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How it all started in me


(Enlightenment—Passage of the Day)



SINCE, perhaps, I’m just one of a few left behind as the old journalists here in La Bella, I wish to share with you some of my most unforgettable experiences in the field of the media industry here. First, as a broadcaster, connected with the defunct DXYZ of NBC (Nation Broadcasting Corp) owned and managed by the Yabuts based in Makati in Metro Manila.

While in my early stint there, handling my every evening radio program, “Platters’ Bungalow” (9pm to 12 midnight), for more than two years--cut short by the declaration of Martial Law by then Pres. Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, I learned the basics in radio. It was DXYZ that first introduced in ZC the live field reports from its news reporters with our “Roving Patrol” program (morning and evening). I was assigned both at the local police station and at City Hall. The city mayor then was the late Joaquin F. Enriquez Jr. I covered all live news reports emanating from these two major beats assigned to me by my then station manager, the late Max Enriquez  Jr., then later the late Eddie Rodriguez who took over the station when “Max” (his signature name in radio), transferred to DXLL of the Lopez and Sons Broadcasting station- another defunct radio station located at Campaner where TV-11 now sits. Eventually, I saw myself also transferred to DXLL as well. That was how radio announcers moved from one radio station to another, where the bucks offered to us were pretty much higher. The late Armando Lopez, Sr., the owner and manager of DXLL, was known as a great philanthropist in La Bella. So, we were always showered with extra cash money coming from his own pocket, apart from our monthly pay that’d range in those days from P300 to 500 pesos a month-- a big take-home pay in those years, already.

While radio was my first love, I was craving to be a news writer as well. I drew first blood as a print journalist when the late Rene Fernandez (Associate Editor of the original “Zamboanga Times” published by the Lopez & Sons, too) asked me to interview then police chief Bert dela Rosa who later became a city councilor when elected as one of the council bets under the CCA party of the late legendary Mayor Cesar C. Climaco in 1980. From then on, I wrote for a number of news dailies—to include Zamboanga Star, The Morning Times, Mindanao Express, Zamboanga Express, ZamBas Reporter, Sun Star (local newspapers); Philippine Daily Inquirer (national broadsheet), Tempo (tabloid); stringer of wires (AFP, EFE, JIJI); Gulf News (Kuwait) and news correspondent for a radio station in Australia.

THEN, one night I found out I just lost my sleep. That very night triggered my decade-long illness --Insomnia. A lady psychiatrist was my doctor for that long. When I asked her what went wrong with me, she answered, “Burnout ya tu, sir. You need medication. I’ll prescribe you medicines to calm you down and to put you to sleep. You need to take all your prescribed medicines (4 in all) everyday.”

That was the saddest part of my entire life. From then on, I stopped completely writing for any news outfit. I retained my being a broadcast journalist as I was a regular senior announcer of the state-owned DXMR (Radyo Ng Bayan) here, until I retired from the said radio station in 2013. But, thank God, I fully recovered from my daily bout with such illness in 2007—exactly ten years after I got the sickness in 1997.

Now, I would say I’m back to circulation--though, looking pretty weird and awful, going along with the new breed of journalists in this generation of the millennials. But, I’m learning how to adjust with them. As for how long? God knows, as I’m about to approach man’s expiry date by Sept. this year. “THE DAYS OF OUR YEARS ARE THREESCORE YEARS AND TEN: AND IF BY REASON OF STRENGTH THEY BE FOURSCORE YEARS, YET IS THEIR STRENGTH LABOUR AND SORROW, FOR IT IS SOON CUT OFF, AND WE FLY AWAY.” (Psalm 90:10) (By Jun Feliciano)  –30--

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