Zalzos tops first ABS-CBN newscast tilt 2014

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BONNIE Zalzos dreamed to become a reporter. It was a childhood dream, he told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Since he was too young to attend school away from home, his parents persuaded him to take up nursing because Mass Communication isn’t offered in Iligan City where Bonnie hails.

Thus, the dream was sidelined for some years, as he worked for a call center in Cebu.


When Zalzos’ podcast topped on iTunes, he says, “I think from that moment, my parents realized that I should embrace my skills and pursue MassCom.”

He took up Mass Communication at Liceo de Cagayan University. Winning the ABS-CBN Newscasting competition in Northern Mindanao held at Centrio of Ayala on February 23 has been the second time his dream manifested.

“Winning this competition is a very good sign that I should stay on track with my dream. Even if didn’t win, I would still be in broadcast journalism, if not for TV, maybe for radio,” Zalzos says.

For Zalzos, the competition was intense yet exciting. It is also life changing since he never thought it has become a reality.

Zalzos is one of the 24 semifinalists who made it to the finals after the semis were held also at Centrio on February 2.

Catalyst for change

Angielyn Siwagan couldn’t believe she was chosen to represent Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) during the semis of the newscasting competition.

“It was amazing since I never imagined that I’ll be one of the finalists,” reads her text message to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

When asked if she could see herself become an instrument of spreading information to the community, Siwagan says that she’d always wanted to be a catalyst for change by inspiring people through bringing in different stories or news.

“The best learning experience I have learned from the competition is to be dedicated and committed to this field of work,” says Siwagan referring to media work.

Vital for development

For Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr. of Xavier University Development Communication, the newscasting experience was overwhelming, from photo and video shoots, guestings on local shows, intensive training with ABS-CBN plus the opportunity to broadcast live.

“It feels like we became instant celebrities as what the news chief of ABS-CBN said. I was inspired with the experience I had that led me to consider media-related jobs in the future.”

Chanjueco says that communication is really vital for the development of Mindanao and of the Philippines. “It is not easy to become a journalist, it’s more of the passion to serve your countrymen rather than the pay.”

Public service

Trevi Lorenz Espinosa who bagged the fifth place told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that the competition was the most worthwhile encounter that he ever had in his life.

He says, “It was an honor representing our school (COC-Phinma)” and furthers, “I see myself become a media practitioner who will devote my work to public service through unbiased disseminating of information. Moreover, I never regret of joining such competition because it gave me plenty of learning and realization on media life.”

The winners of the ABS-CBN newscast competition are: First place – Bonnie Zalzos, Liceo de Cagayan de University; Second place – Angielyn Siwagan, Mindanao University of Science and Technology; Third place – Hamilcar Chanjueco Jr., Xavier University; Fourth place – Deonie Mae Balingan, Lourdes College; Fifth place – Trevi Lorenz Espinosa, Cagayan de Oro College – Phinma; and Sixth place – Grace Lanzaderas, Pilgrim Christian College.

The judges were Anna Lee Lugod-Chaves, former ABS-CBN anchor; Tito Monterde, Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) past president; Donna Ocampo, ABS-CBN station manager; Hugo “Ka Jerry” Lavisores Orcullo, Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) president; and Adroel Alcober, ABS-CBN public service officer for Mindanao.

Jerry Orcullo found the competition well prepared by the organizers while the participating schools were filled with enthusiasm as each displayed support to its representative.

“The contestants were very excellent, too,” says Orcullo.

However, Orcullo was disappointed to see the contestants had difficulty delivering the news in Bisaya.

“Mao na ni ang resulta sa langyawng pagpanakop pinaagi sa edukasyong subay ug sibo sa ilang kagustuhan ug panginahanglan. Colonial educational system develops a subservient mentality to serve the interests of the colonial masters. When our forefathers fought battles against the colonizers they were commanded in dialects like “asdaaaang” until hundreds of the colonizers died. Apan karun, daw yungit ug maulaw na ta sa paglitok sa mga pulong nga maoy nagpahiusa kanato isip usa ka nasud nga may kaugalingong kultura ug kasaysayan,” he clamors. (GCA)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 26, 2014.


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