Forever Kamag-aral: Para sa ABS-CBN University

Anjo Bagaoisan Graduating from an ABS-CBN University course, with Ms Ging Reyes & university head Gabriel Orendain (Photo from ABS-CBN University)
Graduating. (Photo from ABS-CBN University)

Dati, may cadetship program ang ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs para sa mga naghahangad maging reporter sa isa sa pinakaprestihiyosong newsroom sa Pilipinas.

Wala na nito noong pumasok ako sa ABS. Pero tila nagkaroon din kami ng kahalintulad dahil sa ABS-CBN University.

Anim na taon mula nang magbukas ito para sa mga empleyado ng ABS-CBN, kasama ang Univ sa hinintong sangay ng kompanya ngayong Agosto dahil sa shutdown ng network at pagpatay sa franchise application nito.

Nagpapasalamat pa rin ako at ikinararangal na isa ako sa mga naging mag-aaral nito.

Hindi rin siguro nadagdagan ang munti kong kahandaan sa pagre-reporter kung wala ang University.

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Why audiences, not legislators or govt regulations, should decide the fate of media

By Anjo Bagaoisan

A family in Baclaran, Parañaque watches TeleRadyo on TVPlus during a community lockdown in May 2020. (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)
A family in Baclaran, Parañaque watches TeleRadyo on TVPlus during a community lockdown in May 2020. (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Audiences dictate content more than they are given credit for. Given choices, they will watch what they want to watch. No one should decide that for them.

It’s a story repeatedly shown in local media history. In particular, that of ABS-CBN, which has gone up and down and back up repeatedly over its 60-plus year history.

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‘Walang saysay’: Para sa campus journalist

Contestants in a TV Broadcasting contest during the Division Schools Press Conference in Oriental Mindoro (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Magkaiba ang “contest journalism” sa “campus journalism.”

At lantad ang pananaw na ‘yan hindi lang tuwing panahon ng press con (mula CSPC hanggang NSPC), kundi sa mga isyu na kinahaharap ng midya at malayang pamamahayag.

Nakakalungkot lang na ang ilan sa mga walang kibo o natutuwa sa hayagan o pinalalabas na legal na pag-ipit sa mga outlet ng midya at ikinakatwiran pa ito ang mismo pang mga nagtuturo o naghahasa sa mga batang peryodista o mamamahayag sa paaralan.

Walang masamang paghusayan ang kakayahan sa journalism habang bata pa. Magandang dagdag sa academic record ang pumwesto sa contest. Nakakamulat ding karanasan ang maging bahagi ng campus paper.

At bukod sa lahat ng iyon, kahit ‘di ka mag-masscomm sa kolehiyo, magagamit mong life skill ang pagsulat nang direkta sa punto, pati na ang pakikipagtalastasan gamit ang multimedia.

Campus journalism contestants cover a mock press conference in Oriental Mindoro (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Pero kung ang kaalaman natin ay natatapos lang sa mga pahusayang teknikal gaya ng mga nakabibighaning graphics at swabeng flow ng newscast, o sa anong napag-ensayong kataga, drowing, o retrato ang kukuha ng kiliti ng mga hurado, walang saysay ito.

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‘Share the Love’: Behind a Batangas rescuer’s song of hope after Taal eruption

Rescuer Randy Hernandez leads evacuees of Taal eruption in singing his composition Share The Love (Photo by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Song on stage (Photo by Anjo Bagaoisan)

The people who took refuge at the covered court of San Luis, Batangas in the weeks following the eruption of Taal Volcano have been at the receiving end of the generosity of hundreds–be they relief goods, cooked meals, clothes, or medicine.

But the group of men and women who took the stage at the court one morning offered something different for the evacuees.

It was a song made for them.

Leading the group was Randy Hernandez, a member of San Luis’s emergency rescue team.

Randy is a familiar face to the evacuees. He works nearby and drops by the evacuation area frequently.

But more importantly, he was one of those responsible for getting many of them to safety the day the volcano blew.

That experience of going in the dark to the worst-hit areas like Agoncillo and Laurel planted the seeds for Randy’s song, which he wrote a few days after.

