mga idol

another byline! yahoo!

pardon the kayabangan, if it may seem to you that way. like any other budding journalist, i just have to celebrate every little successes. it’s like being happy for what you receive each day because you’ll never know until when you’ll get to receive them—that’s if you’re given another chance. (malalim ba?)

sorry if i have to type the article’s title: culiat folk hit cop raid by christian esguerra and michael jobert i. navallo. can’t help it. i guess i’m just so lucky that i was assigned to a great trainor. (former varsitarian eic ba naman.) feeling ko nga salingpusa lang pangalan ko dun e.

really, i don’t think i’m good enough. sir christian is the best. idol talaga when it comes to writing and editing and contextualizing. compared to him, suddenly i am a lowly apprentice who have forgotten all the techniques i learned in class. have no qualms about it though. i’ll learn, and i’ll learn from the best.

speaking of idol, another one of my idols, nick joaquin, passed away yesterday. heard about it in crame yesterday and i was all agog about going to san juan, never mind if i don’t know the streets there. but i was told a special reporter will cover it and so i did read in today’s paper volt contreras and ruel de vera’s fitting tribute to a “master.” the artik is really good, you have to read it.

too bad i can’t meet him anymore. i was hoping i could meet the man who is both a journalist and a litterateur, combining what others would consider opposite worlds. he proved them wrong of course, being both using two different names and in both cases, showing mastery of the craft. how i wish i could be like him! but that’s a long way to go, if that’s even possible. literary works are my pitfall. i feel i’m not creative enough, with each piece i write always wanting, always lacking, and that it’s not good enough. (you know very well how i hate mediocrity.)

i’ve got other idols pa. jose rizal is certainly one of them (and no, it’s not because chickboy siya—debatable daw yun). i’m also open to meeting more idols, probably newer and younger ones. and did i say prof. x used to be my favorite cartoon character? (not sure now but i know i like peace better—kaya make peace not war, ok?)

anyway, on to internship-related matters. while on my way to san juan this morning, i decided to drop by vp candidate noli de castro’s headquarters in edsa, q. ave., to get a reaction on yesterday’s story. talked to some people but the conversations were off the record. kabayan’s spokesman also decided not to issue a statement so there blew my chance for another scoop.

what did i do in san juan? i asked some info from the comelec, checked out a police station and the eastern police district, familiarized myself with the place and well, ate at chowking (gutom na ko that time you know). got a few contacts too, so i can start calling them tomorrow for updates. one cop asked if i had a calling card. i said i have yet to make one so i scribbled contact info on a leaf i tore off from my notes. i was there on my own since my new boss sir luige was not available today.

i reported to crame at around 2. sa kabaitan na naman ni sir christian, he gave me the transcript of the press briefing which took place just before lunch. he told me to do the story, which i did, and so there, my sole article for the day. hope it’ll see print tomorrow.

timecheck: 10:30 but i’m really sleepy. perhaps it’s time to end this entry.

notable update? nothing. ms. mu was there this afternoon but left moments after i arrived. turns out she had chitchat with lawrence, cess and the other peeps at aguinaldo. sige, mang-inggit pa kayo. (what the hell am i writing? sorry, antok na talaga.)

i do have an explosive story to tell. but i’ll reserve it for the weekend, so that i have something journ-related to post. til then.

tomorrow, tomorrow, i love you tomorrow, you’re always (as a star circle kid questor puts it) away a day!


lucky day

three reasons why i’m lucky today:

reason #1: got my first byline in the metro section today. pnp nabs 3 asg suspects in raid by christian esguerra and michael jobert navallo…so it read. wow, it felt great! i actually learned it from lawrence who texted me while my pi class was about to end. he said: congrats! may byline ka today, or something to that effect. can’t remember exactly what i replied but am sure it consisted only of one word. (choose: talaga? what? or what!). i only got to see it when i visited journ dep’t. right after. that’s when i got ecstatic and excited.

when i got to crame later on, christina mendez of the philippine star asked me if i had today’s paper. i said i didn’t. she said, wala kang dyaryo? byline ka pa naman. later, jericho, another reporter remarked: byline si michael jobert navallo o. hehe, that was really sweet.

