A fitting recognition for Davao’s media icon

Davao’s late media icon Antonio Movera Ajero will be joining the elite list of Datu Bago awardees.

Almost a year after his passing in July last year, AMA will be enshrined posthumously to the Datu Bago Awards, the highest recognition conferred to an individual by the city government of Davao.

It might be long overdue, but this one is fitting. And knowing his humility, AMA will take it anytime, any which way up in the skies.

There is one record Ajero holds that will never be broken in the annals of Davao’s media industry. He holds the distinction of being the only journalist to serve as Editor In Chief of five major daily newspapers in Davao City — Mindanao Times, Mindanao Daily Mirror, Peryodiko Dabaw, Sunstar Davao and Edge Davao.

Yes, that record will exist forever as other publications have folded up.

The Datu Bago Awards is conferred to Dabawenyos who have contributed to the city’s growth and development. Davao City First District Councilor Temujin Tek Ocampo authored a resolution last year seeking to bestow the posthumous Datu Bago Award to Ajero who was one of the leading figures in the media profession in Davao City for many decades.

Also conferred with the prestigious homor are Brenda Sofronia Z. Barba in the field of Visual Arts and
Elenita C. Dumlao, a multi-awarded visual and performing artist and currently the artistic director of Kathara Dance-Theater Collective is also one of the three awardees.

Davao City Mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte will confer the awards on March 8 at a ceremony that will be held at the Royal Mandaya Hotel as one of the highlights of the 86th Araw ng Dabaw celebrations.

Ajero, who goes by the monikers Daddy Cool, Tatay Tony, Nong Tony, Don Antonio or simply by his initials AMA, will be remembered by every member of the Davao media community as the eminent Dean of Davao Journalism.

The late Edge Davao editor in chief gets along with everyone. From the veterans to the newbies. He doesn’t discriminate. He doesn’t even let the fences of competition be a barrier to the Davao media community. He loves the word “seamless” hence the slogan of Edge Davao “Serving a Seamless Society.”

While he is the master of the jargons from journalism’s old schools, he updates himself with the latest lexicons of millennials and even the informal streets-tuguese.

In the newsroom, AMA is an exacting perfectionist. He wants to have the last look. Even when illness slowed him down, he would still be making his ‘presence’ in the newsroom chatter. He still demands he will have the last look.

As an editor, AMA is one who would stand up for his reporters. With all the risks and the dilemmas that come with the territory, AMA would make sure everyone is covered.

“Libel is costly–time-wise and finance-wise,” he will remind us to try to avoid it and make sure the facts are correct and verified.

Part of being remembered, he reminds everyone, is ensuring you will be remembered in a good way.

And AMA will forever be remembered and treasured in a very good way.

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