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AFTER 25 YEARS, having ripped through the silver lining with much daring and derring-do, we have come to a sobering age. At 26 we are cool, calm and multi-platformed. Willingly and willfully, we have responded to the electronic embrace. To meet the challenges of the digital age, we have adopted the tool du jour of modern newsroomsthe Superdesk. This assures our readers of round-the-clock delivery via their medium of choice. But despite having joined the digital dance, we are, robustly and unabashedly, very much a broadsheetFirst, Fair and Fearless after all these years.

Meet the
By Chito de la Vega
Editor in Chief, Inquirer Libre


INQUIRERs mother ship links all platforms for news gathering, sharing and delivery

OVEMBER 11, 2011 or 11-11-11 was more than just a quirky date for the editorial team.

On that day, INQUIRER launched its Superdesk, a project designed to change the way the countrys No. 1 newspaper covers and reports the news to the Filipino people. Superdesk is INQUIRERs attempt at implementing a radical change newspapers around the world have been undergoingintegration of various platforms for news gathering as well as content delivery. In INQUIRERs case, the goal is a seamless work-flow and sharing of resources among the various titles and media platforms under the wings of the Inquirer Group. The streamlined coverage, hopefully, will also result in 21st century-caliber reportage. The various media platforms of the Inquirer Group are: The news and different sections of the INQUIRER broadsheet; INQUIRER.NET; Radyo Inquirer (990 AM); Inquirer Libre; Inquirer Bandera, and Inquirer Mobile Group, which includes social networks and text alerts. In the 2011 edition of Trends In Newsrooms, an annual trade publication of the international newspaper industry produced by the World Association of Newspapers and IFRA, a chapter was dedicated to Managing the Integrated Newsroom. In almost all cases discussed, the news organizations had Web-first as a default position. In contrast, INQUIRERs Superdesk will revolve around the 26-year-old broadsheet. The newspaper, as repeatedly stressed throughout the planning of the Superdesk, is the mother ship of
MEET / 4

COMMAND CENTRAL, thats the Superdesk, shown here on its first day in the INQUIRERs busy, cluttered and well-loved newsroom, with office-made posters to rouse the editors and heads of the various platforms into action. Although technology makes real time news delivery possible, the broadsheet, the Inquirer Groups flagship, remains a most trusted source of information.


Real-time news keeps you glued to your screen

INQUIRER.net goes from e to e
By Abelardo S. Ulanday
Associate Editor

USED to watch Manny Pacquiaos fights on cable television, through a pay-per-view channel, or in theaters or dining places. I would also listen to radio reports.
Like everyone else, I wanted the latest, real-time information. Free TV which , had delayed telecasts, was a last option but still muchawaited because, even if the whole country already knew who won, boxing fans still wanted to see again how Pacman battered his opponents or survived a

tough battle. But last month, I got a blowby-blow account of Pacquiaos fight with Mexicos mean counterpuncher Juan Manuel Marquez online through my laptop. What an experience! That experience was made possible by the Cover It Live site on www.inquirer.net. Francis Ochoa, INQUIRERS deputy sports editor who covered the fight in Las Vegas for the Inquirer Group, kept the special site burning with a round-by-round account of and commentary on the bruising fight. He even had his own score card. The details were short and crisp, but they still kept you on the edge of your seat and your eyes glued to your computer. Many others, Im sure, would say it was still better to watch the

fight on TV and in theaters because they felt like they were at ringside. And they are right, too.

Interactive coverage
But, by watching online, I was able to interact with Francis. He would send his analysis of the round and I would react, giving him my own opinion. Francis would read my feedback and respond, too, if he wanted. Other Net denizens who accessed the site also sent in their comments. During the early rounds of the Pacquiao-Marquez fight, you got a sense that something was wrong, something was lacking in the way the Pacman was fighting. I am sure the others who were in the Cover It Live site were a bit worried, too, as Francis score card showed Marquez was winning. They must have felt surprised or relieved when Pacquiao was declared the winner. But thats another story. Let me go back to the online issue. It was not just www.inquirer.net that carried an online coverage of the Las Vegas bout. At least three other local sites did, too. What it really showed was that there was another way, other than through mainstream or traditional media, to be informed about an event, such as Pacmans latest fight. What was more important about going online was that it enabled readers or surfers to interact immediately with whoever was covering the event. This was an added value. Keeping site visitors engaged has been a major focus of INQUIRER.net management and editors since late last year. They were encouraged by the success of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The social sites not only led to the establishment of online communities, they also served as drivers of a new scheme by which news and information are shared and distributed as fast as they unfold. They have also become tools against repression and tyranny, provid-

THE 2011 INQUIRER.net home page

INQUIRER.net 1998
ing the means for the oppressed and downtrodden to be heard globally and to act collectively. To achieve such a goal, or at least be a part of this phenomenon, INQUIRER.net undertook several measures. One of these was the redesign of the site to make it easier to read and navigate. The new look was finally launched in May,

INQ7.net 2002
drawing mixed reactions from both INQUIRER.net loyalists and new visitors. sial ones, got as many as 100 comments in one day. Certain column items also received the same number of comments. But we had to draw up guidelines since many comments were nasty and unfair to the author and not relevant to the issues at hand. Many were personal

Engaged readers
The redesign was bolstered by the inclusion of a comment section where visitors can post reactions to stories, columns and opinion pieces. It was an instant hit. Some stories, particularly the big and controver-

THE INQUIRER announced on its front page in 1997 the launch of INQUIRER.net.

Radyo is where
By Fe Zamora
Executive Producer Radyo Inquirer
ITS 4:51 a.m. in Guadalupe, Makati City. A speeding bus hits a taxi, injuring its driver and two passengers. In Quezon City, an unidentified man jumps from the pedestrian overpass near Mega QMart on Edsa. In Manila, policemen kill three suspected robbers after a chase from Malate to Intramuros. Found in the dead suspects possession are three handguns, several watches, cellular phones and wallets, obviously belonging to holdup victims. By 5:30 a.m., after reporting on the accident, Radyo Inquirer reporter Ruel Perez, still in Guadalupe, Makati, walks to the nearest wet market. In Quezon City, his colleague Chona Yu makes her way to the meat section of Mega QMart after covering the apparent suicide, while, in Manila, reporter Erwin Aguilon moves from the site of the shoot-out to the Tutuban Mall to inspect the Christmas dcor. The reporters mission?

the INQUIRERs day begins

Check the prices of fish, meat, vegetables and, since Christmas is just around the corner, Christmas dcor and other Yule items. The news never sleeps, and the need for information never stops. As early as 3:30 a.m., reporters Yu, Perez and Aguilon are out pounding their respective beats for Dyaryo sa Radyo, which airs at 4:30 a.m. Anchored by Isa Avendao and Louie Garcia, Dyaryo sa Radyo is the Filipino version of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on AM radio, spiced with the latest happenings which are described by the deep-voiced anchor Willie Matawaran as mga balitang gising, habang kayo ay tulog na mahimbing! (news that is awake while you are fast asleep). Welcome to Radyo Inquirer 990AM, also known by its call sign dzIQ 990. Launched on Sept. 10, 2010, Radyo Inquirer is the newest addition to the growing Inquirer Group of Companies. It provides the broadcast platform to print (since 1985) and online (since 1997). It is also available on streaming video (www.dziq.am), on Facebook (http://facebook.com/radyoinquirer) and Twitter (@dziq990 and @inquirerdotnet).

RADYO Inquirers Ramon Tulfo interviews the Philippine Dragon Boat team during its visit to the Radyo Inquirer station. EUGENE ARANETA
Perez, Yu and Aguilon are part of the first wave of INQUIRER reporters in the 24/7 cycle of delivering news and information on several platforms. The early coverage is made possible by the inherent real timeliness of broadcast, Paolo Prieto, chief executive officer of Trans-Radio Broadcasting Inc., says. We have reporters out there when the newspaper reporters are not yet on the radar. They (radio people) are on the scene of breaking news, where the action is, Prieto says. From the action at dawn, which mostly consists of crime stories, road accidents, fires and human drama, the Radyo Inquirer reportorial team moves up to stories on politics, justice, economy, agriculture, etc. After anchoring the 4:30 a.m. newscast, Avendao and Garcia report to their beats in the House and Senate, respectively. Alvin Barcelona goes to Malacaang, Ricky Brozas handles the Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation, Commission on Elections, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Bureau of Immigration, Department of Public Works and Highways and other nearby government agencies.

PAOLO Prieto, CEO of Trans-Radio Broadcasting Inc.


Real-time news . . .
From page 2

attacks against the writers and sometimes the other people who sent in commentaries. But the comments system has given INQUIRER.net one plus factor. The bounce rate, meaning the length of time a visitor spends on the site, has improved, more than doubled in fact, from about two and a half minutes to more than six minutes. Photos, lots of them, provide visitors to the site a visual treat and, we believe, add to the longer bounce rate. We have also harnessed the popularity and reach of social media, linking the site to Facebook and Twitter.

Sharing, linking
Readers can now send comments through their FB or Twitter accounts, as well as share INQUIRER and Inquirer.net stories with their friends through these links. Breaking news remains the sites staple and advantage, despite stiff competition posed not only by local sites but also global news aggregators like Yahoo! It has helped INQUIRER.net a lot that Radyo Inquirer 990AM was launched in September 2010. The newest member of the Inquirer Group has become a steady source of breaking news for the website. Special sections that have been put up, such as those on Manny Pacquiao, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyos plight, the Maguindanao massacre, Tropical Storm Ondoy and others have drawn visitors

to the site. Storm Radar, a special site that provides up-to-date information on the weather situation, regularly draws viewers and visitors from both here and abroad. Figures from Google Analytics show that INQUIRER.net is being visited by 2.6 million readers. It gets about 30 million page views every month. But the latest report by Google Analytics suggests abs-cbnnews.com has improved its ranking that it is now almost at par with INQUIRER.net. Other sites, although still far behind, have also strengthened themselves, their performances showing vigor and a clear determination to catch up, if not overtake, INQUIRER.nets lead. With that in mind, INQUIRER.nets management, editors and technical staff have gone back to the drawing board to evaluate and determine what has to be done to stay ahead. The main focus is on what the letter e stands for, or what it means to us. As most of us know, e stands for electronic. It has become short-hand for the digital or electronic operations of various activities, as in e-mail, e-commerce, e-wallet, enewspapers, e-books, and the like. At INQUIRER.net, we would like the e to stand for experience and engagewhat visitors to the website can expect to do. We believe these two factors will keep visitors glued to the site every day.

Radyo is where . . .
From page 2

Jan Escosio covers Camp Crame, Department of the Interior and Local Governments/Department of National Defense/Camp Aguinaldo/Fort Bonifacio. Jong Manlapaz handles Quezon City-based agencies and the Camanava (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela) areas. Quite often, a story begins as a breaking news report on Radyo Inquirer. It is then migrated online via www.inquirer.net, posted in Facebook and Twitter, and developed with depth and context for the next days issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. And then the stories in the latest issue of the broadsheet are the first things Radyo Inquirer airs at 4:30 a.m. on Dyaryo sa Radyo. And so the cycle goes.

Tulfo goes on air 1:30 to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday. INQUIRER columnist Ramon Tulfo hosts the show with Reysie Golden Voice Amado. INQUIRER LIBRES editor in chief Chito de la Vega is a mainstay in Kumpadres, 5 to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday, while INQUIRER classified ads manager Jesse Rebustillo and Radyo Inquirer reporter Erwin Aguilon host the free-wheeling Jobmarket Online (@jobmarket_PDI on Twitter) every Sunday, 2:30 to 4 p.m.

But radio is not all about news. Radyo Inquirer is a hybrid AM and FM radio, Prieto says. The AM side means news, commentaries and public service, while on the FM it is music and entertainment. At 7:15 a.m. from Monday to Friday, professor Randy David dissects the INQUIRER editorial for the layman. Then the fast-paced news and commentaries give way to the more relaxing Music and News Express from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, with Jupiter Torres as host and Dona Dominguez reporting the latest news every 30 minutes. The popular Isumbong mo kay


24/7 alerts for tech-savvy readers
News via mobile phones, tablets and all kinds of gadgets
By JV Rufino
Director, Inquirer Mobile

ICTURE this scenario: Youre done reading the paper (on your iPad or plain old paper), listened to Radyo Inquirer 990AM on your way to work and, when you finally got to work,

checked out INQUIRER.net for any big breaking news.

It appears nothing really big has broken so far and so youre off to your usual daily grind of meetings and more meetings with mounds of paperwork in between; news updates are the farthest thing from your mind. Then your mobile phone flashes with an Inquirer Mobile SMS

flash alert: Pasay court issues arrest warrant vs GMA. Your jaw drops and you rush off to your computer to read the breaking news story or tune in to dzIQ 990AM if youre on the road. You may even access INQUIRER.nets mobile website, m.inquirer.net, if you have a web-capable phone. Other jaw-dropper SMS alerts weve sent have been on coup detats, tsunamis and earthquakes and the deaths of Fernando Poe Jr., Cory Aquino and Pope John Paul II.

sage, something most of us do every few minutes. As our mobile development arm Megamobile says in its standard corporate presentation: Mobile reaches where other platforms cant.

