i dread covering the san juan fiesta. getting drenched at the start of a working day with possibly unclean water isn't really that exciting for me. so when i was assigned to cover the event yesterday, i was surprised to note that i felt a little excitement. it was my first time to cover it. and i went prepared. i brought along a change of clothes, even undies. i wore my good old rubber slippers and brought along a pair of sandals.
while on standby for unang balita, several people from the crowd aimed their water guns at me. sabi ko, "mamaya nyo na ko basain. baka makuryente ako." haller! ang dami kayang wires at plugs na nakapaligid sa kin non.
so after my live, i hied off with my crew to one of the firetrucks - the one which mayor jv ejercito will ride for their parada. after my interview, it was free for all. good thing a fireman lent me his hat. it somehow protected my head from getting wet. but not my back, which was the target of a man whose watergun was filled with ice water.
so my crew proceeded to shoot...
and we prepared to do my standupper. my cameraman positions his tripod where we could easily get a wide shot of the crowd being sprayed with water by a firetruck. as i was walking to him, several "lalaki" (i won't call them guys. they're not cute enough. i won't call them men. they're not mature enough.) started to gather around me. i kept my head down, with my arms in front of my chest and face - hoping to protect myself from getting drenched before i even do my standupper. then it all happened so fast. someone put his arm around me, his fingers digging into my arm. i felt several hands pinching my butt. they weren't accidental caresses. they were deliberate pinches. several people stepped on my slipper and i almost fell. i tried to break from the crowd but couldn't. kuyog ang tawag dito. finally, i got to my cameraman and told him what happened. he faced the crowd and angrily told them not to touch me. "mga pare, wala namang bastusan. puwede nyong basain pero wag nyong hahawakan. bawal hawakan ang reporter."
i told the crowd to go back to where they were - beside the firetruck. no one moved. in fact, they moved even closer to me and my team. several policemen came and pushed the people away. but after the people took just one step back, they left.
so i do my standupper...
as soon as i said the last word, everyone closed in on me and poured water on me again. ok lang yun. but then, people started grasping at me again, someone held me in a tight embrace, i felt 2 hands just under my boobs. i pushed them away. it took a lot of effort but i was able to break free. some of the mothers in the crowd probably saw the look on my face - a mixture of anger and helplessness which was caught on camera but which we didn't air - and apologized for the crowd. "ok lang ho na basain nila ko. pero kanina pa nila ko hinahawakan e."
and so ends another coverage. what people saw on tv was the "fun" part of the celebrations. only reporters, their teams and our newsdesks know of the "other side" of the story - the more interesting side that usually doesn't air.
PS did i mention we were right in front of the munisipyo when all these happened?