won four major awards in the 14th Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards, including the coveted Oriental Leaf Award (Hall of Fame). BM’S agriculture and commodities reporter Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas was given the Oriental Leaf Award, after winning five Bright Leaf Awards across various categories. BUSINESSMIRROR veteran reporter Cai U. Ordinario bagged two honors this year: Best Tobacco Story of the Year and Best Agriculture News Story (National) for the investigative piece “Pre- and post-rice trade liberalization law, big traders gaming farmer groups.” Photojournalist Erwin Mascariñas won his third Bright after bagging this year’s Agriculture Photo of the Year for his photo on “Fish Drying” in Surigao del Norte.
THE Businessmirror made history anew as the first broadsheet to haul in four major awards in a single edition of the annual Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards.
The four awards, given out in virtual rites at the Awards’ 14th edition on Wednesday, include the coveted Oriental Leaf Award (Hall of Fame).
Businessmirror’s agriculture and commodities reporter Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas was given the Oriental Leaf Award, after winning five Bright Leaf Awards across various categories.
With the award, the 25-year-old Arcalas becomes the eighth journalist to be inducted to the elite Bright Leaf Awards Hall of Fame. He is the second Bright Leaf Hall of Famer from the Businessmirror after Mauricio Victa, who was inducted in 2015.
Arcalas won his first two Bright Leaf Awards in 2017 after topping the Best Agriculture News Story (National) and the Best Agriculture Feature Story (National) categories, a feat he repeated in 2018. He won his fifth Bright Leaf in 2019 after a story he coauthored won the Best Tobacco Story of the Year award.
Businessmirror veteran reporter Cai U. Ordinario bagged two Bright Leaf honors this year: first, the Best Tobacco Story of the Year for the story “Gold leaf farming sector still searching for own El Dorado,” that tackled the struggles and opportunities in the tobacco industry. (Read story here: https://businessmirror. com.ph/2020/12/03/gold-leaffarming-sector-still-searchingfor-own-el-dorado/)
Ordinario also won the Best Agriculture News Story (National) for the investigative piece “Pre- and post-rice trade liberalization law, big traders gaming farmer groups.” The story discussed the impact of rice trade liberalization law and exposed the scheme by unscrupulous traders to use farmers cooperatives to import rice. (Read story here: https://businessmirror. com.ph/2019/10/31/pre-andpost-rice-trade-liberalizationlaw-big-traders-gaming-farmergroups/)
Both stories were Broader Look pieces that she co-authored with Arcalas supervised by Businessmirror Senior Editor Dennis D. Estopace. Ordinario has won a total of three Bright Leaf awards to date.
Photojournalist Erwin Mascariñas won his third Bright leaf award after bagging this year’s Agriculture Photo of the Year for his photo titled “Fish Drying” that captured the abundance of fresh seafood and dried fish in the small island village of Halian in Surigao del Norte.
The photo was published in the Businessmirror’s tourism page with the story titled “Exploring Siargao’s hidden island paradise of Halian.” (See story here: https://businessmirror. com.ph/2021/02/06/exploringsiargaos-hidden-island-paradiseof-halian/) Mascariñas won the same category in 2016 and 2017.
“Your stories are the stories that matter to us. Your eyes are our window to our farmers’ plight. Your masterpieces are a reminder of the industry concerns we should pay attention to,” PMFTC Inc. Communications Director Dave Gomez during the event held via Zoom.
The 14th Bright Leaf Journalism Awards—with the theme “Reimagining Tomorrow”—saw more than 600 entries across various journalism mediums that include radio, TV, print and online.
“This year’s theme, ‘Reimagining our tomorrow’ is very apt for us, at PMFTC and the Bright Leaf community. Our agility to adapt and pivot were tested in this unprecedented global crisis,” said PMFTC President Denis Gorkun.