REPORTING MINDANAO: I would have pawned our wedding ring

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 May) — Because it’s MindaNews’ 19th birthday, sharing with you one of my most memorable MindaNews coverage…

This was during the flood in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte in February 2011. I was with Keith Bacongco, Carolyn O. Arguillas, Roel Catoto (who hitched a ride to go home to Surigao City) and Gigi Bueno and we went there because of reports that Lake Mainit was overflowing.

Because MindaWind’s (MindaNews’ ever-reliable Isuzu Crosswind) “power” can only do so much (apparently, it could not in that flood), we had to hitch a ride from Santiago town in Agusan del Norte on the Army’s KM-450 truck to reach the municipality of Mainit, Surigao del Norte.

Author Ruby Thursday More with husband Keith Bacongco in Santiago, Agusan del Norte on 2 February 2011. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

We got there safe and sound. We got our pictures and stories. And then it was time for lunch. And we realized we left our wallets in MindaWind!. I usually slip a few hundred pesos inside my ID pouch, just in case, but not this time.

Good thing Keith was able to bring his wallet but when he opened it, there was only 200 pesos inside. We ended up having a loaf of bread and a can of tuna for lunch for the team of four. (Gigi was left behind in Santiago to ensure MindaWind was secure; We had food in the vehicle. And our wallets).

In fairness to us, we were in a hurry because the Army truck was already moving and we thought of leaving our bags because we were just going to check the extent of the flood.

Imagine if something happened and we had no money? Thinking about this when we were back in Butuan City, my solution, if ever, was to pawn our wedding ring!. Hahaha

And to explain Keith’s OOTD (outfit of the day), he really thought about that. As we were packing our things before leaving the house (in Davao City), he said he would wear a necktie during the coverage so that  the people who are worried about the flood would laugh. In fairness, it worked.. Or maybe, they thought he was crazy.

Proud and grateful to be a part of this news organization and to have learned from among the best, bravest and craziest journalists and photojournalists in the country. To many years more! Padayon, MindaNews!  (Ruby Thursday More, a Communication Arts graduate of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao, stopped doing photojournalism while preparing for the birth of her first child with husband Keith Bacongco in 2014,  focusing instead on her passion for hand-embroidered jewelry which she sold through Etsy,“a global marketplace for unique and creative goods.”Last year, she became the first Philippine-based artist featured in Etsy’s weekly Featured Shop Series.  Ruby met Keith when the latter covered the release of  a Philippine Eagle back in the forest in 2003. Ruby was then working at the Philippine Eagle Foundation)

READ: Dabawenya is first Philippine-based artist featured by Etsy