From the Editor in Chief: The ND-NDB Perspective

From the Editor-in-Chief

NDB’s 57th Year

The Negros Bulletin, which was born in the early 60s as a weekly paper and became a daily publication in 1994 after 72 years of struggle and sacrifice, is one big story of faith, dedication and endurance.

Its founding father Lino V. Moles, the late novelist in the vernacular, newspaperman and bi-lingual journalist (English and Hiligaynon), tapped the business acumen of his partner Santiago S. Alacapa who had good relations in the business sector of the city as a top insurance underwriter as his business manager and partner.

NDB Ed-in-Chief Pert Toga Sr.

After a few months of weekly publication with Editorial and Business office at the second floor of Iris Theater Building on Araneta Street, Bacolod City, Moles and Alacapa decided to hire a fresh high school graduate, 19-year-old Ruperto G. Toga to join them, as circulation manager, proofreader and news reporter of the Negros Bulletin.

It was an upward early challenge for the weekly paper as finances then were scarce and the heavy burden fell on Messrs. Moles and Alacapa who had to shell out their own meager resources to keep the paper a going concern.

The thankless situation went on for years, and the paper encountered seemingly insurmountable odds but the trio’s commitment emboldened them to keep the publication afloat despite troubled waters that confronted them.

Their love for the printed page, determination to serve the information needs of the reading public and the challenges of upholding press freedom further emboldened the “big three” to pursue their calling, aware of their mission to inform, educate and entertain readers through a fair, balanced and fearless advocate of the truth.

Through the years, Negros Bulletin enjoyed popular support as the capital city of Negros Occidental-(Bacolod) also prospered as gateway to sugarlandia, considering that the sugar-producing province accounted for about 60 percent of sugar production in the entire country.

The Philippine sugar industry, however, has eventually become unstable and unpredictable, due to several adverse factors, principally fluctuating world sugar prices, high cost of production, the law of supply and demand, among others.

The economic situation has prompted policy makers to adopt alternative measures to ease the deteriorating impact by resorting to crop diversification, cost-cutting and land reforms.

Despite all these uncertainties, life and the economy remained afloat with the business community finding its own level and competing for survival.

Community newspapers at a time, proliferated and prospered, but during the Martial Law era in the 70s and 80s were ordered closed and while others resurfaced years later like the Negros Bulletin, several others however, had opted to look the other way.

A new breed of journalists and entrepreneurs emerged, and with the modernization of printing processes, the dailies dominated while most weeklies were left with no options but slow down or stop altogether.

Years later, in 1994, the Negros Bulletin leased a second-hand printing plant to come out as a daily publication and now become Negros Daily Bulletin under the management of Santi S. Alacapa as publisher and Ruperto G. Toga as Editor in Chief.

In 1995, the group of mediamen and women formed themselves into a corporation and registered it with the Securities and Exchange Commission with Alacapa as board chairman, Toga as President & Editor in Chief, and eight other incorporators as board members.

At present, veteran journalist Rolando L. Espina is board chairman; Ruperto G. Toga is President and Editor in Chief; Arman P. Toga, editor; W. Henry O. Streegan, Editorial Consultant; Ana Marie T. Garrucho, Managing Editor, Edith B. Colmo & Cyrus M. Garde, news reporters; while H. James Toga and Jun delos Reyes are news reporters-photographers.

Several columnists take turns in writing their columns and opinion pieces on a weekly or twice and thrice a week.

This month of September, NB-NDB marks its 57th anniversary – 34 years as a weekly and 23 years as a daily – with more years to go hoping to serve more and more Negrenses and Filipinos as an independent, crusading and no-nonsense advocate for press freedom and democratic principles.

That in brief is our legacy to the younger generation which we vow to attain in the service of our country and our people here and through our NDB website available to all Filipino readers all over the world, where the wonders of modern communications, the Internet is active and available.

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