Category: Persons of Interest

In his 50s, FCE (1927-2019) showed peers what grit looked like

For many years, alone with his editor while already in his 50s, and with one junior reporter when he was pushing 70, Fred C. Espinoza filled the pages of the…

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For many years, alone with his editor while already in his 50s, and with one junior reporter when he was pushing 70, Fred C. Espinoza filled the pages of the business section with his somber pieces on investment climates, emerging markets, and business developments.


By Kevin A. Lagunda and Karlon N. Rama

AVID readers of Sun.Star’s business section from 1982 up to the year 2001 could not have missed Fred C. Espinoza’s bylines and articles. His name and stories came out day in and day out, like clockwork.

“You could rely on him because he was seldom absent from work and never ran out of stories. News sources used to call him and give him leads,” recalls Marites Villamor-Ilano editor of the paper’s business section from 1992 to 1997.

“He was the one who showed me around. He brought me to the Department of Trade and Industry, and introduced me to the chamber presidents,” adds Cherry Ann T. Lim, who took over the page until she became managing editor of the entire paper in 2005, four years after Pops had retired at 73. “At that time I took over, it was the height of the Asian Financial Crisis.”

Pops wrote 30 at a local hospital, Sunday, April 28, 2019, following confinement for a pulmonary-related ailment. He was laid to rest at the Queen City Memorial Gardens on May 5.
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Godofredo Roperos: A long love affair with writing

In Manila, the almost-four-decade career of Godofredo M. Roperos, 88, covered assignments in reporting, magazine editing, and literary writing. It was interrupted by his work with the government as assistant…

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In Manila, the almost-four-decade career of Godofredo M. Roperos, 88, covered assignments in reporting, magazine editing, and literary writing. It was interrupted by his work with the government as assistant to the press secretary, then later as media affairs officer in Cebu. After martial law, he resumed his liaison with writing, as editor of a local newspaper’s weekly magazine and, later, as opinion columnist. GMR is listed with 13 others in the CJJ Media Gallery at Museo Sugbo as “Cebu journalists who shine,” having won national recognition in the field.

GODOFREDO M. Roperos died 10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, following a bout with pneumonia. He was 88. 

Eldest daughter Maria Fe said the veteran writer passed away at the Chong Hua Hospital Mandaue, where he was brought 19 days earlier. 

Internment will be on Feb. 2, Saturday, at the Manila Memorial Park in Liloan, Cebu, following a 1 p.m. requiem mass at the San Fernando Rey Parish.

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Cerge Remonde: the ‘probinsyano’ beat reporter who became Press Secretary

He spoke truth to power as a newspaper columnist and radio commentator. But in a reversal of roles, Remonde defended power as press secretary to then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who,…

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He spoke truth to power as a newspaper columnist and radio commentator. But in a reversal of roles, Remonde defended power as press secretary to then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who, to some observers, was the most unpopular president after Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Before his death, Remonde was frustrated that his former colleagues did not believe in the government whose messages he communicated.

LOCAL journalists who weren’t yet walking the beat in 2010 won’t know or, more likely, will only ‘know of’ Cerge Mamites Remonde, born Glecerio on Dec. 21, 1958 in Lamacan, Argao, Cebu.

Working the search engine will lead to two categories of stories.

The first involves journalism: he was a veteran broadcaster and columnist, he co-founded the original Sugbuanong Komentaristang Nagpakabana, he became six-time national chairman of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), etc.

The second, his later work in government: he was press undersecretary and later press secretary, he was boss to all government media, he was the longest-sitting member of the Arroyo cabinet, etc.

But plain reading will only reduce Cerge into someone who spoke truth to power and who then spoke in behalf of someone in power; the most unpopular president in the history of Philippine presidency, according to some. 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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Frontliners: what sometimes happen behind the scene

On the scene reporters descend, piecing together narratives for their audiences like clockwork. Except there is nothing regular at all about the job of reporting the news. Unfamiliar territory, jargon,…

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On the scene reporters descend, piecing together narratives for their audiences like clockwork. Except there is nothing regular at all about the job of reporting the news. Unfamiliar territory, jargon, security threats, disturbing vistas—here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges news gatherers face. Continue Reading

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New bosses in the newsroom

No day off, reporting in three languages—these new leaders of the newsroom meet challenges head on while keeping the troops happy and in line. Still “one of the boys,” but…

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No day off, reporting in three languages—these new leaders of the newsroom meet challenges head on while keeping the troops happy and in line. Still “one of the boys,” but they now make the rules.

Archie Mangubat Modequillo

The Freeman editor-in-chief Archie M. Modequillo considers the readers’ shift toward social media as the paper’s biggest challenge. He wants a change in the paper’s culture to rise to the new challenge, and is confident this can be achieved with everyone’s cooperation in “improving content and adapting new technologies—even if slowly but consistently.”

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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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Dioscoro B. Lazaro: Boss to Cebu’s top journalists

It was shortly after World War II that Dioscoro B. Lazaro took charge of the newspaper in Cebu known as The Republic Daily. It held office at the Republic Building…

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It was shortly after World War II that Dioscoro B. Lazaro took charge of the newspaper in Cebu known as The Republic Daily. It held office at the Republic Building along Colon St., near the corner of D. Jakosalem St., Cebu City. It was the rebirth of the newspaper founded by Don Mariano Jesus Cuenco known as The Republic.

Lazaro was not a Cebuano; he was from Manila. It was the Cebuano senator, governor and congressman Don Mariano Jesus Cuenco that brought him to Cebu. When he came to Cebu with his young wife, they lived on the upper floor of The Republic Daily (in 1968, he was able to build a house in La Guardia, Cebu City, that people up to now refer to as the “Lazaro House”). Continue Reading

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Napoleon G. Rama: Fearless Cebuano journalist soars

THERE is perhaps no other Cebuano journalist in Manila who has ranked as high in the editorial hierarchy as Napoleon “Nap” G. Rama Sr. He was publisher of Manila Bulletin…

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THERE is perhaps no other Cebuano journalist in Manila who has ranked as high in the editorial hierarchy as Napoleon “Nap” G. Rama Sr.

He was publisher of Manila Bulletin from 1987 to 2004, where he also wrote a column. Rama, who passed away on Jan. 10, 2016 at age 92, was also a political writer for the Philippines Free Press for more than a decade.

He was a lawyer, a political figure and a prolific writer both in English and Spanish. Continue Reading

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Cebu journalists shine

In 2010, Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) 5 began an initial listing of Cebu journalists who, excelling in their craft, had gained national recognition. Seven were in the list—Leo Lastimosa,…

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In 2010, Cebu Journalism and Journalists (CJJ) 5 began an initial listing of Cebu journalists who, excelling in their craft, had gained national recognition. Seven were in the list—Leo Lastimosa, Eileen Mangubat, Juan Mercado, Bobby Nalzaro, Godofredo Roperos, Pachico Seares and the late Cerge Remonde.

To inspire future media practitioners to follow in their footsteps, the Cebu Citizens-Press Council put up the achievements of the seven on a wall board at the media gallery of the Cebu press, also called CJJ, at the Museo Sugbo.

This year, the wall board at the CJJ Gallery was updated to include the names of five more Cebu journalists who had left their mark on the national consciousness. Continue Reading

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