SCENE CITY | Dang Jumala, broadcast journalist celebrates Eid’l Fitr with family

SO much has changed in Davao City since we were in grade school. We went to a Roman Catholic school since Grade One and all the Feasts of the church were declared special holidays in the whole city, especially the feast of St. Peter, Davao City’s patron saint. We could see some people who belonged to the Bagobo tribe walking the streets wearing ethnic attire in the downtown area, but we could not see women wearing the Hijab and wearing long dresses like we do today.

DANG Jumala with her family

DANG Jumala with her family

In the recent years, Mindanao has taken pride in recognizing its cultural heritage and ethnicity that the once called “cultural minority”, with Mindanaoans showing pride of their true identity made up of various ethnic tribes.

 As we were approaching the worldwide observance of Eid’l Fitr, we decided to ask our colleague in media, Dang Jumala, to share her story of what her experiences have been as a broadcast journalist from the island of Zamboanga. She joined DXRP in Davao City where I first met her and her husband Emile. Here is her story:

 After graduation (from college), I worked as a volunteer reporter at DXMR-RNB Zamboanga, until I was offered the position of Senior Announcer at DXSM RNB-Jolo in September. 1989. I was hesitant at first due to the peace and order problem in the island but had to grab the opportunity.  For six months I was on a probationary status. In October 1989, I took the CSC Professional Eligibility Exams and passed it. In April 1990, I became a permanent employee.

 Being alone in Jolo was never easy because I was left with no one I could call a family. In 1996 my brother-in law got entangled in a conflict between his staff. The entire family was under threat. So we applied for a lateral transfer to DXRP-RNB-Davao and never went back to Jolo.

  Having graduated with a degree in Mass communication gave me an edge, in the performance of my duty. Nowadays, it is a common belief that ‘anyone’ can become a journalist, but reality proves that only those with professional training have the advantage.  Many times I am assigned me to perform different tasks from newswriting, announcing, editing, reporting, news casting and interviewing people, without having to worry because I can handle it well.  At times when I am faced with difficulties in analyzing and writing stories I always go back to what I learned in school- equipped with facts, objectivity and good taste.

 I am lucky that I married someone who is into my line of work. Emile dela Cerna Jumala is a Senior Broadcast Technician of Radyo ng Bayan, so I really have no problem in going home late or being a mother to my four children. He is always supportive of everything I do. We always manage our time in a way that we are always there when our children need us. Ramchand, the eldest, graduated BS Pharmacy in 2011 at the age of 18, the youngest cum laude awardee at the University of the Immaculate Concepcion University Davao. He passed the pharmacy exam in 2012. Ram is now taking up Chemical Engineering,. his first love, and on his 3rd year while working in one of the hospitals here as chief pharmacist. My second child is Kelsey Demile, 20 years old, who graduated last April 25, BSBA, major in financial management at the University of Mindanao, followed by Yessameen  a 3rd year Pharmacy student  at the Davao Doctors College, and Airah Micah my youngest,  just turned 14 last June 21 and in grade 9. She is enrolled at Davao City Special National High school and has been in the GTFL (Gifted Talented Fast Learners) class since kindergarten and now she is also among the top students in her class.

Dang has been toying with the idea of taking up studies in law, but not when her children are still in school.

 As the fasting month of Ramadan drew to a close, anticipating the observance of Eid’l Fitr, Dang shares some of the data she has gathered regarding this feast.

 The three-day Muslim festival marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Each country has its own way of celebrating Eid al-fitr, from attending prayers to visiting friends and family [Darren Whiteside/Reuters] Eid Al-Fitr means “festival of breaking the fast” It is an official holiday in all Muslim-majority countries and it marks an end to the fasting month of Ramadan.

 Muslims around the world celebrated the three-day Eid al-Fitr festival this weekend. Depending on the sighting of the moon, Eid started on Sunday June 25 or Monday June 26.

 Eid al-Fitr means “festival of breaking the fast”. Muslims gather for prayer. Eid is also infused with different traditions in different countries. Most people use the three days of Eid for visitations. Other traditions include the Eidiyah, money given to kids on Eid and wearing new clothes.

 Eid traditionally starts with prayers followed by a short sermon. In some countries the prayers take place outside, while others are hosted in mosques or large halls. After the prayers, Muslims wish those around them a happy Eid. People then visit relatives, friends and sometimes graveyards to pray for their dead.

 Many people wear traditional clothes, give gifts or money to children, and donate to charity.  This year, social media users were already fretting over Eid clothes mid-way through Ramadan. A few Muslim-owned businesses started trading free Eid outfits.

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