New leaders elected at PPCO

Community News & Features Mar 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

PPCO officers and members with ConGen Junever Mahilum-West and Manny Yanga after the elections, March 3, 2013. Inset: Ruben Cusipag.


TORONTO –The Philippine Press Club of Ontario (PPCO) has a new leadership with the election of Hermie Garcia as president and Rose Tijam as vice president in special elections held Sunday, March 3 at Mayette’s Restaurant on Danforth Ave. Immediately after winning the elections, Garcia and Tijam took their oath of office with Consul General Junever Mahilum-West officiating.

Garcia and Tijam won over Mogi Mogado and Tess Cusipag, Associate Editor and Publisher and Editor of Balita, respectively.

The winning candidates will continue the remaining terms of resigned PPCO officers until May 2014.

In her acceptance speech, new VP Tijam said: “We have a reputation of being a good organization in the community. We will makes ourselves stronger,” she said, both in principle and practice.

Garcia, after thanking PPCO for their trust and support, said: “I will be very democratic in my administration. I will give equal space, equal air time to all the board members, to current members, and I will even consult ex-members, ex-presidents, ex-officers…Whether we agree with each other or not politically, ideologically or whatever, we are family.”

Philippine Press Club of Ontario is an organization whose members are from the Filipino media community in Ontario. These are journalists, writers, photographers, publishers and support staff of Filipino Canadian publications, broadcast and digital media. PPCO was established in 2001 in Toronto.

OATHTAKING. Newly elected president Hermie Garcia and vice president Rose Tijam took their oath of office with Consul General Junever Mahilum-West officiating.


Garcia is the publisher and editor of The Philippine Reporter, published a twice-a-month in Toronto since 1989 and is now marking its 24th year of publication. The paper was awarded four times for “Best Editorial and Design” from 2003 to 2009 by the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, a national association of more than 600 ethnic publications and broadcast and digital media organizations in Canada. The Philippine Reporter is a member organization of the NEPMCC, where Garcia is Vice President for Human Rights and Free Speech.

Before he started his Toronto-based newspaper, Garcia had many years of experience in journalism in the Philippines, starting as a community newspaper editor in Dumaguete City, a senior writer for the weekly Observer magazine in Manila, and a desk editor and editorial writer for two Philippine daily newspapers — The Times Journal and Times Mirror — and a senior writer for Business Page magazine.

Garcia’s pre-election campaign emphasized the need for the PPCO’s acronym to represent a “Principled Press for Camaraderie and Openness” in words and actions. Before being elected as President, Garcia served four terms (8 years) as a member of the PPCO Board of Directors, winning four consecutive terms in general elections, and was briefly its VP.

Rose Tijam has a master’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of the Philippines. In the Philippines, she was with the faculty at UP Los Banos and was Council Secretary of the National Food and Agriculture Council. She was editor/writer of various agricultural publications as well as a radio broadcaster.

In Canada, she was a staff writer in Stockmen’s Recorder and World of Beef publication, The Limousine Leader magazine and two other trade publications in Calgary, Alberta. She was an associate editor at Balita and at The Philippine Times, both community publications based in Toronto.

Tijam is currently a freelance writer. She was a former president of the PPCO before being elected VP. While she exercises her passion for journalism, Tijam is also a fulltime counselor at a facility for women and children.

From left: Membership Committee chair Jess Cabrias, PPCO secretary Jonathan Canchela, community leaders Manny Yanga and Paulina Corpuz.


Asked to speak before administering the oath of office of the winning candidates, Mahilum West thanked Jonathan Canchela, PPCO secretary, and the PPCO itself for inviting her to the event. She noted the “professionalism” and the “democratic process” with which the elections were conducted, and the commitment of the winning candidates to “unity,” “professionalism,” and “transparency.”

The smooth elections were attributed by most members to the leadership of the remaining Board members, particularly, Canchela, who served as chair of the elections committee; Jess Cabrias, Membership Committee chair who was presiding officer of the special general assembly and election; Noel Perada, Treasurer, who ensured that the official voter’s list was updated according to official records; Eva Agpaoa, board member who followed up on attendance status of PPCO members to achieve a quorum; and Imelda Suzara, board member and communications officer, who officially documented by video highlights of the election process.

Those who served as Ad Hoc election Committee during the entire election process were community leaders Manny Yanga and Paulina Corpuz.

(Press Release from Philippine Press Club of Ontario; for information, email:; Tel. 416-461-8694. Contact person: Jonathan Canchela)

Melinda Rustia, Mercy Maliglig and Aida D’Orazio

Jess and May Cabrias, Hermie and Mila Garcia, Jonathan Canchela, Noel Perada

Mogi Mogado and Eugene Deocareza

PPCO ELECTIONS: Members and guests anxiously await the final count of the election.