Real time
The INQUIRER was among the first Philippine news organizations to send out real time SMS alerts; and when we first envisioned the service (as an adjunct to the website, before we spun it off into its own platform), we realized that it wouldnt do to turn our SMS alerts into a mobile analogue of broadcast radio or TV: Prepared bulletins at set intervals. At P2.50 per alert that would get spammy very quickly. Instead, we decided to send out alerts only when something breaks and only if its significant enough to warrant the interruption of an INQUIRER subscribers busy routine. And what warrants interruption may differ from news that would otherwise make it to prints front page or a banner

SMS alerts
Inquirer Mobile SMS alerts are the sharp point of the INQUIRERS information spear, designed to get through to busy INQUIRER news consumers on the one device they bring with them everywheretheir mobile phone. All other units of the Inquirer Group are pull mediayou open your paper or magazine, fire up your browser or tablet, tune in to your AM radio. Only Inquirer Mobile pushes the news to you without you having to do anything but check out a text mes-

headline on our website (though those get sent, too.) Over the years weve learned that what people really value are SMS alerts on news that affects their daily livesurgent and important to disciples of Stephen Covey. And so we send alerts on oil price hikes and rollbacks (hours before they take effect so you have time to gas up or hold back from gassing up). We tell you if a mall is on fire on a Friday night (so you can check up on your mall rat kids). If a typhoon is headed our way, well send alerts on storm signals, flood levels, and which college has called off classesessential information so you and your family can stay safe and sound. SMS alerts are easily one of our great success stories in mobile but it isnt the only one. As mobile devices evolve from simple calling or texting devices into full-fledged computers in their own right, Inquirer Mobile has kept up. We were among the first

Philippine news organizations to launch a free iPhone app as well as apps for Nokia Symbian and Samsung Bada phones to address the needs of INQUIRER readers whose only computing device may be a mobile phone. Moreover, as our readers gradually migrate from print to tablets, we launched the INQUIRERS Kindle e-reader edition and our flagship Digital Edition Newsstand that for the first time makes the full content of over 20 INQUIRER publications available online on iPads, Android tablets, Blackberry Playbooks and several other mobile devices. With tens of thousands of users in less than a year, were gratified that people find the convenience of reading our stories on tablets worth paying for. Overall, not a bad way to commemorate the INQUIRERS 26th anniversary year. To subscribe to Inquirer Mobile SMS alerts, text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467.

Meet the Superdesk

From page 1

what is envisioned to be the Inquirer Groups bid for leadership in delivering news to the Filipino people wherever they are, whenever they need it on whatever medium they want it. As early as 2004, INQUIRER broadsheet editors had been meeting to pursue what was then the buzzword of the day: Convergence. The best that these efforts achieved, however, was a handful of converged special reports published in print (INQUIRER broadsheet, Inquirer Libre, Bandera), INQ7 (precursor of Inquirer.net) and aired over the now-defunct Inquirer TV . After several fits and starts, INQUIRER took a major step toward integration in 2010. Just before the Maundy Thursday-Good Friday break, the INQUIRER editorial staff bade farewell to the newsroom configuration, it had known for over two decades. (The only time of the year the newsroom

grounds to a halt is during this twoday break.) After closing the Maundy Thursday issue, the INQUIRER editorial personnel left the office. They returned two days later, to close the papers Easter Sunday edition, to a retrofitted newsroom patterned after the hub and spokes model. It was a variation of the design adopted by the revamped Washington Post (WaPo) and the Telegraph in London, which have a circular main news desk on the floor. Washington Post managing editor Raju Narisetti said that with the hub and spokes structure the newsroom was significantly reorganized to accommodate integration [and] a complete reimagining of the newsroom to facilitate the kind of integration newspapers were looking for. In an article in Trends in Newsrooms 2011, Narisetti also said decisions are made a lot faster (in this newsroom design) Now everybody is within shouting distance. Looking back, it turned out that, for the Inquirer Group, the first step was the easy part. The next step was taken more than a year later.

DAY ONE of the INQUIRERs Superdesk: Ernie Sarmiento, Tina Arceo-Dumlao, Juliet Labog-Javellana, Mike Suarez, Joey Nolasco, Chito de la Vega, Abel Ulanday, JV Rufino, Fe Zamora and Robert Abao
not have been the case. There isnt anything really inherently difficult about the Superdesk, but it does require us to think beyond the artificial barriers that we have set up as news producers (consumers have long been converged consumers of news), he said. WaPos Narisetti saw it differently. In the World Trends story, he said one of the biggest challenges of WaPos integration was changing the mindset of the staff: Misperceptions on both

Converged audience
RUBEN Alabastro, chief of the Day Desk, pores over early submissions from reporters.
For Inquirer Mobile Group head Javier Vicente D. Rufino this should

sides were widely and deeply held. The print thought the online people were not true journalists and didnt really care about journalism while the web side thought that the print team was too wedded to the old ways of doing things and didnt understand speed and digital technologies. The breakthrough for the Inquirer Group came on Nov. 11, when the Superdesk conducted its pioneering news conference at the circular hub in the broadsheet newsroom. All platforms were present at that breakthrough meeting. Messages on white bond paper egging Superdesk and its members were strewn around the circular table at the heart of the central newsdesk. Juliet LabogJavellana and Ruben Alabastro of the INQUIRER Day Desk presided over the first Superdesk meeting. INQUIRER Superdesk has at its disposal some 340 personnel, which includes 164 reporters/writers, 88 editors and 88 editorial assistants in the different newsrooms of the various platforms nationwide. With integration, INQUIRER casts a bigger net in catching different types of content, which should be relevant to the Filipino. With the multimedia platforms, the INQUIRER will deliver the story to Filipino audiences when they want it and on whatever platform.


Free-zines reach readers

By Trisha Elamparo
IT IS easy to identify the features that make for a good magazine. Arresting visuals. Good copy. Fresh and timely topics excellently written that they become timeless. Any innovator knows that a great magazine serves the greater purpose of making a tangible connection with the reader. What if you take the idea even further? What if you aim not just to connect with readers, but to connect them with each other to create communities? This is the idea that fuels the countrys leading publisher of community free-zines, Hinge Inquirer Publications (HIP). On its seventh year, HIP makes print come alivenot only by reinforcing it through interactive platforms such as online and mobilebut because its magazines stories are lived by the people who read them. Much like how the free-zines are delivered straight to their readers doorsteps or personally handed out in events and areas that they frequent, HIP is all about reaching readers right where it matters. At absolutely no cost to their readers, HIP brings ten unique titles, tailored to specific communities. They have proven two things: To readers, that great print content can be had for free, and to advertisers, that they can capture exactly the people that their brands want to reach. Focusing on Manilas urban scene, Northern Living and Southern Living are the ultimate lifestyle guides to living in the city (or to the beat of the city). With features on fashion, beauty, food, home living, events and personalities, the titles showcase what the Metro North and Metro South have to offer. Both titles create more intimate communitiesso much so readers can discover people and

where it matters
places that they see right around the corner of their street. HIP also reaches the Visayas and Mindanao with Urban Living. Going inside exclusive communities in Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro and Davao, HIP keeps a close watch on what keeps these communities vibrant and thriving. hubs, HIP delivers SoulBGC as a monthly guide to the home of passionate minds. Distributed at BGCs residential and commercial areas, here you can find all the useful information about BGC, as well as the low-down on the best discoveries around. Clearly designed for male readers is HIPs Pinnacle. From the cover alone, you will know that Pinnacle is about men who go not just for style but also substance. It shows the barest essentials of alpha male living and the trappings of a Class-A life. Pinnacle is read by men who not only live in affluence, but also lead their own companies and industries. For communities of gamers, GAME! Magazine is peerless in serving up the latest PC and online game and technology crazes. Distributed in leading Internet cafs and select villages, this free-zine also has a strong online presence where

Exclusive communities
Having entered the gates of two of Manilas most exclusive villages, Forbes in Touch and The Village Gazette have already made their mark in the Forbes Park and Dasmarias Village communities. Reporting on the latest community events, news makers, and hotspots, these free-zines understand the needs of the villages high-profile residents and bridge different generations of readers. HIP also evolves with the city. With the rise of Bonifacio Global City as one of Manilas newest

users can share content and get instant feedback. GAME! goes beyond mere game features and embraces the total gamer lifestyle. To stay on track with the growing number of sports enthusiasts in the country, HIP created MultiSport Philippines as the ultimate sourcebook for the sports enthusiast. Published and edited by triathletes, readers become privy to insider tips, strategies and success secrets from the biggest names in sports. It also keeps readers abreast of race schedules and upcoming events and creates a space where both novice and professional athletes can feed on the communitys energy for motivation. Turista shines the spotlight on the countrys best travel destinations. With a refreshing mix of classic tourist choices, the newest travel itineraries and undiscovered jewels of the country, Turista is put together by seasoned travelers who wish to share their experiences with readers. In partnership with Ninoy

Aquino International Airport, Turista is personally handed out to arriving tourists and expatriates, becoming their own invitation to explore the country. HIP also has a strong presence in commercial newsstands. The magazine F&B World continues to lead in the food service field, enjoyed by chefs, hoteliers, restaurateurs, food business owners and even cooking enthusiasts. It comes fresh with industry updates, menu suggestions and carries entertaining stories from food industry stalwarts that those with a growing fascination for food will be inspired to make a living out of it. HIPs vision was clear from the very beginningto create communities with the magazine at the center. Good magazines come and go, but communities that give people a sense that they belong last. And HIP brings this by innovating with different media, creating content that touch base with readers, and serving some plain good ol writing that makes its readers hang on every word.

Embracing and living

INQUIRER employees take a fresh look at what makes INQUIRER tick and how they can help its further growth
By Annelle S. Tayao
(This story is being reprinted from the INQsider May 2011 edition, with additional input from Jose Pineda.) FIRST, FAIR, FEARLESS is now the new mantra of PDI employees after participating in a recent seminar From Silver to Gold held at the Marriott Hotel, Resorts World Manila in Pasay City. The seminar was part of the companys continuing celebration of its 25th anniversary last year. On Oct. 22 and 25, 2010, INQUIRERs management team, composed of leaders from both the editorial and business groups, sat down and identified the companys Brand DNA. Through the Brand DNA, they were able to reestablish the companys brand vision, mission, promise, values, position and personality. From January to June this year, the INQUIRER was able to present the new Brand DNA to 98 percent of its employees. Divided into 14 batches,

the values of the Inquirer brand

employees spent a whole day discussing and relearning what the INQUIRER brand is, and how they could add to its growth as PDI expands into a multiplatform company. The sessions were facilitated by business modelling consultancy firm Management Strategies. From the 14 groups, committees were created to help ensure that follow-up activities would live up to the brand. A deadline committee was set up, which made easily accessible a series of online articles and readings on procrastination through the employees website. The customer service committee conducted a seminar for frontline employees. The reinvigorating sales and brand book committees worked on their plans for future activities. And the Superdesk committee launched the integrated editorial Superdesk on Nov. 11. INQUIRER senior vice president for sales and marketing Rene Reinoso, in one of the sessions, described the event as a unique seminar, since it includes all employees. The first half of the seminar was dedicated to understanding the concept of brandinghow employees should present the INQUIRER to its audience (readers, advertisers and other customers)as well as workplace behaviors considered on-brand or off-brand. In the afternoon, employees

PDI chair Marixi R. Prieto (second from right), with Imee Alcantara, INQUIRER editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc and Manuel Chanco IV during the closing ceremony for the Brand Training Camp at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.

INQUIRER editors and executives engage in one of several activities during the Branding Training Camp.

A GRAPHIC presentation of INQUIRERs brand DNA

shared their insights through group exercises. Focus was on the companys values of integrity, editorial independence, responsibility, team work and dynamism. Some on-brand action/values employees identified were: interdepartmental and intercompany coordination; being proactive, not reactive;

generating enterprise stories; strengthening convergence. Off-brand attitudes identified included: blaming others for ones mistakes; accepting payola; outdated hardware and software; unclear implementation of policies and procedures. To concretize what had been discussed, each employee wrote down his/her personal

action plansachievable goals employees could set for themselves as key players in the companys improvement in the next two, six and 12 months. Everyone is part of the process, noted INQUIRER president Sandy Prieto-Romualdez at the end of the session. We are, together, part of this journey together we will produce the brand.


earthshaking digital marketing
MessagingMegaMobile offers flexible solutions that are available to suit every budget and requirement. ApplicationsMegaMobile can customize and develop mobile applications or widgets across various operating systems. ContentMegaMobile can provide clients with end-to-end servicesfrom content creation to content distribution. CampaignsFrom simple SMSMEGAMOBILE is a professional independent enabler focused on helping clients achieve their business objectives through online and mobile solutions by offering customer awareness, engagement and conversion to the connected generation. Included in MegaMobiles suite of digital marketing solutions are the following:

code promos to fully integrated cross platform programs, Megamobile can provide clients with its extensive know-how in the digital marketing realm. PlatformsMegaMobile operates new media advertising solutions covering both mobile and online ad servicing requirements. Our company has a solid track

record of handling some of the most technically-challenging campaigns that have won awards and recognition for its clients.

Contact MegaMobile Inc., an IGC Company, 3/F Media Resource Plaza Bldg., Mola corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy. La Paz, Makati City; tel. no. 5196298, fax no. 5196884. E-mail: digital@mymegamobile.com, URL: www.mymegamobile.com.

Do you give a tweet

to what happens around you?
WITH over 227,000 followers, the INQUIRER Groups Twitter account (@inquirerdotnet) is the groups news sensor, network and sounding board on the popular microblogging network. What started out as a dry listing of headlines came into its own during the groups coverage of Cory Aquinos funeral. Quite a few of INQUIRERs stories first started out as tips on Twitter and feedback through it (some positive, some negative, always passionate) are a regular item on the groups Superdesk editorial coordination meetings.

