TODAY, October 11, 2015, The Manila Times is celebrating its 117th year of existence.
The newspaper has lived through many adversities caused by dictatorial and merely authoritarian government officials, national financial upheavals and even natural disasters. It also stands firm through 15 governmental administrations of the Philippines.
In August 2001, Dr. Dante A. Ang, acquired The Times and gave it new vigor through a renewed sense of mission—that is to provide for its readers who are decision-makers and young business professionals. Drawn to The Times’ fair and incisive treatment of news, a large proportion of these readers comes from the Class A bracket while majority belong to middle-income families.
After its relaunch in 2001, The Times soon became the fourth-largest newspaper in the country as it continuously win new readers for being an independent, reliable and hard-hitting newspaper.
Always raising its standards, the newspaper has received recognition from the Jaime Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism and the Philippine Press Institute for its columns and its balanced news. It has also been a 10-year Superbrand awardee since 2005.
Sections of The Times
The Manila Times is a daily broadsheet with News, Opinion, Business, Sports, Lifestyle and Entertainment sections. It is also a vehicle for the weekly publication namely The Sunday Times Magazine featuring Filipino Champions, Life&Times, Show Times and Arts Awake, as well as other weekly specials namely Marketplace, Expats & Diplomats and Fast Times.
Considered as the newspaper’s most popular section is the Opinion and Editorial (OpEd) containing analyses of major news events, incisive columns by opinion writers who are hailed as the best in the land and letters and comments from readers.
Today, The Times’ OpEd is considered by many to be the country’s best. Its popularity surged even more in 2013 when former Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao’s hard-hitting columns began to appear.
Other outstanding and most-read columnists of The Times are Francisco Tatad, Yen Makabenta, Ricardo Saludo, Rene Saguisag, Brigido “Dodo” Dulay, Ernesto “Boy” Herrera, Gus Lagman, Marlen Ronquillo and Efren Danao.
The other columnists with established prestige and following are Fr. Shay Cullen of PREDA and rescue of sex-abuse victims fame; Katrina Stuart Santiago who skewers film, TV and media celebrities; Fr. Ben Beltran of Smokey Mountain fame; Nicole CuUnjieng; Ma. Lourdes Tiquia; Teresita Tanhueco-Tumapon; veteran reporter and Times College’s training coordinator Tita Valderama; and migration specialist Cris Aranda.
Election-system experts Gus Lagman, Nelson Celis and Lito Averia are The Times columnists who spearheaded the nation’s fight against the destroyer of our country’s electoral democracy Smartmatic and its PCOS machines approved by the Commission on Elections.
Scientist Dr. Giovanni Tapang and his Agham companions, Urban Planner-Architect Felino Palafox, heritage advocate Maribel Ongpin, former Ambassador Jose Romero and his fellow former ambassadors in the PAFI foundation, grammarian Jose Carillo and Homobono Adaza add to the prestigious roster of The Times columnists.
A special favorite of readers is the free legal advice column of Chief Persida Acosta of the Public Attorney’s Office.
For excellent essays and statesman-like analysis of the political economy and world affairs, rely on Juan Gatbonton who writes at least once a month for The Times.
Meanwhile, The Times’ Business section updates readers on the latest local and foreign economic news. It also carries the highly useful classified ads section.
Top writers include Ben Kritz, one of our country’s best business columnists, and Emeterio Perez, who is without peer in assessing the stock market and analyzing corporations, E. J. Lopez, Ben Teehankee and Mike Wootton, to name a few. Together with other experts of the Rural Bankers Association, they provide the business and industrial community with savvy insights, advanced readings of economic and financial trends and practical business advice.
Then there are the Lifestyle and Entertainment sections that give The Times a lighter side. Among its various topics are fashion, beauty, food, travel, show business and pop culture. Both sections always deliver the latest happenings and newest faces in the lifestyle and entertainment scenes.
Meanwhile, the Sports section offers a comprehensive coverage of local and international athletic events. It also features the best Filipino athletes who compete here and abroad.
Another important section of the newspaper is its multi-awarded Fast Times, or the Motoring section. Throughout the years, it has been a valuable source of information on automobile trends. For this, it has clinched all the major automotive journalism awards given by prestigious organizations from 2010 to 2015.
Restoring TMT’s old glory
For most of the country’s modern period, The Manila Times was the No. 1 newspaper in the Philippines. The proclamation of martial law in 1972, however, put an end to that distinction. The Times was shut down until the Marcos government fell in 1986.
Since Dr. Ang bought the paper in 2001, the Chairman Emeritus has aimed to restore The Times’ old glory. The new management, headed by Dante “Klink” Ang 2nd as president, CEO and Executive Editor, is keeping to that same strategic objective.
