TV Host Shares Her Story Between Takes | Pinay.com
Veronica Baluyut-Jimenez has a hectic daily schedule. This Pinay navigates her time between interviewing guests, appearing on television, attending board meetings and keeping everything in check at home, with husband, Honorary Consul General of Timor Leste Lito Jimenez, and five children.
“My show The Veronica Chronicles, a one-hour investigative documentary is keeping me quite busy. I do all the interviews with my resource persons and I write the story as well. Sometimes we have to go out of town to shoot,” she said of her Filipino show.
And she has another show, PTV Special Presentation, where she does special reports on current issues and interviews foreign dignitaries. As board director of People’s Television, Channel 4, she is part of a team that directs a massive reorganization to revitalize the network, improve programming and viewership, among others. Baluyut-Jimenez is also a member of the board of trustees of the U.P. College of Mass Communications Alumni Association.
Pinay.com conversed with the talk show host in between takes as she graciously shared her time to answer questions.
How did you start your career?
I started as a reporter for GMA 7 and an hourly news anchor in its radio stations DZBB on AM and DWLS on FM. I was given the general beat, including coverage of education and the police. A few months later, I became co-anchor of an evening news show and then another show.
Was that your dream job?
I never really dreamt of being a news anchor and a reporter. I had wanted to be a flight attendant so I can travel all over the world or to be in advertising, making commercials. It just so happened that one of the owners of GMA 7—at that time, Mrs. Loreto Stewar,t who was a cousin of my father—called me one day and asked if I wanted to try out as a newscaster. So I auditioned and passed. But it wasn’t easy.
What is a day like for Veronica?
I wake up in the morning and make sure that the kids are up on time and are not late for school. Then I get ready and leave for the studio where I get my hair and make-up done. I, along with my TV crew, then proceed to our scheduled interviews or shoot out of town. I do about three to five interviews per day, depending on the availability of the resource persons. Then it’s home hopefully in time for dinner or I will have to go to a drive-thru for a meal in the car.
How do you cope up with a successful career and family life?
It’s a good thing that my husband and kids are used to my work schedule—sometimes even on weekends or holidays. If I cannot be with them, we talk on the phone, even on Twitter and Facebook. I do a roll call of my kids at 6 p.m. to make sure they’re home or if they need to be somewhere. I know exactly where they are and what time they will be coming home. When I have the time, I cook special meals for the family.
Tell us about The Veronica Chronicles?
I used to have a daily morning show called The Morning Show, where I interviewed government officials and personalities about issues and current events. Because of my in-depth interviews, the network producers offered me a 30-minute investigative documentary show entitled Takip Silip. They liked the show’s concept so we expanded it to one hour, and re-launched it as The Veronica Chronicles. All the episodes are uploaded on Youtube after they are aired. They may be accessed through People’s Television.
What makes you tick?
I’m very passionate about my work because I learn something new and meet new people everyday. The topics that we choose truly interest me and move me to share it with my viewers. I suppose my curiosity about political and social issues, as well as about the lives of people, has driven me to write and analyze them. It also inspires me to see people taking action in order to come up with solutions to the various problems of the nation.
What’s next for you?
I never sit on my laurels. I continuously think of ways to improve my performance and my show. I constantly ask my friends to critique my show so that I will know how else I can improve it. I am starting a trading business with my second to the eldest son who is graduating from college this semester. My closest friends and I are also planning to set up a business venture which we feel we will be enjoying when we retire.
Photos Courtesy of Veronica Baluyut-Jimenez
|Sparkle and Shine Like Veronica!
Tish Leizens is a great believer in asking lots of questions. That was how she was trained as a business journalist for newspapers and magazines. That was how she survived trying moments in her personal life and how she navigated a successful career and business in media. In 1997, she asked, “Why not?” And so, she moved from Manila to New York City. It was and continues to be a great adventure. After stints as a reporter for Manila Chronicle and Manila Times; correspondent for The Straits Times and Gulf News; Tish worked as editor for Conde Nast, and later edited and published her own regional magazines, OurHouse and Excursions. OurHouse, sold in bookstores chains in the East Coast, was nationally recognized for its innovative approach to magazine publishing. Tish has lectured at the New York Public Library on how to launch a magazine and other topics related to publishing. She was featured in CNN Money in 2010.