Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Oktubre 18, 2008




Any day is a busy day inside the newsroom.

You’ll see reporters sitting in front of computers typing away their news stories of the day or making quick phone calls to get all their facts straight. Journalists can be total snobs when they’re trying to turn in their stories on time.

But in the last few weeks, quite a number of lady reporters seem to be always smiling, clutching thick books and giggling like teenagers.

And it’s all because of a book – the “Twilight” by author Stephenie Meyer.

Twilight is a book for hopeless romantics. It’s the kind that you read slowly because you want to memorize and savor the lines between the main characters, with the hope of putting them to good use someday with your boyfriend or husband.

The story is told in the eyes of Bella, a 17-year-old high school student who fell in love with Edward, a gorgeous vampire who’ll forever be seventeen. But Bella’s blood has a distinct smell that particularly appeals to Edward and he has to constantly fight the urge to drink her blood.

However, the love that developed between them is so strong that they’re willing to give up their lives for each other.

Mariz Umali, news anchor and reporter, is one of the so-called “twilighters” in the newsroom. “It’s (Twilight) so addicting! It gets into your system that it eventually becomes a part of you. All the Edward-Bella thing! It makes you so hopeful that there really is a true romantic and perfect love meant for you. At sana si Edward Cullen yun! I can’t leave my house without my book even if I’m done reading all of them,” she said.

Another reporter, Lei Alviz, said: “It made me feel giddy, excited, hurt, enraged and irrevocably in love. How can a vampire be so hot?!”

Meyer’s writing style is refreshing, relaxing, youthful, witty and sexy.

Who wouldn’t hyperventilate while reading of Edward and Bella’s first date?

Here’s an excerpt: “Slowly never moving his eyes on mine, he leaned toward me. Then abruptly, but very gently, he rested his cold cheek against the hollow base of my throat…With deliberate slowness, his hands slid down to the sides of my neck. I shivered, and I heard him catch his breath….His face drifted to the side, his nose skimming across my collarbone. He came to rest with the side of his face pressed tenderly against my chest. Listening to my heart.”

Ah, the glory of first love!

The story is often compared to the Harry Potter series but instead of magic and wizards, it tells you about vampires with supernatural abilities and debunks beliefs that they’re nocturnal creatures that sleep in coffins and can only survive on human blood.

For Twilight fans, the comparison may be due to the fact that Edward and Bella fought for their love as fiercely as Harry fought Voldemort.

Similar to the Harry Potter series, the Twilight mystique extends to three more books: New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

Lyn Ching, one of the hosts of Unang Hirit, shares an interesting observation about Harry Potter and Twilight. “They’re both beautifully written but I think there’s a wall between the reader and Harry. With Twilight, you identify yourself with Bella and wish that Edward Cullen is our boyfriend. He’s everything you want your boyfriend to be.”

Aside from the book itself, you’ll enjoy the experience of reading it. It’s definitely good for girl bonding!

We can talk for hours about our favorite lines from the book. We also share every bit of information about the movie “Twilight” which will be shown worldwide on November 21.

I was first introduced to the book by Lyn. She’s also responsible for the “conversion” of news anchors/ reporters Pia Archangel and Mariz Umali. Eventually our enthusiasm rubbed off on TV host and reporter Maki Pulido and reporters Lei Alviz and Aubrey Carampel.

“I will keep the Twilight series in my personal library forever because I always want to read them over and over,” Lyn, a book lover and collector, told me.

I can understand why we all fell for the book. It makes us forget about corrupt politicians and gruesome crimes that are very much part of the daily news. It’s an escape from the worries of everyday life.

It is the book you read at the end of a tiring work day, curled up in your bed while waiting for sleep to claim you.

It’s a book a mother and her teenage daughter can share. A story about a vampire with a conscience should pass the censorship standards of moms.

One word of caution though, the physical connection between Bella and Edward heats up as you go from book one to book four.
Another word of caution – once you start reading the book, it will be difficult to put it down! The magic of the book stays with you long after you’re done reading. It brings smile and warms the heart…like the unfading memory of your first love.

Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Enero 4, 2009

Young Wood Collectors

Young Wood Collectors

Young Wood Collectors

Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Enero 4, 2009

A documentary by Sandra Aguinaldo

“Child Wood Collectors”

Airing :January 5, 2009

They scour the streets daily, riding their “pedicab” to find scraps of wood they could still sell. They endure the heat of the sun and carry the weight of the collected wood just to earn enough money to bring home to their families.

Sandra Aguinaldo follows the lives of these child wood collectors and tries collecting scraps of wood in her first I-Witness documentary for 2009.

13-year old Benjie has been collecting wood scraps for five years. Benjie doesn’t mind the heavy workload, because finding these pieces of wood gives him the money to provide for his mother and four siblings. He says his body has become accustomed to the daily grind of waking up early and combing the streets of Manila for morsels of lumber.

For siblings Jessie and Jordan, finding and selling wood is their only means for survival. The two minors are homeless and depend only on their earnings to pay for their growing debt in the carinderia where they buy their food daily.

The difficult yet hopeful lives of these kids unfold this Monday in Sandra Aguinaldo’s I-Witness, airing this January 3, Monday midnight, after the late night newscast Saksi

Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Oktubre 5, 2007

Desperate Housewives

Una, hindi ako nanonood ng Desperate Hosuewives bagamat narinig ko sa ilang kaibigan na nakakatuwa naman ang palabas na ito.

Pangalawa, dahil lahat na yata ng tao ay may opinyon tungkol sa racial slur sa palabas na Desperate Housewives, naisip kong makisali sa usapin.

Nakatutuwa ngang panoorin yung isang Congressman sa TV. Sa kagustuhang maka-ride sa isyu, binatikos ang artistang tinawag nyang “Terri Tatcher”.

Sa palagay ko, hindi talaga makatarungan na pagdudahan ng naturang palabas ang kakayanan ng mga doktor na nagtapos sa Pilipinas.

May magagaling na medical schools sa Pilipinas. Yun nga lang, wala na yatang nag-aaral dahil lahat nursing na ang kurso!

Magaling din ang mga doktor na pinoy. Yun mga doktor nga sa malalayo at mahihirap na probinsya, nakakapagpagaling pa kahit kulang sa pasilidad ang maraming ospital sa bansa.

Sa Amerika, nakasama ko ng ilang araw yung mga pinoy na doktor na naging nurse. Nakita ko na minsan, hindi na nga nila trabaho ginagawa pa. Pasensyoso sila sa mga pasyente at laging naka-duty kahit holiday (pandagdag din kasi sa padala sa pamilya sa Pilipinas at pambili ng mga bagay na ilalagay sa balik-bayan box).

Meron din namang naniniwalang tama naman ang impormasyon sa Desperate Housewives. Masakit lang daw talagang marinig ang katotohanan.

Sa isang banda naman, may pagka-racist din ang ilang pinoy. Alam yan ng mga “Bumbay” (tawag natin sa mga Indian nationals) at mga “intsik”. Ano na nga ba yung sinabi ng isang senador?

Minsan nga tinatabla natin pati kapwa Pilipino. Magsalita kayo, mga Bisaya!

Tingin ko, mas nakakabahala na meron palang pagtingin na ganun sa ating mga doktor ang ilang dayuhan. Totoo man ito o hindi, ang mas mahalagang tanong bakit ganun ang tingin nila sa atin?

Ayos lang na magalit, pero lawakan din natin ang ating pananaw.

Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Oktubre 5, 2007

Kind Hearts

           Mahirap ang buhay ngayon. I always hear these words from colleagues, friends, relatives and people I meet while filming documentaries. That’s why it never fails to amaze me how some people can still be so caring and generous to others.  

            Last Monday, I-Witness featured “Nanay na si Nene”, a documentary on teenage pregnancy in the Philippines.

In a squatter community in Navotas, I met Emelyn, a 13-year old girl who gave birth to twins five months ago. Her live-in partner JR is only 17 years old and a second year high school student.

Being a minor, JR can’t find a job so earns a living by making pot holders. If he’s lucky, JR earns P60 a day but it’s never enough. A small pack of milk for the twins costs P63. So everyday is a struggle since the babies consume a pack of milk in less than 24 hours.

            In the absence of milk, Emelyn feeds her babies with water with a bit of sugar in it. 

