Waking up at 6:00 AM was very worth it! On my second day of work, we were informed that we will be having a meeting/consultation with Ms. Cheche Lazaro on Tuesday the following week. Honestly, it was a task to conceal my excitement upon hearing the news because I am a BIG fan of Ms. Lazaro. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of our NGO, and she is also the Public Relations Officer and Chairman of the Communications Committee — which was not a surprise at all.
Growing up in the Philippines, television plays a big part of our lives; but it was also quite difficult to find programs that bring quality content. And this is where Ms. Cheche came in, along with other esteemed journalists — to pioneer investigative journalism in the country through Probe and expose several issues in the society, which are often misrepresented or even overlooked by mainstream media. I was also an avid fan of the Probe-produced kids show 5 and Up. My Saturday afternoon was not complete, unless I watch those English-speaking kids on ABC 5 (now TV 5). I was just amazed of their eloquence because, it took me years as a kid to build confidence in my spoken English.
Anyway, my colleagues and I met up at exactly 8:00 AM in our headquarters in Pasay, then left past 8:30 AM to visit Ms. Lazaro’s house in Forbes Park. First, her house was amazing and I still could not believe I would be meeting her in person. We got in and somebody from one of the rooms came out barefooted in her house clothes. It was her. She gave a cheery welcome and ushered us straight away into the dining hall (room is an understatement). Before jumping the gun on the agenda of that meeting, Robyn and I were introduced to her, as we were obviously the newbies in the NGO. Again, I had to shake myself out of this surreal experience — I was seated right across Cheche Lazaro! LOL I seldom fawn over famous people, and I don’t even consider her a ‘celebrity’ celebrity. She is a mover and a shaker and hopefully shaking her hands might have rubbed off some of those magical dusts that she have, and hopefully landed on me. =D
The meeting went quite well, and we had a great time eating bite-sized tuna sandwiches over the in-depth discussions we were having. To hear her thoughts and take on a lot of things, even the things that were not in the agenda, was priceless. I could not believe that almost three hours passed by so quickly, and I was itching to get my hands on my camera and ask for a picture with her. She is my kind of celebrity, and not some movie stars (but I won’t say no to a picture with the Spice Girls or Sophie Ellis-Bextor, though). =D
Anyway, the newbies (including me) will be going to Mindanao this first week of July to further understand the impact of our roles in the team, especially to the beneficiaries. (Note: Ms. Cheche also offered to lend us one of her cameras so that we can use it while we’re working on our story from the Mindanao trip… Just imagine what other stories that camera has already captured!).The southernmost place I have been to was just Boracay, which was a pity because I know our country has so much to offer. Don’t get me wrong, we will not be there as tourists, rather new bridges to help address the problems affecting our countrymen in conflict-ridden areas, and places affected by disasters. It operates mostly in the Asia-Pacific region, with on-going operations in Viet Nam, Myanmar and Philippines.
There’s a great chance that my colleagues might stumble upon my blog, after writing about this. So you (colleague) should not think differently of me. But I don’t really care, what happens here stays here, so click away of you must LOL =P