What a journey it has been
Twenty years ago, I was invited by Eileen G. Mangubat then the Editor-in-Chief of Cebu Daily News which started publication in February 1998.
Actually, there were three of us whom she invited — Sofia Logarta, Fe Anastacia Reyes, and myself (the three of us were her former teachers in UP Cebu High School).
The invitation was to write a weekly column on women’s issues and concerns with the title “She-Voices”.
The three of us took turns in writing the column but a few months later Fe Reyes withdrew because she was laden with administrative work as College Secretary of UP Cebu at that time.
So it was Sofie and I alternating the column from 1998 till 2017.
From 2017 till the present we were assigned a separate day, Sofie on Thursday and me on Sunday.
The beginnings of CDN came at a time when the women’s movement in Cebu was on the surge triggered by the Chiong Sisters case.
Going over the first issues of CDN, women’s issues and concerns and the legal battle on the Chiong Sisters dominated the coverage.
This was also the time when several women’s groups and NGOs mushroomed, among them was the Legal Alternatives for Women Center, Inc. or popularly known as LAW Inc. spearheaded by the late Atty. Arbet Sta. Ana-Yongco who was an ardent defender of women victims of violence.
Ironically she died a violent death when she was shot in her residence early morning on October 11, 2004.
Sofie and I have been members of LAW Inc. with friends in other women’s groups and NGOs since the beginning so we were updated of the activities for women empowerment.
Since it was also the peak of the cultural heritage movement of the province where I had a big role, I also shared in my columns the various programs, initiatives and continuing activities particularly promoting the Cebuano Language, Culture, and History.
It was a challenge deciding what to write about, seeing to it that I didn’t duplicate Sofie’s topic or discuss what the other columnists tackled.
There were times when there were so many topics at hand which I believed was urgent but I had to integrate in one column because my turn was two weeks later yet.
It was even more challenging when I had the weekly schedule. I managed my schedule to beat my deadline which was Saturday morning because my dialysis is scheduled on Tuesdays and Fridays and I need to rest Friday afternoon, which was sometimes extended to the evening.
It was worse when I had an important commitment on Friday afternoon.
But I got through it all by making the outline Friday evening, sleep then wake up early Saturday morning and encode and submit the column by 8 o’clock.
At first I thought only my friends read my column but I was elated and inspired when people I don’t know compliment me on my column.
For all of these, THANK YOU, EILEEN, for the opportunity.
This year 2018 is an unforgettable year.
This is my 20th year with CDN which coincides with Centennial of UP Cebu on May 3, the Tatak UP Awards 2018, and the 100 Stories on the Centennial of UP Cebu, and the most personal is my diagnosis of breast cancer, lumpectomy and mastectomy and ongoing treatment.
Since my retirement from UP Cebu I have been activating the UP Alumni Association Cebu Chapter since the prime movers have retired or passed away.
There was a very short time given for the preparations for the Centennial of UP Cebu with 2 main activities, the Centennial Grand Ball on April 27 and the Centennial celebration on May 3 (which is the founding date).
The Tatak UP Awards 2018 was so challenging that we had still to prepare the AVPs of the ten awardees on the day of the awards, many of whom were on travel weeks before the awards on Dec. 6.
I am so glad there was perfect attendance and the whole awards night was described by guests as “subdued and dignified.”
The 100 Stories is part of the Alumni Association’s Centennial activity where we invited alumni to write their experiences and memories of UP Cebu.
Many of my stories have been featured in my CDN columns earlier this year and even before particularly in 2008 during the celebration of the Centennial of the University of the Philippines System.
To those alumni who have not submitted yet their stories, you still have the end of the year to finish it.
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