ABS-CBN colleagues pay tribute to ACJ

Posted at Apr 11 2012 12:32 AM | Updated as of Apr 11 2012 08:32 AM

Sa ABS-CBN, na naging pangalawang tahanan ni Angelo Castro Jr. ng halos 26 na taon, dinala ang kanyang mga abo.

Isang misa na pinangunahan ni Fr. Tito Caluag ang inalay para sa namayapang broadcaster. Naroon ang kanyang buong pamilya – ang maybahay na si June Keithley, mga anak, apo at kapatid.

Napuno ang Dolphy Theater ng mga taong nagmamahal kay ACJ. Ramdam ang lungkot at pighati. Mas naging matindi ang emosyon nang lapitan ng pamilya ang kanyang abo para sa isang blessing.

Pagkatapos ng misa, ginunita at sinariwa ng ilan sa pinakamalalapit na kaibigan ang kanilang naging karanasan kasama si ACJ.

Si Korina Sanchez, tandang-tanda pa nang unang i-anunsyo na papasok na news director ng ABS-CBN si ACJ.

“Si Angelo Castro Jr. daw? Anong alam niya? ‘Di ba siya si Bong sa ‘Baltic and Company’?”

Pero sa kabila ng unang impresyong iyon, naging malapit na magkaibigan ang dalawa.

“I so regret having been such an absentee friend to him the past few years, so much so that he was surprised when I wanted him in my wedding entourage,” ani Sanchez. “I regret he didn’t know enough how I valued our friendship.”

Labinlimang taong nakasama ni Tina Monzon-Palma si ACJ sa “The World Tonight.” Sa mga panahong iyon, lubos niyang nakilala ang kanyang co-anchor.

“He was one man who took his cooking very seriously. And I wanted listen to him everyday because I wanted to become a good cook like him... He is a man who will forever be in my heart. I don’t know how it will be without him,” sabi ni Monzon-Palma.

Unang naging boss ni Jing Magsaysay si ACJ sa ABS-CBN. Magkasama nilang pinagdaanan ang siyam na coup de etat sa panahon ni dating President Cory Aquino.

“ABS and the industry owes him, we owe him. He was a believer, and so are we. Bye, Angelo,” ani Magsaysay.

Kilalang producer din ni ACJ ang News head ng ABS-CBN na si Ging Reyes. Unang nakilala ni Ging si ACJ nang mag-apply siya sa istasyon ng radyo kung saan announcer at manager si ACJ. At nang lumipat si ACJ sa ABS-CBN, sumunod din si Ging.

“Pag may nakita siyang masamang video, alam na niya kung sino ang nag-shoot. He gave us his critiques but he never stopped there. He taught and mentored many of us, giving us confidence, boosting our morale,” sabi ni Reyes.

Binasa naman ni ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio ang mensahe ni chairman Gabby Lopez.

“I will remember Angelo as one of the rocks upon which ABS-CBN was built. His contributions to our success are indelible and immeasurable,” sabi ni Charo.

Isang personal na mensahe din ang ibinigay ni Charo.

“To Angelo’s wife June, his children and the rest of the family, thank you. Thank you for sharing Angelo with us. Thank you for understanding the late nights, the times when he couldn’t be with you, the times when the news person took over the family man,” sabi ni Charo.

Ikinuwento ng kanyang maybahay ang hiling ni Angelo ng isang mabilis na pagluluksa.

“One night, pamilya lang. Gusto niya magpa-cremate kaagad. So pumunta ako sa kanya. ‘Angelo, hindi naman para sa’yo ‘yung burol, patay ka na.’ Sabi ko, ‘You know, the wake is a great act of mercy. It’s not for you. It will be for us,’’ sabi ni June Keithley.

“We didn’t expect this. Alam mo ‘yung sinasabi na pampataba ng puso? Talagang beyond all expectations, to have ABS honor him in such a manner. He never expected anything of ABS.”

Bukas ang funeral mass ni ACJ sa Saint Peter’s Chapel alas-10:30 ng umaga. Pinky Webb, Patrol ng Pilipino