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Paying it forward
through education
By Connie R. Kalagayan
Inquirer Corporate Affairs

T THE END of every school year, at least 50 students graduate under the INQUIRER scholarship program.
The idea of having helped change the lives of these young people inspires the INQUIRER to continue providing the same opportunity to other deserving students. Empowering the youth is a major area of concern for the INQUIRERs corporate responsibility program. We help achieve the dreams of children who want to be able to finish school and have a brighter future. Every year, the INQUIRER sponsors elementary, high school and college students so they can continue their studies. It offers scholarships under the Newsboy Foundation. Selected aspiring journalists also get scholarships, as well as the children of the Maguindanao massacre victims.

of the slain media people. Financial assistance was given to 31 studentstwo in college, 11 in high school and 18 in grade school. This year, the Ad Congress Committee

OUTSTANDING graduates among INQUIRERs 2011 scholars who are children and relatives of news agents

Newsboy Foundation
Many people probably do not know that every time they buy a copy of the INQUIRER they are helping send a newsboy to school. Part of the revenues from the sale of INQUIRER copies goes to the PDI Newsboy Foundation Inc. The foundation was established to help poor but deserving newsboys pursue their studies in pre-selected schools. A nationwide association of PDI dealers and newsboys was also organized to look after the welfare and promote the interests of the newsboys. Since its establishment in 1993, the foundation has given more than 1,000 scholarships. Aside from allowing newsboys to continue their studies, the foundation also instills and nurtures a sense of pride and belonging among dealers and newsboys, who have unselfishly devoted their time, energy and resources to the countrys leading broadsheet. Every year, we award the most outstanding graduates of selected elementary and high schools. It is our way of rewarding our PDI scholars for their excellent academic performance, said Marixi R. Prieto, chair of PDI and the Newsboy Foundation. In 1996, the foundation expanded the program to include college scholarships. Scholars can take any four-year degree course in the school of their choice, according to Rene Reinoso, PDI senior vice president for sales and marketing and foundation trustee. Newspaper dealers play an important role, as they nominate scholars. Nominees must be a newsboy or an immediate member of his family who should be in the top 10 of his/her class. Eduardo Clavero, a PDI newspaper dealer and a foundation trustee, commended the foundation and thanked the INQUIRER for helping children have a brighter future. We applaud you for giving wings to the dreams of these students, Clavero said, assuring the INQUIRER of his groups support in the papers efforts to maintain its lead in the newspaper industry. INQUIRER president Sandy Romualdez said she found it fulfilling to be able to help children finish school, especially since there had been a big decline in the number of Filipino students graduating from high school. Dont let anybody tell you that you cant do it, because you can, she reminded the students. She also encouraged them to share their good fortune and blessings with others when they were able to do so. The INQUIRER is grateful to the readers who continue to patronize the paper, as they give hope to young people and help the paper send to or keep in school more students. This year, the INQUIRER launched the motorcycle loan program for dealers to help augment their incomes. So far, seven dealers have availed of the loans. They will use the motorcycles in delivering the INQUIRER, as well as in other livelihood programs.

For massacre victims kids

Until now, the families of 57 persons, including 32 journalists and media workers, who were killed in Maguindanao have not received justice. Although the pain will probably never completely go away, the INQUIRER tried to help ease the suffering a little. From June 2010 to May this year, the INQUIRER partnered with the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) to provide one-year scholarships to children


CHILDREN of the slain journalists in the Maguindanao massacre are beneficiaries of INQUIRER scholarships, in partnership with NUJP.

Paying it forward
From page 1

chaired by INQUIRER president Sandy Romualdez, with the support of AdBoard, will donate a portion of the income of the 22nd Ad Congress to sustain the studies of these scholars.

University scholars
Several reporters and members of the editorial and research staff have been connected to the INQUIRER even before they became regular employees. Ruel de Vera, Norman Bor-

dadora, Michael Lim Ubac, Jerome Aning, Philip Tubeza, Abigail Ho, Edson Tandoc, Tarra Quismundo, DJ Yap, Leila Salaverria, Lawrence de Guzman, Kate Pedroso, Emman Von Cena, Julie Aurelio, Alda Franz Quodala, Erika Sauler, Penelope Endozo and Kristine Mangunay are all beneficiaries of the INQUIRER Journalism University Scholarship program. Since 1993 up to the present, 62 journalism students were supported under this program. Only the best of the best are

chosen to receive the INQUIRER Journalism scholarship. Beneficiaries went to the University of the Philippines Diliman, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, UP Los Baos, and University of the East. Scholars get a stipend every year. When they graduate, they have the option to work for the INQUIRER to further their training and hone their skills. Most of the scholars chose to join the INQUIRER, although some have since joined other companies.

DEALERS Motorcycle Program makes it possible for dealers to buy motorcycles for use in delivering INQUIRER and other jobs to augment their income. RODEL ROTONI


AN INQSPOT, a cool corner for reading newspapers donated by Maynilad, is launched at Batasan National High School by PDIs Sandy Prieto-Romualdez and Maynilad president and CEO Victorico Vargas.

Inquirer in Education links . . .

From page 4

HIGH school students use the Learning section to learn about budgeting and saving money.

BSP DEPUTY Governor Diwa Gunigundo (in barong) with partner teachers upon completion of the Citibank money management series.

each seriesto the students of teachers who sign up for the program. We recently wrapped up the series Yaya Maya and the White King, a story by Cyan Abad-Jugo and illustrated by INQUIRERs very own Steph Bravo. In July, we looked into another kind of literacy to teach money management to high school students. The series was supported by Citibank Philippines and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). You Can Bank on It had 40 high school teachers as partners. BSP hosted the preand post-series workshops for them while Citibank supplied copies of the INQUIRER to their students. At almost 40 schools in the country, INQUIRER also has INQUIRER Learning Corners (ILC) where students can read copies of the newspaper paid for by corporations or individuals donors.


BEN CHAN receiving recognition from INQUIRERs Sandy Prieto-Romualdez for Benchs sponsorship of the very first IIE Serial Reading Program, Frannie Learns a Lesson.

Inquirer in Education links classrooms to real life

IF YOU are familiar with the Learning section, you would know about INQUIRER in Education (IIE). Under the IIE is the Bench-sponsored Serial Reading Program (SRP), which aims to encourage newspaper reading among the young and promote the use of the newspaper as a classroom tool for real life education. INQUIRER is the first and only national broadsheet to publish lesson plans and student activity guides. IIE encourages the use of newspapers in schools, not just to update students on current events or for use in journalism class, but also as teaching tool in all kinds of subjects. Bench has supported five SRPs, donating copies of INQUIRER every Mondayfor the duration of

READING the newspaper in class


26 young people to watch

By the Super and 2bU staff
ONE OF THE GREAT things about being chroniclers of the young generation and the pop culture is discovering new talents and how they are pushing boundaries to make their mark on the world. To celebrate INQUIRERs 26th anniversary, we have compiled a list of 26 people to watch out for, based on the opinions of the best and brightest in their fields as well as our own. These names and faces keep our work exciting and our readers inspired: Anna Leah Hernandez. This interior designer from the University of Santo Tomas is fast becoming a favorite of celebrities, including Sharon Cuneta, Iza Calzado and Roselle Monteverde. They like her feminine touch and how she makes their space truly their own. Though her designs are modern, she adds retro or
26 PEOPLE/ 2

Take it from our fearless forecast and keep your eyes on these headturners

ANNA Hernandez



The most bang for their advertising buck

By Tina Arceo-Dumlao

F NEWSPAPERS are to rely on street sales or subscriptions alone, they would cost much more than P18 or P20 a copy.

Helping keep the price within reach of ordinary readers are advertisements particularly those placed by corporations pushing their products and servicesfor which all sorts of media companies compete intensely. Fortunately for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, it has been able to corner a considerable chunk of advertising pesos mainly because of its wide distribution reach, high credibility among readers and game-changing creative innovations. This is according to some of the INQUIRERs top advertisers, who have signified their intention to continue placing their ads in the paper because of the mutually beneficial relationship they have nurtured throughout INQUIRERs 26-year history.

A SAMPLING of the advertisements carried by the INQUIRER

Emily de Lara of Ayala Corp. says, for the diversified Ayala group that is into real estate development, telecommunications, tourism and banking, among others, the fundamental reason why it advertises in the INQUIRER is trust. INQUIRER is a trusted source of news and information and advertising in print helps build credibility for the products and services we offer. Moreover, because of INQUIRERs reach, we can count on getting our advertising messages across to the right markets. Quality execution of ad placements is another factor to consider, adds De Lara.

The positive market response to ads in the INQUIRERwhich counts politicians, decision makers, government officials, chief executive officers, young urban professionals among its core readerslikewise cannot be ignored, providing yet another reason to continue investing in the paper through advertising placements. According to Cathy Bengzon of Ayala Land Inc., through the INQUIRER, the countrys largest real estate company gets the expected response from its target audience, whether placements are in the form of classified ads, business notices, display ads and special

supplements. For this reason, Bengzon says, the group will continue to allot a portion of its advertising budget to the INQUIRER. Even as the group explores other channels such as social media, print advertising delivers and endures, especially with the INQUIRER being a paper with established reach and reputation for balanced news, fearless views, Bengzon adds. Officials of Alliance Global and Megaworld groups have a similar view, saying the wide reach of the INQUIRER is a compelling reason for the growing conglomerate headed by Andrew Tan to take out page upon colored full-page ads throughout the year. The readership of INQUIRER encompasses our target markets, which means we are able to create awareness for our companies, products and services in unique and cost-efficient ways, say AGI and Megaworld officials. Alliance Global and Megaworld groups have consistently enjoyed the positive response of consumers toward our brands in the food and beverage, quick service restaurant, real estate and integrated tourism industries, they add in a statement.

false covers, jacket covers and inserts to direct the readers attention to the company ads. There are also innovations such as four-page color spreads, 3D advertising and compelling advertising supplements. The INQUIRER is marking its first year of allowing advertising on its front page. Readers have responded positively to well-placed and well-executed ads, along with the days hottest news, on the front page. And the INQUIRER group can offer advertisers not just print ads but cross-platform advertising, as the family now includes magazines, radio, mobile and the Internet in its portfolio, which is more than what other newspapers have. According to INQUIRER president Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, advertisers are increasingly looking at bundling their advertising placements so they can reach more than just the core audience of the INQUIRER broadsheet but also readers and followers of the rest of the groups news and information outlets.

No other media outfit in this country can give the range of channels that INQUIRER offers, says Felipe Olarte, sales director for the INQUIRER Group of Companies. We are able to give more values to our advertising clients, stretching their peso in a very cost-efficient way, while ensuring that their message gets across to the particular target audience. For example, ads of Sun Cellular, a leading advertiser of

How advertisers are able to get the most bang for their advertising buck in the INQUIRER can be attributed also to the care that the paper puts in providing clients with various options to expand their advertising reach. The INQUIRER provides creative advertising solutions such as

INQUIRER, are carried over several media platforms that include Radyo INQUIRER 990, INQUIRER.net, selected high-end glossy magazines published by Hinge INQUIRER Publications, the tabloid Libre and, of course, the biggest circulation broadsheet in the country. As an operator and a growing business in the telecom industry, advertising in Philippine Daily Inquirer has truly helped us reach a vast market via their geo-targeted means of advertising and their multi-platform packages, said Joan Marie Corpus-Dueas, Sun Cellulars vice president for prepaid marketing and marketing services. PDI is a reputable partner we can trust our efforts with. We hope PDI will continue to be the agenda-setter it has always been and continue to grow its multi-media platforms so that advertisers like us will always have the best options and continue to enjoy the benefits of being able to maximize our investments. Other advertisers, according to Olarte, are able to leverage on the fact that Libre is the only daily publication allowed on commuter trains of the metros LRT and MRT. "Or that Radyo INQUIRER has the exclusive broadcast rights in PNR coaches, adds Olarte. For SM Appliance Inc., the broadsheet was able to print a continuous 12-page advertising insertion in its Sunday edition. It was the first time that SM committed to such an ambitious advertising campaign in a broadsheet. Incidentally, with this, INQUIRER was able to come out with a

32-page main section, its thickest to date. Shoemart has been able to leverage on the I NQUIRER Groups printing technology, as well as its expansive delivery services and circulation reach. By having four printing presses, we are able to offer clients a wider, more creative suite of services and products, adds Olarte. This satisfying experience is also valued by Ayala Land and Century Properties, two giant real estate and property developers, among others, that rely on an arsenal of fresh advertising solutions to reach untapped and frontier markets both here and abroad.

Extra mile
For clients such as Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Department of Tourism and Shoemart Department Store, among others, I NQUIRER has gone the extra mile to come up with ambitious panoramic layouts for ads in a compact four-panel pull-out. This also demonstrates the creative power the I NQUIRER is able to muster to satisfy its advertisers needs. It is this relationship with clients, characterized by genuine efforts to benefit both parties involved in the advertising agreement, that has made the INQUIRERthe flagship brand of the INQUIRER groupthe primary choice when it comes to ad placements. As Bengzon says, there is mutual trust and respect between the INQUIRER and the

advertiser, such as the Ayala group. We trust that our advertising and supplement projects are handled well and respect the impartiality of the editorial aspect of the paper, Bengzon explains. And of course, the reach and reputation of the I NQUIRER simply cannot be ignored by any intelligent marketer. Patricia C. Go, vice president for corporate communications of JG Summit Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei group, expresses the same sentiment. JG Summit Holdings, Inc. believes that the media are our business partners. As such, we consider the Philippine Daily Inquirer as a key partner in building relationships and communicating with our target market, Go says. As for AGI and Megaworld, there is a commitment to continue to place ads in the INQUIRER, which is without doubt the countrys most read and most credible newspaper. We have a longstanding relationship with INQUIRER one that has been continuously advantageous for us in terms of reaching our present customers and tapping new ones, solidifying our presence in the industries we are involved in, and communicating to the public our evolving range of products and services, the Andrew Tan group says. On our end, we are happy to be able to support one of the countrys most trusted and widely-read broadsheets, the group adds.

