A quarterly newsletter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc.
VOL. XII N0. 4
‘Inquirer’s 27th anniversary bash keeps up with the theme’ By Annelle S. Tayao
Inquirer president and CEO Sandy PrietoRomualdez addresses employees and guests during the anniversary party
In keeping with this year’s theme, “24/7 @ 27,” the music never stopped playing at the Inquirer’s 27th anniversary celebration, held Friday, Dec. 7, at the Philippine Daily Inquirer building. The program opened with reporter Tarra Quismundo singing “At Last” by Celine Dion, and “O Holy Night.” Inquirer president Sandy Prieto-Romualdez delivered her welcome remarks. Emcees for the night were Entertainment editorial assistant Jodee Agoncillo, EPAs Jovic Yee, Kirstin Bernabe and Noli Ermitanio; Libre’s Armin Adina; Kenneth del Rosario of Supplements; and Jesylou Lacsamana of Classifieds. Guests and employees were then treated to a barrage of performances by local artists such as Ney (former front man of 6cyclemind), Gracenote, Cathy Go, Suy Galvez, She’s
Save Me Hollywood
Zendee Rose Tenerefe
Callalily frontman Kean Cipriano
SHE’S Only Sixteen
She’s Only Sixteen NEY
Maychelle Baay of Moonstar88
24/7 @ 27
(From page 1)
Only Sixteen, Run Manila, Save Me Hollywood, Never the Strangers, Zendee Rose Tenerefe, Absolute Play, Moonstar 88, Kitchie Nadal, Callalily and Third Nature. Highlight of the evening was a comedy act by duo Jose and Wally. Prizes were raffled off in between numbers. The Editorial department showed off their dancing skills with a flash mob presentation to the tune of “Chasing the Sun” by The Wanted, accompanied by a video showcasing how they work 24/7. Then it was back to more music, with Third Nature playing covers of popular songs—to the delight of dancing employees—until 3 a.m.
Wally and Jose
RADING DE JESUS
ho says only journalists need to live by the mantra “accuracy, accuracy, accuracy?” In the Classified Ads Production section, that has been the norm and it is also observed by able men and women who come from various persuasions and backgrounds. Get to know this team who comes to work in the morning and often stays until late night or even the next morning just to meet client demands and to make sure that their ads are not only laid out well but also contain accurate texts. Jenna May Valdez was recently promoted as head of the Classified Ads Production section. She now heads the team of Rading, Gemma, Ernie, Darwin and Lala. Also, meet the new members of this department’s sales team —the people who sell the print space which has the widest reach as well as the best jobs in the market. Headed by sales manager Eugene Rivera, the new sales office assistants include Glenn, Abby, Marie and Jesylou. JENNA MAY VALDEZ
Not fond of sleep
By Amyleen Villena A true workaholic, Jenna May Valdez is somebody who likes being productive, able to do many things in a day. Accordingly, she is not fond of sleep. After a hard day’s work, she gets to recharge more by eating rather than by sleeping. “I usually get to sleep for about five hours. Others find it weird but I find sleeping in excess, like more than eight hours as wasted time,” she says. Jenna gets to talk with and hear complaints of advertisers on some advertisements. “This may be routine work but I get to talk with different people so there is never a dull moment on my duty,” she says. She gets to explain to the clients the side of the Production people, always mindful not to bring down a team member. Together with the whole Classifieds Production team, Jenna finds fulfillment with their hard work when there is no re-run or re-publication of an advertisement due to error. She lets out her creativity with her own blog. “I do blogging usually at home,” she shares. She graduated with a PUP Journalism degree but is now more involved with the technical aspect of work, though at times she gets to contribute an article for PDI. “Hopefully, I can get back to writing.”
A great experience By Jovic Yee GETTING to know the latest technology and software and designing advertisements is what production specialist Adriano “Rading” De Jesus considers as the best part of his job. The 45-year-old Marketing graduate from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines says the challenging part of his work is meeting the deadline at the same time ensuring that you “give your all to produce the best quality of advertisement that the client will like.” Rading has been with the Inquirer for 17 years and he says working for the company is a great experience for him. “I’m happy working here because it’s not all about work; there are a lot of activities—biking, photography, etc.” A resident of Kamuning, Quezon City, he looks up to the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo. “He’s the kind of person who’s simple and honest. I admire how he was able to balance his time as a public servant and as a father and husband.” Whenever he’s free, De Jesus enjoys listening to music, watching movies, playing basketball and biking.
‘It’s harder to be on top’ By Jesylou Lacsamana Like a silent wind that guides the sails of a ship, Eugene Rivera is the quiet force behind Classifieds Ads sales team. “I’ve been with PDI for almost eight years now. I began as a special project group manager for Circulation. It was very challenging in the inception stages of that program. My group was in charge of delivering and introducing PDI in the institutional and non-traditional outlets in addition to the commencement of the subscription program in our company. After its success, management decided to spin it off to a logistics company now known as the DAG Xpress,” he says. Moving from logistics to sales was not easy for him. Every day is a learning experience. As Classified Ads sales manager now, Eugene faces the challenge of introducing new programs to entice clients in considering the Inquirer’s classified ads for their
advertising needs. He also concerns himself with formulating new ways to keep the existing client base to patronize our products. He sees better days ahead for PDI Classifieds. “I see our classifieds shifting from the traditional print ad to online in the near future. We’ll not get rid of the print though immediately. My vision for us is to be the best hybrid classified team on print and online.” For his staff and for all PDI employees, Eugene has this piece of advice: “Never be complacent with your competitors. It’s harder to be on top. Your competitors will always try to dislodge you from your current position,” he says. Whether swamped with work, he makes it a point to spend precious time with his wife and two daughters like going home early to have dinner with them. He also surfs the Internet.
