Recently, Jiggy Manicad added 2012 Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) award to his slew of achievements.
As one who's saturated with news events, Jiggy reveals three significant news items from 2012 that he believes to have important long-term effects: the rise of our economy, the effects of Typhoon Pablo, and Manny Pacquiao's two losses.
In a pocket press conference, he told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal), "Yung gumanda ang economy natin kahit papaano, surprise yun sa lahat. Hindi naman artificially made na may election...
"Sana ang long-term effect niya ay paano siya mag-trickle down sa mga masa.
"Andiyan na, yun indicators na may campaign against corruption, gusto ng mga tao 'yan," Jiggy said, also citing statistics and the nation's improved credit ratings as his reason for naming this as a significant event.
Of the typhoon that hit our kababayans in Mindanao last December, he said, "'Etong Pablo, ang dami pa natin kailangan gawin in terms of disaster preparation.
"Pero yung government marunong na mag-campaign at maximize ng media para ipaalam sa publiko.
"On the ground, yun pa ang problem. Aware ang tao, pero yung mga lugar kung saan sila nakatira, danger zone...
"Long-term would be kung ano ang gagawin, relocation ba? Paano yung illegal mining?"
In his opinion, media exposés can also help curtail the activities of the syndicates causing problems with flooding because of illegal mining or logging, "lalo yung web of corruption sa DENR, ibang klase din kasi, di lang local officials or DENR officials, kasama pati police or sundalo or minsan, may NPA pa."
Lastly, on Pacquiao's defeat, "Tayong mga Pinoy, nasanay tayo sa winning streak niya. Long-term event 'eto kasi yung lessons ng buhay— about winning, losing, acceptance...
"Para sa Pilipino, lesson yun about humility na kailangan natin matutunan."
Candidly, Jiggy also related his observation about Pacman.
"For a time kasi si Pacquiao, dumating yung point na nag-cover ako sa kanya, ibang klase na siya, kasi di mo na siya makausap nang maayos."
He said he has been covering Pacquiao's career since the early days, and so he can really see the difference between then and now.
"Generally, ang lesson sa atin lahat is kailangan mag-slow down, para makita natin kung anong blessings mayroon tayo."
LOOKING BACK. Jiggy has had several close calls in dangerous situations covering the news through his 17 years in the industry.
Remember his coverage of EDSA Dos? He was then a rookie reporter who got hit by a stone.
He added, "I know na divine intervention yun," naming more instances, like, waking up late and thereby missing out on riding the bus that got bombed in London, their driver being late crossing a bridge in Lebanon that ended up being blown up, and ending up not being part of the ill-fated media convoy covering Mangundato's candidacy filing because he was scheduled to do an exclusive Pacquiao interview at the same time.
LOOKING AHEAD. He looks forward to someday getting to report about "something na kakaiba, like Pilipino na pupunta sa outer space."
For him, many feats have been already accomplished by Pinoys and Philippine media, "Everest, before, yun na yung pinaka, pero nagawa na natin."
Philippine media is leveling up, he says, "Kasi coverage ni President [Barack] Obama, mga iba't ibang wars, kaya na natin. Kung 'andoon ang CNN, 'andoon na rin tayo."
He hopes that someday the Philippines would be the focus of news not because of tragedy but because of an achievement.
Indeed, Jiggy is no stranger to hard work— striving to move up from living along Laguna's railroads and then supporting himself to get a college education.
Today, this Outstanding Young Man continues to serve the public and to count his blessings.