Queen Bee

19th March, 2015. 10:39pm

NaBloPoMo, Thursday, March 19, 2015

Talk about your favourite woman journalist either from print media or television. Why do you respond to the way she tells a story?

When I was in college, my Intro to Journalism professor once asked us whether getting paid under the table is acceptable or not, or if receiving gift is ethical. The class’ answers were mixed, but this was what my professor told us (*that I can remember, at least): It’s okay to receive something that was given to you (ie; money or gifts that you didn’t ask, but was willfully given to you) as long as you keep your morals intact. Especially with those who are working for the newspaper, presenting people with the truth is very important. In line with this, one of the journalists that I admire was surprisingly not from the newsroom, but from the magazine. I chose this woman not only because I know her personally, but because I’ve always admired her writing, style, and how she handled the magazine when she was the editor-in-chief.

I know I can choose any famous journalists out there, as there are so many of them, but it wouldn’t feel genuine, now, would it? Besides, I have a new tale to share regarding this one.

Yes, I’m talking about Pierra Calasanz-Labrador.

She was the Editor-in-Chief when I worked for MEG as an intern. Even before I was given the chance to work for the magazine, I’ve already admired her writings. She was the one who taught me to give personal spins on the articles I wrote, and made me realized how much I love to write.

I always used to look forward to MEG’s The Word + Sneak Peek page (aka Editorial). I didn’t know why at the time, but now I know. Pierra gives insightful preview of what to expect in every issue, and with every editorial she writes, she always pour a bit of herself in the story. It was with her that I learned it’s never a crime to show some personality in what you write. It’s a skill that not all journalists or writers can achieve, but Pierra does it so well.

One of the reasons why I admire her so much was how she (and then Managing Editor, Mabel David-Pilar) managed MEG. They welcome bold topics that must be addressed, even fighting it out with the higher-ups with the best and modest way they can. That being said, they also always make sure that if they allow sensitive topics be written on the magazine, it will be done in a way that no one will get offended.

Which is why I cried when she left MEG. I think I even called her or sent a text, and now that I think about it, maybe I shouldn’t have (called or texted); it was embarrassing!

I’m not as dedicated a reader to the magazine anymore as I was back when Pierra and the other former editors I know were still there, but it was a chapter in my life that played a huge part of me that helped shaped who I am now as a writer.

At the moment, Pierra has a weekly column on Manila Bulletin, one of the top  broadsheet newspapers here in Manila, called “Fifi’s Finds.” It’s a shopping column that can be found at Manila Bulletin’s Fashion section where she shares fab fashion finds every week. She may have found a new adventure with Fifi’s Finds right now, but to me, she will always be MEG’s number one Queen Bee, and the more I read anything she writes, the more I realize I kind of want to be like her someday.





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