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5 News Reporters Who Defied Strong Typhoon for News Coverage

These ABS-CBN and GMA-7 reporters risked their lives to bring information to Filipinos.
IMAGE ABS-CBN, GMA-7
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During strong typhoons and calamities, TV reporters are among the frontliners who risk their lives just to do their jobs.

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) looks back on how these five reporters from ABS-CBN and GMA-7 defied strong winds and heavy rains just to deliver the news and information people need during a typhoon.

PIA HONTIVEROS

Pia Hontiveros

In November 1995, the Philippines was badly hit by Super Typhoon Rosing.

At the height of the storm, former ABS-CBN News reporter Pia Hontiveros was tasked to deliver the latest weather bulletin outside the headquarters of PAGASA.

But because of the strong wind and heavy rains, Pia had to tie herself to a flagpole while doing her standupper report.

A screenshot of that moment continues to spread online, even spawning its own memes. Other netizens have also praised Pia for being dedicated to her job.

On May 6, 2020, Pia reposted the photo on her Twitter account, with heart emojis in ABS-CBN colors: red, green, and blue.

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Her post came a day after ABS-CBN went off the air when the National Telecommunication Commission issued a cease and desist order following the expiration of the network’s broadcast franchise.

ATOM ARAULLO

Atom Araullo

On November 8, 2013, former Kapamilya reporter Atom Araullo braved Yolanda in Tacloban City, which was the most battered area of 2013’s strongest typhoon.

JIGGY MANICAD AND LOVE AÑOVER

Love Anover, Jiggy Manicad

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GMA-7 reporters Jiggy Manicad and Love Añover were assigned to cover the devastation and situation in Tacloban during the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

In a report for Jessica Soho’s State of the Nation on GMA News TV, Love, who grew up in Tacloban, was not able to control her emotions.

“Noong nandoon talaga kami Ma’am Jess sa loob ng cathedral, talagang iisipin mo Ma’am Jess na katapusan na talaga ng mundo. Hindi namin alam kung saan kami pupunta kasi iyong ikot ng napakalakas, Ma’am Jess, umaatungal iyong tunog niya na gusto niyang gibain iyong buong cathedral. Nararamdaman po namin iyong pag-alog ng mga pader na kung saan kami nakastay.

“Noong una, parang iniisip pa namin, ‘Siguro, hindi ganito kalakas.’ Isa pang nakakatakot doon iyong paglipad ng mga kahoy at chandelier sa cathedral, mga yero.

“Inisip namin, mukhang ito na kaya ang katapusan namin dito? Dito na kaya kami mawawalan ng buhay? ‘Tapos iniisip ko pa iyong pamilya ko po kasi iyong nanay at tatay ko at saka iyong kapatid ko nandito rin po sila sa probinsya.”

In a separate account, Jiggy recounted his experience in an editorial piece for Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Part of his story read, “The whirling winds gave me the feeling that we were inside a washing machine. I saw the waiting sheds being toppled, and a coconut tree outside our room getting snapped in two. By 7:30 a.m., all communication lines, including the Internet, went dead.”

Roel Bacarra, the driver that GMA News hired for the program QRT: Quick Response Team, was killed during the storm surge after the water swallowed his newly acquired Mitsubishi Adventure.

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Roel was on his way to pick up Jiggy and the QRT group from their hotel when the incident happened.

DENNIS DATU

Dennis Datu

On October 26, 2020, ABS-CBN news reporter Dennis Datu was seen struggling to stay in place while doing his standupper report for DZMM Teleradyo.

An ABS-CBN staffer wearing a green raincoat had to hold Dennis to keep him from being carried away by the wind, and stay within the shaky camera frame.

Because of the strong wind, the communication between Dennis and DZMM anchor Johnson Manabat at the studio was spotty.

The audio was later restored, and Dennis was able to deliver his report, but still with great difficulty.

With the camera being shaky, it caught the ominous background: a rice field that looked like an ocean with strong waves brought by the strong wind.

While Dennis was delivering his report, two people had to hold him because the wind was too strong.

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The cameraman, although not seen, also struggled as evident on the blurry video.

This story originally appeared on Pep.phMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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James Patrick Anarcon for PEP.ph
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