By Ritchie A. Horario and Fatima Cielo B. Cancel Reporters
SEVEN students of The Manila Times College (TMTC) graduated on Tuesday’s commencement exercises for the school year 2012-13, adding to the crop of journalists that the school has produced.
Leading the graduates of Bachelor of Arts in Journalism is Nigel Henry Jacinto Maranan, who received the President’s Award and topped the roll of graduates with academic distinction.
Other graduates with academic distinction were Sheirene Mae Trinidad Favila and Jhoanna Paola Alano. Ballaran. Ballaran is now a Times reporter, hired even before she graduated when she proved her skills during her internship.
Outstanding Internship Awards were given, aside from Ballaran, to Michael U. Geslani and Michelle P. Symaco.
The other graduates are Mikhail Dmitri U. Geslani, Hannah Joy T. Gregorio, Michelle P. Symaco, and Jorge F. Zamora.
The TMTC also awarded the certificates of completion to members of the third batch of its Journalism Plus internship program, Matthew James F. Balicudiong, Maria Angelique Borja, John Aldrin D.G. Penal, Jennifer Villarico, Jemelyn L. Panis, Reinalyn B. Del Rosario and Shane Ahley C. Gonzales. The program’s Training Coordinator is Times columnist Tita C. Valderama.
The TMTC’s 7th Commencement Exercises was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City and was attended by its officials, faculty members and the graduates’ parents.
Dante “Klink” Ang 2nd, president and chief executive officer of The Manila Times, introduced the commencement speaker, Rene Bas, the paper’s Editor in Chief, and announced his promotion to Publisher-Editor.
In his speech, Bas reminded the new graduates that they must treat every piece of writing they do as a composition.
“Pay attention to your composition skill—whether writing an email to your boy or girl friend or to your mother—or writing a news report. Compose your written work well, so that all its constituent parts are in the right places,” Bas told the graduates.
He called on them to value human life and the truth.
“You must champion the dignity of human persons. It is very important that you must value life, the meaning of truth and goodness,” he said.
“You must be a new person from now on as a professional journalist who will constantly work to ‘give the bread of truth’ to the people… But you will not be this new person if your vision of reality is limited only to things you can see, touch and measure. For the complete reality consists of the natural and the supernatural. You will be a less than truthful journalist if you reject the Divine and erase the people who respect the Divine from reality,” Bas said.
Bas earned his degree in English and Political Science from Far Eastern University. He studied for a master’s degree in Media Studies in New York’s New School for Social Research University, completing all academic requirements with an average of A.
His first job was an editorial assistant in the Manila Times Sunday Magazine.
Bas worked at J. Walter Thompson as its Public Relations Director. He moved on to Hong Kong to work as an associate editor of The Asia Magazine and later associate editor then editor of Orientations, Asia Travel Trade, the English language supplement of a the Chinese daily Tin Tin Yat Po. He wrote articles for the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Standard.
After 21 years of working as a journalist abroad, Bas returned to the Philippines in 1990 to work again with the Times under the new leadership of TMT’s Chairman Emeritus Dante Ang.
Dr. Isagani Cruz, TMTC’s president, reminded the graduates to be “always honest, truthful and thorough” in performing their tasks.
“Remember that you are the voice of the people. Remember that you are the bridge between those in power and the powerless,” he said.
Cruz added that the TMTC graduates “have been privileged to become semi-professional journalists” even while they were still students.
“The Apprenticeship-based undergraduate program in journalism of The Manila Times College is the only one of its kind in Asia and probably in the whole world,” he added.
Times columnist Rigoberto Tiglao, TMTC’s dean, said the graduates’ choice of journalism is a “noble one.”
“It is a profession that is not only a pillar of our democracy, but also a crusade to serve the people, to make our country a better place to live,” Tiglao said in his message.
He said TMTC graduates have learned not only the skills for journalism, but also the spirit of tireless and bold inquiry to arrive at the truth.
“I’m confident that what you learned here will be of invaluable help in your careers, whether they will be in media or elsewhere,” he added.