FEU DepComm selects new Department Chair

FEU Advocate
October 26, 2021 10:01

By Mary Licel Biscocho

Effective last October 1, professor Herwin Cabasal took over as the new Department Chair of the Far Eastern University Department of Communication (FEU DepComm).

Cabasal has been serving as a lecturer in the University since 2015, teaching communication, media, and film courses.

He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Centro Escolar University (CEU) where he finished Cum Laude. In 2020, he graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP), earning his Master's degree in Media Studies in Film.

Further, he obtained a certificate for studying Motion Picture Production Program at Asia Pacific Film Institute in 2011.

Serving as a media practitioner for several years, Cabasal has already taken home numerous awards including Best Director and Best Screenplay for his thesis film Viscera (2011) in Art Film Festival and Indie Un-film Festival, respectively.

In the same year, he was named as "Inspirational Pinoy Visionary Artist" in Red Carpet, the entertainment magazine of Asian Journal, for his short documentary Starfish, Stewards, Tactics, and Pledge.

He also received multiple awards and recognitions for his films Motion Picture (2010), Resurrection (2012), Pieta (2013), The Signature Mustache (2015), Incubo (2015), and Mr. Postman (2015).

In 2020, he was recognized by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) for his work Likhang Mulat, a social advocacy virtual exhibit and film festival, where he worked as the adviser and organizer.

He was also recently nominated as a candidate for the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE) where former DepComm Chair Anansa Dijan was elected.

Currently, he works as the Public Relations Director of Southeast Asian Media Studies Association (SEAMSA), an international, non-government organization of media practitioners who actively conducts research on the mass media of Southeast Asian countries.

As he begins his term, Cabasal focuses on further enhancing the provision of virtual learning to his students.

"The department, through the collective effort and brilliance of its faculty members, continues its planning and implementation of creative and effective ways of sustaining a culture of learning even in an online setup," he told FEU Advocate.

With this, Cabasal announced that beginning this term, the department will appoint cluster heads to ensure that DepComm effectively caters to the needs of its students and faculty. Professor Chrissy Ustaris was appointed as a cluster head for Digital Cinema Track while Professor Nikko Visperas will head the Convergent Media Track.

As DepComm waits for its signal to conduct limited face-to-face classes, they will continue providing quality virtual education by bringing in high-caliber faculty members to the department. 

He added that the students' safety and health shall remain on the top of their priorities. 

Cabasal also emphasized that DepComm shall remain anchored to its mission of championing their "may alam, may pakialam" (socially aware and involved) movement by utilizing the media as a significant contributor to social transformation.

"Malaki ang ginagampanan ng larangan ng Komunikasyon sa ating bayan. Sa ating bawat paglikha, nawa’y manatili tayong mulat, malaya, at mapagpalaya. (Communication plays a big role in our society. As we create, may we always remain aware, free, and liberating)," he said.

He then addressed DepComm students, assuring them that the department will always value them, upholding their intellect, skills, and creativity.

"As future practitioners and leaders in the field of broadcasting, print, theater arts, cinema, advertising, and new media, I am confident that the future of this nation is in good hands because of how you equip yourselves with the critical consciousness and solution-driven mindset and actions," he added.

To date, Cabasal continues to bring recognition to the department by publishing research on media and film. 

On November 12-13, Cabasal is scheduled to present his paper entitled Emerging Cinema Quarantine (ECQ): Alternative Film Practice and Narratives in the Time of Pandemic at the National Communication Research Conference (NCRC) 2021 with the theme 'Breaking through outbreaks and breakdowns: Re-searching communication and media in the pandemic.'

(Photo courtesy of Herwin Cabasal)