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The best ABS-CBN Christmas Station IDs (2002-2018)

By Anjo Bagaoisan

A Christmas tree at the ABS-CBN lobby (Photo by Michael Bagtas)

A Christmas tree at the ABS-CBN lobby (Photo by Michael Bagtas)

Philippine station IDs have evolved from short commercials to an event, especially for the Christmas and summer seasons.

Today, they are chronicles of the period they were made–both in the country’s events and in the station’s stable of talents.

They are parsed for their use (or non-use) of certain production elements, the catchiness of the music, and even the prominence (and absence) of certain celebrities.

And yet they’ve also added to the stable of Filipino Yuletide music, with a number of songs ultimately covered by street carollers.

The full songs last almost an hour, but some establishments play the actual station IDs back-to-back lasting for more than that!

There’s no denying ABS-CBN helped make Christmas station IDs practically a pop culture art form since they began doing them in earnest in 2002 (of course, that year was not the first, but is the earliest available online).

In anticipation of the launch of ABS-CBN’s 2019 Christmas station ID entitled “Family is Forever”, here’s a list of what I consider the best Kapamilya CSIDs since then.

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‘We were praying, ‘Lord please help us’,’ recall Filipina seniors stranded in China

By Anjo Bagaoisan

Family reunion at the airport (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Family reunion at the airport (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Seated on a wheel chair, 77-year-old Pacita De Guzman burst into tears as she held the hand of her younger brother Nestor Varela when they reunited near the entrance of the Ninoy Aquino International Terminal 1.

Also in wheelchairs beside them at a passageway leading to the terminal restrooms were Pacita’s younger sisters, Erlinda Guce, 72, and Josefina Baysic, 70.

Nestor was by himself when he came out to meet his sisters, who had arrived via a China Eastern Airlines flight from Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport before midnight on Sunday.

But he brought with him the relief of an entire family that faced more than a week without any word from the 3 sisters.

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Bawat Pinoy, Kapamilya.

Bawat Pinoy, Kapamilya ABS-CBN Station ID 2005

It wasn’t even a crow of victory back in 2005.

This was from a network which just months before had practically admitted defeat in the Mega Manila ratings. It overhauled its shows yet whatever premiered still found itself no match against the competition. Its news division struggled to regain trust.

But here came a slogan that put in 3 words a vow, that it would press on. That ABS-CBN would serve all, including those who had already switched channels and those who were not even tuned in.

“Bawat Pinoy, Kapamilya.”

Every Filipino, part of the family.

It was as inclusive as it could get. It may have lasted no longer than a year but to me, it struck and stuck.

And from across the TV screen, I realized I wanted to be part of that.

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#Halalan2019: And yet, they still voted

By Anjo Bagaoisan

Packed hallway of voters at the Ignacio villamor High School in Pandacan, Manila on election day May 13, 2019 (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

At mid-morning of May 13, Election Day, voters at the Ignacio Villamor High School in Pandacan, Manila avoided the open area in the middle rendered white under the sweltering heat.

Instead, they sat or stood in the shade.

But it’s worse once they entered the school building to look for their voting precincts.

Up the stairs, hot humid air blasted at them. The din of conversation and the buzz of activity soon followed as they found a mass of other people packed in one hallway.

A voter searching for his name on voters lists on a wall in Ignacio Villamor High School in Manila on election day 2019 (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

At both sides, people stood in line, wiping off sweat and fanning themselves with any object they could grab. Others snuck in between them, looking for names in lists taped to the wall.

On any other school day, teenagers could walk, run, or hang out in the hallway without worrying about cramped space. But when the half-dozen classrooms facing each other were turned into halls for the most sacred of citizen’s duties, getting through the hallway made one feel like crossing a battle zone.

Elderly voters in Manila walk up stairs to their polling precincts on election day 2019 despite the existence of accessible polling places (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Worse, some elderly voters were also forced to trudge up the stairs to their regular precincts instead of voting at accessible polling places at the ground floor.

No wonder merely asking how they were ticked some off.

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