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Journalist Jimmy Pimentel with singing prodigy Jasmin Henry and journalist Michele Baltazar

Veteran Newsman Jimmy Pimentel, 80 launches “Hamon Sa Kampeon” in Sydney

Journalist Jimmy Pimentel with singing prodigy Jasmin Henry and journalist Michele Baltazar
Journalist Jimmy Pimentel with singing prodigy Jasmin Henry and web publisher Michele Baltazar

The Filipino Press Group of Sydney including veteran newsman Jimmy Pimentel, now 80, quietly launched the Philippine community-wide amateur singing contest “Hamon sa Kampeon” with expected championship finals in December this year in Western Sydney.

The group also celebrated the 80th birthday of its convenor Mr. Jimmy Pimentel last Friday 19 September at the Dooleys Catholic Club in Lidcombe, NSW  marking the 57 years of  Mr Pimentel’s involvement in the field of communication media and journalism, both in the Philippines and in Australia.

Mr Pimentel  unveiled preparations for the 2014 edition of  the singing talent search “Hamon sa Kampeon” which will be featured in local community radio and later on in a community wide   concert in Western Sydney sometime in December 2014.

Established a little less than 10 years ago, the small club Filipino Press Group  which comprised of Philippine community media practitioners including newspaper publishers, reporters, writers, community radio entrepreneurs, artists, web publishers and radio program announcers, had grown from strength to strength both as boon to many successful community projects  and as established communicator outlet in the community.

Members of the  Filipino Press Group reminisced some of the poignant times in  the community  in Sydney which  involved Mr Jimmy Pimentel, including the rise and fall of a number of Filipino newspapers, the beginnings of Filipino radio, and the various “kapihan” meetings  and activities of the group. Jimmy Pimentel edited and published the defunct Philippine Balita and Sandigan newpapers and founded the Sandigan community radio program on 2JRD in Burwood,NSW.

Jimmy Pimentel is the son of the legendary print, radio and TV political journalist and satirist in the Philippines  in the 50s and the 60s Mr Narciso Pimentel, Jr.   He is also the nephew of erstwhile popular Manila TV host, singer and entertainer Pepe Pimentel, of the “Kuarta o Kahon” fame.

As he confided sometime before, Jimmy started his media and press career in Manila during his twenty’s  as offsider in his dad’s TV program, afterwards as ad copywriter in two big Manila ad companies, and then as Journalism course teacher in separate times  in three Manila universities. Jimmy  graduated with a masters degree in communication from a Chicago university in the USA.

Jimmy is an amateur college boxer and later on a licensed boxing referee. Later on in Sydney, he was the convenor of the Cabanela Brotherhood which looked after the welfare of unemployed  and disenfranchised Filipino boxers.

With his on family, Jimmy migrated to Australia and joined a number of Pimentel siblings in Sydney. Jimmy worked  as copyreader/proof reader in a number of publications and settled down  as sub-subeditor and motoring section editor at the Fairfax suburban newspaper whilst doing his many community civic involvements.

Mrs Lolita Farmer OAM recalled  Jimmy’s participation in the early Filipino community radio broadcasts in NSW  which preceded the now successful Filipino radio program in SBS,  utilising  many volunteers including herself, and Jimmy.

Sydney community broadcaster Mrs Josie Musa  showed  a multi-media presentation featuring  two community awards events, the first highlighting the contributions of  Filipino press, and the other recognising contributions of people in multicultural community.

For his part, Bayanihan News editor-publisher Nonoy Perdon  praised Jimmy for his patience and devotion in promoting the  Filipino Press Group  and transforming the monthly “kapihan” meetings from casual encounter over a cup of coffee to actual symposium with , at times recognised authorities and journalists as resource speakers.

Filpress Sydney has hosted to popular Manila newspaper columnist, Philippine indigenous anti-mining activist,  Aboriginal interest cause worker, suburban news editor and journalist union executive.

Filipino Press Group of Sydney has a vibrant internet loop which serves as de-facto wire service agency for news and stories and announcements on regular “kapihan” meetings.  Filpress meet on a “breakfast” meeting on the every second Thursday of the month at a Blacktown Workers Club  coffee shop and the third Friday of the month on its “supper” kapihan at  Dooley’s Catholic Club in Lidcombe,NSW.

Mr Jimmy Pimentel has been the convenor of Filipino Press  Group which has regularly supported  community fund raising activities to help  victims of natural calamities in the Philippines, and in Australia, not to mention as contact for community newspapers and media outlets.

At one point, the club raised some $7,000 for the  victims of the so-called Ampatuan Mindanao Massacre , donated through the National Press Club of the Philippines or NPC.

The “Hamon Sa Kampeon” talent search is aimed at reviving  a previous  amateur singing contest on community radio  of the same title “Hamon Sa Kampeon” which Mr Pimentel produced before with few other community leaders.

The project will involve  initial talent search in local community radio programs involved and the eventual final contest to be held in one community event preferably in Western Sydney which will decide the eventual singing champion for 2014, to be held  sometime in December this year.

Several community radio programs had already stared the ball rolling including the program Radio Tamaraw on 2BAC  110.9 FM in Bankstown, NSW which broadcast numbers sang by contestants Maritess Arrieza of Burwood and Josephine Henry of Parramatta. Both singers also sang during recent Filpress “supper kapihan at Dooley’s.