Trained at multitasking By Amyleen Villena Support for fellow workers is essential for any group to get the work done and Classifieds Production personnel certainly know this. “We are trained at multi-tasking,” says Gemma Villapando, production specialist. “While we have different functions, we know how to do another’s job in case one of us cannot report for work. It helps that we are at ease with each other and with our work.” She started at Inquirer as layout artist assigned at the Lifestyle section in 1996 before she moved to Classifieds as production specialist in 2002. She took up BS Psychology at Trinity College but was not able to practice it. Back at the time after she finished high school, Gemma became a trainee for Malaya newspaper doing administrative clerk functions. She went on to do typesetting and layout work for other newspaper publications. In job hunting after college, she was caught in a quandary. “I was looking for a job related to my course but then I have come to enjoy my work as an artist so eventually I decided to pursue this field,” she shares. They may encounter different demands at work everyday but while it is inevitable to encounter dilemma, Gemma takes this on a positive note. “Mistakes committed served as lessons which eventually helped me become better at work.” Gemma finds it “economically satisfying” to be at Inquirer. Even if she was not able to practice the course she finished in college, she is contented to be successful in her chosen career.
Values good management By Amyleen Villena Ernie Manlapaz is one employee who values good management in an organization. “I like the fair treatment here in our company, as even rank and file employees are treated well,” he says. A 20-year veteran, he spent the first 10 years of his career with the Inquirer at the old Production section (now DPU) of Editorial and the next 10 years at the Classifieds Production section where he works as a production specialist. Though he is a Marketing major in college, Ernie treaded the path of working in the
production department of newspaper publication. Before joining PDI, he also worked for production at Manila Times, Business Star and Newsday. At the time when he transferred from Production-Editorial Department to Classifieds Production, Ernie found it difficult to adjust to his new work schedule of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., as he was used to working on a 3-11 p.m. or 4 p.m.-12 a.m. shift. “Back then it was tough working on that shift, but of course through time I got used to it,” he shares. One of his noteworthy moments at PDI is during job fairs some years back. “It was a thrill to be layouting ads, and work from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. the next day. That happened for about eight years.” As much as Ernie values good management, he is also “happy to be working with friends at PDI, notably his colleagues from his ProductionEditorial days.”
GLENN MARK VELASCO
Classified’s go-to guy By Jesylou Lacsamana For his teammates, life would not be the same without Glenn Mark Velasco. He is dubbed as the goto guy because when something is wrong he always knows how to troubleshoot. Even the most seasoned of the Classifieds team turns to him for an opinion when unfamiliar things turn up. He has been with the Inquirer for a year and a half now. He hails from Daet, Camarines Norte, and admits that he did not have his eyes set on PDI for
his first employment in Manila. However, as fate would have it, he found himself working as sales office assistant in the Classifieds Department. He finds fulfillment in his work through interacting with clients. Though his career path is still hidden to him, he promises to give all of his efforts in his current role. Glenn likes to read in his spare time. Among his favorite stuff are Christian works like “How To Figure Out What Is Not Working,” “Determine How It Got That Way,” and “Work On How To Fix It And Accomplish Better.” He holds a degree in Information Technology which leaves his team to wonder how he ended up with the Classifieds sales team. But that’s not all because in true “Jack of all trades” fashion, Glenn used to be his school publication’s editor in chief!
Chemistry at work By Jovic Yee CHEMISTRY at work is important for Jesylou Lacsamana. When she’s around people whom she is in harmony with, she says that she functions well. Luckily, the 24-year-old sales office assistant for the Classified Ads head office branch gets along well with the people in her team. “You can hardly consider what we do as work when we are all tuned up,” says Jesylou. A graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from St. Paul University Manila, she says that the challenge at work comes from the unpredictability of each day. “You always have to push hard because each day doesn’t promise the same volume of ads. It’s not enough that you work hard; you have to work smart.” Jesylou, who joined the Inquirer in July 2011, says working for the company has always been a fun experience and that “it doesn’t feel like work at all.” A resident of Sta. Ana, Manila, for 21 years, she says she has always wanted growth toward a leadership position. In the future, she sees herself still with the Classifieds team and building on her leadership career. “I still have much to learn and work on,” she says. “Nothing is cast in stone but I definitely see myself still with the Inquirer.” Jesylou enjoys reading and counts Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman and Paulo Coelho as her favorites. When she’s not at it, you can easily spot her at the clothes section of the mall.
Humility is the best policy Lou
By Jesylou Lacsamana Meeting people, interacting with them, and continuously learning things and experiences are some of the things that have kept Mary Avigaile “Abby” Brazil passionate about her work in the Classifieds Ads department for four years now. She began working as sales office assistant of the old Inquirer Classified Ads branch in SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. Then, she used to work until the mall closes at 9 p.m. and even on holidays and weekends. That branch was moved to Shaw Blvd. and became the Pasig branch. In March this year, Abby got transferred to the Manila branch when the department reorganized
after the retirement of then sales manager Lourdes Diaz. She welcomed it since she hails from Manila. In a department where customer service is both a blessing and a challenge, she says she always try to maintain her composure with humility which for her is the best policy. “Challenges involve the usual stuff—errors in ads, not meeting deadlines, irate clients, etc.—you just have to do your best to deal with them and making sure that it will not happen again,” she says. Abby loves literature and she tries to have a worklife balance. “I try to have as much fun as I can outside my work so I can relax and de-stress. Luckily, simple things do the trick. Get-togethers with friends and family for movies, chitchats, food trip, a page turner book and a really long sleep are all it takes,” she says.
Work’s like a school, a learning place By Jovic Yee CELEBRATING his 15th anniversary with the Inquirer in March next year, Darwin Romanillos says going to work is like going to school where every day is a learning experience, and officemates are like classmates whom you learn with and from. This 38-year-old production specialist knows that one should enjoy life and not be an all-work type of person. Darwin, who grew up in Sampaloc, Manila, and currently resides in Bacoor, Cavite, is an active member of the Inquirer Outdoor Club, PDI Running Club and PDI Bikers-Cyclinq Club. Apart from that, he also plays basketball with his friends and his son. “I also love playing badminton. I love outdoor sports and activities,” he says. A graduate of Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Darwin says he has professional and personal targets but would like to keep it to himself. “We all know that we are not employees forever, at least a small business would be a good substitute afterward,” he says.
