The 1st Bantala UP Media Excellence Awards was held last March 23, 2022 at the Little Theater of the University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo City. This is the first award-giving body for mass media and communications in Western Visayas and Bacolod Blogger Sigrid bagged 3 honors in the digital media category. She is the only winner from Bacolod City. Read more.
Mommy Sigrid’s Similar Awards:
The 1st Bantala UPV Media Excellence Awards
During the height of the pandemic, University of the Philippines Visayas Chancellor Dr. Clement Camposano and Dr. Zoilo Andrada toyed with the idea of holding mass media awards. Thus, the 1st Bantala UPV Media Excellence Awards came to be.
Prof. Gerthrode Tan-Mabilog, one of the screeners and the host of the event said, “Bantala aims to recognize media content addressing national challenges in the region.” It is the first award-giving body for mass media and communications in Western Visayas in this time when the spread of misinformation and disinformation is rampant.
The Bantala awards seek to recognize “outstanding media practitioners in Western Visayas.” As the name suggests, Bantala is to announce and publish Ilonggo journalists in the likes of Graciano Lopez-Jaena, Flavio Zarragoza Cano, and Conrado Norada. Dr. Andrada says that they are the embodiment of a progressive, candid, critical, and passionate journalist with an exemplary contribution to society and in maintaining democracy.
Meanwhile, Dr. Camposano said that the “free, unfettered flow of information (is) instrumental to a free society. We naively look forward to a new era of political freedom.” However, he says that the difference nowadays is that information is digitally-enabled. Instead of us searching for information, information finds us because of social media algorithms. This is where modern journalists come in: to fight misinformation with fact-checking initiatives. They are not only “learning to use digital platforms but also acquiring the technical skills necessary to operate in this new ecosystem.”
The distinguished guests of the awards are Her Excellency Laure Beaufils, British Ambassador to the Philippines, and Maria Ressa, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The latter is also the Co-founder and CEO of Rappler.
Both are champions of journalism.
Beaufils says that it is apt to celebrate journalists every day because of their public role in “providing citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.”
Meanwhile, Ressa said that it is the responsibility of journalists to fight for facts because, in the past, it was merely content that was rewarded. However, the digital age has separated content from distribution, which led to disinformation. She said that most Filipinos spend more time on Facebook and the information that is shown to them is dependent on algorithms. But sadly, the algorithms favor lies, anger, and hate over facts.
That is the reason why both distinguished ladies are for the rewarding of the bearers of truth in this digital world.
#GetVaxxedBCD by Bacolod Blogger Sigrid
The #GetVaxxedBCD by yours truly came from a deep sense of despair. Early last year, I wrote about surviving the pandemic but I spoke too soon. The Delta variant happened and my elderly in-laws were infected in September 2021. They were unvaccinated. After 30 days of fighting the virus, they succumbed to the complications brought about by the virus.
When they got sick, hubby and I took it as our personal cause to encourage other families to get the vaccine. Hence the article: Practical Reasons to Get the COVID Vaccine in this Pandemic. Among the 11 of us in the household, all the vaccinated members were spared, including the one who took care of my in-laws.
The vaccination advocacy resonated with locals and it encouraged many to get the jab. It also motivated others to campaign for the vaccine within their families, friends, and workplace for a safer city.
This passion campaign was awarded three times in the 1st Bantala UPV Media Excellence Awards for its relevance in this time of the pandemic. Despite the bashing I got, it was a positive campaign to bring about changes and solutions to the pandemic by the sharing of factual information from a scientist and medical experts. It is just so gratifying because the vaccination information campaign has come full circle. This is the most memorable Women’s Month for me. ~
1st Bantala UPV Media Excellence Awards Complete List of Winners
- Story of the Year for Radio: Elena Pabiona
- In-Depth Report of the Year: Runelyn Rocio Jamolo
- Story of the Year for Print: Rhick Lars Vladimer Albay
- In-Depth Report of the Year for Print: Nestor Burgos Jr.
- Story of the Year for Blog: Maria Sigrid Lo
- In-Depth Report of the Year for Blog: Maria Sigrid Lo
- Story of the Year Award for Website: Jun Ariolo Aguirre
- In-Depth Report of the Year for Website: Nestor Burgos Jr.
- Story of the Year for Social Media: Ted Aldwin Ong
- In-Depth Report of the Year for Social Media: Maria Sigrid Lo
The Nonoy Espina Journalism Award
The late journalist and UPV alumnus Jose Jaime “Nonoy” Espina was also given a posthumous award for his exemplary life and work as a journalist. The award was received by his family. He was involved with the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines’ advocacy for press freedom and advancement of media protection and safety.
An award dedicated to the late journalist, the Nonoy Espina Journalism Award, was then given to Nestor Burgos, Jr., who has embodied what Espina fought for in the last three decades.