United and reunited

BY DANNY DANGCALAN
(Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 07, 2016)

FOR an organization as old and as diverse as the Negros Press Club, it is such a rare feat for the club to have lived this long and endured the tests of time.

Considered as the oldest press club in the county, the Negros Press Club held its 80th Induction Ceremonies at the SMX Convention Center in SM City Bacolod over the weekend.

We installed the 80th batch of leaders that will steer the club to another year of prosperity, with fresher goals and newer projects that will benefit not only us 170 members, but also our communities.

We at Sun.Star Bacolod take pride in having three of our colleagues in the new set of officers, and prouder still that one of them is taking the helm of the club. Teresa Ellera, our Provincial Capitol reporter, was inducted president; along with Erwin Nicavera, our business reporter, as secretary; and Merlinda Pedrosa, our police reporter, as one of the nine directors. (Two years ago, Carla Cañet, our City Hall reporter, had also been club president.)

Other officers of the club include: vice president - Babes Gantalao of DYAG and DYRL; treasurer - Glazyl Jane Marie Masculino of Watchmen Daily Journal; auditor - Shiela May Gelera of The Visayan Daily Star; and board of directors - Mark Gabriel Salanga of ABS-CBN Bacolod; Serge Santillan of DYHB-RMN, Hernand Garciniego of The Visayan Daily Star, Dolly Yasa of The Daily Guardian, Edgar Lucasan of DYRL Abyan Radyo, Alvin Grava of DYEZ Aksyon Radyo, Rox Estrella of DYRL Abyan Radyo, and Eugene Adiong of Negros Daily Bulletin; and ex-officio- Dolores Epacta of Negros Weekly, the immediate past president.

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, whose mother, San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez comes from Silay City, was the guest speaker. He quipped that it cannot be denied that his father, former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada, had sired many children, but he is the most “simpatico” and “cariñoso” among them, for having Negrense blood.

Aside from being an induction ceremony, the occasion once again served as a reunion of sorts for former and present members of the club. For active members, the gathering was an opportunity to see each other after a while. With different assignments (or beats), we rarely bump into each other, so this is as good a time to catch up with each other's lives.

For former members and associates (those who have reinvented themselves in new jobs but still perform a bit of media work), the induction ceremony is a good opportunity they cannot afford to pass up. Co-workers and competitors have become long-time friends, surviving together the years of hardships, but also relishing the good fortunes that came with it.

It warms my heart to see esteemed media personalities hugging after years of not seeing each other, talking excitedly about how they have been, and the sparkle in their eyes and the loud laughter they carelessly throw while taking group photos.

Before the induction, the club has 150 members. Teresa inducted 20 more members – one of the biggest in a single induction of the club – and we couldn’t be happier for our growing family.

One of our new members is our very own Sun.Star Bacolod president Jaime Golez, whom we fondly call “Sir Jimmy.”

Now we have 170 members, each one a unique personality unto himself/herself, with his/her own eccentricities and imperfections, but together, as what our theme says, we are “united amid the challenges of [our] time.”

Photo 1: Newly inducted NPC President Teresa Ellera receives the symbolic pen from outgoing president Dolres Epacta during the 80th Induction and Oath Taking Ceremonies held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacoldo City on March 5, 2016.

Photo 2: Newly inducted NPC President Teresa Ellera gives the plaque of appreciation to Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito serving as Guest Speaker during the 80th Induction and Oath Taking Ceremonies held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City on March 5, 2016.

Photo 3: Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito administers inducts the newly elected Negros Press Club officers during the 80th Induction and Oath Taking Ceremonies held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacoldo City on March 5, 2016.

Photo 4: Newly inducted NPC President Teresa Ellera administers the oath taking of the new members of the Negros Press Club  during the 80th Induction and Oath Taking Ceremonies held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City on March 5, 2016.