Likes things simple By Jesylou Lacsamana Roda Marie Dador is the epitome of bubbly and carefree. She also likes things to be simple like her nickname Marie. Though christened with two first names and she can’t do anything about it now, she makes it known that she has no frills about having it. When she’s out of work, she likes to spend time traveling with her family or partying hard with friends. She keeps her life at equilibrium by managing her time between work and personal life. Unlike most serendipity stories, working for PDI
was a conscious choice for this young lass. Asked what brought her here, she says quite candidly, “I have been with the company for one year and four months now. Nothing really led me here. It’s just that when I was out looking for a new job, lucky enough Inquirer came along and it’s the better choice.” Right now, she’s enjoying her role as sales office assistant for the Classifieds Cubao branch.
She realized her aspirations at PDI By Amyleen Villena “Everyday is a challenge,” says Nilda “Lala” Añosa of her work at Classifieds Production. As the department’s proofreader, Lala sees to it that texts to come out in the Classified Ads are accurate.
She joined PDI straight out of college. A Mass Communication graduate from Centro Escolar University, she first worked as sales clerk for five years at the Advertising Department before her transfer to Classifieds Production. A dedicated worker, Lala keeps her focus as she begins to check on the texts of the ads submitted by advertisers. “It is essential to have presence of mind and concentrate so as to avoid errors. Being careful is vital to my job.” Her work may be critical and stressful as well, but Lala enjoys it at the end of the day. “When I get to finish my work, it is a great fulfillment. Even more pleasing is when we do not get any complaint from our clients.” Lala treasures working for PDI. Here she met Vincent Añosa, a former PDI employee, who eventually became her husband. Moreover, “I learned to be more mature here, and realize my professional aspirations.”
As one of the companyâ€™s most active clubs, the Inquirer Camera Club never fails to amaze everyone with their craft as shown in its exhibit this December which has become an annual tradition. Whatâ€™s more, the membership of this group has kept on growing which just means more new employees learning the craft, more good photos, and more fun exploring the Philippines. Staff Box
A quarterly newsletter of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Inc. Joel V. Nigos Editor
Annelle S. Tayao / Rima Granali / Jodee Agoncillo Amyleen M. Villena/ / Jovic Yee / Jesylou Lacsamana Staff Writers
Genie Lagman Graphic Artist/Photographer
Neyla Espinosa / Divine Pinzon Coordinators
Jose Pineda Adviser/Overall Coordinator 8
You can easily see people who are good at their craft because they don’t take much time creating a masterpiece, as members of the Arts and Crafts Club had shown. Just two weeks into their exhibit, they convened and planned what they will showcase, and voila!—they came out with colorful jigsaw lanterns and soft huggable
smocking throw pillows just in time for the December fair. Its members included Laleng Mansilla, Beth Andres, Tess Dela Cruz, Emily Millare, Cita Goyagoy and Josie Buño. By the way, the club also welcomed new members Gary Libby and Noli Navarro.
More fun activities for
By Jesylou Lacsamana
“More new employees joined because they were given a chance to play and enjoy the game more since they would not compete with the ‘experts’ in the sport so to speak,” Noli says. In that tournament, teams were composed of fewer players so they were able to play more and were bracketed into Level B (beginners) and Level A, the so-called “experts.” Another activity the committee helped staged was the recently concluded PDI MiniOlympics. “A lot of people have good ideas. You just have to gather them and deliberate which ones would work,” Noli said when asked what transpires during brainstorming sessions. For next year, the committee is planning to hold the annual PDI Fun Run. Noli said it used to be held before year-end but because the venues are fully-booked they decided to forgo it until January 2013. Finally, if you are a PDI employee bursting with ideas you would like to share for the benefit of others or if you have unparalleled convincing power, you may contact Rachel Cucio at the ESDC.
I Thillie Panlilio
n an effort to involve Inquirer employees in the programs spearheaded by the Employee Services and Development Center, the HR Department has formed the Employee Engagement Committee, which is composed of about 30 employees bursting with ideas and who willing to share their time and effort to come up with meaningful activities for the employees. According to committee core group member Noli Navarro, the committee was one of those formed during the Brand DNA seminar which were aimed to address the company’s various needs and challenges. It has been active for more than a year now. Currently, it has volunteers from both the Editorial and Business groups. Aside from coming up with meaningful activities, it aims to foster goodwill and active participation among the PDI workforce. One of their many successful activities was the PDI Bowling Tournament last June which became a more fun activity since it attracted more employees to participate.
(From left) Jogi Pineda, Ateng Perez, Divine Pinzon, Thillie Panlilio and Rolly Suarez (standing)
(From left) Cio Francisco, Ryan Verbo, Noel Millan, Ramil Rodriguez and Ateng Perez
(From left) Reynalyn Fernandez, Denden Cayabyab and Noli Navarro
Rose Viray, Thillie Panlilio and Kate Pedroso
Inquirer AVP-HR and Admin Rolly Suarez stresses a point
The Employee Engagement Committee during one of its brainstorming sessions.
Helpful tips from Cyclinq Club NOEL
By Annelle S. Tayao
‘We make it a RONALD
point to help each other out on the road. We keep a steady pace and we don’t leave anyone too far behind’
IF YOU’RE planning to take up cycling as a hobby or sport, consider these tips from CyclInq Club head Jim Lorenzo, editorial applications specialist of the IT and Pre-press Division. • Choose your bike. Jim says a bike with gears is more preferable, since you can adjust the speed when you want to. He recommends the mountain bike, which has spikes on its wheels and is good for off-road excursions and uneven surfaces, as opposed to the road bike, which is more suitable for paved roads. • Carry your own set of tools in case of an emergency, like a flat tire. It’s essential to have spare tubes. • Keep yourself hydrated at all times. The easiest way to do this is to drink out of a hydration pack. • One’s attire is also important. Jim recommends cycling shorts and, for safety, a helmet. As the “unofficial” leader of the CyclInq Club, Jim usually oversees the organization of the group’s trips and activities. The club has 20 members. The group usually mixes recreation with the sport. They’ve biked to numerous provinces, including Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet and Ilocos Sur. On trip to Victoria, Laguna, from Makati, they covered a total distance of 185 kilometers. “It was a particularly challenging trip, because we had to bike in the middle of Tropical Storm ‘Pepeng,’” Jim says. “Rain or shine, we bike.” Sometimes, the trips are planned; other times, they also have impromptu rides, usually within Metro Manila. During another trip, this time to an island in Quezon Province, Jim says they cycled for two days and had to bring their bikes onboard the boat going to the island. The club has also joined activities like “Araw ng mga Siklista” in 2010, during which they biked with other groups across 117 cities. Long trips usually require a support and gear (SAG) vehicle, to help in case of an emergency and to bring along needed supplies. Since they travel as a group, they also make it a point to help each other out on the road. “We keep a steady pace, and we don’t leave anyone too far behind,” says Jim. “When there are problems, usually a flat tire or faulty brakes, we assist each other.”
