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?