Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Now, for the real "bad" news

So I still have my old cellphone number, although I'm a few thousands poorer (So poor I can't even buy watusi and lusis for New Year's Eve) and with more than 98 percent of professional and personal contacts lost. Yes, Cedelf, until now, I am still on a state of denial over the loss of my phone. Sigh.

At least I got my old number back. So please, please, if you know me or I know you or we have worked together for a certain thing or I have interviewed you for a story (etcetera etcetera), kindly send me your number so that I can save it.

But here's more distressing news:

Broadcast journalist shot dead in Davao City: Arroyo orders probe, arrest of perpetrators
Source: Inquirer.net
Nov. 24

Unknown gunmen shot and killed a radio broadcaster in the southern Philippines on Monday, officials said, as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered police to immediately investigate the incident and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Ferdie Lintuan had just finished hosting a morning program on dxGO Radio in the city of Davao when he was ambushed in his car along with two other journalists, said Jesus Dureza, a senior adviser to the President.

Read more here. For more information about the Lintuan killing, click here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

Two days before Lintuan was murdered, veteran journalist Adrian Cristobal passed away. Click here for more information.

Tsk tsk. The high number of journalists dying (but more often, getting killed for their work) made me remember one incident not so long ago when a friend asked me to be his co-guarantor for a credit loan he was applying for. So there we were in the credit office, showing my documents. "You're from the press?" the credit officer asked me, upon seeing my ID. Sensing her somewhat extreme surprise over my job, I softly told the credit officer: "Yes. Why? Is that a problem?"

"I'll just need to check with my manager," the credit officer told us, walking away with my office to an office a few feet away. My job might have screwed up your application, I told my friend, although we did not exactly know if there was a problem with me being a journalist.

A few minutes later, the officer came back. "But you don't work in the community press? You don't cover conflicts or any hostile situations?" she immediately asked me. I initially thought of telling her the complex nature of the media beat and how the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility works, but I decided otherwise. "If you mean I cover events and issues in the communities or those of conflicts, generally, no." I said.

After I said that, I sensed she was somewhat relieved and appeared more relaxed reviewing my friend's credit application. Now I'm the one curious. Why would a credit officer be so surprised upon learning my work as a journalist?, I thought. Do journalists also get a hard time applying for credit loans or when buying things on an installment basis, just like police and military men (or at least from what some cops and soldiers told me)?

So, after five minutes in front of the credit officer, silently agonizing all these questions, I asked her: "Is there a problem if I am a journalist?"

She sheepishly smiled with my question. While signing the approval of my friend's application, she said: "Aren't journalist killings here in this country remain rampant and unresolved?"

2 comments:

caloy conde said...

Hi bryant. actually, being a journalist in the philippines carries with it another risk, the financial kind. i remember when i took out an insurance policy about four years ago (when the killings were not as rampant as today), the agent told me not to specify in the form that i was a journalist. i asked him why. he said because being a journalist is a high-risk job in this country. i couldn't, of course, argue otherwise.

bryant said...

Thanks for the comment Sir Caloy.

So what did you write in the form regarding your occupation?

I remember being stumped for quite a while when the loan officer told me that the fact that I am a journalist in this country where the high number of journalist killings remain unsolved made her hesitate in approving my friend's loan application.

Hmm. Come to think of it, I have not received any response ever from all the credit card applications.

 
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