Thursday, September 29, 2005

Goodbye, Sir Ivan

I first met Cebu Daily News editor in chief Ivan Suansing at the Journalism Asia 2003 Forum held by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in Bali, Indonesia. He was my roommate. Since it was the first time I met him, I wasn't really that enthusiastic talking to him. Of course, it didn't help too that Sir Ivan was silent and serious most of the time, or at least that was my first impression of him. Our conversations were basic, like the things we were doing in the office or the activities that we had in the forum. Fortunately, we became friends after the forum and personally, I was thankful for knowing a great journalist like Sir Ivan.

We met again months later in a forum-workshop (again sponsored by the CMFR) on media and access to information and corruption in Davao City. He was more friendly on our second meeting, maybe because he knew me from the Bali conference, and that Davao City was like Cebu for him -- him being familiar with the place and the local press community. I didn't get surprised when he knew a lot of people from the CMFR forum (CMFR invited many participants in the Visayas and Mindanao regions).

The Davao forum, which lasted for three days, was memorable to me because for two nights, almost right after the day-long sessions, both I and Sir Ivan went out with some of our fellow participants, drinking and enjoying the city. Grabe pala si Sir Ivan! Mas masaya at maingay 'pag umiinom! Fun, those two nights. My Davao sojourn would have been duller had it not for Sir Ivan.

That was why when CMFR held a forum in Cebu (on press freedom protection) last year, I was looking forward to meet Sir Ivan again, and we almost met -- had it not for a last-minute article that he was working on on the night we were supposed to meet. Too bad. But I knew he was the editor in chief of Cebu Daily News, one Cebu's top papers. And a hardworking editor in chief at that.

I first knew about Sir Ivan's illness last month, when Cebu Daily News publisher Ma'am Eileen Mangubat told us that Sir Ivan was to go under the knife. Upon receiving Ma'am Eilieen's email, we hoped that Sir Ivan would survive the operation and get well soon.

This morning, my colleague Nathan told me that our former editor (and now the Philippine Daily Inquirer reader's advocate) Lorna Kalaw Tirol called the office to say that Sir Ivan died. The details are still sketchy -- I am still not sure what his illness was or if he died during or after his 10-hour operations.

Goodbye, Sir Ivan. Thanks for all the good memories.

2 comments:

tontoronton said...

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sad news you posted. pero true, may nabibiktima wawang tao.

maghintay k lng pilipinas, nag-iipon lang ako ng chakra. ililigtas kita.

bryant said...

sira ka talaga tonton. wahehehehe!

 
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