26 people to watch
From page 1

classic touches. Ashley Rivera. YouTube users know her as Petra Mahalimuyak, the English-speaking how-to guru with a thick Filipino accent. The 19-year-old Las Vegas-based Filipino has captured the attention of YouTube audiences with her crazy antics (including a parody of the film No Other Woman) and multiple accents (check out Tiffany Madison, her British alter ego). Beverly Bebang Wico Siy. She is hailed as the female counterpart of humor/pop writer Bob Ong. Her book, Its a Mens World (yes, without the apostrophe), is a funny and touching memoir of a FilipinoChinese girl. Anvil Publisher Karina Bolasco describes her writing as fresh and honest. Bibo Reyes. A product of the Ateneo Blue Repertory, Reyes made his professional theater debut in Atlantis Productions In The Heights. Director Bobby Garcia described him as one of the most intelligent and instinctive actors around. BJ Pascual. In an age where every other camera-toting person calls himself a photogra-

pher, Pascual stands out. This 21-year-old with an eye for beauty has become a favorite of glossies, celebrities, models and different brands. Cai Cortez. We first spotted her in the hilarious film Here Comes the Bride. This theater arts graduate from the University of the Philippines, who also appeared in Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank, is passionate about performing. Carlos Castao. The singersongwriter has been part of the music scene for a while, doing everything from hip-hop to metal. But he has decided to pick up an acoustic guitar and start telling stories with his music. He just released his second indie album, CityLightsSoundtrack2: Permanence. Itchyworms frontman Jugs Jugueta said Castaos sound was fresh. Edgar Allan Guzman. A winner of Eat, Bulaga!s Mr. Pogi contest, Guzman was lauded for his performance in Ligo na U, Lapit na Me (he received the Best Actor award from this years Cinemalaya) and has a multi-picture deal with Regal Films. He will be in a movie with John Lloyd Cruz soon. Actress Eugene Domingo said he had a very good attitude to-

wards work. Elmo Magalona. The baby on the cover of his father Francis Magalonas Freeman album is all grown up. At 17, Elmo has proven that he has inherited his fathers talent. He recently released his song 3 Stars and the Son on his website SuperElmo.com. Jasmine Curtis-Smith. Proving she is more than just Annes pretty sister, Jasmine said she would eventually want to try writing and directing. JM de Guzman. One of the stars of the indie (and mainstream) hit Babae sa Septic Tank, De Guzman is now a regular on television with Angelito: Batang Ama on ABS-CBN.

Jonathan Tadioan. He played Arthur Poongbato in Babae sa Septic Tank, a cocky, condescending indie filmmaker with a taste for expresso. Tadioan is part of Tanghalang Pilipino. Kean Cipriano. He was also in Babae sa Septic Tank and, more recently, Vice Gandas Praybeyt Benjamin. Cipriano is the vocalist of the band Callalily. Kermit Tesoro. This designers shoes look more like works of art. Those crazy skull heels and heel-less footwear are worthy of being in a gallery. And, evidently, Tesoros creations are also worthy of Lady Gaga, who wore recently an outfit by

CAI Cortez
Tesoro and Leeroy New on the cover art of her single Marry the Night. K-La Rivera. A Star Power finalist, Rivera made her professional theater debut in Atlantis Productions In the Heights. Garcia said she was an endearing and instinctive actress with a pitch-perfect voice. Martin Bautista. Since he launched his first collection in 2007, the fashion designer has become a favorite of movie and TV stars, fashion editors and stylists. He designs for real women, accentuating the positive. Martin Escudero. He played the lead in Zombadings: Patayin sa Shokot si Reming-

BJ Pascual
ton. Domingo said Escudero was not afraid to accept different roles and surprised everyone with his work. Michael Concepcion. This stylish entrepreneur is behind Greater Good, a clothing store with a difference. While there are countless entrepreneurs out there, not many make a stand on important issues like poverty, saving the environment and animal rights. Mike Alba. One of the countrys best drummers is now a teacher. Alba started his drum program in 2010. Raimund Marasigan, drummer of the Eraserheads, said it was an excellent program.
26 PEOPLE/ 4


IN SEPTEMBER, the INQUIRER website became the vehicle for the Deadline Committees series of short articles on procrastination and how to effectively deal with it.


BIBO Reyes


PATRICIA Evangelista

ELMO Magalona

26 people to watch
Mikey Bustos. The YouTube sensations funny how-to videos continues to be big hits. Nico Salva. The Ateneo Blue Eagles player is the finals Most Valuable Player during the recent University Athletic Association of the Philippines games. Patricia Evangelista. As INQUIRER columnist and producer of ANCs Storyline, Evangelista brings important issues to light and tells stories that demand your attention. Rossy Yabut. She has made peoples homes and offices more colorful thanks to Heima, her lifestyle store-slash-design firm. And although her designs have foreign influences, Yabut said

From page 2

Heimas products were made locally. Samantha Sotto. This mom is proof that nothing is impossible. She wrote her first novel at Starbucks while waiting to fetch her son from school. Tarsius. It is the union of two experienced musiciansDiego Mapa of Pedicab and Jay Gapasin, drummer of Radioactive Sago Project. With just a laptop and a drum set, the two play a mad mix of electronic music. Valerie Chua. This self-taught illustrator graduated with a humanities degree from the University of Asia and the Pacific. A freelance artist, she does privately commissioned pieces and illustrations for different publications.


400 awards and counting

Older, better and still the one
By Minerva Generalao
Head, Inquirer Research

PDIS SANDY PrietoRomualdez and Isagani Yambot hold the Newspaper of the Year trophy from PMAP. Others in photo are PMAPs Schubert Caesar C. Austero and Jimmy M. Isidro.

S OF this writing, INQUIRER has received a total of 400 awards since its founding in December 1985. The awards of excellence are for its editorial content, business innovations and social responsibility.

Of course, the count does not include the biggest recognition of allthe continued support of INQUIRER readers who for years have made the INQUIRER the No. 1 newspaper in various surveys. In July, Hinge Inquirer Publications (HIP), the magazine arm of the Inquirer Group, won an award of excellence for innovative business models at the Asian Publishing Awards held in Bangkok. The award was for HIPs targeted multimedia platform (TMP) model. Sandy Prieto-Romualdez, president and CEO of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said the award represented the spirit of innovation and intrapreneurship that ran deep within the Inquirer Group of Companies. In October, the INQUIRERs stories on the Super Typhoon Juan, one of the deadliest disasters to have hit the country, were cited for Best News Coverage in the 2011 Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA). The INQUIRER was unopposed in the Best News Coverage category for print as the other contenders were its own news coverage of the Rizal Park hostage drama and the 2010 elections. On Nov. 23, the INQUIRER received the Newspaper of the Year Award from the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) during the launch of the 1st PMAP Makatao Awards. The Makatao Awards for Media Excellence honors members of the mass media for outstanding work that enhances public understanding of the role and impact of good people management in both the public and private sectors in the country. Less than a week later, the INQUIRER Read-Along program bagged two trophies at the 10th Philippine Quill Awards, considered the most prestigious national citation and yardstick for international competence in business communications. The INQUIRER Read-Along program, which aims to promote love for reading, received an award of excellence for staging 25 simultaneous storytelling sessions from Batanes to Tawi-Tawi on Dec. 4, 2010, as part of the activities to mark the INQUIRERs 25th anniversary. The program was later declared the overall grand winner in the Communication Management division, besting 23 other finalists. The Quill grand winner award for the Read-Along program was also a milestone. It was the 400th award received by the INQUIRER since December 1985. The other INQUIRER awards this year: INQUIRER photographer EV Espiritus Luntiang Daan was named the Agriculture Photo of the Year at the 2010 Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards, which recognizes outstanding writers and storytellers whose works chronicle and capture the agricultural landscape. It was a back-to-back win for Espiritu whose Spice Scarecrow won the Agriculture Photo of the Year the previous year. INQUIRER.NETs advertising campaign, Anong Balita, was honored with an Ani ng Dangal Award for Multi-Disciplinary Arts by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Two education campaigns supported by the INQUIRER, a campaign to honor teachers (My Teacher, My Hero) and a contest for budding historians (World War II True Stories Contest) won honors at the 46th Anvil Awards hosted by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP). My Teacher, My Hero won the Grand Anvil trophy after earlier winning the Anvil Award of Excellence for a public relations program directed at a special interest group, in this case, teachers. "World War II True Stories Contest," which promoted storytelling interaction between high school students and war veterans or survivors, took the Anvil Award of

400 AWARDS / 4


PDI CHAIR Marixi R. Prieto and president-CEO Sandy Prieto-Romualdez with the Silver guys and gals, honored for their 25 years of uninterrupted service with the INQUIRER

Loyalty and service valued in INQUIRER

VERY year on our anniversary, we honor the employees who have remained steadfast in their service to the company. On this page are this years honorees.

5 years with the INQUIRER, hired in 2006

Canono, Jesus D. Del Rosario, Kenneth M. Docot, Bernan V . Feria, Monica S. Lucas, Corazon N. Mapagu, Shalomaigne F. Morelos, Miko L. Olchondra, Riza T. Ominga, Princess Daisy C. Pallada, Olga A. Reyes, Erwin M. Sacramed, Edwin C. Sesdoyro, Ma. Sandra P . Veloira Jr., Antonio Jesus B. Yap, Sandy Simon R. Zulueta, Edwin P .

A DECADE of service to the INQUIRER

THE BABIES who have just completed five years with the company
Arguel, Mary June R. Badocdoc, Genelito C. Bergonia, Antonio S. Bojo, Jovino G. Chanco, Manuel R. IV Cristuta, Bobby C. Cruz, Reynaldo G. Dela Cruz, Ma. Lourdes S. Dela Vega, Luis F. III Dela Vega, Margarita P . Doyo, Ceres P . Escueta, Evelyn B. Espino, Margarita Q. Esplanada, Jerry E. Garces, Rodante C. Gatdula, Arnold B. Gomez, Chona R. Good, Belinda B. Goyagoy, Pacita T. Limbo, Imelda B. Mangawang, Cesar D. Medina, Patria L. Millare, Emelita R. Olarte, Felipe R. Pascual, Perlita G. Paurom, Nilo B. Penales, Grace C. Perez, Celita E. Rabanal, Ricardo T. Ramos, Jaime C. Reinoso, Renato R. Rivera, Carlito A. Rivera, Nancy D. Santos, Willie M. Tamanu, Romulo A. Vergara, Alexander Y. Villareal, Jose H. Whitaker, Sonia T. Yuson, Jessie L.

10 years with the INQUIRER, hired in 2001

Alday, Rosalyn A. Cuaresma, Richard A. Ho, Abigail L. Joseph, Cesar A. Lalata, Romel M. Lee, Fructuosa F. Leung, Maria Roselle F. Melendres, Teddyvic S. Mercado, Carlo Angelo L. Nawal, Allan A. Nery Jr., Mario S. Nieto, Janet D. Pabularcon, Graciella Rose Remo, Amelita Melissa R. Remo, Michelle Evaresta V . Sabado, Ritche S. Salaverria, Leila B. Soliman, Christine O. Suga, Christiana R. Taniegra, Ethel G.

MEDY Gregorio (second from right), who retired this year as chief librarian, receive a loyalty award for her 25 years of service.
Lagman, Genie L. Lalicon, Liberty S. Lorenzo, Jaime O. Macawile, Sharon Wendy R. Moral, Ma. Rachelle V . Navarro, Felipe M. III Navarro, Noli T. Villapando, Gemma G.

THE AWARD-WINNING InChoirer GUEST singer Jed Madela

15 years with the INQUIRER, hired in 1996

Abing Carlito U. Alconaba, Nestor A. Jr. Ambrosio, Francis P . Bacani Jr., Luisito T. Bondoc, Josefina S. Bordadora, Norman S. Delgado, Ma. Regina J. Dumlao, Ma. Cristina A. Espinosa, Neyla T. Esturas, Raphael Sigmund O. Fernandez, Concepcion E. Fernandez, Melanio D. Jambora, Anna Marie A. Jano, Gerry S.

20 years with the INQUIRER, hired in 1991

Abad, Rolando O. Bandayrel Jr., Pergentino B. Caruncho, Eric S. Del Rosario, Benita D. Delos Reyes, Mario D. Gomez, Raquel P . Marcelo, Raul O. Narisma, Socorro S. Ruiz, Jerry A. Viray, Renato C. Jr.

A MUSICAL number from Scarlett, Ysay Alvarez, Robert Sea and Mel Villena

25 years with the INQUIRER, hired in 1986

Aclan, Margarito Anicete, Hilario L.

