On my first News Christmas party in ABS-CBN, my former boss Rupert Ambil was among those given the 20/20 Merit Award. The 20/20 is our division’s way of recognizing groups or individuals who gave “consistent and exceptional work that went beyond the call of duty” during the past year or years.
After he received the award, Sir Rupert called me to the front without warning, gave me the mic and went back to his seat. I was just a few months as an employee/ field producer and was surprised to face the whole News team. I fumbled and mumbled a nervous, perfunctory thank you before returning red-faced to my seat.
I always thought I could have given a much better speech if I did it over again.
After 6 years, I again found myself red-faced in front of the News division Christmas party, surprised to be among those given the award my boss once got. And while I wasn’t able to speak last night, the words I should have said in 2009 gained a new relevance for me:
“This award is not just for (Sir Rupert), but for all the field producers and the technicians of the RDU/Field Operations team and the unrecognized work they do.”
For the daily location tambays and the routine live shots, for the adrenaline rush breaking events and the once-in-a-lifetime coverages (like Pope Francis and APEC this year), for the hours spent in traffic and waiting in-base, for the kick start of my career and for all the little nudges, reminders and ‘kantiyaws’ of support in between, I will always be grateful to my first family in ABS-CBN.
Thank you to the older reporters, editors, cameramen and producers who in one way or another encouraged me and given me advise on this journey. Marami pa po akong kakaining bigas.
Thanks goes as well to my batch mates in the company, some of whom were also among the 20/20 awardees.
When these batch mates like Michelle Ong and Sam Lim of ANC and Kelvin Paulino of “Mukha” were receiving their personal and team awards, I mused to my friend Shie Reyes that we were all probably getting older since our batch was already becoming “eligible” for awards like this.
Little did I know I would join their ranks in a while.
Thank you too, to my colleagues in ABS-CBN News Digital and their editors who also accommodated my growth and exploration of journ beyond broadcast.
I’ve long learned that frustration or fatigue will always come in fields of passion after months of giving and giving.
Thank you so much, ABS-CBN News for showing me that good work sometimes gets recognized even in this life. As part of those who “set the agenda, raise the bar of excellence and inspire their colleagues,” you’ve given me inspiration to continue doing more.
And thank you, Lord, for Your faithfulness all these years. This award is for you the most. May I follow Your dreams for me and may You shine all the more because of this small glint.