WITH ten years of experience covering crime, disasters, and armed conflicts, ABS-CBN journalist Jeff Canoy fits in perfectly as the new anchor of the three-year old ABS-CBN current affairs program “Red Alert.”
Now that we will be seeing him more often (“Red Alert” airs every Wednesday after “Bandila”) let’s get to know him better.
Here are seven fun facts about new “Red Alert” anchor Jeff Canoy:
1. He is a Blue Eagle
Jeff Canoy took up AB Communication at the Ateneo de Manila University. Up to this day, he still cherishes the values he learned from Ateneo. Proof? His greatest goal in life other than to be a good journalist is to be a better man for others, very much in tune with Ateneo’s teachings as well as with ABS-CBN’s mission and vision to be in the service of the Filipino.
2. He co-founded an independent student paper
Before learning how to report and write, Jeff was first into graphics design. He joined “The Guidon,” the official student newspaper of the Ateneo, as one of the layout crew. A year later, he got together with other student journalists who wanted to do more for reportage on campus. They started their own publication, KATIPUNAN magazine, where they did some solid reporting on issues beyond campus while raising funds on the side for the printing of the newspaper.
3. He is a travel nut
Being a journalist has brought Jeff to places for out-of-town coverage but he rarely gets to look around because of his work. Hence, he goes on his own adventures where he does not have to think about news. Jeff has gone to over 27 countries all over the world. His favorite destination so far? Israel, because of the powerful experience he had in the capital city of Jerusalem. Craziest thing done while on vacation? He said, he once swam with elephants while on vacation in Laos.
4. He was an ABS-CBN News intern
Jeff started out as an intern for ABS-CBN back in 2006 and was assigned to be at the news desk to do usual OJT stuff like photocopying documents and filing press releases from different agencies. Things drastically changed when one of the bosses then told him to shadow reporters on the field to get a real sense of what they do. One of the reporters was the legendary Gus Abelgas.
5. He always had an affinity for disaster coverage
Jeff said covering disasters both excites him and satisfies his desire to help. “There’s something about being on the ground, talking to the people affected by disasters and making sure that you do right by them by producing a piece that truthfully captures their narrative. In that moment, you’re more that just a reporter of events. You’re a witness to the stories of these people. They trusted you with their voice. You have to make sure that the story you write reflects what they feel, what they need and what the rest of the country can do to help them,” he said.
6. The song “Bro, Ikaw ang Star ng Pasko!” once made him cry
In 2011, during the aftermath of Bagyong Sendong, Jeff spent his first Christmas away from his family and friends in an evacuation center in Iligan. He recalled that when someone suddenly played the popular ABS-CBN Christmas Station ID theme, the evacuees started gathering together and singing the song in unison. Jeff and his crew could not stop tears from falling as they witness that special moment during a very depressing time.
7. He has gone through many “Red Alert” moments
Jeff said he was carried away by strong winds and flashfloods before during a coverage. He has experienced running away from an erupting volcano. He had to stay in a safe house because of death threats. And more recently in Marawi, they almost got hit when enemies opened fire on the building they were staying in. Jeff said reporters have the tendency to feel a false sense of invincibility on the field. But he credits the training given to them by ABS-CBN on what to do in hostile environments and dangerous situations. “Parati naming baon ‘yung mantra na no story is worth dying for. We always hope for the best. But it’s also important that we prepare for the worst,” he said.
Canoy was recently named “Most Trusted Field Reporter” at the Eastern Visayas State University-Ormoc’s 3rd Students’ Choice Mass Media Awards. He's on “Red Alert” every Wednesday, 9:30p.m. on DZMM TeleRadyo and after “Bandila” on ABS-CBN and ABS-CBN HD. You may also watch online via iwantv.com.ph or skyondemand.com.ph. For updates on the program, follow www.facebook.com/ RedAlertABSCBN or @ABSCBNRedAlert on Twitter.