LAST MONDAY, YOUR BOHOL CHRONICLEÂ turned 62 without fanfare and self-congratulation. Â Sixty-two is past the Â senior citizen cut-off. But far from being arthritic, we sincerely believe that we are now stronger today than we were the last years.
Muhammad Ali shouted “I am the Greatest” -because deep in his heart he had his doubts. So- rather than say we are the best paper around- we just say “please judge for yourself”. Ask if by lunch time on Sundays and you have not touched our paper, you don’t storm our offices as to why.
Newspaper work Â like public service is its own reason for being. More than a business, it is a calling. It is proof that one can serve the public without being elected to office. That we don’t have to judge contests and crown queens to know we have the public’s Â trust.
If you continue to buy us and advertisers pay for newspaper space, we are OK with that.
That is why the late founder and publisher Jun Dejaresco never said “yes” to overtures to run for public office like Governor . And why should he , indeed? We have outlived(in their positions) 10 governors in Bohol: Juan Pajo, Esteban Bernido, Lino Chatto, Rolando Butalid, Â Victor de la Serna, Â Constancio Torralba, David Tirol , Rene Relampagos, Rico Aumentado and Â now presently Edgar Chatto on his last third term.
And nine presidents from Magsaysay, Garcia, Â Macapagal, Â Marcos, Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Erap Estrada, Gloria Arroyo, and the exiting Noynoy Aquino.Â Three families ruled: Marcos (21 years), Macapagals (Dadong and GMA) 13 years and Aquinos (Cory and Noy) Â 12 years.
They all have come and gone, but with your unstinting support, theÂ Bohol ChronicleÂ is still here.
On the national scale, we now have a new president in Digong Duterte who speaks our everyday language. He has not hidden his plans to become a strongman.Â There is a joke about him (not meant to offend) that in Davao City while he was Mayor -Duterte banned all spitting in public.
Duterte was charged with the violation of theÂ “freedom of spits”Â (laughter).
Freedom of speech , indeed, is enshrined in the constitution as a a basic human right. We beseech the new president to respect that freedom. Let us agree to disagree on points- but considerÂ that no one has a monopoly of patriotism in his blood .
This country has gone much too far Â (even beating China in GDP growth this year at 6.9%)- for us to slide back to the dark ages and becoming the basket case of Asia once again. Never again.
For local issues, Â we vow to be the”conscience of the community” – to praise Â if there are achievements for the common good and condemn excesses of people and institutions. We hereby renew our vow to protect the truth and give voice to the voiceless.Â We will strive to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” without trying to sound like Joan of Arc (the wife of Noah’s Ark as Erap insists)
We will stretch our best to know the facts behind the news and puncture all illusions of progress or disillusionment thereof. We will resist all efforts to inflict the extravagance of power and wealth- on any one Â whether rich or poor.
TheÂ Bohol ChronicleÂ Â remains the Chronicler of the lives and times of Boholanos. We have archived Â (hard) copies since 1954 -every week coming out without fail except one week after Martial Law- whether we are sick or well, brownout or none, broke or with fat bank accounts.
And we will not falter -as we have not in the last 62 years.
Maybe we have done something right. The Philippine Press Institute awarded us with three successive national awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014. We are awaiting results for 2015.Â We want Boholanos to be proud of us -and carry the paper anywhere in the Philippines and say “this is our paper in Bohol.”
It has not been easy- that is why reaching 62 is a cause for celebration.At certain points the paper had been attacked by financial oppression, business boycott, legal libel, threats of physical harm and vicious name calling (that would have raised our ancestors from their graves).
But theÂ Bohol ChronicleÂ Â has survived that all -making us believers in that deathless adage that indeed “what cannot kill you, will make you stronger.”
Stronger we would not have been without you Â our faithful readers -that forgive our lapses in grammar Â and syntax – in favor of the bigger picture. Our generous advertisers and particularly our two biggest – the Alturas Group and the Bohol Quality Group.Where would we be without you? As well as hundreds of other advertisers.
Our Â associate editor (Peter) news writers and photographers, contributors, columnists, printing staff, office staff, computer geniuses , newsboys and the retail stores that carry us-Â salamat kaayo sa inyong tanan.Â
Our major newspaper Â pages are now on line and therefore our brethren from all over the globe know what happens here as if they Â were just enjoying their coffee along Gallares street or having their haircut along CPG avenue.Â Moreover, we have now a daily on line extension ” Â Â Â Â ” in mode with the new demands of the readership for speed, accuracy and savvy media vehicle for delivery.
Wish us well as we paddle the canoe towards a common goal of nation building.
May what we do in this paper be pleasing to Him, Yahweh, our Loving God. SHALOM!
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