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Friday, April 05, 2013

People : Jaime FlorCruz - CNN Beijing Bureau Chief

Jaime FlorCruz former Time Magazine
Beijing Bureau Chief
Jaime FlorCruz CNN Beijing Bureau Chief

I was browsing the CNN web news portal the other day when I came across the name of Jaime FlorCruz, the CNN Beijing Bureau Chief. He has a column at the news portal called Jaime's China which talks about China's society and politics. When I saw his name at the CNN website I suddenly remembered my personal encounter with him in Beijing.

To the younger generations of Filipinos, Jaime FlorCruz may not be as popular as the other CNN Filipino reporter, Maria Ressa, the former CNN Jakarta Bureau Chief. Jaime FlorCruz had been Time Magazine's Beijing Bureau Chief and correspondent for years before he transferred to CNN. He has a very interesting story on how he went to China and was forced to stay there in exile for long time. (See related links below)

In 1993, I was assigned by my company (Alcatel) in Beijing, China. At that time I already had read some information about Mr. FlorCruz as a Time Magazine correspondent and as a former  activist during Marcos time in some printed publications.(There was no internet yet at that time)
During my work stint in Beijing, the employees of our company stayed at the Holiday Inn Lido-Beijing for accommodations. We usually had our dinner at the restaurants inside the hotel because it was hard to get around Beijing, basically due to language problem. Onetime, while we were dining in one of the restaurants, a senior co-worker pointed to me that the guy at a table near us was Mr. Jaime FlorCruz, the Time Magazine Beijing Bureau Chief. I looked at the direction of the table and finally saw in person the Jaime FlorCruz I had only read about. Quite a good-looking man with a dignified bearing. I think my co-worker knew him personally because he had been a resident of Beijing for quite sometime. The restaurant where we were dining was a favorite hang-out of Filipino expats staying at the Holiday Inn Lido because it had a Filipino chef who served "sinigang" to Pinoy expats who requested for it (even if it wasn't on the menu). Mr. FlorCruz being a Pinoy must had been also a regular at the restaurant.

That was the only time I saw Mr. Jaime FlorCruz in person in Beijing. But that encounter with him made quite an impression on me. I guess I was awed seeing an international Filipino journalist  and the Time Magazine Beijing Bureau Chief at that.

Related link :

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