THOMSASIAN media icon Eugenia Duran-Apostol, founding publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and this year’s recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts, was named by Time magazine as one of the 60 Heroes of Asia over the past six decades.

Apostol was cited by Time along with Inquirer editor in chief Leticia Jimenez-Magsanoc, as the “dynamic duo” who sparked the non-violent Edsa Revolution that overthrew Marcos.

“The Philippine press was terrified of covering a dictator’s regime—until this duo came along,” Time said. The magazine added that Apostol and Magsanoc set the “template for courageous journalism for a nation still very much in need of it.”

Other Filipinos who made it to the Asian heroes list were former President Corazon Aquino and 1999 World Pool Champion Efren Reyes. Time also paid tribute to other Asian heroes “who have shaped our destiny and our times,” such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who visited UST in 1977 and 1984. During Martial law, Apostol published the Mr. and Ms. novel magazine which she spun into the Mr and Ms. Special Edition when Ninoy Aquino was assinated in 1983. The special edition of Mr. and Ms. covered the inquiry into Aquino’s assassination and became the lightning rod of the anti-Marcos movement.

In 1985, Apostol spun off the weekly Inquirer into a daily newspaper so as to be the mouthpiece of the political opposition in the snap presidential elections. The paper galvanized popular opposition against Marcos who was toppled the following year. During Estrada’s presidency, Apostol established Pinoy Times in September 1999, a political tabloid that ran stories of the former president’s mistresses and excessive wealth. The 2001 paper likewise played a key role in the ouster of Estrada.

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“I just gave the people an avenue for opposition,” Apostol, a Litt. B Journalism graduate of the former Faculty of Philosophy and Letters (now Arts and Letters), told the Varsitarian. “Nothing good will happen and problems will not be resolved if we let our fears control us.”

Apostol said it is time for the younger generation to take the lead in resolving the problems of the country. “Since I’m old now, I think it is time for me to pass my advocacy to other people,” she said. ”Besides, I know that they can handle the responsibility of bringing change to our country.” Leonard James D. Postrado


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