August 16, 2008

An interview with Vampyra

YESTERDAY, I was visited by two cute and perky students from De La Salle's Communication Arts Department. Buchay and Patet wanted to interview me for their Introduction to Print class (of Gary Mariano...he of the legendary cute tight ass, as per my ex-classmate Ana P.), on the reasons I entered journalism, and to ask about my interesting and unforgettable experiences in the field (o dava parang slum book?).

Well, I had fun, I dunno about the girls, who were probably stupefied beyond belief because I didn't sound any bit respectable as a journalist ought to be. I mean, I was very candid on why I became a journalist ("chismosa lang talaga ako") and what continues to inspire me to do my work ("KSP siguro ako...I like seeing my name in print"), because betcha by golly wow! it certainly isn't because of the below minimum wage salary! hahaha. Wag naman, magagalit my editors! (Okay, it's because I have the chance to be near Ace Durano...sigh.)

I thought it was refreshing for me to be speaking with young people and sharing with them my experiences, because I really have no regrets joining this profession. I've been a journalist since I was in College (yay, La Sallian!), and everytime I leave the profession for some higher paying job (as a PR, or government information officer), I would end up back in journalism again.

It's really my calling I suppose. I have the knack for news and to this day, even if I have wormed my way into the "easier" job of being a lifestyle writer/columnist, I still have the nose for the hard business news. So I still can't help but write about these business issues even when I'm supposedly covering a lifestyle event. (Let me correct myself there, however, lifestyle writing isn't as "easy" as it sounds, trying to string words and giving different descriptions to the food you eat or the places you travel to is difficult. How many times can you say "fabulous", "great", and "tasty"?)

I've considered it a privilege to be working in this profession. The pay might be very low but there are a lot of psychic benefits. I have been able to interview many VIPs in government and in the private sector, both here and abroad. I have been able to travel around the Philippines and in many parts of the world because of invites to press coverages and such, have stayed at really fantastic resorts and hotels, and eaten and the most high-priced restaurants here and around the world (alas, except for French Laundry), because of the press invites.

It's a charmed life I know, and I try not to abuse the privileges given me and the friendships that have been formed from all these. I know that when I'm out of the profession, many of these so-called friendships will no longer be. So I thank the Lord every day, that He has given me such wonderful blessings, like the talent to write well and to be chica enough to know a lot of people. And I just hope that through my work, I've been able to serve Him to His satisfaction.

And with that, let me leave you with a photo of my favorite Cabinet Secretary Ace Durano. Ang kulit ba?!

(The hardworking Ace Durano, Tourism Secretary, with the awesome Mayon Volcano in the backdrop, Aug. 8, 2008. Photo by Philip Sison)

As a journalist, I keep a pretty much objective view of most of the officials I've had the privilege of interviewing, and very few have impressed me as much as Secretary Durano, of the Department of Tourism.

I cannot help but admire Ace (may I call you that, Mr. Secretary? *wink*), because while his lolah, the presidentita, and most of her Cabinet lackeys were in China in the guise of forging investment deals (pero actually they just wanted to watch the Beijing Olympics Opening), he was in Albay inaugurating two new tourism establishments in the area. I was surprised that he traveled without a phalanx of security aides in tow, unlike most government officials (you know who you are!).

And grabeh ha, he was up until past 10:30 p.m., patiently answering questions jorjeous moi and Miggy asked him (daming storya yikes! *hingal*). He knows his tourism issues inside and out, because obviously he studies them, instead of just relying on his undersecretaries. He is so unassuming and very humble. (And as the ghey friends say it, so mabango-looking pa! *kilig*) No wonder this certain local elected official likes hanging around him, too. Aba, me pa-press-press pa sya ng shoulders ni Ace! Kainis ha, inggit ako. Da who is this local offical? Secret!

So I am not surprised that in the recent Pulse Asia survey, the public has rated Ace as one of the top two Cabinet Secretaries (he was edged out by Sec. Jing Lapus of the Department of Education, a good friend of mine from way back his agrarian reform days). The moral of the story is, tigilan nyo na ang kaka-japorms, mga Cabinet Secretaries, and just do your job like Ace.

Yun lang pow.


Anonymous said...

Love eat!! Funny how we start to write like chikatime. I traveled with Mr. Durano on a DOT junket to Guangzhou. wala lang. i'm surprised you crush him :)
paki email na lang sa akin yung da who ok?

Stella Arnaldo said...

Onga e. Cheeky that chikkatime kc, hehe. Surprised I crush Ace? But why? He's so, so...basta :)

'Yung da who, super hint na yung where we went for that press junket. (tic-toc, tic-toc...)

Anonymous said...

tic-toc tic-toc, LOL. love eat!