The country is still reeling from the devastation brought about by the recent storm that I’ve come to call “Voldemort” (He-who-cannot-be-named). Just like in previous disasters, social media played a major role in information dissemination and spreading hope. Of course netizens are quick to point out how invaluable technology and the Internet is during times like this (I’m one of them), but if you think about it more than 70% of the population don’t have regular access to the Internet. In crisis situations it’s much less since majority of Filipinos still get their Internet fix from school, office, or internet cafes, all of which are inaccessible during floods.
At times like this TV and radio play a crucial role in delivering information to the whole country, but more than that, they’re also a beacon of hope for a lot of our kababayans. The stories of heroism and bayanihan that are shown during the news not only inspires, it also prompts people into action. Most of the time we give honors and tributes to the heroes shown in the news. For this blog entry I’d like to shine the spotlight on the people who bring you the news.
Note: If you guys don’t know, I’m married to a reporter. More after the break
If there’s one thing that struck me hard during the last flood, it’s that reporters and their crew (including the camera man and the driver) share the dangers of the subjects they’re covering in their work. When storm signals hit level three, people don’t go to work anymore and just stay at home. That’s not the case for reporters. Regardless of how strong the winds are or how high the floods reach, they have to put on their boots, wear their jackets, whip out their umbrellas, and go out to get the news. It’s literally like a soldier going to war, except that instead of guns they have cameras and microphones.
The reason I’m writing this is because I think a lot of people don’t appreciate how hard these guys work. We take them for granted because we see them everyday on TV delivering the news in an effortless manner. Heck, they make it look ridiculously easy. However believe me when I say that they make a lot of sacrifices. I know this since I’m married to one. From what I observed with my wife, journalism is a calling and not just a profession. This is because reporters give much more than what they receive.
I am very proud of my wife but at the same time I can’t help but be worried when she goes out during calamity situations. And I’m sure the spouses of all journalists feel the same way as I do. There’s some sort of helplessness. I almost threw a fit when I found out that the boat my wife was riding to cover a flood in San Juan almost capsized, lol.
Despite what I feel though I still firmly believe that it is God’s calling for my wife to be a reporter. Ever since she was in High School she already knew that she wanted to be one. God planted that seed in her heart and now it has blossomed into a thriving career. And what tells me that it is her annointing is that she does it for a higher calling than just appearing on TV or making a living. I remember talking to her when she was still working for another station about what’s so interesting about business news. She told me then that it’s her responsibility to dissect and break down all the numbers so that people understand why the GDP matters or why gas prices are going up/down. Let me repeat that… she feels and knows she has a responsibility to the people who watch the news. Amazing.
When you see a reporter and his/her crew doing their work on the field, I humbly ask that you approach them and just say “thank you”. If you can, include them in your prayers, especially when calamity strikes.
As for me, I take comfort and joy in the fact that my wife is doing what God wants her to do. Of course I’ll still be worried but I will always pray for her and make sure that when she comes home, she will feel that she IS home. That, I think, is one of the best gifts a spouse can give to a reporter. To make her forget about the day and just give her love and energy for tomorrow. And maybe some corny jokes like the one below, hehe.
To end, let me just share two bible verses that I think reporters can pray and hold on to. This are the verses I turn to when I pray for my wife.
For strength, courage, and protection:
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7
For when you’re tired, sad, and almost on the verge of giving up:
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Psalm 119:28