DyRD-AM at 60: A Real Diamond in Community Radio Journalism

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DyRD-AM at 60: A Real Diamond in Community Radio Journalism

Topic |  

“Printed materials can only go as far as the roads and means of transportation reach but in radio broadcasting with the flip of the switch on the radio sets, music and information flow. It is only fitting and proper that a publication like the Bohol Chronicle and enterprising newspapermen and writers behind it be the pioneers of this most utilitarian venture called radio.” -Former President Carlos Polestico Garcia

Now, it can be told. Sixty years ago, DyRD-AM was established with the utmost support of Bohol’s Most Illustrious Son, the late Pres. Carlos P. Garcia who was the incumbent president of the Philippines in 1961.

This was revealed by Negros Chronicle editor Ely P. Dejaresco as the station marks its diamond jubilee this year. 

A Radio Station is Born 


“DyRD was conceived because of necessity that Bohol should have a credible radio station,” he revealed.

“I remember we were in the car, a green Chevy, when news of President Magsaysay’s death was flashed over DYRC, the popular radio station in Cebu at that time. The usual newspaperman that he was, Daddy almost stepped on the brakes knowing that the next Philippine president would be a Boholano and that would a historic milestone for Bohol. It would have been breaking news but then there was no efficient radio station existing in Bohol at that time.” 

The veteran journalist then recalled how they pioneered in news wire casting in 1957 called BCBS or Bohol Chronicle Broadcasting System. “It was like the cable TV today wherein we were connected by cables to subscribers in Tagbilaran.”

From the wire casting system, the station switched to broadcasting in 1961 when the incumbent Philippine Pres Garcia broached the idea to Atty. Zoilo Dejaresco, who had long envisioned establishing a radio station in Bohol. The rest is history.

At present, Station DyRD penetrates the private spaces of Boholanos all over the world through the digital technology. Indeed, it has gone a long way from the time when it was founded by the Bohol Chronicle editor, Atty. Zoilo Dejaresco, who immortalized the initials of his beloved spouse Rosario “Charing” Dejaresco; hence, the name “RD”.

With a permit from the Department of Public Works and Communication, DYRD opened with the power of 1000 watts, using imported turntables, Sears and Roebuck Styrofoam acoustical tiles, state-of the-art transmitter at that time and an aerial landmark tower. American engineers worked feverishly to complete the station. 


Rolly Zabala, from DYSR and with experience in three Manila stations was program director who fielded the pioneer cream of the crop DYRD announcers, like Luisa Bacquial, Fulgencio “Polin” Lopez, Alfonso Damalerio, Nena Saniel, Lina Gulle, and Romana Darunday. Familiar names like Victoriano Tirol Jr., Alberto Payot and Oscar Cimagala followed suit. 


Leader in Broadcasting Local News

DYRD’s early years of operation was a story of rapid evolution. It read the market well and gave what the listeners needed – music, news and public service. Letters and telegrams of Boholanos from as far as Zamboanga in the south and Masbate in the north landed in the station’s mail. Boholanos all over the country felt pride in having a radio they can call their own.

From the start, Station DyRD has been the leader in broadcasting the local news with people listening to the radio in order to get the latest headlines of the day. 


“At 60, DyRD is not arthritic, it is robust, strong, and the Number 1 radio station in Bohol. And thus, we give tribute to the founders. Most of what we are today, it is because of certain ideals that have been taught to us.” Bohol Chronicle editor Bingo Dejaresco pointed out the values of hard work, integrity, and trustworthiness upon which the twin media enterprise was established

Years of Music and Drama 


Music lovers as Boholanos are, Station DYRD shoot to popularity with the long-running Sunday program, Amateur Hour, held at Plaza Rizal where the talented talents like Emmanuel Dajao, Tante Celian, Boy Lopez, Boy Campo, Baby Pilayre and even Onie Oclarit became household names. Equally popular later was the Pasunding sa Kabataan at 4 pm every Sunday. Both shows never run out of enthusiastic sponsors. 

The 1960s was also a time of a cultural revolution heavily influenced by popular music. DYRD had to invest initially in buying new records in 45, 78 and 33 formats. 

The AM radio station also had tear-jerker radio dramas like “Ang Inyong Tiya Delly”, “Bakho sa Kasingkasing”, “Dra Mercedes Montinola”, and “Pahid sa  Kinabuhi”. Game shows like “Tigmo tigmo Agokoy” and Scrambola stayed on the stream for a long time. The station was also keen at covering sports events. 

Charity becomes a way of life with DyRD’s public service programs 

Reaching out to those in need and helping those in despair is a daily fare on radio. Listening to DYRD makes Boholanos anywhere in the world feel kinship with their brothers and sister in the home province. There is the feeling that “when you have a friend in need, you’ve got a friend indeed.” Listeners express that in being of help to others they have also enriched their own lives. No wonder, thus that corporations and associations here and abroad are making DYRD’s public service programs as conduits of their assistance and corporate social responsibility.

The interaction is most unique as listeners pay attention to heart-rending stories of other members of the community – exercising judgment on issues and concerns, airing freely their comments and advice as well as extending financial assistance readily when needed. 

Early in the morning and late into the night, even before the program hosts arrive, those who are in dire need of money to buy medicines and those who seek for medical or other forms of assistance knock at the gates of Radio Station DYRD, waiting for their turn to go on air and share their woes to the listening public.

The practice, though, had to be asjudted during the pandemic. However, charity has already become a way of life for Boholanos. Thanks to DyRD’s leading community service programs Inyong Alagad in the morning and Tagbilaran by Nite.

A Partner in Evangelization

Through the years, the station has been identified as a strong partner of the Diocese of Tagbilaran and the local church in evangelization as it presents Holy Masses, daily Rosary on air and with the extended coverage of Lenten and other religious activities. 

From Provincewide to Worldwide 

In 1980, Station DYRD FM was established and became the pioneer multiplex stereo station in Bohol and in 2001, Station DYZD AM was put up in the town of Ubay making DYRD truly province wide. In 2007, the station pioneered in the latest webcasting technology thereby reaching Boholanos anywhere through the Internet.

For 60 years now, the radio station has not only provided information and entertainment but also a venue for the people to express their concerns and opinion. 

“Every morning when listeners choose DyRD to listen to among all the radio stations in Bohol, Cebu or even Mindanao, they are giving their mandate to you. While politicians are given mandate by their constituents every three years, for media outlets, it is being renewed by the people every morning, every day, and every moment they choose the station.” This was the message of veteran broadcast journalist Leo Lastimosa to the DyRD on the occasion of its diamond jubilee.

DYRD has not only extensively reached Boholanos everywhere but penetrated their homes as well. “We live as a family and an institution, and we would like to celebrate this important milestone of our 6oth anniversary with thanksgiving,” BCRC President and Radio Station Manager Peter Dejaresco declared.

And when media has become an integral part to the rhythm of daily living in the community where it thrives, it must have fulfilled the essence of what community journalism is all about.

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