By MANILA BULLETIN LIFESTYLE
Krizette Chu: So let’s get this out of the way first. A lot of people are under the impression that Lifestyle writers have the best jobs—and we’re here to prove them right. What’s the best experience you’ve ever had in this job? The younger generation can start.
Kristofer Purnell: I got to meet and interview David Beckham, who was my role model growing up in more ways than one. I don’t think any other experience will be able to top that for quite a while.
Jules Vivas: Two comes to mind so far. My eye-opening first trip to Iloilo, and my recent travel to North Luzon, where I got to go spelunking, museum and church hopping, rode a sand dune truck, met with various indigenous people, stayed at haunted hotels, befriended other locals as well as travelers, and discovered a little bit of myself.
Vianca Gamboa: I found my South Korea trip a dream and I was able to visit its top hospitals and see how advanced the country’s healthcare system is—a little something different from the usual itineraries.
Paola Navarette: Sitting down and chatting with Kristina Karlsson, the founder of Swedish stationery brand Kikki K. We talked about the power of dreaming, the challenge of navigating people who may not support your dream, and the grit that is required to do the work, even if obstacles come your way. After this conversation with Kristina, I started writing down my dreams. And while I’ve known this for many years, there really is power in letting go of what we think we can do and embracing the potential that anything can happen.
Jessica Pag-iwayan: When I was given a chance to have a one-on-one interview with Nadine Lustre. On that particular assignment, I saw the real Nadine. We talked about life’s challenges, depression, and even her love life. It gave me an opportunity to show that celebrities and ordinary people have a lot in common.
Monica Araneta Tiosejo: Producing online content featuring presidential son and current Davao vice mayor Sebastian Duterte. It was also my first viral video with 3.2 million views. No talk of politics, just food. And he was so game. You can connect the whole world if you can connect people’s stomachs.
Dominic Galeon: Meeting National Artists.
Kerry Tinga: Nothing can beat seeing my name printed in the byline for the first time. A close second, however, would be the recent experience of interviewing Mayor Isko Moreno for the Philippine Panorama. Looking back at the interview, I think part of me was nervous because of my family’s background with politics. While I remembered seeing a lot of that world while my father was in office, it was through the eyes of a grade school student. When we got to Manila City Hall, and Mayor Isko said some very kind comments about my father, I got nervous thinking that as my father’s daughter I might be expected to conduct an interview that reflected that upbringing. Astute questioning about the state of the nation? Hard hitting comments that only I would be able to make? What were they going to expect? After the experience of conducting the interviewing, doing the research, and writing the piece, I realized it was silly of me to think that it would be any different because of the subject or because of me. We are all journalists with the duty and honor of telling the newsworthy stories.
Angela Casco: Visiting Japan, one of my dream travel destinations, is by far the best work-related experience I’ve had. Though it only lasted three days, I was able to explore cities like Osaka and Kyoto.
John Legaspi: The best experience so far is meeting my fashion heroes and seeing their work up close. My favorite would be Michael Cinco’s preview of his “Impalpable Dream of Swan Lake.” It was my first time to see his couture collection.
Krizette: What about those of us who’ve been doing this a long time? What holds us in thrall? I’ll start. In a career full of highlights, one of the highlights would be being sent to Leyte, my home province, to trail Pope Francis when he visited post Yolanda in 2014. It was a homecoming for me and a spiritual journey of sorts. Plus, with limited resources in a place still reeling from the tragedy, I had to be very resourceful. So it tested me on many different levels not just as an editor but also as a Leyteña, a Catholic, and a reporter on the ground, which I haven’t been in a long, long while.
Jane Kingsu Cheng: Mounting an almost a full-day interview with some of the new breed of leaders—Manila Mayor Isko Domagoso, San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora, and Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Sotto. This gave in different media platforms in one day! It’s always heartwarming to know that we’re making a difference with the stories we churn out.
Rey: My Manila Bulletin experience gave birth to Garage Magazine. From mounting the annual Street Dapper Kings event to covering fashion weeks, The Manila Bulletin allowed me to champion menswear in the country.
