12/10/2008

The Power of Radio


“Sister Grace!” chirped a youthful voice on the phone.

“Who is this please?” I asked, thinking it might be one of the young people in our church, where everyone calls me Sister.

“Sister Remy!” she said, her vibrant voice belying her age. She is in her 90’s.

Remy was a church mate long, long ago. But she moved to a new place and we never saw her again.

“I was just listening to the radio and the announcers were talking to someone named Grace Chong who has written several books. Could that be, by any chance, you?”


“Yup,” I said, chuckling. Her voice’s subtext was it-isn’t-you-but-it’s-a-good-reason-to-reconnect.

“Wow!” she said, still unbelieving. “So many things have happened since I left the church. I’m glad I found your phone number." And she went on to talk about her good health and continuing journey with the Lord in her twilight years.

The radio is indeed a powerful medium. Advertisers prefer television, but radio can reach exact markets more intimately.

Remy’s call reminded me of my radio days when I was in college. My parents were sending me a monthly allowance that could last only a week or so. My stint at DZUP (and the UP Philippine Collegian, the University of the Philippines' newspaper) would tide me over from month to month.

I must have had a good radio voice in those days because I was one of two chosen to host two programs a day. A believer of grace, I think it was God’s way of helping me survive. It was an experience I relished, mostly because I got to write my own scripts. The writing charmed me more than the announcing.

After graduation, I taught in a university in Baguio. Again, the Giver of grace led me to the local radio station and there I got a job as a DJ; again, to augment the beginning income of a fresh graduate.

And today, as I write books (and blogs), I get to be interviewed on radio.


It never fails. People call to say they heard me on the air.

Talking to the mike, I could see images of the radio booths of my youth. I think that’s one reason why I have always been an advocate of and for radio.

2 comments:

Cheryl (aka Chen) said...

wow, I was just wondering about how and where she is now... before we left, I even asked mom about her and she doesn't know anything... heheh...

Grace D. Chong said...

She is as healthy as ever! And claims she has no wrinkles--at almost 100?! I will have to ask her what her secret is.