Author: Kevin Lagunda

Cebu journalists exposed to China media, culture in group visits

It is  new only because the invitation comes from China through “private organizations.” For decades a similar grant, but for trips to the United States, was offered by the American…

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It is  new only because the invitation comes from China through “private organizations.” For decades a similar grant, but for trips to the United States, was offered by the American state department’s Visitor’s Program and accepted by a number of local newspaper and broadcast practitioners. What is strikingly different is that China’s VP offers glimpses into how media under an autocratic government works.


SINCE 2016,  a number of  mainstream media workers from Cebu have been attending media seminars in China, sponsored purportedly by private institutions through the Chinese consulate office in Cebu.

The latest was organized at the behest of the China International Publishing Group and was held between June 18 and July 19 in Beijing, said Fred Languido who, together with Carlo Lorenciana of “The Freeman” daily newspaper and former “Banat News”  editor John Rey Saavedra, who now works with the government-run Philippine News Agency,  were among the attendees.

Fred Languido: With China.org.cn editor-in-chief Wang Xiaohui.

There were other participants, both journalists and state-employed information officers, from other parts of the Philippines and from six other countries: Iran, Palestine, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Lebanon and Afghanistan.

The irony – autocratic China hosting a media event for journalists of mostly democratic countries –  must not have been lost, especially  to the Filipino journalists, who work with the “freest and most robust” media industry in Southeast Asia.

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‘TRANS’ JOURNOS

Their work has shifted from newsroom to public information office;  from reporter to publicist;  from being watchdog of public officials to protector of the officials’ public image. They must spread…

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Their work has shifted from newsroom to public information office;  from reporter to publicist;  from being watchdog of public officials to protector of the officials’ public image. They must spread the ‘good news’ about their employer. Yet, they say, they ‘must still be truthful.’


THE Kingdom and the Power, Gay Talese’s 1969 book about the workings of The New York Times, opens with a pistol-shot of truth about journalists.

The most quoted part runs: “Most journalists are restless voyeurs who see the warts on the world, the imperfections of people and places… Gloom is their game, the spectacle their passion, normalcy their nemesis.”

But what happens when circumstances force a reversal of roles where they, who were once trained to spot official misconduct, become public information officers (government-speak for PR persons) paid to hide those “warts and  imperfections?” Continue Reading

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Ernesto ​D. Lariosa ​​(1944-2019)

The multi-awarded fiction writer played key role in using Cebuano-Bisaya to produce Cebu’s first native-language daily. He went into journalism but never left his first passion, literary writing. INFLUENTIAL literary…

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The multi-awarded fiction writer played key role in using Cebuano-Bisaya to produce Cebu’s first native-language daily. He went into journalism but never left his first passion, literary writing.


INFLUENTIAL literary writer and Superbalita Cebu columnist Ernesto Degumbis Lariosa died on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, after two weeks of fighting an illness. He was 74.

In 2006, Lariosa won the second prize in the Gawad Komisyon’s poetry contest in Cebuano.

On Aug. 15, 1995, Lariosa wrote in his “Puyra Buyag” column that he accepted the offer of then editor-in-chief Pachico A. Seares to become the language consultant of SuperbalitaCebu, the first daily (seven-days-a-week) newspaper in Cebuano language.

As the second Cebuano-Bisaya writer to serve as  language consultant of the paper, Lariosa, a native of  San Fernando, Cebu, wrote “Tamdanan,” or guidelines for reporters and editors on spelling and Cebuano grammar. He was instructed to produce “Tamdanan” by Seares, who wanted a guidebook for Superbalita  and other journalists writing in CebuanoBisaya.

 ​​​An ‘experiment

We were experimenting on the use of the native language in a daily newspaper, Seares, who implemented founding publisher Sonny Garcia’s mission for the paper, explained in an anniversary article in SuperB.

“We had no rules on grammar. We just told editors and reporters to be plain, direct and easy to read and understand.  Cebuano-Bisaya then was thought to be verbose, windy and deep for most media consumers. The primary purpose was to communicate.  The rules would come later.”

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How metro mayors and the governor deal with media

Most elected public officials affirm the often-avowed policy of staying “open and transparent” to the public through media. But, as new leaders in their respective local governments, they may modify p.r….

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Most elected public officials affirm the often-avowed policy of staying “open and transparent” to the public through media. But, as new leaders in their respective local governments, they may modify p.r. method or style and degree of press access, for the LG official to “transmit effectively” his message.

It helps not just the working press but also news consumers to be familiar with how news sources manage relations with media.


THE new mayors of Lapu-Lapu City and Cebu City — Junard “Ahong” Chan and Edgardo Labella — promise they will  be available to reporters for interviews. Evading inquiries from journalists is not their brand of politics, they say.

Valdemar Chiong, returnee mayor of Naga City,  had a bad experience with a reporter but will still hold press conferences “when necessary.”  Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas will grant “regular” press-cons. Mandaue City’s Jonas Cortes, another returnee mayor, may shed off his previous habit of rarely talking with medial he had before his new mandate a three-term stint at City Hall and one term in Congress.

