TV5 news anchor and network executive Paolo Bediones took the time to support the May 9 launch of the Volunteer Run organized by the Philippine Red Cross. The fun run will be held simultaneously in key cities and municipalities in the country on December 4, in time for the celebration of International Volunteer Day on December 5.
He attended the event in behalf of the Kapatid network and RESCUE 5, TV5’s emergency rescue unit. He said in his speech that day, "We support the Project 143 of the Red Cross wherein they want to have volunteers for every barangay. I encourage all of you to go through this program. Nothing beats prevention especially in homes wherein we can have an emergency situation and we will feel helpless.
"Now we don’t have to feel helpless since this is a way for us to be trained. Anyone can be a volunteer for the Red Cross. As for the Volunteer Run on December 4, I will be running alongside Marian [Rivera, the celebrity endorser of Red Cross]."
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In an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), Paolo recalled how he became involved with the Philippine Red Cross.
"Last year I decided to actively participate in the volunteer program focusing on rescue. So that involved training in first aid, CPR and I got a certificate. And with TV5 naman, we put up RESCUE 5 which is a division of...we have volunteers...reporters, anchors, crewmen.
"Normally kasi sa accident, nauuna sa scene ang media. Kung walang ibang tutulong, responsibilidad natin, unang-una bilang tao tumulong kung kaya, siyempre hindi mo hahayaan na ico-cover lang ’yon habang nanghihingalo ang tao na walang makakatulong. Now we have an ambulance on standby, sa mga nangangailangan ng paglilipat...ng ganyang klaseng tulong."
He then cited how his fellow anchors on TV5 do their part in helping the general public.
"Makikita ninyo sa TV5 iba-iba...like Cheryl Cosim, she’s more focused on ’Alagang Kapatid’ na sinasabi...yung public service. Erwin Tulfo naman is more on the police beat, more on the corruption and more on the expose and si Raffy Tulfo naman is more on the action, yung kahihinatnan ng pag-expose...Dapat may aksyon, dapat may pagbabago tungo sa positive change."
Paolo pointed out, "On my part naman, I’m more on the paglilipat, rescue sa sitwasyon tulad ng malalaking bagyo, may tsunami, lumilindol. We are certified. We know how to rescue. I get down and dirty."
He added, "That’s what I do in Under Special Investigation [his documentary program]. I train with different rescue teams. We have the MMDA [Metropolitan Manila Development Authority], Pasig Rescue, Makati Rescue, the Red Cross and other different organizations."
Does he believe that the Philippines is fully equipped to handle major calamities?
"Yes, we are. You’ll be surprised coz a lot of people think na being a Third World country we don’t have equipment...We do. We may not have enough. But there are different volunteer groups and there are different organizations that are equipped.
"And you’ll be surprised... you have the Rajah Sulayman fire volunteers and they are very equipped. You have Red Cross and they are very equipped. Different rescue teams all over. Some have funding...some rely on volunteers. But I think after Ondoy, it was an eye-opener so all of us decided take it up several steps. Handa dapat."
FIRST EXTREME MAKEOVER EDITION IN ASIA. When he was still in GMA-7, Paolo became known as a host for popular reality TV shows like Survivor Philippines and Extra Challenge. But instead of hosting adrenaline-pumping shows like these, he will soon be hosting a totally different reality show called Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Paolo revealed that he will also be producing the program.
Paolo explained the aim of this show. "It will be helping a lot of people. You will be helping 12 families. Ang tawag namin, ’Bagong Bahay, Bagong Buhay.’ That pretty much speaks for itself. The show is for people who really need a makeover. People who are down and out, who went through different trials in life."
When will the show be aired?
"We’re gonna start airing the American version first and after that, we do our own version. I’ll be hosting that as well."
Paolo says that TV5 will air the shows within the year.
The Kapatid network bought the franchise from Endemol, the same company behind popular shows like Big Brother, Deal or no Deal and Fear Factor.
The Philippine edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is touted to be the very first version to be done in Asia. In this show, a team of designers and laborers are given seven days to completely renovate an entire house.
Endemol CEO of Asian Operations Arjen van Mierlo has been quoted as saying:
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has for many years been one of Endemol’s most successful and talked-about shows and we’re bringing it to Asia for the first time with great pride. It is a feel-good format on a huge scale and I’ve no doubt audiences here will become immersed in it, just as they have around the world."
ASSESSING TV5’S PERFORMANCE. As a network executive in charge of content and programming, Paolo is very hands-on when it comes to coming up with new concepts for the Manny Pangilinan-owned network.
How would he assess the performance of TV5 now compared to its rival TV stations?
He emphasized, "We don’t focus on the competitors. We focus on growing first...yung organization internally. Eventually, it will be about competing with networks and ratings...We’re not there yet. We’re building a strong organization with a strong foundation, then we’ll be competing."
The talented host says with pride, "As of now, there are several shows beating the competition and that’s a big deal na."