Awards founder: ‘He exemplifies offering one’s self and skills in leading efforts to uplift small communities through broadcasting’
Kodao’s Raymund Villanueva won the first-ever Ka Louie Tabing Memorial Achievement Award in Community Broadcasting in the 16th Gandingan Awards given annually by the Community Broadcasters’ Society Inc. (ComBroadSoc) of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB).
Cited for his active role in training community radio broadcasters in the Philippines and abroad as well as in establishing community radio stations nationwide, Villanueva won over two other finalists, the Radyo Natin network of the Manila Broadcasting Company and Radyo Katabang of the local government unit of Vinzons, Camarines Norte.
The award was named after the late Lucio “Ka Louie” N. Tabing, hailed for advocating for the inclusion of the rural masses and the indigenous peoples in broadcasting and development. He died in January 2018 of natural causes.
“Ngayong taon…ay nahanap na natin ang kauna-unahang tatanggap ng Ka Louie Tabing Memorial Achievement Award in Community Broadcasting. Siya ang ating ehemplo sa pag-aalay ng sarili at kakayahan upang manguna sa pagtataguyod ng kapakanan ng maliliit na komunidad sa pamamagitan ng pamamahayag at pagtuturo sa mga mamamamayan,” Gandingan Awards founder and UPLB Prof. Mark Lester M. Chico said.
(This year, we have found our first-ever recipient of the Ka Louie Tabing Memorial Achievement Award in Community Broadcasting. He exemplifies offering one’s self and skills in leading efforts to uplift small communities through broadcasting and teaching citizens.)
UPLB Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication (DDBTC) chairperson Dr. Trina Leah T. Mendoza said the Ka Louie Tabing Award is recognition to radio stations and personalities who have significantly contributed to the field of development through their reporting and storytelling.
“Following a thorough deliberation by the DDBTC and in partnership with the UP Community Broadcasters’ Society, we have selected an awardee who has championed community radio broadcasting through the establishment of community radio stations in the country and capacity building of community radio broadcasters throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” Dr. Mendoza said in her announcement of the winner.
“This award is truly significant because Ka Louie was a pioneer in both the concept and practice of community radio broadcasting in the Philippines and beyond,” she added.
Dr. Mendoza said Villanueva is a broadcaster and journalist of 25 years and a chief reporter and editor who focus on human rights and peace journalism.
Villanueva has participated in both successful and aborted attempts to establish community radio stations in Cagayan, Mountain Province, Leyte, Cebu, Iloilo and Bukidnon provinces, as well as in Metro Manila.
He has hosted and produced multi-awarded radio shows in several commercial, campus and religious radio stations in Metro Manila.
As a community broadcasting advocate, he has given trainings and workshops for communities and organizations throughout the Philippines and among migrant Filipino communities in Hong Kong, Italy and The Netherlands. He has also represented the Philippines in community radio conferences and assemblies in Argentina, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and Timor Leste as participant and trainer.
FOR ELENA AND FRENCHIE MAE
In his acceptance speech, Villanueva paid tribute to Tabing he credits for encouraging Kodao Productions towards community radio broadcasting.
He said Tabing is highly regarded as a pioneer in the global movement of community broadcasters.
Villanueva however complained of the burning of Radyo Cagayano, the closure of Radyo Lumad due to red-tagging, and the failure of Radyo Taclobanon, Radyo Sugbuanon and Radyo Komunidad among urban poor communities in Metro Manila to proceed due to harassments from suspected state agents.
He also cited the 2020 abduction and subsequent death of Bantayan Island development worker Elena Tijamo who turned up dead in a Mandaluyong City hospital a year later.
Tijamo, a red-tagging victim, assisted in the establishment of Radyo Sugbuanon that was later forced to stop test broadcasts after repeated police harassment.
In a Facebook post Saturday night, Villanueva also called for the release of Tacloban-based broadcaster Frenchie Mae Cumpio he helped train to later become anchor and station manager of the planned Radyo Taclobanon.
Red-tagged, Cumpio is accused by the government of being a communist guerrilla even while she was hosting a regular weekly radio show in Palo, Leyte.
“But we will not stop in our efforts to establish more community radio stations in the future. We persevere because of our desire for genuine social justice that is possible only when the people have their own free voice,” Villanueva said.
“There is no democracy if the people are silenced,” he added.This year’s Gandingan Awards is themed, “Naninindigan para sa ating mga karapatan” (Standing up for our rights) its organizers said is a salute to media workers and institutions who stand up for the human and other rights that are under attack.
The award is named after a set of four hanging gongs that are part of a kulintang ensemble and also used by the Maguindanao youth to communicate.
VETERAN JOURNALIST, PRESS FREEDOM ADVOCATE
Villanueva is Kodao Production’s director for radio who has hosted radio programs in several radio stations throughout his career as broadcaster-journalist.
He has filed news reports from Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, China, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Italy, The Netherlands, Argentina, Timor Leste, Norway, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
A press freedom advocate, he is the immediate past deputy secretary general of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines that he also served as a two-term national director. He is currently the NUJP’s media safety officer for Luzon.
Villanueva is a previous winner of several Gawad Agong Awards for his reportage on the national minorities and was the 2015 Titus Brandsma Emergent Leadership in Journalism awardee of the Carmelite Order in the Philippines.
He is a fellow of the first and only Diploma in Radio Journalism program of the Asian Institute of Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University in 2006 and a fellow of the Graciano Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop on human rights reporting of the College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines in Diliman in 2012.
He authored two books on Kodao’s reports on the peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
His first book published in 2018 was a collection of poems from the 1990s to the 2010s. #