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When you cover a motel fire, make sure you’re not a regular

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A radio reporter was busted on air while covering a fire that gutted New Colon Lodge in downtown Cebu City last Feb. 16. The broadcast journalist was reporting live and conducting interviews when, I’m told, the seedy motel’s front desk clerk shrieked “suki!!!”

Suki is what Filipinos call a frequent customer. I wasn’t able to hear the broadcast but someone who did said the anchorman of the radio station laughed after hearing it. He then asked the reporter “suki diay ka diha bai?” (Are you a regular customer there?). The reporter, I’m also told, is married and has become a butt of jokes by colleagues in the beat.

An editor said that when he was in college, he used to bring girls to this motel on Colon St. and the place was already rundown. It’s a favorite, he said, of those who can’t afford motels in uptown Cebu City and the reclamation area.

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By Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu City, Philippines. He is co-founder of the journalism start-up InnoPub Media.