Communication faculty, students attend d’CATCH at Nanjing, China

Fifteen students of the Faculty of Arts and Letters under the Communication program together with two faculty members attended the annual d’CATCH or “decentralized Asian Transnational Challenges,” an academic gathering of communication students that advances practical international research and video-co-production project among university students from Thailand, China, Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines at the Communication University of China.

Located in the beautiful and tranquil University Town in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu in East China, the postcard-pretty university, with its garden-like campus, was home to the 62 workshop- participants for six days.

UST Department of Communication and Media Studies Chair Asst. Prof Jose Arsenio J. Salandanan, and UST Communications Bureau Assistant Director for Broadcast Asst. Prof Faye M. Abugan, led the UST group composed of Erin Gillian Alvarez, Eunice Jeremie Batanes, Stephanie Lainne Bendero, Kathrese Caguite, Maria Jezzamine Eizaguirre, Migern Cole Estabillo, Ma. Patricia Victoria Lacuesta, Khrys Magno, Justine Angeli Mercado, Larissa Rose Olimpo, Carmela Ariadna Papio, Elijah Miguel Punzalan, Jhudiel Clare Sosa, Clarissa Sulit and Aina Eunice Viray.

Now on its 16th year, d’CATCH could not have chosen a more appropriate theme than “Endless” as the conference underscored the infinite opportunities for academic collaboration and broadened media literacies and cross-cultural understanding among students in the Asian region. Participants from Team UST were divided into groups and required to produce a short video on the five sub-themes dovetailing with the general theme “Endless,” which they presented at the start of the 6-day video-workshop.

Imagination (A Child’s Mind) showed how a theater playwright continues to use her imagination in writing stories that would appeal to children. Health (Work in Progress) chronicled how a young man successfully got back in shape and continues to keep fit after
many years of living an unhealthy lifestyle. Learning (Mother of all Professions) tackled the struggles of a teacher in coping with the demands of the teaching profession in the current time. Hope (Forward) projected the youth as the hope of our nation. Love (Always and Theater) highlighted how love for the craft, driven by passion makes theater enthusiasts endure their careers.

The second day of the six-day workshop was designated for pre-production. The participants from the different countries were grouped based on their respective sub-themes and brainstormed on how to integrate the different interpretations in a single video
presentation. The next two days were allotted to shooting, which gave the students an opportunity not only to tour the city but experience Chinese culture. The post production phase on the fifth day gave the participants an opportunity to share and learn different video
editing techniques.

Capping the six-day workshop is the video presentation of the integrated outputs where each team was given a chance to present and explain their concepts to a select panel composed of Communication faculty members and practitioners from the different participating
universities. Highlighting the closing ceremony was the announcement that the University of Santo Tomas will host the 17th edition of d’CATCH with the theme “trans” to be held from February 3 to 8, 2020.

UST hosted the event in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2015, and next year marks a shift in the practice of d’CATCH as the organizers decided to modify how the project will be undertaken. Although not a word but a prefix, next year’s theme “TRANS” sums up the goal of d’CATCH to move across and beyond borders. Each country will contribute a subtopic, which the students from the different universities will collectively work on. In an effort towards an actual video co-production, next year’s participants will jointly produce videos by doing pre-production online instead of the usual practice of having the national teams produce their respective videos. Local productions, as well as post-production, will be done in Manila during the event. T

he Department of Communication and Media Studies, in cooperation with the Communications Bureau of the University of Santo Tomas, will organize next year’s workshop. A farewell party hosted at Hotel Unic by Prof. Wang Gengxin, assistant dean of the Communication University of China Nanjing, served as a fitting finale to the six-day video-workshop.

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