- Tagbilaran was then a small town. Juan Pajo was governor of Bohol and Atty. Pedro Belderol was mayor of the Municipality of Tagbilaran. Second week of May, a destructive typhoon hit the island. Early morning on May 16, 1954, the maiden issue of The Bohol Chronicle hit the streets of Tagbilaran. The banner headline screamed: “6 dead in storm.” The paper sold then like hotcakes and the rest is history.
“It is about time that Bohol with approximately 700,000 people would have a provincial paper worthy of the enterprising spirit of the Boholanos proven and tested from the time of Sikatuna,” thus wrote then Vice President of the Philippines and Bohol’s Most Illustrious Son, Carlos P Garcia, in the maiden issue of the paper.
The late Ramon Magsaysay, arguably the most popular President in Philippine history, saw the Chronicle’s establishment as the birth of a watchdog on government in Bohol.
His congratulatory message states: “I see in the Bohol Chronicle a splendid opportunity for the good people of Bohol to know more of the ways in which they are being governed. Entrusted with the mission of chronicling the national level, this publication would, in the course of its task, become a crucible of public opinion…With a faith that THE BOHOL CHRONICLE will fulfill its mission well, I also sincerely hope that the maiden issue will open a bright and successful future for this publication.”
Indeed, the paper started to gain the confidence of the public which started to see the publication as a source of credible news and opinion. A decade after its birth, the Bohol Chronicle continued its dominance in reporting fearless, unbiased and balanced news drawing the attention of national organizations including the the Rotary Club of Manila, Club No. 478, R.I. District No. 380, which recognized the paper in 1970 as the Community Newspaper of the Year, a prestigious award sought after by newspapers across the country.
The award says: “Presented to the Bohol Chronicle for courageously, but passionately and objectively, publishing a series of exposes which effected solid constructive criticism in the life of the community, and for demonstrating that a community newspaper, in spite of the economic odds against it, can effectively carry on its avowed mission with enthusiasm, dedication and fearless determination.
The Bohol Chronicle Founding Editor and Publisher Atty. Zoilo “Jun” Dejaresco personally received the award in Manila.
The paper also won in 1973 The Republic Editorial Award and the Manila Standard Editorial Award in 1994. In 1974, The Bohol Chronicle was chosen as the Model Community Newspaper by the Bureau of National and Foreign Information of the Department of Public Information. It was consistently picked as one of the ten outstanding community newspapers and was selected as one of the nine successful community newspapers in the Philippines by the Continuing Education Center of the University of the Philippines
Dean of Boholano Journalists
As founder of Bohol’s first newspaper, Jun Dejaresco is considered an icon in the mass media industry and regarded as “Dean of Boholano Journalists”. His foresight, perseverance and strong determination enabled The Bohol Chronicle to withstand the hardships along the way, making it the most enduring community newspaper to this day.
He has become one of the pillars of Philippine journalism as well. During his years as the paper’s editor, he was a ranking official of the prestigious Philippine Press Institute (PPI) the Federation of Provincial Press Clubs and member of the National Press Club (NPC). In addition, he was also the provincial correspondent for Bohol of the now-defunct Manila Chronicle, Philippine News Service and the Philippine News Agency. In June 1972, he was guest of the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. which featured him on one of its programs which was broadcast worldwide.
As the patriarch and media icon of Bohol, Jun Dejaresco would go down in history as a fearless defender of press freedom in the country.
He was a legend in his own right, standing pat what is the truth. His fighting spirit as a journalist was beyond question. Jun Dejaresco’s penchant for news was insatiable even in his old age and until his passing in 2002.
The Bohol Chronicle Radio Corporation
Many had predicted that the Bohol Chronicle, the first community newspaper in Bohol, would die a natural death as it would not only be lacking in readership but also a monumental financial disaster due to uninterested advertisers, the backbone for a newspaper to survive. However, it defied the acid test of time.
Jun Dejaresco’s passion as a journalist stood tall amidst all the trials and adversities along the way. When the chips were down, his faith in God was unwavering, and the full support given by his ever-loving wife, the late Rosario Pernia Dejaresco, who was always at his side prodding him to carry on the publishing business, which at that time no one ventured to undertake. She acted as business manager, expertly handling the finances to keep the paper going at the most crucial time of its survival.
In 1956, the Bohol Chronicle pioneered the operation of the first wire broadcasting station in the province and in 1961 its printed pages branched out to the airlanes with station DyRD AM, which become truly province-wide with the establishment of DyZD in Ubay in 2001. In 1980, DyRD FM, the pioneering multiplex stereo station in Bohol went on air and is now the popular KISS 102.3.
The BCRC has for its vision: “Top-ranked independent media outfit transforming Boholanos into awakened, compassionate catalysts of good governance and human development.” It also seals its mission as: “Service is our motive with truth as our only guide.” The core values of the corporation were enshrined as: Trust in God in everything, independence and integrity, accurate, and public service above all. (By: Ben Cal and Sonieta Labasan)