KEEPING scoretwenty years in the INQUIRER

EMPLOYEES who have given a decade and a half to the countrys No. 1 newspaper

FMP unveils new brand identity at the FOTONs Big Show

Foton Motor Philippines (FMP) shares a new passion towards reaching higher and growing further. One of the countrys leading commercial vehicle brands, FOTON gathers thousands of guests and distinguished government officials as they launch their new brand identity. This momentous unveiling took place at the FOTONs Big Show held last October at the PICC Forum, Pasay City. The new logo is characterized by a round rim circling three brands that form a sterling diamond. Natures hardest mineral, the diamond is the core of Fotons brand design, Fotons Blazing Diamond new logo radiates eternal brand value, symbolizing its pursuit for diamond quality perfection thru technological innovations as its basic driving force for creating breakthroughs and new energy product, said Jorge Judan, Executive Vice President of FOTON Motor Philippines. He then explains about the bright halo that circles the diamond stating Foton Motor brands wholistic pursuit for excellence and perfection. It also represents perfect circular elements embracing the comprehensive customer care of Foton Motor to its clients. It also stands for Fotons aim to create the perfect value experience, ensuring the harmonious equilibrium among man, vehicle, and nature. Mr. Judan closes. Designed by world-renowned design team headed by Erik Spiekermann and Wang Min, the new brand identity envelops Fotons vision for the company of becoming acknowledged as one of the Top 10 vehicle manufacturers in the world by the year 2020. One great example of this big leap is FOTONs Big Show--an exhibition and trade-in event that features its complete line-up and welcomes its new line of heavy equipment and construction machineries. With this even more extensive product array, Foton truly gears up for greater things as a solid, globally competitive brand. Mr. Rommel L. Sytin, President and CEO of FMP (also known as United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. or UAAGI) commits an unwavering dedication towards this goal. Despite the great work and challenges ahead of us, shares Mr. Sytin, let me assure you that we love what we do at FOTON--that is, to ultimately serve you better all the time. It is considered FMPs grandest exhibition and trade-in event to date. Thousands of guests and invited members of the media and government officials flock to PICC Forum 2, Pasay City as FOTON Motor Philip-

A Stronger Global Vision

FOTON's New Brand Identity

From left - United Asia Automotive Group, Inc. (UAAGI) Chairman Dominic Sytin, Foton Motor Group VP Li Xing Xing, Senator Ralph Recto, Vice President Jejomar Binay, UAAGI/FMP President Rommel Sytin, Clark Development Corporation President Felipe Remollo, and UAAGI Executive VP Jorge Judan.

Foton Motor Philippines (FMP) President and CEO Mr. Rommel Sytin

Foton's ETX 4x2 Tractor Head

pines (FMP) launched its extensive line-up of commercial vehicles and machineries. With Fotons new wheel loaders, excavators, backhoe loaders, rollers, and forklifts now uniting with the brands line-up, Foton is definitely ready to cater to all industries in the spectrum. Now Foton has the sole brand distinction in the Philippines of having the full product profile, from passenger vehicles to light or heavy duty trucks, to special duty trucks and tractor heads, all the way to excavators, wheel loaders, even bulldozers, and forklifts--under a single brand name. added Sytin. With its successful launching at FOTONs Big Show, this big new line-up is now ready to hit the market. FOTON even makes all these more reachable through the events Palitan Fest 2, a trade-in activity wherein guests exchange their old vehicles for brand new unit. Within minutes, participants get to drive home with their pick of any vehicle among the new line up.

Foton Motor Philippines' (FMP) Executive Vice President Mr. Jorge Judan reveals Foton's new brand identity and vision at the Foton's Big Show.


THE WWII True Stories Contest, a joint project of the Philippine Veterans Bank and INQUIRER Learning section, received an Anvil merit award.

INQUIRER president and CEO Sandy PrietoRomualdez accepts the Philippine Quill Award for the Read-Along project with Researchs Kate Pedroso and Minerva Generalao. Also in photo are IABC Philippines trustees Kane Errol Choa (left) and Jeffrey Tarayao (right).

400 awards and counting

From page 1

Merit for a public relations program in the arts, culture, heritage and tourism category on a sustained basis. The INQUIRER received the first and third prizes in the first International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Journalism Award on humanitarian reporting. INQUIRER Mindanao correspondent

PHOTOGRAPHER EV Espiritu (right) receives from Chris Nelson, PMFTCI president, the Bright Leaf Agriculture Photo Journalism trophy.

STEPHANIE Bravo-Semilla (left) won second prize in cartooning for biotechnology. She is shown with Dr. Mariechel Navarro.
Frinston Lim won the first prize with his story, Women grieve over land mine deaths, published on Feb. 27. Fernando del Mundo, chief of the INQUIRER investigative team, won the third prize on initiatives by international aid agencies to ease the plight of families displaced by the conflict in Mindanao. Learning editor Chelo Banal-Formoso received a merit award for her story How soon we forget: A year after Ondoy, are public schools safer, better equipped for learning? in the Holcim Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction. The Philippine Daily Inquirer was named Outstanding Newspaper of the Year and Cathy Yamsuan Outstanding Reporter of the Year by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) In the La Sallian Scholarum Awards, a story that came out in the Learning section and a photograph won awards. Chelo Banal-Formoso, Linda Bolido and INQUIRER Research bagged the Outstanding Published Feature Article on Youth and Education in a Nationally Circulated Publication for the story Education Matters: Top 10 in 2010. Raffy Lerma received the award for Outstanding Published Photograph on Youth and Education for a Newspaper (for A Girl Looks at the Charred Remains of Her House). In the 2011 CMMA, the INQUIRER took home three trophies, sweeping three major categories that highlighted the papers achievement not only in news coverage but also in the areas of political cartoons and comic strips. Gilbert Daroy was unopposed in the Best Editorial Cartoon category for his entry 2010 Elections vs GMAs Legacy. The other nominees in the category were Daroys other entries, Knight against Corruption and Poverty and Perks and Bonuses. Jess Abrera, a CMMA Hall of Famer in the editorial cartoon category, took the award for Best Comic Strip with an entry from his A. Lipin series. His challenger was another INQUIRER cartoonist, Maria Coll, who was nominated for her Tuldok comic strip. Tessa Salazar was named Best in Insurance Journalism in the Philippine Non-Life Insurance PIRA Awards. INQUIRER artist Stephanie Bravo-Semilla won second place in the professionals category of the nationwide BiotechTOONS contest. The competition asked artists to interpret the theme The Benefits and Potentials of Crop Biotechnology.


2nd Inquirer Indie Tribute:

The Next Generation

IKE a great movie, the 1st INQUIRER Indie Tribute, held in December 2010, clearly deserved a sequel.
Last year, the INQUIRER celebrated 26 independent filmmakers who brought honor to the country within a period of five years since 2005, the start of the digital revolution. More than just a social gathering, the event turned out to be a rare opportunity for the filmmakers to touch base with industry leadersspecifically, the chairs of two government agencies, Briccio Santos of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). Serendipitously (and happily), it led to a cordial and fruitful meeting of minds that jump-started beneficial policy pronouncements, many of which were carried out in the

WALKING the Waking Journey

past 12 months.

Landmark reforms
The FDCP chair unveiled its flagship projectsSineng Pambansa, Cinematheque and the National Archives. Sineng Pambansa is well on its way, having gone places as far north as Laoag and as far south as Marawi and Tawi-Tawi. The first Cinematheque was inaugurated in Baguio recently, and the dream of a National Archives is finally a reality, with an actual film library recently set up in Ortigas Center. The MTRCB has since instituted landmark reformsforemost of which is the institutionalization of discounted application fees for deserving indie films. The INQUIRER, which has always been supportive of the aspirations of indie filmmakers, seeks to help continue the meaningful dialogue via this 2nd INQUIRER Indie Tribute: The Next Generation. On Thursday,

ANG DAMGO ni Eleuteria



FILMMAKER Sheron Dayoc nearly ended up in the poor house.

Sheron Dayoc
Halaw: Ways of the Sea

THE MOVIE was filmed entirely in Zamboanga.

MAGINE that. Zamboanga-born Sheron Dayoc almost didnt finish his debut feature, Halaw, an entry in the Cinemalaya festival two years ago.

The plurality of cinematic ideas will benefit the country. Social issues will be pushed to the forefront and our people will see the bigger picture
crew, Dayoc persevered. Halaw won best director and best film at the Cinemalaya. It also won best editing for Lester Olayer and Chuck Gutierrez and best actor for John Arcilla. That was just the beginning for Halaw, which went on to win major awards abroad: special mention at the Berlin fest; best film at the New York Hells Kitchen fest; and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards Netpac Development Prize. Halaw became Dayocs ticket to the Sundance Script Lab, where he got to work on his next film, Satra (included in Busans Asian Cinema Fund this year). Dayoc began his love affair with cinema when, as a philosophy student in Zamboanga City,

Halaw, which chronicles the boat journey of ordinary Filipinos illegally entering Malaysia, was a tough shoot, Dayoc admits. And this is easy to believe. The challenges went beyond snakes in the mangroves and armed bandits in the open seas. Dayoc nearly ended up in the poor house. Against all odds, however, and with a ragtag cast and

he stumbled upon Iranian films. I was amazed by the beauty of Iranian cinema, he recalls. I discovered other foreign films along the way. Cinema speaks the universal language, he says. Every person from every corner of the world has an interesting story to tell. Small wonder that he is riding the wave identified by critics as regional cinema. One of the new breed of filmmakers to emerge from the regions in the last few years, Dayoc credits digital technology for making cinema more accessible to more people. It provided more depth and breadth to the stories, and gave birth to numerous filmmakers with fresh and exciting styles.

He notes that the provinces offer a treasure trove of untold stories. Gems, he considers them. The time has come to show the world the richness of the culture of our provincesfrom northern Luzon to southern Mindanao. While regional cinema is the new buzzword, Dayoc hopes to go beyond tags and titles. New Wave or Golden Age are just labels. Filmmakers will always produce treasures. We can have a good harvest one year and a lean one after. What matters is that the films are snapshots of our times. This plurality of cinematic ideas will only benefit the country in the end, he says. Social issues will be pushed to the forefront and our people will

see the bigger picture. Dayoc, who is now working in Singapore, encourages young filmmakers to strive for excellence. He counsels: Have a good story. Have something important to say. Then say it your own way. A filmmaker cannot do it alone, he saysit takes a village, too, to craft a film. Gather a team that you trust, people youre comfortable with and who share your vision. Most importantly: Make sure you have enough funds before you start shooting. And, equally imperative: Keep your feet on the ground. Dont let success go to your head. Bayani San Diego Jr.

Monster Jimenez and Mario Cornejo

Kano: An American and His Harem
IX YEARS after making their debut via the Cinemalaya winner, Big Time, Coreen Monster Jimenez and Mario Cornejo lived up to the title of their first filmwith a risky documentary titled Kano: An American and His Harem.
Big Time is a smart-alecky comedy while Kano ventures into darker territory. The docu follows the case of an American Vietnam war veteran who gets slapped with charges of over 80 counts of rape, after shacking up with numerous Filipino women in an impoverished village in Negros Occidental. Jimenez and Cornejo clearly dont shy away from tough subject matterthe pejorative tag poverty porn be damned. The Philippines is surrounded by poverty. Filmmakers will make movies about the world they know and care about, Jimenez says. Honesty of vision is much more important than whether it is yet another film set in the slums. There are a million stories in the slums, adds Cornejo. The five years worth of work that Jimenez and Cornejo spent on Kano have been amply rewarded with a trio (so far) of honors here and abroadbest first film at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam and best documentary at the Cinemanila festival and Urian awards. Jimenez acknowledges that

Honesty of vision is much more important than whether it is yet another film set in the slums. There are a million stories in the slums
VICTOR Pearson and his women in the documentary Kano: An American and His Harem.
they are part of a bigger movement in local cinema. Among indie filmmakers, it is a community first before an industrya community of people who dream and talk about movies all day long, she said. Cornejo describes this time as a golden age Filipino film is no longer a ghetto but a real, and vibrant, scene. Jimenez concurs: Truly exciting times. I do feel the energy. Cornejo points out: Were now on the map of world cinema, but that was built on the backs of some great Filipino films and filmmakers. We who followed are just reaping the benefits. Jimenez credits esteemed filmmaker Mike de Leon for her enduring love affair with cinema: Its Mikes fault. I really wanted to be a journalist, but after working with him as a production assistant for Bayaning Third World, I was hooked. Yes, I made coffee and he fired me several times, but he also turned the set into one extensive master class. Cornejo says he makes films because Im a nerd and a geek. I started as a fan and lover of films. Everyone loves movies, but it takes a weird, obsessive personality to decide to make films. Finding an audience is a struggle, both concede. I dont think anybody has figured out this part yet, but were definitely trying, Jimenez says. The Independent Filmmakers Cooperative is hosting monthly screenings. We find space where were welcome and we screen. Cornejo encourages aspiring filmmakers to just do it. The booming scene is exciting


MARIO Cornejo

and accepting enough to accommodate a new point of view. And yet, its still small enough that, if you make a good film, it can still stand out

and be discovered. Jimenez, who recently acted as juror at the same Amsterdam documentary festival where she won last year,

urges young directors to find their unique voices. Dont let technology or lack of funding get in the way of your story. Bayani San Diego Jr.



Eduardo Roy Jr. Bahay Bata D

IRECTOR Eduardo Roy Jr. confesses that his goal in making the indie drama Bahay Bata was for it to be seen by as many foreign audiences as possible.

We have sustained the worlds interest in our films for the past six years. Lets continue making movies that are uniquely Filipino

THE FILMMAKERS (top) aim was for foreign audiences to see Bahay Bata.

