Throughout the nine decades of her life, Dr. Florangel Rosario Braid has worn multiple hats as writer, educator, constitutionalist, painter, pioneer and expert in the field of communication and media, and social activist for peace, development, and nation building.
She chronicles her extraordinary journey in an autobiography, Tagpo: Right Place, Right Time, launched on September 18, a day after her 92nd birthday.
Co-founder and President Emeritus of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and one of the framers of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Braid started writing Tagpo in October 2022, sharing her diverse experiences and pioneering initiatives in harnessing the power of communication to spark social change.
At the book launch, held at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City, over 80 guests from the academe, civil society, media, and the government gathered to celebrate Braid’s milestone and birthday.
University of the Philippines Church of the Risen Lord Senior Pastor and Chaplain, Rev. Callum Tabada, led the opening prayer.
AIJC and the NOW Group Chairman Mel Velarde gave the welcome remarks. “Flor’s chronicles are not just her story but a beacon of perseverance, empathy, and steadfast commitment to change… She reminds us that we, as individuals and as a nation, are works in progress—to continue growing, learning, reshaping, and redefining our world,” Velarde said.
Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Adolfo Azcuna, former Dean of the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Development Communication, Dr. Maria Celeste Cadiz, and Lyceum-Northwestern University College of Law Dean, Atty. Farah Marie Decano, delivered their reflections on the book. The message of Temple University Professor Emeritus and co-editor of the autobiography, Dr. John Lent, was read.
Braid expressed her gratitude to those present at the launch and challenged everyone to continue pursuing the shared advocacies on peace and social justice.
AIJC President Olivia Celeste Villafuerte gave the closing remarks, thanking Braid “for writing what should be remembered, what should not be forgotten.”
Telling rich and colorful stories of Braid’s personal and professional life in the Philippines and abroad, the book includes a chapter and a spread of her paintings, demonstrating her keen ability to communicate her experiences, insights, and aspirations for society both through words and brush strokes.
One of the key highlights during the event was the display of some of these paintings, which reflect advocacies and causes close to the artist’s heart—from the peace process and media freedom, to addressing corruption and social injustices.
In the book, there is also a chapter on AIJC’s history, milestones, and publications that can be used as reference by journalism and communication students, educators and professionals.
Capping off the celebration was the launching of the Journalism Scholarship Fund for underprivileged youth and community journalists who wish to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Journalism or Master of Arts in Journalism. Proceeds from the sales of the book, as well as Braid’s paintings, will contribute to this scholarship fund.
AIJC Trustee and Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) Secretary General, Ramon Tuazon, and Far Eastern University (FEU) Vice President for Corporate Communication and AIJC alumnus, Dr. Rowena Reyes, served as masters of ceremonies.
Florjannelle Dagaas-Tolentino, former training director of AIJC, gave a surprise number, rendering an original song also titled Tagpo, which she composed for Braid.