CycInq Club head Jim Lorenzo
Spooky Halloween’s Trick or Treat D
ressed in their scariest (or colorful) costumes—and as ghouls, fairies, little monsters, superheroes or even characters of popular movies or TV shows— Inquirer employees and their kids spent a creepy but funny Halloween afternoon at the Trick or Treat held at the PDI Main Office last October. An annual activity of the ESDC, participants went around various departments for their special treat of candies, biscuits and chocolates. There were also exciting games, surprising gifts, lots of freebies and snacks for all the kids who joined the games.
journey ahead By Joel V. Nigos He had always been a dreamer, admitted Rene R. Reinoso, but becoming the chief operating officer (COO) of the country’s No. 1 newspaper never crossed his mind. “I had always known the value of hard work, and I do my best in whatever work assigned to me,” he said. “And every time I am given the chance to move up, I always think of it as an opportunity to help and inspire more people to also do their best,” he added. Twenty-six years ago, Reinoso was on the lookout for a new job already familiar to him so
Newly appointed Inquirer chief operating officer Rene Reinoso
Newly appointed Inquirer COO Rene Reinoso believes that with everybody’s help, the best, for PDI, is yet to come’ he would not have to make major adjustments. He had worked for another major newspaper previously. “I was assigned to the circulation department of a newspaper competitor at that time and I enjoyed my work, even if I had to wake up as early as 3 a.m. to meet newsdealers, newsboys and vendors,” he recalled. Once, during a promo sales contest for newsdealers, he had to drive the company van to pick up appliances from a store because there was no available driver. Fruitful relationship A full-blown relationship with newsdealers developed through the years, which would prove to be fruitful and life-changing. “The exposure to our newsdealers and advertisers taught me a great deal not only about business, hard work and diligence but prudence and compassion as well. It also prepared me well for dealing with all sorts of people. I always believe that if I help other people do their best, it will always redound to the growth and success of the company,” he said. Rising steadily through the ranks at the Inquirer, the hardworking Reinoso became provincial circulation manager, advertising manager, vice president for marketing, vice president for circulation, senior vice president for sales and marketing before he assumed his new post as COO. How different is RRR (as he is fondly called in the Inquirer) from Rene Reinoso, the circulation assistant of 26 years ago? Consistent leadership style “No surprises. I have been very consistent in my leadership and
management style ever since I started working for PDI. Listening and empowering people to do their best are the things I will continue to espouse,” he said. Reinoso acknowledged that many of the ideas and strategies that he has executed were born out of the ideas of co-employees and external partners. “Maybe the only difference now is that I ensure that the employees are truly committed to their jobs. No more excuses for mediocre performance. There has to be a point when employees need to fulfill what they promise. That commitment should drive them to reach their goals,” he said. Reinoso added that he always believes in the capability of the employees to perform well, with proper guidance and direction “so they get lost and drift away from the company’s objectives.” Agent of change He also believes in being an agent of change. “Very soon, we are rolling out the Inquirer Performance System (IPS) that will tie up objectives and incentives. If the company grows, the employees should also enjoy the fruits of their hard work. This performance system is something that we should all look forward to,” he said. Reinoso said he welcomed the idea of being able to deal directly with the Inquirer publisher and its editor in chief as part of his job as COO. “I believe that the selling process is made easier because of our editorial excellence and credibility. The value of mutual respect between the business group and editorial group will always remain strong and collaborative … I’ve never seen an editorial as accommodating and supportive of the business group as ours,” he said. Opportunities for growth Given the challenges the industry is facing such as shrinking advertising pie for print and with mass media continuously evolving, Reinoso said there were still opportunities for growth. “The journey ahead will be an exciting and interesting one for PDI and its employees given the transformative structure of the media industry. I am hopeful and optimistic about the future because there are so many opportunities that have not been explored. A sound strategy will be key to renew this passion for growing the business,” Reinoso said. “We have the experience that has helped us endure the test of time,” he said. “With everybody’s help, the best indeed for PDI, is yet to come.”
