Children of the 90s: The Fallen Officers of Oplan Exodus

During the first People Power Revolution in EDSA, these six brave men pictured above were babies or simply biding their time inside the wombs of their mothers. Like me, they grew up in the 1990s — when songs from the Eraserheads ruled the radio airwaves and when brownout was rampant. Years ago, they were just children. And they were still young when…

The Murder of a Minor in Malabon

I have covered numerous murder incidents and similar crimes. But I encountered a curious case over the weekend: the death of 16-year-old Jerico Riano Santos whose wake was merely in a sidewalk in Barangay Tanong, Malabon City. Days after I covered the story, it still disturbs me. He sustained two gunshots in the head and had signs…

Ormoc and the Onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda

It may seem like a movie. But there was no exaggeration to it. It was real. And I was there. Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) became one of the strongest recorded tropical cyclones in global history. On November 8, 2013, thousands of people died in Tacloban, Leyte, my mother’s hometown. It wasn’t just the strong wind…

Caught in Conflict: Golan Heights and Trapped Filipino Soldiers

Co-written with Lian Buan While Gilas Pilipinas is bravely representing the Philippines in the ongoing FIBA World Cup, we also have a different team of Filipinos who should make you feel proud. They are the 75 Filipino soldiers carrying the banner of the United Nations in the middle of a heated conflict in Golan Heights. Heightened Tension Golan Heights…

The Problem with UP

What if you could revisit and download the questions you took during the UPCAT (University of the Philippines College Admission Test)? I received information that this will be a possibility. It’s not yet official though. For some people including yours truly, these were the same set of questions that made and unmade dreams. Not all UPCAT takers make…

Reporter Notes: Year One

July 24, 2012. It has only been a month since I became a reporter. But I received an important assignment: the arrival of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from the hospital to her home in La Vista, Quezon City.  I waited in my position for hours. And then in a flash, the convoy of Congresswoman Arroyo…

Reporter Notes: Prequel

For young people who wish to become news reporters, there are no shortcuts, formulas and guarantees. Luck may be a factor. But so are persistence, patience and passion. We all have unique individual trails. The footsteps of others should only serve as a guide but you have to make your own way. I’m not an expert. But…

Father Figure

The breaking news came in the form of a flash report. It was April 2012 and I learned days ago that I made it as a reporter for GMA News. As it turned out, it was not the highlight of that year. It was the policy of the hospital not to let anyone else inside…