Friday, September 30, 2005

Gangsta wannabe

Ang init e!

Goodbye, Sir Ivan (part II)

Saw the Cebu Daily News and Philippine Daily Inquirer report on Sir Ivan's death. The 43-year-old editor in chief died following a delicate heart operation. According to the Cebu Daily News, he "underwent surgery for an aortic dissecting aneurysm after suffering a stroke on Aug. 31."

"He turned out to be the best editor in chief among us," the Cebu Daily News report quoted publisher and acting editor in chief Eileen Mangubat as saying.

"Cebu Journalism: The People and the Times," a publication published in 2004 by Sun.Star Cebu, also one of Cebu's top papers (and who also reported on his death), featured the prominent Cebu-based journalists today and of the past. Included in the list was Sir Ivan.

Explaing in the publication why he loved newsroom work despite its chaos, Suansing compared it to his favorite game, chess. "I often have to make quick decisions under time pressure," said Sir Ivan, who was the 1985 UP Diliman chess champion and former member of the UP varsity team.

Here is his picture in the publication.

Bye, Sir Ivan. Thank you for the kindness, the good words, the good reports. Rest now. For you have played your game well.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Goodbye, Sir Ivan

I first met Cebu Daily News editor in chief Ivan Suansing at the Journalism Asia 2003 Forum held by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in Bali, Indonesia. He was my roommate. Since it was the first time I met him, I wasn't really that enthusiastic talking to him. Of course, it didn't help too that Sir Ivan was silent and serious most of the time, or at least that was my first impression of him. Our conversations were basic, like the things we were doing in the office or the activities that we had in the forum. Fortunately, we became friends after the forum and personally, I was thankful for knowing a great journalist like Sir Ivan.

We met again months later in a forum-workshop (again sponsored by the CMFR) on media and access to information and corruption in Davao City. He was more friendly on our second meeting, maybe because he knew me from the Bali conference, and that Davao City was like Cebu for him -- him being familiar with the place and the local press community. I didn't get surprised when he knew a lot of people from the CMFR forum (CMFR invited many participants in the Visayas and Mindanao regions).

The Davao forum, which lasted for three days, was memorable to me because for two nights, almost right after the day-long sessions, both I and Sir Ivan went out with some of our fellow participants, drinking and enjoying the city. Grabe pala si Sir Ivan! Mas masaya at maingay 'pag umiinom! Fun, those two nights. My Davao sojourn would have been duller had it not for Sir Ivan.

That was why when CMFR held a forum in Cebu (on press freedom protection) last year, I was looking forward to meet Sir Ivan again, and we almost met -- had it not for a last-minute article that he was working on on the night we were supposed to meet. Too bad. But I knew he was the editor in chief of Cebu Daily News, one Cebu's top papers. And a hardworking editor in chief at that.

I first knew about Sir Ivan's illness last month, when Cebu Daily News publisher Ma'am Eileen Mangubat told us that Sir Ivan was to go under the knife. Upon receiving Ma'am Eilieen's email, we hoped that Sir Ivan would survive the operation and get well soon.

This morning, my colleague Nathan told me that our former editor (and now the Philippine Daily Inquirer reader's advocate) Lorna Kalaw Tirol called the office to say that Sir Ivan died. The details are still sketchy -- I am still not sure what his illness was or if he died during or after his 10-hour operations.

Goodbye, Sir Ivan. Thanks for all the good memories.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Angelo de la Cruz, erstwhile media darling, loses job

I was quite shocked when columnist Federico D. Pascual Jr. of The Philippine Star wrote last September 20 that former Iraqi hostage Angelo de la Cruz lost his job as a rockloading operator that the government, through labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas, had arranged for him at Clark Field.

Pascual said in his article, "Angelo, GMA's favorite truck driver, now jobless": "Remember Angelo dela Cruz, the truck driver whose kidnapping in Iraq led to the early pullout of a Philippine military-police contingent from that war-torn country in 2004 and soured the Arroyo administration's relations with the White House?

"Angelo is now jobless.... From a daredevil driver in the Middle East and later rockloader at Clark, the 48-year-old father of eight from Mexico town is now down to being an occasional jeepney driver plying the Angeles-Magalang route."

Is this the same De la Cruz who, just a few months ago, was the object of a much-frenzied and criticized press coverage?

At the height of the Angelomania, I recalled traveling to De la Cruz's Pampanga hometown, Buenavista, in time for his return to reunite with his family and townmates. And boy, did media spare nothing and no one in its coverage! As I noted in my article in the inaugural issue of the PJR Reports, "Overnight... the village became a media battleground, with journalists, camera persons, and photographers staking out the area, hounding Angelo's relatives, friends, and neighbors. The result was media overkill, and a public drowning in a sea of information overload. A reader or viewer could not be faulted if all s/he could recall afterward was the picture of the De la Cruzes' pet dog rather than the reason for the kidnapping."

Later, with the media limelight away from him, Angelo tried returning to his normal life. But with his current problem, I won't wonder if he wants to return to Iraq, even if it means risking his life again.

Monday, September 19, 2005

30 fellowships open for 14th Lopez Jaena Journalism Workshop in October

Got this information from Sir Danny Arao's blogsite. I don't know if the application deadline was actually last September 16. Anyway, I just wished many practitioners applied for the workshop.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Department of Journalism, in coordination with the UP Center for Women’s Studies (CWS), will hold the 14th Lopez Jaena Journalism Workshop from October 23 to 29 at the UP College of Mass Communication, Diliman, Quezon City.

Thirty fellowship slots are available for this workshop. Applications are open to full-time print, broadcast and online journalists and journalism educators.

The workshop will focus on Media and Gender Sensitivity in observance of the 100th year of the feminist movement in the Philippines. The Asociacion Feminista Filipina, the first “formal organization” of women, was founded on June 30, 1905 by Concepcion Felix. Last April 29, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Proclamation 622 declaring 2005 the centennial year for the Philippine feminist movement.

Resource persons from the academe and women’s groups will speak on gender-related issues like ethical guidelines; sexism in language, media and advertising; and news, feature and investigative reporting in a gender-fair manner.

Applicants should be currently engaged in the journalism profession and/or journalism educators with at least two years’ working experience. They must submit an application letter; resume; two published/broadcast news reports; a story plan for an investigative report on a gender-related issue in their locality; and an endorsement from their editor, local press club president, a Lopez Jaena Journalism Workshop alumnus, or their school dean or president.

The fellowship will cover board and lodging. Participants will be billeted at the University Hotel inside the Diliman campus. Due to limited funds, however, they will have to shoulder their travel expenses.

Interested journalists and journalism educators may send their application papers to The Project Director, Lopez Jaena Journalism Workshop on Media and Gender Sensitivity, College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

The deadline for applications is on September 16, 2005.

For more details, please call Prof. Danilo A. Arao (Chair, UP CMC Department of Journalism) or Ms. Raquelita C. Bacarra (department secretary) at 920-6852 or 981-8500 local 2672 or email

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Too bad. We are currently finishing our articles for the September-October issue of the PJR Reports. So, my posts have to wait. 'Kakahiya, especially now that we have a new editor.

Speaking about posts, could anyone tell me why my first posts (which were in August) do not appear in the August link of my "archive" section? When I check the "edit posts" section, my first posts are there, but strangely, when I check my August posts, no links to these posts!

Some help, please?
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