Officers and members of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club Monday opened the Media Camp at Burnham Park in time for Thursday when they get to choose the Lucky Simmer
Visitors, the first after three years of absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic. BCBC president Joseph Cabanas led club members in transforming the area as their base for the next seven days which was named after the late Jose Nicholas Ilagan, popularly known as Peppot, the former executive editor of the defunct Gold Ore.

It was exactly 35 years ago when Ilagan came up with having a camp in an open space right across the office of the now defunct Gold Ore at the Baguio Colleges Foundation, now the University of the
Cordilleras. “We borrowed a tent from my friend to camp out in Asin for the Holy Week, but the
owners begged off, so we were back at the Gold Ore office,” recalled University of the Philippines Baguio professor Roland Rabang, then an aspiring Gold Ore staff.

“So instead we pitched the same tent in front of our office and the older media men came, starting a tradition,” said Rabang, who was then a third year political science student and a working student with the Gold Ore. While the older mediamen were socializing on Maundy Thursday of 1988, the younger and aspiring photojournalists that included Dave Leprozo and Rabang went to cover the
motocross race in Longlong, La Trinidad, Benguet where Jovy Saulog stamped his domination.

“While the BCBC was busy with the LSV, we were at the camp as the gopher boys,” said Rabang, who went on to work as information officer at the Baguio Water District, then at UC while finishing his master degree at UP Baguio, where he would later teach. But the BCBC-LSV entourage would drop by at the camp which became a regular later on until the camp was moved at its present site after the lifeless body of a young male student was found hanging at one of the threes at the Harrison site.

“That was more like in the early 90s,” recalled Art Tibaldo, who said that it was during the term of Nathan Alcantara as president of the BCBC. The BCBC will formally open the camp on Wednesday with a press conference which will be followed with the induction of new members in the event bankrolled by the city government and supporters. On Thursday, the BCBC will motor down to Rosales, La Union where they will flag down buses with a first timer in the city as target winner and
who will be given a three day royal treatment.

The LSV – Media Camp was cancelled the last three years due to the lockdown brought about by the Covid-19. In September 2021, immediate past president Aldwin Quitasol led club members in a tribute to BCBC members who died during the pandemic. It was the closest thing to a gathering at the camp and when movements were still monitored by cops due to the restrictions.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

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