The returnee governor, Gwen Garcia, a p.r. believer, is expected to hold press-cons and interviews as often as she sees need for them. Continue Reading

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Cebu’s top talk show hosts on style, other changes

The raised voice, the fury: Nalzaro is still at it although, he says, his thrust is issue-based, not personality directed. Bañoc thinks the practice has long been abandoned, “if indeed…

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The raised voice, the fury: Nalzaro is still at it although, he says, his thrust is issue-based, not personality directed. Bañoc thinks the practice has long been abandoned, “if indeed it existed.”

Radio commentators are soldiers of the airwaves.

They come armed with opinions and ideas, and their mission is, with voices modulated or not, to infiltrate minds and hearts, and provoke thought on issues of the day.

When successful, their commentaries spark a revolution in the consciousness of listeners and foment in them ideas that depose the empire of apathy.  

To the actual subject of commentary — wayward public servants and others — a broadcaster’s words are bullets that wound the ego. “Toytoy,” “hanggaw,” “kuwanggol” and “amaw” are potent Cebuano adjectives, verbal bombs that form part of a wider arsenal of dark humor.  

But colonizers of the minds and emotions radio commentators are not. Their primary role is to present truths framed on their observation and insight of the current state of affairs.

The ultimate decision on whether to believe the commentator falls on the listener. Continue Reading

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Radio reaches 94% of Metro Cebu

The survey that reports to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas claims a radio audience of 1.3 million Cebuanos. Stations dyHP and dySS for AM radio stations and dyWF…

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The survey that reports to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas claims a radio audience of 1.3 million Cebuanos. Stations dyHP and dySS for AM radio stations and dyWF and dyRT on the FM band, Kantar Media says, top in audience share. Kantar Media figures give the image of a lopsided competition with one radio station leading the race by miles.

Radio still has a powerful hold on Metro Cebu listeners, a media survey covering the second quarter of 2018 shows.

Kantar Media, in a report to the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), said radio programs in both AM and FM bands reach 94 percent of their sample population of 250 Metro Cebu households every week.

This, based on their computation, represents 1.3 million actual Cebuanos.

The study, commissioned by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and carried out from June 21 to 27, 2018 also showed that individuals in Metro Cebu spend an average of three hours a day listening to their favorite programs.

While the version of the Kantar report given to the media does not establish what type of programming  is popular, it does indicate that radio is the foremost mode of information and entertainment for audiences classified as D and E. Continue Reading

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The Ador Side: Weak internship, rejection no barrier to achieving national success

Fate shunned Ador Vincent Mayol’s plan to become a priest. Instead, she carved a path for the Mandaue City native toward journalism, which has been his convent for nearly a…

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Fate shunned Ador Vincent Mayol’s plan to become a priest. Instead, she carved a path for the Mandaue City native toward journalism, which has been his convent for nearly a decade.

As a journalist, the low-key University of San Jose-Recoletos alumnus is not obliged to deliver sermons from the pulpit to effect change in society, or prick a reader’s heart.

Mayol spreads journalistic gospels through his reports about real events and genuine people.

The 31-year-old journalist started writing stories and delivering scoops for Cebu Daily News on Sept. 14, 2008, covering several beats—local government units, courts, police offices and the Church.

In the past nine years, his dedication and hard work paid off after several award-giving bodies recognized his works. Continue Reading

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Jess Vestil: ‘Renaissance man’

Journalist, publicist, advertising executive—Jess Perez Vestil was all that. Plus teacher, actor and poet besides. Vestil’s love for his mother language and country gave birth to “Yutang Tabunon,” the Cebuano…

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Journalist, publicist, advertising executive—Jess Perez Vestil was all that. Plus teacher, actor and poet besides.

Vestil’s love for his mother language and country gave birth to “Yutang Tabunon,” the Cebuano translation of the Philippine national anthem.

The late multi-talented journalist answered the call of then Cebu Gov. Emilio Osmeña, who sought the Cebuano version of “Lupang Hinirang.” Continue Reading

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Storm chasers

Honor for covering, surviving tempest GMA 7 Balitang Bisdak reporter Gregy Magdadaro and veteran video journalist Teodorico “Jun” Solon Jr. were stuck inside their vehicle. They were in the midst…

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FIGHTING FEAR. GMA 7 video journalist Teodorico “Jun” Solon Jr. (left) and Balitang Bisdak reporter Gregy Magdadaro fought fear, hunger and fatigue while covering super typhoon Yolanda’s wrath in northern Cebu.

Honor for covering, surviving tempest

GMA 7 Balitang Bisdak reporter Gregy Magdadaro and veteran video journalist Teodorico “Jun” Solon Jr. were stuck inside their vehicle.

They were in the midst of super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), covering her wrath in the northern Cebu town of Daanbantayan last November.

And another storm was brewing, Magdadaro recalled.

But it came from a different place: inside him. At the most inconvenient time, he was suffering from an upset stomach. Continue Reading

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