I admit that I had international film festivals in mind, Roy explains. Its still difficult for most indie filmmakers to penetrate the so-called local mainstream cinema, so I figured, getting some recognition from outside of the Philippines would be a great help once it was time to introduce the film to the local audience. He adds that directors like Brillante Mendoza, Auraeus Solito and Adolf Alix Jr. had walked down the same road. Bahay Bata, with a script that he cowrote with Jerome Zamora, is Roys first full-length feature film. It took home the special mention trophy at the end of the recently concluded Vancouver International Film Festival. At press time, the filmabout a day in the life of

a nurse working in a public maternity hospitalis competing at the Marrakesh International Film Festival in Morocco. We have sustained the worlds interest in our films for the past six years, he observes. We should continue making movies that are uniquely Filipino, technically polished and with good stories. Roy is hopeful that Pinoy indie films, often better appreciated abroad, will soon find an audience here. Let us consider the accomplishments of Ang Babae sa Septic Tank and Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington, which both did well at the box office. Slowly, peoples interest in indie films is coming back, he points out. Roy grew up watching and enjoying Filipino films, espe-

cially the classics from Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal and Mike de Leon. I also got to watch a lot of interesting movies on Channel 9 [in the 80s]. I was so inspired, I promised myself Id make my own film someday. He finished mass communications at New Era University in 2002. In 2003, he participated in a workshop supervised by novelist Ricky Lee and sponsored by ABS-CBN. In 2010, he took up interior design at the Philippine School of Interior Design and attended a workshop on Found Story under writer-director Armando Bing Lao. Hence, apart from designing living and working spaces, Roy directs and writes screenplays and scripts for soap operas. He wrote for the ABS-CBN drama series Mangarap Ka (starring

Piolo Pascual), Spirits (Streetboys) and Ysabel (starring Judy Ann Santos). Hes now working on a new soap starring actress Maja Salvador. Roys previous work, Ulirat, won the best short film award from the Film Academy of the Philippines in 2002. His second short, Ang Pinakamahabang One Night Stand (2006) was exhibited in festivals in Ibiza, Spain and Chicago in the United States. Indie filmmaking really took off in 2005, Roy observes. A number of directors who made their names internationally paved the way for this long-forgotten industry to be recognized once again. He is convinced that digital filmmaking made it easier to create more films. Before this technology, very few new directors were being introduced. Now, we see at least 10 new filmmakers each year, all products of local film festivals like the Cinemalaya, Cinema One and Cinemanila. His advice to budding artists: Never stop dreaming, never lose hope. Marinel R. Cruz


Remton Siega Zuasola

Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria
I love to study people. My favorite hobby is people-watching. Im curious about why they do things the way they do and feel the way they feel, the Cebu-based director tells the INQUIRER. The urge to tell their stories led me to filmmaking. Little did I know that, in the process, I would reveal my own stories as wellbecause their truths are as real as mine. Remton says he grew up listening to Visayan radio dramas in the 80s. In college, he studied advertising, as well as method acting and directing, which he was able to put to use when he started making independent Visayan-language films in 2005. I honestly think that [filmmaking] is the only thing that I am good at. I love telling stories onscreen as much as I love seeing one unfold, he says. Remtons short film, To Siomai Love (2009), premiered at the Visual Arts Theatre in New York during the 2009 Indio Bravo Film Festival. It won best film and earned for him the Ishmael Bernal Award for most outstanding young Filipino filmmaker from the 2009 Cinemanila International Film Festival. It also won the Gawad Urian trophy for best short film in 2010. At 27, Remton holds the distinction of being the youngest recipient of the best director Gawad Urian from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino for Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria (2011), his debut feature film. It tells the story of a poor island girl about to marry a foreigner for convenience. The pioneering Filipino critics group also awarded it best picture (plus best music and best cinematography). Earlier, the movie was named best Southeast Asian film at the 2010 Cinemanila International Film Festival and bagged the special jury prize at the Cinema One Originals Film Festival that same year. Written entirely in the Visayan language, the movie also won the special jury prize at

NG DAMGO ni Eleuteria director Remton Siega Zuasola says filmmaking has given him the chance to reach out to many people.

Technology has liberated us from the bondage of being controlled by people who have money. The power to create, once held by big studios, is slowly being given to filmmakers
the 2011 Jeonju International Film Festival in South Korea. It is currently touring film festivals in Russia, Vienna, Spain and the United States. When not directing, Remton works with other filmmakers as a production designer, actor and producer. He is currently in preproduction for his sophomore feature film. Remton is convinced that digital filmmaking is the best thing that happened to the local movie industry. It opened a lot of opportunities for us, new directors, to create movies that illustrate our ideas and principles, films made at our own pace, with our own means. He adds: It is relatively cheaper to produce films now. Technology has liberated us from the bondage of being controlled by people who have money. The power to create, once held by big studios, is slowly being given to filmmakers. Remton recalls: Five years ago, I was a mere wannabe watching the film revolution from the sidelines. I stood in awe as others climbed higher in defying norms, breaking conventions and driving the paradigm shift. The success of such revolutionary filmmakers has inspired me to follow their lead. And now, five years later, I can say that Im treading my own path. Marinel R. Cruz

THE DIRECTOR in his hometown

DAMGO won four Urian awards this year.


ANG Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa

2nd Inquirer ...

From page 1

Dec. 15, the INQUIRER is celebrating the next batch of filmmakers who have won awards and accolades here and abroad from Amsterdam to Busan, from Berlin to Vancouver, from Bogot to Manhattan. Their achievements are unassailable proof (if any should be necessary) that the victories of the first batch were certainly no accident. On the home front, the honorees films have been feted in festivals like Cinemalaya, Cinema One, Cinemanila and Sineng Pambansa; and some, in fact, by local award-giving bodies, including Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino. This year, we likewise commemorate the unique achievement of two indie filmsZom badings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington and Ang Babae sa Septic Tankthat, astoundingly, crossed over and screened in packed cinemas nationwide. As our honorees never tire of repeating, the next battlefield for

the indies is the marketing/distribution arena. The world already knows that Filipinos make good moviesnow its time for audiences, local and foreign, to watch.

On Thursday, we will also look back and pay homage to some of the pioneers who blazed the trail and broke new ground for the present generation: Kidlat Tahimik, Roxlee, Ditsi Carolino, Butch Nolasco, Nick Deocampo and Mike de Leon. The INQUIRER continues to support these warriors of the digital age precisely because technology, the great equalizer, has allowed voices from the regions, from the margins, from the fringes, to be heard not only in Manila but all over the world. Three of this years honorees are from the provinces: Baguio, Cebu and Zamboanga. And since the INQUIRER aspires to be the indies official media home, the 2nd INQUIRER Indie Tribute will again be held at its main office in Makati. It promises to be another blockbuster.


Alemberg Ang
Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa

IG-BUDGET films dont always make it big in the box office, says producer-director Alemberg Alem Ang.

Ang is responsible for independent films like Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe (2009), Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2011) and Gayuma: Pilgrim Lovers (2011)all written and codirected by Alvin Yapan. Ang is also the producer of Dennis Marasigans Vox Populi (2010) and Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon (2011). Money or big budget does not necessarily mean success, says Ang, who was a delegate in the Unesco conference for independent film producers in Barcelona, Spain last October 2011. The same goes for technology. Not all films made with high-tech effects are good. Its a good story that makes a good film, he stresses. He went into filmmaking quite by accident, Ang says: After teaching for more than 10 years, I wanted to do something

LEAD stars Rocco Nacino and Paulo Avelino

creative. I actually applied to be a stage manager for Tanghalang Pilipino because theater is one of my passions. So when Yapan, a fellow Literature professor, sought help in making Fe, Ang agreed immediately. I did it without reading the script or even asking for the title of the film, Ang relates. One thing I was sure about was Alvins talent as a storyteller and filmmakerthat was reason enough for me to accept his offer. Fe went on to win the best picture award in the digital feature-length film category of the 2009 Cairo International Film Festival in Egypt. It was also

A big budget does not necessarily mean success. Its a good story that makes a good film
granted the special jury prize in the 2009 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, as well as the Ani ng Dangal award from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Fe was showcased in festivals in India, and in New York and Chicago in the United States.

Meanwhile, Sayaw recently bagged the bronze prize for international film at the 28 Festival de Cine de Bogota in Spain. This was after it brought home the best cinematography and musical score (New Breed category) trophies from the 2011 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Sayaw was nominated for the Halekulani Golden Orchid best narrative feature award at the recently concluded Hawaii International Film Festival. Ang advises young filmmakers: Be clear about your goals. Ask yourself: Are you going into filmmaking to earn a living? Do you want to be recognized internationally and win in festivals, or do you want to make lots and lots of money? Whatever the reason, its good to be

honest with yourself. He says its important to be respectful of other people and to value their worth. Dont take relationships for granted. Lahat ng tao, kahit gaano kaliit, ay nakatulong sa iyong tagumpay. So be appreciative of them. I have worked with a good number of people... Those who care for everyone they work with are the ones who earn respect. Be sure to listen, Ang adds. Some filmmakers have this notion that since its their film and its independent, they no longer have to listen to others. (Although) listening need not necessarily mean obeying or following suggestions, its good to hear what people around you are saying. There is value in different points of view. Marinel R. Cruz



Jade Castro
IKE Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros before it, Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington was the little film that could and diddefying the odds and the studio system and emerging, like its fabulously flamboyant titular character, a winner in the end.
Filmmaker Jade Castro would have been the least likely suspect to mastermind such a quirky, campy sleeper hit. After all, his 2007 debut Endo, a bittersweet look at young people stuck in dead-end jobs (and relationships), won awards at the Cinemalaya and Urian and was screened at the Nantes fest in France. To say that Zombadings marked a departure for Castro is a clear understatement. But with Maximo writers Michiko Yamamoto and Raymond Lee, Castro crafted in Zombadings what critics have hailed as a subversive piece of populist entertainment. With the colorful Pahiyas festival of Lucban, Quezon province, as backdrop, this coming-of-age comedy follows a young mans transformation

The clear lesson from the past six years is that it takes institutional reforms and support to make a national cinema grow
from homophobic bum to a gender-sensitive, proactive member of societybattling bigots and zombies with equal passion. The film caught a lot of insiders by surprise when it became a certified box-office hit, in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds. After opening in 50 cinemas, it added 12 more in its first weekend and ran for over a month, though production company Origin8 lacked the machinery and clout of the big players. Although thankful and jubilant for his films success, Castro remains cautiously reflective, and acknowledges that

an uphill climb still awaits indie filmmakers in the mainstream. The clear lesson from the past six years is that it takes institutional reforms and support to make a national cinema grow. Theres a lot more to be done, he says. He looks at such pronouncements as a third golden age with a healthy dose of realism. A golden age implies bounty and prosperity. I dont know if we live in those times [now] ... when only one movie studio holds about 90 percent of the entire market share. But yes, the last six years have seen tremendous output in production. For the renewed vitality, he credits local institutions and festivalsCinemalaya, Cinema One and Cinemanilafor supporting Filipino filmmakers at a time when most pundits have dismissed local movies as either dying or dead. Digital technology has likewise sparked this revolution, he explains. We have [digital technology] to thank for a revitalized, diversified cinema, he notes. Films that previously couldnt get made now have a chance. This is why we already see films from the far regions and hear voices from the under-

Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington

JADE Castro with a Zombading

LEAD stars Lauren Young, Kerbie Zamora and Martin Escudero

class and the fringe. Digital technology has also altered the modes of distribution, he notes. For Zombadings, for example, Origin8 relied on both traditional (newspapers, TV ads) and new media (Facebook, Twitter) for its promotional efforts. In the end, good old-fashioned word of mouth saved the day for Rem-

ington. For the indies, Castro sees the marketing and distribution arenas as the next battlefield. He quips, The world already knows that we make good films. The rest is marketing, and thats harder. Meanwhile, Remingtons journey continues. Last month, it was shown at the 24th Ex-

ground Film Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany. This month, it is being released on DVD, just in time for holiday gift-giving. Imagine that. In light of the breakthrough that is Zombadings, Castro offers simple advice to struggling filmmakers: Its best to have a plan. Bayani San Diego Jr.

Ferdinand John Balanag

Walking the Waking Journey

ROM the gentle slopes of the Cordilleras to the perilous trails of the Himalayas, it has been a circuitous climb for Ferdinand John Balanag.

The Baguio-based filmmaker admits that he was at a

crossroads when he received the invitation to direct the documentary, Walking the Waking Journey. It tells the story of Tibetan monk Lama Tenzin, who fulfills a promise to accompany his adopted children on a trip back from India to visit their impoverished villages in Upper Dolpo, Nepal.


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Our filmmakers should provide quality movies that do not undermine the intellect and sensibilities of Filipino viewers
Little did Balanag know that the project would kick off his own waking journey. Last year, the docu won the Golden Ace Award at the Las Vegas Film Festival. Early this year, it bagged the River Pursuit award (for best full feature

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docu) and River Amulet Award (best director, feature docu) at the Silent River Film Festival in Irvine, California. Its winning streak continues. Last month, it won the Mount Hope Project Award (for social activism) at the International Film Festival Manhattan in New York City. In spite of these accolades, Balanag insists that his commitment to Lama Tenzins campaign

to educate the children of Nepal goes beyond film festivals. Prior to making Walking, Balanag taught filmmaking in 2005 workshops initiated by another Baguio-bred filmmaker, Kidlat Tahimik, in the Cordilleras. Balanag recounts: We would travel to Hapao, a small Ifugao village, thrice a year. The idea was to give the villagers a tool with


Marlon Rivera
LOVE films; that is reason enough, says Marlon Rivera when asked why he ventured into filmmaking.
Rivera is the director of Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, the countrys bet in the best foreignlanguage film category of the 2011 Academy Awards. The movie, a day in the life of three wannabe filmmakers, bagged the best film award at the 2011 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. It also won the audience choice award in the annual festivals New Breed category. It was featured in film festivals in Canada, Korea, Hawaii, Japan and Italy. Rivera graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1987. He directed his first plays for the Bulwagang Gantimpala Summer Workshop from 1983 to 1985. He joined PTV 4 as researcher and production assistant shortly after the People Power revolt. In 1988, Rivera went into advertising, becoming an associate creative director within three months. Since then, he has been a copywriter, producer, production designer, makeup artist, stylist and assistant director for TV commercials. Rivera has written for concerts, TV shows and documentaries. For seven years, he taught visual-verbal communication at the University of the Philippines. He is currently president and chief creative officer of Publicis Manila.

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank

CREATIVE genius wears many hats.

