The morning partner

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Friday, May 2, 2014


FOR most of his listeners, their mornings are incomplete without the daily dose of witty and funny discussions over a local radio's morning man himself -- the man whose passion for broadcast continues to spread in the airwaves for almost 24 years in the AM broadcast industry.

Bernard "Gwapong Announcer" Pantallon of DXDC 621 of Radio Mindanao Network Inc. Davao has become everybody's morning partner.

Kasamang Bernard, as he is fondly called, anchors the morning program Unang Radyo Unang Balita from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.

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From the poblacion up to the farthest areas that the radio signal can reach, he has definitely become a morning habitn.

Bernard started his career in AM radio on May 1, 1990 as a reporter of dxRR Radyo Rapido under the mentorship of the late station manager Flor Colina.

"Nangandoy jud ko mahimong disc jockey sa radyo. Bata palang ko sige nako ug paminaw nila Happy L.A now Councilor Leo Avila III ug uban pa. (I am a fan of Happy L.A and others since I was young)," he said.

It was Jun Cabales of dxRR who helped him get into the industry during his college days at Agro Industrial Foundation College with the assistance of Bernard's mother.

"Wala na nako nahuman ang akong pagtuon sa college kay nisulod nako ug radyo ug wala nako niundang kay naganahan naman ko. Mao gyud ni akong gusto sukad pa sa una. (I did not finish college because I was so passionate about my radio work)," he said.

Bernard recalled the challenges that he went through as a reporter of dxRR and said that it was not a bed of roses.

"Gi-train ko sa pagsulat, gather ug balita ug reporting. Dili gyud dali ang trabaho ug kinahanglan 4 a.m. mubangon na para paspas makakuha ug balita. Lisud pa gyud ang financial kaniadto kay gamay lang gyud ang sweldo sa media. Mubaktas nalang ko aron makatipid ug pamasahe. Gi-discourage nako sa akong mga igsuon na muundang na pero tungod sa akong passion sa pagpanarbaho, nagpursige ko (I was trained in all aspects of reporting. It was not easy plus the salary could not sustain my needs. I almost could not afford to ride a jeepney. My siblings discouraged me to continue but I did, because radio was my dream)," he added.

Despite those challenges, Bernard said that everything was worth the sacrifice.

He continued, "Lisud tuod sa pinansyal pero dili pud masukod ang tabang nga naihatag ni sir Flor Colina sa akoa. Tanan aspeto sa broadcast ethics iyang gitudlo sa akoa nga nahimo nakong giya aron maabot ko ni nga sitwasyon sa akong kinabuhi (The salary may not be sustaining but the lessons that I gained were not worth any amount of money. I owe my knowledge in broadcast from sir Flor Colina)."

In 1996, Bernard transferred to RMN Davao from the assistance of colleague Dodong Solis whom despite the struggles, he regarded as one of his mentors. Bernard stayed with RMN Davao and currently is its news director under the leadership and guidance of Pastor Leobardo Daugdaug.

Having stayed in the broadcast industry for almost 24 years, he is proud to stay for long with a clean name. "Kaluoy sa Gino-o, wala gyud ko naka-atubang ug kaso tungod sa akong pagtrabaho. Naningkamot ko nga mahimong responsable sa tanang higayon. Careful ko na bisan sa mga lapses, dili gyud ko makatamak ug tao. Mas nakat-on pud ko magpa-ubos ug musabot tungod sa akong naagian sa industriya (I became more responsible and I learned the values of humility and understanding)."

He added that for the media industry to achieve its highest potential the old dogs should be monitored and reprimanded to end the "attack-collect-defend-collect" actions of some. The new breeds of practitioners should be constantly trained and guided and that the academe should encourage more mass communication students to work in the industry and teach not just theories but ethical principles of the media.

He also said that when time comes that he will leave the radio industry, he hopes that the listeners will regard him as a sincere broadcaster who made his best efforts to remain credible and ethical for the purpose of bringing joy and quality news for everybody.

He is grateful to his wife Lilibeth, sons Lance and Ralph Lawrence and daughter Diane Marie for supporting and understanding him throughout the years despite dedicating almost all his life in broadcast.

Bernard goes on air from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. for Unang Radyo Unang Balita and 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. for Derecho Balitang Metro Davao Midday Report.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 03, 2014.

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