I’m a ‘JoCKs’

NOTE: As Multiply is ceasing to be a social media for bloggers, I’m one of those scrambling to move my stuff from there. This post that is a sort of trip back to college memory lane was posted in 2008 so this isn’t really that recent. Please allow me to self-indulge in this whim of going the nostalgic route. As for the title, don’t worry, no problem with the grammar. It was a bit of an inside joke…Still taking care of links and please bear with the layout.

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UPLB's Very Own College Radio

Our work of art. Each Jock got a part of this “puzzle”. Mine’s that one with cut-outs of music artists, the upper part of 7 and part of 4. It was posted along the wall of then-IDC’s 2/F corridor leading to the broadcast booths.

“You won’t pass for a DJ.” That’s what someone told me in jest recently. I half-joked, “But I am!” Well, of course, I’m not. You don’t have to put two and two together to know that I’m not a DJ. Except that years ago, I actually was one. 

When I heard that, I suddenly missed those good ol’ days again. I’ve been reminiscing for years, but lately, I’ve been missing it more. That’s ’cause I’ve also lately been communicating again with more co-DJs, people with weird and fun names like Master RavenJenny Glitch (or simply Glitch in later years), Shades and RainDanz. Add the fact that I’ve found the Multiply account of the new JoCKs. And the reason why I was looking for and playing certain songs in the first place was because I was missing what I loved playing on air.

Once upon a time, I was Sandra Dee, fondly called — well, I hope fondly — Sands. Sometimes, Dee. Why the name was simple: I had to think of a girlie name (a requirement I gave myself) and I remembered that that was what the character Rizzo called the character Sandy in one of the songs in GreaseBack then I had no idea that an actual blonde singer bearing the name lived decades ago. I just liked the sound of it. My alternative name was the famous Les Miserables‘ Eponine, but many people not familiar with Broadway would still have had a hard time pronouncing it and relating to her. So “Sandra Dee” it was.
Sandra Dee doing boardwork

As “Sandra Dee,” I got to fulfill one of my dreams,…

Sandra Dee doing boardwork 2

…and I  also experienced a different kind of music therapy that really helped me through a family crisis that time

Those two-and-a-half years at DZLB-FM College Radio were some of the best times ever in my life. There were some problems at the start, but overall, it was one great experience! Honestly, I don’t even know how or where I got the guts to audition to be one of the “jocks”. I wasn’t the type to actually join extra-curricular activities (except volleyball) because I was, in truth, a shy, insecure soul (sometimes I still am). Though I got the guts to try out for the paper, The UPLB Perspective (P’), being a DJ was something I didn’t think I could do. I mean, really, weren’t DJs regarded, well, like semi-celebrities? I didn’t know if I wanted even the semi-attention. Gave me the shivers. But it had been a dream since gradeschool, moreso in high school when an about-to-be-famous childhood friend practically was. Who knew I would be one, too, and more than I thought I could be?
Me before joining the UPLB Jocks

Before auditioning to become a Student DJ, I first co-hosted our school paper’s radio program, PANANAW with fellow writer “Trebz” (beside me, forgive my fashion sense). Others, from left: (standing) “Johnny Angel,” “Master Raven,” “Big John” and (sitting) “Prof. Hook”

I guess I got in because I was a bit confident at that time. I got good comments before regarding my live broadcasts that were part of a subject, and the console we manipulated at the Student’s Booth had been my practice tool for several semesters even though I was not a broadcasting major (long story, but thanks to Mang Dex). Also, P’ had a 30-minute long program, Pananaw, hosted by myself and fellow student-journalist Trebz (later hosted by him and other writers Dazzie and Gela while I did the boardwork instead. Much later, it was renamed Tinig Kampus and hosted by an older batch of P’ alumni)…I knew that I wouldn’t be a DJ if I didn’t at least try.     

Back then, we already prided ourselves as at par with the professional DJs in terms of skills. Truthfully, it’s not even hard work though effort was needed. Our only differences with the professionals were (1) we were students who didn’t get paid (but got free tickets, entrance, freebies), as it was voluntary work although we did go through auditions, (2) our station was, and still is, non-commercial with quite a smaller area covered, (3) our PSAs (Public Service Announcements) were local news and we featured local (UPLB) groups/bands, and (4) the JoCKs could choose anything they wanted to play no matter how old or new as long as they followed the themes of the programs they were handling and followed broadcasting ethics (which the “professional” stations are sadly lacking these days).

We got more training as well as we got to learn new skills and explore. We owe a lot to Prof. Hook, CJ Andrews and the other AM band hosts who were our instructors as well.We were made to handle the broadcast console ourselves and answer calls, unlike in some stations. Some like Pepper and I did the Mid-Hour News (that I mostly wrote and gathered during our time until a fresher batch arrived). In addition, there were those lucky, non-broadcasting students like myself who got to experience broadcasting stuff further. I wrote, arranged, mixed and produced plugs (or commercials, but ours were often announcements and spoofs, no popular ads). I got to be a voice talent as well. I remember Gina, a character I played (with Shades, Leuvert and Denise, if I’m not mistaken) for a series of audio recordings produced by the then Institute of Development Communication and the Letran Foundation. It was used, I think, to teach Biology or Science to high school students…I wasn’t that good at it then, both in voice and technique, not that a lot has changed. I got to produce shows like Shades’ program which I co-produced at the start with Raven and which title escapes me. I certainly can’t remember most of the steps on how to create those stuff, but I got a kick out of it. They probably use the same technologies still yet but really, they’re old-fashioned stuff. Great for basic training, though. 

