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Number One Fan


Author: issabacsa Total hits: 5329 User hits: 24 Date: 05-15-2014

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  A WEEK HAS PASSED since I received that prank call from someone who called himself my Number One Fan. So, I concluded it was just that: a simple joke. In fact, I forgot to call back Flower King to ask about the roses sent to me. Everything went normal the whole week.

  Monday morning, I delivered a flash report about the death of my Journalism professor. The floor director gave me the signal to start.

  “From the newsroom of Royale Metro Broadcasting Network Channel 3, I am Regine Sta. Maria. After a week of searching, police found the body of veteran columnist and professor, Jose Luis Anacleto III. Witnesses found the body inside his vehicle at about eight o’clock this morning. A foul smell coming from an abandoned car parked in a vacant lot prompted witnesses to report this to the authorities. They found a black Mitsubishi Lancer parked in a vacant lot along Regalado Avenue in Fairview, Quezon City. Initial investigation showed Anacleto committed suicide inside his car using his own gun. He also left an audio recording as a suicide note. More updates of this news at six o’clock on RMBN, Royale Metro Balita Ngayon. Good afternoon.”

  I felt sad with that news as I handed the lapel microphone and the copy of the news report to the production assistant.

  Professor Jose Luis Anacleto III mentored me with my thesis. He even gave me a recommendation letter to go with my job application in case employers need character references. He prided his students who were successful in the media --- David, Abet, Alex, Leah Edades, me, and others. I wondered why he committed suicide despite his success as a journalist and publisher of The Philippine Daily.

  Metro M Group of Companies bought the bankrupt broadsheet The Philippine Daily a year before. That time, competition between radio and television stations including cable TV channels was intense. Ratings of Royale Broadcasting Network dropped and its revenue started to dip. The company struggled to lift its ratings but few advertisements came in.

  So, Dominador “Butch” Roxas, Jr., the network’s CEO, announced his shares of stocks were on sale. Then, Alfonso Chua’s Metro M Group of Companies came to the rescue. I remembered reporting that on TV months ago.

  Many changes in the policies and programming of the station happened as soon as Metro took over. The company re-organized, some people volunteered to resign, and some positions retrenched.

  Has this something to do with the buyout of The Philippine Daily by Metro M Group?

  Prof. Anacleto led the negotiations between Royale and Metro after the said buyout. The merger happened more than a month now and everything seemed all right.

  Why would he commit suicide then?

  After the news flash, I saw a bouquet of red roses on my table again. I immediately took the card and read it:


To a good newscaster,

  Congratulations! Our evening news is one week now and it is rating. More power to you.

  Still your fan,



  I did not know what to think. When I turned David’s workstation at the other end of the newsroom, I saw him smiling at me. I intended to approach him but my phone rang.

  “RMBN News, good afternoon,” I greeted.

  “Aren’t you surprised by Professor Anacleto’s death?” Number One Fan asked on the other line.

  His laughter made the hair on my skin rise.

  “What do you mean?” I asked while looking at David who was on the phone, too, his back facing me.

  “Did we discuss before that you’re going to make me Number One?” he asked. “Well, this is it. Let’s start the ball rolling, man!”

  “It was a suicide, right?” I asked.

  A sudden thought entered my mind. I looked down on my desk and took the cards from Flower King.

  “Wait… did you kill him?” I asked.

  “Maybe you should ask yourself why he died,” he said.

  I just heard a click and a dial tone after that.







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