Johannes: Feedback from readers. In my 21 years with The Manila Bulletin, I have written some articles that have made a difference in the life of someone. I remember an architect who i interviewed for an article getting new projects, a shop expanding its business because it was featured, or a place getting more visitors because its offerings were highlighted. There is power in words that can change lives and uplift the spirits of our fellowmen.
AA: As a student, even before I needed a job, I liked to look at the Classifieds because to me then it was pages full of possibilities, especially the ones under “Advertising” where all the dream agencies, from McCann Erickson to J. Walter Thompson, would post call-outs for writers, artists, creatives… I didn’t know then that I was, in fact, looking at my future. Today is our 120th. How did you find The Manila Bulletin or how did The Manila Bulletin find you?
Krizette: My parents had a store,so we recycled our old Bulletin newspapers into wrapper for the nails, and other hardware items. As a kid of five or six, I’d get the cartoons page from the heap and read them. Made me love words and illustrations, and now I’m part of the process.
Jane: My parents love to read, and I inherited that habit of reading and flipping through all the pages of The Manila Bulletin. It started out with the comics page and as I grew up, my favorite pages shifted to stories from the Lifestyle section, inspiring readers like me to reach for their dreams. And here I am now, part of this prestigious organization, continuing its legacy of empowering Filipinos all over the world.
Dominic Galeon: When I was younger, the only newspaper in the house was The Manila Bulletin. I didn’t really read the weekday and Saturday issues but the Sunday ones I used to get. We would always pick up a copy after Mass and I wanted first dibs so I could take the pages with the comic strips—and there were three or four pages of those, I think—and then I would leave the rest of the paper with my dad.
Monica: Jayvee Fernandez asked me to join the company over some ramen at Mendokoro Ramenba. It was my first time there, and a first of many memorable meals worth writing about for The Manila Bulletin.
Shennah Romanillos: I was asleep, and my mom threw a newspaper at me and told me to find a job. No kidding.
Jessica: My mentor, Chelo Banal Formoso, told me that she was once part of Panorama team together with the late Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc. Their leadership, passion, and generosity as mentors inspired me to join the company that once honed them to be true journalists.
Vianca: I grew up “stealing” Panorama from my lola’s Sunday paper. I would usually just flip through the pages to look at visuals and gloss over every word (I was young, I couldn’t help it, and I was addicted to the smell), and that became a hobby every week. What I would really read then were the entertainment sections and comics.
Among other things, as a kid, I really looked forward reading the comic strips of The Manila Bulletin. My grandma used to save them for me so I could answer crossword puzzles and read the latest comic strip.
Paola: Among other things, as a kid, I really looked forward reading the comic strips of The Manila Bulletin. My grandma used to save them for me so I could answer crossword puzzles and read the latest comic strip.
Rey: I remember looking for a pet dog but I didn’t want to head to just any pet store. I wanted to find a really good chow chow breeder so I turned to the classifieds of Manila Bulletin. One dog lead to another and that’s where I met my three loves: Ikaika, Kekoa, and Kealoha.
John Legaspi: For me, it was during me last days as a college student. We have a ferry station near our campus that could take you to Malacañang and Escolta for ₧60. We went to Manila Cathedral, then the Presidential Walk, and to Puerta de Isabel and Intramuros wall, which led us to The Manila Bulletin office.
Kerry Tinga: Growing up, during the weekends or summer when I didn’t have school, I would go over to my grandfather’s house and have breakfast with him. He enjoyed reading the Manila Bulletin, and when he reads he is very serious and only focuses on reading. Bored, and wanting to act as mature as him, I ended up picking up whatever sections he wasn’t reading. As they say, fake it till you make it, and I eventually ended up enjoying reading newspapers on and offline, and now am writing for Bulletin as well. Hope you see this, Daddy (which is what we call him).
Jules: I guess it was also timing that brought me to Bulletin. One of my college friends previously employed in MB invited me to apply for a position that opened. I had a background in writing anyway so I applied, and the rest is history.
Angela: My dad would always come back home from the fresh market with his hands full of bags containing what would be food for the day and a copy of The Manila Bulletin tucked in either his left or right underarm. Reading the newspaper while enjoying a cup of coffee—hot chocolate, in my case—was normal. This developed my interest in media work. It eventually led to my involvement in campus journalism in grade school to college, and later, my decision to apply to and work for the broadsheet.
