Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Talk Nino?

This is only my second consecutive month to be writing/typing my entries to this blog after joining in May. As for me, I think I’m getting the hang of this site… Sometimes, it is fun to be expressing myself using short essays and stories.

Yesterday was my first ever stint in Philippine television. I was chosen (I don't know if chosen is the right word... Coerced, maybe?) to be one of four segment reporters for the government talk show "Talk Ko 'To," with hosts, Sec. Saludo and Sec. Dinky. “Talk Ko ‘To” aims to inform the public of government projects and programs that are beneficial to them. To put it shortly, it aims to tell the people, “Hey, who says the government is not doing anything?” My segment was about pending road and bridge projects in Metro Manila, and the government’s actions towards them.

At first I thought it was an easy task. I'll just do what I like doing: talk and talk and talk in front of camera, just like when I’m hosting PMS parties, or any other gatherings. But no, this is something different. This is national television. This is the big league. If I look stupid in this segment, I may never be able to redeem myself again. It's not that I'm making this a big thing; it's just that I never expected to be in this situation.

I was wearing my favorite blue long sleeves polo, given to me by my one and only, black pants, and of course, black shoes. In short, I wore the usual office attire. I never knew that we would require going through bagoong storage factories, riding in boats under the Vitas Bridge, and doing some other stunts. Nevertheless, the segment reporting went well.

I was struck by the lone person I interviewed that day. The person was a resident near the Vitas Bridge. The question was: “Ano po ang nakikita niyong epekto kung sakaling matapos ang proyektong ito?,” referring to the Vitas Bridge project. In the beginning of the interview, we just heard what we expected to hear. To quote: “Aba, malaking malaki po ang maitutulong ng proyektong ito na tulay hindi lamang po sa mga motorista, pati na rin po sa aming mga taga-rito. Marami pong maitutulong ito sa amin.”

It seemed that our director was not satisfied in the interview, she whispered to the interviewee: “Tulad ng?” And the old lady replied: “tulad po ng… Makakapagtayo nap o kami ng bahay sa ilalim ng tulay. Kasi po, sa kasalukuyan, dito (pointing to their house under the bridge) po kami nakatira sa lumang tulay. Kapag nabuo po yang tulay, mas marami po ang makakatira sa ilalim. Sana po pahintulutan kami ng mahal na Pangulo at ng gobyerno para makapagtayo ng bahay sa ilalim para po mas gaganda an gaming buhay.” Wow!!! I never knew that the bridge project not only entails transportation and infrastructure benefits, but social benefits as well. We shall not only provide easier flow of traffic, but also housing for the “informal settlers” of Metro Manila.

Segment hosting for “Talk Ko ‘To” is a relatively easy job. The more difficult part is amiably convincing the viewers of beneficial programs of the government. Given the cynical views of the Filipinos, small TV programs such as Talk Ko To, or any other attempts to please the people, seem to be futile. I just felt that the task of showing the public that the government is doing something is far more difficult that showing your best in front of camera.

At present, around 15% of the Philippine population is hungry, at least 30% is disgruntled by the present system of government, and almost 80% is poor based on international standards (am I right in giving these figures?). How will people included in these statistics view my segment? How can they be convinced that government is doing something if they have this kind of stature?

I just realized that it is also difficult for my part because I, myself, am part of the statistics. If the segment reporter himself does not fully believe the segment or the show, what more the televiewers of this weekly primetime show?

Well, I guess I just have to believe for now. Just for art’s sake…

1 comment :

yoni cohen :: http://yocohoops.com said...


Came across your blog today -- Good stuff.

Noticed you were a college basketball fan. Hoping you could add a link to my College Basketball Blog,
collegeball.blogspot.com. I would very much appreciate a link on your site.

And would gladly return the favor, adding a link to your
site on my blog.


Yoni Cohen, collegeball.blogspot.com
College Basketball Bog