Journalist Rolando “Rolly” Espina passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 28, 2017surrounded by children and grandchildren in his home in Bacolod City.
He was 84.
Rolly was born on August 23, 1933 in Escalante, Negros Occidental, the eldest of six children of Fulgencio Espina, an artist from Cebue, and Gracia Lopez, a niece of national hero Graciano Lopez Jaena.
He was married to the late pediatrician Lourdes Llavore of Fabrica, Sagay with whom he had 11 children and, at last count, 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Nene, the love of his life, went on ahead of him in September 2000.
Rolly was a journalist for more than 50 years, from the pre-Martial Law Manila Chronicle, to bureau chief of the Philippine News Agency, to correspondent of various wire agencies and foreign periodicals.
He was one of the founders of the Visayan Daily Star and was chairman of the Negros Daily Bulletin and also served as president of the Negros Press Club.
He was also twice vice president of the National Press Club during the dual terms of his close friend and later National Democratic Front officer Antonio Zumel.
Rolly was also a noted civic leader, the charter president of the Bacolod Capital Lions Club.
He was the recipient of several awards in recognition of his professional and civic accomplishments, among these the Banwahanon Award.
He is survived by his children Grace and Manuel Engallado, Nonoy and Leny, Inday Espina-Varona, Malou, Toto and Jocelyn, Mary Anne, Mate, Nenen, May and Ramon, Junjun and Merci, and Jay and Bingbing.