Comfort food

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By Danny B. Dangcalan

A Walk in the Park

Monday, March 10, 2014

IN WRITING news, especially stories that involve conflict, we always try to observe fair and balanced reporting. But sometimes, due to pressing deadlines we fail to get the version of the other side, and that's when the other party accuse us of biased reporting. So the next day, we update the story, this time carrying the version of the other side.

Now, if there's one thing you can accuse us -- the Capitol Brats, the media covering the provincial government beat -- it's the fact that all of us looove eating. Guilty as charged!

Perhaps, it's also stress eating, given our perpetually crazy deadlines, and the usually required quota of at least three stories a day.


There are days when news are scarce at the Provincial Capitol that it also gives us the same stress, you know, when it's nearing deadline and your editor asks you where have you been that until now, you haven't filed a single news item.

Don't get me wrong, we love our jobs. Since it seems we cannot do away with the stress-inducing deadlines, we take comfort in each other's company and the one thing that binds us together -- food.

So where to go for lunch is almost as important a decision-making as what's the freshest stories for tomorrow's issue.

After an intense interview with Governor Marañon or VG Lacson, or any board member or mayor who happens to have news for the day, the next thing to ask is, where do we have lunch?

Then just like in a classroom voting for class officers, or the SP voting for a resolution or an ordinance, we'd divide the house. The carinderia, or resto, or hotel that gets the highest votes is the official destination of the hour.

Sometimes, it's someone's call, like when one of us is celebrating her birthday, or she gets a bonus, or it's her pay day yesterday.

Come to think of it, I used the female pronouns because I forgot to mention, they are all girl friends! Carla Gomez of Daily Star, Nanette Guadalquiver, Carla Cañet and Teresa Ellera of Sun.Star, Marchel Espina of Watchmen Daily, Dolly Yasa of Daily Guardian, and Dolores Epacta of Negros Weekly. Also joining us frequently are Capitol ladies Gerlyn Regalado and Merile Lamina.

I often look forward to lunches with the Brats. It is also during this time that we get to have insider updates from among ourselves, those that are not revealed in the interviews or stated in press statements. And then we'd have more contexts of the story that it actually makes the news juicier.

On some days, when news personalities bore us, we talk about ourselves. We talk about our lovelife (or the lack of it), our family life, our children, our aspirations in life.

That's when the bonding gets more intimate. And then when we really feel sentimental, after lunch, we proceed to Calea or Felicia's for desserts, and that obligatory hot cup of coffee.

Although we are friends, we still work for competing news organizations where "scoops" matter a lot. But at the end of the day, as the High School Musical says, we're all in this together.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 10, 2014.


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