Dull and dreary are adjectives that cannot describe Stanley Gajete and his news reporting. The CNN correspondent arouses the curiosity of the news-loving block with his happy-hued coordinated outfits that make everyone stop, watch, and listen,
“As a young boy who grew up in San Pablo, to report the news, has always been a dream of mine,” the congenial and charming gentleman begins. “When our English class assignments were about news writing and reporting it in front of the class, it excited me.”
“My dad Juan Gajete, Sr. and I, read news items as our bonding time. His being an AB English graduate, was of course most helpful to me especially when it comes to matters of grammar, spelling, and syntax.”
The Communication Arts major in Broadcast Journalism from the University of the Philippines recollects his Peyups days: “It was a tough environment. When I entered UP, I was this wide-eyed teenager from San Pablo Laguna who thought I was the best. Hindi pala. Ang daming mas mahusay. My university life in general humbled me. It put my feet firmly on the ground. What made me survive college was my determination to realize my dream of being a broadcast journalist.”
“Some of my classmates, ang media experiences and exposure, ang dami na. It dawned upon me that I should not compare myself to them and it was foolish to be daunted by who they were and their associations. Looking back, my childhood dream was the fuel to keep me going. Laban talaga,” he admits.
To broadcast journalism fledglings, Gajete is a firm believer that one must always know what to do during difficult situations.
“I know you may find this a cliché, that burning passion, dapat hindi nakahiwalay sa profession, Calling ang pagiging journalist.”
“It is a calling to serve the people through storytelling. I love talking and listening to people. It is them who inspire me, their stories. My news report is my way of providing the people who watch the newscast answers to different problems and situations they face.”
Gajete’s broadcast journalism credits include being a correspondent of The Voice of America (International news edition), Washington D.C., U.S.A., worked for Kyodo News English- Japan’s leading wire news agency as a reporter, mobile journalist of One News- English Channel, and project manager of Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).
According to Gajete, his CNN Philippines audition was not a walk in the park. Apart from a written examination, there were three sets of interviews wherein his knowledge of international and local current events and politics was put to a test.
Forward to the present and the reason behind the color-matching outfit, he comes clean: “It was my cameraman who directed me before who suggested that I wear color-matching outfits. It was not planned. He believed that if I will look like everyone else, my face covered with a mask, I will just be like every other reporter. Before I even start my story, people will get their remotes, and switch to another program. It worked because it helped my stories. Marami ang natuwa na I look pleasant when I deliver and present the news.”
The fact that his followers now guess what will be his color choice for the day makes him happy.
“The guessing the color of my outfit is a pleasant surprise. When the news viewers see me, umpisa pa lang pansin na agad kaya they give me their time, they listen and find the value of the story I reported. Now it goes beyond what I wear.”
“I do not treat myself as a celebrity, journalist ako. To me, news reporting is not just my profession. It is a vocation. I want people to listen to facts. Learn from them,” he concludes.