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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Broadcasting tips from veteran journo Emil Sumangil

Vanessa Balbuena - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — To this day, Emil Sumangil bears in mind one broadcasting tip from journalism school: hook the audience with language that’ll have them dropping whatever they’re doing to see what the fuss is all about.

“Ika nga ng isa sa pinaka mahusay ko na propesor sa kolehiyo, isa sa mga susi para maging matagumpay ang isang mamamahayag, partikular ang isang palatuntunan dito sa Pilipinas –  kailangan, pag nagbitiw ka ng salita o pangungusap sa isang binabasang news item, yung nagluluto ng tocino, nagpiprito ng longganisa, or nagsasangag, bibitawan niya ang sandok,” shared one of GMA News and Public Affairs’ most senior reporters.

“Ang gagawin niya, tatakbo siya sa telebisyon para pakinggan yung intro ng host.”

It’s one approach he strives to put into practice in his news programs, among them GTV’s daily news magazine show “Dapat Alam Mo!” which he co-hosts with Kim Atienza and Patricia Tumulak. As the journalist in the trio, he’s assigned the straight news, exposés, and public service segments of the program.

“Bukod sa paggamit ng mga terminong pang Gen Z, yung colloquial na klase ng mga salita ay naririnig niyo dito,” he said of one of the keys to the show’s ratings success.

“Hindi mo bibigyan ng mabigat na termino, hindi mo hahayaan na mag-compute ang mga manonood mo dahil tatamarin yan. Tapos yung klase ng delivery, kailangan demanding.”

With over 20 years of broadcast industry experience, Sumangil is a veteran of the police beat. From the congestion and drugs in penal facilities to anti-crime operations, to the Zamboanga and Marawi sieges, he has been at the forefront countless times

He has been recognized for his work, including as Best Field Reporter at the 2018 U.P. Gandingan Awards, Outstanding TV News Reporter in 2014 by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, and one of the recipients of the Gawad Justice Felix Angelo Award by the Philippine College of Criminology Alumni Association, Inc.

Sumangil tells interviewers during a recent Zoom conference that he’s reached a sweet spot in his career: one that is quiet and low-key, yet extremely fulfilling.

For “Dapat Alam Mo!”, Sumangil again looked to another television veteran for guidance on how to build chemistry and camaraderie with his fellow hosts.

“Inapply ko yung minsang narinig ko kay Joey de Leon,” he shared. “Ang susi daw kung bakit napakatagal na ng ‘Eat Bulaga’, ang sagot niya napaka simple: Alam ng bawat isa kung saan kami lulugar at kung hanggang saan lang kami. Binibigyan namin ng pagkakataon ang bawat isa na umalagwa.”

The easygoing banter among the three during the interview proves they’ve managed just that – they’ve now gone past co-workers to genuine friends uplifting each other.

“Emil is a very committed journalist. Ang passion niya sa pagkukuha ng balita ay kakaiba. Madaling araw pa lang, nag-iikot na yan at naghahanap ng balita,” Atienza revealed. “Also, napaka galang na tao. Pag daan niya sa harap mo, palaging ‘Makikiraan po, pasensya na po.’

“Idolo ko siya sa pag-deliver ng balita. Ibang klase ang paggamit sa boses. Apart from that, Emil is Christ-centered. Madasalin. His integrity is impeccable and unmatchable. Kapag nakita niyo nakahubad yan, may mga tattoo yan ng mga santo at ni Jesus Christ.”

Sumangil, whom Tumulak also noted was family-oriented and has a passion for music, said the past year of anchoring “Dapat Alam Mo!” allowed him to toy with a different style of news delivery. And it seems to be working.

“Nagkaroon ng pagkakataon yung mga hosts na magpamalas ng kakaibang istilo ng pagbabalita, pati ang paghahatid ng serbisyo publiko. If you notice, ang banat dito, mabilis,” he said. “Parang may humahabol sa akin kapag ako ay nagbabalita.”

Launched in 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic in the country had yet to abate, a handful of Sumangil’s public service segments dealt with online scams as lockdowns forced people to transact mostly digitally. He wasn’t only educating viewers, he was also reminded himself to be cautious with his online dealings.

“Dahil hindi nakakalabas ang mga tao, ang mga kriminal at masasamang loob, sa online sila nambibiktima. Isa rin ako sa tumangkilik nitong mga online selling, so mula doon sa mga hinaing ng ating mga kababayan, natuto din ako na aba teka muna, dapat dahan-dahan dahil ang criminal cyber na ngayon.”

For six years now, Sumangil has also been teaching journalism and he uses the avenue to fight the proliferation of fake news.

“Isang paraan ko para patayin ang pekeng balita, sa loob ng classroom. Yung klase ng pag papaigi ng programa sa araw-araw na pagpapahimpapawid nito, yun ang isang paraan para patayin ang pagkalat ng pekeng balita,” he said.

“Kung minsan napaka tigas ng ulo ng tao. Kung bakit pa sila doon sa pekeng balita, eh meron naming ganitong klase na programa [Dapat Alam Mo!] para kanilang pagkunan ng tamang impormasyon.”

Asked how he encourages students to pursue an eventual career in journalism – which have been a dwindling lot – Sumangil said, “Nakikita ko kasing balakid sa mga mag-aaral, lalo na yung nasa kolehiyo, ang tingin nila sa broadcast journalism, hindi sila mabubuhay. Sa makatuwid, ang foresight ng mga bata ngayon, mas inuuna yung survival at yung career na hihila sa kanila patungo sa fame and fortune.”

“Nawawala yung klase ng passion na, with all humility, meron ako noon. So itong mga estudyanteng ito na aking hawak, dito ko binubuhos ang aking impluwensya kung ano ang maitutulong nila sa sambayanang Pilipino. Kung papano ko hahatakin ang mga kabataan dito sa Metro Manila, lalo na yung mga undecided pa kung anong kurso ang kanilang kukunin, sa social media ko idinadaan.”

EMIL SUMANGIL

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