(STAR) Reaffirming its position as the country’s leading newspaper, The Philippine STAR won four awards at the 29th Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) through columnists Wilson Lee Flores and Bum Tenorio and photographer Manny Marcelo.

Tenorio won “Best Opinion Column” which is his second consecutive CMMA in the same category, while Flores of the Lifestyle section won “Best Business Column” for his Monday “Bull Market, Bull Sheet” and also “Best Entertainment Column” for his various movie reviews for the Sunday lifestyle section.

Flores has now won a record 8 CMMA Awards and he is planning to write several books on business, history and also literary works.

Veteran photographer Manny Marcelo also won a special CMMA citation for his news photograph entitled “A Long Journey Home.”

The annual awards rites were held last Thursday night at the Marie Eugenie Theatre of the Assumption College, Makati City, and presided over by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Ambassador Antonio Cabangon-Chua.

Organizers said that a record 850 entries, the highest number in CMMA’s history, were considered this year.

“It is a huge responsibility that rests on your gifted shoulders. The recognition that you receive during this CMMA Awards Night is the measure of how you have exercised this responsibility,” Cardinal Rosales said to all the print, TV, radio and other media winners.

“Thus I add to the exhortation of the Holy Father this plea, make media a nourishment for our children’s growing mind, body and soul. Make media a part of what will shape their lives as good and law-abiding citizens, as honest and caring persons, and as responsible adults. Make this your mission, your foremost mission,” he said.

Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said: “I congratulate the CMMA. For

29 years you have challenged the competitiveness of media in our country with the measure not on profit but on how it shaped the values of our people. Moreover, I affirm also your effort in giving honor to those who have promoted the culture of love and life in their media endeavors.”

In her message to the CMMA, President Arroyo said the CMMA has become an institution Filipinos look up to because of “its noble objective of upholding Christian values as well as in promoting the culture of excellence in mass media.”

Meanwhile, Senate President Manny Villar said: “The CMMA Awards has become a valuable institution in ennobling the communications profession by giving due recognition to outstanding professional works that highlight what is true, good and beautiful in the Filipino and in his society. May the CMMA Awards continue to inspire excellence among those engaged in the mass communications profession.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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