, not Natural History. “I thought we were getting kidnapped for a second,” said Lili Hurd, one of the four UH students attending the conference.


I Don’t Need One After All

Day two was whiplash between the extreme heat outdoors, to the ridiculous cold awaiting attendees in every room. Each panel is about an hour to an hour and a half, which is more than enough time for people to start craving those sweaters and jackets they left in their hotel rooms or back in their home countries because why would anyone need a jacket in the peak of summer in Manila? Maybe the blasting AC was compensation for the power outage at the welcome reception. But regardless, it wasn’t ideal and that was clear through the countless bouncing knees, crossed arms, and napkins being used as tiny leg blankets.



We hear that the Manila Film Center is thought to be haunted. In its rushed construction in 1981, the scaffolding suddenly collapsed and trapped workers below, allegedly killing 168 people. The exact number is unclear because most of the bodies were never recovered because they fell into quick-drying cement, making it almost impossible to extract them. Thus, construction continued on top of those who died. To this day, it is said to be haunted. Stories of knocking, screaming, even physical feelings have been reported.


Dodgy Meta

Monday’s midday panel focused on Meta and its approach to misinformation and disinformation, featuring Manu Gummi, a publicity and content manager, appearing by Zoom. It was opened up for a Q&A, where an attendee asked Gummi about Facebook’s refusal to block hate speech against Muslims in Myanmar. The questioner implied the failure had contributed to the Myanmar genocide of its Muslim minority and asked Gummi why Facebook refused to speak out about this or apologize. Gummi ducked and dodged and suggested we “go read up” on the many articles on this very subject. A less than great response, perhaps, at a conference centered around facts.

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About the Contributor
Emma Caires
Emma Caires, Contributor
Aloha! My name is Emma Caires, and I am an incoming senior journalism major at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. I thoroughly enjoy expanding my range in journalism by reporting on a variety of events regarding our campus and students, but my favorite area, as of right now, is feature writing, specifically human-interest stories. I’m looking forward to further immersing myself in campus life and knowledge through this program.

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    S.C.Jun 24, 2024 at 5:02 am

    Very well-written! Thank you for sharing your experience in a thoughtful way, while adding in a sprinkle of humor!