After the whole video thing on YouTube and Facebook last month speaking Tagalog—which by the way, I had a Filipino guy at work tell me the other day that he saw me on Youtube—there were a few inquiries for American Tagalog speaking officers to come and be on national radio. Work chose me to be the first to give it a try. So we accepted an offer for an interview at one of the two large radio companies—DZBB, part of a large media group called GMA7.
I told Lady Hiva that I speak Tagalog and use it daily, but what if I don’t understand EVERYTHING that is being said. I will be on LIVE RADIO! No retakes, no rewind, no editing like the video had. REAL TIME! She told me to “Shut up and stop worrying. You’ll be fine” (I guess that was the pep talk! Haha A little bit Amy Chua style don’t you think?—we both just finished reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother) But in a way I WAS worried about it. After all I still have a few people tell me things like, “Oh, you are practicing Tagalog, that is SO sweet” or “Can you just speak English?” YOUCH! But off we went anyway.
I went with one of the Filipino staff that is well connected to the media industry. We drove to the GMA7 headquarters—a large two or three building compound with bustling people everywhere. We entered a back gate labeled “No ID, No entry.” We entered anyway. Everyone just looked at me wearing a suit and let us pass. HMMM…
We were ushered into a large room that smelled of cigarette smoke and full of interns and people rushing in every direction to answer phones or type messages to the radio personalities in the next room. Just like the movies, the rooms were separated by a large panel of windows so you could see in. We were told to enter the room, where four people—one man and three women talking story. Or so I thought. They were welcoming and excited to see me and quickly asked me to sit down. The male host said, in Tagalog, “Did you bring any food?” LOL—welcome to you too! Then one of the female hosts said, “Did you have a pick up line?” I could not decide if that was a trick question or what, so I said “no.” “No food, no jokes—who is this guy!”
|WHAT KIND OF FACE IS THAT????|
Next thing I know I am sitting in the chair reading jokes from the computer screen with them. LIVE—this whole thing was LIVE! I thought we were just talking story! LOL…when I told them that they said, “that is what the red light in front of you means!” DUH!!! Just like the movies, right?!
|You would think I would realize that people on the radio do not SEE my animated hand gestures--HABITS I guess...|
Then joke time was over and I sat down with TV newscaster Susan Enriquez for the next hour we talked and laughed and answered questions about visas. Hopefully my answers made sense…and despite all my worries, I understood ALL the questions, even in rapid fire Tagalog. It was a really fun experience. I enjoyed it, I am glad they gave me the opportunity to do it!
It was fun to see how the staff behind the scenes worked constantly while the talking was happening. Everyone was multitasking to keep the show running smoothly. Computer screens and telephones were constantly going off with some new random piece of information. There were times I was asked a question and I just had to keep talking even though it seemed like nobody in the room was listening. The audience is the radio, the audience is the radio...
I have included a few photos…it was live radio, so there are no sound bytes, but I am sure it was a bit more of my heavily accented Tagalog that we see in the YouTube video.When I got back to work several of the local staff had heard the interview. (Lady Hiva did not listen though...SAD :)) Some had texted me all excited about it. One lady said, "I HEARD YOU! I was in the taxi cab and I HEARD you on the RADIO! I got in and thought, hey I know that voice!" haha!