New ethics custodian:
It’s all a matter of time
By Jodee Agoncillo
s Inquirer’s former columnist, new publisher Raul Pangalangan follows the bluebook in writing “Passion for Reason,” the column he maintained since 2004. Now, as he replaced 20-year publisher Isagani Yambot, he is called to review the existing blue book, PDI’s manual of editorial policies on ethical and professional conduct. The long-time post of Mr. Yambot may be a big shoes to fill but Dean Raul, as how he wants to be called, sees his new role as both challenging and exciting. “I thought I would just do what my predecessor did, until someone told me, he stays until 2 a.m. everyday,” he said in an article. “I accepted the position of publisher because it is such an honor… now (I’m taking) the responsibility of safeguarding the credibility of the Inquirer, as the custodian of its code of ethics,” he said. His new job seems like more of a “new world” for him considering his 25-year background as lawyer and law professor and experience as a weekly columnist. Traditionally, abroad, the publisher is the public face of the newspaper as an institution and serves as the bridge between the management and the editors–one reason he dropped his role as columnist. But soon, he said, he’ll write his Publisher’s Notes and contribute editorials as well. His strong law background, he said, is very relevant since “the deepest social and moral debates end up as legal or constitutional issues.” “It is not surprising that among the hottest issues today are those about freedom of the press: the Cybercrime Law and the issue of online libel, the proposed Freedom of Information bill and the
Right of Reply rider,” he added. Currently, he is on leave from the University of the Philippines College of Law this school year, but will resume teaching in June. Working out his schedule, he said, is more a question of time management rather conflict in responsibilities. Pangalangan seems to have mastered balancing time for work, family and his self. In fact, he has just climbed Mt. Pulag, Luzon’s highest and coldest peak, early this year. “I like the view and the clean air… and it felt really good to catch the sunrise above the clouds at its peak…I’d rather enjoy them actively, rather than just sit on a chair,” he said. Pangalangan is also a licensed scuba diver. He and his four sons got it a few years ago. He also doesn’t miss out on family vacations and travels during holidays. “I have personally driven the family to Sagada and Banawe a number of times already,” he shared. With all this in his plate, he said he would try his best to immerse in PDI’s culture. “I’ll try to be at the PDI offices as often as I can, meet individual offices and staff members, and engage them in dialogue. If some offices or departments want to meet with me, please just call my office and set a meeting. We can meet either in my office, or I can visit their respective places,” he said.
Former University of the Philippines College of Law Dean Raul Pangalangan is the Inquirer new publisher
PDIEU reaches out to Cribs Foundation By Jesylou Lacsamana PDI Employees Union officers and members volunteered to visit Cribs Foundation in Marikina to care for infants last Sept. 20. The group donated cans of powdered milk, sacks of rice, toys and clothes. They also distributed medicines donated by a nongovernment organization. All of this was part of the year-long celebration of their silver anniversary. In an interview with PDIEU education committee head Grig Montegrande, he shared with us the challenges they faced prior the activity. “Soliciting for donations was a challenge. The kids and infants at Cribs have specific needs like milk formulas and children’s medicines. Prospective donor manufacturers of milk formulas are restricted in donating because of the Department of Health’s advocacy regarding breastfeeding while some of the required medicines are expensive.” But despite the challenges, PDIEU pushed through with the activity because of its significance in the values the group upholds. According to Montegrande, “The union would like to instill to
its members that as a responsible member of a community we are tasked not only to look after our ranks but to extend a helping hand to some sectors of the community as well.”
Finally, in true PDIEU spirit he leaves us with this lesson, “Sharing one’s time and being a volunteer for something that a person believes in would make a difference.”
The PDI Employees Union wants to instill the value of lending a hand to our less fortunate countrymen as part of its 25th anniversary activities
MEMBERS of Pen and Inq sketch model Fran Katigbak PHOTO CREDIT: STEPH BRAVO
Pen and INQ
New club to further hone members’ artistic skills By Annelle S. Tayao EVERY WEEK, on Wednesday at around 2 to 3 p.m., a group of PDI employees whip out their sketchbooks to indulge their artistic side, drawing portraits of people, or still lifes of everyday objects such as flowers, fruits, baskets, vases. The group is known as the Pen and Inq Club. Headed by the Editorial Department’s Arts Section, the weekly club was formed last December for employees who wanted to hone
their craft in sketching. That doesn’t mean you have to be an art prodigy, says graphics designer/illustrator Steph Bravo. “We have a few members who have no prior experience in sketching.” Pen and Inq sessions usually last one hour; so far, these sessions have all been held here at the Inquirer. Jess Abrera, creator of Guyito and artist behind the “A. Lipin” comics, has attended one meeting to share his tips on sketching. At the end of each session, the members provide
each other with constructive criticism on their work for that day. The club plans to go on museum trips and do outdoor sketching (landscape, subjects in motion) to further develop their skill. Steph says they also plan to have kids as their next models An exhibit will be held by Pen and Inq this coming October with none other than Inquirer president Sandy Prieto-Romualdez as their muse. The club plans to mount another exhibit in December. 19
! r e p u S goes
By Jodee Agoncillo
Inquirer Entertainment editor Emmie Velarde
for print, she said. “Once the information is out there—quicker Now, Inquirer readers need no longer wait for the print than others can deliver—there is more reason for version a day or two later to learn the latest news about subscribers and stakeholders to watch out for the print version of the story.” celebrities, artists, film, theater, television and music. San Diego pointed out that since its inception, Thanks to the Entertainment Superdesk E-Superdesk has often reported ahead of other (E-Superdesk), the convergence of Inquirer newspapers and media outfits. Entertainment with various platforms—Twitter, Inq. GMA7’s early morning show “Unang Hirit,” for Net, Radyo Inquirer, Inquirer Mobile, and tabloids instance, quoted Inquirer.net on our report on BB Inquirer Libre and Bandera—launched months ago. Gandanghari’s theater debut. The Inquirer breaks the The new multi-platform entertainment section of news, others follow. the Inquirer, aliased as E-Superdesk, aims to be Apart from rumors of couplings and uncoupling, fair, fast and fearless in reporting the news in any deaths and births, positive news, like Filipinos winning of the platforms, said desk