This is my PIA: 30 for 30 

The agency I work for, Philippine Information Agency, will mark its 30th anniversary on December 24. On this day in 1986, then President Corazon C. Aquino signed Executive Order No. 100 creating PIA. 

I am nine years older than PIA, and I have served this agency for about 18 years. 

9, 18. That’s quite a combo. (Where’s the nearest lotto outlet?) 

I’m bad with numbers but to mark PIA’s 30th, I’d like to do a numbers-based blogging tribute to PIA. In the next days leading up to Dec. 24, I’ll post 30 highlights of my 18  years working for PIA. I have done crazy stupid things in the name of public service, so these highlights will also include my epic bloopers done in the name of public service. 

This is my attempt to show you that public service can be cool, and yes, crazy. People tend to think that government jobs are dead end jobs. That working for the government should be a “last resort” if you cannot make it in the private sector first. 

That might be true for some people, but not for me. It’s been a roller-coaster-ride-during-a-strong-typhoon kind of experience for me. 

My Top 30 will not be ranked. Just choosing 30 out of hundreds of experiences is already difficult as it is. I don’t think I can settle on just one being the Top 1. 

For my first #30for30PIA, I pick the time I had to go to Bohol to interview the families affected by the October 2013 earthquake. I had just about a few minutes to do the interview before then Pres. Aquino was scheduled to fly in. So I had to do it under the scorching heat of the noonday sun. 

I was expecting to face a gloomy crowd (these families were displaced and were at that time sleeping inside makeshift tents or out in the open). But no, the quake victims were surprisingly cheerful and quick to laugh. Most of all, when they learned that I was going to write a story about them, they crowded around me, eager to answer my questions, something that doesn’t really happen often even under normal situations as people tend to shy away from interviews. 

I think that’s what makes the Filipino spirit resilient, noh? To still find reasons to smile even during disasters is a gift we have been blessed with. 

And we at PIA get the chance to witness and experience this  resiliency up close several times, write their stories and share it with others to find inspiration from. 

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I write to live, or live to write. Whichever it is, writing is my life.

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