LONDON—Rose Eclarinal, bureau chief of ABS-CBN Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), has been named a recipient of the 2021 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO), under the Banaag category.
Eclarinal, who holds extensive experience covering Europe’s breaking and developing events, has been recognized for “her significant contributions and advancing the cause of overseas Filipinos.”
She considers the recognition a “priceless reward” for the work that she does for her community and her country.
“I remembered my father who passed away during the first wave of the pandemic. He valued institutions like the military and the Office of the President. He would have been so proud,” Eclarinal said.
Some of the biggest happenings covered by the seasoned journalist through the years include the royal weddings, canonizations in Italy and Portugal, the Papal conclave, the 2012 London Olympics, and interviews with Hollywood A-listers, world leaders and European royalties.
On top of her regular work, Eclarinal started a passion project, Juan Eu Konek, a news magazine program documenting the lives of Filipinos in Europe. She independently funded it with her colleague, Gene Alcantara. It started broadcasting in 2014. After airing on ANC and TFC for 2 years, the show was revamped as a digital program in 2019.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Juan Eu Konek started livestreaming content and captured viewers on social media. “It felt providential when during the peak of the pandemic, our project was awarded The National Lottery Community Fund to support Juan Eu Konek’s work,” Eclarinal said.
This paved the way for the production of Kontra Corona Docuseries, which was first released digitally, then aired on DZMM Teleradyo and Sky Cable in the Philippines.
“Juan Eu Konek Kontra Corona docu was a passion project. I did not get paid or earn from it. It was completely done out of passion and community service,” Eclarinal expressed.
The University of the Philippines—Diliman alumna started her career in journalism as researcher then writer for ABS-CBN’s investigative news magazine program, “The Inside Story”, before becoming a producer and reporter for the network’s award-wining weekly documentary program, “The Correspondents”. She also worked as a senior producer for the Philippines’ longest running primetime newscast, “TV Patrol”, and held executive producer posts before studying overseas for her masters.
Eclarinal completed degrees at various academic institutions in Europe. She was also a recipient of the UK’s Chevening program, the Netherlands Fellowship program and the Erasmus Mundus master’s program, funded by the European Union.
“I’m a homegrown ABS-CBN journalist. One of the many things I learned from the company that nurtured me for over 2 decades is public service,” Eclarinal said.
As an accomplished and empowered woman, she is also grateful to the many great women who influenced, inspired, mentored and lifted her.
“No one can set the bar for anything you want to do in life, personally of professionally, but yourself,” she added.
She shared that knowing her stories make a difference in the lives of ordinary Juans in Europe drives her to continue and excel in the field of mass media and community service.
“Journalism and community service are so intertwined. It’s very challenging but extremely rewarding, “ said Eclarinal.
Eclarinal, one of 56 recipients of the Presidential Awards, will receive a medal from President Rodrigo Duterte at an event in Manila.
The PAFIOO is a biennial search for overseas-based organizations or individuals who have dedicated their work in the service of Filipinos in the Philippines or abroad, selflessly supported relief, rehabilitation, and development programs in the home country, or excelled in their field of work or profession. The awardees were thoroughly screened through a 4-stage evaluation process.
The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) said 117 nominations came from 31 countries and were endorsed by 39 Philippine foreign service posts across Asia, North and South America, Europe, and Australia.