reason #2: by some twist of fate or luck, the same story came out as part of sir christian’s page 1 story on the yellow-red overseas organization, so i also earned a tagline. another first! first tagline for a page 1 story. now i’m really inspired. what a way to end my supposedly last day in crame.

reason #3: earned my first scoop today, thanks mostly to my good trainor. he gave me quotes from his interview with the partlylist representative of the suara bangsamoro regarding one of the alleged abu sayyaf members caught yesterday and a dossier from the same party. while writing a profile on dawabi ben albi maulana, i decided to clarify some info and that’s when i was able to set an exclusive interview with his daughter.

even the timing was just right. while i was writing maulana’s profile, sir christian was covering the peace talks conference in new manila. later, news broke out in the press office about a presscon at the pnp’s civil security group regarding 6 arrested document fraud syndicate members. i texted sir christian and he said i could come. and so i went alone, asking around how to get there. my boss was already there but the presscon was just about to start.

just about the same time the presscon ended, maulana’s daughter texted me that they were already at his father’s detention cell. upon my trainor’s advice, i met her there and got to ask a few questions. i also saw firsthand how maulana was being escorted out of crame to the quezon city prosecutor’s office. boy, was the security lax! no handcuffs. i was even standing next to the old man presented as one of the suspects yesterday.

when i came back to the office, my boss was away, interviewing pnp spokesman goltiao regarding the voter turn-out of local absentee voters in the police and military. i wrote my two stories until a little before 6, in the process almost committing a major crime against a reporter. i was trying to turn a computer on when i switched off the avr, unknowingly turning off ms. mendez’s computer. i really thought she was gonna be sore (to think i’ve seen her furious yesterday). but she did manage to control her temper and i was relieved the document was rescued. buti na lang!

anyway, i hope both stories get published tomorrow. or maybe even just one. if not, i’ll be happy at the thought that i got the story for myself, no matter how small it was, and the other reporters didn’t. haha. (pagbigyan niyo na.)

what a day it was indeed, considering that it almost didn’t start well. i almost got bullied today by that manila times reporter (who by the way is the butt of all jokes in our group—uhm, i could see two factions in the press office and i somehow belong to the more noisy but good-natured ones who value their integrity). i don’t know what was with him. i was trying to borrow the journal from a reporter, speaking in the most polite way possible. sir, pahiram po ng journal after. and he butted in (i wasn’t even talking to him). he said: di ba trainee ka pa? maghintay ka matapos ang mga reporters (in a really mean way). so i was like, hindi ko naman po kukunin kaagad, hihiramin ko pagkatapos. and he blurted something but i didn’t care to listen to him na. i just smiled and almost chuckled. to my mind, is he really that insecure? that was the same thing sir christian told me later on when i informed him of what happened. insecure lang yan. magaling pa english mo dyan. (maniniwala ba ako?) later, froilan from today, who used to be sir christian’s trainee, said, sabihin mo lang kapag inaway ka nun ha. haha. turns out protektado pala ako sa crame.

oh well (here’s that phrase again), the day somehow ended well. was in high spirits even though this was gonna be my last day. sir benjie liwanag of dzbb asked when was my last day. i told him, ngayon. he said: babay. later, ms. mu uttered words like, last day mo na pala ngayon. i replied with all smiles (as if happy pa), oo nga e. but after that, nothing. we didn’t talk, we didn’t almost notice each other later in the day. well, i think it’s for the better. i don’t want to be crame-sick when i get to san juan.

but i did have a discovery of the day. sir benjie introduced me to a free service from globe where, instead of the ring ring ring, the caller gets to hear either a song or a recorded message. he told me to choose aubrey miles. they had a kick listening to what she had to say. it went something like: hi this is aubrey miles…honey, telephone, blah blah blah. the caller is supposed to think you’re really with her huh.

there are other variations. there are songs and funny punchlines, even an abu sayyaf message. really cool. if you want to try it, or to listen to aubrey, call me ok? now, i wonder what my mother would do when she gets to hear this…hmmm…

anyway, before i left crame for today, i had an early supper with tahong and rice. huh! sarap! haven’t tasted it for a while. what a way to end my crame internship.

