MB Correspondent Wins At Bright Leaf Journalism Tilt
November 27, 2015

Illicit Trade Strategy and Prevention In-Market Investigation Super Visor Atty. Joseph Fabul, San Jose Occidental Mindoro Mayor Romulo Festin, Manila Bulletin’s Rizaldy Comanda, Manila Bulletin’s Provincial Editor Nate Barretto and Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Company Corporate Affairs Director Richard James poses for a photo op as Comanda (Center) receives the National’s Best Agricultural News Story, for his “Kalinga Rice Farmers See Better Days” from during the 9th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards Night in Sofitel Manila last Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Dela Cruz)
A Manila Bulletin (MB) correspondent received an award during the ninth Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards Night held at the Sofitel Manila in Pasay City on Thursday night.

Rizaldy Comanda grabbed the Best Agriculture News Story (National) citation for his story titled, “Kalinga Rice Farmers See Better Days with Hybrid Rice Variety,” published on MB’s Luzon News page last July 29, 2015.

The story tackles the various hybrid rice researches and developments initiated by the City Agriculture Office of Tabuk City, Kalinga to improve the rice production of the city’s farmers.

Comanda received a trophy, P20,000, and an Asian trip package. The trophy’s design was based on top-quality, flue-cured Virginia tobacco (or the “Bright Leaf” tobacco), which is planted and harvested in the Philippines.

“First of all, I dedicate this award to our management at MB, as they gave me the chance to be part of MB, and to our editors who trusted in my abilities as a correspondent,” Comanda said. “[I also dedicate this] to all my colleagues in MB… We must not lose hope, and continue our work.”

MB photographer Jojo Riñoza’s three photo entries, namely “Cooked Salt,” “Saltlands,” and “Asin,” were selected as among the finalists for this year’s Agriculture Photo of the Year award.

“With the Bright Leaf Awards, we share this passion and commitment to the people who have shaped the discourse and brought into light critical agriculture issues through their published and broadcasted stories and captured images – stories and narratives that help transform the industry to create positive impact to the country,” PMFTC, Inc. President Roman Militsyn said in his speech.

Other winners were “Beyond the Fields” by Cherry Ann T. Lim of Sun Star Cebu for Agriculture Story of the Year; “Potential of Tobacco Industry In Central Luzon” by Ian Ocampo Flora of Sun Star Pampanga for Tobacco Story of the Year; “Bumper Crop” by David Chan Leprozo of Manila Standard Today for Agriculture Photo of the Year; “In a Field of Green” by Frank Cimatu for Tobacco Photo of the Year; “Square Foot Urban Gardening: Saving Space, Saving Water, Saving Effort, Saving Earth” by Ronde Alicaya of DXCC RMN – Cagayan de Oro’s show “Straight to the Point” for Best Agriculture Radio Program or Segment; “Cateel, Davao Oriental Episode” by producer Karren Verona of ABS-CBN Davao’s show “Agri Tayo Dito” for Best Agriculture TV Program or Segment; “Baguio Encouraged to Look at Bamboo’s Several Potentials” by Hanna Lacsamana of Baguio Midland Courier for Best Agriculture News Story (Regional); “Saving Rice Varieties: One grain at a time” by Anselmo Roque of Philippine Daily Inquirer for Best Agriculture Feature Story (National); and “Ending Hunger” by Henrylito Tacio of Edge Davao for Best Agriculture Feature Story (Regional).

For this year, Mauricio Victa of Business Mirror received the Oriental Leaf Award, for winning five Bright Leaf awards: Agriculture Photo of the Year (2008) for “Soup in Salad”; Tobacco Story of the Year (2012) for “Tobacco Industry Under Siege”; and Tobacco Photo of the Year (2011, 2013, and 2014) for “My Life My Leaf,” “Sun Life Farm,” and “Leaves of Gold,” respectively.

For news and feature categories, the criteria for judging were relevance (25 percent); impact (25 percent); objectivity (25 percent); research (15 percent); and style (10 percent).

For photo categories, the criteria for judging were composition and relevance (40 percent); creativity (30 percent); and impact (30 percent).

For television and radio categories, the criteria for judging were relevance (30 percent); impact (30 percent); research (20 percent); and objectivity (20 percent).

Headed by veteran journalist Ninez Cacho-Olivares, this year’s Board of Judges was composed also of Regina Abuyuan, Jose Enrique Soriano, Francis Abraham, Joel Pablo Salud, Isabelita Reyes, J. Albert Gamboa, Conrado Banal, Jay Directo, Ces Drilon, and Alfred Yuson.

Launched in 2007 by the Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (PMPMI), the annual Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards is continued by PMFTC, Inc., a business combination between PMPMI and Fortune Tobacco Corporation.

From 82 entries it received eight years ago, the Bright Leaf awards body accepted more than 600 entries this year.

“As an agri-business enterprise, PMFTC believes that the Filipino people must be made aware of developments in farming and agricultural practices, rural development, food and food science, and various socio-economic and political stories that affect the sector. Therefore, it is just right that we bring focus to these stories, and help others find unlimited business opportunities to help the industry flourish,” Militsyn said.

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