Day 6

Dynamic day five was balanced by a boring and relatively peaceful day six. Sir Marlon texted me in the morning that he cannot make it today, but I pushed through because I’m eager to finish my 150 hours of internship.

For the day, I was under the tutelage of Ma’am Allison Lopez, the reporter-partner of Rachel, my fellow intern. She is a graduate of the University of Sto. Tomas and has been working with the Inquirer for around five years already. When I first saw her, I thought, “Wow, she’s so young.” I failed to discover her age, however. She even threatened me jokingly that she’ll fail me if I guess her age wrong. I did not dare.

For the day, she gave me the freedom to write stories for South Manila. But for some reason, nothing of significance happened within the day. The only police report I got was that of a housebreak where robbers tied the residents and ran off with jewelry, cash and a Toyota Avanza. I wrote the story but felt that it’s quite impossible for it to be used for its lack of news values.

Despite the absence of writing practice, however, I was still able to apply my note-taking skills as we interviewed the head Press Information Officer of Makati City still on the Meniggo case we picked up the other day. The PIO head helped us get in touch with the Ospital ng Makati head who was very difficult to contact. He called Dr. Perry and asked him the questions we were eager to ask regarding the case.

The OsMak head answered every query, giving us enough information to write a story. Unfortunately for me, Makati is not my beat, thus, I passed my gathered information to Rachel who was assigned by Ms. Allison to write the story if a death was confirmed. By this time, they were sent by the Inquirer desk to Manila to cover the arrest of NBN-ZTE deal whistleblower Jun Lozada. Apparently, even the reporter in-charge of the area was on leave.

While interviewing the PIO chief, Ms. Allison sent me a message regarding a scoop she received. The sister of Congressman Zuniga was allegedly being held by the Las Pinas police for failing to pay P500,000 worth of jewelry. She told me to check it out stealthily so as not to give the other reporters a cue on the scoop. I called the Las Pinas police to try to confirm the information. As expected, they refused to neither confirm nor deny that the sister of a congressman was locked up for estafa. The only information I got was that a woman with the middle name Zuniga was under police custody in Las Pinas. This information came from an operator in the city hall.

Sir Marlon sent a text message, commanding me to keep the information to myself. At the same time, he asked me to stop calling the police for confirmation so as not to alarm them. I complied and left the story to my reporter.

After all these, I really had nothing to do left. I spent the rest of the day reading newspapers and magazines and adding verbs and nouns in my list. I did not bother to send the story I wrote to Sir Marlon because there were more newsworthy stories that will easily outdo my story.

That’s it for today. I’ll add news tomorrow. 

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