CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Multi-awarded reporter Ian Ocampo Flora won yet another award in the 9th Bright Leaf Journalism Awards 2015 for Tobacco Story of the Year, besting hundreds of entries in the said category.
This is Flora’s second award from the award body as he already won in the 7th Bright Leaf Journalism Awards 2013 for Best Agriculture Feature Story.
His entry this year entitled “The Future of Tobacco in Central Luzon” won for Flora the Tobacco Story of Year Category. Flora, a reporter for Sun.Star Pampanga, was awarded a trophy, iPad and cash prize at the Sofitel Hotel here yesterday. The event was attended by Bright Leaf winners and mass media practitioners from Metro Manila and other provinces. Flora will join other winners in an Asian trip next year as part of the prize for the award.
Launched in 2007, the Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards is the premier competition that seeks out the most important agriculture stories of our time and honors the journalists behind them. It is a competition for published stories, radio segments, television features, and photographs, which created awareness on the most current agricultural issues and the best farming practices on environmental care, safety, and crop sustainability.
Flora’s article chronicles the historical beginnings of the cultivation of tobacco in Central Luzon and its eventual establishment as one of the vital industries that shaped the country and the region’s economy. The article dwells on the past economic and social impact of tobacco in Central Luzon and juxtaposes these with the vibrant prospects for tobacco cultivation – if re-introduced as an industry the region. The many development possibilities for tobacco as a major component for fertilizer, paper production and fish cultivation were also discussed. The potentials of the industry in the light of the economic developments in Central Luzon are indeed too tempting to ignore.
Flora was adjudged as one of the grand winners of the 9th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism awards for his article on the alternative use of Tobacco, not as an ingredient in making cigarettes, but as component in fertilizer production and fish food for inland aqua culture. His other entries to the competition include Angeles City’s “Odourless Piggery Project” in Barangay Balibago as well as Porac town’s “Zero Emission Project” that both received positive scores in their respective categories.
Flora said that the award inspires him to do more in terms of community reporting. He has been the recipient of recognitions and citations from non-government organizations, like Quota and Rotary, for his community reporting.
Flora was awarded with the Provincial Board Resolution 3115 in 2013. The Pampanga Provincial Board led by Vice Governor Dennis Pineda recognized the achievement of Flora, particularly for “bringing attention to the pro-environment programs in the City of San Fernando” in 2013. Aside from the PB citation, Flora was also given a similar recognition by the Municipal Council of Sta. Rita for his community reporting. Aside from being a local reporter, Flora is also a college professor. He holds a Masters Degree in English Language and Literature Teaching. He is currently finishing his studies for a Doctorate Degree in Educational Management. Aside from being a reporter, Flora is SSP’s resident society columnist covering topics on food, travel, community events and culture.•Marna Dagumboy-del Rosario