Journalist who touched many lives

Opinion & Analysis Apr 12, 2019 at 4:08 pm
JOJO TADURAN

JOJO TADURAN

JOAQUIN ‘Jojo’ T. TADURAN, Jr. (September 26, 1941 – March 30, 2019)

By Regine Andrea Taduran Kunszt

Thank you all for being here today.

Let me start off by telling you some things about the man we are here to pay our respects to. Joaquin (Jojo) Teoxon Taduran, Jr. was born on September 26, 1941, a Friday, in Bato, Camarines Sur, in the southeastern part of Luzon in the Philippines. He was a proud Bicolano.

Interviewing in his radio broadcasts

Interviewing in his radio broadcasts

He worked his way through school in Manila, taking on odd jobs. He embarked on a career as journalist and made a name for himself. He was on radio via a radio program aired daily countrywide, the “Pulong-Pulong sa Kaunlaran.” He was also a prolific print journalist, having written for many national newspapers in the Philippines. He was a Lifetime member of the National Press Club of the Philippines, a professional and social organization of journalists in the Philippines, which was incorporated in 1952 through the initiative of his mentor, Teodoro F. Valencia.

My Dad was relevant. He totally embraced technology, maintaining a website, www.ugnayan.com, which he regularly updated. He introduced his friend Eddie Flores’ muntingnayon.com website to Filipino Canadians. He was the quintessential journalist. Seeing his work ethic and passion, it was no surprise that I also pursued a degree in Journalism.

Personally, I feel so blessed that he was there to walk me down the aisle when I married Ferenc in October 2017. Family and friends, to this day, still tell me that our father-daughter dance was the best. He let my Mom deliver their message to Ferenc and I. For his part, it was not the usual speech or toast; he sang me a love song. Papa, “Portrait of My Love,” will always be our song.

I know my Dad is looking down on this and us. I am sure he will see how loved he really is, looking at the number of people here today. My Dad would have loved all this attention from his family and friends.

Photos courtesy by Taduran family

Photos courtesy of Taduran family

What can I say about the world’s greatest dad? He was honest and honourable. He was kind. He was fair and real. He was definitely sweet, charismatic, gentle, loving and giving. He was passionate in what he believed in. He worked hard on everything he put his hands on. My Dad has taught me many lessons in life. He enjoyed teaching and I loved learning from him and Mom. Many of you here would know how genuinely involved he was with community undertakings. He was a part of numerous Filipino-Canadian events.

In his work room in Manila

In his work room in Manila

He touched the lives of many. My Mom and I have been getting overwhelming messages from all over the world, many of which are from people we do not know. For the testimonies we have been receiving, we are truly humbled and immensely proud.
To our family, March 21, 2019 was a life-changer. This was the day when we found out that my Dad had pancreatic cancer and when we were told that he had “a few weeks to a few months” to live. He calmly accepted this information, and we had to follow his lead. My Mom and I promised each other that we would make however long he would have, to be private, memorable and comfortable. I told him I was going to write his story and he was enthusiastic about the idea. It was two-thumbs up! I spent the next few days talking to him about anything and everything. He relayed stories of his growing up days, getting started in his chosen career path, his experiences as a journalist, the people he met. He left me words of wisdom. He left profound advice and messages for future grandchildren.

On March 29th, he went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up at 12:30 am saying, “That was the best sleep I’ve had in days.” My Mom asked, “Do you feel rested?” to which he answered, “Not just rested, I feel rejuvenated!” He then sat down with my Mom for four hours, listening to his playlist, checking emails and his Facebook, going through photos and chatting. When they were tired, they lay down and he went to sleep peacefully. On March 30th, 2019, he signed -30- to his life story.
Papa, our time together will always be in our hearts. The week after your diagnosis was truly heartbreaking and painful, yet cathartic. Being able to spend all that time with you and being able to tell you how much I love you, and hearing you say that back to me, will always be in my heart and mind.

We are devastated that you are physically gone but are comforted by the thought you will not have to endure the pain brought about by this terrible, terrible disease. There is so much to say about you and we all wish your story could have continued on further.

In your own fashion, you faced “the final curtain” and left the world your way. You would not have had it in any other way. We love you so so much! (April 5, 2019)

Speaking at a public gathering in PH.

Speaking at a public gathering in PH.

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From left: Jojo, Ferenc Kunszt, Regine and Fe Paca Taduran

From left: Jojo, Ferenc Kunszt, Regine and Fe Paca Taduran

The father-daughter dance

The father-daughter dance

Jojo and Regine

Jojo and Regine

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Jewish Prayer of Comfort
By Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer (Adapted)

At the rising sun and at its going down, We remember him.

At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, We remember him.

At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring, We remember him.

At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer, We remember him.

At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of the autumn, We remember him.

At the beginning of the year and when it ends, We remember him.

As long as we live, he too will live, for he is a part of us, We remember him.

When we are weary and in need of strength, We remember him.

When we are lost and sick at heart, We remember him.

When we have decisions that are difficult to make, We remember him.

When we have joy we crave to share, We remember him.

When we have achievements that are based on theirs, We remember him.

For as long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us, We remember him.