editor Bayani San awards abroad, are reported immediately on SMS, Diego Jr., one of the coordinators. Twitter, Inq.net and radio, said San Diego. The coverage “The E-Superdesk merely puts structure of independent (indie) films also has been extended, (and direction) to what PDI Entertainment setting the pace in the local media scene. can do as part of a multi-platform news “It’s just a natural extension of our work in the print organization,” said Inquirer Superdesk head and Entertainment Editor Emmie Velarde, medium,” he added, although admitting the need to overcome certain technological limitations. “You have making the Inquirer the top-of-the-mind to be always connected and able to tweet, anytime, and an agenda-setter when it comes to anywhere,” San Diego said. entertainment news. “We’ve acquired the necessary attitude or habit shift. Through the E-Superdesk, Inquirer That’s half the battle won. Now we’re grappling with Entertainment breaks the news or technology. We’re almost there,” said Velarde. report real-time via Inq.Net, Twitter Get Inquirer Entertainment’s breaking news and Radyo Inquirer faster than the competition, and reserves longer or via Inquirer.net, Twitter (@InqEnt), and Inquirer Radyo (www.dziq.am). more in-depth account or features
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‘Road less traveled’ is a
By Atty. Rudyard Arbolado 5-Year Service Awardee My first month in the Inquirer was rather eventful. On my first week, I became familiar with the Chino Roces floods. On my second week, our driver Al Licuanan and I had to rush to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig to fetch our reporters DJ Yap and Gil Cabacungan, who were among those detained by the Philippine National Police during the aftermath of the Manila Peninsula siege. This trip was a fitting post-birthday event. On my third week, I assisted in the acquisition of Radyo Inquirer. On my fourth week, Fate was kind to me and made that week a forgettable one. Each year has since then proved to be full of memories, affecting both professional and personal aspects of my life: Inquirer’s entry into Mega Mobile in 2009; MVP’s entry into the Inquirer in 2010; My first CBA in 2010; My wedding in 2009 (which was the starting point of my CBA with my wife). More importantly, I witnessed the planting of the seed of convergence, and with it the whirlwind of planning sessions. My work as in-house lawyer poses
challenges which cut across the editorial, business and legal aspects of the business. For example, there is the constant need to strike a careful balance between editorial independence and business in implementing cross-department matters. The Inquirer must deliver excellent journalism, but at the same time it must recognize that it needs the funds to do so. It must also manage its exposure to court actions. Another example is the need to prepare the Inquirer for the increasing role of technology in the way it delivers news and information. A related matter is the need to lay down the foundation for convergence and the numerous inter-company transactions that go with it. The answers are often not in black or white, but in various shades of gray. Judgment and careful discretion play a big factor in reaching those answers. This digital or new media age, after all, is almost like the Wild Wild West. Five years ago, I quit logging billable hours and left my employment at a full service commercial law firm. Instead (thanks to our chief financial advisor, Jay Luzuriaga), I moved to the Inquirer because its in-house counsel position potentially presented an opportunity to marry my interests in law, finance, and technology. Little did I know that
5-YEAR SERVICE AWARDEES • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Roderick C. Villanueva Glorielyn N. Ebayan Napoleon M. Sarez Jr. Michael C. Quinao Roy Raul C. Mendiola Jennafer C. Roa Rolando D. Leonardo Ronald E. San Jose Elenita P. Villena Mark Anthony F. Lopez Jeannette I. Andrade Irene R. Sino Cruz Alda Franz C. Quodala Arlene G. Astapan Marvin L. Isorena Pocholo M. Concepcion Ma. Erika Pilar K. Sauler Rudyard S. Arbolado Jenna May D. Valdez Sunshine I. Irabon
Inquirer, perceived by my colleagues as “just a newspaper,” would prove to be a good fit. I remain hopeful that like the character in Robert Frost’s poem, the Inquirer is the “road less traveled” which will make all the difference in my life.
Lessons learned along the
By Cherry Vitalicio 10-Year Service Awardee A shiny new gold Cross pen and a Guyito plaque (my second)—these are nice tokens given at the recent Employee Service Awards held in Greenbelt 3 last Dec. 5 for those who have rendered 10 years of service with the Inquirer. As I was asked to write about my 10 years of stay in PDI, I look back at a decade filled with challenging yet rewarding experiences as a deskperson in the Advertising department
Back in ’02
Armed with a Journalism diploma and a two-year experience in a weekly women’s magazine, I tried my luck as an editorial assistant in the Advertising department through a job posting in Libre in 2002. At
that time, Normandy De la Paz was also applying for the same position. Needless to say, he got the job. Fortunately though, they have a vacant position in the Advertising desk, which I got. Then HR’s Christy Soliman assured me that PDI does internal hiring so if a position opens up in the Editorial, I can always submit my application. But I decided to stay in the same department. Ten years later, I’m still with the same team. And I say this with a great deal of satisfaction. Perhaps it’s because of the friends I have made and the regular 9-6 work schedule (that is not to say devoid of pressure, though!) that made me stay this long. But more importantly I guess it was the realization that I could be good at something else other than the course I finished. And that this position enabled me to tap into the other skills that I have.
Boo-boos and hurrahs
With the tension and stress in closing the pages every week, it is a huge sigh of relief whenever the day ended without any complaints from advertisers or editorial department. That is why it made me feel a bit proud to be congratulated by the boss for a job well done and the time I was nominated as best deskperson by a top ad agency some years ago. It wasn’t all perfect though. I’ve had my share of blunders at work—like the time I allowed an ad agency with a vague client name to put out an advocacy ad without approval from our corporate counsel. Apparently the advertiser knew I was a newbie back then so he did not inform me of its contents. Good thing it did not contain any libelous statements (thank goodness!).
But with those blunders come the lessons I gained along the way—the most important being always to double-check my work. And that it wouldn’t hurt to do another phone call to a certain client to doublecheck something, or to remind a colleague about a client’s request. Speaking of clients, my decade-long stint with the Advertising department was made lively and colorful by persistent clients. While dealing with some has been a challenge, it enabled me to hone my skills in coping and dealing with stressful situations. I may not be sure of what lies ahead but I am definitely thankful for the opportunity to be part of the country’s No. 1 newspaper.
