From Charlotte to Balingasag and CDO

OPINION
By Susan Palmes-Dennis
March 12, 2020

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Charlotte, North Carolina—Before we talk about the pandemic that is COVID-19, allow me dear readers to thank the man who made possible my ‘return’ of sorts to radio broadcasting.
 
I knew Monching Ong as one of the TV technicians that I worked with at the defunct
Cagayan de Oro College (COC) Broadcasting network in the early millennium. Years later through various reunions with the old COC TV-radio crew, I learned that Monching now owns 105.5 FM, Bay Radio Way Kurat.
 
I am proud of Monching for being able to set up his own radio station which is his passion. I remembered seeing him tinker with electronic devices and how he is called on to trouble shoot transmitter equipment.  This is yet proof positive that with talent, guts and focus, anyone can go far in his or her life.
 
A brief backgrounder: Bay Radio started in Sept. 8, 2013 with its station and transmitter located in Balingasag town, Misamis Oriental. Its reach covers the towns of Binuangan to Laguindingan town where the airport is located to Cagayan de Oro City and some parts of Bukidnon province.
 
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It’s slowly making a name for itself in the local broadcast community. Bay Radio is so named since Balingasag town is known for its beautiful baywalk. And it’s high time that this town, birthplace of incumbent Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, makes its mark in the province.
 
Anyway, Bay Radio offers music and information just like any FM station these days whose programming is a mix of music and information. By the way, I remembered working with RMN Dxcc in the early 90s for the late Lorie de la Serna, then TV program director.
 
Back then, RMN-TV 8 already combined music and news in its programming and in fact wanted to adopt the same programming at its FM station dxVM.  Dela Serna was ahead of his time and what he proposed then had become regular fare for today’s radio stations.
 
Back to Bay Radio, I have a regular program with a 7 a.m to 8 a.m slot on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I invite everyone to tune in to my program and also to the program of Balingasag Mayor Alexis Quina hosted by Jun Fermo which is doing a great job informing residents of Balingasag town.
 
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And I love being back on radio. To be honest, I missed being on radio after I migrated to the US a decade ago.  Through my radio program, I can keep my finger on the local public’s pulse amid the backdrop of local, national and international social-economic and political developments.
 
I could not remember the number of times Monching invited me to host a program on his radio station, which I initially found preposterous until I realized how technology made it possible for people to communicate with each other across distances.
 
So thanks to technology,  I find myself hosting a radio program in the comfort of my home here in Charlotte, North Carolina and wonder of wonders, my program can be seen and heard all over the world.
 
The world is indeed getting smaller thanks to technology. And it feels great to learn that I still have a platform to discuss issues and be a catalyst for positive change in society as we know it. Indeed, Balingasag town is fortunate to host Bay Radio FM Way Kurat.
 
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Speaking of international developments, what I feared would happen had now come to pass as I learned through my social media feed that the Department of Health (DOH-10) regional office confirmed that a 54-year-old patient tested positive for COVID-19 at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC).
 
As I write this I learned that Mayor Oscar Moreno was scheduled to hold a press conference at 10 a.m  Philippine time Thursday (March 12) with local DOH doctors and I will reserve most of my comments and assessment for my next column which hopefully sees print sometime this week or next week.
 
Rep. Rolando Uy of Cagayan de Oro City’s first district already issued a press statement calling on city residents to keep calm, stay vigilant and strictly observe self-hygiene while monitoring the latest official pronouncements from the DOH and the city government.
 
In my previous column, I wrote about the stringent health checks imposed on travelers like my husband Ronnie and myself when we boarded our flights from Manila all the way to Charlotte. Back then I said the threat of COVID-19 is real and that threat had now reached the doorsteps of the City of Golden Friendship.

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