Subic Bay News, 18 years since we took over from the Americans…

FOR over 50 years or so, Subic Bay News was the official publication of the US-run Subic Naval Base in Subic Bay.

When the Americans left in 1992 after the Philippines senate voted to abrogate the RP-US Military Bases Agreement (MBA), the publication of Subic Bay News also ceased to exist.

Two years after the former US base was relaunched into a bustling business community via its conversion into a freeport under the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Subic Bay News remained in the dust bins as the SBMA and even private entities came out with other various publications.

A former Subic Naval Base civilian employee, Vic V. Vizcocho, Jr., then already Metro-Manila based reporter of ABS-CBN DZMM, decided that something must be done to revive Subic Bay News, the publication which base employees and their families eagerly await weekly for news, job announcements and other information about the US Navy, the base and the community.

Going througth the process of registration at the Dept. of Trade & Industry (DTI), among other requirements, Vizcocho obtained the trade name in 1994 and has since been up to date in compliance to retain its status as a legal entity.

The maiden issue of Subic Bay News, as Filipino owned and run with Vizcocho as Publisher, saw print on March 1994 (left) , featuring, among others, then President Fidel V. Ramos with First Lady Ming, and then SBMA Chair & Administrator Richard Gordon, fishing in Subic Bay.

Subic Bay News’ first editorial (top right) and the congratulatory messages of then Chair & Administrator Richard Gordon (upper middle right) , then Zambales 1st District Rep. Kate H. Gordon (lower middle right)  and then Olongapo City Mayor Cynthia Cajudo (bottom right) which saw print also in the maiden issue of Subic Bay News.

Columnists included, among others, international film-maker Michael Sellers, who used to run  Hollywood Steakhouse in the Freeport, with his “The Subic Entrepreneur”, then SBMA Labor Officer Jim Mendoza with his “Freeport Views”, Carla Faustino-Wiggins of the City Planning & Devt. Office with her “On Notes & Commentary”  and  Arlyn dela Cruz with her “Visions.

”The front page of Subic Bay News’ 7th issue (middle left) which featured the visit in June 1994 of the last US Commander of Subic Naval Base, Rear Admiral Thomas Mercer, who said “it’s good to see the paper continue to thrive despite our pull-out” upon getting hold of a copy of Subic Bay News.

The “Feedback” (bottom left) of  residents, Freeport/SBMA employees and other personalities which saw print on an edition of Subic Bay News in April 1994. (VVV)

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