Layout By Alia Medina
Layout By Alia Medina.

BPC, Ad Astra bag 6 awards in The Spectrum’s 9th Campus Press Awards

The Benildean Press Corps and Ad Astra bagged a total of six awards in the 9th Campus Press Awards 2024, hosted by University of St. La Salle’s The Spectrum.

By Jorel Magistrado | Saturday, 8 June 2024

The Benildean Press Corps (BPC) and Ad Astra, organizations under the Student Publications Unit (SPU), secured six awards in the 9th Campus Press Awards under the 15th year of The Spectrum Fellowship, which ran from June 4 to 7, at Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.


With the theme “SENTINEL: Fortress of the Free Press,” the event featured a series of talks from renowned speakers in the field of journalism. The parallel talks given revolved around the creation of media and its different aspects in the modern day.


There were a total of 12 talks held throughout the three days. Day one consisted of Avon Ang, a National Coordinator and Digital Security Officer of Altermidya, who discussed publication management and media security; Brell Lacerna, the National Spokesperson of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, with their talk titled: “From the Newsrooms to the Streets: Advancing the Campus Press Towards Social Consciousness,” and; Kenneth Roland Guda, the former Editor in Chief of Pinoy Weekly and former Senior Reporter of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, who raised discourse on journalistic neutrality and impartiality. 



The second set of speakers were: Inday Espina-Varona, the former Head of Regions for Rappler and Former Chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), who stressed the importance of contextualization in reporting during the talk, “Breaking Down the Nuances,” and; Cartoonist Zach, the co-founder of PITIK BULAG, with his discussion, “ARTivism: Art as a Tool for Political Action.” 


The third day presented the most amount of speakers. Jade Mark Capiñanes, a 2017 Palanca Awardee under the essay category and Contributor to, explored political writing in fiction with “Punchlines from the Prose: Humor, Satire, and Persuasion in Creative Writing.” Delving into timely topics, Kyle Anne Villariza, a founding core member of Youth for Climate Hope, shed light on the perils of climate change in “Storytelling in a Time of Climate Crisis.”


On the creatives side, Raffy Lerma, an award-winning photojournalist and former Philippine Daily Inquirer photographer, highlighted the importance of photojournalism in “Social Justice Through the Lens.” Julius De La Peña, the Artistic Director of La Salle FIlm Society and Best Director Awardee of the 2023 Sine Negrensse Film Festival, also touched on documentary and filmmaking—intertwining his personal experiences with his craft. 


As for journalism in modern times, Rep. Raoul Manuel, Kabataan Partylist Representative and a former President of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, opened up the issues of press freedom violations in the plenary discussion, “Freedom of Expression and Press Freedom Right.” Alongside this, Keith Brandon Cari-an, the Associate Editor of SunStar Bacolod, tackled the effects and limitations of artificial intelligence (AI) with “Campus Journalism in the Age of AI.”


Romeo Subaldo Jr., the former News Chief of ABS-CSN Bacolod, as well as the Founder and News Chief of Digicast Negros, was also slated to talk about the fundamentals of field reporting. 


On the fourth day, the winners of the The Spectrum Campus Press Awards were announced. The following are the categories and respective placements of BPC and Ad Astra:



Best Magazine (1st Place) - The Benildean: Impulse

Best Magazine Layout (1st Place) - The Benildean: Impulse

Best Literary Folio (2nd Place) - Shades of Gray: Crossroads

Best Editorial (1st Place) - Dissecting the Oversaturation of Propaganda (Published in The Benildean: Impulse)


Ad Astra: 

Best Facebook Page (1st Place) - Ad Astra: The Benildean Yearbook

Best Magazine Layout (2nd Place) - EMBARK 9


The following publications have also garnered a top spot in the aforementioned categories:


Best Magazine:

The Dolphin (John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, Inc.) - 2nd Place

Phoenix (Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas) - 3rd Place


Best Magazine Layout

The Dolphin (John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, Inc.) - 3rd Place


Best Literary Folio

Phoenix (Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas) - 1st Place

Tolentine Star (University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos) - 3rd Place


Best Editorial

The Central Echo (Central Philippine University) - 2nd Place

The Weekly Sillimanian (Silliman University) - 3rd Place


Best Facebook Page

FORWARD Publications (University of San Jose-Recoletos) - 2nd Place

Phoenix (Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas) -  3rd Place


Following the explosive activity of Mt. Kanlaon on June 3, BPC and Ad Astra were unable to attend the conference in a face-to-face capacity. Alternatively, they joined via online.


The Spectrum Fellowship was organized by The Spectrum, the official publication of the Student Media Corps of the University of St. La Salle (USLS). This year’s iteration also marked the event and competition’s return after a five-year hiatus. The event welcomed student-journalists from 16 student publications nationwide.

Last updated: Saturday, 8 June 2024