BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
ABS-CBN Bacolod will air today the last episode of its flagship program for 32 years, “TV Patrol Negros”, as the network ceases its operations in the provinces and layoffs workers following the non-renewal of its franchise.
Eighty-one ABS-CBN Bacolod employees, including the reporters, will lose their jobs by the end of this month.
Moving forward, they said they will miss their work, the camaraderie, and the pressure that comes with newsgathering and producing worthy stories.
Romeo Subaldo, ABS-CBN Bacolod news chief, said he will bring with him the “public service culture” of the station. He said that even on their day-offs, they mounted bloodletting activities and medical missions to help those in need.
Subaldo, who has been with the Kapamilya network for 15 years, also said many people come to the station to ask for their help, and legal queries, like over a neighbor’s noisy dog.
He said their newsroom was not only a workplace but a home. “We have diverse personalities there. Even if you are under pressure, there is still time to make jokes,” he added.
Barbara Mijares, TV Patrol Negros news anchor, said the Kapamilya culture that resonated with her was “balanced reporting and no to envelopmental journalism.”
She worked for the network for 17 years. She also learned to “innovate and find means,” and never settle for “no” as there are no stories that cannot be produced.
Senior reporter Yasmin Pascual-Dormido, who was once a news anchor of TV Patrol Negros, said her most fond memories were their election special coverage since “that’s the most stressful, most toxic, most challenging, the craziest and the most fun.”
She recalled that even with threats, it did not stop them from doing public service.
“The risk was there. It has always been there since Day 1, but I guess, when journalists are faced with these situations, they know exactly what to do.
The journalist in you will always prevail and your commitment to the people you serve,” she said.
Pascual-Dormido had been with the network for 23 years, and said “ABS-CBN puts prime in excellence and public service. These values, to me, are among the most admirable. And these are reflected in the people and the many undertakings of the network.”
Field reporter Nico Delfin said his work allowed him to meet people, and share their stories of success, tragedy, and pain.
“Risks come along with the job from the time our news cab pulls off from the station. But once I’m done with producing stories on the daily grind and getting reactions from the viewers, most especially from the newsroom, that for me is always worth to be remembered knowing that I’ve proved myself over and over,” he said.
Marty Go, also a field reporter, said his favorite memory was to be given the opportunity to be one of the hosts of “The Morning Show”.
“Because of this, I was able to interview many people from all walks of life and get to be part of the public’s early source of information and entertainment,” Go, who was with the network for 15 years, said.
Field reporter Mark Salanga, who was with ABS-CBN for 12 years, said he will be forever grateful as a Kapamilya.
He said his colleagues influenced him to be hardworking and responsible. They also mold him to be a better person, he added.
Cameraman Jefferson Lucasan, who worked for the network for 21 years, said his work allowed him to travel across the province and other localities for coverage.
His fellow cameraman, Ruel Bangoy, who worked for 22 years, said the network taught them to work with dignity and honesty.
“We should not accept any money which in turn would bribe us for our service,” he added.
Ish Faicol, also a cameraman, said he will miss the risky assignments and the camaraderie even if there were also shouting and fighting in the newsroom. He was with the network for 14 years.
“I learned how to use the computer there,” he added.
Disc jockey Allen Jimenez, or Jonas Blue to his listeners at MOR Bacolod, said he has lots of cherished memories, and he will not forget the behind-the-scene moments of their activities and events.
“As talents of the network, we learn how to be dynamic. We make use of the limited resources that we have. We learn to have fun at the moment,” he said, adding he was with the network for eight years.*