on second thought, it wasn’t really the end. i can still go back after elections. and i just found out this evening that sir luige, my new trainor, won’t be able to go with me tomorrow to san juan and that i only need to get the basic info he asked from me. that means, if i finish early, i can still report to crame. the question is, will i go there tomorrow? ah, that remains to be seen. we’ll see.

tomorrow, tomorrow, i love you tomorrow, you’re always (as a star circle kid questor puts it) away a day!


nagpapaalam sa crame....

missed out on blogging yesterday. was just too tired when i got home at around 11:30 p.m. last night from a meeting at the inquirer office (i was awake since 5:30 a.m.). then i had to read for pi so by the time i checked my mail, my eyes were half-closed. had to hit the sack at 1:30 a.m. then i had to wake up at 5:30 this morning. sigh. what a long day it was.

but it did pay off. got a tagline on the william martinez story, which was the main story for the metro section today. sir christian did wonders with the article i wrote; otherwise i don’t think it would have landed there. he did get the byline.

the day before, i wrote on the same topic but it ended yesterday in the metro briefs—4 sentences short. i did get a solo tagline though. i guess my interview with senior supt. bernardo bondoc of pdea yesterday afternoon helped a lot because for the most part, we did get some additional info.

will i get even a tagline tomorrow? hmmm… i don’t think so. wrote just one article today, the one on muslims arrested in a raid at 3 a.m. (imagine, 3 a.m.—do they ever sleep?). by the time i finished it, the news came: 3 of the 12 arrested were abu sayyaf members. big story. that meant sir christian was gonna do it, apart from alcuin papa from the other side of edsa.

with no other “newsworthy” story, i called up bondoc again desperate for an update. there was none. that was it. i just picked up the book on rizal and started reading. halfway through the second page, i stopped. made small talk with the rest of the press corps and found out a startling discovery.

actually i learned about it way earlier. we were eating lunch when two reporters were already shouting at each other. it turned out that the vice president of the press corps was questioning the president’s decision to accept money (payola she would call it) from pdea (there was even mention of lacson, and cidg but i don’t really know). she was grilling the treasurer in front of us. i thought they were going to grab each other’s hair and engage in a “bitchfight” (pardon the term) but the vp just left. she wrote a memo instead, accusing the prez, posting it on the bulletin board and faxing it to some news agencies. the latter replied, posting his answer beside the first letter, then faxing it to the same news agencies. this scene looked familiar hmmm…i think i’ve seen such exchange of memos before…now, if i could just remember.

anyway, the vp was fuming mad because if the payola stuff was true, it meant jeopardizing the integrity of the whole pnp press corps and the news agencies they represent. other reporters voiced their condemnation while the others simply had other things to do. there was a press con after all, scheduled at 1 p.m. but which started at 2. then, goltiao had something to say. another press con was set at camp aguinaldo.

covering the press con was somehow fun in that all the reporters were there, exchanging stories while waiting for that lousy aglipay (who never came anyway). but what saddened me was the seeming insensitivity of the media toward the arrested persons. they were smiling, less than serious, and were even the ones directing the show (sir, hawakan niyo muna m-14, photog muna, etc…) as if a bunch of persons were not getting humiliated in front of them (weird, the suspects didn’t look humiliated btw). oh well, maybe because they’ve covered events like these for the nth time.

tomorrow might be my last day in crame (sad). got our new assignments last night. i’m covering the whole of san juan under a new boss, sir luige del puerto of the metro section. will start friday. that way, i’ll have more time to familiarize myself with san juan so by the time election day comes next next week, i should know what i’m reporting about.

i don’t know if i’ll be going back to crame after the elections. it all depends on sir gerry. i don’t even know if, given a chance, i’ll still opt for crame. it’s difficult for a trainee like me to get fresh stories unless i have contacts so that means i have to depend on my trainor. sometimes, it’s even hard to confirm stories from sources unless you want to spend that load of yours talking to some police director from a distant province. your call really.

