ON this day nine years ago, I walked away from the editor’s chair of Tempo. It was a post I inherited from Augusto P. Sta. Ana, one of the tough pillars of old-school journalism who, to me, was a mentor and beloved friend.
Under his watch, I had my best days as a reporter, then as a crime columnist until earning my spot at the editors’ desk right beside him. Like editors of his age and mettle, he worked every day; he did so on holidays, on sick days, and the days he probably knew were his last. And so, he never retired. The baton he held just one day fell into my hand.
Gus, as he was fondly known in the media circle, was a tough act to follow, having been the father figure of the editorial staff that had bonded neatly since the ’80s. By the time I took over, we’d grown to a staff of about 25 or so at Tempo’s own kingdom of a corner on the second floor of the Manila Bulletin Building in Intramuros.
Owning up to a great responsibility, so I learned, was not much fun. But it was a worthwhile challenge that allowed me to go full circle in the only newspaper I truly loved. Quite frankly, there was nothing more to be desired after my days in Tempo. Fulfillment was exactly the gift it gave me on my last day at work: July 12, 2012, Tempo’s 30th anniversary and a day after I turned 50.
Still, I never had the heart to call it quits with Tempo, so I committed to writing this column every week. To this day, I take pride in having lived my journalist’s life in a tabloid many have referred to as a “mini-broadsheet.” It’s a profound complement to Tempo’s dedication to put out only relevant news and stave off the smut.
When I look back, I realize that what have sustained Tempo as a force in media through 39 years today are the people who treat the paper as their home and their workmates as family. In my heart, I hold you all in my best of memories.
So, as much as my memory these days tends to fail me, allow me to greet you Tempo babies past and present by name: Emily, Nestor, Ed, Recah, Pinky, Ding, Manny, Al, Amy, Joem, Tony, Martin, Jenny, Manolet, Albert, Joe, Luis, Freddie M, Anjo, George, Ronald, Mike, Jo Banana, Conrad, Vincent, Deejay, Ronniel, Tristan, Nate, Tito, Amor, Cynthia, Vicky, Tessa, Rey, Remia, Rolly, Anthony, Jorge, Ferdie, James, Clyde, Sheila, Jeff, Francis O, Wacqs, Ellson, Aaron R, Aaron F, Dennis, Francis S, Noli, Jeamma, Helen, Fe, Marione, Lito, Dante, Gerson, Beth, Bong, Bong Karno, Mario, Waku, Cromwell, Pochie, Norma, Leovy, Joemar, Jayson, Freddie V, Nel, Anabelle, Natalie, Allendale, Raniel, Rommel, Ronie, Macky, Mimi, Jet, Eris, the contributors, and all who went before us. Happy Tempo Anniversary!
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