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A History of Journalism in the Philippines: Post Liberation Period (6 of 11)

When Manila was freed on February 3, 1945, the press was also liberated, not only from censorship, but also from the notion that newspapers must be a million peso corporations. Vicente Albano Pacis remembered that approximately 250 newspapers and periodicals were published right after the Japanese occupation.

Publishers during this period were the Roxas syndicate – Light, Balita, and Daily News; the Standard Publishing House – Ang Pilipino and Daily Standard; the PSP Publishing – Bagong Buhay, Liberty News, and Voz de Manila; and the Roces chain of newspapers – Liwayway, Evening Post, and Manila Times.

Other post war newspapers were the Chua’s Courier, the Cojuangco’s Manila Tribune, the Del Fierro’s Star Reporter, the Mendez’s Morning Sun, and the Subido’s Manila Post. The US Armed Forces also published the Yank, the Daily Pacifican, and the Star and Stripes and distributed condensed editions of the Times and the Newsweek

The US Army Office of War Information in Leyte published the Manila Free Philippines, the first post-liberation newspaper, on February 9, 1945. It was edited by Frits Marquardt, Philippine Free Press former editor, and was distributed free until March 12, 1945. It ceased publication on September 3, 1945 when privately owned newspapers were published.

On April 23, 1945, Ramon Roces resumed the publication of the Liwayway and its sister publications: Bannawag for the Ilocano speaking provinces of Luzon, Bicolonian for the Bicol speaking provinces of the Bicol region, Bisaya for the Cebuano speaking provinces of the Visayas and Mindanao, and Hiligaynon, for the Ilonggo speaking provinces of Panay and Negros. This group of weekly vernacular magazines formed the Ramon Roces Publication, Inc.

With a capital of PhP6 000 from the Manila Post and the Philippine Tribune rebel staff members, the Manila Chronicle, a hard hitting and politically conscious newspaper published by Manuel Villanueva and edited by Anacleto Benavides and Ernesto del Rosario, started as the People’s Newspaper in April 1945. Later, Eugenio Lopez Sr. acquired the newspaper when he sought congressional support for the sugar industry.

Following the Lopez takeover, the Manila Chronicle acquired a new offset printing press and a fleet of delivery vehicles that increased national circulation by 100 percent. The newspaper came out daily with at least 20 pages that included business section and provincial supplements. Del Rosario continued as associate editor though Pedro Amaguin and Anacleto Benavides were recruited to serve the same position. Before martial law, it had made itself as a newspaper of high quality.

At least 40 newspapermen who met at the Manila Jockey Club founded the Philippine Newspaper Guild on May 4, 1945. Its committee members were Cipriano Cid, chairperson; Renato Constantino, secretary; and Jose Lansang, Vicente Navarro, Amado Hernandez, Roberto Villanueva, and Hermenegildo Atienza, members. Its officers were Cipriano Cid, president; Jose Lansang, executive vice president; Amado Hernandez, first vice president; Ralph Hawkins, second vice president; Eugenio Santos, third vice president; and Roberto Anselmo, secretary-treasurer.

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