Johnny-come-lately

I’m in Cebu Journalism and Journalists 2, a glossy magazine that comes out during the Cebu Press Freedom Week celebration. The magazine’s purpose is “to put between its covers people, institutions, and activities that have helped bring Cebu journalism to what it is now: dynamic and thriving.” Cebu Journalism and Journalists

I wasn’t initially picked to be among the journalists featured in the magazine. I was, in fact, the last to be included in the volume.

A few days before the magazine was to be sent to the printer, I arrived at the office in my usual getup: jeans and shirt with scruffy hair on a face untouched by razor for a few weeks. I was surprised to be told to fix myself up, borrow a polo shirt and have my picture taken.

I was then told to write something about myself and, being the hardcore blogger that I am, I couldn’t resist including my weblog URL in the text. My late addition caused the relegation of a big-shot Cebuano broadcaster from a full-page treatment in the magazine into just half a page.

Max Limpag My half-page of fame in the Cebu Journalism and Journalists magazine. Click to enlarge.

The journalists included in the magazine were also featured in a photo exhibit in Ayala Center Cebu. I wasn’t able to visit the exhibit, which ended last night, because the past few days have been hectic for me and my family. As expected, I got ribbed for the drop in sales at the mall as my picture was scaring shoppers away.

A call for solidarity

For a few years now, the global media community has named the Philippines among the most dangerous places for journalists. In the past two years, our country has been second only to Iraq in the number of media killings. Philippine journalists have fought hard to roll back the tide of violence. Today, however, the Philippine press faces its strongest challenge.

In declaring a “state of national emergency,” President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made media among her main targets. She and senior aides warned of government takeover of media facilities considered friendly to the political opposition.

Read the entire statement at the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines website.