To increase its market share, The Times is constantly improving its editorial content and layout. It also organizes active promotions and advertising campaigns.
It also builds and strengthens networks and linkages with business and government leaders. It conducts regular roundtable interviews with CEOs, Cabinet secretaries, ambassadors and other newsmakers of the day to be reported as news and features.
It also carries an online edition at www.manilatimes.net, which is considered as one of the earliest online news site having first launched almost two decades ago. (See related story on page E1)
This year, as part of the 117th anniversary, The Times has created its digital edition, which offers the complete replica of the daily print edition on the Internet. It can now be accessed for free on its trial run at digital.manilatimes.net. (See related story on D7).
Competent and expert editorial board
The Manila Times’ editorial board is composed of competent editors and consultants with exemplary talent and experience as journalists.
Awarded as an Outstanding Professional in 2014 by Superbrands, Dante Ang 2nd, also known as “Klink,” is currently the president and CEO, and concurrently the executive editor.
His exposure to journalism began in the late 1970s when his father, Dr. Ang, started publishing a small weekly paper and monthly magazines. After working as a reporter for the Tulsa Tribune in Oklahoma, he became responsible for the distribution outlets in Italy for Diwaliwan, a monthly magazine for overseas Filipino workers. Later, he was also appointed as Foreign Information Officer at the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto until 1997. After publishing Kabayan, the first Filipino broadsheet in the Philippines, his family acquired The Manila Times.
Besides his newspaper work, he also teaches journalism subjects at The Manila Times College, of which he is also the vice chairman, and at the Graduate School of Management of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
He finished his secondary education in Sharpstown High School in Houston, Texas, in 1986 and his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University in Commerce. He also has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from De La Salle University and is a candidate for a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Santo Tomas.
Former Editor-in-Chief and current publisher and editor is Rene Q. Bas who now handles the OpEd Section. A seasoned journalist with more than 40 years of editing and writing experience, his first job with The Times was with weekly The Sunday Times Magazine.
He then worked with the world’s leading ad agency at the time, J. Walter Thompson (JWT), as a publicity writer and rose to become head of the JWT PR department, while contributing to the Free Press, the Graphic and still, The Sunday Times Magazine.
Living in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, Bas was also a journalist for the Asia Magazine, Pacific Communications, and editor for Asia Travel Trade, Orientations, Insight and Media magazine, among others.
He returned to the Philippines in 1990 and wrote a column for The Manila Standard. In 1999 he joined the resurrected The Manila Times and has been with the paper since then. He is also Dean of The Manila Times College.
Finally, there is Editor-in-Chief Nerilyn Tenorio who is a graduate of Journalism with more than 10 years of editing experience for global and regional news organizations based in Hong Kong.
Hired from Manila by Agence France-Presse unit AFX-Asia, she moved to Hong Kong 14 years ago to join its regional sub-editors desk, which handled economic and business news from more than 10 bureaus positioned across Asia.
The Philippines she left behind was also once a darling beat for the international media as its economy struggled to get back on its feet following the collapse of the Marcos dictatorship. She wrote reports about a vibrant stock market, “raring to take off” in the early 1990s. The economic and business beat provided her solid grounding as a correspondent for Reuters Manila before she moved over to the editing desk of AFX in Hong Kong.
But outside the financial beat, the Philippines in the post-Marcos era also offered her a rich source of dramatic news stories as a reporter. From the many failed coup attempts against then President Corazon Aquino and the hurried departure in 1991 of American soldiers from the US military bases while Mount Pinatubo was erupting in the background, the Philippines to her was a bittersweet, colorful story to tell.
Today, back home after serving foreign news agencies abroad, she sees the challenge of dispatching news fairly about the Philippines’ continuing struggle to unshackle its grassroots economy from the effects of frequent natural disasters and deeply entrenched corruption in high and low places of governance.
The devoted editorial staff
As devoted as the editorial board is the editorial staff with Ares Gutierrez as Managing Editor; Leena Calso Chua as News Editor; Romy Marinas as Senior Copy Editor; Tessa Mauricio Arriola as Lifestyle and Entertainment Editor and The Sunday Times Magazine Editor; Arnold Belleza as Editorial Consultant; Peter Conrad Carino as Deputy Editor; Ben Kritz as World Editor; Perry Gil Mallari as Sports Editor; Anjo Perez as Motoring Editor; Lea Manto-Beltran as Supplements Editor; and Rene Dilan as Photo Editor.
They are supported by an able and competent deskmen Maria Bernadette Parco, Maricor Zapata and Fatima Cielo Cancel; and editorial assistants Raadee Sausa and Sthefanny Baylosis, researcher Carmella Escota and proofreader Kenn Anthony Mendoza.
