Spotlight on the suffering

By: Jason A. Baguia September 23,2016 - 10:01 PM

I would like to start this edition by congratulating Ador Vincent Mayol, Cebu Daily News (CDN) senior reporter, on being adjudged print and online reporter of the year at the recent Globe Media Excellence Awards.

Ador is not only an exemplary journalist in the newsroom and on field; he is also an amiable person who has made our editorial office a place of light in many ways.

Students who came to a forum organized by this paper, together with the then conveners of the annual Cebu Press Freedom Week a few years ago, would remember Ador’s testimony of asserting journalistic independence. On at least three occasions, he turned down money offered to him by sources or their press handlers.

I fondly remember Ador as the man who is responsible for mounting the most beautiful of nativity scenes in Cebu City’s North Reclamation Area every year during the Christmas season. The lush Belen is not accessible to the public since it is usually set up inside CDN’s editorial office, but I am sure it gives every Siloy that extra spark as they go about their tasks especially around the holidays.

It is worth noting that this year, Ador won for stories that bring to our attention the conditions of people with mental challenges as well as the abandoned elderly. This is reason to infer that apart from Ador’s and his editors’ journalistic talents, the jurors also recognize the urgency of caring for the marginalized.

I share the hope of every man and woman of goodwill that these days, when Filipinos’ energies are being sapped by the vortex of poisonous online debates, or by power struggles as riveting as telenovelas unfolding in Malacañang, the halls of the Senate and elsewhere, we will nevertheless spare a prayer and a good deed for the suffering who have no stage from which to appeal for aid.

Stories like the ones Ador wrote awaken us to the necessity of creating a more humane civilization. This is not the time for naive appeals for peace. Serving the downtrodden today does not and will not be consistent with an environment that honors a dictator whose oppression of the masses is the very antithesis of compassionate succor. Standing with the needy is incompatible with concluding that there is a greater need among the fishes of Pasig for corpses to nibble at than for rehabilitation centers, social workers and heroic medical professionals to address the widespread problem of substance abuse.

* * *

Following word from Malacañang urging the President’s political supporters to refrain from bashing or threatening journalists, we can only hope that those who have newly discovered the power of the keyboard will grow up.

Many should seriously consider turning their energies to the real, quiet labor of seeking the truth — start with courses on citizen journalism if not a four-year communication degree — which is as professional as habitual verbal reactivity is amateurish, if not infantile.

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For devotees, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face’s feast is coming up on Oct. 1. In Cebu City, there are shrines to her honor in Barangay Lahug. She may be venerated in the monastery of the Carmelites (her order), in Barangay Mabolo. Here is the novena prayer that Carmelites use in the run-up to her feast (Sept. 22 to 30):

St. Therese, Flower of fervor and love, please intercede for us. Fill our hearts with your pure love of God. As we approach and celebrate your feast day, make us more aware of the goodness of God and how well He tends His garden. Instill in us your little way of doing ordinary things with extraordinary love. Give us the heart of a child who wonders at life and embraces everything with loving enthusiasm. Teach us your delight in God’s ways so that divine charity may blossom in our hearts. Little Flower of Jesus, bring our petitions (mention in silence here) before God, our Father. With your confidence, we come before Jesus as God’s children, because you are our heavenly friend. As we celebrate the Feast Day of your homecoming in heaven, continue to shower roses and grace upon us. Amen.

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TAGS: Ador Mayol, CDN, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, Cebu Press Freedom Week, Child Jesus, Globe Media Excellence Awards, Jesus, Journalism, journalist, Malacañang, Press Freedom Week, Spotlight
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