TACLOBAN CITY- Six months after her horrible experience due to supertyphoon Yolanda, radio broadcaster Jazmin Bonifacio said that could now sleep peacefully at night, but only when it is not raining outside. “When it rains, I would still wake up at night, then sometimes finding myself trembling or in the midst of tears or start looking for my bag and check the windows if there is flood outside. But I’m slowly trying to overcome the fear. Others suffered worst than I did,” Bonifacio said, recalling how she and other staff of DyDW (Radyo Diwa) climbed to the roof minutes after storm surges slammed the announcer’s booth while she was onboard informing the listeners on the last position of super typhoon Yolanda at about 5:15 a.m. on November 8, 2013. Last May 3, Bonifacio, who is now connected with humanitarian radio station Radyo Abante, joined other 42 media practitioners in Tacloban together with personnel of the Philippine Information Agency headed by its regional director, Olive Tiu, in celebrating the World Press Freedom Day and commemorating also the death of other eight local media who perished during the storm. Killed during Yolanda were Archie Globio (DyBR), Malou Realino (DyBR), Ronald Viñas (DyVL), Allan Medino (DyVL), Engr. Gregorio Caing (EV Mail), Chito Lopez (DyBR) and Ariel Aguillon (Bombo Radyo-Tacloban). Others also died few days immediately after the storm were Carolina “Rolly” Montilla of DyVL/ACC, Justenry “Henry” Lagrimas, a veteran radio announcer and Abelardo “Dindo” Orteza, associate editor-in-chief of Leyte Samar Daily Express. The bodies of Globio and Viñas are yet to be recovered. Fr. Amadeo Alvero, media coordinator of the Palo Archdiocese and an assisting priest of the Sto. Nino Parish, led in offering prayers and blessed the venue of the event at the city’s Noblejas Junction, a memorial named after DyVL broadcaster Ramon “Monching” Noblejas who was shot and killed last October 4, 1987. “As they do their job, keep their hearts from despair. Give them courage and let steadfastness shines on the hearts. May they really possess freedom the media should have, that they may cherish it for the good and progress of our society,” Alvero said in his prayers as media participants lighted candles and offered flowers to their departed colleagues. Tiu also congratulated the local media for their dedication amid the difficult situation they are facing after Yolanda destroyed their various media outlets and even their homes. “Would you believe that our media in Easter Visayas are visibly determined to keep their job after Yolanda even without asking for remuneration. They are doing their part not thinking of themselves even they are also victims. The media men I saw on the first day after Yolanda are still media practitioners today,” Tiu said. For broadcaster Allan Amistoso, he said the situation in Tacloban remains hopeful for him, in spite of the sadness he felt for his dead colleagues. He added the storm opens bigger opportunities for other local media to be recognized. “Tacloban is the ground zero, and many stories happened here which practically the entire world is interested to know.”(RONALD O.REYES)