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The 50 New Plaridels: Student journalists fighting for truth on second National Press Freedom Day

The 50 New Plaridels: Student journalists fighting for truth on second National Press Freedom Day


On April 13, 2022, Republic Act 11699 was signed into a law declaring August 30 of every year as ‘National Press Freedom Day.’ 

The law was created to honor the significant contributions of Marcelo Del Pilar, the father of Philippine journalism. 

Del Pilar was born on August 30, 1890. He wrote under the pen name Plaridel, an anagram of his surname, to expose and mock the despicable acts of Spanish friars.

Last August 30, the country celebrated its first National Press Freedom Day with selected government agencies implementing various activities on the importance of press freedom. 

In its second commemoration today, fifty (50) new Plaridels of the new generation have bravely taken up the responsibility of bringing the truth to the people. 

These student journalists have ensured that the stories of the marginalized would be put in the mainstream, the stories of the silenced would be heard by many, and the stories of the ignored would be seen on all platforms.

Despite the continued media attacks in the country, they never hesitated to enter the field of journalism to deliver accurate information and life-changing stories. 

With their vow to be the guardians of truth, it is about time that we also honor and acknowledge the contributions of these young people in their long battle against censorship and disinformation.

Table of Contents

The New Plaridels

Thomas Jefferson Ovivir

Angeles University Foundation

John Nicole Baria

Araullo University

Carlo Arsula

Arellano University

Lou Marie Cuarto

Ateneo de Naga University

Heart Haezel Gacayan

Ateneo de Davao University

Denver Godezano

Bicol University

Charmaine Regunas

Bohol Island State University – Main Campus

Cristene Gibo

Bukidnon State University – Cabanglasan Campus

Lorilie Perez

Bulacan State University

Anthony Pagapulaan

Caraga State University

Maria Joan Virata

Cavite State University – Main Campus

Andrelee Bulat-ag

Central Mindanao University

Natania Shay Du

Silliman University

Michael Caballa

Don Honorio Ventura State University

Eadrielle Deunu

Sorsogon State University

Shierry Amor G. Langote

Surigao del Norte State University 

Elena Bingco

Eastern Samar State University

Princess Payumo

Holy Angel University

Jerry Ponce Mandap

Technological University of the Philippines

John Serge Magat

Universidad De Manila

Noelle Lauren Medina

Jose Rizal University


John Dave Brion

University of Caloocan City 

Angelo Luis Sunga

National Teachers College 

Kylene Ursal

University of Cebu 

Niño Anthony Petalbo

Jose Rizal University


Alessandra Frianela

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila

Joseph Eli Occeño

Philippine Normal University

John Robert De Castro

Polytechnic University of the Philippines

Rozi Broqueza

Quezon City University

Emmanuel Gregorio

Saint Louis University

Lady Gwyneth Aguinaldo

San Pedro College

Nerlanie Gopio

North Eastern Mindanao State University

Wella May Tolento

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa 

Lester Piad

PHINMA University of Iloilo

Cristian Jay Plaza

San Pedro College

Carl Christian Ramos

University of Perpetual Help System DALTA – Las Piñas Campus

Jayson Nathaniel Tan

Pangasinan State University – Urdaneta City Campus

Mark John Hilario

University of Southeastern Philippines Tagum-Mabini Campus 

Dharyl Lorraine Echavez

University of the Visayas 

Nichol Angcay

Negros Oriental State University

Elijah Edward

World Citi Colleges Aeronautical and Technological College – Binalonan Campus

Richard Orlano, Jr.

West Visayas State University

Ryan Suarez

Ateneo De Manila University

Ian Capoquian

Adamson University 

Ana Mapa

De La Salle University

Aimerose Atienza

Far Eastern University

Mary Grace Anne Tomines

National University

Luis Angelo Damian

University of the East

Jason Sigales

University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication

Alva Mia Seleccion

University of Santo Tomas

Ron Duhina

West Visayas State University

The battle continues

The fight for truth has been a long endeavor in the country, with many journalists putting their lives at risk to produce sound and truthful narratives for the people. 

With the spread of disinformation on social media, the task of providing verified information has become a crucial duty. These fifty student journalists, born in a generation of technology, have continuously engaged in these new digital platforms to communicate the truth to a wider audience. 

However, their attempts have also met with the dangers of threats and intimidation. But these young people never let their fear overpower their passion.  

The battle for genuine press freedom has remained vibrant and will continue to be strong as long as a new breed of modern Plaridels exists. 

These student journalists, acting collectively, could create a big impact in advancing press freedom in the Philippines. We might not fully see it yet but their efforts will soon be applauded by the next generation of journalists.

Managing Director: Henrick Chiu
Creative Director: Sven Gaffud
Executive Producer: Danica Rae Ulanday
Writer: Joshua Gerona
Videographer: Karl Delleva
Video Editor: John Gabriel San Luis
Graphic Artist: Jadelyn Isiderio
Stylist: Gee Jocson
Hair & Makeup Artist: Macky Hilario
Shoot Location: National Museum of the Philippines Natural History

Production Staff:

Avin Dela Cruz
Gabriel Arevalo
Dean Palapar
Aqi Britanico
Michelle Grace Henriche
Shan Dimapilis
Carl Angelo Salva
Mark Louie Martinez
Maria Ara May Martinez
Chloe Jill Javier
Gabriela Leann Angeles
Francis Ivan Edel


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