Cerge Remonde

A few months before I married Edizza in 1999, I met Joy, a Cerge Remonde relative and former dyLA secretary. “Niingon to si Cerge nga masuko siya kun dili nimo siya himoong ninong sa kasal,” she said. Actually, we had considered him as our wedding sponsor even without the reminder. But that was typical Cerge,

Cerge wasn’t in Malacañang yet at that time but he was busy with his work and other activities that went with his being a popular broadcaster and media leader. Besides, the wedding date, Dec. 18, was too close to his birthday, Dec. 21. So while we didn’t expect him to be there at the wedding, we listed him as one of the sponsors nevertheless.

Indeed, we didn’t see Cerge’s shadow during the ceremony, but I was surprised when he did pass by at the reception that was held at the back of the church in Sitio Laray, Barangay San Roque, Talisay. He was smiling when he shook our hands. “Tan-awa, di ba niari gyod ko,” he said, obviously proud of what he did. Again typical Cerge,

I first met Cerge when I decided to go back to society’s mainstream after months of “rehabilitation” in the early ‘90s. I was in need of work but was an undergrad. I had worked part-time in dyLA before and had trained at the then Broadcast Production and Training Center. I thought I had a chance of landing a job if I applied in that radio station.

DyLA then could be described as a Cerge Remonde-Leo Lastimosa organization. Cerge was the manager and popular radio commentator while Leo was the news director and popular broadcast journalist. Both were intimidating to a work applicant like me. Besides, Cerge had gained a reputation as leader of the anti-communist movement.

When I went to the radio station, I therefore made sure I brought with me a note from a military official vouching for my “rehab.” Cerge read the note then referred me to Leo. I actually expected the cold treatment. Fortunately, Leo was more accommodating and recommended that I start work immediately. That jump-started my media career.

I didn’t know that it was the waning weeks of the Cerge-Leo partnership. Just when I was transferred from desk work to the field as City Hall beat reporter in 1991, Leo would be “pirated” by dyRF, leaving Cerge to scramble in looking for a replacement. And weeks after I was designated as news director, Cerge himself left to join politics.

That also marked the beginning of the end of my stint in dyLA. Cerge ran for the congressional post in Cebu City’s north district against the formidable Raul del Mar in 1992. That meant an OIC had to take over as station manager. When Cerge lost his bid, he was not allowed to go back to his dyLA job but was instead assigned to Manila.

Meanwhile, the OIC initiated changes that tended to scuttle dyLA’s reputation as news and public affairs station. Threats of retrenchment followed. I stood by the reporters and vowed to resign if any one of them was fired. When Cerge visited Cebu, he told us to stay put because he was finding ways to return as station manager. But things came to a head fast. I was eventually forced to quit.

When Cerge stood as sponsor in my wedding, memories of my foray into broadcast journalism were receding. I also met him only in rare instances. The linkage would continue to weaken, especially during his stint in Malacañang. But that did not mean my appreciation of him had been scuttled. Reports of his passing yesterday therefore saddened me. May he rest in peace.
(This came out in my January 20, 2010 “Candid Thoughts” column in Sun.Star Cebu)

4 Responses to Cerge Remonde

  1. Proud Bisaya says:

    Sir, can you recommend a newspaper and columnists that is unbiased, sensical, professional and speaks the truth?

    Your response is highly appreciated. So far there seems to be none.

  2. Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr. says:

    March 2,2010

    Dear Sir Bong:
    This is not a comment about the article on Cerge Remonde but another opinion/commentary that I would like to share to all the readers of the cebuano.wordpress.com. Here below this letter.

    YOurs truly,
    Jun Gorpido

    Do You Believe In Surveys?
    By Quirico M. Gorpido, Jr.

