On Feb. 7, veteran broadcast journalist Julius Babao will debut as a main anchor on the primetime newscast Frontline Pilipinas

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  • Julius Babao shares story behind decision to move to TV5

    Veteran newscaster Julius Babao surprised not a few viewers when he announced, at the very start of 2022, that he was leaving ABS-CBN, his home network for 28 years.

    Shortly after, Julius was reported and later on confirmed to be moving to TV5. On Feb. 7, he will debut as main anchor on the primetime newscast Frontline Pilipinas.

    During an exclusive interview with The STAR, he talked more about the process that led to his decision to become a Kapatid.

    Contrary to the perception of some, it was not his wife, One PH TV host Christine Bersola, who convinced him to join the Kapatid network. One PH is a sister channel of TV5.

    “Hindi eh. Not at all. It’s really me… and I felt I needed change and I needed to explore ano pa pwede ko gawin as a media person. I don’t want to be boxed in sa isang work na parang feeling ko, kailangan ko pa maraming gawin. This will open opportunities para magawa ko kung ano ang feeling ko ay pwede ko pang gawin sa aking career,” the 53-year-old broadcast journalist explained.

    Julius further revealed that pre-transfer talks, particularly with TV5 boss Luchi Cruz-Valdes, lasted for over a month but “I felt it was the longest month of my life (laughs) kasi after kayo mag-usap for weeks, wala kang naririnig ng kahit ano. Parang ano rin, may (anxiety), na ano ba ang mangyari, anong plano, ganito lang ba?”

    He said what helped him throughout the entire process was involving his family. Together, they prayed for a sign, some divine guidance, that Julius was being directed to TV5.

    “Nung nag-uusap na kami ng TV5, siempre wala pang sure or firm na decision at that time, so we prayed the Rosary. We’ve been praying the Rosary since the start of the pandemic, but nag-dagdag kami ng prayers as a family that I’d be enlightened on what to do when it comes to my career. We prayed to Padre (Francesco) Pio, our patron saint. St. Anthony (de Padua) as well,” said Julius.

    He and his wife are devotees of both Catholic saints that’s why their two kids are named Antonia and Antonio Francesco.

    “During our prayer, in-involve din namin yung mga bagong saints napili namin na will help us in our decision-making, St. Jude and St. Joseph, and the kids also offered their prayers for me. We talked about this. Kasi ang nangyari sa amin since the pandemic, after every Rosary or even before the Rosary, nag-o-open forum kami. We’d share our intentions, each member of the family, and that helped us in becoming closer as a family.

    “So, nasama na rin dun yung petition for enlightenment sa career ko because this was not going to be easy because I had been with ABS for 28 years. I cannot decide alone, I need guidance from the Holy Spirit, from God, on what will really be the direction of my life, I can’t just rely on my own instinct and emotions. It has to be above me. So ayun, we involved the kids. And we really prayed hard and we saw the signs. The signs were there.”

    The “signs” he asked for didn’t come overnight. “I felt at that time na kailangan na ako mag-move, I need to grow, I need to stretch my wings, I need to fly. So, habang nag-uusap kami ni Luchi, it took awhile and there were times na weeks passed na walang kahit anong info from Luchi or anyone from TV5. If that sign never came, maybe this wasn’t the time to move. Ganun lang talaga. Parang I was very open to anything that could happen,” he recalled.

    “Then one day, after many, many weeks, nakatanggap ako ng text from Luchi. Sabi niya, ‘Are you still interested in joining us?’ Ayun na: This is the sign that I’ve been waiting for. Very clear.”

    In the wake of the former TV Patrol anchor’s exit, ABS-CBN issued a statement of support for Julius, stressing: “We respect his decision to pursue a professional career outside of ABS-CBN and wish him well in his future pursuits.” (N. Tomada. PS)



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