When did you start your radio career?
I started in 1979. In an AM station, that predominantly plays hits Monday to Saturday, and oldies on Sundays. No programming like how we do it today, but we had a system of rotating songs played to make sure we don’t repeat a song too soon, too often.
How did you get into radio?
I accidentally got into radio through a disco. Seriously. I was a working college student. I had a weekend gig with a dance club as a dance music spinner & talking DJ. Yup! Every Friday & Saturday, I’d spin dance music, like all the other DJs in the club, but the difference is – at certain times during the set, I’d turn the mic on and talk “radio style”. The crowd responds by flocking towards the dancefloor and staying there! I guess that was the beginning. Because one Friday night (actually Saturday 3:30 in the morning), the club’s reception passed me a note left by two announcers from radio station across the street. The note said they are looking for an announcer. So the door opened, and I went right in.
How was your first boardwork?
My first boardwork was nerve-wracking. It was for an AM station: D-W-Double-X and my schedule was, 7pm to 12 midnight. Inside the booth, they had a pair of incredibly sturdy and heavy turntables that felt like they were made of solid lead & steel. The motor mechanism that spins the round metal plates were so powerful, the other announcers used to joke that we could literally sit on either of those turntables and it will continue to spin. The on-air console had rotary knobs that controlled the sound volume, and a microphone switch that made a loud metallic click every time you flip it to ad-lib. I remember being so tense I didn’t realize I was thirsty until I signed-off at midnight.
Any memorable thing happened in your rookie year as a jock?
I actually have two memorable “rookie years”.
– My first year as a rookie announcer/DJ in that AM station, I got robbed. Yup, held up in a jeep past midnight on my way home after boardwork.
– And then, during my first year as a Trainee/Probe DJ for 99.5RT, I lost my college girlfriend. That was tough. But then again, almost everything that happened during my first year in 99.5RT was memorable. Which includes “accidentally” doing the morning show alone, because incredibly high floodwaters prevented the Sign-On DJ from making it to the station. On that particular day, from the graveyard shift that started at 2:00 AM, I went straight into the morning show from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM.
Did you have the full support of your family when you started out?
Yes! They were all very supportive. They would totally understand why I couldn’t make it to family events, special occasions, and would even make it a point to wait and save food for me so I can still partake, even if I’d arrive late.
When you’re not on air, what kind of music do you listen to?
I’m subscribed to a few unsigned, indie artists so I listen to their creations. I’m also signed up with websites that showcase composers and producers of good quality musical scores, film & television soundtracks. I listen to musical artists that create their own interpretations/arrangements of popular throwback/ hitback tracks. I’m excited by the sound of some of our young new bands, because their music sounds fresh yet familiar. But then I also like the ambient sound of my world – my keyboard, electric fan, the neighborhood kids, or the refreshing sound of rain. Because, as an “indie produ” of soundtracks for advertisers & ad agencies, I’m constantly listening to something, hehe… so sometimes I put my earplugs on, and treat my ears to the sound of complete silence.