            Nariyan na yan. I heard this line several times while filming that documentary. It indicates surrender as well as resolve to carry on “dahil nariyan na yan”.

            Eight percent of pregnant women in the Philippines are minors.

While Emelyn and JR regret starting a family this early, they can’t take back the hands of time. The viewers recognize this and some of them called us up to offer help.

 My executive producer and my director bought milk and clothes for the babies. A famous entertainment writer promised to give his donation personally to the couple. A reporter from Philippine Star as well as a friend of Pia Archanghel also volunteered to help.

            Those who also want to donate may go directly to the couple’s house at 64-D Lt. Santiago de Galicia Street, Barangay Bangkulasi, Navotas City. For directions, you may call Marvin, who works with Zone One Organization (a non-government organization). His mobile number is 0910-5490202.

            It really feels good to know that the babies will not go hungry for weeks or even months! Thanks to people with kind hearts!


Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Setyembre 28, 2007

“Nanay na si nNene”

(Tween Moms)
Sandra Aguinaldo’s I-Witness Documentary
Airing Monday: October 1, 2007

How can you care for a baby, if you yourself are still a child?

Teen mothers in the Philippines have never been unusual. But if decades ago, most teenage mothers were 16 or 17 years old … they are now getting pregnant as early as 12 or 13.

This Monday, I-Witness’ Sandra Aguinaldo meets very young mothers and mothers-to-be, and learns the difficulties they face having children at their age.

At 13, Lealyn — not her real name — bears two very big responsibilities. Lealyn gave birth just five months ago to twins! She and her 17-year-old partner search for ways everyday to buy milk for their daughters, But more often than not, their babies’ bottles are filled only with water and sugar.

Belinda is 14 years old and five months pregnant. At her age, the girl can barely grasp the responsibilities that come with having a child. She has not visited an OB-Gyne or received any pre-natal care during her pregnancy.

Critics blame the lack of available information about sex and reproductive health for these early pregnancies. In most classrooms, teachers only go as far as teaching students about the various parts of the anatomy, as well as menstruation, and circumcision. But sex itself is not discussed.

Meet these young moms in “Nanay na si Nene”, a documentary by Sandra Aguinaldo for I-Witness, this Monday late night over GMA-7.

I-Witness ni Sandra Aguinaldo
Ngayong Lunes: October 1, 2007

Paano mo aalagaan ang isang sanggol, kung ikaw mismo ay isa ring paslit?

Sa panahon ngayon, marami na ang batang mula edad dose hanggang katorse na nabubuntis!

Sa dokumentaryo ni Sandra Aguinaldo para sa I-Witness ngayong Lunes, makikilala niya ang mga batang batang ina at malapit nang maging ina.

Trese anyos pa lang si Lealyn pero dalawang malaking responsibilidad na ang kanyang dala-dala. Mayroon siyang kambal. Kasama ang asawang disisyete anyos pa lang, magkasama nilang binubuno ang pambili ng gatas ng mga bata. Pero dahil hindi pa handang maghanapbuhay, kadalasan, tubig lang na may asukal ang iniinom ng kambal.

Makikilala rin ni Sandra si Belinda, na sa edad na katorse ay limang buwan nang nagdadalantao. Walang kamuwang-muwang ang dalagita sa mga paghahandang dapat niyang ginagawa para sa panganganak. Ni minsan, hindi siya nakapagpa-check up sa OB-Gyne.

Kilalanin ang mga musmos na ina sa “Nanay na si Nene,” doumentaryo ni Sandra Aguinaldo sa I-Witness ngayong Lunes ng hatinggabi pagkatapos ng Saksi, Liga ng Katotohanan.

Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Setyembre 24, 2007

sunset (1996)

when at last

your sun had set

to a place too far to reach

i smile.

this goodbye paints

the sky of my memory

that knows no day or night

but this

when i behold you


Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Setyembre 14, 2007

ako, si erap at ang kasaysayan

Bahagi na ng kasaysayan ang guilty verdict ng sandiganbayan kay dating pangulong joseph estrada.

Dahil ako ang naitalaga ng aming istasyon na mag-cover sa loob ng court room, siyempre pa, naghanda ako nang husto gaya ng isang sundalong naghahanda sa giyera.

