Jay Taruc is a former Filipino journalist, television news reporter and presenter in GMA Network. Together with Jessica Soho, he won a George Foster Peabody award for his documentary produced for Brigada Siete.
Taruc is the eldest of four children of veteran journalist Joe Taruc and a graduate of broadcasting degree from Centro Escolar University. He married June, a dentist, and the couple has a son named Luis and daughter named Sofia Gabriela. The family lives in Quezon City.
In 1994, Taruc worked as a researcher and production assistant for Brigada Siete, an investigative TV show in GMA Network. He made his first news report on a rupture of Mount Parker's crater in South Cotabato that brought flood in the surrounding community.
He received several awards for the documentaries he made for the show, including the 1998 CNN World Report Award/Category: On Going Story for "Comfort Women." In 1999 together with Jessica Soho's "Kidneys for Sale" and "Kamao," his documentary entitled "Mga Batang Alipin", an exploration into the country's child labor through the coverage of forced detention and rescue of child-workers in a fish sauce factory, won the George Foster Peabody award, the first for the country and the GMA Network. "Mga Batang Alipin" was also a finalist in the New York TV and Film Festival's UNICEF Special Award on that same year and in 2000, it won the Award for Investigative Journalism.
He joined the team of Sandra Aguinaldo, Kara David and Howie Severino that produced i-Witness, a documentary TV show in 2000. The Philippine Army's clearing operation of landmines left by Muslim extremists in Maguindanao was his first documentary that was broadcast in the program.
In 2004, his work entitled "Batang CP" was a finalist in that year's ABU/CASBAA UNICEF Children’s Rights Award. It discussed the plight of children with cerebral palsy and co-hosted by Peter Jonas, cerebral palsy-patient who graduated with honors at the University of the Philippines. On the same year, another one of his documentaries named "Basurero" (Scavenger) that depicted extreme urban poverty was the finalist in the New York and Shanghai TV and Film Festival.
He received the UNICEF Child Rights Award at the 45th Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union general assembly in Indonesia in 2008 for the i-Witness episode "Batang Kalabaw" (Child Beast of Burden) that he produced. The documentary, which also earned the program the CMMA Best Documentary Show in 2009, focused on the story of a teenage girl named Cherilyn, the breadwinner of a family of five children and absent parents, who traded logs by carrying them in the Agusan del Sur mountains.
In 2012, he won the Silver World Medal for Documentary at the New York Festivals for the episode "Lapnos," which covered stories of patients at Mindanao Burn Center. Two years later, his documentary called "Tarima" that was about the indigenous people in Davao del Norte, Mindanao won the 2014 Gawad Agong award.
In interviews, Taruc said that his passion for motorcycles started in 2000 and he preferred them as means of transport. He was also a member of a riders club that traveled around Visayas and Mindanao. By July 15, 2011, he hosted the Motorcycle Diaries, a television documentary show on GMA News TV. The show's title was inspired by a film of the same title that chronicled Che Guevarra's travel around South America on a bike.
The format showed Taruc riding a motorcycle while covering stories of people and places. According to Aris Ilagan of TopGear, it was the first show in the country that had the format and wrote, "With his deep passion for motorcycles and documentaries, he was able to produce a hit series that earned him a strong following in the motorcycle community." It ended in March 16, 2017 despite high ratings and critical success due to inadequate sponsorship to cover production costs.
He left GMA Network in August 2018 when he had difficulties meeting the demands of work while looking after his daughter who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. On August 20, 2017 he co-produced and hosted Ride PH, a half-hour TV show on GMA News TV. The program focused on the culture and community of motorcycle riders, road safety and vehicle maintenance.
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- "Jay Taruc's new TV show is more on motorcycles, less on diaries". Topgear. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
- Apr 3, Cyrian Agujo |; 2019. "Award-winning Journalist Jay Taruc Explains Why He Left the Media for Motorcycles". Esquiremag.ph. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
- "Jay Taruc rides again". Tempo - The Nation's Fastest Growing Newspaper. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
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- "Jay Taruc hits the road for Motorcycle Diaries". philstar.com. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
- "Jay Taruc's new show 'Motorcycle Diaries' to air July 15 on GMA News TV". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
- "On Finding a Good Story to Tell". philstar.com. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
- "Of child slaves and scavengers". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
- "Jay Taruc on the road again with 'Ride PH'". Pressreader: Manila Times. August 19, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
- "Sine Totoo presents 'Batang CP'". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
- Dimaculangan, Jocelyn. "GMA-7 documentary wins Asia-Pacific Child Rights Award 2008". PEP.ph. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
- "'I-Witness' celebrates 14th anniversary, releases new DVD". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
- "GMA News wins three medals in 2012 New York fest". Pressreader: Sun Star. April 21, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
- "I-Witness episode na 'Tarima' ni Jay Taruc, kinilala sa Gawad Agong". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2019-07-26.
- "Highway star". Manila Bulletin Entertainment. Retrieved 2019-07-25.
- "GMA News TV launches six new programs". philstar.com. Retrieved 2019-07-26.