“Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn’t know the first thing about either.” Marshall McLuhan
By Alex P. Vidal
I would like to thank Panay News Editor-in-chief Danny Fajardo and Managing Editor Herbert Vego for personally inviting me to grace the paper’s Product Launch, a thanksgiving party for PN’s 33rd year in business at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center last November 28 night.
It was a very successful and much-ballyhooed affair attended by the metropolis’ who’s who mostly from the business, marketing/advertisement, government, and media/entertainment sectors.
The program, very innovative and colorful, was arranged by the indefatigable CEO, Daniel Fajardo II, and marketing manager, Lei Fajardo, as well as VP-corporate affairs Maria Fajardo.
I left immediately after guest speaker, Eugenio Boy Abunda Jr., finished talking on “Print Advertising vis-à-vis Public Relations and Media Celebrity.”
No more selfies. No more photo-ops.
It was at around past 8 o’clock in the evening when Abunda, partner of presidential sister Kris Aquino, entered the hall when everyone had finished eating dinner.
He was not around during the cocktail party in the poolside that kicked off the program at 6 o’clock in the evening.
Abunda would have met a lot of prominent Ilonggo businessmen and media personalities had he made himself available during the cocktail party.
Mr. Vego introduced me to La Carmela de Boracay hotel owner Samuel “Boy” So, Abunda’s event factotum and real life best friend, while Abunda was not yet around.
It was So who later tapped my shoulder to indicate that the guest speaker, a rumored senatorial wanna-be in 2016, was already walking behind him as they entered the hall, thus I was able to greet the visitor, “hi Boy.”
He replied, “hello po.”
I wanted to hear how Abunda would dissect national issues as a prominent member of the nation’s entertainment and media world.
After being introduced by society columnist John Castigador, my media colleague for over 25 years, Abunda buckled down to work.
He read a prepared speech and recalled important national and international events leading to PN’s birth as a weekly newspaper in the pre-EDSA years.
Abunda also praised highly “those behind the Lapus Calami,” PN’s most popular column, saying “they should go to heaven.”
He told the PN family and guests that he read the paper regularly in Metro Manila.
Abunda hailed the constant change in the paper’s layout and presentation of news and features saying “it constantly whets the appetite of advertisers and readers alike, thus keeping it competitive.”
The top-rated TV host cited PN’s success story to disprove the notion that the Internet would weaken the print media.
A writer cannot be credible overnight, he emphasized.
A writer cannot attain instant credibility with only one or two articles.
He must be able to prove himself by writing more stories and he must not be afraid to commit mistakes, Abunda exhorted.
Abunda has the material to serve the government. He was reportedly offered the Department of Tourism portfolio after President Nonoy Aquino assumed office but turned it down saying he was happy where he was when the alleged offer came.
Will he run for senator in 2016? He denied it but in politics, only fools don’t change their minds, as the saying goes.
In Metro Manila, the grapevine says Abunda is being considered as one of the administration’s bets for senator.
Atty. Ade Fajardo, PN CEO, led the awarding of plaque of appreciation to Abunda.