Phoneless… Anchorless

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I lost my cellphone the other day. It was stolen inside my bag while I was walking inside a crowded mall. I was unprepared for the feeling of being unconnected to the real world for even just a short time.

I’m no stranger at losing valuables . But I have never experienced the hopelessness and panic that I did when I lost my cellphone. For an instant, I don’t know what to do. How can I work without my contacts? I have a lot of work to do and I need those contacts to be able to accomplish it. Our School-on-the-Air is on the thick of negotiations- with anchors, with the station, with the coordinators and with almost anyone connected to the program. I lost all the contact numbers of our partners. What am I going to do?

First things first. I went to Globe telecom to block my SIM and requested for a new SIM with the same number. Voila! In just a few minutes, I have a new SIM (sans a cellphone, of course) with the same number. This is the time that I really appreciated going postpaid. For a long time, I was fighting against going postpaid because I don’t like the hassle of getting in line to pay for my bill. It eats up a big portion of my time every month. But with the convenience of having the same number despite my lost phone, all the inconveniences I experienced while waiting at payment centers were erased.

After having the same number, what then should I do? I was literally at a loss. My teen daughter told me… “Mom, stay cool. Open your facebook account, post in your status that you lost your phone but still have the same number. Tell them to identify themselves when they text or call you because your phone directory is starting from scratch. Then you could start e-mailing your friends also asking them for their phone numbers. Simple.” I was amazed that the solution was really quite simple. I’ve always prided myself of being able to keep my cool even on stressful occasions. But being disconnected with the world makes me feel adrift and anchorless. I pity those who were also in similar situations. Losing contact especially with loved ones even for just a short time is inconceivable.

This makes me reflect on how the cellphone or the IT industry has risen in importance to our daily life. This gives wisdom to the use of cellphones and other ICT gadgets in the delivery of services to the people. Being one of the pioneers in e-Extension in the country, the ATI and the Department of Agriculture is surely in the right track. E-Extension’s potential for reaching the greater majority of stakeholders at the fastest time and at a least cost and at the convenience of the recipients make the program an inspired one.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.