Following the success of “Fiesta: Ang Makulay na Pananampalatayang Pilipino”, Jesuit Communications’ (JesCom) 2022 Holy Week Special, “Gabay sa Pagiging Santo”, claimed top honors at the 44th Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA).
JesCom’s second offering in celebration of 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines bested fellow finalists “The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews” (GMA 7), “Year of the Superhero” (GMA 7), “The Atom Araullo Specials: Write to Vote” (GMA 7), and “Breathe- Online Holy Week Retreat 2022” (Shepherd’s Voice Radio and Television Foundation) among others, to bag its second straight ‘Best TV Special’ title.
A staple of JesCom’s annual Lenten programming, “Gabay sa Pagiging Santo” is its 17th Holy Week TV special- winning the coveted CMMA prize a total of five times, including “Habilin: Ang Pitong Huling Wika ni Hesus” (2008), “Kwento ng mga Peregrino” (2009), “Ang Aming Mga Sala” (2010), and 2021’s “Fiesta: Ang Makulay na Pananampalatayang Pilipino”.
Present to receive the trophy at the CMMA Awarding Ceremony held last Wednesday evening, November 23, at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel, were JesCom Creative Director Pauline Mangilog-Saltarin, Production Manager Ernestine Tamana, Radyo Katipunan 87.9 FM Station Coordinator Justin Pontino, and Editha Sablan from Marketing.
“We are grateful to CMMA for this award and for continually supporting small Catholic media producers like JesCom,” acknowledges Mangilog-Saltarin of the title’s significance.
“Going up against industry giants can be quite intimidating. It’s good to know that we are also heard and this award, in a way, validates our efforts,” she adds.
Exploring the long, tedious, and complicated process of becoming a saint, “Gabay sa Pagiging Santo’s” unique format did pose some initial challenges. Yet, Mangilog-Saltarin and her team took all these in stride andsuccessfully shared the touching stories offive exemplary individuals who dedicated their lives in service of their Catholic faith.
“It’s always a challenge to come up with a concept that would stand out and connect with the audience. For this year, I wanted our documentary to be lighter in mood and easily relatable to our younger audience,” recounts Mangilog-Saltarin.
“’Gabay sa Pagiging Santo’ is, as the title implies, a guide to being a saint. But I wanted the treatment to be tongue-in-cheek, so to speak. I had a very specific writing style in mind, so I solicited the help of seasoned producer and writer Grace Leung for the script,” she continues.
“Our Executive Director, Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ who is a seasoned radio anchor himself, lent his voice to the documentary. And we used a lot of animation to visualize the process of sainthood,” she further describes.
As JesCom’s production team learned more about each of ‘Gabay’s’ candidates for sainthood, by speaking with postulators, witnesses, friends and families, it was their overwhelming desire to serve others and love for God that opened up valuable realizations for the entire crew.
“One point that really stuck to me was how ordinary these candidates for sainthood were when they were still alive. They had no desire to be saints at all,” recalls Mangilog-Saltarin of the five exemplary individuals’ humility and grace.
“They were just ordinary people doing extraordinary things for God,” she affirms.
As viewers of ‘Gabay’ can find inspiration and discover their own path to sainthood through the lives of ‘Ka Luring’ Franco, Darwin Ramos, Archbishop Teofilo Camomot, Mother Ignacia, and Takayama Ukon, Mangilog-Saltarin believes it is the kindhearted assistance from generous people that allows JesCom to continue to tell these powerful stories of faith.
“We really want to extend our gratitude to those who have been helping us deliver these documentaries to the Filipino audience. Without our collaborators, things would be more challenging for us,” she gratefully expresses.
“We also want to thank the postulators, witnesses, friends, and family members of our featured candidates for sainthood who assisted us during the production. We hope we are able to give justice to their stories.”
“Gabay sa Pagiging Santo”, JesCom’s 2022 Holy Week Special, is now available on Vimeo on Demand.
To watch, visit: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/387231
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