August to August: A first year of firsts

The yellow flowers kept coming.

August 1, 2010 was no ordinary Sunday. For one, duty called. Work that day also reminded me how pregnant with remembrance it was.

A year ago was my first day as a professional. That August 1 too, marked the first post to my WordPress blog. And that August 1 was the day that changed the course of this country’s history.

It began with Tita Cory.

The nation was in vigil for her as I was applying for a job. When I got in, they told us we would start on August 1 or when death claimed the former President, whichever came first.

Both came on the same day and became the topic of that hastily written first entry.

I was assigned this August 1 to Manila Memorial Park, where Tita Cory lay.

Much has happened since that historic wake and funeral: a set of fierce typhoons; a campaign and election of firsts and surprises; and to top it all, the rise to power of a President who would not have been there had that August 1 not happened.

This blog recorded it all.

My archives show how this mark of a new stage evolved into a timeline of first times, like my first trips to hotspots Maguindanao and Lanao.

It has also become my sole conduit for writing, a skill I infrequently use now.

With the social media conversation of Twitter and Facebook, this blog’s readers have grown beyond friends.

The blog has apparently been recognized for its focus: a running account of back-stories from the field and a handbook on news ops. Apt for a blog named PinoyJournalist.

Carrying it on despite the rigors of coverage has been a challenge. I still have many non-news posts in mind, another challenge to write as fillers between the coverage-related ones.

The stories and first times keep coming.

* * *

Patricia Roque and I did not expect this.

We crossed paths at Tita Cory’s tomb this August 1, I now a field producer for ABS-CBN, and she a reporter for TV5.

Last year we were fresh college graduates waiting for our break in the press.

As we shared stories while waiting for President Aquino and family, Trish would be interrupted by someone for a picture.

Another fixture of the year has been sighting colleagues from college among the media pack in coverages from the Comelec to Congress.

No surprise Trish, who’s been on TV since the ’90s, would go big time.

We were co-anchors for our broadcast journalism class newscast. Recently, I joked that we’d see each other on the same anchor desk.

The only question: On which channel?

* * *

The first voiceover I remember editing as practice was on the celebrities who visited Tita Cory’s wake. All was on tape then, a linear process that took me more than an hour max.

This August 1, we went live with an Apples Jalandoni package on the visitors to Manila Memorial.

In a year, we’ve gone digital. I now edit faster with a laptop, loading material from CF cards.

I wanted to include shots from 3 cameramen in a very short VO that tried to capture the emotion of a death anniversary.

Natural sound, visual storytelling, and transitions helped–concepts that moved from theory to practice in a year of firsts.

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3 comments on “August to August: A first year of firsts

  1. Great work, as always, Anjo! Correct me if I’m wrong but Patricia Roque played Panikpik in Sineskwela, right? Best show on earth. It motivated me to be a scientist.

    • Thanks for commenting, Lance! I heard that too, but she was part of ATBP, not Sineskwela, as I recall. They should think new science show concepts don’t you think? Although Matanglawin practically does it now.

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