In 2009, he and writer-director Chris Martinez made 100 under the production outfit Martinez-Rivera Films. Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, starring Eugene Domingo, is Marlons first full-length film. For Rivera, the implication of digital technology on filmmaking goes beyond the economics


of shooting, processing and finishing a film. He points out: The least visible potential is [its] impact on screening and distribution. The cost of showing prints is mindboggling for an independent producer. I hope that, by next year, all cinemas will be equipped to run digital cinema

Start with a great script and youre two steps ahead. Become a filmmaker, not a film-talker or a film-dreamer. And do it now!
packages, which cost much lower than prints. However, he adds, I still dream of someday shooting a film on film [format]. Rivera says he made Septic without thinking about recognition and awards. Intention

doesnt count in the end, he stresses. The audience will respond to the finished product, not to the filmmakers rationale. A movie takes on an independent life and value. The bigger part of the audience will be clueless about the press releases and will judge the film as they experience it. His advice to aspiring film-

makers: Start with a great script and youre two steps ahead. He also instructs them, Become a filmmaker, not a film-talker or a film-dreamer. and do it now! Rivera also tells them to never take people and relationships for granted. You cant make it without great people working with you. Marinel R. Cruz

Loy Arcenas Nio

CCLAIMED stage director Loy Arcenas admits he had a difficult time directing Nio, his first fulllength feature film.
I thought it was going to be easy, but it turned out I had to learn everything from scratch, the New York-based director told INQUIRER writer Rica Arevalo in a previous interview. Nio won the New Currents Award at the recently concluded Busan International Film Festival, tying with Morteza Farshbafs Mourning from Iran. In the same interview, Arcenas said, [The film is] a family drama, a dark comedy of manners about money, betrayal and survival. Its all about family obligations. The movie also bagged the special jury prize and best supporting actor (for Arthur Acua) and supporting actress (for Shamaine Buencamino) awards at this years Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Arcenas has previously designed sets for Broadway shows, including Once on This Island, Prelude To a Kiss, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life.

FIDES Cuyugan-Asensio and Shamaine Centenera say they trusted their director (right) completely.
He has also designed the sets for off-Broadway and major American regional theater companies in the United States. He has collaborated with some of the most exciting American directors and playwrights, including Joe Mantello, George C. Wolfe, Anne Bogart, Robert Falls, Terrence McNally, Craig Lucas, Paula Vogel. For his design work, Arcenas has received the Obie for sustained excellence of scenic design, the Bay Area Critics Circle Awards, the Jefferson Award, the LA Drama Critics Circle, and the Michael Merritt Award for Design Collaboration. His directing work in New York includes his collaboration with Lonnie Carter, The Romance of Magno Rubio, for which he received his second Obie; and Ralph Penas Flipzoids. In the Philippines, his directing work includes productions

Trust your instincts and the people you work with ... otherwise, life would be hell

for Tanghalang Pilipino, including The Romance of Magno Rubio; Golden Child, which received the Gawad Buhay awards for best direction, best production, best set design and best ensemble work; and Tatlong Mariya, which has been nominated for eight Gawad Buhay awards this year.

Arcenas advice to younger colleagues: Trust your instincts, whatever they may be. Also, learn to trust the people you work with; otherwise, life would be hell. The word collaboration means a lot to me, personally. I do not think I would have survived without it. Marinel R. Cruz

LAMA Tenzin and the intrepid trekkers

Ferdinand John Balanag

which to document their rituals and vanishing traditions. The self-taught filmmaker says, however, that his first love is theater. I started out directing, producing, writing and acting in plays. That was my way of sharing stories. But when he picked up a video camera in college, Balanag realized that stories could be conveniently recorded and could reach a bigger audience. He explains, Just like in theater, film allows me to engage the audience in discourses on various subjects of interest. However, he says that indie filmmaking is also often an uphill battle. The struggle to create films of quality with limited budgets has been constant. Sometimes filmmakers [have to] compromise in order to gain commercial acceptance. Balanag remains optimistic that there is an audience for indie films. We do have a thriving multitude of local film followers... To re-educate the Filipino audience is the role that indie filmmakers should play. To further develop and expand this audience, he notes, filmmakers should provide quality films ... that do not undermine the intellect and sensibilities of Filipino viewers who have been spoon-fed formulaic

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plots in the mainstream. The last six years, he says, have witnessed a revolution that has opened doors for various filmmakers to creatively share their stories through digital media. He counsels aspiring filmmakers not to lose heart. If directing is your passion, have the confidence and the ego to declare yourself a filmmaker. Write or find a good script and do it. Digital technology has made things easier, he says. With easy access to cameras and editing equipment, theres no more reason not to be doing that dream project. Bayani San Diego Jr.


that changed the media landscape

By Armin Adina
INQUIRER Libre Desk editor
WHAT started as a public service project to promote reading among commuters has now gone beyond print, as it continues to reinvent itself. Ten years after INQUIRER Libre became part of mass rail transit commuters daily morning habit, the paper is now in cyberspace and mobile devices. The INQUIRERs free daily provides netizens with relevant news and information via its own website, www.libre.com.ph, and sends free SMS alerts to subscribers of Libre News Alerts.

The little paper


Cebu Daily News keeps hyperlocal focus on Cebu surprises

By Eileen Mangubat
Publisher, Cebu Daily News

HOUTS of panic filled the air as a bus full of students rolled down a mountain road in south Cebu.
The school bus, which had stopped for repairs, suddenly sped downhill in reverse, giving about 30 boys from Don Boscos vocational school, who were on their way to a retreat house in the cool highlands of Dalaguete town, the scare of their young lives. The bus reached the edge, then crashed to a halt, its rear wheels suspended in midair. What could have been a fatal plunge was stopped by a

sturdy pine tree. The near-tragedy was on the front page of the Cebu Daily News (CDN) the next day, with photos of the rescue and an unexpected hero98-year-old Epimaco Amanco, the Dalaguete farmer who planted the pine tree 35 years ago. His toothless grin on Page 1 accompanied the headline story: Saved by a tree. Surprises like this balance the almost daily grim fare of hard news that sometimes makes readers reluctant to read a newspaper. For a community paper, local stories and images are a must. The closer a controversy or triumph is to home, it is likely to be more compelling to readers.

Results of the annual Bar examination and nursing board tests, for example, can be posted online and printed by the national papers. But to see the faces of Cebuano sons and daughters who passed, even made it to the top, and read the stories of their struggle are much more interesting to local readers who, no doubt, will share the information with family, friends, schoolmates and others. As part of the INQUIRER Group, CDN has access to stories of correspondents/reporters around the country and Metro Manila through the INQUIRER News Service so its readers do not miss major developments across the nation.

Know yourself
But a regional daily also has to have a keen sense of the hyper-local, a deep knowledge of its local community, to perform the medias role as a watchdog for the public and a discriminating guide to what is unique in the terrain. In its 13 years of operation, CDN has adhered to its vision of journalism that builds communities. One simple example is the daily photo corner Siloy is Watching, where staff photographers and an increasing number of sharp-eyed readers can post scenes that beg immediate action or relief. (Siloy, a rare songbird found only in Cebu, is also the papers snoopy mascot, embodying CDNs fearless, independent spirit.) The photo corner, started in April 2006, has exposed potholes, leaning posts that endanger people, overloaded vehicles, flooded streets, government cars seemingly used for unofficial trips, street dwellers and jaywalkers who ignore pedestrian walkways. With the positive response, it remains a mainstay of CDNs Opinion Page. Utility companies monitor the space, and send repair teams to fix problems like leaking pipes or damaged posts. Their response is featured when Siloy does a followup.

Sometimes it takes three or more sightings by Siloy before a government agency acts on a problem like an open ditch. But readers do not let it forget, calling the paper or sending e-mail to prod the agency into action. The Philippine Press Institute has called Siloy is Watching a triumph of citizen journalism. It chose CDN in 2010 recipient of the Best Editorial Page award among the countrys daily community papers.

Going global
CDN keeps an eye on events and issues that matter to readers in Cebu and other parts of the Visayas for another reason. Internet has broadened its audience far beyond the reach of the ferryboats and planes that deliver CDN copies to Bohol, Leyte, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Bacolod and, in October, Zamboanga. In June, the CDN Digital Edition was launched allowing readers on-the-go to flip through entire pages on their

mobile phone or tablet anywhere in the world. Local events can quickly become global sensations with the right elements. The dancing inmates of the Cebu provincial jail became a YouTube sensation in 2007 around the world. As online viewers followed their performances, CDN focused on its creator Byron Garcia who, after enjoying public adulation, was unceremoniously booted out as security consultant of his sister, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, over questions on how donations for the dancers were used in 2010. Byron was back in the CDN headlines two months ago for brandishing an Armalite rifle following a disagreement with a new neighbor, an American businessman, whose Slow Down sign was allegedly blocking traffic. Fortunately, the problem was amicably settled. Keeping tabs on Cebu remains a continuing challenge for CDN.

Tabloid for the family

By Dona Policar
FOR THE last 10 years, Bandera has diligently tried to live up to the name and reputation of the mother paper the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Bandera today is a far cry from its original format that was for men only, Bandera publisher Eileen Mangubat said. Now, Bandera is neat, friendlier and even gender-sensitive. But Bandera remains boldin that it never wavers in its belief in truth and fairness in reporting. This INQUIRER tabloid strives to inform, educate, inspire and influence the greater masses. Under the ownership of the INQUIRER Group, which acquired Bandera in 2001, the small newspaper has been surprising readers with its innovations. It is also now being read by women and, in fact, families, which makes it deserving of having the name INQUIRER in its masthead. Imee Alcantara, vice president for operations of INQUIRER Publications Inc. of which Bandera is a part, said the tabloid played an important role in INQUIRERs many missions. She said Bandera helped bring the INQUIRER brand to a market that could not afford the broadsheet, thus pursuing the INQUIRERs mission to inform, inspire and empower as many Filipinos across all social classes.

For 57-year-old Rodrigo Mercader, what was exciting every time he got a copy at Trabajo market in Sampaloc, Manila was Banderas kick-ass headlines. Its really the front page that interests me, Mercader said. The way you write the headline, the big photos, the color are too appealing. They are enough to excite me, he said in Filipino. Mercader, a small entrepreneur, proudly claimed he was a witness to Banderas evolution. Ive seen it change through the years. The best thing that happened to Bandera was when it became part of the INQUIRER. Ngayon hindi na siya bastabasta, he said.

Erlinda, 53, a homemaker with three children and who used to do laundry for her neighbors, is also a loyal reader. She enjoys Banderaboth the old and the newbecause it keeps her hopes alive. It didnt fail to entertain me; much more, it never failed to give me hope, Erlinda said. Siya ang kasama ko sa pag-aalaga ko ng numero sa Lotto. Erlinda hit a winning lotto combination based on a random Bandera lotto tip four years ago. Though she did not win millions, it was still a windfall for er. Bandera has improved its popular Swerte or Buenas section. On one handy page, avid followers of Lotto like Erlinda, and horse race bettors get tips, results, and the inside track for karera, along with the daily horoscope. entertainment news," he said. Santiago, who also hosts a daily show biz noontime show at Radyo INQUIRER, said if he could, he would add another page for entertainment news. For now, Cortez was happy enough with the entertainment section. Whats more, she said Bandera carried the name of the most credible newspaper in the country, something the tabloid and its readers could be proud of. May substitute na ang PDI, she said. Kung ang PDI para sa mga matatalino, mayayaman, mga nakapag-aral at mga propesyonal, ang Bandera naman ang katapat nito para sa aming mga maliliit na mamamayan, she proudly said. (If the INQUIRER is for the affluent, the educated and the professional, Bandera is its equivalent for ordinary citizens.)

tertainment news and feel-good features, especially for women. For the men, Bandera has augmented its sports pages. The section also regularly features one-on-one interviews with sports stars.

Gospel, help columns

Through all the changes, Bandera has never lost its mass appeal by keeping its advice columns, crossword puzzles, birthday greeting corner and interactive reader promos. It also introduced new features, like a daily gospel commentary by Fr. Dan de los Angeles. Readers in the provinces especially appreciate the help from Action Line where government agencies like the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Overseas Employment Agency and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration answer their problems directly. And for those who want something hard-hitting, there is always the fearless and bold column of veteran newspaperman Ramon Tulfo.

Daily mix
INQUIRER Banderas taglines are short and crisp. Its menu of balita, buenas, chikaa daily mix of news, advice and opinion columns, show biz and entertainment with Lotto and karera results delivered in Filipino and Englishhas made Bandera a favorite with readers in the C to E market. We want it concise, simple and easy for our readers to understandthats why we have balita, buenas, chika, said Jimmy Alcantara, Banderas deputy editor.

Rolyn Cortez, 35, of Santa Mesa, said she read Bandera because it carried the most up-to-date show biz news. Entertainment editor Ervin Santiago said, They (readers) always want to know about their favorite stars. They are always thrilled by the scandals. That is why we wanted to double the doze of

Weekend edition
There are several new twists to this credible but fun national tabloid. For more than a year now, Metro Manila and Luzon readers have been enjoying a weekend edition called Klik Bandera, which gives cover-to-cover en-

Bandera is finding ways to reach more readers through digital media and the Internet. It was added recently to the Inquirers Digital Edition (http://bit.ly/Inquirerdigital) for iPads, iPhones, iPod Touch devices and Android tablets and smartphones. Bandera pages have been made completely available online for both local and overseas readers. It has gained several subscribers, most of them overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East. The INQUIRER tabloid has also employed social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and blogs to widen its reach. In the next few weeks, Bandera will launch its interactive web site featuring breaking news and show biz chika. As Inquirer continues to strive to accomplish its mission, INQUIRER Bandera will do its share and, like the mother paper, will be searching for ways to better inform, educate, inspire and empower its readers.


