For four years in a row, Jessica Soho is hailed as Philippines Most Trusted News Presenter by Reader’s Digest.
But to the GMA Network’s news director, each accolade is a challenge to do better in her profession as a broadcast journalist.
“It’s such a big word,” Jessida told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other invited media at the 16th Reader's Digest Most Trusted Brand Awards Night last Thursday, June 5, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas, Pasig City.
She elaborated, “Siyempre, hindi mo naman ‘yan basta makukuha, you have to earn it.
“It’s something I really take seriously.
“I try not to take myself seriously but this award, I have to take seriously because it’s a trust award, vote of trust.”
Jessica also related that every time she gets an award, she asks herself, “‘Worthy ba ako? Ako ba talaga?’
“Kailangan lagi kang defensive kapag may binibigay sa’yo.”
A recipient of two George Foster Peabody Awards, which are considered the Oscars of broadcast, Jessica also was the first Filipino to bring home the Coverage of a Breaking Story award from the annual New York Film Festival for her account of a hostage crisis in Cagayan Valley.
As well, she received the Ka Doroy Valencia Award from the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and was named one of the100 Filipino Women of Distinction during the country's centennial celebration in 2000.
NOTHING IS EASY. Jessica has already established her name in broadcast news, but live reporting remains a challenge to her as making a mistake on air is a constant threat.
“Kapag nagkamali ka, alam mo kung paano bumangin ulit,” she said.
“Kasi, like what I’ve always been saying, wala namang mistakes, e, only lessons.
“‘Tapos ang trabaho kasi natin sa media, napaka-fluid, napaka-volatile.
“Lalo na sa amin live, di ba? Lagi kang may masasabing mali at some point.
“Sometimes you may have the best intentions, mali lang ‘yong pag-coordinate ng utak mo sa dila mo so nasasabi mo nang mali.”
Jessica also stressed, “There’s always that room where you will make a mess, you will make a mistake.
“You just have to hope na you’ll be able to correct yourself from those mistakes kasi part ‘yon [ng trabaho].
“You don’t really start in this profession na expert ka.
“I don’t think anyone can claim to be an expert at anything even ilang taon ka na nasa trabahong ito.
“Ang lagi kong iniisip these days, na walang madali sa buhay.
“Life is really all about work, doing your best.”
PEP asked if she ever thought of quitting her job?
She replied, “Naku, mas healthy yata ‘yong lagi mong tinatanong ang sarili mo kung bakit ka nandito.
"Work ba ito, ‘yong mga existential questions once in a while.
“I think that’s healthy once in a while, kunwari you’re trusted in a very difficult situation.”
KNOW YOUR PASSION. To aspiring journalists, Jessica offers encouragement to continue if they really have a passion for it. If not, they better choose another career.
She expounded, “I think maaga pa lang dapat alam mo na kung ano ang gusto mo sa buhay.
“Gusto mo bang maging masaya?
"Kasi kung gusto mo maging successful, tanggapin mo na hindi ka magiging masaya lalo na kapag ang pinasok mo ay news.
“Ang mga nasa news, kailanman hindi ‘yan magiging masaya kasi problema nila ang problema ng bayan.
“Parang early on in life, kailangan alam mo kung ano ang gusto mo.
“Kung masaya ka, then maybe you should have a less stressful job.
“But if you want to be successful in journalism, marami kang igi-give up, marami kang isasakripisyo.”
She meant, “Kung gusto n’yo talaga ng hindi stressful na buhay at gusto n’yong yumaman, baka hindi dapat dito.
“Pero kung medyo may kaunting sira ulo mo, gusto mo ng magulong buhay, hindi ka magpa-Pasko at magtratrabaho kapag New Year or Holy Week, okay ito.”
EXCITING CAREER. As an encouragement, Jessica said about being a journalist, “It’s a very exciting career kasi every day.
"Hindi pare-pareho ang mga istoryang tinatalakay mo.
“Hindi mo alam kung saan ka mapupunta sa kung anu-anong lugar at sa kung anu-anong sitwasyon.
“Pero kung ‘yon ang gusto mo, go for it.”