    The survey that we are to talk here is not a survey on land done by the Geodetic Engineers. This is a survey on who among the presidential candidates have the higher or the highest edge. There are some people who believe in survey results. There are also many and I believe a great majority, who do not believe in survey result Why? Because most of the surveys conducted were only done mostly in some areas in Metro Manila.
    There are plenty of places, cities, and provinces in the whole country that are not subjected to surveys.
    .Besides, if a survey group is not independent and was only contacted by a certain candidate there’s the tendency that such survey results would be tainted with favoritism. This is the reason why we should not allow ourselves to be influenced by survey results.
    I myself do not believe in surveys. We should not base our voting to any candidate on survey results. This is not the proper way to do. What is important is that we should examine the agenda of each candidate for President, Vice-President, Congressman, Governor and City Mayor. If there would be an open forum for the presidential candidates including the Vices whom we could ask questions it would be better.
    Some of the questions that need to be asked and be answered by the candidates themselves are the following: 1) If you are elected as President/Vice-President in the coming May 10, 2010 national election what will you do to eradicate graft and corruption in the government offices? 2) What will you do to improve our weakening education system so that students in the public schools including the state colleges can become competitive in the international level of learning? 3) What will you do to improve the services of our public hospitals where some if not most have inadequate supply of medicines particularly for the admitted poor patients? 4) There is a Cheaper Medicine Act of 2009 authored by Pia Cayetano,but it ‘s not conscientiously implemented. What will you do to reduce the prices of prohibitive medicines in the country? 5)What will you do so that the millions of poor Filipinos could have their own house and lot thru an affordably low monthly installment payment that they can own after 10 years regular payment? 6) What will you do to abolish political dynasty and private armies in the country? 7) What will you do to improve our agricultural output/production so that the Philippines can really attain its goal of food security so that the government will not be importing rice anymore?
    Besides the aforesaid questions you can also ask some other questions you want to ask. It’s also important as well to really study and evaluate each candidate’s agenda and programs of government before we make a final list of candidates to whom we are going to entrust our votes this coming May 10 national elections. It’s also important to look at the candidates with good family background and good track record. Moral issues must also be included in choosing candidates for any position in the government they aspire for. Like is he a one-man,one-woman?Is he/she not a gambler? A drunkard? A womanizer? A woman with another man besides her man? Morality issue is not to be overlooked by the electorate because a President or Vice-President including Senators, Congressmen Governors and City Mayors are supposed to be good models for our youth.
    Our National Hero Jose Mercado Rizal said that “the youth is the hope of the land”. Rizal’s pronouncement regarding the youth indicates that they need some older but dynamic and strong leaders to look up to as a paragon of example worthy of emulation. The youth shall take the place of older people of today when the time comes. So our youth really need good models as source of inspiration and strength to reach their aspirations so that they can rule our country with integrity and dignity.
    Another thing which is much more equally important is to remember that our right of suffrage is sacred. Sacred if we have to understand it in the spiritual sense means priceless. It’s our individual right that cannot be sold out to any candidate. We must give value to our right to vote during elections. This right is not for sale. Why should some voters sell their rights to vote because of quick bucks? Why should we sell our votes because of poverty? Is selling your votes for several hundred of pesos worth the price of our sacred right? I don’t think so.
    Selling your votes for three days happiness and enjoyment is so cheap a bargain that cannot be reciprocated if we happen to elect candidates who lack integrity, dignity and capacity to serve the constituents. We should go for candidates whose agendas are doable, achievable and are beneficial for the upliftment of our people-rich and poor- pro-poor candidates who have the hearts and the minds to improve the Filipinos’ lot.
    Again selling our sacred right to elect the deserving and capable candidates who are supposed to serve our country to the best of their ability and capability has lost it sacredness. The price you put in your gift/privilege to vote has become very cheap and insignificant which violates the principal of humility and sincerity and blurring your conscience.
    Being poor or in the threshold of poverty is not enough reason to sell your votes. There are many poor Filipinos who earn little income for their respective families but did not sell their votes for a few hundred pesos. Although tempted due to poorness and lack of means they have resisted the urging temptation to sell their rights. Not selling our votes for any amount also means that we are providing a leveling playing field for all the candidates whether rich or poor but qualified candidates for the position they are aiming for. What is important is that the candidates to whom we have favored and entrusted our votes are those who are really sincere and have the tag of priority to serve best the people and where the rule of law prevails and peace and order reigns.(Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr.)

  3. Quirico M. Gorpido,Jr. says:

    March 10,2010

    Dear Sir Bong,
    Sir,this is not a comment on Cerge Remonde but another commentary article on a coal-fired power plant constructed in Toledo City(part of the 3 units of a total 246MW) which I want to share with the readers of cebuano.wordpress.com as a concerned citizen.Here below this letter.

    Yours truly,
    Jun Gorpido

    How Clean Is The Coal-Fired Power Plant?
    By Quirico M. Gorpido, Jr.

