Today’s Ontario Election Results Brings Me Nostalgia for Live Radio Coverages

June 7, 2018

by Ace Alvarez

(Click this internet photo to enlarge)

Toronto, Ontario — Over (late, as usual) dinner, my conversation with my wife, Gie, touched on the “action” we’ve been missing on days like today.

As most of you know, until 9 PM tonight, Ontarians headed to the polls to elect the candidates who are representing us at Queen’s Park — the provincial capitol building in Ontario and the seat of our provincial government.

I miss those days of action during my radio days back in the mid 70s when I was a Public Affairs and News Reporter/Writer at DWXB-102.7 FM — the Top Business News Station at the time in Metropolitan Manila, Philippines.

Run and operated by INCOMM (Interlink Communication & Commodities), Inc, I was blessed to have been given the opportunity to work at this station with Philippine broadcast greats — the likes of Bong Lapira (then of ABC Channel 5’s “The Big News” and later, GMA 7’s “News at Seven”), who was the company’s President; our Public Affairs & News Director, Herman Magsipok (former Special Events & News Director of the top news station in the Philippines, DZMT News Radio); Tony Yatco (newscaster-sportscaster and famous for his regular starting line, “There they go …” on Saturdays at the San Lazaro, or Sta. Ana Hippodromes’ horse racing events). It was TY (as we addressed Tony) whom Gie credits as the one who gave her first break in broadcast following her graduation from the baccalaureate degree program in Communication Arts of the Philippine Women’s University in Manila, Philippines; Art Galindez (an ad agency big gun and one great DJ at DZWS, the sister pop station of DZMT); Dodi Alba — one very good newsman, who was partnered with Ernie Baron during their ABS-CBN radio news days (and whom I used to listen when I was in high school); and so many notable names in Philippine broadcast; Of course, I would not forget Gene Tesoro, a veteran newsman from the news facilities of the National Media Production Center.

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‘For all this, thank you so much, sir!’ (Mr. Teodoro F. Valencia)

May 28, 2018

By Ace Alvarez

The man in photo is TEODORO F. VALENCIA — the Dean of Philippine Journalism.

Teodoro F. Valencia (Courtesy: National Press Club of the Philippines/Click image to enlarge)

The photo was shared on Facebook awhile ago by Jojo Taduran — a veteran print and broadcast journalist in the Philippines (and now based in Toronto).

I have not come across anyone from the old world who did not know Ka Doroy. One who tuned-in to DZMT Radio on the AM Band those many years for news and commentary on current events would easily recognize Ka Doroy’s distinctive voice from his daily broadcast, “Over a Cup of Coffee”.

One tuned in to Channel 5 TV early morning those years would also see Ka Doroy with his signature column, “Over a Cup of Coffee”.

Opening one’s daily broadsheet, “Manila Times” and later the martial law-days newspaper, “Daily Express” and later, “Manila Bulletin“, one would not miss reading Ka Doroy’s daily column, “Over a Cup of Coffee”.

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WHAT A MONTH THIS HAS BEEN FOR ME!

January 3, 2018

By Ace Alvarez

It is with sadness that at noon today, I learned of the passing of my good friend, Adolfo Makuntima Makwiza.

Adolfo Makuntima Makwiza (Click image to enlarge)

He passed away last Friday, December 29, from a heart attack.

Adolfo was a teacher, a television producer, a writer, book author and a musician/composer.

Adolfo and I met in 2002 during a briefing for new independent television producers by the administrative and technical managers of the newly-licensed Rogers OMNI.2 Television. It was therefrom that our beautiful friendship begun.

Adolfo would phone me occasionally to share with me his work: books, CD recordings of music that he composed and, at times, confided with me personal matters affecting him and his family.
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The Amazing Dedication of PCCF Volunteers

December 27, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

(Click image to enlarge)

Gie and I were amazed with the dedication that the men and women of the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF) give of themselves and their time to their volunteer work for the good of the community and the organization’s charitable causes; that regardless it was a statutory holiday in Canada on Tuesday, December 26 — and even given the weather and road conditions around us, they were present in the planning meeting, that Gie and I have been privileged to participate in and opened its door to. 

