TWELVE ALUMNI from the University of the Philippines-College of Mass Communication (UPCMC) will receive the 2018 Glory Award in honor of the excellence and impact of their work in broadcasting, film, journalism, research and allied disciplines such as social advocacy.
Launched just last year, the “Glory” is UP Masscom’s annual alumni recognition inspired by the legacy of its first dean, Gloria Feliciano. “Our beloved ‘GF’ championed meritocracy and thought leadership. She would have wanted to recognize the outstanding and exemplary communicators produced by our college,” said UPCMC Alumni Association president Malou Choa-Fagar.
The 12 Glory awardees will be presented with sculpted trophies during the UPCMC annual homecoming on October 6. This year’s seven-member board of jurors included film & television director Joel Lamangan, former CNN Philippines and ANC news director Jing Magsaysay, Public Relations Society of the Philippines president Ritzi Ronquillo, Manila Standard associate editor and journalism professor Chin Wong, Oxfam director for Asia and 2017 Glory awardee Lan Mercado, UPCMC dean Dr. Elena Pernia, and UP assistant vice-president of public affairs and alumni office director Dr. Wendell Capili.
The Glory awardees for 2018 are:
• Dolores Cheng, who started the Center for Possibilities Foundation, her creative advocacy to gain awareness and acceptance for children with special needs—so that they can “join the mainstream of society and be treated with compassion, respect, and dignity like everybody else.”
• Jose Ramon “Monchet” Olives, who laid the groundwork for The Filipino Channel, a premium cable service available through five satellites around the globe. Under his direction, TFC established its footprint across North America, Europe, Middle East, Japan and Australia, helping realize ABS-CBN’s goal to be of service to Filipinos all over the world.
• Lilybeth Rasonable, GMA Network’s senior vice president and entertainment group head, who was a key figure in the creation of phenomenal primetime TV hits such as Encantadia, Amaya, and the groundbreaking telenovela My Husband’s Lover.
• Florida “Linggit” Tan-Marasigan, a 30-year TV veteran who led the production teams behind successful ABS-CBN sitcoms, such as Home Sweetie Home, Home Along Da Riles, the long-running gag shows Going Bulilit and Banana Split and New York Festivals bronze medalist Abangan Ang Susunod Na Kabanata.
• Beth Uyenco, a media expert who developed and deployed digital research tools and analytics as a senior executive for industry giants Microsoft, comScore, OMD and DDB Needham Worldwide. She has chaired the research committees of several national industry associations in the US.
• Chito Roño, a veteran filmmaker known for his wide genre and pioneering local use of special effects, who directed memorable films including Private Show, Yamashita: The Tiger’s Treasure, Caregiver, Bata, Bata…Paano Ka Ginawa?, Dekada ‘70, Feng Shui 1 and 2, Sukob, and The Healing.
• Pedro “Boo” Chanco III, a well-rounded alumnus who was formerly a network news director, newspaper editor-in-chief, advertising manager and senior vice president of corporate communications. His long-running business column in the Philippine Star gained a faithful readership for fiercely independent but balanced views written in his distinctly relaxed and informative style.
• Mary Grace Dela Peña-Reyes, who oversees all editorial and production aspects of GMA newscasts—including 24 Oras, Saksi, State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, and Balitanghali. The network won many awards while she was in charge of news gathering, including the international Peabody Award, considered as the Pulitzer prize of broadcasting, for GMA’s coverage of super typhoon Yolanda.
• Cecilia “Ces” Oreña-Drilon, the head of content acquisition for ABS-CBN’s lifestyle ecosystem group, who was a host, co-anchor, senior correspondent and senior business reporter of the network’s news and public affairs programs for nearly three decades. She did not quit even after being kidnapped in Sulu province while pursuing a story in 2008.
• Luz Rimban, a versatile journalist who is the executive director of Asian Center for Journalism based in Ateneo de Manila University and co-founder of the online journalism portal Vera Files. She was former supervising producer of the Philippines’ longest-running English newscast The World Tonight, a TV reporter, and a fellow of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, where she wrote or co-wrote three first prize-winning stories in the annual Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Awards.
• Michelle “Maxxy” Santiago, ABS-CBN correspondent in the Middle East and Arabia Times senior reporter, who broke through the region’s limited press freedom by uncovering labor abuse and maltreatment of Filipino workers, resulting in the prosecution of some of the offenders and abusive employers. She was a non-embedded war journalist in Iraq in 2003 and covered the evacuation of Filipinos from the conflicts in Libya and Syria in 2011-2012.
• Photojournalist Fernando Sepe Jr., who directs the multimedia team of ABS-CBN’s news website and previously worked for the Associated Press, shooting video and photos for events worldwide such as Hurricane Katrina in the US, civil unrest in the Middle East and Myanmar, the Indian Ocean tsunami, and the World Cup of football in Germany. In 2018, he topped the excellence in feature writing category of the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Awards for his photo essay on the Philippine government’s war on drugs.