Recalling her childhood in a town in Batangas, Yong said: "For us then, it was feast and famine, depending on which of her ventures panned out. We had good days and hungry days. There were days I had to face the wrath of the neighborhood store owner because I was sent to try to get some Ligo and bigas on credit but mahaba pa ang listahan ng utang namin, so the store owner berated me in front of everyone for having the audacity to ask for another item on credit. I had no choice, we had to try and get something to eat.”
Yong also recalled her days working as a cashier at Jollibee — a job which she considered a godsend, not only because it supported her financially but that's also where she met her husband. "Before having an income, I used to skip meals because I didn't have money to buy food… My roommate made and sold polvoron and so sometimes one polvoron is what I had to eat the whole day. I never, ever felt sorry for myself though. It was what it was, and I was living a life that many other Filipinos were living.”
More excerpts from the interview after the jump...
On her mentor, ABS-CBN News' Ging Reyes: “Ging gave me my great chance and made me believe that I have a place in TV. She hired people based on capability and potential."
On her trailblazing career as Philippine TV's go-to Hollywood correspondent: “The truth is, I never set out to make history. It didn't occur to me until my Fil-Am friend Winston Emano, who works as a publicist in Hollywood, told me that I was the first.” (Yong made history in 2013 as the first Filipino reporter to cover the Oscars.)
On her first big Oscars coverage: “You have the biggest stars passing by, and you have no time to process that you’re breathing the same air as your idols. It was a blur of producing, writing, doing interviews, uploading footage, editing, even doing social media work. Unlike other reporters covering big events, I don’t have a team to write and produce and do all the other things for me. It’s tough work, but it’s satisfying after it’s finished.”
(Read the full story here)
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