By Mortz C. Ortigoza
When I was asked to do radio commentary, I relished it because I was a radio bug on selected Filipino political broadcasters especially during the time of the perceptive Louie Beltran, the humorous Rod Navarro and everything hilarious and vulgar about what U.S No. 1 shock jock Howard Stern dishes on Sirius Radio and YouTube.
Man, I loved to talk especially the way former five-time House Speaker Joe de Venecia and Civil Rights Activist Al Sharpton rabble roused. Their ding-dong gift of gab I imitated and polished on air with my belief that they could help proselytize by playing with the emotions of the listeners here and abroad, thanks to free Face Book Live Feed video where listeners overseas could listen to my antics.
Even during my early days in broadcast last July, I saw to it that once in while I browse on the internet’s manual how broadcasters were governed by their police body Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas( KBP).
When Jay Mendoza, then manager of DZRD Sonshine Radio-Dagupan City who I worked with asked me last December if I want to take the KBP accreditation examination, I did not only tell him affirmatively but told him I was too willing to shell out the seven hundred fifty pesos examination fee when he told me there was a charge for it.
Son of a gun, that’s beer money compared to the prestige and benefit I could derive to be a full-pledge radio broadcaster, I told myself.
Several days before the D-Day in January 28, I read diligently, twice or thrice, the 40 pages KBP’s Broadcast Code of the Philippines given to me by the manager.
Why my sheer determination to master the Code and the complicity of the rules a broadcaster should master in doing his craft? Geez, it was my sheer fear to botch and be the butt of ridicules and jokes especially by those who hated my guts on air.
“Kayabang yabang kasi, bagsak naman sa KBP!” one of the dilemmas or even nightmares I was imagining he he.
Some lady reporters teased me what will I do if I failed the examination while Atong Remogat, Dennis Mojares, and other radio reporters who were my favorite punch lines on the air had already hurdled the accreditation examination.
“Siyempre nakakahiya iyong kinakantiyawan mo pumasa tapos iyong nangangantiyaw bumagsak,” I told them that caused them to guffaw.
When I and 61 of radio and TV workers who hailed as far as Abra, Ilocos Norte, and Baguio City took the test held at the function room of the Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resource (BFAR) in Barangay Bonuan Binloc my first impression was the more than 200 item questions was tough if one did not diligently read the posers and get the best answer in a multiple or four options anwers where some seem them were coined to be tricky.
“Halos magkapareho ang mga sagot naglalaban lang sa isang word thus deceptive,” I told my self while I was shading the first ten of the more than 200 questions with my No. 1 Mongol Pencil.
I looked at the cameramen and technicians of the national television who were on my side and in front of me wondering even if they read the Code and how they dealt with the questions that were analytically challenging like “Will the station or its personnel communicate by any means, whether on-air or off-air, with the perpetrator of say hostage taking or victim without coordinating with the police officer in charge of the crime situation?”.
Some of the questions there I even used as source when I, as resource speaker lately, told members of the City Council in Dagupan City who conducted a public hearing on their pet bill’s Anti –Fake News that they should not harass radio anchor or reporter airing an unconfirmed news like “bombing” if it is a “Clear and Present Danger” on the safety of the people. They acquisced on my proposal on Section 5 that says “Unconfirmed reports shall not be aired unless there is an immediate and urgent need for the public to know about them, such as when the public needs to be warned of the possibility of an imminent danger. When such reports are aired, it must be emphasized that they are unconfirmed. 5.b. An unconfirmed report must be verified as soon as possible. If an unconfirmed report is found to be false, an announcement saying so must be made.”
I was smiling as I shaded my answers because the short preparation I had been was rewarding.
But I panicked when questions filled with words like “cowcatcher” and a “hitch-hikers” “What is the minute’s limit of a commercial load for FM in Metro Manila and the province? “ Channel, source, gesture?” were asked in the middle and later part of the questionairres.
Son of a gun, wala ito sa manual na binigay sa akin,” the eyes of this non journalism or mass communication graduate widened. Pssst, I finished my B.A and M.A on government a far cry about the nuances of a microphone and stinger button.
As the proctor told us that we have 20 minutes left for the examination that started at 2 pm and ended at 5pm, I looked at my left side and saw four of us left whose faces were still glued at the questionnaire.
I was left behind because I returned to those questions that I did not have privilege to have the manual like “In case there is a brownout at your radio station and the power returned after three hours, where would you get your official time. Answers could either be: A) KBP, B) Pag-Asa, C) Station’s wallclock D) None of the answer. At first I chose KBP, but I erased my pencil shade on its box when I analyzed, yes Virginia I did common sense evaluation, that it should be “B) Pag Asa” because I saw everyday on TV that Pag-Asa announced what time the sunlight strikes.
But other questions like “compensating spot”, “primary and secondary signals, I did not know them from Adam.
I left the room like an idiot and downed.
I left the room like an idiot and downed.
With the more than 200 questions and with 35 items I believed I answered incorrectly, I felt threatened about my passing chances despite one has to pass it by getting only 60 percent of the correct answers.
My boast to my wife and kids that I would top the test went awry, I told myself.
“How was the examination?” radio collegues at 981kHz DZRD Sonshine Radio asked me.
“I fear I failed it, I did not have the manual on many questions there that asked about FM stations, the terminologies, the number of advertisement allowed by FM in Manila and the province, and Whatchamacallit,” I told them.
Many were surprised about my humility. They missed the patent braggadocio they saw on me as my funny trademark.
“Pa humble ka Mortz, baka bumagsak ka at least alam nila na ikaw mismo nag sabi na babagsak,” I told my self on that defense mechanism whenever other media men posed the same question.
Two Fridays ago I saw at Face Book some newbie lady radio reporters crowing they passed the KBP with posts like” Full pledge radio reporter na kami” below the document that came from KBP.
I called one of them and asked if she saw my name. The answer was negative.
When I entered the radio station last Monday, those who teased me if in case I would not pass, had naughty look at their faces telling me “blow out ka na!”
“Walang problema diyan, naka ready na iyong pera na pambayad ni misis sa kuryente gastusin natin sa blow out,” I told them and asked to show me the copy of the result. They told me it was still with the KBP Chairman Mark Gemson Espinosa.
“I felt I failed the examination,” I told them again.
“You should be positive, tell that you felt you could pass the test,” my tandem Harold Barcelona, that I used to tease and who laughed on my antics on air just like the laughing stinger button.
I just told everydbody I failed because I detested Harold and his taunt if I really failed the examination.
The following Tuesday morning, Ilet Breguera entered the radio booth during our commercial break and told me to treat the radio staff because I passed.
I felt relief and even imagining that I would be happy even if I could get the 60 percent passing score.
“Anyway, all of us who passed including the No. 1 and the cellar dweller have the same identical I.D cards as KBP passer,” I told myself.
I told Ilet again to produce the paper as evidence I hurdled so I could shell out the treat monies I supposed to pay for the electric bill.
After our one hour commentary program, Benjie, a reporter there, told me I landed on the Top Ten of the test.
Roger Codnita the manager furnished me a photocopy of the result from top to bottom of all the examinees.
I saw my name on the No. 10 and told the people there that I felt bad that I have no manual to read on those 35 questions I squandered otherwise I dominated the examination he he.
“Nagyayabang ka na naman Mortz!” Ilet cried while Harold and other shook their heads because the distinct bragadacio of Mortz Ortigoza had been awakened.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org)