DURIAN BEAT: Tony Ajero and his death list

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

“Am happy that in our life journey somehow we have met in this pleasant junction which gives us an opportunity to do honest-to-goodness service to our people.”

This line, pregnant with morbid hint of inevitable death, was PMed to me by Antonio Ajero, aka Tony, AMA, dean of Davao media among others, later part of last year as several members of the Davao media community made their last trip to the crematorium courtesy of Covid-19.

“Nice yong media mausoleum mo,” Tony sent me this message on November 3, 2021.

Apparently, Tony is a big fan of DEAD JOURNALISTS’ ONLINE MAUSOLEUM in my website Durian Post which is a directory of members of the media community in the Davao Region who wrote bye-bye, 30, to this world through assasination or natural death and other causes including the s.o.b coronavirus disease.

“Am happy that in our life journey somehow we have met in this pleasant junction which gives us an opportunity to do honest-to-goodness service to our people,” said Tony in his message to me on October 17, 2021.

“Nice yong media mausoleum mo,” Tony sent me this message posted on November 3, 2021.

Apparently, Tony appreciated my effort through the Mausoleum to document online the names of the deceased journalists so that, in the words of Tony, their “honest-to-goodness service to the people” during their lifetime should not be forgotten and left in the dustbin of history of the Davao media community.

“Nice yong media mausoleum mo. You might want to add these names, ” Tony, on November 2, 2021, wrote. posting a long list of dead mediamen from print, radio and television starting from the 70s, whose names are not included in the current roster of the dead in the Mausoleum.

Burdened by the pressure of the daily updating of my websites Durian Post and TopNewsNow, I put on hold posting of Tony’s death list, which gave me a feeling of guilt, as Covid-19 continued to add more victims from the media whose names I religiously posted in the Mausoleum.

In January and February 2022, Tony PMed his last posts to me: A video of Covid-19 hit Dr. Willie Ong and a video on tips on how to avoid cough and colds.

There was no complaint on why his long death list did not appear in the Mausoleum. I did not hear a word from Tony since then until he appeared in my dream on July 16, 2022.

I woke up about 10PM on the day, forced to make a trip to the toilet by prostate-inspired urged to piss, and was already back in bed towards dreamland when it happened.

In one of his previous PMs, Tony asked me about my ornamental fish business. I told him that the Covid-19 crisis had killed Aquabalanza and that I had completely abandoned the goldfish and koi venture that suffered heavy loses like other business ravaged by the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Still, Tony wrote: “The numbers in your amazing “business hobby” will soon go up.as the country is able to achieve herd immunity..Godspeed my friend.”

In my dream, I was back in my fish farm with Tony as my guest.

I would be happy with Tony visiting me again, even only to remind me about his unpublished death list, but I would not risk disturbing him from publishing and editing his Edge Davao newspaper in heaven.

Early morning of July 17, 2022, hours after the dream, I heard the news that Tony Ajero, journalist par excellence, was dead.

Late as it may be, here’s Tony’s death list:

1. Miguel “Mike” Balbin Sr. UMBN General Manager 2. Atty. Guillermo E. “Bering” Torres Sr. , founder of UMBN and Mindanao Times 3. Daniel Paras, UMBN GM 4. Engr. Felipe Duldulao, UMBN vice president 5.Luis “Sonny” Mendoza Sr., UMBN consultant, columnist, SunStar 6. Aurelio “jav” Javellana, UMBN GM 7. Antonio “Tony” G. Feo , Davao del Norte publisher, columnist of People’s Daily Forum 8. Loren Porras, People’s Daily Forum9. Rogelio Israel, Station Manager, dxDN-UMBN Tagum 10. Domy Lopez, dxRG-Tagum City and DXMC-DXUM UMBN 11. Mrs. Nenita Balbin, NMPC Editor 12. Jasmin Malolot, dxRP (died in USA 2020) 13. Councilor Jose Jison, publisher editor of Mindanao Herald, columnist. Mindanao Daily Mirror 14. Atty. Ferdinand Quintos, editor, Peryodiko Dabaw, forerunner of SunStar Davao 15. Marissa Te Eng Fo, SunStar lifestyle columnist. Died 202016. Ramon T.Y. Garcia, columnist, Mindanao Times 17. Rey Magno Teves, managing editor, Mindanao Times 18. Atty. Cesar “Chuck”, editor in chief, Mindanao Times, president, Davao Press Club 19. Mrs. Cristina “Tinay” B. Zuno, Mindanao Times columnist 20. Atty. Jose Libron, Mindanao Times columnist 21. Engr. Jose Angliongto, columnist-managing editor, Mindanao Times22. Pedro “Pete” Lavina Sr., columnist-managing editor, Mindanao Times 23. Dr. Benjamin Panganiban, columnist, Mindanao Times. Peryodiko Dabaw 24. Nestor Rimando, Phil Information Agency senior editor and Mindanao Daily Mirror consultant 25. Cris Sapaula, Southern Broadcasting GM and radio TV anchor 26. Romeo “Romy” Torres, Mindanao Daily Mirror managing editor-columnist 27. Ruben “Ross” Torres, dxMT anchor 28. Bayani “Banny” Torres, dxKT-KBS SM 29. Rey Torres, TV 13 OIC 30. Roland Raval, dxDC-RMN and UMBN consultant 31. Labrador “Lab” Jalandoon, Channel 13 SM 32. Rodolfo “Rudy” Rebollido, RPN-TV 9 SM 33. Paul Sapsal, columnist of Southern Phl Chronicle 34. Paul Salinas, SPC publisher 35. Mike Salinas,

36. Bebe Berlanas , editor of Mindanao Pioneer, 37. Heriberto “Burt”Suyko, 38. Fred Braceros, columnist of Davao Star, 39. Sotero Bumanglag, managing editor of Davao Star. 40. Atty. Casimero Arkoncel, editor, Davao Comet; 41. Gen. Tony Teves , also editor of Davao Comet.

MORE…

Gov. GREgorio Caneda Sr., father of Pilar C. BRAGA , Davao Press Club ptesident; Mayor Rodolfo “rodo’ Sarenas, radio commentators of DxMC, Mamerto “Mert” Malnegro, SM of DxDS, Fred Braceros, Davao Star columnist; Sotero Bumanglag, Davao Star managing editor, Wilfredo Dionio, managing editor of Mindanao Herald,.Vicente “Nong Inting” Pichon, Mindanao Today tv and radio producer and commentator, Jun Lamsen, PIA senior writer and assistant regional director.

MORE…

Additions to list: 1. Alex Malig, ABS CBN station manager, 2. Charlie de la Rosa, regional director, Dept. of Public Information 3. Agosto “Mike” Miclat, assistant regional director, DPI 4. Jesus Suyko, assistant regl director, DPI, 5. Jesus Mesa, DPI regl director 6.. Max Fernandez, station manager 7. Edwin Geolligue, original “Tira Toh” of dxSS 8. Pros Aller, dxSS reporter 9. Jess Pano, ABS-CBN 10. Charlie Sogueco , dxMT announcer 11. Ben Elayda, dxGE announcer 12. George Batoctoy NMPC newswriter 13. Abraham Miguel, dxDN announcer 14. Porfirio Dingding 15. Eugenio “Ging” Magno, owner-columnist of Mindanao Pioneer 16. Temyong Alfornon , dxDC announcer 17. Tinong Bautista, dxow ABS-CBN 18. Pol Eugenio, dxMC 19. Billy Circulado, dxMC announcer20. Dominador Rosal, dxMC announcer 21. Cris Sapaula, dxss/SBN General Managet 22. Rey “Chismoso” de Villa 23. Celso Pajigal. dxMC/UM 24. Paula Rosal 25. Rogelio Israel, dxDN SM 26. Dominador “Boy” Perez 27. Romeo “Romy” Tan dxMC/UM reporter

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