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.
“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 Raven, Jenny 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.
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.
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)
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.
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 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”.
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.