Speech of By JERRY S. YAP, President, National Press Club,
delivered Sept. 24, 2011 during the induction
of the officers of the first press group in Boracay
Jerry S. Yap speaks to launch the 1-m signature drive

            Guests, the president of Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI), Juan P. Dayang.  The president of Boracay Global Press Corps (BGPC), its all other officers.

I was told that this group is composite of local and foreign journalists.

To the locals let me say: “Maayad nga gab-i.”

To the Ilonggos, let me greet: “Maayo nga gab-i.”
To the Tagalogs, “Magandang gabi.”
To the Cebuanos, “Maayong gabi-i.”
To the Bicolanos, “Maray nga gab-i.”
To the Waras, “Maupay ha gabi-i.”
To the English-speaking, “Good evening.”
To the Spanish-speaking, “Buenas noches.”
To the Italians, “Bouna notte.”
To the Germans, “Und gute nacht.”
To those who know Latin, “bona nocte.”
To the Japanese, “Konbanwa.”
To the Koreans, “Annyeong hashimnikka.”
To the Mandarin-speaking, “Wan van.”
To the Fookien-speaking, “Hoh ah mih.”
To the Cantonese, “Maan sheung hou.”
To the Arabs, “Masa alkhair.”

To all of you:  “CONGRATULATIONS!”

            Journalists from all over the world speak only one language: “Truth.”

            Their soul is only one: “Liberty.”

            Their blood is only one: “Freedom.

Castle on the white sand of Boracay Island in Aklan

             Because of the oneness, it is not hard to gather all men from anywhere if these men are lovers of press freedom.
            I commend you because you are the first who thought of organizing the soldiers of the press into a cohesive fighting unit that in effect has given natural sentinels to the island to keep its beauty as an everlasting treasure of the world.

Yes, I cannot argue.  This tiny island hardly seen by Google satellite has been made known to the world as one of the best, the lone island the Filipinos are proud the most.

            I cannot dispute.  The people of Boracay, of Aklan, of Panay and of the Philippines are proud of this star that shines above the world so high.

If they say all that glitters is not gold, the National Press Club of the Philippines says that here all that is white is pure.

Another castle built on Boracay's sand

             But make no mistake. 

The Filipinos or the islanders here do not own any grain of sand in these beaches whitened for tens of thousands of years by the waves from South China Sea and elsewhere, similar in the process of how diamonds are made forever. 

We should put into our consciousness, this gem belongs to all the peoples of the world. 

We Filipinos and Aklanons happen only to be here and that circumstance put on our shoulders the more indispensable duty to keep it white forever so that the children of the world for thousands more years to come can still see the rare beauty of its whiteness.

            We must remember that any plastic or slick that we throw here, accidentally or otherwise, will be dumped across oceans and annihilate elsewhere. Like smokes billowing out anywhere annihilate everywhere.  Lex luces damnum.

            Imagine if this plastic or slick contains a poison or a chemical capable of damaging the marine life, it will destroy beach fronts like what the oil-leak tragedy a few years ago in the nearby Guimaras island.

            In addition, this island hosts every year tens of thousands of people from different parts of the world.  This fact gives obligation to us who love to speak of truth freely and who are here to be vigilant in news gathering, it will help prevent another Bali from exploding here.  This I say because press men are one of the best in discovering confidential intelligence information.

            With this status that Boracay has achieved in a couple of decades alone as a popular part of the world, it has transformed itself into a little globe visited or peopled by individuals coming from all the races on Earth.  

It has become a microcosm of how beautiful the globe would be when it is turned into a big Eden.

It has become a small place where people of various colors are bonded by the soul of purity that is here.

            All these beautiful things that are found nowhere else in the map of the world are responsibilities to work on endlessly and duties to perform for continuously for the world’s children of tomorrow and of thousands of years to come.

A view of Boracay beach
            Nowhere else are the working and the performing done with more passion and dedication but in the hearts, minds and hands of the disciples of the press.

            We leave these all up to you, gentlemen and ladies of Boracay Global Press Corps.

I know you know and do the job.  

 Let us all write on the white sands for the world.

            Congratulations and good luck.

            May God bless us here, May God bless Boracay!

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