Tagbilaran, Thursday, 20 November 2008
Something exciting is brewing in the air these days, and radio listeners are hearing the reports of seasoned broadcaster Chito Visarra over station dyRD.
He's not carrying media IDs; instead we find, as he fishes them out, Nokia cell phone and his Asus laptop to keep him abreast on what's happening in Bohol and the world.
That's because as an anchor, work is never done.
In the middle of the exchange, he receives the story lineup for tomorrow's prime time program.
The no-nonsense journalist takes his job seriously, that's clear. It's no joke being in charge of five programs on dyRD (Inyong Alagad (Monday to Thursday), 7:30 a.m.- 9:00 a.m.; Ok Ba Doc? (Monday to Friday), 2:30 p.m- 3:00 p.m.; dyRD Action Line (every Wednesday), 3:15 p.m.- 4:15 a.m.; Radyo Merkado (every Saturday), 7:00 a.m.- 10:00 a.m.; Takna sa Bohol Light and Bohol Water (weekdays), 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.) handling them with sobriety and equilibrium and touting him the busiest radio personality in Bohol!
"And there's one more program hopefully," he gasps. He will handle a new program about the controversial reproductive health.
The opportunity to anchor the programs couldn't have come at a better time for Chito who, until a few years ago, had felt his career had reached a plateau.
He admits that, as an anchor, he tends to be too hands-on, "researching and anchoring."
More important, despite the crushing deadlines and hectic schedule of journalism, his surrogate daughter never missed his presence.
Chito never ceases to remind the up-and-coming wards to hold on the integrity and credibility. "We can discuss current issues practically under the sun... it's my responsibility to inform them," he says.
He came from a clan of politician (remember Congressman Genaro Visarra?) and, as early as now, there're people who are pushing him to run for councilor in 2010. The dyRD people only had one concern; they asked Chito straight, "Are you going to run for public office?" They don't want it used for political motives." To which he earnestly answered, "No!"
"I never entertained running for public office. You can serve the people according to what God has given to you," he quips.
And how about his love life? Chito is an eligible bachelor, think of it girls.
Not one to turn down a request for help if he can help it, Chito also agreed to a short ten-minute interview ---while he's rushing for his next assignment.
Name: Joseto Mendoza Visarra
Birthday: Feb. 1, 1952
Birth Place: Tagbilaran City
Claim to fame: Never thought about it. Feel very comfortable working behind the scenes than basking under the glory of fame.
Unforgettable moment: Forgot about it
Chito's hit list:
His most treasured item is: Never really considered material things to be treasured. All things beyond valuation such as friendship, loyalty, love - all things beyond measured.
Q & A
On the spot:
How hectic is your life, exactly? I'm really slowing down. Trying to pace myself. Laid back nalang. I've been through it all. So what is there to chase.
How do you choose stories to be aired? As long as it involves public interest - it's worth airing.
How do you keep "Ok Ba Doc?" not boring? Go back to basics. Do away with the medical gobbledygook. I ask questions like a layman. Veer away from the lecture type. Level with your listening audience. Hope I'm succeeding.
What time does your day start? At the crack of dawn. Your third peetime. ha! ha!
How much time do you have for yourself? Not much. More time with my nephews & nieces, friends and my surrogate family.
What do you do to unwind? Read, music and nature. I hate Tagbilaran because I love small towns and barangays away from the madding crowd.
How much air time do you allot to police stories? Never though about that. Police women siguro!
Your tagline is: Never wanted to be tagged.
Have you ever wanted to be a reporter? Leave it to Danny Reyes and Willie Magistrado.
What do you like most about the work you do? Sharing what little I know with the listening public.
What are the stories you've done that you find most fulfilling? My common threads are those that ignite vigorous public discussion.
As an anchor-reporter, how do you make sure that you're up to speed on your job? Research, research, research, research.
Where do you want to go from here? Nowhere. Just trying to perfect my craft and share whatever I have.
What advice would you want to give young broadcast students who want to reach your level of success? You're giving me more than I deserve. I've just been in this for three years. My advice "it's the content that matters not your voice. So do your homework."
What was your favorite beat as an anchor? Never had a beat... Went straight into anchoring with Batchoy Alba and Fred Amora.
Who was your mentor? Our GM Peter Dejaresco.
What do you watch on TV, presuming you still have the time? Of course, National Geographic, Discovery, Pat O'Reilly & a lot of ANC. There are lots of good shows but I'm early to bed.
Do you dream about your job? Wet dreams and nightmares Ha ha ha!
Do you feel like a celebrity? No way.
What is your biggest frustration/regret? Just wondering if I could have been a good priest. Stayed in the seminary for for years.
What do you value most? Loyalty and honesty.
What do you want to achieve? I'll think about it when I grow up.
Chubby celebrates "her" birthday with a charity.
Leo P. Udtohan
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