Gabi pa lang inihanda ko na ang aking isusuot. Siniguro kong walang kahulugan ang kulay sa kaso ng dating pangulo.

May nagsabi kasing kapag orange, kulay ito ni erap at baka magmukhang pro-erap ka. Pag itim naman, baka magmukhang ikaw ay nakikiluksa kung “guilty” ang hatol kay erap. Kaya, nagsoot ako ng kulay dilaw.

Siguro naman walang political statement ang dilaw dahil wala namang kinalaman si Tita Cory sa kaso. Siniguro ko ring komportable ang sapatos ko at hindi masyadong mataas ang takong sakaling kailanganin kong tumakbo.

Inilabas ko ang malaki kong bag para lahat ng gamit ko nandun na at mabilis akong makakakilos. Marami rin itong secret pocket kasi bawal daw magpasok ang mga reporter ng cellphone na may camera sa loob ng court room.

Ang iba pang laman ng aking bag ay notebook, limang ballpen, research materials tungkol sa kaso, makeup, candy (sakaling antukin ako o kaya’y magutom sa loob), sandwhich (dahil sa ganitong coverage hindi sigurado kung kailan ka kakain), bottled water ( na hindi pinayagan sa loob dahil baka daw magamit itong pambato kapag nagkagulo) .

Natulog ako ng 11pm at gumising ng 2:30 am kinabukasan. Ang calltime kasi namin sa coverage at 3am para makapuwesto kami nang maaga sa loob.

Maliit lang ang court room at sa tantsa ko ay 142 ang seating capacity nito (hindi kasama ang upuan ng mga abugado ng magkabilang panig).

Napuno ito dahil sa dami ng media at marami ring bisita si Erap.

Kasama ko sa loob ang isa pa naming reporter na si Joseph Morong na magaling din mag-sketch. Dahil bawal ang camera ng mga media networks sa loob ng Sandiganbayan, meron kaming dalawang sketch artist na kinuha para lang maiguhit ang lahat ng nangyayari sa loob.

Sa labas ng court room, nakapuwesto si Ivan Mayrina at Alex Tinsay. Si Tina Panganiban-Perez at Ruth Cabal sa labas ng Sandiganbayan.

Nakakalat naman sa ibat ibang panig yung iba pang reporter gaya nina Raffy Tima, Mariz Umali, Cesar Apolinario, Jiggy Manicad at Maki Pulido. Sa dami ng mga reporter na naka-deploy, dito mo makikita na malaki talaga ang istorya.

Nang binasa ang hatol na guilty kay erap, nakita kong tumungo si Jinggoy pero deretso lang ang tingin ni erap. Lumuha naman ang asawang si Loi at mga anak ni Erap na sina Jackie at JV.

Halos 30 minutes lang ang pagbabasa ng hatol dahil hindi na pinabasa ng kampo ni erap ang buong dokumento kung saan nakadetalye ang naging batayan ng mga justices.

Nang papalabas na si Erap sa court room, dito na nagsimula ang karambola ng mga miyembro ng media. Biglang naglabasan ang mga cellphone na may video camera (akala ko ba bawal?).

Una-unahang makalapit kay Erap para makunan ito ng statement. Sa mga nagdaang coverage namin kay Erap lagi kong nalulusutan ang Sandiganbayan security kaya sinubukan ko ulit ang dati kong taktika.

Gaya ng dati, hawak-kamay sila sa magkabilang panig ng dadaanan ni erap. Ipinasok ko ang aking ulo sa ilalim ng magkahawak na kamay ng dalawang secury personnel para makapasok sa cordon pero natunugan nila ang taktika ko kaya idinukdok nila ang kamay nila sa aking batok. Pero dahil malapit na akong magtagumapay, mantakin mong may isang security na sumaklolo at itinulak ako palabas! Hindi ko matanggap na pinagtulungan ako ng tatlong lalaki! Hindi patas ang laban kaya sugod ulit ako!

Tuloy ang pag-abante ng sangkaterbang media. Malapit na kami kay erap kaya inihanda ko na ang video camera ng aking N95 (bawal kasi ang broadcast camera sa loob).

Naramdaman ng mga security na malapit nang mawalan nang saysay ang kanilang paghahawak-kamay. Maya maya pa, narinig ko na may sumigaw ng, “push”!

