JERRY Tundag, former editor-in-chief (EIC) of The Freeman, should be remembered as a “no holds barred” columnist, says the paper’s current EIC, Lucky Malicay.
Tundag passed away on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, his family announced on the same day. He was 70.
Malicay, in an interview with SunStar Cebu, said he would like the public to remember Tundag as a “no holds barred” columnist, adding this is how the public mostly remembers him.
“I think the people will remember him as one of the best columnists sa (in) Cebu,” said Malicay.
A social media post by the Cebu Journalism & Journalists (CJJ) said Tundag had long stood as one of Cebu media’s forefronts, “dedicating most of his life to bringing the truth through his writing.”
“May the legacy and firm contribution he has left to the Philippine news community forever be remembered and cherished,” read the CJJ post. CJJ is a non-profit publication based in Cebu City, aimed at promoting the collective interest of Cebu journalism and journalists.
Malicay also referred to Tundag as the newsroom’s father figure when he was still with The Freeman.
Despite being a perfectionist and somewhat “strict,” Tundag loved to teach and impart valuable lessons to their reporters, Malicay said.
“Although he was really strict, daghan g’yud nakat-unan (you would really learn a lot from him),” said Malicay.
Malicay said when editing articles, Tundag frequently had a reporter sit beside him for quick relaying of information and coaching.
He was also friendly to his colleagues and the members of other media outlets and often made jokes. Malicay said Tundag made him laugh even outside work.
According to the CJJ, Tundag sought a proofreading position at the Visayan Herald in 1980. However, he ended up being hired as a reporter by the then-managing editor, Cerge Remonde.
After a brief stint with radio station dyLA, Tundag was hired as a reporter for The Freeman.
A year after, Reuters invited Tundag, a news agency established in London, to be its Cebu correspondent, a position he held for almost 20 years.
In 1987, Tundag was asked to head the Visayan Herald, when it was acquired and revived by The Freeman. Jerry later reassumed the Freeman weekend/associate editor post he held.
In 2003, Tundag was appointed editor-in-chief of the daily. Aside from writing editorial articles for The Freeman, Tundag also wrote a thrice-weekly column and another column for the San Francisco-based Manila Bulletin USA.