The Filipino Reporter celebrates 40th year with anniversary galaBy Elton Lugay
“Anniversaries afford us a clear-eyed view for stock-taking. Not so much on delving past mistakes (there are a few) but more so on what needs to be done to make ourselves better than we had been.”
With these words, Filipino Reporter publisher Bert Pelayo welcomed his newspaper’s 300-plus well-wishers on its 40th anniversary gala November 10 at the Astoria World Manor in Queens.
FR was founded in New York City on July 2, 1972. Three months later, Martial Law was declared in the Philippines.
“As we celebrate our 40th year of community service, let me profusely thank you for making this happen. For without you, your encouraging words, your undiminished support, we would have not reached this publishing milestone,” said Pelayo.
“So now we begin life at 40: Afresh, animated with verve and vigor to pursue our unwavering editorial mission fairly, fearlessly, factually.”
Consul General Mario de Leon stressed the paper’s vital contribution in helping “shape the direction and voice of the Filipino American community.”
“In the last four decades, the Filipino Reporter has been a witness to many seminal events and continues to serve as a chronicler of the dynamic interactions, initiatives, projects and advocacies in the Filipino American community.”
“The Reporter is an enduring proof of the critical role played by the print media in the evolution of the Filipino American community.
Community champion Loida Nicolas Lewis greeted Pelayo with passion showing in their friendship “Bert, you always see things with discernment and perspicacity. And you print it as you see it without bias or prejudice,” she said in her speech.
“FR allows the Filipinos in the diaspora to gain knowledge of the Philippines and the United States, focusing on people and events that affect the Filipino American community. Thus, the Filipino reading FR regularly is empowered to make judgments that affects his/her self-image as a Filipino in the diaspora. And that is a good thing,” she continued.
The five-hour event included a celebratory luncheon, awarding of community leaders and musical numbers.
Broadway stars of Les Miz fame Adam Jacobs and Ali Ewoldt performed numbers from the “Phantom of the Opera” and “King and I.” They also used the occasion to promote their Valentine show on February 23 at The Town Hall on Times Square.
The program was emceed by ABC 7 news anchor Nina Pineda, Lito Pernia of Friends Indeed with Jocelyn Bernal Ochoa.
GMA International was the event’s exclusive media sponsor where its East Coast representative Grace Hufano-Labaguis was among the publisher’s Ruby Prize awardees.