10-YEAR SERVICE AWARDEES • • • • • • •
Emelinda G. Velarde Ramil B. Escopete Richard S. Marasigan Normandy A. Dela Paz Cherry Lou T. Vitalicio Jasmine W. Payo Irene Andrea C. Perez 3
-Year Service Awardees
More important is the journey, not the destination By Cynthia D. Balana My journey in the Inquirer has been both smooth and turbulent. It may seem like a contradiction, but that is exactly how I can best describe my experience with this newspaper. I had no difficulty learning the rudiments of the news beat and building sources but it was a turbulent ride owing to the many challenges that I had to hurdle along the way. While my favorite source of scoops at that time, Immigration Commissioner Miriam DefensorSantiago, was famously eating death threats for breakfast, I was notoriously facing libel cases just a few months after the 1986 People Power Revolution. I started off on the wrong foot. The euphoria of the revolution, coupled with the country’s newly found democracy, proved to be a good formula for libel suits. Suddenly, people I had covered were in a suing mood. I was recruited by the late Luis Beltran, PDI’s first editor in chief, whom I consider my first mentor in newspapering, to join this paper. 4
My first taste of libel also came in 1986 courtesy of a scary immigration agent who was accused of mulcting Japanese tourists. Several months later, I found myself sitting side by side with our feisty columnist Ramon Tulfo at the PDI office of then editor in chief Federico Pascual on United Nations Avenue in Manila. The three of us were interviewed by an American reporter from New York Times because Mr. Tulfo and I supposedly stood out in the industry in terms of the number of libel suits! Tulfo, already a seasoned journalist by then, had more than 25 cases at that time and I, barely two years in Inquirer, had five. Whenever young colleagues ask me for my advice on how to go around the desk, I would always tell them: Don’t. You simply do what they say and do what you think is best after they say it. Just let it out, don’t be afraid to bring out the courage and the idealism of the youth in you, because with age, things will settle down. Believe me, I have been there. From close to our batch of 30 employees, we are now down to four. The shrinking pool, I guess, shows who among us are survivors. In the end, it is not so much what I will get upon reaching the end, but what the ride has had to offer. Indeed, what’s more important is the journey, not the destination.
Values he lives by By Amyleen Villena “Always give thanks to the Lord and ask for His guidance” is the principle which Digital Pre-Press Unit (DPU) specialist Eligio “Ely” Fugaban applies at work and lives by everyday. Ely previously worked for other publishing companies prior to working for PDI. He started to work part-time for Inquirer as cameraman under the Production Department then when Inquirer was still distributed as a weekly newspaper in 1985. When it became a daily, he had to leave his part-time job since it would not enable him to work on his fulltime job as cameraman at the US Embassy. When Ely resigned from the embassy in 1987, he returned to PDI and the production supervisor asked him assigned him to his previous job at their department. He shares that work then was more demanding as it takes a lot of time to finish their job which included mixing chemicals, washing, and drying of films, among others. He also recalls the peril he encountered during the onslaught of the Edsa Revolution when a battalion of soldiers trooped outside the Inquirer office threatened to stop publication operations. He was the only one left to
work at the photo dark room while his colleagues have gone to the printing presses. The editor in chief then, Louie Beltran, asked him to make four copies instead of only one copy of the pages for printing so they can distribute them to other printing presses. “Tension outside the building created fear but thank God we were not attacked,” Ely says. With the creation of the Digital Pre-Press Unit (DPU) in 2002 which replaced the Production Department, thus, the adoption of digital technology in the entire newspaper printing process, Ely says his work has become easier and more efficient. Ely is “appreciative to stay in a stable and acclaimed company.” Through the years he never forgets his guiding principle, “Never do anything against others and against God for with that, good things would follow.”
‘Simple things make me happy’ By Jodee Agoncillo In the newsroom where stress is more of a norm than a rarity, news editor Artemio “Jun” Engracia is one of the known people who know how to keep his cool.
“Chill lang ako palagi,” he tells the Inqsider. “I realized that being impatient doesn’t get you anywhere. Everyone undergoes the same stress level in our kind of work; it is how you handle stress,” he says. In fact, over the years, he confesses to have mellowed. “Then, I used to get angry every time I drive and there’s heavy traffic. Now, I’m more patient.” He attributes this patience and calmness to his fondness for sports and sportswriting–the craft that has changed and shaped his life, not only in terms of career, but also his attitude towards work. He started as national editor in Inquirer 25 years ago after he transferred from the defunct Daily Express. At 19, he was already a sports editor. Before hard news writing got hold of him, he has been a staunch lover of sports, even until now. A sports buff, he said, he tried almost all sports there is: billiards, fishing, basketball, tennis, bowling, and darts. But running marathons would always be on top of his list. Only a vehicular accident which damaged his knees stopped him from running. For 23 years, he was sedentary, refraining from strenuous sports. In 2007, he was able to get back again to playing the sports he loves. He joined the New York City Marathon for four consecutive years. He also ran the Chicago and Berlin marathons. He runs 10 to 21 km races regularly when he got back in shape. Since 2010, he is into serious triathlon. “Sports was never lost on me,” he says. “I even thought I’d be a sports writer forever.” Jun says the best thing about Inquirer is the psychic income he derives from it. “Being part of a story, for instance, that would make a big impact on national policy is enough income for me–to be able to make a difference…” Three of his most memorable stories include the Inquirer series on the Little League, US bases, the pork barrel series, and the juetengate scandal which in a way led to the ouster of former President Joseph Estrada. Decisive would be the best way to describe himself as an editor, he says. “I don’t think too long in making a decision, choosing and evaluating the news, writing headlines…unless overruled by higher authority. I make decisions quick.” What pains him, he said, is seeing big talents, people with great potential, leave the Inquirer. “People think that being a journalist is a glamorous job. It’s not. Being journalist is like being a priest or a social worker. It doesn’t pay much, in general. When a person joins PDII, he should be prepared to live a simple life,” he says.
