By Angie Quadra-Balibay
The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UPCMC) is celebrating the achievements of its alumni with the 2023 Gawad Gloria Feliciano Awards, also known as the Glory Award. Five distinguished communicators have been chosen for their exceptional contributions in various fields of mass communication.
This year’s awardees are a testament to the diverse talents nurtured at UP CMC. They include Lynda Jumilla-Abalos in multimedia journalism, Maria Lourdes B. Cabaero in community journalism, Martika Ramirez Escobar in independent filmmaking, Atty. Rowena E.V. Daroy-Morales for her work in public service, and Paz Verdades M. Santos for her dedication to cultural preservation.
These individuals join a prestigious list of alumni who have been honored for their significant influence in the field of mass communication. The honorees since the UP Glory Award was first given out in 2017, include broadcast journalist Karen Davila, the first Filipina UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, veteran film and TV director Chito Roño, and photojournalist Fernando Sepe, Jr.
The Glory Awards, rooted in the esteemed legacy of Dr. Gloria Feliciano, the inaugural dean of UP’s mass communications program, honor her 20 years of leadership from 1965 to 1985. These awards, symbolized by a trophy crafted by UP Professor Emerita Gigi Javier Alfonso, recognize the recipients’ remarkable contributions and their profound influence on the communities they impact.
The UPCMC Glory Awardees are to be honored during the annual Alumni Homecoming at the UP Film Institute Studio in Diliman on Saturday, November 11, 2023, administered by the UPCMC Alumni Association and led by its president Malou Choa-Fagar.
The 2023 Glory Awards Winners’ Profiles
Lynda Jumilla-Abalos, a seasoned journalist, has left an indelible mark over her three-decade career in media. Her journey spans from print journalism with the Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer to digital and broadcast mediums. Recognized for her achievements, she received the prestigious Marshall McLuhan Fellowship in 2012, a first for a TV journalist since its inception. Before retiring in 2023, she played a pivotal role at ABS-CBN News Digital as the Executive Editor, shaping the editorial and strategic direction of its digital platforms.
Maria Lourdes Cabaero: Nini Cabaero is a trailblazer in digital journalism in the Philippines. Her leadership as the content director at SunStar’s integrated digital newsroom and her tenure as editor-in-chief of SunStar Cebu reflect her significant contributions to community journalism. A Sandra Burton–Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Nini is renowned for her expertise in digital transformation in journalism. Even post-retirement, she remains active as a consultant and speaker, focusing on integrating digital and print media, audience engagement, and digital transition strategies.
Martika Ramirez Escobar: Marty Escobar is a critically acclaimed filmmaker and cinematographer, renowned for her compelling narratives and meticulous attention to detail. In 2022, she earned international acclaim as the first Filipino director to win at the Sundance Film Festival with her feature film debut, “Leonor Will Never Die.” This recognition, along with several others for her short films like “Pusong Bato” and “Quadrilaterals,” underlines her innovative contributions to independent cinema, bringing Filipino storytelling to a global audience.
Atty. Rowena ‘Rowie’ Morales: Atty. Rowie Morales has made a significant impact by merging her legal expertise with mass communication, especially in advocating for marginalized communities. Her radio program “SOS: Serbisyo On the Spot” earned her the 2022 Catholic Mass Media Award for Best Public Service Program. A professor emeritus at UP, Morales is known for her free legal assistance, particularly for abused women and children, and her efforts in legal education and judicial system reforms in the Philippines.
Paz ‘Doods’ Verdades M. Santos: Doods Santos stands out as a luminary in the Philippine literary world, celebrated for her multilingual works. Her notable achievements include the National Book Award for Bikol Fiction and the Gawad Francisco Balagtas. A Fulbright Fellow, her career as a literature and communication teacher spans over four decades across prestigious institutions. Currently, she leads an environmental volunteer group, Sumaro sa Salog, showcasing her dedication to both literary arts and social causes.
The UP College of Mass Communication community has continuously been involved in nation-building, including fact-checking COVID-19 disinformation on media, collaborating with other top universities and newsrooms, and raising the standards of college radio practice.
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