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Bacolod City, Philippines Sunday, April 15, 2012
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The Dumaguete Bureau

*RENE GENOVE, Dumaguete Bureau chief

Although lean-staffed, almost a one-man job, the Dumaguete Bureau has remained steadfast and tenacious in bringing up-to-date news even at the risk of life and limb. The recent twin disasters – typhoon Sendong in December and the 6.9 tremor in February – brought out the best, no pun intended, among the staff, including getting to know each one better with the passing of time and after many coverages. Thanks to the gung-ho attitude towards perfecting their craft, these individuals are those that you can depend on, including sending news items after a long weekend.

Juancho “Choy” Gallarde is serious and hard-working. To ensure that a breaking news is included in the next day’s issue, he will give you a call to say he is in the process of preparing his story and, thus, to please wait for him.

Maricar Aranas-Vensuelo  is the epitome of the adage, “the show must go on.” At the height of typhoon Sendong last December, she was actually preparing for her wedding, but had to postpone it to a later time on that day because she and her family still had to clean the church, which was flooded and covered with mud. The real trouper that she is, Maricar spent the following day after her wedding visiting some devastated areas and interviewing flood victims.

 Judy Flores-Partlow is a no-mean journalist who leaves no stone unturned to get the best angle for both her stories and the photos that will accompany them. She can be self-sufficient, being a reporter and photojournalist rolled into one.

Alex Rey Pal and Romy Amarado, both correspondents of a national newspaper, bring a sense of contextualized reporting that can also be relevant to readers beyond Negros Island. This is extremely felt if news has to be treated fairly, which truly counts especially if one needs to get the side of two opposing parties.

Completing the rest of the Dumaguete Bureau are regular columnists, Dr. Angel Alcala, with his expert views and knowledge on the environment and related concerns, and Benjie Calderon, who juggles his time with his many undertakings, including managing a rural bank not too far from his suburban home.

 Writing for StarLife are columnists Ian Rosales Casocot for the weekend edition and Cecile Genove for the midweek edition. Casocot graduated recently with a master’s in creative writing at Silliman University where he also teaches. Genove is the dean of the College of Mass Communication of Silliman University.*

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