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UE Courtside Reporter: Katz Salao

Q&A with UE's Katz Salao

Age: 23
School: U.P. Diliman, reporting for UE (Season 75-76)
Year & Course: 4th Year, BA Journalism
1. Why did you choose to become a courtside reporter?
"I really just wanted to try out for the fun of it. I was taking Broadcast Communication classes the school year before the auditions, and I was also a Junior Jock at Magic 89.9. I wanted to know if I was good enough to do something more, and in front of the camera. During the auditions for Season 75, the panel kept stressing to us, 'This is a great opportunity if you get picked, but you shouldn’t think that all the doors will open automatically after this.' I have kept this in mind for the two years I've been reporting. It’s foolish to expect instant fame and luck 'just because we’re courtside,' but it's even more unforgivable to not take advantage of this opportunity we have now. And by 'take advantage,' I mean deliver great reports and try to be the best you can be."

2. What's the best part about your job?
"All the access! Just last month I surprised my basketball addict of a brother with a video of all his favorite UAAP players greeting him 'Happy birthday,' and maybe I could’ve done that even if I wasn’t a reporter, but it wouldn’t have been as hassle-free.

"Personally though, I think the [most rewarding] thing about having this job is that I have the [best] seat to watch UE’s UAAP story unfold. Before Season 75, I didn’t know a thing about the Red Warriors. One year later, and you can’t stop me from talking about how amazing and hard working and deserving my team is."

3. What's the most challenging part about your job?
"Last year, the most challenging part was not being able to support my alma mater (U.P.), and having to cheer for a team I barely knew. This season, the difficulty is in trying to make my reports as objective as possible. It’s no doubt I’m UE all the way this year (Sorry, Maroons!). It’s a different thing when you really get to know a team, see how hard they train, and witness their sacrifices firsthand. During a report, thr toughest part is squeezing in not just the technical talk but the team's emotions and pains in 30 seconds or less. So many things to say, so little time."

4. How do you balance your duties as a courtside reporter and a student?
"I think this year, my schedule is the most hectic, yet also the most fun. I have a full load in school, it’s my thesis year, and I go on Magic 89.9 once a week. As for UE, I try to visit the team at least twice a week, and adding the Wednesday plus weekend games, it really feels like there isn't enough time to cover everything. I fix my schedule really early, to make room for everything. It does get stressful, but it’s the satisfying kind."

5. Any UAAP crushes?
"Wesley Gonzales! Rich Alvarez! The entire Ateneo 2002 team! [Laughs] It was that batch that started my love for UAAP basketball. I still get starstruck when I see any of them. I remember meeting Wesley Gonzales in 2009. We had a short conversation—of course I was blushing, and that’s when I realized my love for that team never died!"

6. What advice can you give to students who want to be courtside reporters in the future?
"It sounds simple, but the best advice I have is to just try. Give it your best, and if it doesn’t work out, move on, improve yourself, and try again."

7. Describe your personal everyday/campus style. What tips can you give to freshmen on how to dress for school?
"U.P. has a really diverse environment—one reason why I love it. You can dress up or down, and you’ll be accepted. I dress based on the weather and where my classes are. I’m a shorts-loose top-sneakers kind of student, who always brings a sweater just in case [it gets cold]. But in U.P. there are people who dress to the nines, and others who feel like the campus is just an extension of their house. Some even come to school in cosplay outfits! I think it’s in college that you find your style, so experiment! But never forget you’re there first to learn, so comfort is key."

8. Name one thing every college student should invest in.
"Confidence is really something I think a college student should prioritize, because no matter how you look on the outside, if you’re sure of yourself, you’ll be happy, and your happiness will be contagious. But if you still feel a little shy, I suggest investing in a really simple make-up routine. Maybe a great tinted moisturizer, an eyebrow pencil, and a tinted lip balm. Feel pretty, look pretty!"

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