First Session

December 10, 2010

I have covered both the Capitol and the City Hall beats. One thing is common: the legislative department is quite hard to cover, especially if you are not familiar with the procedures.

This morning, my news chief told me to cover the regular session of the Cebu City Council. I remembered that this would be the first session of SKF President John Philip Po II and ABC President Michael Ralota.

I was able to interview Po and Ralota. When I happened to get Po (together with other City Hall reporters), I grabbed the chance to ask him his plans for the city.

All I got was the usual “I will promise to help the youth and give them projects. ”

When asked for specifics, he could only say “Sirs, I’m sorry, I’m in a hurry. I have a class”.

We understood. Di’ ta mamugos uy.

Garry Lao of the Freeman and other City Hall reporters also would have wanted to ask for a copy of Po’s privilege speech, but to no avail. His staff would not give us media people a copy of the speech. We kept on waiting at the young councilor’s office because we have been told that we would be given copies.

Finally, Garry got Po from upstairs. We happened to ask him if we could get a copy of his speech so we could obviously get stories. To our dismay though, the newbie said that his speech was still “edited”.

I was surprised to know what was to be edited in a speech which was already given. Po could only say that he had to make ad libs to his manuscript in the duration of the speech.

I could say that Po still has a lot to go through. Good he admitted he needed help during the session as he told us that he got help from councilor Richie Osmeña (bai, daghan pa ka’g bugas nga kan’on). He seems to me like any other guy who still is stuck in the caves of DOTA or other online fancy, and not the councilor who talks the way we are used to. Bata pa gyod siya, and he has more to go through.

Good thing about Ralota is that he seems to be a “traditional” source. He is the politician that we know.. He seemed so well when he answered our questions.

One more good thing: we got a copy of his speech. Well, we made news out of it. Nothing new to us. I was able to report that the two new councilors promised projects for their constituents in their privilege speeches done during their first session as the newest city councilors.

I did not listen quite well to the press conference we had at the mayor’s office after the session. My news desk in-charge June Perez asked me for my first lead regarding the session.

I had to wait for the call as I was still uncertain when I would be called. In any case, I had my recorder ready. It was just placed near the speakers which boomed out the sound from the mayor’s microphone.

There was actually nothing new at the mayor’s office except that the 2011 budget would be tackled next week. I happened to get a glimpse of the budget, even taking notes of some of the salient details.

I remember vividly one newspaper reporter pleading me not to report on radio any of those things which I have written. “Hell,” I thought to myself, “I should be reporting this, bahala’g i-present pa ni by Monday”. While it is true that the budget would be tackled on Monday in a media-only session at the Waterfront, I just wanted to have a glimpse of the budget. I saw the opportunity, then I went on to grab it.

Hell, I told our news desk about it and he wanted me to report on it. He told me he’d call me, but he did not. Sayang. So I went to report instead on a committee report on the fate of Mandaue-bound PUJs. I had the chance to report it.

When I reported, I heard a delay, so I had to take out the phone out of my ears and just report as though I was using a two-way radio. When I proceeded to do my extro, I returned the phone to my ear, as you do with a normal cellphone. Good thing I did it because the moment I did, I heard the anchor Juve Villar call out my name. I was shocked at first because the voice was different from that of Juve’s. To my surprise, it was another anchor’s. Rico Lucena’s voice, to be exact. I had to be doubly sure by calling out his name on air like “Rico?” Then he replied with a question on whether the ordinance had been in effect. Good thing I was able to answer. Nakalusot ra sab.

Well, the lesson: prepare and prepare doubly. Nothing beats a good preparation. Nabiktima na sab ko aning preparasyon nga way ayo.


About Luigi Flores
Brother Luigi Flores: Writer/Editor. Mass Communication Instructor. Voice-over Artist. Upcoming Radio Host. Youth Minister. Lector/Psalmist.

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