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Not-So-Happy New Year


By: Veronica Leighton


Not quite a happy new year 2018 for the VT/CPRTV family as we have been hit by the devastating influenza epidemic that envelops people worldwide. We became a number in emergency cases and succumbed to the illness last January 10, 2018 when I was diagnosed with mild pneumonia, and my Irog co-publisher Joe Mauricio was diagnosed with pneumonia and is still confined in the hospital as of deadline. (Read our guest editorial on this page and also some health tips on Joe Mauricio’s column page 22).

Not only that, grim news of dear friends that died and seriously injured at a fatal accident in Cebu that involved some medical missionaries from Chicago was a big damper in our spirits. Plus the fact that VT/ CPRTV staff are all flying to warmer climes for their vacation/respite from cold Chicago weather, we are left short-handed with our coverages and activities. (Read Veronica’s Vibes on page 5 and Elsie Sy-Niebar’s Notebook on pages 14-15)

CPRTV show (so is VIATIMES) must go on despite sickness, staff vacations, grim news of dear friends dying and hurting, etc. With my time divided between visiting my Irog daily in the hospital to meeting VT & CPRTV deadlines, & of course, not fully well myself, it’s tough, man!

No matter what, how and when we meet disruptions and obstacles, some changes and improvement with our media work must be done in meeting the new year though. One very good step, we have added new broadcast personalities to do sub-anchoring jobs for our Anchorperson Maria Girlie Pascual (frequent traveler) and News Reporter Louella Cabalona (soon-to-be mom).

Not really a new face on CPRTV, please welcome Jovie Calma as our new sub- anchor (for Anchorperson Girlie Pascual). Multi-talented Jovie is a veteran broadcaster, columnist, singer, actress, model & emcee, and has been a VT/CPRTV loyal staff for many years. She has been CPRTV Celebrity Host interviewing non-Filipino and Filipino talents and celebrities alike in her popular WASSUP?! segment for many years. Jovie has been on hiatus from CPRTV for the past year due to her Dad’s death.

Likewise, meet our new sub- news reporter, very pretty, young and multi-talented Veronica (Nica) Mendoza (for news reporter Lou Cabalona). Nica is a 15-year-old junior from Wheaton North High School. She studied in Miriam School from pre-school to eighth grade, and did acting, modeling and dancing while in the Philippines (started dancing when she was three years old at Halili Cruz School of Ballet). She competed from Asia Pacific Dance competitions to International dance competitions. She was also part of a reality TV show “Watcha Makulit” from GMA, She was a model for Dakki Magazine, and a commercial model for Lactum Milk. She was featured as one of the local Chicago models at the Estilo Fashion Show last May 2017 that featured three top Filipino designers from the Philippines..

Also, help me welcome our efficient and knowledgeable editor/cameraman assist Zeqi Guo (in place of sick irog). She has been a member of VT/CPRTV family as TV editor/cameraman for three years now and currently assisting me in Via Times pre-production.

Our January cover features popular fashion designer Mar Lapena, recipient of the 2017 Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame award in the art of Fashion. And, enjoy reading Via Times from cover to cover, as usual. ##


CPRTV’s Editor Zeqi Guo and new Sub-Newscaster Veronica (Nica) Mendoza recording at CPRTV STUDIO


Jovie Calma and Nica Mendoza


Jovie Calma anchoring for new segments at CPRTV STUDIO

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