Farewell To My Mentor: SIR Joaquin Taduran Jr.

Straight from Li ERON.
At the wake of the late Joaquin "Jojo" Taduran Jr., April 5, 2019

I can't exactly remember what event crossed my path with one of the Philippine's luminous journalist at the prime of his career, Mr. Joaquin Taduran Jr.  must have done so much as a media royalty during his time. He was a broadcaster and host of "Pulong-pulong sa Kaunlaran" during the Marcos era. A well-respected media personality during his stellar career in journalism.

Capturing Sir Jojo Taduran Jr. at the AFCA event, 2018.

I simply addressed him as "Kuya Jojo" who at times ping me on Facebook with a midnight call from the messenger for some jokes and often greet me with, "hello to the great blogger" and we both laugh. I still can hear his authentic laughter. It was genuine. But on most occasions, I will find him sitting silently in one corner wearing his hat that covered most of his forehead slightly concealing his eyes. You add that dark glasses and he will laugh no end when I told him, "I think you are dangerous!" Because I do believe, quiet and unassuming people are deep and profound.

When his daughter rose from her seat to deliver a brief but poignant eulogy for her father at the scheduled viewing at a funeral home in Scarborough, her words describing his late father and the memories of Kuya Jojo was clear and truthful. That her father was loving, kind, giving, community oriented, funny and full of laughter. He was a "giver" and I think her daughter nailed every word she said about the man I knew. 

At Lion's Club event with Judith Gonzales, Mike Cruz & guest, 2017

Many times, Sir Joaquin Taduran Jr. urged me to become a member of the Philippine Press Club of Ontario which I also repeatedly declined. I gave him my reasons until he eventually stopped his courtship. I, with all my heart appreciate his desire to grandfather me to get in and guide me through the process. It was a request that I find him seriously considering for me. It was my deep honor to be invited to belong to a prestigious media institution but I knew I don't belong there. I teased him that I'd be putting him into trouble. 

When the phone rang and I was told about his sudden demise. It took me several minutes to absorb the news. He has been sending me some GIFs on FB and who would really think he'll be gone soon? I was trying to remember how this man became my silent mentor readily encouraging me to submit articles and write ups for print media outlets. Sometimes I sent him stories, sometimes I don't. Kuya Jojo Taduran was a force to reckon with where he unselfishly gave his opinion about things we discussed and whether I should do it or not. His advice were often considered by me because I knew he meant it. He had that ability to command where he always sounded genuine in his intentions.

At Philippine Cabinet Secretary press conference, Toronto, 2017

He was a silent advocate on many issues. We talked about stuff broadly. His pieces of advice helped shape my understanding with the world of journalism where some selfishly keep their wisdom and knowledge to themselves. Mr. Joaquin Taduran Jr. was indeed a giver of his own experiences as to who he was and limitlessly shared to us so we can follow. Respecting my writing which he called in a category of "black and white" in journalism terms where he considered it a gift, was something I truly admired and raised my epitome of respect for this man.

When the Philippine Cabinet Secretary came to Toronto and I was tasked to facilitate a brief press conference, Kuya Jojo was helping me coordinate with the rest of his peers in the media. When Mike Cruz needed a press conference for his team, I introduced him to Kuya Jojo Taduran and they go from there. He was a silent rock that helped us, the rookies and the novices, find a niche in our own individual aspirations. 

At Fv Foods in Toronto during a visit of a Philippine Journalist-undated

We will not forget the legacy of this man who left an indelible mark in my life, in the community, his friends, loved ones and the people he helped in his lifetime. We will abide by his legacy in telling stories. We will keep his wisdom shine through our continued honesty in words and in our actions.

Group photo with AFCA president, 2018

Because this is what he truly and remarkably live in his life...a true journalist even in the passing of time. I will pick up and follow what wisdom he has imparted not just for me but to the world.


"Parting is such sweet sorrow, but friendship knows no goodbyes."

"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
The sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
and until we meet again....

May God hold you in the hollow
of His hand.."

[Irish Blessing- R. Kullberg]


Popular Posts