Lia Cruz will be covering the 2012 London Olympics for TV5 and AKTV. From now until the end of the Games, Lia will be filing exclusive dispatches for InterAKTV, serving as our eyes and ears in London.
LONDON — Before we can begin broadcasting the Olympics, we needed to set up our headquarters.
Our work base here in London is the International Broadcast Center (IBC) inside the Olympic Park, which
doubles as the Main Press Centre for all things media-related. Everything that needs to be done, ideally, gets done here, from editing, broadcasting, voicing and the like.
The Philippines has a tiny little room inside the four-level building constructed just for the Olympics, which will be torn down once the games are done. Other countries with bigger delegations have sprawling rooms assigned to them, and whenever I peek in, it seems there’s a pagandahan-ng-headquarters contest going on between the developed nations. Broadcast companies from countries like Brazil (just across us), France, Australia, China, Korea, and the like have their huge offices all decked out, some even with a reception area, couches and a secretary!
Stepping into the IBC is already quite the experience; it’s an aural fiesta, with all the different languages and accents that kind of knock you down with all the strength of a tidal wave. There are more than 200 countries participating in the Games, so naturally, over 200 media outlets will be covering.
In the elevator alone going up to our room, you can hear Spanish, German, Portugese and English in every imaginable accent. If I were in grade school, it would be United Nations Day all over again, on a much grander scale, of course.
Many, many countries here are highly impressed with our team’s ability to speak such fluent English. The other day, while we were shooting around the IBC for a feature, I was interviewed by teams from Morrocco and Malaysia, asking me to give my two cents on the atmosphere in London. I figured they thought it would be easier because they overhead me speaking English. I was also stopped by a Canadian official, who tore himself away from a call on his cell phone to ask me what country I was from, and then to express his amazement at how good my English was. On a global level, the Filipinos’ familiarity with the English language, I must admit, comes in very handy.
The IBC itself is a marvel! Not only does it house all the media offices from all the different countries, plus the Main Press Centre, but it also has a multi-level canteen in an adjacent building, and what they call the IBC High Street, which has shops and little cafe-like chairs and tables with umbrellas. And bars. With alcoholic beverages. We stressed out media people need our drinks, y’know.