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Opinion

Mr. Bob  

VERBAL VARIETY - Anne Fe Perez - The Freeman

I'd always remember him as that dashing man who wore all white, Mr. Bobby Nalzaro. He was often referred to as "Super Bob" as all the anchors in their station were dubbed as super, no doubt about that too. He'd show up in the different events organized for the Cebu Press Freedom Week. As a young girl whose dad worked in a telecommunication company that often sponsored these events, I'd be giddy to get an invitation to the annual walk. Of course, I'd also walk myself up to him and many others whom I looked up in the industry for a quick photo op.

We didn't really work together, as he was in our competing network but the small niche of broadcast journalists in Cebu made us all united in the goal to have an informed citizenry. I admire his caliber and the hard-hitting commentaries he made about specific individuals which he deemed had to be scrutinized in public. If there's one thing Mr. Bob embodied as a journalist, it was his strength in keeping tabs of his function as a watchdog. The microphone is his weapon in going after those who have wronged the public in many ways.

Like many others who dived deep into this profession, he also suffered physically and legally. In fact, many cases were lodged against him for libel. He had public enemies that hated him for his on-air comments, yet despite that he remained Cebu's pillar in broadcast journalism. Now that he has passed, the one next in line has big shoes to fill indeed. He must not only portray the macho character of Mr. Bob but convey to the masses the intention of safeguarding our press freedom.

With dyAB and its tough commentaries gone, and the addition of Mr. Bob's passing away, the radio industry should feel the pressure by now about how it should fulfil its role to the public. It goes beyond the purpose of informing but to shape people's minds and to create a critique that will form the basis of better decision making and even policy creation. Those who also hold the microphone as he did must also understand this isn’t a power to abuse, rather a power to use to its maximum. Again, we go back to what Peter Parker learned in Spider-Man, "With great power comes great responsibility."

It is a privilege to be able to use the voice and broadcast it on the airwaves. This rare opportunity should be a time for molding individuals and not merely feeding them raw information. We pray for the family that Mr. Bob has left as well as the newscast that identifies with him. The press in Cebu will have a bleak atmosphere in the coming days as he will be laid to rest. It is quite a big thing to remember him for what he has done but a greater challenge to continue his legacy.

BOBBY NALZARO

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