Joe Antonio, respected People's Journal sports editor, passes away

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2022 09:29 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2022 11:37 AM

People's Journal sports editor Joe Antonio (center) with Dodo Catacutan (from left), Gerry Ramos, Arman Carandang and Gabby Alvarado. Courtesy of Dodo Catacutan
People's Journal sports editor Joe Antonio (center) with Dodo Catacutan (from left), Gerry Ramos, Arman Carandang and Gabby Alvarado. Courtesy of Dodo Catacutan

Jose "Joe" Antonio, the long-time sports editor at People’s Journal, passed away Wednesday night. He was 69.

His remains lie at Loyola Commonwealth, second floor Diligence room.

Dodo Catacutan, who currently heads the Spin.ph sports site, described Antonio, his former boss, as "kind, fun, self-effacing and thoughtful."

He was "a brilliant writer who made Philippine sports and Philippine sportswriting a wonderful place for all of us," Catacutan added.

A proud son of Cabiao town, Nueva Ecija, Antonio was passionate with sports growing up most especially with baseball and the Tour of Luzon cycling.

He took up BA Marketing at University of the East while juggling his time as a working student at Puyat undergarments.

But Antonio would be lured by sportswriting later on when he chanced upon an announcement inviting students to take an exam and join the Weekly Dawn while passing by one day at the office of the school’s official organ.

He honed his craft as member staff of the organ, who later on was promoted sports editor, and eventually, became its managing editor.

A vacancy at the Times Journal launched Antonio’s sportswriting career in 1976 under the late sports editor Gus Villanueva, and spent the next 10 years with the newspaper covering various sports, from basketball, baseball, cycling, marathon, boxing, athletics, among others.

Antonio briefly worked with Tempo and Manila Times in the early post-1986 EDSA era, before returning to the Journal family after being invited to serve initially as assistant sports editor of the widely read People’s Journal.

In 1987, he officially became editor of the sports section, which he turned into a can’t-miss reading habit.

Simple, down-to-earth, and a friend to everyone, Antonio loved horse-racing and an avid fan of Fernando Poe Jr., who used the pseudonym Daniel Barrion.

He was sports editor for 35 years until the time of his death.

He is survived by wife Lita Antonio, son Steve Ovett, daughter in-law Princess Anne, and grandchildren Anthony James and Andre Stephen.

Interment will be at the Forest Pak Memorial on Sunday.