Get to know: NU courtside reporter Ira Pablo
Barry Viloria on Sep 28, 2015 12:51 PM
THIS is her dream job, and she's going to do everything to make the most out of it!
Her love for basketball and, ultimately, for the job is so clear she doesn’t mind reporting for a school that’s not her Alma Mater. While she’s not the first one to do it (there were her predecessors Tricia Robredo, an Atenean, and the departed Maan Panganiban, another Isko), Ira Pablo—20, taking up Broadcast Journalism at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and the newest courtside reporter for the National University—is way too transparent about not having to mind.
“To me, even if I am in a collegiate league, I don’t see schools. I see them as teams talaga and you watch them perform as basketball players, and not for their schools. So, ako talaga, my fan base is not because I am from that school. For example, my favorite team was FEU,” she begins.
Ira was a PBA fan first. With a basketball-loving dad, she used to watch the games as a little girl. As testament, she mentions crushing on Jimmy Alapag’s rookie days “before everyone else started having a crush on him, patay na patay na ako sa kanya.” Interestingly, it was through watching basketball that led her to her dream of becoming a courtside reporter. She was just in grade school then at Poveda.
When she entered college at UP, Ira decided to realize that dream. She was just a freshman, hoping to bag the coveted the job. But she didn’t make it at first.
“I cried so hard! I cried in the audition, actually. It broke my heart,” she reveals. “Hindi ako nanood ng season the next year kasi nga sobrang bitter!”
Little did she know her tears would lead to something else, though. Coincidentally, volleyball commentator Mozzy Ravena witnessed the then-poor reject in her momentary drama and asked her to try out for the same job for V-League instead. Without a peep, Ira heeded the former volleyball player’s advice. She got in.
For a season, Ira reported for the commercial women’s volleyball league. There, she developed more experience, which she later used once she decided to try again for the UAAP.
“Yun, I am just really happy kasi, you know, you weren’t accepted once, eh. You failed, and then, finally, you got it. You pursued it, eh, parang niligawan mo ‘yung trabaho,” she declares.
As part of her job, Ira bonds with the Bulldogs on Saturdays and Mondays at the NU Gymnasium. (She describes the team as “makulit at mahilig mang-asar!”) Over time, she has learned to appreciate the team on a higher level—one thing that has made her love the job more.
“Siyempre, who wouldn’t want to be on courtside for the defending champions, ‘di ba? I am a fan of NU especially after last year. I’ve seen their performance in their championship bid last year: how they beat Ateneo twice to get into finals, how they lost and they adjusted and won twice against FEU, so they have my respect and it’s such an honor to be reporting for them.”
Once Ira’s done with the job, some truth she unequivocally doesn’t want to face yet (“I’m enjoying the process because I’ve always wanted this! It came by so fast. I want to do everything again!”), Ira plans to pursue her course and be a media personality. She particularly wants to be a travel show host, a radio jock, or a PBA courtside reporter. As such, she’s no stranger to being on TV—if you’re curious, she was also part of the teenage lifestyle reality show I Am Meg. Just in case, she also has some makeup skills up her sleeve for some freelance work—this artist is certified!
As of now, Ira’s just taking her time, enjoying her dream job that was worth the long, long wait. She really, really, really loves this. Check her last Instagram post if you still don’t believe us.