I made sure I got to do everything, even handle various types of programs–dance, mushy, talk, rock, jazz, OPM…The only one I never handled, I think, was the religious show, PTL…My faves were the Rush Hour where we got to play dance, reggae, hiphop, R&B and rap (yep, that’s part of my personality), my baby Pinoy Musiconnection, and the wacky talk show The Hotseat (formerly Top 40 Overtalk) co-hosted with  Raven and Vahid. The last show was first named such after the show before it, the Top 80s Overdrive. My creating and mixing started as a revenge against Raven who created a plug about me that started with ” ‘S’…Sultry…Sexy…Sandra Dee…” So I created something for him in return and I think that was one of my best-ever done plugs: 
Sample: Master raven plug

Quite something like that. Thanks to him some people thought I was tall and long-legged. Well, at least that’s what he said and I have the cassette tape of an “episode” of the talk show to prove it! (cassette tape? how…modern…he he he)

College Radio first media ID

Sample of College Radio first media ID

So many memories! I miss playing the music loud on the monitor and/or the headset. I miss bobbing my head and moving my upper body to the rhythms while I prepared the next songs–a mannerism my co-JoCKs took notice of. Can’t say I’ve outgrown it.

I miss jumping up and down in the booth because the air-conditioning seemed icy cold and the people having classes at the Drama Studio adjacent to the booth (with a large transparent window in-between) were gawking, wondering what the heck was up with me.

College Radio second media ID

Sample of College Radio second media ID

I miss hanging out at the DZLB Library not  realizing that I was fast-turning into a walking music library because I knew where and what many songs were, from the old vinyl records–LPs and 45s–to the CDs that the record studios regularly donated in good faith. You can just ask the librarian, Tita Nitz, the truth in what I’m saying…Good thing we were not commercial; it gave us more freedom to choose what we wanted in our playlists and saved us from the dictates of the record outfits. We only had to make sure to censor the bad words in the songs, if any. I handled the program featuring OPMs (original Pilipino music songs), accepted requests and played what were popular even if they were not my cup of tea. But there were lines that were drawn. There had to be. For my own kahihiyan. There was an unwritten rule: “Avoid playing baduy stuff.” (Now for my own protection, just don’t ask what constitutes “baduy”.)

I miss staying at the Master Studio where I learned to mix plugs (technician Mang Frank let the Jocks learn; Mang Egay and Mang Rene were the strict ones…but don’t tell them I said that and please, go easy on Mang Frank) and where Vahid said, “I wonder what this is for,” pulled an actual plug and, OOPS! DEAD AIR!  (LOL!!!!!!!!!!!Speaking of Vahid, I miss hearing what we called “Vahid Jokes”!

I miss staying in the broadcast booth and actually being the one to end the night’s broadcast by playing the last songs namely the College Radio Station ID extro and the national anthem ‘Lupang Hinirang’.

I miss doing the boardwork as Baby Boomers Sir (Sandy) Flor and Sir Bong (Faustino)  discussed the “olden days and golden songs”.

DZLB FM shirt and jacket

I still have these stuff, the first-ever College Radio shirt and jacket (front and back)

I miss announcing the station’s telephone number which we said was my vital stats. Of course, it was a deliberate attempt to mislead listeners into thinking I actually had a 36-24-33 figure!

I miss the weird handshake started by Joey for fun. The group sealed their brotherhood and sisterhood by creating the UPLB JoCKs and, thankfully and finally after several semesters, having it formally recognized as the official organization of the student JoCKs. 

Lastly, I miss the unseen ghosts while Mang Frank left the whole station–no, whole building!–to me so he could eat his dinner or whatever. Of course, I miss the JoCKs who became my friends, that’s already a given. 

Being a Jock was one of my best achievements, not professionally, but, I guess the word should be “personally”? It became a sort of therapy for me. When I began, it was just months after my father fell sick due to mild stroke. It kept my mind off the problems and made me enjoy life. Music is definitely therapeutic!
Well, now that I’m not anymore a DJ, I miss it so terribly. Heck, I even miss the callers who deliberately said the wrong stations on air and obsessed station fans! Well, fan, anyway, as far as I know. But we always have to move on. I’m really happy to simply reminisce and leave the boardwork to younger and, I’m sure, better jocks. Keep it up, guys!
College Radio stuff

Photos, from left, clockwise: (1) closer look at one of College Radio 97.4’s first logos (2) last year’s shot of my DZLB FM cap that still survives, kind of faded in some parts but still cool (3) close-up shot of design showing the DZLB FM mascot (4) shot of the cap’s side showing off sewn image of an old-fashioned mic (5) my airname sewn at top of a pocket of the personalized jackets (names depended on individuals, of course) we had especially made and where #’s 1 and 3 are also sewn (6) just another fun shot

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