IT IS SAID that there are two days in a year that Filipino journalists hold sacred: The November 23 anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre where 32 journalists were killed, and World Press Freedom Day every May 3.

Press Freedom Day holds special significance for Filipino journos who live and work in a country that retains its third ranking among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, after war-torn Somalia and Iraq. Every year, the list of murdered Filipino journos grows longer, and every year we all remember, ponder, and wonder why Southeast Asia’s freest press is also the most murdered.

As part of their commemoration of World Press Freedom Day 2014, Filipino journalists all over the country paused for a moment to recall their departed colleagues and renew their faith in their profession. In Manila, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines held a small benefit gathering to raise funds for the children of the victims of the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre. It was to be a night of music, memories, and meaning.

Songs by Sonny Fernandez and Cong Corrales. Editing by Julius Mariveles.

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