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"Fanfare" by Ricardo F. Lo
Cathy Yang now with Bloomberg

You, too, must have been wondering whatever hap pened to Cathy Yang, the pretty, bright-faced Chinese newscaster/anchor of ABS-CBN whose sincere smile cushioned even the most shocking or the most tragic news.

If you surf cable TV like I do, you must have, well, stumbled upon Cathy flashing the same sincere, sun-shiny smile on Bloomberg TV to which she moved from ABS-CBN sometime in August 2000 after finishing two scholarship grants first from the Thomson Foundation (sponsored by the British Council) and then at Oxford in UK. She worked for ABS-CBN as anchor-reporter for eight years, right after she tucked up a degree in Communication Arts from La Salle with honors, including as Outstanding Coed Awardee in 1990.

Cathy anchors MoneyCast Asia which averages 10 "live" studio guests per day, excluding three or four US-based guests who need to be interviewed before the show. Add to the mix the two live "hits" that need to be done for the Bloomberg US Channel's World Financial Reporting in-between the interview recordings and befbre MoneyCastAsia goes on air and you have an idea how preoccupied Cathy is between 7 to 10 a.m. non-stop when she's seen in Philippine television.

Cathy Yang, host of Bloomberg's MoneyCast Asia, with her two Best News Presenter from the Asian TV Awards given in Singapore annually
Cathy Yang, host of Bloomberg's MoneyCast Asia, with her two Best News Presenter from the Asian TV Awards given in Singapore annually

"I coordinate closely with another Filipina in Bloomberg, Yvette Fernandez, for guestings on my show," said Cathy. "Yvette is my producer in New York."

Based in Tokyo, headquarters of Bloomberg Asia-Pacific (also aired primetime in the US and UK), Cathy arrives at her desk at 4:30 a.m. preparatory to her first recorded interview at 5:15, the second at 5:30, the third at 5:45 and the fourth at 6 o'clock. By 6:39, she should be ready for her first ('live hit" for the World Financial Report and 7:30, her second "live hit." From 8 to 11 a.m. (Tokyo time), Cathy is on board for MoneyCast Asia.

"As soon as I get to the office," said Cathy during a phone interview with Funfare last weekend (when she came home to spend time with her husband, Dr. Gilbert Yang, a dermatologist, and their six-year-old daughter Angelica), "I go over the top headlines to prepare for my recorded interviews with US-based guests. These interviews tackle issues that have come across over night. I follow a busy schedule Monday through Friday and," she added with a certain ring in her voice, "I enjoy it."

She has been amply recognized with a Best News and Presenter Award in December 2001 by the Asian TV Awards (given these past seven years in Singapore) barely three months after she began working in Bloomberg and again, last December where she bested such other world-class worthies as Martin Soong of CNBC (Bloomberg's rival channel) and somebody with CNN.

What made Cathy turn her back on her Flourishing career at ABS-CBN?

It's not a long story.

In 1999, she and GMA's Jessica Soho were granted a scholarship by the Thomson Foundation after which Cathy went to Oxford on another scholarship grant. She finished the six-month course in three months, coming up with a 300-page thesis entitled "Effects on Journalists of Huge Merger" (such as, the pointed among others, the CNN-Turner merger) for which she got a commendation.

Besides being a good TV host, Cathy is also a brilliant writer, having been four-time winner (1998 to 1992) of La Salle's Annual Awards for Literature, an awardee of La Salles Campus Journalism Awards (1988 to 1993) and first-placer in the National Essay Contest sponsored by the Philippine Fulbright Scholars Association.

Abroad, according to Cathy, she discovered what she had been missing - opportunities for great career moves.

"Bloomberg was there," said Cathy (who also trained at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia), "so I took the chance."

Her ABS-CBN experience and coverage of the Philippine Stock Exchange proved to be valuable at Bloomberg.

"My first assignment was as a reporter at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the second largest market in the world. After six months, there was an opening for an anchor of the morning timeslot and that's how I got to MoneyCast Asia.

Although born to Cantonese parents (her maiden name is Yap), Cathy speaks more fluent Nihonggo than Cantonese or any other Chinese language, regretting that she never studied Chinese which she's now trying to learn from her husband.

"On weekends," said Cathy, "I fly home to Manila to be with my husband and daughter. Like me, they now enjoy resident status in Japan; I made sure of that. Sometimes they go to Tokyo to be with me. I arrive in Manila Friday evening and I fly back to Tokyo Sunday evening in time for my work Monday morning."

March 15, 2003

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