Radio pioneer and former ABS-CBN executive Lito Balquiedra Jr. was remembered by his family, friends, and former colleagues as a tough but generous mentor, boss, and father who had a heart for helping others in a necrological service held at the Dolphy Theater last May 22.
“He always did everything with extraordinary passion. Lito was larger than life. He demanded a lot from himself as much as he demanded a lot from his people,” said Freddie M. Garcia, former ABS-CBN president and “Pilipinas Got Talent” judge.
Lito, fondly called by colleagues as ‘LBJ’ and known as the “Radio Master’ in the broadcast media, was the pioneer of DZMM and DWRR 101.9 after they were reestablished in 1986. He served as the head of the ABS-CBN Manila Radio Division and initiated DZMM’s trademark public service programs “Maligayang Paslit” and “Oplan MM.”
Veteran broadcast journalist ‘Kabayan’ Noli de Castro called Lito his number one critic who would frankly criticize his reports and commentaries, while DZMM’s former station manager and Rep. Angelo Palmones described Lito as jolly, a good listener, and the best boss who made sure no one among his subordinates would be left behind.
Manila Radio Division head Peter Musngi called Lito a “mentor and tormentor” who could be sweet but had very exacting work standards. Maloli Espinosa, former ABS-CBN executive, recalled him as inspirational, nationalistic, and a perpetual comedian who would craft his own jokes.
Lito’s daughter Patty, who spoke on behalf of the Balquiedra family, was warmed by the tribute and expressed that while his dad admittedly spent more time at work than at home, he was a caring father whose opinion had always mattered to her.
DZMM anchor Korina Sanchez, meanwhile, said, “At DZMM, we continue to uphold what LBJ did for the station. As a person, LBJ taught me to be considerate and to care for my associations with my friends,” she said.
The past and present DZMM and Tambayan 101.9 executives, anchors, reporters, and staff were also present at the event to pay their last respects to Lito.
ABS-CBN, NAGBIGAY PUGAY KAY RADIO MASTER LITO BALQUIEDRA JR.
Inalala ang namayapang radio pioneer at dating ABS-CBN executive na si Lito Balquierda Jr. ng kanyang pamilya, mga kaibigan, at dating mga katrabaho bilang isang mahigpit ngunit mapagbigay na guro, boss, at tatay na may pusong tumulong sa kapwa sa necrological service na ginanap sa Dolphy Theater noong Mayo 22.
“Katangi-tangi ang dedikasyon niya sa lahat ng bagay na kanyang ginawa. Parating marami siyang hinihingi mula sa kanyang sarili at sa kanyang mga tao,” sabi ni Freddie M. Garcia, dating ABS-CBN executive at “Pilipinas Got Talent” judge.
Binansagang ‘LBJ’ at kinilala bilang “Radio Master” sa larangan ng broadcasting, si Lito ang namahala ng DZMM at DWRR 101.9 matapos muling magsahimpapawid ang mga ito noong 1986. Siya rin ay naging head ng ABS-CBN Radio and Provincial Division at nasa likod ng public service programs ng DZMM na “Maligayang Paslit” at “Oplan MM.”
Tinawag ng beteranong mamamahayag na si ‘Kabayan’ Noli de Castro si Lito bilang numero uno niyang kritiko na tahasang pinupuna ang kanyang mga ulat at komentaryo, habang inilarawan naman ni Rep. Angelo Palmones, ang dating station manager ng DZMM, si Lito bilang masayahin, isang mabuting tagapakinig, at magaling na pinunong sinisiguradong walang maiiwang dehado sa kanyang mga tauhan.
Ayon naman kay Peter Musngi, ang head ng Manila Radio Division, si Lito ay isang “mentor at tormentor” na kung minsa’y malambing ngunit talagang mahigpit pagdating sa trabaho. Isang malaking inspirasyon, makabayan, at mapagbiro naman ang tingin sa kanya ng dating ABS-CBN executive na si Maloli Espinosa.
Nagbigay din ng mensahe ang anak ni Lito na si Patty sa ngalan ng kanilang pamilya. Aniya, isa itong istrikto ngunit maalagang ama kahit naging abala sa trabaho.
Ayon naman sa DZMM anchor na si Korina Sanchez, “Ang lahat ng ginagawa namin ngayon sa DZMM ay pagpapatuloy ng lahat ng ipinundar at pinaghirapan ni LBJ. Bilang tao naman, ang iniwan sa akin ni LBJ ay ang kakayahang makipag-kapwa tao at pag-aalaga ng relasyon sa kaibigang tunay,” ani Korina.
Dumalo rin sa event ang mga dati at kasakuluyang pinuno, anchor, reporter, at staff ng DZMM at Tambayan 101.9 para mamaalam kay Lito.