A day probably won’t pass most people by without getting a chance to listen to the radio. Like it or not, you simply cannot escape the power of the airwaves and wherever you go, there’s just always more to listen to. Without a doubt, the radio is still the channel that people count on when they’re in for the latest tracks and news. It has been and always will be the medium that brings entertainment and life to the masses. Of course, listening to the radio would not be complete without the disc jock— the so-called pilot of the airwaves who brings the public the entertainment that they may or may not be asking for at the moment. Whatever way, the jock carries the show for the public’s pleasure. One must be very influential and engaging. The disc jock isn’t all about the fun all the time, however. It is so much more than that.
For a jock to be very distinctive, he or she must possess a unique voice. So when we are listening to our favorite on-air personalities, we usually perceive them as a person based on how they speak, how they laugh, how they make fun of themselves on the radio and how they influence their listeners. A very perky-sounding DJ may be noted as a frisky and happy soul who lives as the life of the party in real life; while the bedroom-voiced radio sweetheart may be known as the role model for female modesty. But in most cases, it’s totally the other way around. For DJ Allen Doug of 102.7 Star FM Manila, who she is on the radio is different from who she is in reality. Jaisel Catalan in real life, DJ Allen considers her radio persona as her so-called alter ego. “She’s my alter ego. I am a very silent person.” But even if she’s the “kalog”-type DJ— somehow far from her personality before becoming a jock, she was able to change and help herself socially and it even opened her to meet new people in her life. She shares, “I was able to express myself more and was able to develop my social skills better than before. Of course, I have more friends now from different walks of life.”
At 24, Jaisel is currently the only female jock of the flagship FM station of Bombo Radyo Philippines, 102.7 Star FM Manila. Though she considers being a DJ as an answered prayer, she also says that she did not expect to work on the radio. “Any work will do as long as I’m in the field [broadcasting] that I chose. Being a radio DJ was not even on my list.” But it turned out that life had its own plans as opportunity reached out to her. “Surprisingly, during the time when I was on my ‘job hunting season’, it was the only opportunity I heard that was undoubtedly related to my course. I mean, I was actually inside a thrift shop and it so happened that they were tuned in to 102.7 Star FM.” She then found out that the station was on the look-out for a radio jock and it made her audition the next day.
Indeed, she didn’t regret it. For almost three years now, she’s been captivating hearts from all over the Metro with her own sound and style. As someone who is a total music lover, she definitely considers the ability to share music to thousands of listeners the top reason on why she loves working on the radio. So what’s next on her list? “Second would be the power to influence or to touch other people using your voice, and you’re always ahead of everyone— knowing the latest trends and you become the medium to inform them.” She also thinks that being an on-air personality gives her a reason to laugh, smile and sound happy, but she admits that it can be a challenge. “You learn how to discipline your emotions and you learn how to set aside personal issues and just be professional at work. It’s quite hard…you have to adjust— very challenging kind of work but you’ll learn it along the process.”
Jaisel also acknowledges the fact that she could never please everyone, and working in the industry meant dealing with a lot of criticism. “At first, surely it will hurt you because there are just some people who don’t know what they are saying…but you’ll get used to it.” She also realized that some of her critics (who she also calls as ‘balancers’) turned out to be very helpful as it reminded her to improve herself. “I actually like hearing negative comments because I treat them as constructive criticism and if you look at it that way, you’ll be thankful that there are bashers and they are actually listening to your program.”
For someone like her to work in a highly-urbanized city with a lot of radio personalities— some of them carrying huge respected names— does she consider anyone her competition? “There are many talented DJ’s out there, and that inspires me to be one of them,” she shares. So what makes her stand out from all the rest? She tells us that her station offers something different than anywhere else. “I can say that my stay here at 102.7 Star FM Manila is my edge because inside this station, we do it all unlike other DJ’s, they just sit down and talk, but we do multi-tasking. Every detail of what we offer, we make it on our own.” She even explains that she’s not only a DJ. She’s also the researcher, segment producer, account executive, scriptwriter and editor. “What makes me stand out is the training I am experiencing as a radio DJ.”
So what could be keeping her busy when she’s not DJ Allen? Aside from working on a business with her friends and being an active alumnus of her theater group in college, she is also given the chance to use her voice once again when she is invited to host events. It may sound similar to being the voice of the radio, but she says that hosting is different. “You get to interact [with the crowd] personally and I think you’ll feel more energized with hosting because you get an immediate feedback.”
But like it or not, the media industry is show business, and all the attention can put anyone off-guard and you can lose control of yourself at any moment. People will keep telling you to stay grounded and to never take your feet off the ground. As part of an industry where your name is expected to make a mark, Jaisel feels that losing who she is isn’t a problem to her. “There’s no pressure at all because what keeps you in this industry is how you behave well and on how you treat other people and you can only do that if you stay grounded and humble. People will love you because of that.” Even if she has already started to make a name for herself in the world of the media, she tries to balance everything— from being on-air Allen to laid-back small-town dreamer Jaisel— and reminds herself to keep the humility. In fact, even if people look up to her and consider her an inspiration in the field, she believes that she isn’t close to her definition of success yet. “I actually have a lot to accomplish pa, and I’m not even close with my definition of success as of now.” She also wishes for a few more things outside the radio world. “I want my business to be financially stable— profit wise. I also want to be an inspirational speaker.” She also talks about wanting to pursue singing. “I am a frustrated singer (laughs). I just love singing and I love poetry, too.” Yet even if she hasn’t done all that she wishes for in life, she still believes that the thrill of wanting to become someone can definitely lead you there. “When I talk about dreams, accomplishments or success, there’s always a feeling of excitement— like there’s something magical to look forward to and it’s always on my mind that the best is yet to come.”
She also wants to let every aspiring jock to know her secret. “To everyone who wants to be a radio DJ, you must know that attitude still wins over skills.” And while she can’t promise to be on the radio forever— as she still tries to accomplish more goals outside broadcasting, we believe that she has made her mark, and that she has already won the hearts of her many listeners. Indeed, her humility is what makes her truly stand out from everyone else. With that being said, we guarantee that even if she doesn’t believe so yet, she’s already a definite success in her chosen field.
Catch DJ Allen Doug on 102.7 Star FM Manila!
Monday- Saturday (Except Friday)
9:00am – 11:00am
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Photos. Jaisel Catalan
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