Two agriculture stories produced by GMA News were recognized during the 13th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards held in Makati City over the weekend.
Published by GMA News Online, “A Very Long Summer” won the award for “Best Agriculture Online Story.” It was penned by Jessica Bartolome and Dona Magsino with compelling videos produced by Adrian Bantigue and Kristel Serrano.
The narrative followed the five-month journey of two rice farmers in Morong, Rizal in the face of a “mild” yet devastating El Niño.
As the farmers waited for rain, their story unraveled equally significant and pressing issues that grip the agriculture sector other than the dry spell.
On the other hand, the “Best Agriculture TV Program or Segment” was bagged by a special report by Tina Panganiban-Perez, “Drought in Numbers: Farmers Farming No More.”
This in-depth report, produced through the combined efforts of GMA News Special Assignments Team and GMA News Research, tackled the issue of why the Philippines—an agricultural country—faces the threat of losing the next generation of farmers as more youth move away from the fields amid the various challenges in the farming sector.
The two entries were among the 12 stories that stood out from 500 other entries in various categories for the 13th Bright Leaf Awards.
Organized by the PMFTC Inc. to recognize the contribution of media in raising awareness of the agricultural industry in the Philippines, the annual awards is judged by a pool of experts in the diverse fields of print, online, and broadcast journalism, photography, film-making, advertising, and the academe.
Dr. Isabelita Orlina Reyes, Francis Abraham, J. Albert Gamboa, Ralph Semino Galan, Edwin Sallan, Gabriel Fernandez, Rina Jimenez-David, Sev Sarmenta, Rem Zamora, and Jake Maderazo were led by award-winning writer Alfred “Krip” Yuson in the selection of winners as Chairman of the Board of Judges.
Yuson thanked the participants for putting their time and effort in producing exceptional content about the country’s agriculture sector.
“Your stories highlight the importance of scientific thinking and research in making sure that our farms and fisheries are able to withstand and survive during the harshest of weathers. You showcase the resilience and survival instincts of the men and women who perform the work necessary to keep the agriculture industry alive,” Yuson noted in his keynote speech. —VDS, GMA News
A five-part in-depth discussion about rice took home the top prize at the 12th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards Night. Henrylito Tacio of EDGE Davao brought home the Agriculture Story of the Year Award for his series, “The grass that feeds Filipinos”.
The award was given on November 16 at ceremonies held at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati City. The other winners were likewise announced.
Almost 600 entries competed for the chance to be called the best of the best in this annual competition that honors excellent stories and photos that are published, aired or broadcast in print, radio, TV, and for the first time, online.
For Tobacco Story of the Year, SunStar Pampanga’s Ian Ocampo Flora was judged winner for his article entitled “Is tobacco the next ‘miracle crop’?” that talks about all the practical and commercially viable uses that are being discovered for tobacco.
For Agriculture Photo of the Year, Wilfredo Lomibao of Philippine Daily Inquirer claimed his trophy for “Pond Harvest”. In his winning photo, he was able to capture fishermen in one of the fish ponds in Dagupan City which grow Bonuan bangus, a milkfish variety that has put this commercial center of Pangasinan on the country’s culinary map.
Erwin Beleo of The Star Northern Dispatch was named the winner for Tobacco Photo of the Year for “Chill Only” which shows tobacco farmer, Josephine de Guzman, sewing tobacco leaves for a living in Barangay Patpata, Balaoan, La Union.
Baguio journalists swept the regional categories as Hanna Lacsamana’s article, “Making farming viable for millenials” published in the Baguio Midland Courier was chosen as the Best Agriculture Feature Story-Regional and Baguio Chronicle’s Karlston Lapniten’s “Brewing enough coffee for the Filipino Cup” was named Best Agriculture News Story-Regional.
Just like he did in 2017, Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas brought home two trophies, one for Best Agriculture Feature Story-National for “Fowl farmers' fears persist 1 year after bird flu flare-up: PHL poultry raisers on ground zero still coping.” Jasper shares the Best Agriculture News Story-National trophy with colleague Cai Ordinario for their story “Snapshot of rice-consumption data remains grainy as Pinoys grapple with supply, prices” both of which were published in the Business Mirror.
For Best Agriculture TV Program or Segment, Agri Tayo Dito of ABS-CBN Regional was named winner for their four-part series on Biotechnology. While Malu Manar of DXND Kidapawan was named winner of Best Agriculture Radio Program or Segment for the “Vermi Composting sa Urban Household” episode of the program, Bida Specials.
And finally, Ma. Victoria Conde of Rappler wins the first ever Best Online Story award for “How beekeeping helped a Sorsogon coconut farm”, a story about a disaster-vulnerable and poor village in the Philippines’ Bicol region that is now starting on the path towards resilience, food security, and sustainable economic growth with the help of “kiwot” bees.
Tasked with the job of selecting this year’s winners was a panel of judges composed of some of the country’s most respected names in photo, print, broadcast and online journalism, advertising and fashion photography and members of the academe. They are Dr. Isabelita Reyes, Marby Villaceran, Francis Abraham, Edwin Sallan, Jake Maderazo, Rem Zamora, J. Albert Gamboa, Sev Sarmenta, Pennie Azarcon dela Cruz, Ramon Osorio, Rina Jimenez-David and Alfred “Krip” Yuson, who was also the Chairman of the Board of Judges.
Farmer, entrepreneur and social media celebrity Nico Bolzico was the evening’s keynote speaker. PMFTC Inc. President Lawrence Chew also addressed the crowd to talk about the value of agriculture to the country and PMFTC’s commitment to helping this industry.
The awarding ceremonies, hosted by ABS-CBN anchor Tony Velasquez, saw a retrospective of past photo winners that provided a colorful backdrop for the performances by dancers Ea Torrado, Julie Alagde, and Biag Gaongen accompanied by Talahib People’s Music.
The Bright Leaf Caravan travels to Zamboanga City in its 12th year of celebrating excellence in agricultural journalism.
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Bright Leaf Caravan journeys to the 3rd largest city in the Philippines to invite Zamboanga City journalists to join 12th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards. The event was held at the Orchid Garden Hotel.
As an agricultural company, the Bright Leaf Awards is PMFTC’s way of honoring the most important and outstanding agricultural news stories that were able to raise the discourse of critical agriculture issues, and celebrating the best photographs that captured the spirit of Philippine agriculture in a single frame.
During the session, PMFTC External Affairs Director Bayen Elero-Tinga welcomed the attendees and invited them to submit their entries and participate in this year’s competition.
Since it was launched 12 years ago, the Bright Leaf Awards has already established itself as being the premier agriculture journalism competition in the country. Every year the number of entries grow from just 82 in its first year to over 600 entries in 2017.
With the theme 12 Years of Bounty for 2018, Bright Leaf invites journalists nationwide to submit entries for the following categories:
For the first time ever, the Best Online Story has been included among the categories.
This special award will be given to the best agriculture news or feature story that is published on an online news website.
For more information about the Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards, you may contact the Bright Leaf Secretariat through their mobile numbers (0945) 477 2035 or (0929) 195 0620, their landline (02) 9755236, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Bright Leaf website at www.brightleafawards.com or its Facebook page www.facebook.com/brightleafawards/ to learn more information about the competition and past winners.