tribute to a great man

Last night, I went to the Inquirer tribute for Sir Gani at Arlington after work. Research was in full force, plus Eliza, so were the correspondents (Northern Luzon was nearly in complete attendance), a lot of former co-workers — basically: The place was so full we had to have a satellite room to accommodate everyone.

But still: Too much love stuffed in two small rooms.

Inquirer President Sandy Prieto-Romualdez delivering a tearful speech

We were at the satellite room when the audio got a bit problematic — it was a problem we tried to endure, but it was as if Sir Gani was saying, Come closer! All of you! And so we did. By the time Sir Doro (another favorite lolo) was delivering his piece, we were already standing in the sidelines of the main room.

Sir Doro extolling the virtues of timeless journalism

And here’s the editor-in-chief delivering a witty, heartfelt message to cap the night:

LJM: And onto the great newsroom where there are no deadlines, forevermore.

At Starbucks during pagpag (Filipino superstition which prohibits people from directly coming home after attending a wake) the man before me in line ordered iced tea, and when the barista handed him his drink, he said, Thank you for coming, Sir Gani. Ang galing lang.

Lots of touching parts during the tribute. His youngest daughter Vilma delivered the family’s response, and said she now has proof that her dad was a rock star. (I almost yelled: And a rock star he’ll always be, ma’am!) SPR said the Inquirer scholarship for journalism students has now been named after him. I am lucky to have been given the chance to be one of Inquirer’s scholars, and to be working with a lot of other Scholars who are still with the Inquirer — half the research section, a lot of reporters, I think an editor — Ruey at SIM.

And though the future journ scholars will no longer be able to speak to him in interviews, or shake his hand, or delight in the way he moves, or pose with him in photographs at their graduation, or even fantasize about him being their dream lolo —  the name they carry — I think they’ll now be called IMY scholars — will be a great honor.

Last night, I dreamt Schatzi insisted that somebody from the long roster of (once) young journalism scholars speak during the tribute, and that we were disallowed. (“What’s done is done,” said dream-EIC. “Let it go.”) In my dream I was crying so hard and that I couldn’t stop.

That’s how I woke — with my chest full and my eyes aching.


Relevant Sir Gani links:

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