Collage of various DZMM Radyo Patrol reporters in group poses

There’s something about that Radyo Patrol number

By Anjo Bagaoisan

Radyo Patrol 48 Zandro Ochona and Radyo Patrol 49 Zhander Cayabyab get their DZMM call signs from their boss Radyo Patrol 37 Edwin Sevidal during the DZMM 30th anniversary. ((Shot by Sofia Monica Regalado)

Getting their numbers. (Shot by Sofia Monica Regalado)

Zandro and Zhander were both outside the room when it happened.

It was a party—the 30th anniversary bash of DZMM last October 4 to be exact—and yet Zandro was working the remote TeleRadyo booth outside the ballroom of the Marriott Hotel in Pasay, interviewing Radyo Patrol veterans for a live broadcast.

“Bigla akong pinabalik ng PA [program associate], sabi kailangan ako sa loob. E hindi naman ako sasayaw! (A PA suddenly called me back to the ballroom, saying I was needed inside. But I wasn’t scheduled to dance!)” he said.

Inside, Zandro saw ABS-CBN Integrated News head Ging Reyes and his boss, DZMM news gathering chief Edwin Sevidal, standing on the stage. Knowing what it meant, he fought tears as he walked towards them.

He and Zhander already had an inkling of this early in the night, but decided not to expect much. They even thought it might not happen since the program was already ending then.

Zhander was taking pictures with work mates then. Someone opened the ballroom door and called out to him: “Hoy pumunta ka ng stage (Hey, go up the stage)!”

“Noong nakita ko na naglalakad si Zandro on stage, alam ko na (When I saw Zandro also going up, I knew).”

Zandro Ochona, Radyo Patrol 48, and Zhander Cayabyab, Radyo Patrol 49, finally got the numbers they’ve been waiting and working for for 5 years.

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#CJonTrial: Last full show at the Senate

By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan

ABS-CBN News live setup outside Senate (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

The excitement over Day 44 of the trial deciding the fate of Chief Justice Renato Corona, as expected, spilled way past the Senate grounds.

Outside the gate, the long line of prospective watchers was up for a final effort. As before, only 40 green passes to the Session Hall would be given out.

And no ticket more, this last full show already full. Not even for actor Pen Medina, who showed up with a “Convict Corona” shirt. He took it off to comply with regulations, yet still missed the cut.

Farther off at the Senate security checkpoint beside the Manila Film Center, three news vans were parked near a barricade and a throng of anti-riot police.

This spot was the closest any groups wanting to amass in protest or support could get to the Senate.

Close to noon, nearly 50 members of a health workers’ group arrived with “Guilty!” signs. They brought out effigies of Corona, his benefactor Gloria Arroyo, and of President Aquino.

They wanted a Corona conviction, but hoped the alternative was not a Supreme Court controlled by the President. They left after 30 minutes.

Akbayan members brandish "Convict Corona" signs outside Senate during impeachment verdict (Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

(Shot by Anjo Bagaoisan)

A group of the same number, this time from Akbayan, a party allied with Aquino, later came with yellow placards that all repeated “Convict” and “Guilty”.

Unlike before, only one side came out that day. Many of those praying for an acquittal for Corona remained at the Supreme Court to watch the Senate verdict via an LCD projector.

The Akbayan assembly stayed on to monitor the votes cast by the 23 senator-judges through a radio piped into their mobile speakers.

ABS-CBN’s cameras were trained on both spots for live reactions to the moment of decision.

At ABS’s Senate OB van control, it was business as usual, yet spiced with the excitement of a final sprint.

The crews manning the facilities that broadcast the trial sessions and live reports for Channel 2, ANC, and DZMM had been at it since January. And except for infrequent session lulls, their work routines for four months have been 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., all to and from the Senate.

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Awaiting freedom, awaiting justice

"Patrol ng Pilipino sa Munti, Padre Faura, Paranaque, at saan man sa mundo" - tweet by @anjo_bagaoisan

Our teams stood sentry at those areas long before daybreak, waiting for a verdict that would spell another turn in a two-decade saga of blood, status, and young and lost lives.

Just outside the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, our crew of 25 manned 2 setups ready to go live should the Supreme Court decide to set free 5 men locked up for 15 years.

Unsure what would happen, our anticipation grew. It was a climax to a year bombed with blasts from the past.

To Filipinos, two words have become associated with ‘massacre’: Maguindanao and Vizconde. Both precipitated an uproar in their times, turned up controversial suspects, yet remain unclosed cases.

The grisly murders of the 3 Vizconde women set off the real-life “Mara Clara” of the 1990s.

I grew up with no TV glued to either teleserye or case. But that forgotten diary, the Webbs, and the long-winded stories are as household names to me as to the next Pinoy.

Already buried, the Vizconde case recently brewed when those jailed for the killings, led by Hubert Webb, appealed for another review of the case. But when crucial evidence was nowhere to be found, the high court said it would push through with a verdict.

Getting our field assignments to cover the SC ruling, I was still curious, “What’s so big about this story anyway?”

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