Yes, I'm gay. I probably was since the day I was born. On my 21st birthday, I sort of had my debut. I came out to my parents. A little drama from mom, and some indifference from dad. An above-average coming out. Almost perfect.

Nine years later, two weeks before my 30th birthday, I found out... I'M HIV POSITIVE.

And so my story begins... I'm BACK IN THE CLOSET.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Up Yours

Up YoursI think my CD4 count dropped a couple of points again.

It was Wednesday. And in a bit of an unexpected lapse in judgment, I passed the number of Baby Nathan’s Dad to someone who I assumed I did not need to ask what it was for. I was seriously thinking that maybe someone was going to send some support or something. Boy, was I wrong.

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but the next thing I knew, I was reading a text message from the Mom saying that GMA7 had contacted them, telling them they’d be picked up the following day for an interview for a television show, Emergency, and adding that they were scared and didn’t know what to do.

I confronted the person I gave the number to via instant messaging asking what happened. But initially he was virtually laughing, not seeing why they wouldn’t want to get interviewed, and apparently not understanding why I was panicking. I know I was making a huge fuss about it, but it just made more sense to me if he asked the family directly if they wanted to get interviewed, rather than give the media a direct link to the family from the get go.

Yeah, they’d get paid, and yeah, they need the money, but things aren’t about money all of the time. And not everyone is equipped to defend themselves, and it’s usually the little people like them who get exploited. That’s what I was afraid of. And I felt responsible.

So upon confirming with the family that they were not willing to get interviewed, I tasked the guy who gave the number to call the media mob off. He did, I think. So by the time I was heading home from work, I was just left with some residual irritation at how carelessly the information was handled.

Fast forward to midnight, I got a text message from the Mom, saying they had finally agreed to get interviewed. I felt it was out of my hands at that point, since they’d agreed to it themselves. I just reminded them to make sure they state their limitations clearly, and to make sure they don’t get exploited.

Thursday started off with a message from them that they were on the road already. And maybe their mobile phones were turned off or something, but I didn’t get any replies from them for the rest of the day when I checked how they were doing.

Evening came, and they said they were just waiting to be brought home and were doing okay. That was music to my ears. I was hoping this episode was over. But of course, it was not.

The Mom sent me a couple of messages this morning, giving feedback on the previous day’s events. And just as I thought, things were not handled well.

Apparently GMA7 assured them that only two people would know about the interview, the person who was doing the interview and some GMA7 staff named Joy. That apparently didn’t happen. It went so far that, aside from the interview for television they agreed to, they got dragged into a radio interview as well, something that was not part of the agreement. And though only the Mom and Baby Nathan were supposed to be part of the interview, even the Dad was pulled in. But that was nothing compared to what was next.

Apparently, GMA7’s radio host Lala Roque says Baka mahawa ako dyan, which loosely translates to I might catch what they have, to which a staff member answers, Ano yun nakakahawa ba? or What is it? Is it infectious?

Up Yours
Well, well, well, Miss Lala Roque, you and your staff were ignorant, unethical, irresponsible, and rude. You didn’t even have enough decency to make sure they didn’t hear you talking your crap.

You better be thankful I wasn’t the victim in all of this. I would’ve freakin’ fucked you silly just to make sure you really caught it. Or maybe not. You’re not that lucky. I wouldn’t touch you if you were the last woman on Earth. I’d just jerk off into your eye drops, you freak.

Oh, and you could’ve paid them what they at least deserved to get. Somehow, the milk, diapers, sardines, instant noodles and egg drop cookies you gave them don’t add up to what damage you caused.

Anyway, I thought I’d seen enough when Maki Pulido did Reporters’ Notebook last December. But GMA7 has managed to do it again. I’m not too excited to watch what they did this time. What exactly are we to you?! A story?! Money to be made?! A circus act?!

The sad part is that Baby Nathan and his family have now absolutely sworn off being interviewed. What a waste, since people would’ve really learned a lot about living with HIV from them.

