In memory of a friend

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Friday, March 14, 2014


SANAY ika’y muling makita ko/ Damhin ang tibok ng puso mo/ Sanay yakapin mo ako muli, kahit sandali/ Kahit isang saglit, mayakap ka.”

This is the chorus of the song “Kahit Isang Saglit” popularized by Martin Nievera. This is also one of the favorite songs of the late Globe executive Jerome “Jerry” (JY) Yntig, whose remains lie in state at the St. Peter Memorial Chapel.

JY died last Tuesday after getting comatose for several days. He suffered a stroke the other Sunday. He will be buried at the Mactan Island Memorial Gardens in Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City this Sunday after requiem mass at the Redemptorist Church at 1 p.m.

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I wrote about JY’s death in my column last Wednesday, but it was too brief I was not able to elaborate on our friendship.

There are many kinds of friends: acquaintance, simple friends, close friends and true friends. I consider JY a true friend. So allow me to write more about him as my last tribute to a friend.

I first met JY at Yumyum restaurant inside Rustan's department store along Mango Ave.

I used to hang out in that place especially on Sundays to read newspapers and write my column. It was lunch time one Sunday when he approached me and introduced himself to me. He borrowed my newspaper. That started it all.

We bumped into each other during parties. I invited him to join our group, which is composed of selected columnists and which meets every other Saturday, discussing various issues over cups of coffee, glasses of red wine or bottles of beer. We paid our own order.

Often, we stayed in coffeehouses and resto bars, sharing stories about our personal and professional lives. Later in the night, we would end up singing in our favorite hangouts. JY sang well and I knew some of his favorite songs.

JY had almost the same repertoire as Mayor Mike Rama. That is why if we jammed with the mayor, I would warn Mike not to sing JY's songs to avoid comparison and repetition. If Mike insisted on singing JY's song, he would ask JY’s permission first.

Valentine’s Day last year, we watched a Marco Sison concert at Allure Hotel along A.S. Fortuna, Mandaue City. When we bumped into Mayor Jonas Cortes, the mayor asked: “Where are your partners?” JY answered: “Amo nang gi-advance og date, mayor.”

When my Nanay Doring died in 2008, JY, together with radio commentator Choy Torralba and my fellow Sun.Star Cebu columnist Atty. Eddie Barrita, took time to visit my homeplace Dipolog City to personally express their sympathies. Though I was in grief, the group still enjoyed their short stay in my home city.

Before going back to Cebu, JY wanted to eat “humba.” So I asked somebody to cook “humba” for him. When JY and his group arrived at the Mactan airport, he texted me that a K9 dog was following him. Maybe the dog smelled the “humba.”

He said, “Super Bob, pag-abot namo sa airport, gisunod kog K9. Bahala nag akoy mapa-akan sa iro basta dili lang makaon niya ang humba.”

I don't know if that was true or was just a joke. Choy and Atty. Barrita can attest to that incident. I hope that “humba” from Dipolog did not contribute to the rise in his blood pressure, which was the cause of his death.

JY was a reserved Army officer. He served various telecommunication companies like RCPI, Bayantel and then Globe. He was Globe's public relations officer and “troubleshooter” in the Visayas and Mindanao areas. The company sent him to various places to deal with politicians who sometimes oppose the operation of the cellular company in their area.

Now, JY is with his Creator. But to his friends, he will always live in our memories. Adios Boss JY. Text lang unya kun tua naka sa langit.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 15, 2014.

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