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Celebrating 71st anniversary of Courier with proud newsboys
Kilata

RECOGNITION -- The late Oseo C. Hamada, one of the founders of the Baguio Midland Courier, and the paper itself were conferred the prestigious ‘‘“Builders of Baguio award” during the centenary of Baguio on Sept. 1, 2009 for their great contributions to the city and its citizenry.

The Baguio Midland Courier is a multi-awarded regional weekly paper. Its awards and citations over its 71 years of publication is an affirmation of its outstanding community service, exemplary leadership in the industry and unparalleled achievements in civic journalism.

The most meaningful recognition conferred to the Courier was the Baguio Builders award given to the paper during the celebration of the centennial of the City of Baguio on Sept. 1, 2009. The Courier was among “100 institutions that tended to the people’s health and well being, those who nurtured their souls and nourished their spirits, those who taught them skills and knowledge, civic pride and personal ambitions, those who captured and projected the image of the city and its people.”

The Courier was born on April 28, 1947, a post liberation institution at a time when Baguio City and its people were rebuilding their lives, their homes and their livelihood after World War II.

As an institution, it created jobs for those whose education was interrupted by the war. Families of a district – Campo Sioco – found jobs in manning the printing press machines. I recall the families of Dacpano, Meneses, Labarinto, and Ventura, among others. It created jobs for distribution outlets and the youth who wanted extra money on weekends. Young people were taught the dignity of labor, be it folding the pages of the Courier, arranging the pages, and selling the paper on Sundays. The young people would line up at 6 a.m. every Sunday morning at the Courier office and get their quota for selling around the city or to their favorite sukis at their doorsteps.

The first issue of the Courier sold at 10 centavos and by 1957 it was sold at 15 centavos. The newspaper boys would get their self-determined quota of 10 to 20 copies of the paper. They sell it at Session Road or in their favorite selling places such as the Baguio Cathedral, parks, and the City Public Market then go back to the Courier office to remit their sales and get additional copies. Cut-off time was noon for remitting and returning unsold papers.

The newsboys would usually sell the paper at plus 5 centavos but towards noon, selling price was at cost. Some of the newsboys who finished their studies and who are proud of having sold the Courier also became the paper’s columnists.

Reprinted here is an interview of former Judge Edilberto T. Claravall who enjoyed his newsboy days for the Courier circa 1957:“I am honored and proud to have been a part of an institution which has chronicled with truth, honesty, and fearlessly about the proud and shameless history of the city of our birth for over seven decades. We pay tribute to the founders, Uncle Sinai and Uncle Ossie as I remember them for the tenacious and splendid management of the longest serving weekly newspaper in our country. With the assistance of relatives, children, noted writers and friends, they steered the newspaper through the storms and difficulties of its voyage into history to become “The Institution,” which even new technologies that created multimedia cannot topple. Proof of this integrity is the countless people who await the weekly release of the paper on the streets not only in Baguio but also in the far areas of the Cordillera. Because of its reputation, who can beat their time-tested strategy that produces several pages of advertisements in its weekly publication. Can you beat that! We are confident that with the present management of the newspaper, it will outlive many of us who are proudly associated with the Baguio Midland Courier that we used to proudly cry out loud during our years as a newsboy.”

At present circulation, newsboys are selling the Courier at the cost of P16.
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