Kristoffer: For some reason, we would always get The Manila Bulletin every Sunday but not any other day. When I was younger I would only read the comics, then as I grew up I would also check the Entertainment section for movie screenings, until eventually I would read if there was a story that caught my eye. And to be completely honest, while I was applying for a job, Bulletin was the only company that replied to me.
Krizette: Now that you’re with MB, what do you wish to bring to the company? What do you want to be your contribution to its storied legacy?
For me, this is a huge, huge responsibility and privilege I don’t take lightly. We here are all pieces to a puzzle that will make up The Manila Bulletin legacy.
Day in and day out there’s our grind—but if we allow ourselves to step back and really, really appreciate the responsibility and power we have in our hands, to curate, push, and highlight certain stories—we may have an inkling about the significance of what we do here.
And I think that’s beautiful LOL.
AA: Lately, we have been championing all things Filipino, from food to fashion, from history to modernism, from art to Philippine destinations. I’ve always been respectful of our quasi-public thrust to tell stories that will uplift our country and countrymen. That is what all our hard work is for.
Jane: Let’s show the world how amazing Filipinos are, one story at a time.
Johannes: The Manila Bulletin is the first newspaper that published my “byline”—a letter to the editor—when I was in Grade 6, giving me a clearer purpose in life to pursue writing stories and look at issues in a different way. That is the same contribution I want to give to MB, to be able to contribute stories that give readers a different perspective, to change them, to inspire them, and to also give them a clearer purpose in life.
Kristofer: As with everything I do, I want to make sure that my contributions have meaning—definitely to me personally, but if I can help a company that has been around for 120 years be around another 120 more then I will try while I still can. As long as there are incredible stories to be told, there will always be a place to tell them.
Dominic: No matter how the times change, people will always look for good stories. I’m happy I somehow have the chance to give them that.
Kerry: I hope to bring a new and fresh perspective in the stories I am lucky enough to tell. I also hope that through the platform of The Manila Bulletin, I am able to encourage other young Filipinos to voice their stories, opinions, and concerns in a considerate, thoughtful, and respectful manner that can contribute to nation building.
John: I want the pages of Fashion and Beauty to be viewed as cultural pages.
Monica: With globalization and the rapid developments in technology, getting food from the source is fast and easy. This is our chance to build our nation and identity through local cuisine. What I want to bring to the table is the realization that recipes and the stories behind them are as necessary for nourishment and survival as food itself.
Jules: While I know for a fact that no media outlet is perfect, I can see from the inside that the people are trying hard to improve the company. Like them, I really want to be a great asset. New Media has a lot of potential. I want to be able to present stories in fun and engaging ways that would further elevate the quality of content MB has to offer.
Paola: I hope to help Manila Bulletin become an even more attractive destination to readers and maintain and strengthen its position in the years ahead.
Rey: I believe Manila Bulletin allows one to find their voice and style in telling stories that can change and move others. Through this weaving of individual stories, I wish to add to the rich fabric of The Manila Bulletin and society.
Angela: I look forward to working on what’s beyond 120 years of The Manila Bulletin, whether that’s boosting its online presence further through content relevant to Filipinos or taking advantage of new storytelling platforms.
Kristelle: Not everybody gets to have a chance to be part of a platform that has touched millions of lives over the course of many generations. And I wish I was able to take advantage of this during my 19 months of tenure in the company. I wish, someway, somewhat, that I have inspired or moved someone through the stories that I have written.
Photographed by Rxandy Capinpin. Styled by Edlene Cabral, Jerico Villamonte, and Yzza Hablado. Makeup by Chiqui Dingcong, Sher Pua, Angie Saul and Monique Manabat of Estee Lauder, Jonel Jacinto of Clinique, Jacob Guatiz of Bobbi Brown. Hair by Jessa Manalo, Ma leen Manubay, Rochelle Cababay, and Monique Mata of Nix Beauty. Photographer’s assistant: Joe Andy. Shot on location at the Presidential Suite of the Manila Hotel. Special thanks to Mr. Marvin Kim Tan, Mr. Chris Orta, and Atty. Joey Lina.