The Freeman celebrates 100th year
The Freeman, the longest running newspaper in the Visayas and Mindanao, will come out with a 112-page issue today to celebrate 100 fruitful and memorable years.
The Freeman celebrates 100th year
Grace Melanie Lacamiento (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Today, The Freeman kicks off its months-long celebration of 100 years of fair and fearless journalism, and 100 years of celebrating Cebu.

Corporate partners, news sources and advertisers will gather at the Grand Convention Center in Cebu City for an evening of thanksgiving, commemoration and celebration.

The evening will also pay tribute to The Freeman chairman, Jose Gullas, whose decision to revive the paper in 1965 kicked off many of the publication’s golden years. Gullas turned 85 on Feb. 1.

Also at the heart of the celebration are officers of The Philippine STAR and the Star Media Group whose partnership with The Freeman further strengthened the paper’s presence in the industry, locally and nationally.

Personalities and groups
 considered to be among the pride of Cebu will also join in the celebration.

The Freeman is the longest running newspaper in the Visayas and Mindanao and the third oldest in the Philippines.


It seemed only yesterday when Paulino Arandia Gullas, a distinguished lawyer, started the paper with the vision of providing Cebuanos an alternative source of news at a time when journalism in Cebu was at its peak.

On May 10, 1919, the paper’s maiden issue saw print.

But The Freeman would later cease publication when Paulino was called to be among those who would draft the first Philippine Constitution, and at the onset of World War II.

Years later, Paulino’s nephew, after seeking the advice of his father Vicente and asking the permission of Paulino’s widow Hilda, Jose “Dodong” Gullas breathed life back to The Freeman.

Dodong shared the work with his trusted friend Balt Quinain and the paper’s former publisher Juanito Jabat – jokingly branding themselves as “The Three Musketeers.”

On Aug. 23, 1994, The Freeman family grew with the birth of its sister publication, Banat News, after Jabat came up with the idea of publishing a purely Cebuano language newspaper.

Banat will turn 25 this year, the newspaper with the largest circulation in the Visayas.

The Freeman would reach another milestone in 2004 when it partnered with The Philippine STAR.


The Freeman will always stay grateful to Cebu for the unceasing trust and confidence in its work and its people.

As a symbol of its commitment to Cebu, The Freeman has stayed in downtown Cebu City – right at what used to be Cebu’s center of trade and commerce.

It vows to be more committed in championing the truth and in making Cebu proud of a newspaper that is truly Cebuano.

Tonight, The Freeman toasts 100 fruitful and memorable years, and also makes a pledge: As long as Cebuanos need a trusted, uncompromising source of news, The Freeman will stay loyal to Cebu. 

Let the celebration begin!

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