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PIA Press Release

PGMA leads centennial celebration of Philippines Free Press

Manila (27 August) -- The President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday will be the guest of honor and speaker at the 100th anniversary celebration of the Philippines Free Press, the country's oldest news weekly that has played a pioneering role in Philippine media.

The venue of the celebration is the Mandarin Oriental Manila in Makati City.

Among those who will welcome the President are Philippines Free Press president Enrique Locsin and Executive Editor Teodoro Locsin Jr.

After the President's statement, Free Pres president Enrique Locsin will propose a toast to mark the centennial of the Philippines Free Press' championing the common good by standing for integrity, democracy, good government and Philippine independence.

The first issue of the Philippines Free Press came out on Aug. 29, 1908 after its Scottish founder, Robert McCulloch Dick, who had just resigned as editor from the then American-owned Manila Times, bought the rights of the Philippines Free Press, an English-language magazine established in 1907 but had closed down after a few issues.

As a court reporter of the Manila Times in 1902, Dick coined the name "Juan de la Cruz," a common name and surname at that time, in generic reference to Filipinos which was then quickly accepted and is still in common usage today.

Among the noted writers who joined Dick in the early years of the Free Press were Leon Ma. Guerrero, Frederic Marquardt, Leon Ty, Filemon Tutay, Juan Collas, Alfonso Torres, D.L. Francisco, Ramon Navas, Roberto Anselmo, Federico Calero, Jose Joven, Jose G. Reyes and Teodoro Locsin Sr.

When Dick passed away in 1960, Teodoro Locsin Sr. took over as publisher and editor.

The Philippines Free Press was shut down in 1972 when martial law was declared and resumed publication before the Feb. 1986 snap elections. It has since continued its commitment to good government and the public interest. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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