Sunday, October 2, 2011


     More than a year ago, I left television production, where every day I had to deal with the Maja Salvadors and Coco Martins of the splendidly sparkling yet superficial universe of the local showbiz scene, only to try and become a serious journalist.

     At the risk of sounding cliché, I thought I could serve more the people of this nation who paid for my four year education by giving them information they deserve as well as providing space for their stories than feeding them with tearjerker soap operas and morbidly deranged fantaseryes nightly.

     Aside from the disappointments I gave my directors, producers and mentors and the abrupt slide of the digits on my BDO bank account, I thought everything is good.

     People call us many things. Being a journalist, one day you’re the nation’s hero for exposing a huge scandal dragging the entire government only for the next day, you become the netizen’s target for their criticism for a few things that did not appeal to their tastes. Then follow your shrieking editors, your alarming deadlines not to mention your frantic mother calling you, asking why you’re not yet home at 9 in the evening.

     In the end, it is not these trivial things that worry me. When you sit inside your service vehicle and eat with the rest of the crew while seeing the squabbling mob outside clamoring for a few packs of noodles and cans of sardines, you stop unknowingly, thinking about something that is totally unthinkable.

    Sometimes, a certain interview would haunt me even to sleep. I would often wonder how Edita Burgos, mother of Jonas Burgos, is faring, fighting a tough battle of searching for a son for four years already. Whether he’s in detention by the army, or killed, or currently in the mountains being a rebel, Edita Burgos wants only one thing. “I want him back,” she said.

     I’ve seen reporters cried silently after a devastating coverage. Like the one that happened two years ago with Ondoy and now with Pedring and Quiel. I watched those nameless staff, crews and writers working behind the cameras of news programs – the silent journalists, gather clothes and goods for families living in shanties and under bridges and victims of typhoons, still, away from the rolling cameras.

     It is difficult to do a job that forces you to face a blunt reality. There’s more to seeing a smiling young boy running around the church, wearing an oversized muddy trousers, barefoot, than people would often think there is. What the picture often misses to tell is that the young boy’s smile came from a different world he inhabits, a mother that died giving birth and a father that scavenges the entire city to scrape a living.

     They say truth must be accepted, although sometimes, one could not avoid but challenge its glaring fangs to try and ease out the clouds of miseries. Most ask, not a charity, but ears and time to tell their stories. Others just want to know that they have an ally in their fight for daily survival.

     People asked me if this is what I’ve chosen in exchange of glamour and glitter. Truthfully, sometimes I don’t know how to answer this. What I’m doing, I know, won’t make any difference in the world, but I noticed when you seek out to help others, you end up helping yourself. Maybe because I see myself in them, these people, and in doing the very little thing I can, I see myself helping myself.

     I have a terrible pay, there’s no security and no definite working hours. I’m not sure if I’m entirely happy and I’m also not sure if this is what I want to do for myself. But this, I think, is what I have to do for now. And in the world where money counts and beauty and fame matters, I think I’m more than willing to stay on the sidelines, this time for the real Maja Salvadors and Coco Martins of the streets and cardboard homes.


The title may or may not have anything to do with the entry. Although if you’re interested to know, my heart is literally aching as I type this. Dunno why.

16 reaction(s):

Mr. Brightside said...

Beautifully written DB.. I tip my hat to you.

Nate said...

@deebee: aww... the kind-hearted you shows in this post.. teary-eyed ako..

kudos to you, the journalists! :)

Mr. Brightside said...

Beautifully written DB.. I tip my hat to you.

c - e - i - b - o - h said...

certainly written in a very passionate manner DBoy..

as i read your entry word by word, i thought of you being confused of what you really want to do, but as i end the reading, i felt that by listening to you heart, you'll soon see that everything done will pay you more than what you expected..

and heartache?? awwww.. :(

A. said...

great post mate

rudeboy said...

We all must make choices : at best, based on our personal values and ideals, at worst, based on the dictates of practicality. I do not think there are invalid choices : just two paths diverging in a wood, and only one path to take at a particular time.

Before surrendering my soul to the heathen gods of advertising, I once had a taste of what it means to be a working journalist in this country. Based on that experience, I salute you and your ilk for what you do. Yes, yes, not everyone in journalism and broadcasting is beyond corruption and bias and personal agendas. But for the most part, you do provide an invaluable public service. And yes, you do make a difference, although it may not be evident to anyone at this time.

I don't think I can endure being so up-close and personal with the various miseries of humanity on a daily basis, which, perhaps, contributes to your present heartache. Aid workers, volunteers, healthcare workers, and law-enforcement agents all share your plight : the low pay, few benefits, and the bonus of witnessing human suffering every day.

But you do what you do because you are what you are, db. And what you are is a beautiful thing.

Jon said...

you see the world on a different light - not all jobs could grant you these truths.

Some (wonderful) heart you got there, ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump. Lucky is the one whom it would beat for. :)

Kane said...

Grabe, naiyak ako sa comment ni Rudeboy.

What you do is not easy. I think Rudeboy said it so well: you see human misery and suffering in almost everyday basis, something most of us are shielded from.

And I think what saddens you most is really how helpless you feel to help people, change things, and not in small ways but big ones that really improves people's lives.

We can't be everything to everyone. We learn to accept even our own limitations. So we do what we can, I've learned. And sometimes, it is enough.


Yas Jayson said...

A good reader would know how much passion a writer puts on his words. This post is written with heart.

More often than not, the reality struck us in a way that it changes our perspective about what really matters. There are times that the encounter with reality shakes our destiny. And the experience? Breath taking and heart breaking.

Saludo, DB.

Mabuhay ang mga alagad ng pamamahayag.

citybuoy said...

I salute you for your perseverance. Not everybody can stand where you stand. If your heart ache's, be happy for at least, you know you haven't lost track of what's wrong or what should be set right. You haven't lost track of the DB you were before all of this. :)

KikomaxXx said...

ang isang bayani ay hindi nagrereklamo... heheh joke lang... alam kong alam mong ginagawa mo yan dahil gusto mong makatulong :) cheers...

♥ hana banana ♥ said...

naglalakad lakad at nadapa dito sa tahanan mo...habang binabasa ko ang post na ito, feel ko kilala na kita at alam kong mabait kang tao... sana'y i-bless ka ni Lord nang bongga para marami ka pang matulungan sa yung pagiging journalist! ^_^
gOod LucK!

kalansaycollector said...

ganda. :)

nahiya naman ako at nasa maja salvadors at coco martins pa rin ako. hahaha

anyway nice post.

lahat naman siguro ay gustong makatulong at ginagawa iyon sa iba't-ibang paraan. ang pamamaraang pinili mo ay mahirap. saludo ako sa'yo. nagtrabaho rin ako ng ilang buwan sa balitaan, iba nga. nakakamulat.

pero heto, ngayon nasa glitz and glamour ako. haha selfish ako e, pangarap ang nanaig. haha

kidding aside, saludo ako sa'yo! :)

grammarkiller said...

Being a journalist was my dream back then. But that dream, as I've always said, had died before it even started. You are fortunate because, either way, you get to do what you do best.

wanderingcommuter said...

wow. speechless.

i never really thought of whats behind every news article i read or watch. but upon reading your post, it somehow made me realize the humanity and courage one has to endure to do this kind of job.

i envy you--- seriously.

you may not have the luxurious life like what other people of your calibre have, but at least, at the end, you can tell your self that you are proud you have live your life the way you wanted it to be rather than living other people's lives.

SunnyToast said...

your such a strong person! thank you for sharing such wonderful story.Your words are dancing coz I know you have wrtn it through your heart.


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