The little paper

Libre followers are regularly updated on the papers latest issues and current promos through a dedicated Facebook fan page and Twitter account. From being a modest tabloid, INQUIRER Libre has evolved into a multimedia brand in just 10 years. And it promises to adapt to the fast-changing times as it continues to serve the public and its varying needs. The paper first made its appearance on Nov. 19, 2001, at most stations of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 and Metrorail Transit (MRT) Line 3. Now it is also available to commuters on the LRT Line 2 and Philippine National Railways (PNR) trains. As a publication designed primarily to promote reading, INQUIRER Libre earned two Gold Quill Awards from the International Association of Business Communicators on its first year. It currently has a daily circulation of 110,000, Monday to Friday, a number which is higher than some national broadsheets. As a free paper, INQUIRER Libre relies heavily on advertising to keep its engines running. But its strategic distribution that gives it a captive market makes it attractive to advertisers despite the growth of digital media. In addition to its reach, content attracts advertisers to INQUIRER Libre. As a proud bearer of the INQUIRER name, INQUIRER Libre stays true to the broadsheets spirit by bringing relevant and up-to-date information to its readers. It has been described by industry players as a broadsheet trapped in a tabloids body. INQUIRER Libre has cleverly redrawn the media landscape by promoting responsible journalism in a medium that has been more associated with smut, gore and sensationalism. Without the usual images of scantily-clad women and sensational crime

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stories, INQUIRER Libre has created a niche uniquely its own. This has gained the support of advertisers, who do not want to associate themselves with publications known for negative and scandalous content. INQUIRER Libre also employed reader engagement measures to promote interactivity among its followers. Through Facebook and Twitter, readers share their views about the content of INQUIRER Libre. The paper also conducts exciting promotions on special occasions, like Mothers Day, Fathers Day or Valentines Day, that encourage readers to participate not only for a chance to win prizes but, more importantly, to share their thoughts on current issues or personalities significant to their own lives. Rewards also await readers through the Birthday Bati Blowout. Every week, the INQUIRER Libre gives out prizes to lucky birthday celebrators. And, through the Top Model of the Week and Wacky and Jump, INQUIRER Libre invites readers to ham it up in front of the camera for their 15 minutes of fame. Still with the readers in mind, the paper comes out with special editions containing articles and photos about the hottest topics of the day. This year, INQUIRER Libre published several editions of Libre Varsity Wars that chronicled events during the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) games, and the National Cheerleading Championship (NCC). The paper continues to evolve and pursue innovations to address the growing and changing needs of the market. INQUIRER Libre has survived its first decade. It aims to pursue its goal to promote reading and endure for several more decades.


Where Positive Sunday and radical optimism are not just buzz words
All about feel-good news
By Volt Contreras
Desk Editor PHILIPPINE national girls softball team

IKE the record-high palay harvest reported by the Department of Agriculture in the first quarter of 2011, the INQUIRER produced a bumper crop of positive, feel good stories this year.
The most memorable pieces drew wide reactionsand concrete actionfrom the public, like the story about the Philippine national girls softball team that almost did not make it to this years World Series in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for lack of funds. A feature article in July by Tarra Quismundo on the teams extensive training in Manila although they did not have the BENJIE T. Pantino of money to buy plane Catanduanes State tickets resulted in an Colleges is board 11th hour outpourexams topnotcher. ing of support, in cash and kind, from private and corporate donors. The team eventually made it to Kalamazoo where the girls, mostly varsity scholars from poor families, were showered with kindness and hospitality by the Filipinos there, who even offered them accommodations. The team made it all the way to the finals, bowing only to the defending champions. But, though the girls were also-rans in the ballpark, they were champions in the hearts of readers who responded to the INQUIRER story. Over a hundred positive news reports and features made Page 1 this year alone, showing how the INQUIRER seeks heroes, achievers and role models with the same passion and determination it scrutinizes corrupt government officials, cheats and rogues. Those heroes or heroines have a thousand faces, like 12-year-old Janela Arcos Lelis who saved the Philippine flag entrusted to her by her school from rising floodwaters in Albay; or members of the Bacolod-based Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc., which won the Ramon Magsaysay Award this year for finding ways to bring running water to remote villages in Negros. We honored those who were deserving: The 64-year-old mother and gardener who finally realized her dream of finishing high school; the teenager who posted the highest grade in postwar University of the Philippines; cinema buffs who successfully

JANELA Arcos Lelis proudly waves the Philippine flag.


INQUIRER publisher Isagani Yambot tries to greet international storytellers in their respective languages. From left, Hayden Mulaudzi of the South African Embassy, Maki Mizusawa of the Japanese Embassy and Miss Earth beauties. ROMY HOMILLADA

MAKI MIZUSAWA of the Japanese Embassy reads the famous Japanese folktale Momotaro using a kamishibai, a storytelling form that originated in Japan. ROMY HOMILLADA

UNLI reading FUN

READING IS COOL. Reading is fun. (Sarap magbasa).
THE AL-SALAAM Peace Community kids show their excitement upon seeing INQUIRER mascot Guyito.


MISS EARTH Brazil Driely Araujo and some of the children have their picture taken at a photo booth courtesy of USAID Climate Change and Clean Energy Project.

INQUIRER president Sandy P. Romualdez poses with participants of the seminar for teachers after delivering the opening remarks.

These key messages of the INQUIRER ReadAlong program were told and retold unlimited times to hundreds of children who came to the first INQUIRER Read-Along Festival held at GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center on Nov. 28 to 29. With the theme focusing on the Filipino child and the stories of the world, the festival featured a two-day marathon of storytelling with international beauty queens, diplomats, returning celebrity storytellers (some of the best celebrity storytellers of the read-along program), veteran and new storytellers; living museum of well-loved storybook characters; storytelling competition and a seminar for preschool and daycare teachers. It was by far the biggest and most diverse gathering in a single venue to celebrate the joy of reading. Launched in May 2007, the INQUIRER Read-Along gathers children aged 6 to 13 for story-reading sessions with celebrities and role models for the youth. The overriding aim is to promote the love of reading among children who know how to read but do not read on their own. It started as a program based at the INQUIRER Makati office but the initiative, which has won six awards so far, has gone nationwide, with reading sessions held in collaboration with the four INQUIRER bureaus. By the time the recent festival ended, the read-along team has conducted 221 readalong sessions since it began in 2007. Sixtyone of the sessions were held this yearthe biggest number conducted in a year.

READ-ALONG veteran Cesar Montano reads Bertdey Ko by Cynthia Cruz-Paz. Sign language was used during the session for the students from Miriam CollegeSoutheast Asian Institute for the Deaf. ROMY HOMILLADA ANTONIO Garcia, first secretary of the Spanish Embassy, reads La Lechera (The Milkmaid) and teaches the children a few Spanish phrases. ROMY HOMILLADA

SOPHIA School Angklung Band entertains kids in between reading sessions. RISSA CAMONGOL

VETERAN comedian Jon Santos tells kids that books are his best friends in the special Fright Night session, which featured a makeshift bonfire and eerie sound effects. NOEL CAPARROS

EDUCATION Secretary Armin Luistro invites children to fly to the moon with him by reading books.

SOPHIA School students perform a fan dance to open their one-of-a-kind Living Museum of Well-Loved Storybook Characters.

12-YEAR-OLD Eugene dela Cruz, one of the youngest finalists of the first INQUIRER Read-Along Storytelling Competition, reads his piece in front of the fantasy land-inspired back drop designed by Stars and Events.

GARY VALENCIANO brings the house down with a mini-concert of his hit songs after reading the classic Filipino folktale Ibong Adarna, complete with sound effects and a humming song depicting the enchanted bird. NOEL CAPARROS


At the first INQUIRER Write-Along held in Cebu, INQUIRER Research head Minerva Generalao (left) and Northern Luzon bureau assistant chief Robert Abao talked about online sourcing and news concepts. Pangasinan correspondent Yolanda Sotelo (third from left) and Pampanga correspondent Tonette Orejas shared their newspapering experiences in interviewing and developing stories with journalism students from Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan in the Write-Along in the City of Malolos. (See story on Page 6.) PHOTOS BY EV ESPIRITU AND SAM YNCIERTO





Inspiring future journalists to stay the course

By Connie E. Fernandez
Bureau Chief, Inquirer Visayas

T STARTED with a desire to inspire students to go into a profession fewer people are willing to pursue now: Journalism.

The Inquirer way

Students get firsthand exposure to the real world of journalism from INQUIRER editors and reporters. They are taught the brand of journalism practiced by the countrys top newspaper, distinguished by three Fsbe first, be fair and be fearless. Lectures covered basic news writing, curiosity and story ideas, sources and online research, interview techniques and convergence in the media industry. The first Write-Along workshop was held at Eva Macapagal Memorial Arts Center of Cebu Normal University at Osmea Boulevard, Cebu City. Sixteen journalism students and campus writers from the University of the Philippines Cebu College, University of San

THE AUTHOR (left) at the Cebu Write-Along; INQUIRER Visayas reporter Nestor Burgos Jr.


But after participating in the INQUIRER Write-Along, 43 journalism students and campus journalists in Cebu, Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan have been inspired to continue what they started. The number is expected to grow as the writing workshop will be brought to other parts of the country. The Write-Along is a program meant to encourage future journalists by teaching them how to tell the Filipinos stories the way the INQUIRER does.

Jose-Recoletos, Southwestern University and Cebu Normal College were selected on the recommendations of their teachers. But participants actually totaled 42 as other students from four more schools asked to sit in, not wanting to pass up the chance to listen to and meet the INQUIRER staff. Resource speakers included national editor Jun Bandayrel, information technology head Gary Libby, research head Miner Generalao, Visayas bureau chief of correspondents Nestor Burgos Jr., Northern Luzon assistant bureau chief Robert Jaworski Abao and this writer. The lecture-workshop was only for one day, but participants were given a week to submit their stories. Feedback was encouraging. Students said they learned a lot that would be helpful to aspiring journalists, including how to ask questions and conduct an interview with sources. The Write-Along seminar had very substantial lectures and chose the right topics. However, I feel it would be better if succeeding seminars would be held in far-flung provinces instead of major cities, said Kystal Cromente, a UP-Cebu mass communication student. Others suggested that photojournalism should be included. Some raised the need for energizers in between lectures. The second Write-Along was held at Bulacan State University in Malolos City, Bulacan. It was attended by 27 students from the host school, Centro Escolar University in Bulacan, University of the Assumption and Don Honorio Ventura Technological State

University in Pampanga, and Bataan Peninsula State University and Tomas del Rosario College in Bataan.

The program was modified based on feedback from Cebu. A lecture on basic photojournalism and photo appreciation was given by INQUIRER Northern Luzon photo correspondent EV Espiritu, which drew the most interest from participants. To make the seminar more interesting, the 2008 film Nothing But the Truth was shown during lunch break. The movie, which stars Kate Beckinsale and Matt Dillon, is about a reporter who faces possible jail term for refusing to divulge her source. Northern Luzon bureau chief Rolly Fernandez used the film to illustrate issues faced by journalists in the field, especially in dealing with and protecting their sources, and to launch a discussion on Generalaos presentation on sourcing. Aside from Generalao, Fernandez, Espiritu and Bandayrel, resource speakers included correspondents Tonette Orejas and Yolanda Sotelo. The students said they learned new things from industry experts who could teach beyond what textbooks teach. It tackled topics not discussed during classes. Students shared their experiences, one participant wrote. The students suggested sessions on feature writing, on-thespot news writing and critiquing. Like those in Cebu, they wanted the seminar extended to two days to prevent information overload. The next Write-Along may just benefit from this suggestion.

NATIONAL editor Jun Bandayrel (left); Northern Luzon bureau chief Rolly Fernandez.


THE PHILIPPINE National Railways

Where Positive Sunday . . .

and silver linings of the Filipino experience, often overshadpushed for the long overdue naowed by the usual media fare of tional film archive; a graduate of gloom and doom. the little known Catanduanes During the early part of the State Colleges who topped the last decade, the INQUIRER began recent civil engineering board aggressively pursuing positive, examinations; the Philippine Nauplifting stories for Page 1. This tional Railways, which revived writer was among the first staff the storied Bicol Express. members given the new assignAUKE IDZENGA, We captured the triumphs of ment. the will: An esteemed barrio doc- head of the The effort shifted to higher tor who could hit the dance floor Alternative gear in early 2007, spurred by once again after surviving a liver Indigenous what INQUIRER chair Marixi R. Development transplant; a sisterhood of forPrieto called radical optiFoundation Inc. mer sex workers that helped mism, a phrase picked up from those still walking the red light a book that attempts to explain strip of Quezon City. why people are not reading newspapers as We celebrated Pinoy exuberance and much as they used to. lightness of spirit: The nursing board topThe Sunday front page indeed underwent a notcher from UP who wore red underwear radical makeover to become a top-to-bottom for luck; paraplegic and blind storytellers showcase of positive stories. On weekdays, who gamely joined the INQUIRER Readthe eye-catching red flag was introduced to Along program. mark the feel-good headlines on Page 1. Stories that are inspiring and heartSince then, the INQUIRER has shown that warming, tales of compassion and sacrifice, finding these rare gems was not as hard as moving accounts of Filipinos at their best seeking righteous souls in Sodom and Goor overcoming the worstthey are out morrah. Neither does it require a reinvention there waiting to be told, and the INQUIRER is of the journalism wheeljust a sharper eye actively search ing for them. and a more efficient nose for newsthe The stories represent the bright spots Good News, that is.
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We congratulate the Philippine Daily Inquirer for 26 years of Excellence in journalism and for being most modern, most visually

dynamic and most environmentally safe newspaper in the country.