“Mayat gayam ti pagkakadwa-an ti grupo yo.”
Those were the exact words of former Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Diego Ambatali during the press conference held at the TAMPCO training hall. The affair was scheduled for the purpose of informing local media practitioners about the latest developments attained by DENR in the region.
Hazel of DZRK replied “Wen met ah.”
Local media practitioners in Tabuk comprise a very small band. You can count us, or for those who DO read and listen, you can name us.
There are only three pen-pushers at the Philippine Information Agency – Peter, Larry and Gigi – and week after week, we read their output, not only on paper but also the electronic versions of their news releases via the websites of PIA, Sun Star, PBS and some other sites that publish (online) their syndicated postings.
Household names in the realm of broadcast are Hazel, Fred, Helen, Renzy, Keno, Estrell, and Basil – all with the title “Kasamang” attached before their names. With their partners in “The Other Room” – Rudy, Rene, Nardz, Willy, Boy, Jun, Lando, Marlon. Through the years, they have ridden the airwaves with messages that they have earnestly packaged to whet our thirst for news, entertainment and commentary.
And their Serbisyo Publiko!
My… how many wallets have they returned? How many feuds have they bridged? How many family issues have they resolved (Agawid ka kanun kuna ni Mamam ta…etc., etc.)?
We rarely pay attention to Serbisyo Publiko because they do not concern us – but think of the people whose lives depend on the very words spewed out by, say, Hazel (Umay ka kanu ditoy Tabuk ta kasapulan ni manong mu ti dara…).
Serbisyo Publiko works. Even with the advent of mobile communications, Serbisyo Publiko is a system that has made an impact (and continues to do so) on the lives of the people of this province.
The folksy strains accompanying the poems of Keno, and the reverberating rhythm of the gongs played on air by Fred – some may not be touched by these efforts, but these are impressive contributions to the preservation and promotion of culture and the arts.
Crossing modulations, we have the enterprising spirit of Carousel who established the first FM station in Tabuk – Radyo Natin, which introduced listeners to the voices of Carousel (of course), Wally, Hazel, Daniel/Cool J, Dalen, Jose, Kenny G., Gary, Venus, Karla, Garry, Gani. Plus Ely B.
Some of them may have long ago ceased to be heard, but RN effectively fills the vacuum in Tabuk’s FM band. Coming from the private sector, RN treats info-dissemination a step further than DZRK – via Dalen’s fearless views. Well, her approach may receive criticism from time to time, but we have to admit that the technique does its share of causing enlightenment for people who are lazy when it comes to the formulation of their own opinions.
Dalen may be tactless at times, but how else would you jostle people who are, in her own words, Natangken ti ulo da?
I have to scurry back and forth between DZRK and Radyo Natin every 7 AM for the simultaneous news cast anchored by Hazel and Dalen, respectively. It’s a good thing that Dalen has a string of sponsors to name before her actual newscast; so that by the time she does begin to give out her news for the day, Hazel shall already be halfway.
Hazel has a more comprehensive take on issues – given her agency’s resources, plus her connections (every time I have to identify a certain official or head of office, I simply have to text her for the name, complete with rank and family background that one may want to know). On the other hand, what Dalen lacks in details, she makes up for her sudden infusion of nerve-racking remarks (at least for those who are natamaan at nagalit).
Textbook journalism dictates that such technique should be frowned upon when delivering straight news… but then air time is expensive, and everyone is highly mobile. So the order of the day is to lump into one hour as many life-changing messages as possible.
And then we have online publication. We have one website which is up-to-date in posting news about Kalinga in its pages: kalingatambayan.com. The electronic medium may not have a strong following yet in Kalinga – but it is a medium nevertheless, and kalingatambayan is constantly being accessed by online readers around the globe – thanks to its administrator/owner Nathaniel Dalanao.
Nathaniel may not exactly fall into the traditionally held idea of a media man – but he is one all right. He has info for transmission, he has a medium, he has readers, and he has lots and lots of feedbacks – some are hostile, if you care to read the postings in his forum (a website’s version of a newspaper’s Letters to the Editor).
Lastly, we have the only newspaper in the city – this paper (I have already devoted the whole month of July talking about the GURU writers. This is actually an afterthought… for fellow media people stationed in other outfits).
So there. We are a small group. We may not have frequent bonding activities, but we all communicate (thanks to mobile phones and the internet). We “borrow” files (dawat actually), we cross-check details, we exchange juicy info, we filter one another, we edit one another, and believe it or not, we also criticize one another.
You ma not see us talking amiably by the side of the stage as we document a certain program: Gigi with her camera (I wonder what happened to her SLR camera?); Renzy or Hazel or Fred or Keno with their tape recorders (or is that ONE recorder?); Estrell with her pen and paper, transcribing; Ely with her camera; and Jun (Albano) with his pen, paper, tape recorder and camera (he still carries with him his SLR).
Yes, we do not chat by the side stage, but we nod at one another, and utter a brief “see you around” as the day’s occasion is wrapped up and we all hurry back to our computers to do the write up (Hazel sometimes still uses the typewriter at DZRK to type her news for broadcast).
We also have what we call CROSSOVER.
And we are all gathered under the umbrella of Kalinga Media Organization (KAMO), the group established in August 2006 by its current president Regie Wacas (who is also with the Information Office of LGU-Balbalan).
Obviously, I have written this entry into my column as my own way of observing the birth of the two-year old KAMO.
Long live KAMO!