The Larroder sisters, Kaye Pauline and Kate Julianne would be the perfect objects of envy for many campus journalists joining the NSPC. Who wouldn’t when they have seemingly nailed the art of news presenting and anchoring in the group radio broadcasting category so well that both siblings have sailed through all the way to the nationals for five years now?
In fact, the younger of the two, Kate, joined and earned her first NSPC medal at the age of eight – no mean feat for a kid who, as early as three, would join then six-year-old Kaye on a summer camp for kids that would change both of their lives.
“It all started when we were enrolled in a summer workshop called Sikat Academy and one of the courses offered was newscasting,” said Kate who thought at first it was just child’s play. “Gaya-gaya lang po ako sa ate ko (I was just copying what my sister did).”
It all became serious, however, when Kaye’s school radio broadcasting team needed a last-minute replacement and brought Kate in as an alternate. Faced with coaches who meant business, she almost quit on the account of the rigid training that also involved the occasional scolding.
“Every time I didn’t get what they are telling me to do, with every mistake, the coaches would get angry. I thought, ‘What do you expect? I’m only eight years old!’” she intimated. “Ang ending, umiyak na ako at nag-walkout. Sino may sabing ilagay nyo po ako dyan? Good thing na-pacify din ako (I ended up crying and walking out. Who ever thought of including me? Good thing they pacified me later).”
Kate’s motivation for winning was her Ate Kaye. “She was really my idol in newscasting more than anyone else,” she said with pride. “She has a really good voice and timbre, like Karen Davila and Vicky Morales who were her idols.” Eventually, Kate would excel as a news presenter in English, whereas Kaye has a flair for anchoring in Hiligaynon and Filipino.
On the other hand, Kaye enjoys playing the role of a mentor to Kate. “She has done bigger things [at her age]. She even won in the feature writing even if it was not her usual category.” Both agreed that their mother Daryl proved to be an inspiring and effective coach.
“She would notice every mispronunciation and make both of us repeat our lines until we perfected them,” Kaye shared.
That baptism of fire paid off when both sisters won a medal in an NSPC side contest held at Ormoc. For three more years, the winning streak continued. Kaye would be awarded Eastern Visayas’ Most Outstanding Campus Journalist in 2014 and Kate received the same last year. Now both junior high school students at UP Iloilo, they are competing in the inaugural TV broadcast category. Both have each other to rely on, like what they had done, year after year.