I’m hoping this was just a unique case of exploitation, but GMA7 has really struck out at this point. We can only hope and pray that other networks and journalists have more brains, etiquette and heart than what GMA7 and its people have been demonstrating.

Who was it that said they’re proud to be Kapuso?! Ulol. Up yours.


Anonymous said...

i think your reaction is understandable. i feel that the exploitation part is unaxceptable.
this is exactly what an average pinoy's reaction is going to be upon learning of someone infected with HIV. that is "reality".
nathan and family, is the exact faces of HIV that we need to put out there. this is not a gay disease, and everyone is affected by it. the society as a whole is deminished whenever one of us is victimized by another by our action or inaction.
is'nt that what awareness is all about.
one way or the other, we have to make our own contribution into taking the stigma out of HIV.
nathan's family's turn is today, perhaps it might be your turn the next day.
i just wish i have the dignity, wisdom, and strength when my turn comes.
things happen for reason.
be well,

rubypurple said...

I'm pissed off.

Who the hell did she think she is?!


im going to run after this stupid reporter because i know someone from GMA and i learned about this episode a few weeks back and i never realized that tantan with his mom and dad will be the subject of the interview.

what this lala roque said is a big blow to the hiv community and she really added insult to injury. how stupid of a media person so release statements such as this... mucho irresponsable is all i can say...... im not going to take things sitting down. as i said BITCH i will be the real BITCH for this stupid reporter. I told you I am not joking. You know that I had to call the father of Tantan from where I am now just to ask straight how things went along but this morning when i learned about that statement i furiously got so so mad.....

i will just wait for my friend who is with GMA to go online so i can also tell him perhaps confront him about this stupid reporter.

Mark Cabos said...

wtf?!! what a biatch!! Lala Rouque deserves to get some herpes down her fucking mouth. Im so bad. Grrr...

john stanley said...

i can't believe i am having this story for breakfast.

not only did they break the agreement but also insulted baby nathan’s family when in fact they are supposed to bring out their story for people to understand what the little family is going through.

poz, you may have known me as the jovial one but this time i say you f*ck that bitch.

Anonymous said...

That reporter isn't really smart, is she. Assuming she believes the HIV/AIDS hypothesis then she should have known how it is being transmitted. But I doubt that she has any idea about this thing called hiv/aids.


Anonymous said...

what a complete moron.
talk about ignorance.

be well b.

john of sd

dabo said...

This is bullshit! I hate Lala Roque's glaring mediocrity about the subject.

Her stupidity is beyond control..and something must be done about it.

E said...

im sorry....____ and I have cut our ties with GMA because of this incident. I am at fault here too and I'm still trying to give whats due to them.

Byron Ferolin said...

I am so pissed off with this one.

Trip said...

man when confronted with a situation unanticipated and with less knowledge he might react ignorantly, emotionally, and unintelligibly.

lala could have committed a big mistake at the moment she said that, and so were the crew. however, did they make any realizations of how faulty their behavior was? we wouldn't know that until we would hear the side of the reporter.

unfortunately, people already passed their judgment on the person and the institution she/they represent out of this piece of information. what would that make of these people then?


i have to agree with dabo, and murakami who said that mediocrity is like a coffee stain in your shirt. it never wears off.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking hard to find the silver lining here ... the cup half full. The best I can come up with is that it highlights that a far bigger problem than HIV itself is the stigma, stupidity and ignorance that surrounds us. Gosh it's a surprise that we don't grow horns.

Blackpool - perhaps you might like to start a couple of "general" (non-HIV!) threads on the forums at G4M about the personality concerned, the media and it's responsibilities in general, if the media don't "get it" how do we expect everyone else to react, etc, etc. This could be used as a nice back door way to spread a bit more awareness to those that wouldn't normally look at an obvious HIV forum. And I can direct a few friends very senior in GMA to take a look at it to stir things up internally ... (a bit of backdoor revenge never hurt hehe)

And one request. Can we have an update on how Baby N is doing? The last time I saw him was at the Christmas party. That was the only time I saw him that he DIDN'T burst into tears, but I think of him and his mum and dad often.

