Day 4

It’s Monday and my fourth day of internship. By now, I have gotten used to the rush-hour MRT rides I take daily. The cramped train is no longer an annoyance. In fact, I have truly mastered the art of squeezing myself in a very limited space. Sometimes I jokingly think about Laws of Physics and how they are being bent and disproved inside the MRT trains.

Today I’m supposed to meet Sir Marlon Ramos in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan because the Makati beat we had been filling in for the past days finally got reunited with its original reporter, Ms. Allison Lopez. When I reached the camp, however, Sir Marlon sent me a text message saying he’d just see me in Makati.

I told him that I was already in Bicutan. So as not to waste time, he asked me to get stories from the daily journal of the Police Information Office inside the camp.

I found three interesting stories in the police journal. One was about a police officer who shot a man who ran amok with a knife. The second was about a break-in where an estimated P 55,000-worth of jewelry and computer equipment were stolen. The third story, the biggest, was about a fire that gutted the Fort Bonifacio Savings and Loan office in Taguig City. The fire reduced to ashes an estimated P 7 million-worth of office equipment in the one-story structure.

Sir Marlon asked me to write three stories for the day. I wrote about the two smaller stories I found in Bicutan and a last story about a man who was hit by concrete debris sprayed by a bullet from a shot gun. The firearm belonged to a security guard who accidentally set it off when he tried to stop brawling men from throwing stones at each other.

I wanted to write the fire story because it was no doubt the most newsworthy of the lot. In addition, I also broke the story in the newsroom so I felt that I could write the story well. Sir Marlon, however, chose to write the story. I felt bad at first but at the back of my mind I thought it’s alright especially because I was the one who initially reported the story to him. At least I know which stories were worthy for the paper. I’ll have my break, I thought.

Of the three stories I wrote, I felt good with the last one. The story was difficult to put into writing because of the complexity of the events. It  had several elements which were difficult to fit smoothly. The actions were too rugged that I had problems with transitions. Still I managed to write a decent story.

Throughout the day the different radio and television news stations busied themselves with news on the “Swine Flu” epidemic, spreading in Mexico, the United States and several other countries. For now, the epidemic has not yet entered the country and that’s something we must be thankful about. But the danger is not yet over.

In Makati, developments on the issue are not yet felt. Even the reporters are complacent about it, shrugging the wire stories about the flu’s spread to different parts of the world. Still, it dominated the front page of some of the major dailies, the Inquirer included. I kept myself updated by reading online stories written by the Associated Press and other wire agencies. Every now and then I checked Yahoo!  and Google news to get the latest updates in the “swine flu” issue.

For the rest of the afternoon, I spent my time listening to radio commentators arguing on the correctness of the term “swine flu” when the disease was not exclusively from pigs. According to studies, the flue contains strains from the avian, human and swine flu. It just so happened that the virus was first discovered in pigs, thus the name we now use.

That’s basically it for today. I’ll add some tomorrow.

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