Sa puntong ito, sabay sabay nagtalsikan ang media at matagumpay na naipasok sa erap sa elevator paakyat sa kanyang holding room para makasama ang kanyang pamilya.

Pero sa labas ng kanyang holding room, na-interview din naman namin ito. Mas kaunti na ang media kaya maayos na nagawa ang panayam kay erap. Sabi nya, sa tingin daw nya ay “pressured” ang mga justices kaya expected na nya ang naging hatol. Plano raw nila na umapela. Sa interview na ito, kasama ko na ang aming cameraman na si Kim na nakalusot sa mga guard ng Sandiganbayan.

Pagkatapos ng interview, nakahinga na ako ng maluwag. Yun kasi ang pinaka importanteng interview sa kaganapan noong araw na iyon. Siyempre, kailangan namang marinig ang reaksyon ng taong nahatulan ng “reclusion perpetua” na pwede makulong hanggang 40 taon.

Doon ko naramdaman ang pagod at nadiskubre na may pasa pala ako sa kanang braso. Ni hindi ko alam kung saan ko nakuha yung pasa.

Pawis na pawis, gulo-gulo ang buhok at humulas na ang makeup. Ganito ang itsura ng reporter na kakagaling lang sa giyera.

Kulang sa tulog, masakit ang katawan pero masaya na naging bahagi ng kasaysayan. (END)

Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Setyembre 9, 2007

boy bastos

I had an interesting news coverage last Friday.


The National Bureau of Investigation’s probe on the porn site boybastos.com brought them to a posh residential area in Ayala Alabang.


They were able to obtain a search warrant from the court and this allowed them to enter the room of the porn site owner. Tawagin na lang natin syang “M”.


Ginising pa ng kanyang mommy si “M” because he was then taking his afternoon nap. Then the NBI agents entered his room, took photos and confiscated his computer.


It was Sen. Loren Legarda who called the attention of the NBI to boybastos.com. Baka daw kasi magamit ito sa trafficking of women o pangangalakal sa kababaihan.


There’s a reason why Legarda is raising the issue of trafficking of women intead of pornography.  


According to the NBI, the law on pornography in the Philippines has yet to be updated to include internet porn. Ang meron sa pilipinas ay batas na nagbabawal sa pangangalakal sa kababaihan at kasama dito ang trafficking sa pamamagitan ng internet.


As I write this, the NBI computer experts must already be dissecting the computer they got from “M” to gather evidence that boybastos was used in trafficking of women. 


Meanwhile, “M” is as free as a bird because the NBI has yet to find a basis to arrest him.


Nang tanungin ko si “M” (he’s 28 years old and jobless), he was firm in saying that he’s not violating any law. “I’m just exercising my freedom of expression,” he said.


Ipinaskil ni: sandraguinaldo | Setyembre 5, 2007

trying to be pregnant

it’s wednesday and im home doing nothing.

i just finished watching oprah, reading a time magazine article on princess diana and a chapter of the book “the purpose driven life”.

hindi pala ako sanay. it felt weird to be home while everybody seems to be making a fuss over the allegedly anomalous zte contract. it felt weird to be home while soldiers and policemen are preparing for the much-awaited promulgation of erap’s case.

so, this is how life is away from the fast lane. this is the life i’m forced to get used to.

the truth is, i’m trying to get pregnant after more than four years of marriage.

the doctor adviced me to take a leave from work for a couple of days after undergoing artificial insemination.

 for a month now, i’ve been working really hard to have a baby. 

around the first week of august, i underwent several tests to guide my ob-gyne in dealing with my problem. my husband went through tests too.

i took a lot of medicines to help me ovulate. naka limang injection din sa akin. masakit ang injection at masakit din sa bulsa!   

then, a series of ultrasound to see if i was ovulating. when the doctor confirmed that i was, she waited for the right timing to conduct the intra-uterine insemination (iui).

 she thought the right timing was last saturday so she did an iui on me.

after my ultrasound yesterday (tuesday), it turned out that it may be a better time to do the iui so i got another one.

that is why i’m home and taking a rest today.

boring? not really, because today is the start of a couple of weeks of waiting if my efforts would pay off!

am i going to have a baby soon? i’ll keep you posted. 


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