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MY MEMORY TOOK ME TODAY to … and with Kuya Vir …

December 5, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — As I sat alone in this dimly-lit living room, my memory took me to the week before Christmas Day back in December 1977, where a co-employee for a company I was working at the time and I took off one evening from our hotel — the venue of our national convention that year.

Between sips of draft beer and bites of pizza on the table at the Shakey’s Pizza Parlor in the heart of downtown Baguio City, I complemented the guy I was talking with on his car — a 1969 Toyota Corona Mark II Hardtop (similar to the photo in this post) and that am saving money to buy a car, too.

1969 Toyota Corona Mark II Coupe (Click to enlarge)

In the Philippines at the time, not too many were privileged to buy decent cars.

He asked what have I a need for another car when the company was providing one for me. I responded that I didn’t want the company car model issued to me; that I wanted a car under my name, regardless that the company car I was using did not bear any limitation on use.

He counseled not to buy a pre-owned 4-door Toyota Corona, as it could be an ex-taxicab.

He continued, “If you really want to buy one, I’ll sell you my Toyota Corona Mark II. Just give me P2,500 in initial payment and pay the rest to complete the P5,000 when you are able.”

My eyes lit in disbelief, knowing that such car model and his car’s condition would easily sell at between P7 to 12-thousand.

Christmas and the New Year came and my dream of owning the sports car seemed to see realization. But around Valentine’s Day of 1978, Cupid struck me. I had to inform my co-employee that I would no longer buy his car. Instead, I used the money to wed Gie after meeting her February 13, 1978 (for emphasis, a day before Valentine’s Day that year), ensuing a whirlwind romance.

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EULOGY on Senator Tobias ‘Jun’ Enverga

November 26, 2017

(An Insight from One Who is Attributed by People As the Closest Personal Friend of Senator Jun, delivered late afternoon today during the Visitation with the Enverga Family at the Highland Funeral Home, Scarborough, Ontario Chapel)

By Ace Alvarez

Note to Readers: This Eulogy is limited only to my personal friendship with the late Senator Jun Enverga and does not cover his initiatives, nor work he did in the Senate of Canada for the betterment of his fellow Canadians — which were covered in eulogies delivered by his fellow politicians in the Senate and other levels of government in Canada. 

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Sen. Tobias ‘Jun’ Enverga

He was attributed as the First Filipino Canadian to have been elected in office in Toronto.

He was attributed as the First Filipino Canadian to have been appointed to the august halls of the Upper Chamber of Canadian Parliament — the Senate of Canada.

These were just two of the countless ones that have been attributed to the late Jun Enverga in his work acting in several capacities as, firstly, a community advocate and leader; secondly as a Catholic School Board Trustee for Ward 10 in the City of Toronto; and thirdly, as a Senator in Canada.

Jun’s accomplishments in life have had always been aligned to one of his mantras: “God, Community, Country.”

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Remembering Ben Viccari — a very good friend, mentor and a father to me

July 2, 2017

By Ace Alvarez

Toronto, Ontario — Today, in what could have been his 99th birth anniversary, I remember writer, journalist & broadcaster Ben Viccari, who was a very good friend, a mentor to me in Canadian multiculturalism and who was a second father to me, too.

Wherever you are, Ben, please know that I haven’t forgotten you; your innate goodness on, close support for, and encouragement to me.

I offered the Holy Mass I heard today for your eternal tranquility.

Thank you so much for all what you have done for me and for all your fatherly love and care.

Ace Alvarez, Madeline Ziniak and Ben Viccari (Courtesy: Manila Media Monitor/Front Page Philippines TV /Click photo to enlarge)

In photo, Ben Viccari – at the time president of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA), an all-inclusive national association of publishers, editors, writers and other professionals engaged in print, radio and television, making a point before Madeline Ziniak, Executive Director of CEMA and at the time, Vice President for National Television of Rogers Media, Inc., and me. The meeting occurred shortly before passing on the gavel to me as the elected successor to Ben for the presidency of CEMA.

More on Ben Viccari on Wikipedia.

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To connect with Ace Alvarez on Facebook, PRESS HERE.