Blog Entry No. 5 — Survival mode: An unfettered Communicator by heart and soul
Ms. Ann Grace Dumlao-Mallare, popularly recognized on her screen name as Grasya Pantasya, a host and talent from Regional News Group Luzon composed of her colleagues from the previous ABS-CBN regional news, and alumni of Saint Louis University with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. Grasya P. proved that she could overcome them amidst all her challenges because she is empowered to fulfill her legacy.
Unlike other individuals, she already knew what she desired to pursue. Back in her high school years, Grasya already envisioned herself as a Media practitioner. She began to dream big and manifested her love for public speaking. Even though it wasn’t an easy-breezy journey, her experiences have been fundamental to the woman she is today.
Starting from the bottom, now we’re here, a mantra that validates the divinity’s perfect timing because everything happens for a reason. Before Ann’s DJ and hosting career on ABS-CBN, she worked in a business process outsourcing company after finishing her college degree. She also took two years off before pursuing her undergraduate degree. Ann once doubted herself after entering the university because she thought she was already running late to establish her career in the Media Industry. She worked in a profession she never liked before landing on her dream.
Motivating factors came from unlikely places. Despite Grasya Pantasya’s journey being a little different from the norm, she realized her choice to pursue Mass Communication was the right one. Even when she was living her dream job, she also had a couple of dilemmas she had to overcome. She was once given a character to be followed by how she delivers her voice in her prime years, revealing that boss made her screen name Grasya Pantasya for the audience to think that she is demure and sweet. But as the days passed by, she slowly unveiled her true personality on TV and radio.
“When you are natural, it’s really easy to get close to your listeners and convey the message you wanted to convey.”
She mentioned that the process was worth the wait. Reminiscing back to the days she thought she would never succeed, and reminded herself of her humble beginnings.
At college, Ms. Grace found out that she had hidden talents in acting. She never knew that pursuing her dream program would also unleash a fire that is burning within her — revealing that she may venture into acting in films or television drama if given a chance if she is not an anchor. She once won a considered prestigious award as the best actress in their film festival back in college. She also considered that experience as a training ground for the media realm because of how she was forced to do the filming without sometimes brushing her teeth because of the deadlines they had to follow.
“Reality is, when you are in the film or media industry, you will have hard times. It will be hard for you to make time for your family, to pamper yourself, and even sometimes take a bath.”
Dumlao-Mallare expressed her struggles in the real world. She always remembered how her professors back in college told them that there is no money in the media. Like an individual struggling to meet the ends, she also had debts and once financially unstable when she started, and she cried a lot when her bosses said something terrible. Still, she proved herself once again through having multiple offers in advertising. She surpassed those challenges despite the job being demanding because it was fulfilling for her. She defined her love for the job as treating it as her spouse and a family member.
Grasya’s job in ABS-CBN was forcibly closed last year because of its franchise expiration, making her realize that even the media realm is temporary. But she said that she would not have her dreams fulfilled any other way. Especially that she is so used to her previous profession, she found it hard to start over again because everything felt different. She didn’t expect that political ambitions can destroy even a big company. Regardless of her current situation, she was employed in the Regional News Group Luzon back in December 2020. Headed by Mr. Dobbie De Guzman, they established the organization with their combined passion for the online platforms because they didn’t want to stop giving public service. With the intention to continue broadcasting, it became a motivation for them to strive better because they believe in the mantra, “You are born to be a reporter/journalist, so you will die as a reporter/journalist.”
Slowly but surely, after broadcasting on online platforms for two months, some local television channels started offering them a time slot and progressing into snatching the virtual platform and still getting a free tv. The proliferation of New Media made it possible for journalists like them to make use of Mobile Journalism. With that, their organization easily coped up with the changes of time and adjusted to their available resources at work.
As a communicator, Ann explicitly stated that it is expected for them to be flexible with all the work demands because “You cannot just rely on things because you were used to using them. There will come a time that you will have to accept changes.” Truly enough, the media realm is designed to adapt to the current trends of the changing times. She also said that being flexible comes with having people skills and being able to adjust to them. Communicators are trained to talk to people from different walks of life because they are considered sources and respect them when they say no to interviews.
Communication will always be relevant no matter what happens. The media realm will continuously thrive and evolve together with the new technologies. Grasya Pantasya is one of the living proofs that you will do anything in your power as long as you love what you are doing. Whatever it takes to reach that goal is that life is worth living, and the failures encountered don’t equate to stopping. She is an optimistic person who views the world from a different perspective. She remains steadfast in the countless battles of life — an individual in the pursuit of journalism and believing in endless possibilities — a believer of God’s will and an alpha of the game; survival mode: an unfettered communicator by heart and soul.