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Review - Landmarks (Net 25)

Review - Landmarks (Net 25)

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Published by Paul Eugenio
Landmarks and Nation-Building Show Evaluated: Landmarks Schedule/Channel: Sunday, 5:30 PM (Net 25) Host: Faye de Castro Running Time: 1 Hour Boring weekends may be spent for a lot of things, one of which of course is gluing your eyes on the television set, trying to swim the “sea of trash” most of the television networks offer the audiences. But some at least stand out as alternatives. Landmarks is a weekly travel show produced by Net 25 that “raises the importance of retelling community histori
Landmarks and Nation-Building Show Evaluated: Landmarks Schedule/Channel: Sunday, 5:30 PM (Net 25) Host: Faye de Castro Running Time: 1 Hour Boring weekends may be spent for a lot of things, one of which of course is gluing your eyes on the television set, trying to swim the “sea of trash” most of the television networks offer the audiences. But some at least stand out as alternatives. Landmarks is a weekly travel show produced by Net 25 that “raises the importance of retelling community histori

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Published by: Paul Eugenio on Jun 26, 2012
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10/22/2012

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Landmarks
and Nation-Building
Show Evaluated: LandmarksSchedule/Channel: Sunday, 5:30 PM (Net 25)Host: Faye de CastroRunning Time: 1 HourBoring weekends may be spent for a lot of things, one of which of courseis gluing your eyes on the television set, trying to swim the “sea of trash”most of the television networks offer the audiences. But some at least standout as alternatives.
Landmarks
is a weekly travel show produced by Net 25 that “raises theimportance of retelling community histories....and helps become moreappreciative of the vital 'landmarks' and places in the Philippines.” As claimed,it is the first Filipino travel show shot in High Definition (HD) format.Its host, Faye de Castro, serves as a guide in the different places theteam explores each episode. Unlike other travel programs, it gives highemphasis on history. Historians are often invited to talk of anecdotes related tothe featured place for each episode. But nonetheless it also takes note of business establishments, scenic places and food encounters as one wouldexpect on a typical travel show.But can we imagine a travel show such as Landmarks can contribute tonation-building? This task may seem to be difficult but trying to see the showin a sociological perspective may give us a sight of the work that can be done. Josephine Dionisio in the book “Nation, Self and Citizenship” argues that
 
the Philippine nation in its current state still needs to be achieved. As none of us are born nationalist, we often do not acquire the concept of nation until wegrew up, first within our families, then to the schools and later on to the other'institutions' in the realm of our social life: religion, economy, politics and massmedia.At school we are trained in our
Makabayan
(social sciences) classes of the country's history; who are the heroes that contributed to the achievementof independence, important places and events, including special dates.However, as Dionisio argues, we do not have a glorious history of Filipinonationalism that can sustain acts of heroism in our daily lives. In as much aswe cling to our identities every Independence Day or when Manny Pacquiaowins a boxing match, there is a certain failure to provide any reason to stay asFilipinos.If history would be used as a tool in promoting a national identity, thereare certain strings associated to it. Renato Constantino argues of having aconcept of a 'usable past', a view of history not as a celebration of gloriousevents but as a lens of how we can solve the problems of the present. RandyDavid also argues of a history that is critical. Quoting Nietzshce, he imagineshistory as something that should be always interrogated even if it could bringus a lot of pain. In this way, we could free ourselves from the systems thatconstantly shackle us.In the achievement of this identity, mass media has big, if not thebiggest role. Media serves as the distributor of images that later on becomes
 
the community's 'collecive memory', as what Benedict Anderson argues. Sincethe members of the nation are more often that not impossible to know oneanother, media serves as a relay of the events that will become the talk of thetown, and later on our emotional bond.In a weekly travel show like Landmarks, is it feasible to pursue a modelof media contributing to national development, as what the KBP Code of Ethicspromotes? Yes, it is possible, and knowing that broadcasting is conceptualizedas a public resource, it is the responsibility of media entities to pursue thisgoal. But so far most of them seem to be steered out of this objective.Landmarks as a program is commendable for a concept that combinesentertainment with social relevance. The mixture of travel and history gives itsaudience a sense of connection with the nation, that as what my Historyprofessor told us, History can be found anywhere, even in the streets.But to achieve a sense of nation, we should not focus on dates or placesbut on reflections and identities. This is what seem to be lacking in the travelshow. Much of its airtime are focused on the explanation of dates but notmuch on the reflection of the relevance of these events. Landmarks, like anyother show, still as a room to grow; in this case promoting a sense of nationthat is not focused on daydream, rather on cautious pondering to achieve thegoals we set for ourselves.
References
Anderson, Benedict.
Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin andSpread of Nationalism
. London: Verso, 1991. Print.

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