ATTY. MEL STA.MARIA | Luchi, Cheryl, TV5, Radyo5, and the 21st KBP Golden Dove Awards
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I attended my first TV/radio awards ceremony last April 26, 2013. It was the 21st Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Golden Dove Awards Night. It was woman-power for TV5 and Radyo5, which won two awards. Luchi Cruz Valdes, head of TV5’s news and public affairs, won the “Best Radio Public Service Program Host” for Relasyon. Cheryl Cosim won the “Best TV Newscaster.”
What made their awards so special and unexpected was the fact that the awards night was dominated by programs and personalities of the giant ABS-CBN and its provincial affiliates. Many times during the awards night, I felt no excitement as to the outcome because only ABS-CBN personalities and programs were the exclusive nominees in a number of categories and that it was a no-brainer anymore as to which station will get the honor of the winning show or personality. I felt excited when there was really true competition, when TV5/Radyo5’s Luchi Cruz Valdes, Cheryl Cosim, Paolo Bediones, Alex Tinsay, Joe D’Mango, reporter Allan Lopez, Reaksyon, Rescue 5, and Intensity 5, were arrayed as nominees against others.
For me, it initially looked like an ABS-CBN-sponsored awards night with only some winners given to non-ABS-CBN people. As a lawyer and in the business of detecting unfairness and partiality, I must admit that I felt uneasy at times about what I was witnessing that night. It was perplexing for me why, for example, TV5’s veteran newscasters and reporters Martin Andanar, Erwin Tulfo, Cherie Mercado, Jove Francisco, Chi Bocobo, Maricel Halili, and Amelyn Veloso (now with Solar News) were not even nominated by KBP either for news or their respective shows. They could have competed with anybody in the industry any time. In radio, how could KBP and its judges have missed out Radyo5’s Neil Ocampo, the one who popularized the “magandang, magandang, magandang, magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat,” the iconic greeting which probably every radio-listener recognizes? It also puzzled me how TV5 and Radyo5 programs and personalities combined were only included by KBP in nine categories out of a possible 46 (excluding the seven provincial awards).
But being a relative tyro in the TV/radio world and because of my training as a lawyer, I did not want to precipitously judge the situation until I figured out what was it that was really disturbing me and whether or not it was justified. Moreover, I also did not discount that I was probably just biased in favor of TV5 and Radyo5 not only because I was professionally connected with both, but I have also been a witness to the fact that TV5, Radyo5, and AksyonTV have been creating not only entertaining shows but highly intelligent ones as well. But, undeniably, ABS-CBN also has been producing excellent shows, hosts, and artists. No one can doubt, for example, the talents of Julius Babao, Karen Davila, Anthony Taberna, Dianne Castellejo, Noli De Castro, and Korina Sanchez. One cannot also question, I believe, the wisdom of Ms. Charo Santos-Concio’s winning the “KBP Lifetime Achievement Award,” Ted Failon’s winning the “Ka Doroy Broadcaster of the Year Award,” and ABS-CBN’s winning the “Best TV Station (Manila).” The judges saw the awards going for them and, I believe, with good reasons.
It is in this context that I was doubly happy when Luchi and Cheryl won their respective awards. It was again, for me, the story of the underdog and the expected, the dejado and the llamado, the small and the big. Do not get me wrong, I admire what the biggest network in the Philippines, brought to the competition - which was the quality of excellence. But, for me, life would not be exciting if only the perceived “big,” front-runner,” “expected,” “strong,” and “llamado” win. It would be a boring life if, all the time, that would be the case. It is the surprises that spice up life. It is when the Davids win against the Goliaths, the Gandhis topple great empires that produce the maximum inspiration, amazement, and upliftment of spirit. These events may not come often, but when they occur, their rarity elevates the triumph to historic proportions.
Most of us in media know that Luchi Cruz Valdes has struggled valiantly in her private and professional life. Because her husband suffered a debilitating stroke, she is the breadwinner in her family. There was a time when she was out of work and just wondering where to get their day-to-day sustenance. But she did not lose hope in God, persevered, and was eventually engaged by TV5 as the head of the News and Public Affairs department when the MVP group and a new management took over. And even that was not given to her in a silver platter. Her job entailed the gargantuan effort to lead the streamlining and refocusing of TV5 News and Public Affairs. She was fortunately assisted by talented and creative people. And their pioneering works up to now have been producing great results, such as the creation of Radyo5, AksyonTV, and Interaksyon.com.
Also, one of these results is Relasyon, a radio program which paved the way for Luchi to win this year’s “Best Radio Public Service Program Host.” This show is very personal to Luchi. She conceptualized this herself, developed it, and finally had it aired on November 8, 2010 at the same time Radyo5 News FM went on air. Relasyon has now a considerable following. The show aims at helping people. It provides legal, emotional, and practical advice to varied issues in life. It also aims at informing people of current events and their effects in their lives. Luchi drives the show very well blending the practical, legal, and emotional aspects of the cases superbly. She shows a lot of patience to actual callers and texters. She likewise injects her own down-to-earth and, at times, spiritual personal take on things. Ultimately, Luchi won the award simply because she performed the way she actually is: a person passionately concerned for the unfortunate plight of others. This personal quality was hard to go unnoticed.
Cheryl Cosim is “ Alagang Kapatid” all throughout. I first met her in TV5’s May 2010 coverage of the national election. She studies her stuff very well. She is intelligent and very resourceful. She works very hard and rightfully deserves the award. In law, we have a rule called “res ipsa loquitur.” It means no more evidence are needed to be presented for things or events which speak for or are obvious in themselves. Just watching Cheryl Cosim reading the news for the day will be enough to know why she won this year’s “Best TV Newscaster.” No other evidence to prove her abilities is needed. Again, res ipsa loquitur.