National Press Club Cebu

Judge Meindrado Paredes of the Cebu Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 13 will induct the first officers of the reorganized National Press Club Cebu in central Philippines tonight at the Wan Shang Lo restaurant at the 20th floor of Club Ultima.

To be inducted are yours truly, Emmanuel Mongaya of Superbalita and Sun.Star Cebu as club president, Ely Baquero of Sun.Star Cebu, Business Profile and Bantay Radio as vice president for radio, Manny delos Santos Rabacal of Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN) as vice president for television, Godofredo Roperos of Sun.Star Cebu and CCTN as vice president for print, Eddie Barrita of Sun.Star Cebu and Philippines News Agency (PNA) as legal officer, Janice Callino of IBC-13 as secretary, Job Tabada of Cebu Daily News (CDN) as treasurer, Mitchelle Calipayan of The Freeman as Auditor, Fred Languido of The Freeman and DYLA and John Rey Saavedra of Banat News as directors.

The group originally was the first ever provincial chapter of the National Press Club Philippines organized during the time of NPC President Tony Nieva during the 1980s.

Headed by chapter president Manuel S. Satorre Jr., the NPC Cebu chapter carried out various projects for the development of local journalists like forums on various issues, cultural presentations, seminars on the environment, and familiarization trips to Singapore and Canada.

When Satorre went to the United States to join his wife a few years ago, Sun.Star sports columnist Manuel Oyson Jr. took over the club presidency. Unfortunately, he died sending the club to hibernate.

Over two years ago, the remaining members of the club decided to revive the organization and chose me to lead the reorganization efforts. The first tasks then were to infuse the core group with new members and to coordinate with the mother Club in Manila.

The core group coordinated with the national organization then headed by Roy Mabasa of Bulletin Today who invited the Cebu journalists to attend the National Press Club convention at the NPC building in Intramuros Manila last May 2008.

Realizing the presence of kinks that still needs to be ironed out in the local club’s recognition as an official chapter of NPC Philippines, the local core group decided to incorporate itself as a separate entity with its own legal identity though we will continue to coordinate with the national organization.

Tonight’s induction and fellowship falls during the Press Freedom Week that CEbu’s media community is celebrating from September 21 to 27, 2008.

September 21, the anniversary of the imposition of martial law that ushered to over a decade of Marcos dictatorship, symbolized the Philippine media’s struggle for freedom of the press during the dark years of tyranny.


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