PPCO holds holiday gathering
TORONTO – The Philippine Press Club Ontario (PPCO) held its 12th anniversary and holiday gathering Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 at the Crystal Buffet Ballroom.
Attended by officers and members, family and friends, the event allowed for an intimate way for people to enjoy an evening of plentiful food; winning raffle prices; listening to good music; meeting old and new friends, sharing interesting conversations, news stories and updates of relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan disaster victims, and photo taking for posterity. A special treat was the beautiful singing of Anna Rejante, who wowed the audience with her gorgeous voice as she sang Christmas carols and a Tagalog love song. The event was attended by Senator Tobias Enverga, Jr. and Rosemer Enverga.
After updates about Typhoon Haiyan were shared, Crystal Buffet’s Manager apparently touched by the stories, turned over a donation box the restaurant had placed on its reception hall, for PPCO to donate the money for disaster relief.
The event also capped a vibrant and envigorated PPCO year, as the organization actively took on a good balance of professional and social activities since the new leadership, led by PPCO president Hermie Garcia, was elected in March 2013.
Its first general activity was the brunch-get-together April 14 at Artisano Bakery attended by officers, members and applicants to the organization, where the forthcoming activities of the organization were discussed.
The organization’s first professional educational activity followed in the form of a forum June 7, with Eric Baculinao, Beijing Bureau Chief of NBC News, who spoke on the topic, “China and the Media in China.”
Baculinao was the chairman of the UP Student Council and a law student when he, together with other student leaders, went to China for a two-week visit in 1971. Due to the political turmoil in the Philippines, and to avoid arrest by the Marcos military, his group postponed their return. His stay turned into a long exile until Marcos’s overthrow in 1986. Eric has lived in China with his family for more than four decades. He turned into a full-time journalist and now has served as NBC Beijing Bureau Chief for more than two decades, winning an Emmy award for television coverage of the Tiananmen massacre of 1989. He has also become a regular speaker on China in various academic and journalists’ circles in many countries.
This event was closely followed by PPCO’s first outdoor trip June 9 to a beautiful cottage in scenic Lake Scucog, Little Britain, Ontario, organized by treasurer Noel Perada,where officers and members, joined by family and friends, enjoyed a beautiful summer day of food, games, camaraderie, and two birthday celebrations. The event was made possible by the hospitality of the cottage owners, Ezekiel and Lyn Lucrida, who made their property spanning one hectare of idyllic green surroundings beside the lake available for PPCO’s first out of town trip.
A second fun trip was held July 28, this time to beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake, hosted by former Lord Mayor Art Viola. There members enjoyed a picnic by the lake; wine tasting and shopping for good wine at the famous award-winning Josephs & Josephs vineyard; a visit to the Varadenik’s family fruit and vegetable farm where members had fun tasting fruits they themselves picked from the trees; a stroll through the town, a lot of sharing, fun and laughter.
On September 7, PPCO held a two-in-one event at the residence of new member Marissa Corpus: :a “Meet the Press” session with a Filipino delegation to the Toronto Int’l Film Festival, among them director Brillante Mendoza and producer Wilson Tieng; and the swearing-in ceremony with three of its new members, Paulina Corpuz, Marissa Corpus and Willlie Jose officiated by President Hermie Garcia. Other new members are Beatrice Pae and Ramon.
On October this year, PPCO started its series of speakers of successful journalists who have made it to mainstream broadcast media: First featured were Dyan Ruiz and Joseph Smooke who have established the People Power Media, and who spoke on Covering the Philippines in Times of Crisis. Then followed Kris Reyes of Global TV who co-hosts The Morning Show; and then Marivel Taruc, CBC Senior Reporter and host of Our Toronto. These very well attended sessions have generated a lot of positive feedback from members and guests, especially young aspiring journalists who have learned from the experiences of these successful Filipino-Canadian role models in mainstream media. The series will continue in 2014, as a number of speakers have already confirmed their participation in this popular professional and educational series.
On Nov. 24, PPCO sponsored Ampatuan Massacre Memorial Day with a forum at OISE, Toronto, to honour colleagues who were murdered during the biggest massacre of journalists in world history, a day which is now known as the International Day to end Impunity. Organized by PPCO Secretary Jonathan Canchela, members and guests shared their thoughts on the significance of the day as well as offered suggestions as to how PPCO may help in the efforts of seek justice for the victims, which the organization took note for future action. Poetry and songs were performed by the Akdaan artists, and the event was capped with the solemn symbolic flower offering to honor the memory of the fallen colleagues.
For the first time, PPCO sponsored scholarships for three members of the organization to the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada’s (NEPMCC) Professional Development Conference and Training Seminars, Dec. 6-8, 2013 at Seneca College, where they completed a certificate course in journalism and business under the able tutelage of journalism professors from Ryerson University, Seneca College and University of Ohio. The three members are Jonathan Canchela, Paulina Corpuz, and Rollie Cabrera.
Overall, the activities were well attended by the active members who have enjoyed the newfound professionalism and pleasant camaraderie of an organization committed to raise the professional standards and uphold ethical principles of journalism, while enjoying wholesome fun among its members. More new members have joined the organization, all of them, practising media professionals who have said they have learned a lot from, and enjoyed PPCO’s 2013 activities. (M.A.G)
Photos: Noel Perada, MG