The Bedan was never born. It grew from a germinal section of Ecos (now Echoes), a news-literary magazine yearbook of San Beda College (now San Beda University), on October 31, 1941. Since then, it has developed into a mature college student publication. Over the years, it has been assumed different sizes and put on varied page make-ups.
On March 21, 1950, The Bedan came out on graduation day with what may be the first in school publication history: an eight column Manila times-sized newspaper. Nineteen years later, on April 14, 1969, it came out on graduation day an eight paged seven columns Philippine Herald-sized newspaper with full color graduation picture to boot. In the same year, it came out with a Daily Star-size four page extra. Since then, it has developed into a tabloid layout.
The Bedan has also carried innovative and original sections such as “Drummer by the Flagpole,” “Elevator,” the cartoon characters “Juan B. Dista” and “Leon B. Dista,” and the Red-speak” section.
In 1957-58, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), of which The Bedan is an active member, awarded it as the nation’s Best Edited College Paper. In 1968-69, it duplicated the feat by winning the Best Campus Paper Award in a nationwide contest sponsored by the Guild. In that same year, The Bedan placed second in an international campus organ competition sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association of New York. So far, the CEGP has had four Bedans as national presidents.
Moreover, The Bedan has a very overwhelming history that shaped the likes of Ramon Mitra, Jr., Raul Roco, Feliciano Belmonte, Rene Saguisag, Buddy Gomez, Oscar Contreras, Jr., Ramon Medina, Justo Torres, Jr., Dante Barbosa, and other big names in the country.
In 1941, The Bedan adopted the slogan, which was to characterize its subsequent issues all though the years: “The Bedan must not only be good, but very good!”
Though it has changed drastically in content emphasis, orientation and direction, The Bedan still continues to maintain and live up to its 1941 slogan. To this end, it has always insisted on journalistic competence.
Today, The Bedan operates with the motto: In necesariis, unitas; in opinabilibus, libertas; in omnibus, caritas – In essentials, unity; in debatable, liberty; in all things, charity.
On its 61st volume, The Bedan has had for itself its first batch of lady editors, two years after SBC opened its doors to the lionesses, Joana Mari Bacallo and Mae Lourraine Galera wrested became the first Managing Editor and Features Editor of the paper respectively.
On its 65th volume, The Bedan made another first by participating in the first ever collaborative publication, ‘SangBedista, together with its counterparts from Alabang, and the College of Nursing, which aimed to forge genuine Bedan unity. Volume 65 also introduced a separate features and cultures magazine in the form of Sinag.
Further, it was in this year when The Bedan encountered its greatest challenge in its 65-year history. The then College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean Fr. Anselm Manalastas, OSB ordered halt in the mandatory collection of the publication fund effective second semester because of the publication’s strong opposition to the anti-student policies of the present administration more specifically through The Bedan’s “Red is Dead” issue.
Despite this, The Bedan managed to survive by utilizing its savings from previous volumes. It was able to release regular issues on cheaper newsprint materials.
On its 66th volume, The Bedan has had its first female Editor-in-Chief in the name of Danna Katrina Lim.
On its 67th volume, The Bedan continuously struggled to keep the paper alive without the mandatory collection of the publication fund. It published its issues on white newsprint.
The Bedan launched its website with the help of CAS dean, Dr. Napoleon K. Juanillo, Jr. on its 68th volume. Consequently, on the same year, the collection for the publication fund was reinstated.
On its 70th volume, The Bedan released innovative issues such as Red Forum and the Mendiola Human Rights art folio with the latter winning CEGP’s 9th Benjaline “Beng” Hernandez Award (also known as Gawad Beng).
The Bedan received a recognition form the Organization of Student Services Inc. (OSSEI) as the Best Tabloid on its 72nd volume.
With this, The Bedan continues to insist on journalistic competence as it thrives in an atmosphere of responsible freedom. Responsible journalism means accountability to and respect for the readers, which entails veracity, objectivity and balance.
On the 21st of January 2017, The Bedan upheld its diamond celebration. Answering the clarion call, alumni from the past issues commemorate The Bedan’s 75 years of service.
By its 76th volume, The Bedan started releasing both its regular and special issues online, this is to counter the effect of the declining publication fund caused by the implementation of K-12 program.
Further, on the said volume, The Bedan will once again launch its online website in partnership with Bedan Information Technology Society (BITS) for the organization’s online publication and archiving purposes.
The Bedan had successfully launched its journalism seminar and workshop entitled “MULAT” 2019- inspired by Volume 73’s “Get it Right” and Volume 75’s “Aletheia” in partnership with Bedan Scholars’ Guild (BSG).
In addition to the iconic sections of The Bedan, Volume 76 added Lion’s Mentor section to the newspaper’s Features column, in which this portion aims to make CAS students know and appreciate more their college professors.
During Volume 76, the staff attended different journalism workshops like JournKnows, Inkblots, WordCup and OSSEI to further enhance the publication’s skills, by which some of its staffs were able to bag awards in various writing and technical competitions.
By its 79th volume, the publication thrived despite the COVID-19 and continued to release its Regular Issue and Special Issue online. While the journalism seminar, MULAT was still being held annually in which this year’s MULAT was aligned in The Bedan’s 80th anniversary by having alumni as the speakers.
In its 80th volume, The Bedan and its pandemic-tested staff helped usher in the return to the “New Normal” set-up, with the CAS adapting the so-called “hybrid” mode of learning that combined the COVID-era distance learning method and a slow return to face-to-face classes. The volume also marked the creation of an 80th volume commemorative logo to celebrate the 80 magnificent volumes of the publication.
Truly, The Bedan is an institution within an institution. It will always be here for the community to feel the pulse of our Alma Mater.
Rest assured, no matter what the future holds, The Bedan will always be immortal.