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06 October 2006

gigi grande goes to canberra

i had an unexpected visitor in my office this week.

abs-cbn pty. ltd. australia news bureau chief gigi grande was in town to say hi. she is currently filming philippine-related news and current affairs projects all over australia.

years back, gigi was my student in comm 2 (types of academic discourse) at u.p. diliman. she was taking up hotel and restaurant administration. she had just finished high school then at st. scholastica’s college in manila. she was focused and determined as iskolar ng bayan. and though she got along very well with everyone in class, i thought she also looked very young and sheltered. so i was really surprised to hear that she had embarked on a career in broadcasting.

but more than a decade after her initial plunge, gigi grande is still on philippine television. this time, she has become a seasoned current affairs journalist. and she hasn’t changed a bit. she has retained much of the sunnyside gigi i had known from the early u.p. days. she was even gracious enough to pass by my office in spite of her very busy schedule.

before she dropped by, gigi had a long interview with philippine ambassador ernesto hernandez de leon in yarralumla. she was about to do another shoot after our lunch meeting. she was also negotiating to have an interview with filipina-australian ngo workers that ably assisted victims of the filipina mail-order bride phenomenon during the 1980s and 1990s. she also had to submit reports for her network bosses back home.

along with her camera man, i took gigi to a quick walk across the a.n.u. campus. we had lunch at caterina’s. in between, we managed to squeeze in stories about our common friends and acquaintances in her network. we also discussed social and political issues ranging from typhoons to terrorists. in spite of many occupational hazards, i can see that gigi is very happy with what she’s been doing.

catching up with gigi has reinforced my desire to wrap up my phd dissertation asap. certainly, i didn’t have a hand in her success. but it feels good to realize that i had been given the opportunity to have students like her in class. it's quite funny to admit that years ago, we were only discussing term papers. these days, we’re talking as friends and colleagues in media. i can only hope that there will be more replications of gigi grande when i resume my teaching duties in diliman next year.

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photos taken during gigi grande's visit to a.n.u.



1. gma-7 news reporter dan campilan, passed away. he was only 25. if you can, please say a prayer for him.

2. tagig-pateros congressman alan peter cayetano is in the news because of the P30 million libel suit filed against him by first gentleman jose miguel arroyo, or the arroyos’ attempt to have him expelled from the house of representatives for accusing them of having a secret bank account in germany.

alan and dan are friends of mine. as far as i'm concerned, they are good people.
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tagig-pateros congressman and u.p. alumnus alan peter schramm cayetano
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alan speaks out during a protest rally outside congress
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dan campilan interviews former justice secretary hernani perez in padre faura
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dan, a la steve irwin in a zoo
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dan with gma 7's susan enriquez


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