Thursday, March 28, 2013

My FM Radio Deejay Memories

the iconic pic  that lured me into becoming a radio deejay
There is something magical about radio broadcasting. I first fell in love with radio when the eldest in our family Marcel Gatal now Mrs. Tony Diego became Lady Love of KISS 102.3 FM. 

I remember how I used to chaperon her especially during her evening shifts at the radio station during those halcyon days of the early 80's. 

Going radio gaga was the rage then in sleepy Tagbilaran at a time when RPN 9 was the only television channel that the entire city watched. Lovelorn teeners loved to tune in to radio to listen to the Top 40 songs, to make requests and to greet their friends and crushes on air.


I was a transferee at the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJR, Cebu City) where I took up Mass Communications degree when my professor in Intro to Mass Communications, the late  Jess Vestil, the prominent broadcast and print journalist in Cebu, encouraged me to audition for a radio disc jockey's job in 93.1 Smash FM. 

Of course, my initial reaction was "Oh not not me, I don't think I'm cut out to be a deejay" But Sir Jess Vestil persisted and God bless him for singling me out along with a few others to audition. I still remember how jittery I was that time. We were told to go inside the deejay's booth (one at a time of course) and what I can recall was being asked a few standard questions about myself and introduce a song. 

After what seemed like eternity, two of us were asked to stay behind. Archie Modequillo, then the station manager informed us that we had been chosen and we were to start our training the following week. 

Offhand, we were told that we were chosen on the basis of potential and not on performance (Ouch!) Sir Archie furthered that if the basis for choosing the disc jockey trainees was performance, then everybody would have failed the muster. That statement made perfect sense and really had a great impact on me so much so that it had always been my guide when holding auditions


Uncle Reynald Gatal then the station manager of DYXT AM gave me a chance to spin records and be a deejay that summer in 1990.Of course being the stickler for rules and regulations, Uncle Rey had to let me take the accreditation exam for broadcasters from KBP (Kapisananan ng Mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas) which I took and passed. 

How I loved playing all those songs and greeting my friends on air. It was like living my childhood dream but of course I wasn't really that into the whole deejay thing. 

After a few months, I made the transfer to KISS 102.3 FM. Who would have known that 19 years later, I would be co- hosting the legendary radio station's Golden Anniversary Show?


After making a side trip to Iloilo City from a Boracay jaunt, I made a decision to audition at Ramon Jacinto's RJ 98.3 FM radio station. That decision was a turning point for me. I got the job, stayed in Iloilo City for a year and fell in love with the beauty and charm of the place

From radio disc jockey, I was promoted to Production Head whose job was to conceptualize and produce the station's radio commercials and stingers and related stuff. 

On weekends, I spun records at the turn tables of The Base Disco of Sarabia Manor Hotel and that was broadcast live on the air

That Iloilo episode of my life would always be treasured! I so miss the quaint Ilonggo accent and La Paz batchoy too!

Co- hosting the Golden Anniversary Bash of DYRD AM with the Queen of Gab Ardie Batoy
with the illustrious Dejaresco Clan of DYRD, DYZD & KISS FM fame
with one of my brilliant students: beauty & brains Nicole Sun Galero

who would have thought that I would end up as a Mass Comm teacher ?
More of this on next blog    

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