Lacson: The dream of being on-cam

When I was in Grade 4, I was chosen to represent our section in the Inter-Grade Declamation Contest in our school. If I recall correctly, the piece which we delivered was titled "Unborn Fetus" which chronicles the memories of an unborn child starting from his/her early days in the womb up until the time that he/she was forced out because of abortion. It was then that my Grade 4 English teacher, Ms. Jennifer Dizon, more widely known as Teacher Jheng told me that I will make a promising newscaster someday. Somehow, that compliment stuck to me until it was time for me to decide what course I will be taking in college. Luckily as well for me, I passed the college entrance exam and got admitted to the BA Broadcast Communication Program of the University of the Philippines.

After graduating from college, I immediately got accepted as a news reporter for the first cable channel in Pampanga, the then-Infomax.8 now GNN TV 44 Pampanga. This is where I met my first mentor, the famous Tonette Orejas of the Philippine Daily Inquirer who was the News Editor of the channel. As they say, you will never forget your first boss, and I am so blessed to have experienced working with her as I learned a lot from the multi-awarded Kapampangan journalist. It's always a feather in my cap to say that I was mentored by Mam Tonette in broadcast journalism and I will never ever forget my fond memories of covering news stories in the whole province of Pampanga.

Mam Tonette assigned me to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan beat, and while I struggled at first and coped with the discussions during the Monday SP hearings which tackled the controversial quarry issues at that time, I challenged myself to step up and prove that they did make the right choice of hiring me as one of their local reporters. One of the most unforgettable coverages that Mam Tonette and I did was the Popong Fire Tragedy and the secret visit of Princess Caroline of Monaco in October 2004. One of the most exciting experiences as well during that stint at Infomax.8 was when I served as the News Anchor of the news program. I remember I was so excited to finally live the dream of delivering the news and being able to apply all the things that I learned when I was in college. Although I roughly had a short stay in this community channel, I am truly grateful for the wonderful experiences and even friendships I have made during this stint.

Now that I am a full-time permanent civil servant, I feel privileged to still be able to do what I love to do, and that is broadcasting. As the Regional Information Officer of the Department of Education, I get to perform a Monday-Friday 8-5 job and still fulfill my dream job of being in front of the camera. As a part of the Public Affairs Unit, I am given the opportunity to inform all education stakeholders about the programs, projects, and activities of the agency. During the pandemic, our task as information officers was clearly felt and needed as the duty to disseminate timely, accurate, and relevant information about how education will continue during this uncertain time. On top of our regular efforts and advocacy campaigns, we came up with more virtual pressers and online news programs where we showcased useful information to the public.

The most successful of these is the Edukasyon Central Luzon, which even helped me bag the award as the National Champion in the first-ever Department of Education Information Leaders Awards or ILAW in December 2021. After two successful seasons, we shifted to a news edition format where we tapped our teaching and non-teaching personnel to come up with relevant news updates from their respective schools. For 2023, we are once again resuming the weekly news program live-streamed on the official social media pages of DepEd Region III.

Certainly, I have the best of both worlds. A stable and rewarding job coupled with the privilege of living my dream of being an on-cam talent. To God be the glory!


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