|Noordin Jumalon, affectionaly called "Teacher Noords" by his students, was very passionate about his work.
MANILA, Philippines - Noordin Jumalon, the director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (Ballet Philippines) Dance School, passed away Saturday night due to cardiac arrest. He was 62.
In an interview, Jumalon's wife, Nini, said her husband had been suffering from chronic kidney disease for the past several months.
He left behind his wife and two kids, Yasnina, 23; and Yohani, 14.
Born July 5, 1949, Jumalon graduated with a geology degree from the University of San Carlos in Cebu before becoming the first serious Filipino scholar in classical ballet in Russia. He trained in Pedagogy at the State Institute for Theater Arts in Moscow from 1973 to 1975, and again from 1977 to 1979 to master the Vaganova Method of Teaching before returning to the Philippines to join Ballet Philippines.
He was named CCP Dance School principal in 1987 and its director 10 years later.
Before his death, Jumalon played the role of Don Quixote in Ballet Philippines' staging of the classic ballet last February.
His wife said Jumalon, affectionaly called "Teacher Noords" by his students, was very passionate about his work.
"Talagang love na love niya yung work, yung magturo. He's been with Ballet Philippines for 32 years. Haligi na," she told abs-cbnNEWS.com.
"Also, he delivers the goods. He stays within budget in the school and during productions. Tuwang-tuwa ang board sa kanya," she added.
Aside from his work at the CCP, Jumalon was also the head of the Cathedral of Praise Dance Ministry since 1985. The position allowed him to train more dancers but in a church setting.
"He was passionate about his art and his God," Mrs. Jumalon said.
"The long hours, the constant rehearsals, his prayer life...He didn't consider his ministry a burden. It's not really work. It was his way of giving thanks to God," she added.
She said Noordin also never neglected the family despite his busy schedule. She noted that they were just about to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary next year.
Jumalon's remains lie at the Loyola Memorial Chapels on EDSA Guadalupe. He will also be brought to the CCP Main Theater on Tuesday, September 27, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.