    I am somewhat astounded upon reading the front page of a Cebu-based daily The Freeman with a huge picture of a streamer placed at the stage which says “246MW Clean Coal-Fired Power Plant”: during its “Switch On Ceremony” with PGMA as its guest speaker held at the CEDC Multi-purpose Hall in Toledo City, Province of Cebu (The Freeman, March 6, 2010 issue).
    I am surprised because all I have learned about coal is that it is the dirtiest fossil fuel on earth. According to the information that I have gotten from the US Environmental Protection Agency it was reported that coal-fired power plants account for most of the pollutant elements emitted by the power industry in the United States. Coal-fired power plants emit 93% of the nitrogen oxide,96% of the sulfur oxide,88% of the carbon dioxide and 99% of the mercury emissions that pollute the air. Any person can just imagine the high percentage of pollution and health hazards pose by the coal-fired power plants to the residents within the surrounding vicinity where the projects are constructed.
    How can it be that it was described as “clean”? What process the management was using to make the emission of coal be filtered? Is there now an existing technology that can filter the pollutants being released by the burning of tons of coal to produce power equivalent to 246MW as was stated on a huge tapestry at the stage? I have learned on the news story that it was 82MW, part of the three units to be constructed comprising a total of 246MW,an additional power output for the province of Cebu.
    If there’s already an existing coal emission filter technology, is it a Filipino invention or one that is from other country either in the USA,Germany,Japan,India,China,Australia,Austria,France,Italy or Egypt?
    Are some technical men and experts from a country where such invention has originated were invited to inspect and make experiments and tests to see how the new coal cleaner technology works?
    If there were no technical men and experts from other country or countries invited, was the conduct of series of experiments and tests done by our very own Filipino technical men and experts?
    If the answers to my questions were met with positive actions relative to the objective of making emissions of tons of coal everyday throughout the whole year being cleaned by filtration or other means of
    cleansing its pollutants, how come that there’s no detailed reports that we can read on Cebu’s leading newspapers either from The Freeman or Cebu Daily News?
    Most of the reports that I have read were that of the oppositions among the residents in the constructions of coal-fired power plants in the area. Although the project was welcome by no less than the Chief Executive of Toledo City because of its employment and revenue generations for the city’s coffer. But without counting the environmental pollution which would be the eventual result of coal’s continual emissions of pollutants into the surrounding air. On the other hand,CEDC’s $450M or roughly P3billion has another 2 and 3 units expected to go on line by the end of May and the end of December according to the report.
    Is the DENR that is in-charged in the inspection and approval of such delicate project do some checking and testing of its equipments,. apparatus and gadgets to see if the plant is applying the provisions under the Clean Air Act of 1999?
    Our planet Earth is already suffering from heavy pollution because of man’s less caring of his environment and ecosystem but more on material gains and profits. Because of this we are now feeling the effects of global warming as the outcome of too much emission of different kinds of pollution that stuck and hover in the Earth’s atmosphere.
    According to the Scientists and some experts the heat from the sun that is supposed to bounce back to the atmosphere was blocked by the heaps of heavy pollution hovering in the Earth’s atmosphere and goes back to the Earth again-the result is the inevitable global warming.
    Additionally, global warming caused some thick hard ice or icebergs in some parts of the earth to gradually melt. The melting would result to higher water elevation of some oceans of the world that shall potentially submerges small islands in the near future if global warming would continue unabated.. Now we have this so-called erratic weather conditions that begets climate change. If you are an observant of weather conditions you know and will understand what climate change is all about.
    If the manufacturers of various products for human consumptions and other human needs like cars, airplanes, vehicles, chemical sprays, pesticides and other things needed by today’s modern world would religiously implement some measures to reduce by 3/4 of the volume of their emissions (release) of pollutant elements and substances into the air, they will greatly contribute to the gradual reduction of global warming on our only life-giving planet.
    WE hope that the adjective “clean” describing the newly-open unit one which is a part of the 246MW coal-fired power plant in Toledo City is not a bluff neither a misleading flattery, but a palpable reality. I hope so. We hope so.
    On the other hand, our public officials and other high government officials including the NGOs and the private sector ought to lead the entire population in seriously always adopting environment-friendly measures in the establishing and constructing of any income-generating projects in the country. This primary important step is mainly to protect and preserve our only one ecosystem, the Planet Earth, for the seek also of other coming generations of man who should enjoy the same benefits and privileges as we have.(Quirico M. Gorpido, Jr.)

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