on the other hand, sir christian is really a good reporter so getting stories shouldn’t be a problem. and i think i have gotten used to the place and the people that, while on board the mrt on my way home this afternoon, i somehow felt sad realizing that tomorrow might be my last day there… (o nagdrama). so i might go back to crame after all.

speaking about people, hmm… she was kinda sad yesterday when i reported to work. i would find out later, while eating (bad news always falls during eating time), that she was being blamed for not getting the pdea story which aired on channel 2. how could she? she had another event to cover the day before. was it her fault that aglipay was just too lousy a source he’s not even sure bout what he’s saying? but pdea is her beat so maybe, it was. or maybe the desk was just trying to wash their hands off so they won’t take the blame.

anyway, she rose from her seat around the table and walked off toward her cameraman, then out of the press office she went. didn’t see her again that day but i did see her crew and sir christian trying to console her. (hmmm…my boss really knows how to earn brownie points…). today, she was in a good mood—yeah as in good mood—that she and sir christian were kinda sweeeet. they were walking really close to each other. they were talking the whole time while waiting for the press con to start. (aglipaaaay, where were you?) no wonder hyper si sir christian after.

but i did get my moments too, hehe. last night, while on the way to inquirer with lawrence for the meeting, i texted her:

hi ma’am! i know your day didn’t start ryt. hope it ends well. -jobert

she replied:

tnx jobert m touchd sa concern na ipinakita nyong lahat rili apreciate it (19:30:24)

what did i say?

wala. ubos na load ko e, hehe.

oh well, last day to see her tomorrow. so i sent her a message:

hi! last day ko n ata 2m sa crame. wud it b ok f i tx u n lng kng pano ko makukuha survey forms? tnx a lot. had a gr8 tym at crame.

1 minute…

2 minutes…

oh, i forgot to put my name! but maybe she’ll recognize it.

5 minutes…

12 minutes…

maybe i should put my name on the same message.

25 minutes… 1 message received

mariz u: ay sayang sure cge u can txt me anytym (21:40:10)

me: tnx. hope i can bargain my way back 2 crame. or even gma7 hehe. anyway, andun lang nman c sir christian e.

and then no reply. gud nyt folks!

do i love you because you are beautiful? or are you beautiful because i love you?

p.s. enough of this kahibangan. really, after tomorrow, it’s all gonna be over. and this blog is gonna be boring. but teodoro-friendly i hope. san juan, here i come.


love the adrenalin rush

after three days of being away from crame, going back to the office this morning was comforting. there’s always something about a new start, trying to look for another story for another day. (actually, the itch to look for stories started last night. at about 9:30 p.m., i heard sirens coming from cubao. since it never seemed to stop, i thought it might be a big one. was thinking of covering it that late at night. i texted sir gerry lirio and found out it was just another fire. it didn’t even come out in the papers so my efforts would have been in vain.)

anyway, went to crame with good friend lawrence, who was just starting his internship. he was assigned there for the meantime while waiting for the dreaded alcuin papa (if you only knew the stories we’ve heard about him. lawrence was trying to bargain with sir gerry yesterday: “sir, wala na po bang ibang reporter?” tough luck, alcuin was the only one left without an intern; the others even had two peeps with them. to appease him, sir gerry told lawrence, “apat na araw ka lang sa kanya and you’ll be assigned to another beat.” now, does that give you an idea?)

we arrived there a little before 11. sir christian was running after a story so we waited—scanning the journal (incident reports), reading the paper, watching tv and finally, having lunch. no sign of our trainor still, although he was texting us from time to time.

without a story, we waited for a miracle to come. ms. mu was there and, at one point, she offered to help. “wala pa kayong storya? may interview kami kay goltiao (pnp spokesman) mamaya.” (gee, she had this shy smile—ok, ok, i promise to keep this blog strictly for journalistic purposes, the way sir teodoro will appreciate). i asked sir christian and he agreed with the idea.

