Frances Doren Balboa could be any news director’s dream apprentice.
If this writer (a radio news chief for a decade) were running a radio newsroom, he would have wanted Frances Doren on her team.
Succinct in her delivery of news, mature in her choice of words, restrained in her opinions when reporting.
It was Doren’s dream to “get in line with the competent media practitioners” when she took up a Mass Communication degree at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos.”
She tells DNX she was” glad to finalize this dream” when she was hired by DYWB Bombo Radyo, one of the top AM radio stations here, straight out of college.
She rose fast through the ranks in only six years, becoming a mid-level reporter in a highly-competitive industry dominated by men.
On the sixth year, she says, she already felt “the satisfaction of my duty as a broadcast journalist and wanted to explore more on what I am capable of doing.”
And explore she did.
“Luckily, after passing the Civil Service examination I was encouraged by some friends to try applying for commissionship in the Philippine Coast Guard.”
Fluent in Hiligaynon, as expected of radio reporters, Doren can also converse in English as shown in this email interview:
I was hesitant at first for I am in doubt if I can physically conquer the training but still I took the risk and braved the challenge. From delivering news on-air to entering the uniformed service, I just had the greatest leap of my life! Yes, this is a whole new environment with a different kind of approach but there’s no big change for this is just a continuation of my service for the people.
DNX: Why the Coast Guard?
It was a personal choice. Also, I wanted to test myself if I can hurdle such training. I even promised myself that as I leave the media industry I wanted to work in the government, maybe as a Public Information Officer of any office if my fate permits. It was also an opportunity to discover the works of the PCG aside from how the people see the organization in its function as a guardian of the sea.
DNX: What do you plan to do when you are already with the Coast Guard?
Doren: I was amazed on how the PCG works. My knowledge about the organization when I was still a civilian completely changed as I entered the service especially when I took the Coast Civil Relations Service Basic Training Course. We all know that the PCG performs best in its role of ‘saving lives and property at sea’ but attached to it is also its responsibility in taking humanitarian actions across the archipelago. In the recent typhoons and during this pandemic, the Coast Guard personnel and frontliners proved its capability of being flexible in times of emergency just to maintain the safety of the Filipino people.
Now that I am a few steps away from embracing the real world that awaits the new breed of junior officers of PCG, I wanted to raise awareness to people and let them understand what the Philippine Coast Guard really is. I have worked with people during my time as a broadcast journalist and though it may be in a wider scope now but my work in the media gave me the advantage to perform my future job well.”
Bombo Doren has donned a new hat and while her legions of listeners have been missing her, she might soon be heard again as one of the comms persons of the Coast Guard.