(Message during the necrological rites for Angelo Castro, Jr. last April 10, 2012)
Among many other things, people remember Angelo Castro Jr. for his dry sense of humor.
Last month, some ladies from our news division visited him at the hospital. They asked, “Kumusta ka na?“ and Angelo replied, “Eto…dying.“
The ladies chose to take it as a joke. That’s because they were in denial. They were not ready to accept the fact that Angelo could really feel the end coming. But Angelo was not in denial.
As many of us know, Angelo was a man of courage. He was the strong pillar of our news department during some of the most disturbing times of the past three decades.
The ladies recount that their conversation was rather animated. It was evident that Angelo was calm on the face of imminent demise. Maybe, that could be the feeling of a person who doesn’t have a lot of regrets after having done many good things and having played many important roles in his life.
TV viewers will remember Angelo as someone who always looked good in his tailored suits, someone who always spoke in faultless English. He was so full of class. That’s why not a lot of Filipinos may know that he was the pioneering producer of the very masa newscast TV Patrol.
The idea to create the tabloid-type newscast came from Freddie Garcia and Rolly Cruz. But it was to Angelo that my father, Geny Lopez, gave the task to organize the team, to conceptualize the newscast’s final form, and to execute the broadcasts.
Today, TV Patrol is an essential part of every Filipino’s life.
Angelo was also the sleepless skipper of our news group during the series of coup attempts from 1987 to 1989. When the ABS-CBN compound became a target of attack, our news department had to operate from his own house.
We have all learned from those moments in our history. And we can all agree that the kind of coverage that Angelo led is just as historic.
Many people from our news division would say that Angelo was a true mentor. He was, in fact, a perfectionist. He gave very detailed guidelines on the story writing, the live reporting, the reading, and even the lighting--specially when the lights were on him.
Many people will remember Angelo as one of the best news readers this country has ever seen. But many in the news division will also remember him as a great listener. He listened and gave advise to a lot of people who had problems in their career, family and even love life. He was like a ninong to many people.
His sense of humor was his way of telling people that it was easy to connect with him. Young reporters, cameramen, everyone in the staff, would remember him as a truly charismatic boss. A boss who remembered their name and their uniqueness.
Many people will keep talking about Angelo for many years because they have a lot of anecdotes and stories about him and they have a lot of fond memories with him.
I will remember Angelo as one of the rocks upon which ABS-CBN was built. His contributions to our success and growth are indelible and immeasurable.
The quintessential ABS-CBN person, Angelo bled red, green and blue. Like most of us here, his career took up practically all his waking hours and much of his nocturnal time as well.
Angelo came back after a two-year hiatus and, against all odds, he railed against the dying of the light. We can say that he was bloodied but he emerged unbowed. These are words that I would one day hope to deserve.
The rest of the country will remember him as one the key people who made them have faith in TV journalism, who gave them calm in a time of fear, who gave them hope in a time of uncertainty, and gave them wisdom in a time of choice.
Angelo Castro Jr. has left us, but not without leaving a legacy.
Angelo, your place in the pantheon of ABS-CBN is assured, your memory in the mind of every Filipino you inspired is infinite.
With your heavenly support, we take on the never-ending struggle in the service of the Filipino.
Thank you, and rest well, ACJ.