By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — “The death of Mrs. Cecile C. Afable is the death of the golden age of local journalism in Baguio.”
Afable passed on the evening of June 12 at the age of 90+ after putting up a fight against pulmonary sepsis. She was considered as the oldest practicing journalist and editor of the oldest running community newspaper in the country.
Cimatu described the golden age of journalism as a time when journalists do not just write about the most pressing issues but actively contribute to the development of their communities. He said that Afable in her decades of being a journalist has been very staunch in fighting for what she believed to be the best way to develop and nurture Baguio City and Benguet, her home for almost a century.
Kathleen Okubo, also a journalist said Auntie Cecile was one example of what a journalist can be. She went on to describe how the grand dame of Baguio fought along with the people of Tabu, Dalupirip, Itogon against the construction of a dam and spared her people from the devastation like that of Ambuklao and Binga.
Okubo added that Auntie Cecile was also an activist who fought for the protection of the environment, human rights and press freedom.
Another senior journalist Ramon Dacawi in turn shared of a tradition begun by the late Peppot Ilagan years ago in the city of planting a tree in memory of a colleague who has recently passed that he supported.
For one who has recently gone through a heart by pass, Dacawi said, “I never expected to be planting a tree for her,” he said.
Dacawi further challenged the Baguio media to live up to the shining example of Auntie Cecile. He reiterated that there is no greater way to honor her but to continue what she has started.
Abbot Andy Afable, her oldest son, thanked the Baguio media for the stories they shared about his mother. He added that he would not have a complete view of his mother’s lifetime without these stories about her. He continued to share how caring, supportive and loving his mother was with an anecdote from his childhood where she dared him and his younger brother Bembo to walk around their house in the dark.
He explained that there was no electricity back then and they were hesitant at first but she promised to meet them halfway so he and Bembo took on the dare.
Halfway around the house she appeared out of no where and surprised them with a boo! and told them, “never be afraid of the dark, I will always be here.” # nordis.net