May 28, 2013
Today we mark 2 years of broadcasting in our small company. We mark it because it’s important. It’s important for 3 reasons I think:
- Getting airtime wasn’t easy. Since 2000 we’ve been trying to find a way to get our ideas and our work seen by the broadcast audience. We had Gear on Lakbay TV in 2000, and then JUICE on cable TV in 2002. In between that it was 9 years of trying to find away back on the air in a show and in a manner that meant something. There were times I thought my time in TV had come and gone; and times that it felt like I was beating my head against a wall trying to crack the broadcast problem. There were years I gave up and did something else. But the desire kept on coming back and today we find ourselves here. Like Rovilson told me on the 1st week we were working on JUICE “You can’t make an omelette without cracking some eggs.” Important things take time and effort. The difficulty was important because it reminds us today of how lucky we are to do what we are doing.
- Being on the air is not about us. In the tradition of our DNA, Cheche Lazaro always used to tell us: being in media is a public trust. When we have a camera or we talk to interviewees, the promise of airtime is powerful. When we make it about us (about our own stature or reputation or what we will get out of it) then we will lose that trust. And once you lose it, its very hard to get it back. Marking 2 years on the air, is an important reminder that it isn’t about us. It is about those who work with us and those who watch us. Do we conduct ourselves in a way that honors the efforts of our team? Do we listen to the those we shoot and respect the time and attention they are giving us? Do we choose our stories, write our scripts, and edit segments knowing that many will see it, will get their information from it, and maybe even change their lives because of it? That’s why pwede na is never good enough. Being on the air is not about us. It is always, always about those we serve — from those who watch us, advertise with us, put us on the air, and those we work with.
- Being on the air is, quite deeply & paradoxically, about us. It’s about our deepest desires and passions. It is about what drives us…the significant experiences of our lives… about why we do what we do what we do. It’s also about those times we should’ve tried harder and the times we discovered we had more to give. It’s about those times we said tama na, and those times we said kaya pa. It’s about times we had the courage to speak, and try, and make mistakes, and take responsibility for them. Because believe it or not, these things find a way into our stories. A wise Jesuit once told me, “You cannot give what you do not have.” In my life, I have discovered that the reverse is also true: we naturally (even subconsciously) give what we do have. Do we allow ourselves to be inspired by those we interview? Do we learn from the hints of what our lives (successes and failures) are telling us? Do we try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be? Our life and our work is not separated — that is both curse and gift for us. Being on the air reminds us that what can be most deeply personal to us is broadcasted and magnified.
Please don’t disinherit me or vote me out of the island because I wrote and delivered a big speech that seems to fit a bigger company with a bigger moment. Its intentional largeness delivered in such humble settings hopefully matches who we are — we are small but our purpose & our passion is large.
So 2 years… it is both gift, responsibility and challenge. I suggest we start with a sense of gratitude and celebrate