Frankahay Ta!-A A +A
Thursday, November 1, 2012
I OPENED the envelope and read the letter. It was an invitation to a press conference. Something caught my interest. It was a name.
“Atty. Frank Malilong.” I know him from somewhere. There were two other names mentioned in the letter that had the same “Atty.” appendage: Briccio Boholst and Omar Redula.
In her invitation letter, TV5-Cebu station manager Karla Kintanar-Fernandez described the three lawyers (Malilong got first billing) as “our brand new anchors” who will be introduced on November 9 in a press conference on the launching of TV-5 Cebu’s radio station and its programs.
I re-read the letter. It said Atty. Frank Malilong was going to host a news-cum-commentary program dubbed “Frankahay Ta!” on the soon-to-be-launched radio station Radyo 5-101.9 News FM.
The exclamation point in “Frankahay Ta!” made me jump. What an excitable program this is going to be. I dialed a number. Atty. Frank Malilong picked up my call on one ring. I jumped at the sound of his voice. I haven’t heard his radio program yet.
I told him about Karla’s invitation and asked why he never said anything about his joining radio and hosting a commentary program ala Bobby Nalzaro while we were on our southern road trip last month.
Is it for the money, Sir? I asked the man who has been making bequests to many socio-civic causes including mine. Is it envy of Bobby Nalzaro’s popularity? I asked the man who writes and speaks with wit. Is it for a political goal in 2016? I asked the man who had once been considered for a Cabinet post under the PNoy administration.
If I were asking him these questions in person and not on the phone, I might have faced imminent death in the hands of Atty. Malilong.
“Michelle, Frankahay ta!” He said no with an exclamation point to all three questions. I pressed. Sure? Are you being honest with me and with yourself, Sir?
He said he was now 60 years old and was looking for something different to do when he retires from lawyering. “Mananom og kamote” is not in his post-career path.
He had been approached about joining TV5-Cebu as an anchor of a news and commentary program. The offer had caused him anxiety, mental anguish and sleepless nights. He went through what he called a period of discernment, and the time Joel Garganera and I were riding with him from Cebu City to Oslob and back was part of that period.
During that six-hour trip, there was no sign from Atty. Malilong that he was anxious, anguished and sleepless and that he needed to think. He talked non-stop. Kindred spirits, he and Joel talked and joked about things ribald, religious, historical, political and botbot the entire time we were together.
Recalling that trip, I found my answer. Atty. Malilong can host a radio commentary program. He can talk and talk and walk and talk.
Atty. Malilong said “Frankahay Ta!” will run from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mondays to Fridays on 101.9 News FM of Radyo 5. Can someone really talk that long?
He said one and a half hours of the program will be news reports. The rest of the time will be interviews and commentaries. And he will not be hosting it alone. He will have Attorneys Boholst and Redula co-hosting the program.
I said I’ll observe a period of discernment on whether to wake up early to listen to his radio program. If you haven’t heard Atty. Malilong speak, now would be the chance. He will be worth your time in the morning. Remember the exclamation point.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2012.