but before we could leave, the miracle came. an 18-year-old girl who claimed to have been raped, came to the office. suddenly, the whole press corps was around her. lawrence and i rushed to get our tape recorders, papers and pens ready. we decided to split: he talked to the girl’s mother, i took note of ms. mu’s interview with the girl. (see, we’ve got all bases covered that when sir christian arrived, he didn’t have to ask much. he did ask if lawrence and i were brothers. do we really look and act alike? it didn’t help we’ve got the same tape recorders too. “sabay niyo bang binili yan?” he asked. we just laughed. of course we didn’t.)

with her back on the camera, the girl said her employer, who presented himself as a relative, raped her for more than 5 times. not only that, she was handed over to a policeman who touched her sensitive parts, just so the cop won’t raid her employer’s videoke bar. she was saying all these with tears welling in her eyes to stern-faced reporters. how cruel can life get? i felt like she was reliving the trauma and she’ll break down anytime.

my and lawrence’s reactions were different, maybe because we were new. our faces must have looked so pained that sir christian warned us about getting carried away coz she might turn out to be a hoax after all. but how can i? you’re talking to a girl younger than you are who got raped? and you don’t feel anything?

anyway, lawrence’s temporary assignment for the day must have been a blessing in disguise. since we’ve got the rape story covered, sir christian went ahead to goltiao’s press con. buti na lang i knew the way there so we just followed.

next stop was the interview with edgar aglipay, who by the way, was really lousy today. he had to make us wait as his deputies were rousing him from sleep (sleep at 2pm?), only to give us wrong info during the interview. he was pretending to know the incident the whole time but he can’t even give us decent answers. had to call inq to correct info in the report i made about william martinez and the shabu tooter thing. (btw, what is a tooter and how does it look like? don’t worry, i won’t use it.)

the day turned out fine though. sir christian was away after the aglipay interview coz he had to cover an event in camp aguinaldo so we were left on our own to come up with the story summary to submit to sir gerry. we worked on our individual stories (lawrence did the rape story) and a collaborative story until past 6pm. what a long day indeed. but it did pay off. after the editing, sir christian allowed us to send our reports using our names in the byline for the first time (either he was busy with other stories or he was really glad with our teamwork or he was just being kind). gee, i hope they get published tomorrow.

finally felt fulfilled at work today. must be because of the adrenalin rush, of thinking on your toes and keeping yourself one step ahead. must be because of the good start at pi this morning. was just an open discussion but i did get to point out that the one article that appeared on the front page of the inquirer last sunday was garapalang pr. (look for the story on a different kind of beauty, the beauty supposedly found in inspiring stories of women but which was really a dove endorsement. come to think of it, one story wasn’t even inspiring. she just happened to be a politician’s daughter who looks up to her mother. how inspiring can you get!)

anyway (in that unmistakable teodoro accent), all’s well that ends well. looking forward to another day tomorrow. for some reason, i’m loving this job, and even the beat. too bad can’t stay there for long. heard the news this afternoon: we’re changing beats come elections. sir christian just had to drop a line: “buti naman para tantanan mo na si mariz.” huh? what did i do? (he’s joking.)

btw, i did receive a reply last fri, just when i turned the computer off. pardon me if i post it here just so i can delete it from my phone. it went:

hi jobert sori l8 nko respnd i alrdy gave d survey forms to am grace ok naman mukhang enuf na muna yon for nw (time: 1:38:47)

and, did i tell you, i did invite her sa friendster. what has she to say?

naku i havnt checkd my e-mail kse as in jan pa ata last log ko

ok, so this is showbiz na. i promise, i’m sticking to work from now on. (well, i hope.)

come on, a few days na lang naman e…hehe. gee, i really have to rewrite the whole stuff to be teodoro-friendly. and i could now see the great task before me.

do i love you because you are beautiful? or are you beautiful because i love you?


not my day

didn’t go to crame today, as i’ve told you before. kinda felt bad for some reason. i was raring to go but i had other commitments at hand so i just had to stay in up and attend to them.

as it turned out, sir christian did the abu sayyaf story, 5 suspected terrorists nabbed. of all days! darn. learned my lesson though: am not leaving my post anymore huhu.

