CMMA History

Tribute to those who are serving God through media

The Archdiocese of Manila, through His Eminence Archbishop Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, organized the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) in 1978, in observance of the International Social Communication Day (established by the Universal Church to stress the importance of mass media and to instill a sense of responsibility in communicators). An outstanding way, in radio, print, advertising, television, and film.

It was first given out in 1978; since then the CMMA was held every year onwards. In 1980, His Holiness Pope John Paul II graced the awarding ceremonies. Handing out personally the trophies to the winners, the Pontiff illustrated the significant place of mass media in today’s society, and its pervasive influence in the lives of the people. He underscored the significant role played by the communicators in the total human development of the receiver. He said, “I would ask you always to be keenly away of your responsibility. The images you film, the sounds you record, the programs you broadcast, cross every barrier of time and space, what people see and hear in your transmissions and commentaries heavily influence the way they think and act.”

 Initially the CMMA started handing out recognition in only four medical fields: Print, Television, Radio and Film. Advertising, as a separate category was included in1979.

In 1984, the CMMA decided to open the Awards to entries from all over the country. In 1986, because of the historical events the transpired, the CMMA decided to recognize the significant role of communicators (especially in the fields of radio, print and television) reporting on and for the country and the world the triumph of peace and democracy in the Philippines. Thus during that year, outstanding communicators, who in a very real sense are also among the heroes of the EDSA revolution, were awarded the distinctive CMMA rock trophy or plaque of merit. Entries from all over the country as well as foreign communicators were given recognition.

Since the start, the Awards are agreed upon by a body of jurors chosen by the organizers confirmed by His Eminence Jaime L. Cardinal Sin for their competence, impartiality and integrity. Many of them are practitioners in the field of communications but years later, the jurors included academicians, civic and religious leaders and members of the clergy.

In 1992, the CMMA focused on rewarding media products that exemplify both technical excellence and the transmittal of human values. Through this, the CMMA aimed to better tap their immense potential of mass media for spreading genuine Christian values. Since the Awards deal with mass media as a means for total human development, CMMA has always stressed that the winning production need not be Christian and the awardees need not be Catholic.

The CMMA was in hiatus in 1998 and 1999. It was reborn in 2000. In 2001, CMMA ceased to be just an award-giving body, and strengthened its commitment to work towards a responsible and values-filled media. Thus, it had the 1st CMMA Media Fair as its initial advocacy project for the year 2001.

As there is a revolution in communication with the coming of the Internet and mobile phones, CMMA also included the Internet in its 2001 categories. The CMMA shall always be relevant to the process of globalization.

In 2004, CMMA recognized institution and individuals with the creation of the Serviam awards primarily as a tribute to the late Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, the moving spirit and founder. The separate awards honor those who contribute and transmit sound values in media-based programs and projects. These projects are evidently a clear sign that CMMA’s vision and mission are being lived by our people.

Through the years, CMMA has evolved through the fast-paced world and continuously directed mankind in promoting values-filled mass media with thousand of entries received from different fields of communications.

His Eminence Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales, D.D., is the current Honorary Chairmann of CMMA with Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and President.