January 26, 2008

Dana's 'small' voice

SO Dana Batnag of Jiji Press has been tagged as the journalist who helped Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon escape during the Manila Pen coup try. It was alleged that she did this by giving him a press ID. Sweet.

I've seen the photos, I've seen the RPN 9 video clip, they don't show anything except Dana talking (or perhaps interviewing) Faeldon. Last time I checked, there's no law against that.

Taken to task for its seriously inadequate evidence to prove its claim, the PNP now says that there are media people who are willing to corroborate this. Of course, the punchline is, and it is really a joke for most of us in the industry, is these so-called "corroborators" aren't willing to sign any affidavits backing up the claim. Hay naku!

The problem with the PNP is that it has a bunch of small minds and incompetent "operators." They're so inept at spinning stories as if they've trained under the entertainment industry's worst scriptwriters, writing unbelievable plots with poor continuity.

I knew Dana when she was covering the agriculture beat back in the late '80s (or was it early 90s? senior moment attack!). She was writing for the Manila Chronicle then. We were not really close friends so I can't testify to her character. But unlike the PNP, she is a competent journalist, otherwise, Jiji Press wouldn't have hired her. And what journalist worth his spit would put his career and reputation on the line for an outlaw marine officer?

Even if someone says, well, Faeldon may have bribed her. But with what? Is Faeldon even rich enough to give a sizeable sum just to have a journalist help him escape? And from what I know of wire services, they do pay their reporters handsomely. Rightly so, Dana dared the PNP to file a case against her.

Btw, this is the same PNP that continues to insist that methane gas is what caused the Glorietta 2 explosion. So now you understand why a number of people think the Dana Batnag yarn is a load of crap.

(Singer/songwriter Roger Whittaker and Dana Batnag at the Radio City Music Hall. Photo from www.rogerwhittaker.de)

Oh and unless I'm mistaken, I know that Dana is the composer of that famous song, "I am but a small voice," popularized by Lea Salonga. Written when Dana was just 13 years old, it was actually a poem originally in Filipino ("Ako'y munting tinig, me munting pangarap...") she submitted to a UNESCO song-writing contest in 1980, and which legendary British singer/songwriter Roger Whittaker ("Don't know much about history, don't much about biology..."), later re-wrote in English and set to music.

Dana was flown to New York and introduced to the audience in Whittaker's concert at Radio City Music Hall. Proceeds from the sale of that song, which was released as a single, went to UNESCO's education fund for handicapped children.

To this day, the song is sung by millions of kindergarten kids all over the world.

O da vah, sikat sya talaga!

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