One of those behind the network's Boto Mo Ipatrol Mo, Ako ang Simula campaign, Gemma speaks of the online campaign as a powerful tool for citizens' involvement. "The challenge at the outset is how to break through the public apathy, illustrate how the coming elections is a make or break situation, and convince people that they have to get involved and keep informed."
Hours before the elections and on mother's day, let us get to know a small hero and her passion for change through the noble profession that she chose to take.
You in a nutshell: A slightly obsessive-compulsive mommy-journalist who likes to make butingting.
Who do you look up to? In general, people who are straightforward and passionate about their chosen profession(whatever that profession may be). Specifics would include my colleagues at Newsbreak, particularly our leader, Marites Vitug. Also look up to colleagues I worked with at the Senate, particularly my departed boss, Raul Roco, from whom I really learned a lot.
What inspires you the most? Imaginative and innovative people. People who are willing to take risks to make things happen.
How do you spell fun? A day at play with my little boys and pamangkins... watching a good movie with close friends.... dinner at a nice restaurant with my husband... a few hours by myself shopping for shoes or clothes.
Which part of your work do you find most meaningful? I like immersing myself in the field and getting a feel of the dynamics in different communities and translating those into stories. I like "sketching" (meaning illustrating in words) profiles of people I met and places I have visited.
What change do you want to see in this world? A lot of things need changing. The world is full of inequities.
What is your daily prayer? I learned this prayer in grade school and I have since seen the value in it: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."
What is or will be your greatest success? I'm not yet sure what it would be. There are a lot of things I'd like to be able to do. I'd like to write a book that people will actually read and more so one that will help society at large. More personally, I'd like to see my kids grow up to be reponsible and humane individuals.Gemma is from Baao, Camarines Sur.