Award-winning broadcast journalist and director Cesar Apolinario died on Friday, December 13, after succumbing to lymphoma. He was 46.
The veteran reporter of GMA-7 was diagnosed with lymphoma last August.
Apolinario was a senior news producer at GMA News, a resident reporter for news programs 24 Oras and Saksi, and co-host of the magazine program iJuander.
He began his career with the Kapuso network as a cameraman-researcher after finishing a degree in Communication Arts at the University of Santo Tomas.
Apolinario worked as a “takatak boy” and a fast food crew member in Bahrain to save up money for his studies.
Before he became a co-host on iJuander with fellow reporter Susan Enriquez, he made his mark with documentaries I-Witness,” “Brigada,” and Born to Be Wild.”
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our Kapuso, Cesar Apolinario, Jr., who peacefully joined his Creator today, December 13, 2019,” GMA Network said in a statement.
“An award-winning broadcast journalist, writer, and director, Cesar will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues, especially those in GMA News and Public Affairs and in the film industry, where he devoted the best years of his life. A loyal Kapuso, his dedication to his craft as a news reporter, producer, and public affairs host will continue to serve as an inspiration to all.
“We join his entire family and loved ones in praying for his eternal repose.”
Apolinario also ventured in directing independent films such as Banal,” “Estasyon,” “Dance of the Steel Bars,” and “Puntod,” which won Indie Movie of the Year award in the PMPC Star Awards for Movies in 2009.
He won best director and best original story honors for Banal in the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival.
Apolinario was named Outstanding Magazine Program Host in the 2013 Golden Screen Awards for his hosting of iJuander.
In 2016, he was given the Outstanding Thomasian Alumni award.
Netizens were shocked by the untimely demise of Apolinario.
Several colleagues and friends of the veteran reporter have condoled with his family.
Some of them posted on social media.
“He was more than a colleague, he was a friend. There are no words. Godspeed and rest in peace @CesarApolinario,” reporter Raffy Tima said in a tweet.
— Raffy Tima (@raffytima) December 13, 2019
“You will be missed Direk @CesarApolinario. Salamat sa pagtuturo ng mga spiels. I learned from the best. God bless your soul,” tweeted former reporter Steve Dailisan.
Reporter Tina Panganiban Perez said: “Di ba sabi mo magpapagaling ka? Sino na magiging kaasaran ko? You lived a good life, @CesarApolinario. Now, rest in peace. Death isn’t always a sad thing. We are comforted by knowing you are now with God. Paalam, Jologs. Mahigpit na yakap naman para sa mga inulila mo.”
Di ba sabi mo magpapagaling ka? Sino na magiging kaasaran ko?
You lived a good life, @CesarApolinario. Now, rest in peace.
Death isn’t always a sad thing. We are comforted by knowing you are now with God. Paalam, Jologs.
Mahigpit na yakap naman para sa mga inulila mo. pic.twitter.com/Ps8uoxZEOG
— Tina PanganibanPerez (@tinapperez) December 13, 2019
Puntod actress Barbie Forteza also paid tribute to the late director.
“Kayo po ang pinaka-unang naniwala sa kakayahan ko Direk @cesarapolinario at patuloy na naniwala. Ibang klase po kayo mag-alaga, magmahal at sumuporta. Maraming maraming salamat po sa lahat sa itinuro niyo sakin. Mahal na mahal ko po kayo, direk. Hanggang sa muli,” Forteza wrote on Instagram.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio, on the other hand, said Apolinario was “a colleague, a friend, and a brother in the field of broadcast journalism.
“I say with certainty that Mr. Apolinario is one of the country ‘s most credible and respected broadcast journalists,” Ignacio said.
“Mr. Apolinario is a loss indeed. But then again, we know that the Creator has a bigger plan for him in His kingdom,” she added.
Apolinario is survived by his wife Joy and their three children.