The Northern Philippine Times on its 14th year

>> Sunday, June 1, 2014

Alfred P. Dizon

It had been a roller coaster ride for the Northern Philippine Times since the first copy was printed 14 years ago. The NPT started from less than P1,000 but since we recounted this many times over, we will skip it this time. The years have been a lesson in the making. There were good times and bad, as a song goes. Until now, we are still learning the ropes. But such is life, there are always things to learn.
There have been a lot of writers who graced the NPT’s pages. Some have gone on,  like the brilliant but eccentric Ross Tipon, to write in the great newspaper in the sky. Others went their merry ways looking for greener pastures or ventures.

To mention a few, there was Bony Bengwayan with his witty, easy to understand writing style. He worked then with the Health department and is now with a nongovernment organization. Cesar Bonilla, who covered Ilocos Norte has since migrated to Hawaii. Then of course there was George Manzano with his wife, who both worked with the regional Civil Service Commission but still found time to write religious and inspiring articles. 
Tony Vallejo, who covered Nueva Ecija is now running his own newspaper in the province.Yes even lawyer Eugene Balitang also wrote a column before he became governor of Ifugao.How time flies. Hilarion Pawid, former mayor of La Trinidad, Benguet also has a column every now and then when he is not busy in New Jersey USA. His son Jorge also wrote a column when he was then with the mayor’s office under then Mayor Nestor Fongwan, now governor of Benguet.

Jorge is now staying with his family in California and according to friends who visit him there, he always longs that a genuine Filipino passenger jeepney would pass by his house while he sits on his porch.  Anyhow, there are still the oldtimers like Ramon Dacawi, chief of the public information office of Baguio City government and newsman-musician March Fianza who are still with us.
Credit it to Ramon, but many of his articles have saved many a life particularly kidney, liver and heart patients. Good Samaritans read the pieces and contributed funds immensely to save patients and make life better for them. The tireless Julian Chees, former world karate champion is one of them along with his students in Germany where he now resides.

Julian a native of Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province earlier trained at the YMCA in Baguio under sensei Edgard Kapawen, also from Maligcong in Shotokan karate or knife hand style, Karate is gentle art, Julian said one in one of his visits. But then, one could see his gentle heart is innate in the way he talks and gives.

Ike Seneres still churns out insights on development while Perry Diaz still amazes us with his incisive, analytical pieces.Gina my younger sister still covers Mountain Province while our latest addition – Liza Gaspar churns out financial advice.
Roger Sinot, the president of the Republic of Asin and owner of the original and still the best “organic” resort in Tuba, Benguet, also joined us early last year. Try his natural resort and that of his wife Karen. With its hot suphur waters, could sure cure the blues and reinvigorate tired souls.

          As he always says wherever we go there to ease the stress, “Your pleasure is our business.” He will do that for anybody. But don’t let his friendly demeanor fool you. He is a sharp guy being a former college professor who also worked with the then Dept. of Education Culture and Sports now called the Department of Education.
There are a lot of writers who have graced the pages of the Northern Philippine Times, and pardon Yours Truly if we forgot to mention some. In panic times like beating the deadline, we suffer memory lapses or maybe it is because of age.

There have also been constructive critics who have since passed on and joined the great newspaper in the sky.

They include the  late Peppot Ilagan, former editor of the Gold Ore; Cordillera Post publisher and editor Steve Hamada,  Sunstar editor Willy Cacdac;Gerry Evangelista, publisher-editor of Northern Tribune and many more.

Former Philippine News Agency north Luzon bureau chief Domecio Cimatu is still there with his acid tounge, but now, I guess,  he has mellowed and has grudging respect  for the NPT, ahem.

As the NPT reaches its 14th year, we would like to thank everybody who in one way or the other helped in keeping the paper afloat particularly our friends, acquaintances, advertisers and readers. To all of you Thank You so much!


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