Bureau Chief's office, c2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer Northern Luzon Bureau
This photo was taken about 3 years ago. I was doing my journalism internship at that time. I barely scraped by if not for the help and guidance of the magely editors at PDI Northern Luzon Bureau. This was the look of our Bureau Chief's (BC) office. I bet it still look like this and I really hope that it still does. His book collection, to say the least solicits awe along with the martial law memorabilia, including a newspaper snippet of his picture being the alleged assassin of Ninoy Aquino (still hadn't asked him about the authenticity of that snip of paper, I dare not ask the wizard.)
I specifically remember reaching out for a copy of Chernobyl Diaries out of the crammed shelves. It was like picking off at a wall of great pieces, it felt transient and lasting at the same time. I also remember a story from the book, the wife was telling the story about his husband who worked at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, he was greatly exposed to radiation. She carefully narrated the way she cut her fingernails down to the nub, slowly hiding the edges of her nails. The beauty was in the details, the housewife turned full time nurse for her husband told the story on how her fingertips bled. It was an effort to keep herself from hurting her husband. She told of how she once flayed the soft skin on her husband's arm. Her nails were too long and sharp.
It was a chilling reminder on the effects of that blow up. And how it still affects the citizens of ghost town Chernobyl. It also was a good example of how good writing can take people to places they can only imagine and are too afraid to even plan a visit. Reading some of the stories in that book added to my own wall of simple dreams and aspirations, I wanted to be a writer. But I easily acknowledged that I couldn't keep up with the dailies, I will never be a print journalist. It was true.
Our BC was also a professor at the University. He gave me a fitting grade for my performance: 2.75. I barely scraped by but I loved being in his class. It was a glimpse at the old school experience of working on a press room. The experience felt like it was a photo with coffee colored sepia effects.
That is all.