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Get it straight from Daniel Razon

Daniel Razon: UNTV-37’s Mr. Public Service will give it to you straight starting in tomorrow’s edition of the morning show Good Morning, Kuya

Perhaps without his meaning or intending to, Daniel Razon, head of UNTV (Your Public Service Channel), acted as “bridge” between the pretty reporter he has posted at the Senate and the soon-to-be-proclaimed (15th) President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Shalani Soledad, who has just won her third (and last) term as councilor of Valenzuela City by a landslide, and President-apparent Noynoy Aquino have been going steady for one year and eight months since then (Sept. 2008).

“Shalani was with me on UNTV’s morning show, Good Morning, Kuya,” said Daniel (no relation to Delia Razon nor to Darius Razon, ehem!).

“Shalani didn’t have any specific assignment. I asked her to go with the reporter assigned to the Senate as part of her orientation. She’s soft-spoken and very diligent. Masipag siya. She has become too busy na, but I assured her that anytime she wants to come back, she’s very much welcome.”

Did Daniel know that, after their memorable first encounter, Shalami and Noynoy eventually became steadies?

“Only later,” said Daniel. “At that time, what I knew was that iba ang boyfriend niya.” (Clue: Somebody from an influential political clan in Bulacan.)

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A former Masscom teacher at Centro Escolar University (CEU) where he also graduated, Daniel also, again unwittingly, acted as Cupid between Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and his wife Laarni “Lani” Lopez, newly-elected mayor of Taguig City.

“I was still with ABS-CBN then,” recalled Daniel. “Ako pa ang may hawak noon ng Compañero y Compañero (program on dzMM), kami ni Gel Santos-Relos (who hosted it with the late Sen. Rene Cayetano, Alan Peter’s father). Sen. Rene was looking for a member of his staff, Lani was my student then, doing OJT (On-the-Job Training) at ABS-CBN. I recommended her to Sen. Rene. That’s how Lani and Alan met.”

Daniel has quit teaching since then (after seven years).

“It’s somewhat demanding,” he said.

He started his broadcast career as an FM disc jockey at KWKY and DWST (1987 to 1988). Then he shifted to television first as newscaster/anchorman on PTV4’s Pangunahing Balita and Balita Ala-Una, and host of the public-affairs programs Ang Pandayan ni Mang Pandoy and Dakila Ka Pinoy (1993 to 1997). While still with PTV4, Daniel worked behind the camera for IBC13 as executive producer and director of the public-affairs program Ikaw ang Humatol (1994 to 1997).

Year 1997 saw the start of what Daniel called “my big networks career” when he moved to ABS-CBN where he became host of Hoy, Gising (1997 to 2003) and newscaster/anchorman of Pulso, Aksyon, Balita from 1998 to 2003. Soon, he was seen worldwide via ANC (ABS-CBN’s sister station, formerly Sarimanok Channel) as newscaster/anchorman for Dateline News (1998 to 2000) and as program host of Kumusta Ka, Bayan on The Filipino Channel (TFC).

At the same time, he was also an anchor for Gising Pilipinas (1997 to 2003) and Usapang de Campanilla (2000 to 2003) over dzMM.

From ABS-CBN, in 2003 Daniel moved to GMA where he became one of the hosts of Unang Hirit and anchor of Unang Balita, the show’s news segment. He also co-anchored the primetime GMA news Saksi/Frontpage. He left GMA in 2005.

Today, Daniel is chairman and chief operating officer of Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International, Inc. (BMPI), the company that manages UNTV-37, which broadcasts 24 hours and is called “Your Public Service Channel.”

“UNTV started from scratch,” said Daniel. “We didn’t even have a studio. I told Atom (Henares, who’s behind the FM station NU, UNTV’s sister station)), ‘Okay, we will make do with what’s there’.”

What was there was a one-room affair. Fast-forward to 2010: UNTV is now housed in its own building (on EDSA) constructed under Daniel’s supervision, finished in six months.

“My passion is serving people, not politics,” insisted Daniel who is behind such projects as free medical/dental check-ups and medicines for media people and their families (conducted in cooperation with the Philippine Movie Press Club, National Press Club, MOWELFUND and EMPRESS), free school for Massom students, and concerts mounted for the benefit also of media people and their families.

True to form, Daniel has also mobilized a Libreng-Sakay project, starting with one long aircon jeepney that plies the Caloocan City-Divisoria route and a bus that runs the length of EDSA.

“Anybody is welcome to take the free ride.”

Asked why he left “the big networks,” Daniel explained that he had ideas that he couldn’t implemented, not until he moved to UNTV.

“I conceptualized all the programs on UNTV, most of which are geared towards public service” said Daniel, including the morning show Good Morning, Kuya (aired “live” from 4:45 to 9 a.m., Monday thru Friday). “Our programs have to be different from those on other channels. I see to it.”

Starting tomorrow, June 1, Good Morning, Kuya will have a new feature (from 7 to 7:30 a.m.) called Get It Straight With Daniel Razon devoted to “direct-to-the-point and straight-forward discussion of pressing and questions that have never been asked before.” Hmmm, worth watching.

Now, is Kuya Daniel doing all these for, uh, because of any political ambition?

“No,” he was firm. “Public service lang talaga.”

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph or at entphilstar@yahoo.com)

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