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Wilfredo Willy Matawaran

Denevin Den Macaranas


Meet the tag team of Radyo Inquirer 990

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:09:00 10/25/2010

Filed Under: Media, Radio, Entertainment (general)

MANILA, Philippines?Wilfredo ?Willy? Matawaran wanted to become a lawyer while Denevin ?Den? Macaranas, a military officer.

Today, the deep-voiced Willy gets to argue his case while the hefty Den is always ready with a battle plan.

On the air, that is.

Matawaran and Macaranas form the tag team in the newest early morning news and current affairs program on the AM band. Both pioneering deskmen of dzIQ Radyo Inquirer 990, they serve up piping hot reports and punchy commentary as anchors of ?In Desk Corner.?

The booth buddies strike the opening bell for early risers from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m., Monday to Friday.

Matawaran recalled that as a child he wanted to become a lawyer. But in third year high school, his geometry teacher asked him to read out an equation to the class. Impressed, the teacher later told Willy that he should try majoring in mass communications because ?he has a voice.?

Bye-bye PMA

When Matawaran got home, he turned the AM radio on and, for the first time and out of curiosity, practiced reading out loud, feeling the boom of his delivery and discovering his sense of timing. It didn?t take long before practice made perfect?and led to a profession.

Before college, Macaranas had his mind set on entering the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), a plan his father wasn?t exactly comfortable with.

?My father didn?t want me to go the PMA because hazing was said to be rampant at the time. But I still applied,? Macaranas recalled.

But fate had other plans: Of all people, it was his father who received the reply letter from PMA asking his son to undergo a medical examination. Bye-bye PMA.

Big challenge

When Macaranas eventually enrolled in journalism at the Lyceum of the Philippines, his father took the time to accompany his son. ?He just wanted to make sure I won?t be studying elsewhere,? he said.

He said his career choice was influenced by his grandparents who were avid AM radio listeners, especially of dramas and programs starring veteran anchors Tiya Dely and Johnny Tango.

Now with years of radio experience behind them, the Radyo Inquirer tandem consider it a big challenge being pitted against established anchors of other stations in the morning AM primetime.

Young minds, fresh ideas

?Our show welcomes clashes of ideas, that?s why our commentaries will have to be upbeat,? said Matawaran, who also co-hosts a dziQ weekday recap show, ?Kumpadres?, with Inquirer Libre editor in chief Chito Dela Vega from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

?Fresh ideas from younger minds. We deliver the news fast and dissect the issues thoroughly,? Macaranas added.

Matawaran acknowledged the immense pressure of being part of the young station dzIQ, which was formally launched on Sept. 9 as the broadcast arm of the Inquirer group of companies.

?Expectations are high because we?re with Inquirer,? said Matawaran, who started out as a disc jockey in 1990 for a local station in his native province of Pampanga.

Like a plane taking off

Macaranas said another challenge for the new station would be translating the Inquirer style of reporting from print to radio, from the English medium of the broadsheet to the casual Filipino of AM programming.

But he was confident that the dzIQ team would get it just right. Macaranas likened dzIQ to an airplane that?s taxiing and about to take off.

Fresh from college, Macaranas began as a production assistant in 1996 and was later promoted to reporter on the station dzXL. He also had a stint on dzBB before joining Radyo Inquirer in 2009.

Matawaran was certain Radyo Inquirer would not have any difficulty gaining loyal listeners, especially with an ace up its sleeve: The Inquirer brand and standard of journalism excellence.

He noted that the company, even while still on test broadcast, already gave formal recognition of the news team?s coverage of the Aug. 23 Rizal Park hostage drama.

?It gives you a great feeling when the station does that,? said Matawaran, who thought his broadcasting career was over when he decided to work abroad after an early retirement from dzMM in 2005.

It runs in the blood

Before joining dzMM in 1996, Macaranas also earned his spurs in dwOO as a talk show co-anchor with Tita Swarding. He also worked as a news writer, field reporter and anchor on the Church-run Radio Veritas.

?Once a radioman, always a radioman,? Matawaran said. ?I?m still here because radio broadcasting flows through my veins.?

Willy and Den come out swinging on ?In Desk Corner? right after dzIQ?s predawn newscast Dyaryo sa Radyo. Katherine Evangelista, INQUIRER.net

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