BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Saturday, October 7, 2006

The Departed, Dan and Hazel

Mother was raving about the latest Scorcese film, The Departed, so I asked a friend to watch the movie with me.

He, however, begged off because he needed to be at work today. Something happened, he said. Broadcast journalist Dan Campilan of GMA-7 had been killed in a car accident. I didn't immediately remember who he was although I knew the name. Still, it was painful to hear the news.

Wasn't it just recently when all three members of a television news crew died of a vehicular accident?

It's sad. It's very painful to hear of such news. I don't know Dan personally but I've bumped into him many times in various press events. He was young and he seemed energetic.

But I knew Hazel and Maeng, two of the ABC-5 crew members who died last August in a car accident on the way back to Manila from a coverage in Bicol. Hazel struck me as a hardworking, sincere and passionate, veteran journalist.

She was unlike many who had egos bigger than themselves, they who taught they were as big as the giant media outfits they worked for. She offered me a ride once, after a coverage in the heart of Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Maeng and I also exchanged jokes whenever we bumped into each other during press events. I would always remind him to include me in the cut-away shot.

It's sad to hear of colleagues depart to another place, another time, another world, another universe. It's sad because I know how much they would have loved to continue their own exciting rides on this roller-coaster called Philippine journalism. More importantly, I know just how much they would have wanted to continue spending more time with their loved ones.

But as my Slovak friend likes to say, such is life. Every moment is borrowed time.