GMA Network�s I-Witness won two awards recently � the 2008 ABU CASBAA Unicef Child Rights Awards and the 2008 Popdev Media Awards for Best TV Documentary.
Jay Taruc and his team bagged the Unicef award for their �Batang Kalabaw� I-Witness documentary. It tells the story of 14-year-old Cherilyn who acts as sole breadwinner for her family and parent to her five siblings.
Out of 69 entries from 10 countries in Asia, the documentary �Batang Kalabaw� (Child Beasts of Burden) was chosen for the prestigious award this year for being �the best television programming on children�s rights produced in the Asia-Pacific region.�
This is the second I-Witness episode that won this award following the episode �Selda Inosente� (Angels in Prison) hosted by Kara David that won in 2003.
The documentary had also previously received a Certificate for Creative Excellence at the 2008 US International Film and Video Festival and the 2008 Catholic Mass Media Awards.
The awarding ceremony was held on November 24 in The Westin Resort in Bali, Indonesia.
Meanwhile, Sandra Aguinaldo and her team bagged the Popdev Media Award for �Nanay na si Nene� for its outstanding contribution in promoting awareness about the population problems in the country today.
Besting 406 entries in its category, Aguinaldo�s documentary documented the lives of two very young mothers and the difficulties as they faced of having children at such an early age.
Barely able to take care of herself, 13-year old Lealyn gave birth to twins and could only feed her babies water and sugar. Belinda, 14, when she five months pregnant, could not afford prenatal care or checkups with an obstetrician-gynecologist.
Aguinaldo also discussed the factors that cause early pregnancies in teens and how they could be prevented with sex and reproductive health education.
The documentary was chosen for the prestigious award by an elite panel of organizations from the development and journalism communities, as well as government agencies and private groups.
The awarding ceremony was held on November 26 at the Mandarin Oriental Suites in Cubao, Quezon City.
Now on its fourth year, the annual Popdev Media Awards was conducted by the Philippine Legislators� Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) with the support of the United Nations Population Fund to honor outstanding and responsible journalism on population and development.