Also aggressive and resourceful are The Times’ reporters namely Senior Reporters Joel Sy Egco and Jomar Canlas; beat reporters Jefferson Antiporda, Willian Depasupil, Llanesca Panti, Bernice Camille Bauzon, Neil Alcober, Catherine Valente, Jaime Pilapil, Ma. Reina Leanne Tolentino, Fernando Marasigan, Iza Gabrielle Iglesias, Jacqueline Bouvier Arias, Nelson Badilla and Michael Delizo; business reporters Catherine Talavera, James Konstantin Galvez, Kristyn Nika Lazo, Aberon Voltaire Palana, Mayvelin Caraballo, Rosalie Periabras, Ritchie Horario, Maria Laura Angeles; Lifestyle reporters Euden Valdez and Christina Alpad; and sports reporters Josef Ramos, Emil Noguera, Jaelle Nevin Reyes and Jean Russel David.
The Times’ timely and catchy photographs are produced by the Photo department with chief Renato Dilan together with Russell Palma, Miguel Antonio de Guzman, Ruy Martinez, Mike de Juan and Angela Gabrielle Palmones.
Layout and graphic needs are also improved constantly by the Layout Department led by Art Director Peter Nathaniel Baga and his team composed of Maria Theresa Galapate, Zenaida Erispe, Enrico Berata, Marjorie Dizon, Rex Sardinia, Rey Tamayo Jr., Guian Karlo Avante and Graphic Artist Miller Achurra.
Sales and marketing group
With the new Chief Operating Officer for Sales and Marketing Blanquita “Blanca” Calilung Mercado, the Advertising and Circulation departments are set to improve operations.
The Advertising department’s efficient and aggressive staff is led by Danny Ocampo, vice president for marketing and sales. He is assisted by advertising executives Mon Avorque, Dennis Bongon, Arnel Caguingin, Cynthia Camarse, Gemma Cuenca, Violy dela Cruz, Elvie Dequina, Catherine Lambina, Evelyn Mercado, Elaine Tan, Tony Velasco, Melchor Velasquez and Virginia Punzalan. The department is supported by advertising desk staff Rufina Caponpon and Norwina Camacho, Advertising Editorial Assistant Gladys Altamirano, Advertising Assistant Aurabel Salas, and Messenger Albino Terrayo.
Meanwhile, the Circulation department is poised to increase the distribution of The Times nationwide as it welcomes a new director, Vince Cruz. He has 10 personnel in his team; Leo Bautista (Circulation Manager), Princess Adaro and Katrina Gasgonia (Circulation Assistants), Angel Naguit, Edison Camarines and Noel Sahagun (Asstistant Circulation Managers) and Jhun Bariso, Albert Santos, Ronald Elardo and Randolf Panganiban (Riders).
Together, they see to it that The Times is distributed to the right places at the right time by knowing each rider’s route per day of delivery. The department is also responsible in requesting purchase orders and issuance of receipts.
Efficient administrative staff
The Manila Times is also kept running by the Human Resources (HR) and Finance, Credit and Collection, Management Information Systems (MIS) and Pre-Press and Production departments.
The HR Department, or simply HRD, takes care of hiring, keeping monthly contributions and most important, attending to employees’ concerns. Behind The Times’ HRD are Ma. Cristina Ambas as HR Head alongside assistants Jannet Nebrida and Irish de Guzman.
Ambas also serves as head of the Finance department whose top function is budgeting. The department also releases and prepares checks or payrolls and takes care of the cash flow of the company.
There are six members in this department namely Ermina de Guzman as the payroll staff, Josephine Horii and Krischel Fabriga as accounting staff and Jovito Ocampo and Anthony Ambay as messengers.
Meanwhile, the Credit and Collection department is in charge of billing, invoicing and collecting copies of The Times. The people behind it include department head Evelyn Fauni, Elmer Gonzales who takes charge of billing, Roman Silmaro and Ben Tsiongkiao who serve as Advertising Collectors, Edgar Penido and Bongbong Claro who are Circulation Collectors, staff Eden del Rosario and April Hapiz and night cashier Herbert Mejillla.
MIS provides information technology support for the whole company by maintaining the system infrastructure. It is also responsible for ensuring layout quality before the issue for the day is sent to printing. It is composed of Sherwin Arnaiz, Mary Grace Cortez and supervisor Severino Frayna.
Meanwhile, the Prepress Department is composed of Rolly Borabo and Rudy Castueras who takes care of the printing plate ready for mounting at the printing press. Finally, the paper is completed in the Production Department.