US firm produces docu on Jiggy Manicad’s ‘Yolanda’ journey
GMA 7 news reporter Jiggy Manicad found himself on the other side of the fence as the main subject of an hour-long documentary produced by the US firm Big Monster.
While doing research on Super Typhoon “Yolanda,” the Big Monster team stumbled upon Manicad’s report on the Net.
Manicad was the first TV reporter to go live 12 hours after the storm hit the Visayas (and all forms of communication were cut off) in the Kapuso prime time newscast “24 Oras” and, later, in the GMA News TV program “State of the Nation” on Nov. 8, 2013, a Friday.
The Nevada-based production house explained to Manicad that his report was crucial in making the entire world aware of the extent of devastation. “They said [it] triggered the international relief efforts,” Manicad said.
Big Monster found Manicad’s story compelling. Their food supplies, vehicles and equipment either swept away or rendered useless, Manicad, cameraman Ding Lagoyo and assistant cameraman Winston Lucas walked from Tacloban to Palo, Leyte, to meet up with the satellite team.
“I didn’t even know if they were alive,” Manicad related. They took the chance and walked for six hours, hence the docu’s title, “Six Hours.”
“It was like a war zone. Bodies lined the roads; dazed people were walking around,” Manicad said.
In Palo, they caught up with the satellite team and released the first few images of the calamity on live national television.
Then Manicad, Lagoyo and Lucas marched back to Tacloban, another six-hour journey, this time in total darkness.
“We got back to our hotel at 3 a.m., Saturday, exhausted. Our feet were bleeding, but we couldn’t sleep,” Lagoyo recounted.
“It’s my most traumatizing coverage ever,” Manicad admitted.
“Six Hours: Surviving ‘Yolanda’” premieres Nov. 9, 8 p.m. on GMA News TV—marking the disaster’s first anniversary.
“There are plans to air the docu in the United States and Europe,” Manicad said. “It is directed by Rudy Vegliante, content producer for Discovery channel, and J. Lazarus Auerbach.”
Two weeks ago, Manicad returned to Tacloban, to look for a man they had seen carrying his dead daughter on the road to Palo.
On his own, Manicad has gone back there at least five times.
“I consider it part of my personal recovery program.”
Manicad recently teamed up with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), to give journalism workshops to public-school students from Tacloban and other hard-hit areas.
“It was therapeutic for the students,” he said. “At the end of the activity, they produced a short docu.”
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