Hugs my friend.

E said...

Hello Trip,

I tried to get the side of the reporter and the staff but they chose to ignore me. 1 texted to inform me that they did gave the mother of baby nathan money and thats about it. The cunt whore never apologized for anything else.

I asked them why they were brought baby nathans' family to that radio show when initially, it was just for that stupid show EMERGENCY but I didn't get a reply.

As for the researchers and segment producer of GMA7, reporters notebook and Emergency to be exact, -You suck! Your giving your cheapo network a bad name! As for Lala Roque, whats up with your name?! LALA=Fish cracker!?! Your parents must have hated you and tried to abort you.Anyway, go suck your dads dick and eat your moms cunt.fuck you and your kids!

yoshke said...

this is awful. i feel bad for the family. the last thing anyone needs is a distasteful remark like that.

kalansaycollector said...

iam a fan of gma news and public affairs, i even worked for them last year.... then i read this post...

too bad to lala roque. shucks. i thought she is smart... tsk tsk! magreklamo dapat sila!


wala nang smart smart pag may inner motives and personal glory..... lol kahiya di ba?

haaaayssssss i wish im not in media too nahihiya tuloy ako sa sarili ko sa pinag gagawa ng ibang tao.

Anonymous said...

This is horrible.

What can we do without blowing this out of proportion? Lets talk about how positivism can attack this in a positive way. write an article?

My humna side says - this lala friggin whoever she is has to get a barrage of hate texts for this...texts that will leave her sleepless till she makes a public apology...can anyone find out what her phone number is?

oh yeah..I'll try to look for it :)

and the pph team

emergency, gma7 said...

Thank you for your feedback.

However, we must correct the points you raised in your letter.

Upon investigation, we find your allegations to simply NOT be true.

The mother and father of Baby Nathan were not forced in any way to be interviewed by Emergency. They willingly agreed to tell their story on camera after we assured them that their identities will be protected . And we made true to that promise. We picked them up from their hometown and brought them to another location so as to protect them from any rumors that might arise in their community. We were also transparent with the family about the context of the story and how it will be executed.

Since the radio interview was not initially part of the shoot, our team asked the family again if they would agree to be interviewed on-air. The family said yes, without any hesitation. Again, their identities were never revealed during the radio show.

Our crew video taped the radio interview from the time the family entered the booth until the end of the radio program. And after thoroughly previewing the tape, we can confidently say that neither Lala Roque nor Arnold Clavio said "Baka mahawa ako diyan" or any statement to that effect. After the interview, Lala even engaged the mother in a friendly chat.

We also would like to emphasize that it is the policy of GMA News and Public Affairs not to pay for interviews. To help out some of our case studies, we give them grocery items.

After Emergency aired last Friday, the mother even sent a text message to our researcher saying that she had watched the show and that she was grateful for the interview.

Through their story, we were able to inform the public about the issues faced by persons with HIV.

GMA News and Public Affairs programs stand firm in our commitment to serbisyong totoo. We will not allow the reputation of our news organization to be tainted by false accusations.

Arlene Carnay
Program Manager
Emergency, GMA-7


go cholo do it and well do all the text brigade until she drops and apologize for what she said even it its off air.

PinoyPoz said...

There, we've heard the side of GMA.

I maintain, though, that I base my information on the feedback from the family itself.

Indeed, it was not the Emergency segment that they expressed concern about. It was Lala Roque of the radio interview that they mentioned.

And though it may be true that GMA has reviewed the tape of the radio interview, it is also mentioned that they "taped the interview from the time the family entered the booth until the end of the radio program". I cannot confidently say that a journalist's ethics and responsibility begins and ends in the confines of a radio booth.

As for not paying for interviews, I'll have to take that up with the people who made GMA's contact with the family possible. I am sure though, that others who GMA has been able to interview have gotten paid. People from GMA have even accused the family of lying, saying they did give the family money for the interview.

So who the hell is telling the truth? That's for God to know... I just have the right to judge.

lurker said...

fuckin' bi**ch reporter!