Behind The Scenes – CS/N on Pagbabago2013

I Said it before:

“But , like I always thought, we are good at what we do.I honestly believe we were the sensible coverage, opting to put substance first and foremost. Let the other networks cover the polls with fanfare and pomp. We did it with grit and grace.”

Looks to me I was right the first time. Big WOOT to the people of News5, specially those wonderfully aloof creatures of CS/News.

Thank you Social TV Awards for the recognition.


A rare moment of non movement

This is a time when all the labor and toiling and drudgery and frustrations and milestones converge.  I wasn’t talking about the recent polls that up until now, has yet to finalize its tally.

Pagbabago 2013 is TV5’s election coverage. And most of the motion graphics you see on TV is from our motley crew of mean, creative machines.

I want to talk about the people behind the the screen – like the cameramen, the carpenters, the production assistants, technical directors, runners, coordinators, make up artists and everyone else that work in the background. Specially us, the graphics specialists. Working with talented people everyday seem to dampen the greatness and awesome experience, when all just seem to be just a normal thing.

Well, to us, it is normal.

What I mean is, you get to work, you see people you collaborate everyday, with different talents and skill, each an…

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A Weekend of Silence

Never thought that I would treasure silence and being left alone this much.

The week passed with a day spent waiting at the Mandaluyong precint, then jump into a cramped in a sweaty, smelly police car, being transported to somewhere someone thought the suspect maybe living or hiding. Or both. Stuck there with five policemen, the baranggay officials,all seems to give me hope. Hope at finding a killer. The rain seemed to add to the melancholy and anger and frustration. While the Marikina river rises, flood waters are filling most streets and alleys, I was getting cold from the rainwater, the aircon and the feeling of getting into something I’d prefer not to. The photo they found proved to be a close match, but the suspect wasn’t there. And the process of going back to Mandaluyong seemed to take forever. All the while I’m catching a glimpse of what police life is – the machismo, the womanizing, the same frustration everyone feels about not being able to do anything because of the lack of funds while generals and superintendents wnd their families enjoy and wallow in their posh living. Sometimes cops do, wish to find a suspect red handed, and do with him what we all dream of – executing with extreme prejudice. But all they can do is work within the law. These cops are very much like everyone else. Same gripes with authority, same simple enjoyments, same male aggression and lusts, same ideals that somewhat got trampled by the system. The only difference is they have guns.

And the media.

Sometimes I’m puzzled by the sheer diligence and determination of Alex Santos. I was  in touch with Andrea Bautista, Macel halili and Alexa Reyes, but mostly only if I feel that I would not hinder anything with the investigation. I’m sure the news are only doing their jobs. Heck, I feel our own Tv5 News reporters have the sense not to badger me too much about it. Cops and Media? Not good bedfellows. Trust me on this. But I commend Macel and Andrea and Alexa for being sensitive enough to give me enough space.

You’d think we all know what life cops live? Not even close. There is a certain subculture, much like yuppies and lawyers and Archers and Eagles live. It’s a closed circuit not every person can understand. They find solace in finding kindred spirits, somebody who knew somebody. An affiliation built on military and police connections. Put them where I work and they would probably scratch their heads at what we in the graphic industry might be talking about. They pretty much cuss like everybody else. And they are human too.

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I feel I Should Write About It

Suddenly, there is a void that follows me around. I couldn’t even say it is a vast expanse of emptiness, like an orb floating within the reaches of my existence.

The series of events that transpired between June 18, 2011, approximately 3:00am and winded up to a full crescendo at 11:30pm on that same day, have shattered, destroyed and maligned the very sensitivity of the bond among friends, families and the public.

What could I say? What could have I done? Does thinking up scenarios of arriving home to our small apartment would have made any difference? Had I decided to go home early, could I have saved my friend’s life? Had I been more attentive earlier in the day, could I have warned Mhalou that I don’t feel good about her newfound friend? Or, if any of my co-habitants have been there, would Mhalou still be among the living? And realizing that, even if I was there, or the either Dotty and Amy were there, we would all have been murdered in cold blood. It’s THAT heavy on my heart. The guilt, the anger, the pain, all composing that same sphere of void that hangs heavy now on my weary soul, if people do have souls.

The experience leaves a bad taste in my mouth, like copper shavings drawing blood on the insides of my mouth. It was so surreal, so vivid, yet so muddled, it has taken too long to end and was fast enough to jog the memory. The whole time I was running from the gate of Coronado Heights to the door of our apartment, stumbling, falling hard on my face before reaching our shared habitat, I was in a haze of confusion. All the people around, some I know, some I don’t, and some have the familiarity of a dread most would try to avoid. Several times I tried to walk past the the cordon of police and tanods, but only at the last instance of identifying the body of Mhalou Dominguez Laquindanum, did I get the full slap in the face and the blood curdling truth that my friend is dead, tied up with electrical cords on hands and feet, blood pooling under, while her head was obscured by the blanket that was used to gag her and was wound tightly around her neck, probably to suppress her cries for help, if she tried. I just had to go down and gather my wits. The cops were polite enough, SOCO however hindered by the smallness of the place and the apparent contamination of the crime scene, proved to be efficient and thorough. I was still staring at a blank wall, trying to look for reasons why it happened.

Dotty was shaking. Deng was shaking. Russel was shaking. I’m numb from the waist up. The glaring lights from cameras made it even more alien. More than twenty stab wounds. Mhalou was dead more than 5 hours. Nobody heard anything.

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