scene 1: malacanang where cabinet members hold a presscon; cut to hotel rembrandt where admin congressmen also hold their own presscon
script: "we express our full support for the presidency of gloria macapagal-arroyo."
you gotta hand it to the pgma loyalists for sticking it out with her despite the increasingly deafening calls for her to resign. but i'm still hesitant to give them a salute for standing by the president despite the pressures to jump ship. why? because we can't ignore the possibility that they are merely protecting their own interests or they have other motivations for doing so. the motivations of some are very clear - chiz escudero raised it in one of the wiretap hearings. (if you didn't catch it, you won't get it from me.)
scene 2: kalayaan hall grounds in malacanang where media people are staking out; presidential "hagads" getting ready to move
our cameramen and photographers line up to take shots of the "hagads". but as more media people appear outside the kalayaan hall, the hagads make a u-turn and retreat behind the gates just outside the presidential residence. so we move to gate 2, near freedom park.
after several minutes of trying to steal footages thru the closed gates, the presidential convoy starts to move. my boss calls me - a usec confirms the president has left the palace to attend a lakas meeting in quezon city. we follow the convoy. several lakas stalwarts like fvr and jdv and other lakas congressmen join the convoy. media vehicles, as usual, are relegated to the tail end. our vehicles stop just outside the philippine heart center. the presidential car has stopped right at the sulo hotel entrance. what else is there for us to do but run and try to catch the president while she's still at the lobby. so we run. my 2-inch heel sandals slow me down a bit. (my assignment for the day didn't include covering the president. it was a last minute thing. and having been taken out of malacanang in january to do special reports - a move up, if you ask any reporter - i thought the days of literally running after the president was already buried in my past.)
i get to the hotel lobby while the president is greeting the guests in the dining area. i push my way thru the psg's and other guests, all the while holding my phone to my ear, ready to report live via phonepatch. ivan mayrina intros my report as we make our way to one of the rooms in the basement where the lakas meeting is to be held. still panting, haven't caught my breath yet. i report in between gasps for air.
pgma goes to the front, with fvr and jdv beside her. they do a thumbs up. cameras roll. other lakas members are called for another photo opportunity. these are the same people that visited her in the palace a few minutes before. and these are basically the same scenes. then in less than a minute, the president is out of the room. end of coverage.
we follow the convoy. it goes round the quezon city circle. hmmm... where are the blinkers? no blinkers, no psg vehicles. we find out too late that we've been following a decoy.
we try to make our way to edsa... then to quezon avenue... then to araneta avenue... all the while, cutting in front of other vehicles and ignoring traffic signs just to catch up with the presidential convoy. 15 minutes away from malacanang, we find out that the president is already inside the palace. no use in continuing on. we turn back and head for the office.
so ends another fat-reducing, dehydrating, headache-inducing, potentially dangerous and stressful coverage of the president. we sacrifice life, limb and equipment. for what? for a one-minute photo opportunity of the president doing fvr's signature thumbs up just so she could show the country that all is well - on the surface.