MANILA — Jose “Boyet” Sison, a long-time ABS-CBN sports media personality, died on Saturday, a member of the family confirmed to ABS-CBN News. He was 58.
Sison’s last broadcast appearance was as a TV Patrol news presenter in his segment, “Alam N’yo Ba?”
He was hospitalized early this week for an intestinal illness that needed surgery.
In a Facebook post on April 10, Sison wrote that he had “been having stomach pain the past days.”
The following day, a CT scan showed his large intestine was blocked, so he sought a second opinion at Delos Santos Medical Center.
On April 14, he acknowledged that he was "nervous and scared" ahead of the operation. Two days later, he had a cardiac arrest and died.
Before the network franchise was denied by the House of Representatives in 2020, Sison regularly hosted sports news shows on ANC and DZMM or TeleRadyo.
For 13 years, he co-hosted “Fastbreak” with basketball great and former Senator Freddie Webb on Saturdays. On the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), he anchored “Hardball” for 14 years with sports commentator Bill Velasco.
After the shutdown of ABS-CBN's broadcast operations, Sison rejoined ABS-CBN in October as part of TV Patrol, which added 3 new segments, including Sison’s “Alam N’yo Ba?” to the program.
He also appeared with Velasco and other Filipino fight pundits in a YouTube channel dedicated to Philippine boxing that was launched last year.
Ging Reyes, head of ABS-CBN Integrated News, said Sison “brought the sunshine into any room.”
“The stories he shared in that booming voice that was distinctly his were always a welcome distraction to the stress and chaos of the newsroom. We were the lucky ones with whom he shared his laughter and his love of food and dancing,” she said.
“He was so happy to be back on TV beginning last year. Sports and music were his expertise but I asked Boyet to try something new in TV Patrol and he bravely did. For that, I will always be thankful,” Reyes added.
“We will miss you Papa B! You were too good for this world. Dance your way to the heavens where your beloved Mom awaits you.”
Friends and colleagues were shocked by Sison's sudden passing, as they took on to social media to say goodbye to their friend whom they affectionately call “Papa B.”
Velasco said Sison will always be remembered for his kindness.
“My life will never be the same without you, my brother, my comrade, my friend. Throughout all the battles we fought - even with one another - you remained kind. You still saw the good in everyone, Boyet. I will miss that most of all. Rest in God’s embrace; revel in His resurrection, dear one. You take my heart with you,” Velasco on Facebook.
Longtime boxing commentator Atty. Ed Tolentino, who worked on the “Round by Round” YouTube channel with Velasco and Sison, said he'll always remember Sison for his colorful personality and energy while on camera.
“Rest in Peace, Boyet Sison,” Tolentino wrote on Facebook.
“Hard to forget that voice. You never ran out of words to say and your energy seemed boundless. But even harder to forget is the genuine friendship you offered to just about everyone you worked with. It was an honor to have worked with you.”
Sports media personalities Migs Bustos and Jinno Rufino, basketball journalist Enzo Flojo, boxing analyst Nissi Icasiano, former PBA commissioner and current sports-radio show Noli Eala also paid tribute to Sison.
His colleagues at ABS-CBN also honored Sison.
Sison was a coliseum announcer for the PBA between 2005 and 2012, a sportscaster who called PBA games on the radio from 2001 to 2011, and called games in other leagues for ABS-CBN from 2006 to 2020.
Sison's friends in the music industry, such as Ogie Alcasid and True Faith frontman Med Marfil, also paid tribute.
Outside of the broadcast industry, he was an audiophile and professional DJ who was also active on the livestream scene during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his LinkedIn account, Sison described himself as “extremely hard-working, organized, enthusiastic, and passionate about helping people around the world communicate with one another.”