on second thought, it might have been better that i wasn’t there. i might have messed things up. imagine the complication: a reporter having to guide his trainee while the rest of the pnp press corps are scrambling for the latest on the arrest of the alleged terrorists. yokong maging pabigat.

anyway, what was supposed to be a briefing for volunteer ushers ended up as a planning session for the processional and the seating arrangement. come to think of it, not everyone was around so i have to meet the rest tomorrow.

attended the fopc meeting for upjc at 4 before meeting up with the council for semplanning. we were sorta “hamlet-ish” this afternoon that we decided to call the whole thing off after pondering about it for about two hours in the darkness of the masscomm lobby. all the while we were singing. bonding moment, i suppose. gee, i wonder if we’ll ever get things done.

sorry if some sentences don’t sound right. am really tired and sleepy, but still have to text d ushers. and plan. oh well, this is life.

just to give you an update: finally got her number, thanks to my trainor. i texted her:

me: gud pm! ma’am, ds s jobert, sir ian’s trainee. got ur number from him, hope u don’t mind. follow up ko lang po ung survey forms kung kulang. sori 2 bother u.

after 48 years, no reply. sigh. not my day today.

do i love you because you are beautiful? or are you beautiful because i love you?


have you seen the light?

a page a day keeps the writer’s blues away, a friend told me once (although he worded it in a less corny way) and so here i am posting my second entry. the first one was no good really, was just testing the waters if i may say so. hope to make some sense here.

btw, i’m jobert, a journalism student at up diliman. just turned 19 this month, and of all the dates in the calendar, it fell on good friday (huh, no food fest this time!). i’m matakaw but for some reason, my head is still disproportionately larger compared to my body (i’m exaggerating, ok?) and so i’m now bent on buying antiox the next time i visit the pharmacy.

so why am i suddenly caught by the blog bug? i dunno. maybe after months of stalking some other people’s blog (including those i barely know), i’ve finally decided to take the plunge. not a bad idea after all. it’s like keeping a diary of sorts, although i don’t intend to end up sounding mushy, cheesy and all. (now i’m corny, and that’s a given.)

but it wasn’t after the other night, when i was stalking again, that i once and for all created my own account. i had second thoughts before (given my schedule, do i have the time?) but after reading some really nice entries, where i applied textual analysis to come up with the conclusion that blogging can be used to substitute for a bestfriend (subject to validity and reliability tests), i have seen the light and i am now, officially a blogger! congratulations to me haha.(do i sound like a mad scientist?)

blogging, i realized, is like putting into words all that transpired within a given day. it’s like writing your own historical account where you get to be the hero (oops, my narcissistic tendencies are showing—note: keyword is tendencies).

for a student-journalist like me, it makes sense too. my job is to record the most significant events that took place and what, i can’t even write about what’s happening in my life?

oh well, makes me think about the ironies in life. life is one big irony. we live to die one day. but at least, it’s up to us to get up and live each day and savor each moment. (naks, profound).

so why seeing the light? aside from seeing the positive side of blogging, i find it an apt title to characterize what else, my life. been through and still am in some soul searching these past few months, and mind you, i’m still lost in the dark. groping. feeling around. searching uncertainly. trying to find my way into the light. more like seeking the light actually. but the end of it all is to see the light and embrace it. sigh. still a long way to go.

so much for the philosophical crap. one point i have to make though is that i am happy and contented with my life right now. can’t be any better. have all that i could wish for. i still have my dreams and ambitions but i’m glad that i’m in the process of realizing them. what makes the whole picture brighter are the people i have around me.

i’m lucky. no, as my psych professor would correct me in one of my papers, i’m blessed. i truly am.

do i love you because you are beautiful? or are you beautiful because i love you?

p.s. ignore the signature. as i've said, i'm still groping in the dark...


first post

so this is blogging.

can't believe i'm into this. do i actually have the time? (blogging once ain't so bad at all, ayt? or maybe twice, thrice or for how long i can keep up with this). might as well try it--for the sake of...well, just trying it.

and so here goes my first post. rubbish really.

do i love you because you are beautiful? or are you beautiful because i love you?