Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘reporter’

Ending An Old Dream

I am beginning to cut myself from various organizations I’ve worked with a few years ago. For the last two weeks, I’ve been sending text messages and e-mails to their media officers to remove my name from their list of recipients. I have nothing to do with the press releases I have been receiving for a long time, now that I am not a part of any media body anymore.

I’ve come to a moment in time that I would want to completely turn away from a career I once esteemed highly: a reporter. For four years, I’ve been part of various coverage that had made their niche in history. I have witnessed newsworthy events that tingled my adrenaline to grab a good story, as well as having the privilege to brush elbows with the popular and even the notorious. But I have to leave that all behind now.

I guess I’m getting old. I have become tired of spending countless hours of staying up late just to finish a story. I am also tired of being ubiquitous wherever the desk or the executive producer demands. I want to work in peace. I want to live a normal life.

But it doesn’t mean I regret having this career.

I would always cherish this season in my life as memorable, not because of the prestige its label bring, but because of the lessons I’ve garnered and the character -refinement have undergone. I’m not as brave as I look, but it boosted my guts to go out and face silly questions like “Does anybody watch your station?” or try not to panic at a raging rally. It shifted my views from being apathetic to being sober to the things happening around me. But most of all, it humbled me to be the one to deliver the story and not to be the one the story centers at.

This season has ended. The moment I turned away from it, the moment I also turn away from the bitterness of being unrecognized for a long time. Being a reporter does not last forever anyway. What’s important is that I keep my focus to the God who carries me from season to season, His overwhelming love and grace washing away the disappointments I’ve received from the past.

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Gagging the Truth Bearer

For the sake of truth, we journalists know the risk of it. But I never thought such danger would happen to one of us at these times.

Most of us in MPC were shocked to know that one of our colleagues, Fernan Angeles of The Daily Tribune, was a victim of an attack Sunday night. As said by his wife, before he became unconscious, he knew who his attacker was…and this was someone influential. We’re hoping for the best that he would completely recover and that justice would be brought upon his assailants.

I myself spurred thoughts after hearing much of this incident. Though we’re been rallying against impunity and injustice, made much awareness to the expectant public in incomprehensible speed through social media and other means, and did all the means to make sure that tragic deaths of media men will never happen,  there are still many who would dare shut up the mouths of these truth bearers – I, as one of them. But this was not a reason for us to be afraid of what we’re doing. This is our job…and we’d rather stand by telling the truth rather than closing our eyes to it.

Ok, let’s admit that most of us are really dared to go beyond the expected thinking, are very loud and even provocative. But we do it to make the public think and rethink. Once the public dig deeper into the obvious, there’s much exposure and it would not be pleasant. This is what they are afraid of…and would dare to stop the quarry before revealing the murky part of their palaces.

We, of course, are reminded of the weight of our responsibility. We stand by a code that makes us unbiased. Some of us won’t, though. But, this does not mean that all of us should fall because of who we are and what we do.

There are still many cases of media killings that are not solved…forgotten, actually. What are we to do? We are doing our best to let the world know – and remind not to forget my fellow colleagues who had fallen and who are struggling for justice. This is a fallen world, I can say, and for sure more arrows are set out to attack our kind. But it will never stop us…and they’ll never will.

Let not these attacks completely gag the truth. They might silence the reporter, but never silence the truth.

The Tragedy of Being a News Hunter

Sometimes, there are things you can’t simply let go. No matter how hard you try to scrub them off, the harder they cling to your skin. Goodness…

In my months as a reporter, I’ve learned to love news. I’m sick when I don’t read news in the weekends. I hate to stay clueless to the latest updates.

Even out of the office, I would check my twitter for breaking headlines. But I just realized I was getting too much of it. Therefore, I’m no 16-gig microchip. I’m your usual worker trying to be one.

I tried to stay away from news at the end of the day but goodness, no. Even in the bus, the television is open to Manila’s one of the most comprehensive news stations. And while I tried to turn my full attention to the Bible (which I really want to know more), the news attracted much of my attention. Can’t just they turn off that TV? Deep inside I blamed the driver and the conductor for keeping an unsatisfying 5-minute devotion on the road.

Darn…I need to go deeper with the Good News of my Abba. This is better than world news. God, help me. I don’t want to be lost…I’d rather be tuned in to Your freshest revelations more than at the latest news. Bring me to Your secret place…I just need to be back…O.o

Redreaming My Old Dreams

I had never thought that after ten years, a dream would come alive. When I was in highschool, I dreamed of becoming a reporter. I remember our teacher having us make a short skit of what we would want to become ten years after graduation. I can still remember clearly that our concept was a Who Wants to be a Millionaire type. Upon introduction, I said I was an award-winning broadcaster haha!

When I entered college, I began to shift decision after decision. From advertising, film, I soon ended in BPO. I don’t know why. Somehow I realigned my priorities to find a stable job and earn a lot of money. BPO in the Philippines by that time was already a fast-growing industry so they hire people in just a week and salaries and perks were like stones to new hires like me. But that isn’t what life is all about. There is no such thing as a stable job and earning a lot is not man’s ultimate goal. But it took me a long time before I realized where my dreams lie. Just soon enough, I’m back to my first love: mass media.

