July 23, 2024

Journalists traditionally indicate the end of an article with -30-.
It likely dates to the glory days of the telegraph around the American Civil War. The number 30 was used as the shorthand for “end” or “no more” in Western Union’s “92 Code,” produced in 1859. “-30-” denotes “the end” in Morse code.
Another theory suggests that the first telegraphed news story had 30 words. Later on, the tradition was carried in the days of typewriters. It was a way to indicate the last page of a dispatch in case the separate pages of the story were mixed up in the handling.
The recent announcement that the ink has dried and that your Baguio Midland Courier, the “primus inter-pares – first among equals” in print media, will cease publication on July 22, 2024 evoked a lot of tearful emotions from the community, the Baguio side especially.
After 77 years in the Sunday scene with its commitment to be fair, fearless, friendly, and free, the inevitable -30- has come and what was once a part of the lives of our people vanishes, a victim, collateral damage to the Internet and modern technology.
I joined the paper in 2008 or even earlier, after a hiatus – almost a decade in fact, from column writing.
Previously, my columns appeared in two national broadsheets: the Times Journal (From the Boondocks); and The Manila Times (Cool Front).
In the local scene, I started with the Baguio Gold Ore (Reasonable Doubt) with publisher Nena Salvosa-Bowman and editor Peppot Ilagan and shifted to five other local community papers: the Baguio Reporter (Reasonable Doubt) with publisher/editor Eliral Refuerzo or “Ped Ped”; the Weekly Tribune (From the Eagle’s Nest) which I co-published with the late Gov. Raul “Rocky” Molintas with editor Sam Bautista; The Skyland News (From the Heart) with Gerry Evangelista and Sam Bautista as editor; the Cordillera Today (Cool Front) ; and the Sun*Star Baguio (CharivariED).
Then came the Baguio Midland Courier with its publisher, the late Dr. Charles Hamada, who graciously accepted me into the fold.
Of course, after Charlie passed, Gloria Antoinette M. Hamada or Toni to family and friends, took over as publisher and chief operations officer/general manager at the same time representing her parents Oseo and Virginia, her siblings Samuel, Oscar Jr., Cesar, Celso Ferdinand, William, Elizabeth, Charles, and Mary Virginia.
This is an opportune time to thank ma’am Toni for the trust and support she has unselfishly given me. Dios ti angngina po!
There too to thank is manang Emilia and the younger generation of Hamadas: Nicole, Cristopher “Trophy”, Stephanie, Mark, Kenneth Charles, Samantha, and Bree; the editorial staff led by Harley Palangchao, the reporters, the support staff, treasury guys, the gentle people manning the printing and even manong security guards who made the years excruciatingly memorable.
I and my family are deeply honored, privileged and thankful to Baguio Midland Courier and the Hamada family for the rare opportunity to have a platform to share my thoughts and perspectives on various issues, places, events, and people.
No doubt, Baguio Midland Courier over the years was the leading local weekly in the region and writing with you was the fulfillment of a dream, which came true.
Salamat po!
Sigh.