We have been seeing her on TV for over three decades now, dishing out the biggest news stories of the day (‘Di biro yung 3 decades ha!). From being an hourly newsbreaker, she worked her way to the top as overseer of the government TV network (Hello po, madame!). Indeed, Communications Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio is lady made out of rock, in terms of grit and determination of rock, at least in terms of grit and determination. (Ako ata pusong bato!)
It wasn’t easy. In an interview, Rocky said that when she was young, she wanted to become a doctor.
“Dream ko sana mag-practice sa rural areas para maraming taong kausap. Since di kinaya, Mass Communication (course) na lang ang pinili ko para pwede pa ring makatulong sa mga tao pero sa ibang paraan,” she said. (inisip ko rin yan dati, ang maging doktora!)
Her foray into the media happened in 1988, when she was chosen as news anchor for IBC 13’s hourly newsbreaks. Her bubbly personality made it easy for her to crossover to hosting “Sine Silip,” one of IBC’s showbiz-oriented talk shows at that time (Classic yang sine silip!). The stint enabled her to improve her interviewing skills at a very early stage of her career.
Armed with her television-worthy good looks (maraming nagsasabing kafez niya si Rio Locsin!) and boosted confidence in carrying interesting conversations, she decided to move to the government channel in 1996 as part of the news team.
“OMG! 19 years na akong reporter at pinakamatagal dun ay yung naging pag cover ko sa Malacanang,” she gushed. (Ako nga, parang hanggang gate lang ng palasyo!)
News reporting, as most of us in the media know, is not as easy and glamorous as we project it to be on air. It is, in most cases, both testing and rewarding. (Kinarir ko yan dati! )
“Pinaka-challenging yung coverage namin ng lahar sa Pampanga. Buwis buhay ang coverage na yun,” she said. “Pero pinaka-fulfilling naman yung meeting ko kay Pope Benedict. Nabigyan pa nga ako ng pagkakataon nun na makapag- bless sa Santo Papa.” (Ibang papa mga nakakausap ko!)
After being named by President Rodrigo Duterte as second highest press communications executive of the land, Rocky was given the mandate to look after the operations of the People’s Television Network (PTV)—and rightly so, since it is the station that Rocky had been serving for 24 years now.
“I miss reporting kaya natuwa rin ako nung inilagay pa rin ako para pangalagaan ang PTV,” Rocky said. “Gusto kong makakita ng improvement sa government media, not only PTV. Mandate namin to inform the public properly.” (Baka pwede ako maginform sa public!)
We asked Rocky for her thoughts on how to make it in the field of broadcast news.
“Be professional. Love your job. Be grateful in informing the public. Konti lang ang nabibigyan ng pagkakataong gumawa nun. Konti lang tayo sa industry.” (Sama ako para makadagdag!)