Negosentro | by Cris Delle Gabion, Correspondent | The Negosentro Media Group has announced the launch of its “Filipino Legacy Publications” under their division Herald Media Group. In a press statement, Group Publisher Homer Nievera, said that he is on a personal crusade to preserve Philippine Media assets in the form of historical media brands that were established by Filipino heroes and historical personalities since the 1800’s.
Among these brands which he is said to have “saved” from being “digitally-poached” are: Succesos Felices, Del Superior Govierno, Diariong Tagalog, Mindanao Herald, and The Philippines Herald. He said that the domain name of famous revolutionary newspaper, La Solidaridad, has already been acquired by a foreign entity.
“It’s such a sad situation, wherein we Filipinos have forgotten to acquire our legacy media brands through the domain registry,” Nievera stated.
He added, “That’s why when I researched the various significant historical newspapers in our nation’s history and found out that there were still some that were up for grabs, I immediately invested in acquiring the domain names and set up the digital versions as a way to honor our forefathers.”
After Tomas Pinpin published the first newsletter (and also regarded as a newspaper) in the Philippines in 1637, the country’s media will mark the quadricentennial of the publication of newspapers in 2037. This was posted on January 7, 2020, on the Facebook Page of the Limabagang Pinpin Museum, which serves as a tribute to Tomas Pinpin. The museum is one of the very few places in the world that still has the first newspaper’s original copy. You can visit this museum to learn more.
The museum said that last January 14, 2020, the existing copy was to be made accessible for inspection as the museum extended a warm welcome to Mr. Louis Smolenaars from the Netherlands who personally inspected the material at the Limbagang Pinpin Museum. After almost 400 years since 400 Filipinos and Spaniards died defending Abucay from the Dutch, Mr. Louis Smolenaars and his friend Mr. Wassily Clavecillas visited to launch the Dutch and Abukenos Friendship Day and create programs in Bataan and the Netherlands to help our Museum form sustainable partnerships.
As told in the Facebook post, Tomas Pinpin provided his compatriots in the Philippines with insights into the brains of their Spanish overlords. Today, he provides us with insights into the minds of Filipinos who lived four hundred years ago.
The oldest newspaper brand currently in his name is Diariong Tagalog. During the time that the Spanish occupied the Philippines, it was a bilingual (Tagalog and Spanish) journal that published patriotic articles. In the year 1882, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Basilio Teodoro Morán, and Pascual H. Poblete were the three individuals responsible for establishing the paper. Francisco Calvo y Móz was the one who funded the publishing of the newspaper. Diariong Tagalog was the first newspaper in the Philippines to publish articles condemning the mistreatment of Spanish friars and calling for the reform of the government. Since it initially published its issue on July 1 of that same year, the newspaper was published for a total of five months.
Del Pilar was the editor of the newspaper and was responsible for publishing the complaints of those who were being persecuted as well as the ongoing reforms in the Spanish administration. Under the alias Laong Laan, Jose Rizal sent an essay to the Philippine newspaper Diariong Tagalog with the patriotic title “El Amor Patrio” (lit. Love of Country). Del Pilar was the one who converted it into Tagalog before it was published in the newspaper on August 20, 1882.
Del Superior Govierno
Established in Manila on August 8, 1811, Del Superior Govierno is touted as the first Philippine newspaper. In an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer by columnist Ambeth Ocampo, Wenceslao Emilio Retana’s El Periodismo Filipino — where all histories of the Philippine press and journalism begin — it is with Del Superior Govierno that the book begins. This, according to Ocampo, is the reason why Del Superior Govierno has come to be regarded as the first newspaper to be published in the Philippines.
Del Superior Govierno, whose full name is Gaceta del Superior Govierno (which literally translates to “Gazette of the High Government”), is sometimes cited as the first newspaper in the Philippines in historical accounts and textbooks. However, it is believed that the newspaper did not include any content from the Philippines because it was a compilation of events taking place in Spain at that time. Despite this, the newspaper was published in the Philippines.
It would appear that its exclusive focus was on reporting on political developments in Europe and how such developments would impact Spain’s interests. This newspaper was born as a result of the considerable fear that prevailed in the Philippines during the years 1809 and 1811 regarding the grave events that were occurring in Europe during that time period. It appears to have been released as a result of private initiative, and it was most likely given away without charge in a very restricted manner. It did not have a consistent publication date and was only released when there was news available from Europe. It was only active for a period of time spanning a total of six months, during which time a total of fifteen issues were released. The very last issue was published on February 7, 1812, and it carried a statement that said, “If new and interesting material is received this newspaper will be continued weekly, but in the meantime, it will be suspended until some correspondence is received.”
Governor Fernandez del Forgueras was the one who initiated the publication. It was also the first newspaper to contain in its layout the name of the publication, the day it was published, and the location where it was printed.
The Mindanao Herald is considered the first newspaper in Mindanao and began with its November 14, 1903 issue and was published then by the Mindanao Herald Pub. Co. It was circulating in Zamboanga City and surrounding areas. Primarily set in the English language, it brought forth news during the American occupation.
Every issue has eight pages, with the exception of the one dated August 12, 1905, which has sixteen. In addition to news updates on the Russo-Japanese War, the daily, which is published in English and targeted mostly at an American readership, includes articles on the island of Mindanao, Zamboanga City, and the Philippines as a whole. The American Secretary of War, William Howard Taft, traveled to Zamboanga, which is the capital of Mindanao, on August 12, 1905, and the entire issue of August 12 is dedicated to his trip. It covered the itinerary of events for August 17 and 18, as well as support for the establishment of Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago as a separate territory, a theme that occurred in a number of different issues of the publication. Very few copies survive in very good condition, to date.
The Philippines Herald
Manuel L. Quezon, who was serving as Senate President at the time, established the Philippines Herald in August 8, 1920 in order to voice the perspective of Filipinos who were fighting for independence. A number of individuals who had previously worked for the Manila Times, including Narciso Ramos, Antonio Escoda, Bernardo Garcia, and Jose P. Bautista, joined the Herarld in the month of August 1920. Additionally, in this same year, the very first women’s magazine to be published in the English language was called Women’s Outlook. Publication was suspended January 2, 1942 at the height of World War II, until July 9, 1949.
Aside from establishing the Tribune and purchasing the Manila Times in April 1925, Among Roces was also responsible for the acquisition of the Manila Times. The Tribune, which was led by Mauro Mendez as its editor-in-chief, published articles on a variety of issues, including the peasant uprising, the dangers of communism, the waste of government finances, and the advantages of having English as the medium of teaching in schools.
After the Philippines was granted its full independence, the efforts of our local newspapers to write about wrongdoing in our country shifted. This was because of the newfound freedom. They do it with the best of intentions, but the news they report is often one-sided and not backed up by evidence. As further time passed, wealthy and prominent families eventually acquired possession of these newspapers.
In 1972, when Ferdinand Marcos was at the height of his dictatorship and Martial Law was in full effect, the assets of these newspapers (including The Philippines Herald) were seized and distributed among his “cronies” and close associates. The Philippines Herald officially closed on September 22, 1972.
According to Nievera, they have also included other Filipino blogs they have on the Herald Media Group division. He said that this move was to create avenues for Filipino language as a writing medium into mainstream digital media and not regard them as alternative media.
“Why do we need to just put out solely English-language blogs or publications when the majority of readers want more Filipino content which they comprehend easier?” says Nievera
The digital titles he was referring to include: Online Manila, Juan Kabayan, Filipino Guardian, Bravo Filipino, Yo Manila, Basta Babae, and AgriTech PH. The latest legacy title that’s in the works is Diaro De Manila.