A hundred years

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

I was among the many young editors-in-chief in Cebu being looked over by the then editor of this section of the newspaper. From the vast pool of aspiring writers, she chose me and another male from the University of San Carlos to be one of the youth columnists.


The first few weeks were exciting. I used to scout around for my possible topics for that week. My dad, out of excitement, would purchase the paper and rip the part out with my face in it beside the column. People called me “the youngest columnist of the oldest newspaper in Cebu.” I loved every bit of it, not every student gets a spot on the pages of a local daily.

As weeks turned into months and months into years, I was invited to join a couple of anniversary parties with this paper. The host kept on saying that we’re counting a few years down to the 100th year. Every time I was with John Destacamento (the mystery male editor-in-chief from USC) during these functions, he told me to hold on until the 100th year. I guess that still holds true until today. Him, being an editor and me still writing this column about six years after. My topics now steer away from the usual issues of the youth with my exposure to the news first-hand as a TV reporter.

At some point, I was asked to quit writing because I finished college and it was said that I couldn’t represent the youth anymore. I’m just grateful I’m still here. Today, we are all counting down the days left until the real thing, when we all say that The FREEMAN is a century old.

What does it mean to be 100 years old? Well, we can all say that it is the paper that has stood the test of time and has witnessed the many key events of Cebu and Central Visayas. It has shown that the people can really trust them and their reportage because they still exist up to today. The people behind the paper have worked endlessly to uphold the slogan “fair and fearless”. It knows Cebu like the palm of its hand; it knows Cebu better than we all do.

As for me, I hope to keep this legacy of being able to be the voice of many with the many people I will be meeting and the many stories to tell. I hope I’ll stay a bit longer, more than a hundred years. It is draining at times to think of a topic out of the possible hundreds but fulfilling when it reaches print.

Congratulations to The FREEMAN for another feat. I’m sure this is just one of the many that they are to achieve. Here’s to more relevant stories and meaty opinions to discuss.

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