Let Journalism Thrive: A rare night of jammin’ with journalists

ON THE OCCASION of the World Press Freedom Day, journalists in Davao staged a mini-concert last Saturday, May 2, in the city’s People’s Park.

Jammin’ with Journalists had the city’s print, radio, online, and TV journalists (and their friends) take a break from the day’s busy workload to dance, sing, and be merry.


THEA Pitogo and band.


BOYET Castillo, “Freeze” columnist of Mindanao Times

But before the jammin’ started, Jefrey Tupas, chair of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, reminded the crowd the reason for the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day.

He said “everyday it appears that the media world is getting more and more exciting, dynamic, demanding. The pace of journalism is as fast as the wind and its face changing rapidly. But threats to journalism and press freedon are staring at us in the face coldly, sending everyone the chilling message of vulnerability, lack of economic security, tenurial stability, and the space to exercise our freedom, slowly constricting. The truth is, the Philippines remains to be one of the countries unsafe for journalists to practice their profession.”


MAYMAY Benedicto (ABS-CBN) and Yas Ocampo (Mindanao Times)


JEFREY Tupas, chair of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines-Davao chapter

The night was a special occasion, the opening activity which will be followed by a photo exhibit and a forum in the following week.

The fun kicked off as Mindanao Times fitness columnist Niño Calamba led the crowd into frenzy for Zumba.

Thea Pitogo then serenaded the crowd with her ever compelling vocals and original compositions, her music rendered an “indie” appeal to the concert, further drawing in more onlookers. Anne Mendoza likewise did solo, acoustic performances with her mellow accent and the soothing strums of her guitar.


KARLA Stefan Singson



Lovers of literature also joined in the fun; Karla Singson performed poems while Karlo David read aloud a short story. David is a Palanca awardee for short story and recently won the Nick Joaquin Award for literature.

Not to be upstaged, journalists Yas Ocampo (Mindanao Times) and Maymay Benedicto (ABS-CBN), revisited their long dormant relationship with their acoustics and performed equally captivating song numbers that deserved rounds and rounds of applauses.


NIÑO Calamba and UM Fitness dancers


TAKING a break, journalists having fun last Saturday.

Ultimately, Jammin’ with Journalists sent out a message to the public–this year’s World Press Freedom Day theme: Let journalism thrive–towards better reporting, gender equality and media safety in the digital age.

This message, now written in our hearts, are words that keep the people in the media to continue doing what they do onward the future.


CROWD at People’s Park


MAYMAY Benedicto (ABS-CBN), Jefrey Tupas (NUJP), John Saligumba (Davao Today), Paolo Anota (TV5) and Ace (Davao Today).

World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993. It is viewed by many journalists as an opportunity to “celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.”

Jamming with journalists was made possible through the support of the US Embassy in Manila. Providing technical support are Aboitiz Power, Davao Light and Power Co., Globe, PR Works, Park Inn by Radisson Davao, Marco Polo Davao and San Miguel Brewery.