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Cebu Entertainment


For 91 years since The Freeman first saw print, the newspaper was a family matter to the Gullases who took care of the nitty-gritty details of running the paper.

Don Paulino Gullas founded the paper in 1919 but the publication stopped operations in 1934 because of the war. Little did Don Paulino know that his nephew Jose, fondly called Dodong, who was born at about the same time that the paper stopped operations, was to follow in his footsteps in the newspaper publication business. In 1965, the 31-year-old Dodong, who inherited his uncle’s passion for journalism, breathed life to The Freeman again.

But taking care of The Freeman was not a walk in the park for Dodong, who now sits as The Freeman’s Chairman of the Board. He found out after more than 40 years of running the paper that his love for journalism alone cannot sustain the business.

“I carried The Freeman though the years by myself. But I realized that it is not easy handling the paper alone,” says Dodong, who managed to keep the newspaper alive despite a number of crises such as those during the Martial Law regime, the time when the newspaper’s staff went on an exodus and during the economic crisis experienced in the country.

These hardships made the Gullas family decide that it would do the paper some good if they take on a partner. They, however, made it a point to look for a partner who will not only help the paper survive but will also maintain its integrity by allowing the paper to be independent.

The Gullas family received a number of proposals, some from those who are already in the newspaper business while others from influential families who wanted to try their hand at the publication business.

“We had to look for a partner who shared The Freeman’s vision and mission. We wanted a partner who will not touch editorial. There were many offers but their intentions were different and in conflict with my own,” explained Dodong. Thus began the long search for a partner.


The Belmonte family of the Star Group of Publications, the publishers of The Philippine Star, Pilipino Star Ngayon and PM or Pang-Masa, had been receiving offers to partner with local papers in Cebu. They acknowledged that Cebu’s role in the country is getting to be more important year after year.

“Star wanted to strengthen our position in an important city and cover nearby cities and provinces, as well. The role of Cebu in our country is becoming bigger and bigger and I believe that although Cebu is already an important city in our country, it will even grow more important in the future,” says Philippine Star President and CEO Miguel Belmonte, fondly called MGB by the staff.

  • Jerry S. Tundag
  • Archie Modequillo
    Editor in Chief
  • Lucky P. Malicay
    Managing Editor
  • Fred P. Languido
    News Editor
  • Joeberth M. Ocao
    Asst. News/ Online Editor
  • Bryan Roy B. Padilla
  • Rolex A. Elmido
  • John Rey O. Saavedra
    World/ Nation
  • Joefel O. Banzon
  • Archie Modequillo
  • Vanessa A. Balbuena
  • Divine S. Ngulo
  • Emmanuel B. Villaruel
  • Lorenzo R. Seno
  • John M. Destacamento
  • Jiji B. Borlasa
  • Jose R. Gullas
  • Miguel G. Belmonte
  • John Vicente F. Gullas
    Vice Chairman
  • Lucien C. DyTioco
    Executive Vice President
  • Melandro M. Mendoza
    General Manager
  • Roberto V. Martinez Jr.
    Advertising Supervisor-Manila
  • Joseph B. Dematera
    Circulation Supervisor