Sounds ironic but I guess wherever the Lord wants us to be, we’ll be there no matter how far we’re led astray. I believe that He had put this dream into my heart and it sank deep within until it was reawakened. Perhaps, I got scared to pursue my dream because this kind of job will break me from complacency. During the first months I was hired into the station I am in, I was scared of what lay ahead before me as a reporter especially I felt pressure for I knew so much would be expected of me. I asked the Lord that wherever He really wants me to be, I will embraced it with all my heart. Until now, I am surprised how I’m embracing the field that I tried to run away from before.

Oh yes, the Lord moves in ways we do not expect. I believe He does not put dreams in our hearts that He does not desire. It’s just up to us if we will passionately pursue it or let it die in time.

I’m no award-winning broadcaster though. Just a watchdog who loves witnessing and retelling history as it should be.

Looking Back at my 2011

Before the year ends, I want to have a glimpse on the significant events that I’ve been through this 2011. Summing up all the joys and the pains, I can see how the Lord has been faithful to me. Before every firecrackers in Bocaue has exploded, before every pasta and round fruits on our media noche dish is consumed, perhaps I would be given the right to take a review on how my life was this year…with the expectation of getting on deeper waters with Him in the coming year.

At JIL Calamba for the Laguna JRev Night. Before I got into full-time media work, I would tag along JRev ministry work for God's glory. Photo courtesy of Riz Olaguer

With tons of what I’ve gone through in the past 365 days, I never thought only a year has passed. I’ve experienced great shifts at the first part of 2011. With almost a year of being jobless, I only understood the word that the Lord has been telling me on Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The moment I learned how to trust the Father regardless of my situation then, the moment He opened new doors. From February to the first half of March, I became a part-time Korean English teacher and then on April, I took the reporter’s job in a Christian station.

At the TESDA MOA signing at Makati on Oct. 2011

With an overly bubbly but shy personality, I would never expect to land in such a job. I was a masscomm student, I love the mass media, but I only thought that I was fit for a quiet office job. But I have this free-spirited character deep within that gets easily bored on the same-old routines and locations – just as I had in my first job in the BPO industry. What’s more shocking was my beat: although a cub reporter, I was assigned as a presidential reporter.

So everywhere the president goes, I would tag along (expect for far-off locations). It’s an exciting and yet a stressful beat. I hated politics, but soon enough, it was slowly being instilled in me. I began to understand the technicalities of the law a bit…but I know I have still a long way to go.

It’s been an exciting year for me. Somehow, I was becoming a part of my country’s history as I witness some of the biggest events in the nation: Perhaps the most significant ones for me would be:

  • Pres. Aquino’s visit to the flooded areas of Calumpit, Bulacan
  • State visit of foreign dignitaries like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak
  • Courtesy Call of the Phil. Dragon Boat Team (as the president fearlessly announced not to mix politics into sports anymore)
  • First out-of-town coverage at Albay, Bicol for the President’s visit at the 1st Climate Change Media Conference
  • Former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Arroyo’s transfer from St. Luke’s to VMMC (although we were not able to get a shot of her leaving the hospital and were late to catch up her convoy)
  • And my favorite: the clash between the President and the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Twice, I’ve witnessed how the president criticized the chief justice. It is my fellow reporter who witnessed Corona’s speech against the executive head of the nation. Also, I was in the Senate to witness the senator’s oathtaking on the impeachment trial.

Being a reporter is very exciting. But these events are not something to brag about. I would love to share the stories and even the bloopers in our news team. The one thing I love and have been learning on being a reporter is the importance of communication and connection. I have not mastered this yet, but I can see how the Lord is breaking me out of my shell to reach out, not only make friends, but for territories to be enlarged for His glory!

Waiting for President Aquino at Calumpit, Bulacan for his visit to the flood victims on Oct. 5, 2011. Behind me was the truck that he rode to inspect a small piece of the flooded area.

But I also have a lot of failures and refining sessions on-going in my life. I need to value authorities in my life. I need to lessen my happy-go-lucky attitude and my complacency that hinders me from growing in skill and in my prayer times. I need to accelerate in my writing skills (as I always have a hard time in Filipino news writing – ack! The irony of living in my own language!), my communication skills, and my competency as a media person. I want to learn more and I want to be trained more. Enough is not enough.

But the thing I’m after for is my intimacy with the Lord. I want to have a deeper relationship with Him. It’s not enough that I pray, read the Bible, go to church like tradition. Living in and with Christ is no tradition! It’s a lifestyle! I want to hear His voice, see His face, and know His heart. What is a life without Him? One day, my career in media will be gone, but let my love for my Beloved remain in eternity!

I’ve received a lot of material blessings. I’ve gained favor. My family experienced open heaven – not only because our home’s storehouse was filled with sacks of rice – but we let the blessings flow to others. I was touched on how my mother’s prayers were answered.

Photo ops with the Philippine Dragon Boat Team! Taken on Aug. 12, 2011

What do I expect in this coming year? I believe there will be a new shift in 2012. My prayer is that I will be more refined than now, braver and bolder than I’ve ever been and will be a Daniel for His glory. I pray it is Jesus who will be seen in my life and I ask nothing else but to see His Kingdom come in my beat, in my church, in my nation, and in my life.

A few hours to go! I believe I will be going into unknown waters. Am I ready? I will only be ready if the Lord holds me close. One thing I am always reminded: It’s not by might, nor by power, but only by His Spirit that I can face the future with Christ who strengthens me.

May the heavens open over all of us! God bless everyone. Let His Spirit flow to us this 2012. Happy New Year! 😀

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