Parents of teen hit by train still visit his grave every day

By Anjo Bagaoisan

While darkness and drizzle covered most of the Manila South Cemetery in the wee hours of All Saints’ Day, these didn’t dampen the spirits of the few people who chose to brave the rains and spend the night beside one grave there.

Under a fold-out tent, a group of more than a dozen teenagers laughed sharing jokes and stories with the only two adults with them that night.

They were Mon and Ging Munar. Their only son, Joseph, also known as Rap-Rap, was in that grave.

It was their first “undas” without their son. But even before that, the couple’s hearts hardly left the cemetery. Continue reading

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TV Patrol 25: Revisiting Ondoy

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Pedestrians crossing flooded Commonwealth / Philcoa during Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 (TV Patrol / ABS-CBN News footage)

(courtesy TV Patrol / ABS-CBN News)

Cameraman Bernie Mallari and his ENG van teammates will not forget the day stormy circumstances thrust upon them the defining image of a typhoon.

They were told to go to the La Mesa Dam that September 26, 2009. The dam was on the verge of spilling over after an overnight of rains brought by Typhoon Ondoy.

But with Commonwealth Avenue already flooded, the team never got there. Instead, they passed by Marikina and Rizal, where they chanced upon a throng converged at the San Mateo Bridge.

A mass of flotsam was approaching the bridge in a wave. When they saw that the mass also carried people, the team lugged Bernie’s camera out in the rain to capture the attempt of those “surfers” to reach safety.

Crowd in San Mateo bridge sees people tossed by flood during Typhoon Ondoy 2009 (TV Patrol / ABS-CBN News footage)

(Courtesy TV Patrol / ABS-CBN News)

The result is an iconic grab of history. But it did not turn out well for that family caught in the flood.

Last March 28, Bernie arrived at the Marikina Riverbanks with his reporter Sol Aragones to cover the unveiling of TV Patrol’s second commemorative marker as part of the newscast’s 25th anniversary.

The ceremony was awash with memories of the flood—one of the few times the big story struck even those who tell it.

ABS-CBN reporter Sol Aragones and cameraman Bernie Mallari in Pampanga (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Sol and Bernie preview their shoot at the first TV Patrol marker unveiling in Pampanga. Click pic to watch her story that day. (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Sol and Bernie were not yet teammates in 2009. But Sol was among the many reporters sent to Marikina, where the destruction only became clearer as the waters cleared.

“Ang unang larawan ko pong nakita yung mga sapatos at tsinelas—(pang) bata man o matanda—ay nakalubog sa putik, parang alaala na talagang nagmadali silang tumakbo para mailigtas yung kanilang buhay,” Sol recalled.

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TV Patrol’s big day

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

Aeta men setting up TV Patrol 25 marker in Floridablanca, Pampanga, 4 March 2012 (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

High up a mountain in Nabuclod, Floridablanca, Pampanga on the night of March 4, six Aeta men mixed cement to fill the foundation where a slab of hardened lahar would stand.

The wind chilled, and the only light came from a blue-head lamp started up by the ABS-CBN technical crew that was also setting up on this upland eco-tourism park.

The 5-foot tall slab lay beside a shallow pit. Embossed on it: “TV Patrol 25,” followed by rows of commemorative text.

“Good thing it took us till night to bring this up here,” said Mae Purificacion, one of two women from ABS-CBN News’ business group who were supervising the work.

“Otherwise, other people here would be taking shots of it way too early.”

The tech crew had already mobbed the slab with photo-ops after it was brought out from a crew cab. But no posting on Facebook yet, they were warned.

They only hoped the cement would harden by morning.

Such was the subtle flurry of activity in the hours counting down to the celebration of TV Patrol’s 25th birthday.

Umagang Kay Ganda hosts Andrei Felix & Venus Raj shooting live in Pampanga. (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

Andrei Felix & Venus Raj (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

The tech team prepped for Umagang Kay Ganda, where hosts Andrei Felix and Venus Raj would ride the park’s zip line and cable car live.

In Manila that night, the people at post-production outfit Acid House ran overtime rendering the new opening billboard (OBB) and segment intros for the special March 5 telecast.

Acee Vitangcol, an ABS-CBN digital strategist put the finishing touches on the timeline of TV Patrol’s Facebook page. It would go public at midnight with photos of the show’s past sets, logos, and reporting moments.

The network was pulling out all the stops for this milestone. After all, TV Patrol was one of the driving forces that propelled ABS-CBN back to ratings leadership in 1988.

On its silver anniversary, the groundbreaking newscast was giving back to the public.

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Balik-gisaan sa FOCAP

FOCAP forum at Mandarin Oriental Manila, October 12, 2011. Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan

Ngayon lang ulit humarap ang isang nakaupong Pangulo ng Pilipinas sa grupo ng mga peryodistang bahagi ng mga dayuhang pahayagan.

Limang taon na kasing hindi pinagbigyan ang taunan palang ginagawa ng mga naunang Presidente mula kay Ferdinand Marcos–ang makipagbalitaktakan sa Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines o FOCAP.

Kaya ang inabangan: Ano kaya ang itatanong nila at ano kaya ang isasagot niya.

“No holds barred” daw kasi ito. Kahit ano, pwedeng ibato. Gisaan, ika nga ng malanding salitang pang-headline.

Para rin kasing humarap sa mundo ang Pangulo sa pakikipagtapatan niya sa mga correspondent ng mga organisasyon gaya ng Reuters, NHK ng Japan, at Agence France-Presse.

Iba nga lang ang mga isyu sa Pilipinas na mahalaga para sa mga bayang magbabasa ng kanilang mga isinusulat.

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Pagpapatrol: Pinaabot

Malayo ang byahe, pero maikli ang oras. Ang pupuntahan–Tagaytay. Ang pinanggalingan–Quezon City. Ang hinahabol–live report sa Bandila.

Tapos na ang TV Patrol nang tiniyak ng grupo ang sunod naming lakad. Naka-set up pa kami sa New Manila, nakabantay sa demolisyon doon. Dalawang oras para humabol.

Biyernes na. Suwelduhan. At makikipagsiksikan pa kami sa mga pauwing sasakyan sa South Luzon Expressway. Na lalong sumikip sa bandang Sucat at Bicutan dahil sa nasagasaang kotse.

“Best effort” lang ang paniguro namin sa nag-aalalang opisina.

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Pagharap ni PNoy sa Pinoy

Si Pang. Aquino sa Manila Hotel, Hunyo 24, bago tanggapin ang "Outstanding Manilan" award.

Sunud-sunod ang panggulat sa bayan ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino. Marahil dahil nasanay tayo sa nakaraang pamahalaan, bawat gawin nyang bago ay malaki nang bagay.

Ang pag-iwas sa wangwang. Ang pagkaipit sa trapik. Ang pagiging takda sa oras. Ang magiliw na pakikitungo sa media. At ang SONA sa wika ng lahat.

Pinapakita lang ng pangulo na kailangan nyang mapalapit sa mamamayan. Siyam na taon silang maituturing na nawalay sa gobyernong nasangkot sa mga kontrobersyang hindi nito pinagtuunang isagot.

Kaya naman, bawat pagkakataong makasagot, sinasamantala ngayon.

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