As in the words of the late publisher Isagani Yambot, to become a journalist is like being a priest–you take a vow of poverty. Although he can’t buy jet planes or leave in a mansion, Jun says he considers himself already successful. “Wala na akong hinahanap na iba, or any plans of going higher in this organization. To be able to do things well—to be a good provider for my family, a good father, news editor, and play the sports I love—make me happy.” He admits having little expectations of life as simple things put smile on his face. “To get a scoop once in a while, send a reporter and see him return with a good story, to allow a person to shine, that’s all happiness for
Craft of writing learned in PDI By Annelle S. Tayao
You’ll find his byline mostly in Inquirer’s stories on movies, art, heritage and culture. When he isn’t writing, Constantino “Tino” Tejero helps edit Lifestyle’s Arts and Books section. Tino joined the Inquirer in 1987 as staffwriter for Sunday Inquirer Magazine. He had submitted an article on then Col. Gregorio Honasan to SIM and two other magazines, and decided that he would go for the publication which would accept the article first. Tino was immediately assigned by then SIM editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc investigative pieces—“articles on the perennial flooding of Taguig and Pateros, on the plight of the sacadas of Negros, spiritualism and the supernatural, among others.” Another memorable experience for Tino in working for PDI is his three-day coverage of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption from Clark Airfield. He also followed the months-long exodus of the area’s displaced residents, who transferred from Pampanga and Zambales to Tarlac, Bataan, Nueva Ecija and Bulacan. Tino said that what he needed to know about writing for PDI he learned from Ms Magsanoc and the late publisher Isagani Yambot. He said Ms Letty was very particular not only with the integrity of the writing but also the professional ethics of the journalist. The forte of Mr. Yambot, he said, was grammar and precision of language which “spells the enormous difference between the right word and the almost-right word.” He’s an AB Philosophy graduate of Central Philippine University, Jari, Iloilo City. His hometown is Tigbauan, Iloilo City. He is also a Palanca Award winner. 5
A testament to a
By Robert Jaworski L. Abaño Inquirer Northern Luzon Bureau 15-Year Service Awardee WHEN my 12-year-old daughter, Mira, saw my ring, a symbol of my 15-year journey with the Inquirer, she exclaimed, “Wow, you and the Inquirer are married na!” What can I say? For a couple to stay married for 15 years is a testament to a deeper commitment. That this milestone is symbolized by crystal is no coincidence. Forged by the elements, liquid takes the form of a crystal through a complex process as years go by. Much like my Inquirer “affair,” which has been forged by constant learning through a variety of hits and misses. My door to the Inquirer was opened by my college professor, Mr. Rolly Fernandez, in 1997. It started with a visit to Sir Rolly, the Inquirer’s Northern Luzon bureau chief, in Baguio in late December 1996. Little did I know that five months later, I would be packing my bags, ready to leave the hustle and bustle of Metro Manila, to start a new life in the City of Pines. For a 25-year-old armed with only four years of experience in the professional media
then, joining the country’s leading newspaper was a huge responsibility. But through Sir Rolly’s guidance, patience and trust, coupled with the support from the Bureau’s correspondents, I managed to survive. And stay. After 15 years, I’m still learning. I look forward to the unpredictability of each day as we start from a blank slate and watch how stories in our coverage area unfold. There are good and bad days—days when we outscoop the competition and days when we miss a big (or small) story. There are days when the Bureau’s story list shows a combination of the follies and triumphs of man. It’s roller-coaster of emotion when you read about violent crimes, natural calamity, corruption and greed, on the one hand, and achievements of ordinary people, the goodness of others and the simple joys of living, on the other. But as we submit the last story of the day to the Across the Nation desk, I heave a sigh of relief for stories that I know are products of teamwork between the Bureau, its correspondents (who I consider to be the workhorses and frontliners of the Inquirer in the provinces) and the Across the Nation and News desks. As I look back to my journey with the Inquirer,
15-YEAR SERVICE AWARDEES • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Menelyn L. Monreal Arnel B. Francisco Ma. Carmen S. Abis Laura Josephine A. Mansilla Abelardo S. Ulanday Ma. Lourdes C. Montegrande Josephine A. Samonte James S. Jacosalem Invicratus H. Valencia Nelson G. De Gracia Ma. Natividad A. Cayubit Michael L. Ubac Edwin E. Bacasmas Jerome Joeffrey B. Aning Ma. Aileen C. Corales Marie Joselle Dr. Badilla Robert Jaworski L. Abaño Maria Doris C. Dumlao Luverne B. Gueco Marites P. Dela Cruz Jesus M. Cayabyab
the most important lesson that stands out is Sir Rolly’s constant reminder to be fair by giving all players in a story a chance to be heard. I start another year with the Inquirer hopeful that this “marriage” lasts.
In fast, slow times
By Joel Dela Cruz 20-Year Service Awardee
I still vividly remember how it was in the Inquirer, or specifically in our department, two decades ago. Every 15th and 30th of the month, we prepared billing invoices using a manual typewriter. We didn’t observe weekend or even holidays because these invoices were immediately needed. We prepared 300 or more invoices. We typed repetitive data like the addresses of ad agencies as well as the ad rate. We also kept our records using big index cards. Everything was manually done but we survived and we
managed to do our work efficiently. Back then, a computerized billing system was a dream. But it became a reality perhaps due to the company’s desire to make work faster and more efficiently. Soon, the pay envelope given to us every payday (which was also manually prepared) was phased out. Beginning then, we get our salary through the company provided ATM card. We saw change and we embraced it. I still recall my many firsts in PDI: My first profit share, my first patronage refund from the Coop amounting to P14.10, and the first famous personalities who I met in person such as Jose De Venecia, Alfredo Lim and former President Fidel V. Ramos. In 1995, I moved to the Budget Department.
20-YEAR SERVICE AWARDEES • • • • •
Rosario A. Garcellano Charles E. Buban Nancy C. Carvajal Ernie M. Manlapaz Rachel Angelique Louella I. Cucio • Joel I. Dela Cruz • Marc Anthony E. Reyes • Delson C. Tangcora Over the past years that we continuously held budget deliberation meetings, I came to know more, and better, the division heads from Editorial to Circulation. I also gained a clearer and deeper understanding of the Inquirer business model. Come to think of it? “Is there any other company that has a profit share, or offers gift checks and items at discounted rates? Only in the Inquirer.
20-year service awardees
15-year service awardees
Inquirer salutes service awardees
ne need not to be with the Inquirer for five, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years to understand that every time he is honored for his number of years of service with the company, the Inquirer is also sending the message that like all of our relationships, ours with our beloved PDI is also special. So whether we have various reasons on our coming to the Inquirer, that would not matter. What is important is the relationship that we have nurtured and our contribution to the companyâ€™s success as PDI hails its service awardees.
25-year service awardees
5-year service awardees
10-year service awardees