Rodrigo “Jiggy” Manicad was born in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, and grew up in the slums—along the railroad tracks, to be exact—of San Pablo City, Laguna. After high school, he wanted to take up a vocational course to be able to set up a car repair shop, or go abroad to help augment the family income. However, Carmelo Mayo, a classmate in high school convinced him to take the UP College Admissions Test (UPCAT). He was admitted at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB) where he took up BA Communication Arts. He was a grantee of the Student’s Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP). While in college, he was a news writer for the UPLB Perspective, the official student publication of the university. He also worked as a student assistant for the UPLB Public Affairs Office, writing news and speeches.In college, he applied as a porter for the Philippine Airlines in response to a newspaper ad that he saw, but was rejected.In 1994, after college, he applied and was accepted as a driver/production assistant for GMA’s DZBB radio. Unfamiliar with the roads in Metro Manila, he declined the job offer and was accepted as a researcher for ABS-CBN instead. After three months, he resigned and went back to Los Baños to work as a writer. Missing field work, he reapplied at GMA where he was initially mistaken as someone seeking medical help in the program Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko because of his paper-thin build. He was accepted as a writer, and soon was assigned on the field.While he worked for GMA at night, during the day he gathered and wrote stories for The Manila Times under the direct supervision of its then editor-in-chief Malou Mangahas, currently the executive director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).Jiggy anchors and hosts the following programs: 24 Oras Weekend, Reporter’s Notebook, and GMA News TV’s Quick Response Team (QRT).
In 2012, he was awarded as one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for broadcast journalism. In 2014, he led the entire GMA News organization to win its fourth George Foster Peabody Award for its coverage of Supertyphoon Yolanda. That very same year, he was awarded as Metrobank Foundation’s Journalist of the Year, won the Super Journalist Award by SM, was cited as the “King of Breaking News” by PeopleAsia magazine among the Men Who Matter, and was recognized by the people of Tacloban for his journalism through their annual Sangyaw Awards.Jiggy has tucked more than 60 journalism awards under his belt, including the UPLB Distinguished Alumnus Award for Public Service as well as those from the New York International Film and Video Festival, US International Film and Video Festival, Asian Television Awards, Catholic Mass Media Awards, and Ani ng Dangal Awards. He has also been recognized as an Outstanding Lagunense and Outstanding San Pableño by his townmates as well as an Outstanding Alumnus of San Pablo Colleges, his alma mater. He has also won awards from various student award-giving bodies.He is a member of the British Alumni Association, being a British Chevening Scholar in Cardiff University, Wales, UK.More than the recognition and career, Jiggy considers his loving and caring family as his greatest achievement. He is married to maverick TV producer and director Marnie Manicad, and they have three kids: Sammy, Sabina, and Simone Maxine.