SORSOGON CITY, March 16 (PIA) — After a bout with paralysis due to a stroke, Reynaldo “Tootsie” Jamoralin died past 4:00 p.m. of March 12, 2012 at the age of 66.
Founder and President of the Sorsogon Arts Council (SAC), he is considered as one of Sorsogon’s “Provincial” artists. His body lies in state at their residence in Sorsogon City.
Jamoralin was the editor and writer of the two editions of the book ‘Tracing: from Solsogon to Sorsogon,’ published by the SAC and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in 1994. He also edited and co-wrote Pulang Hamtik, a collection of biographical sketches, of Bikolano youth martyrs during the Martial Law years up to 1990s, published by the Bikol Agency for Nationalist and Human Initiatives, Inc. (BANHI).
As a member of the Kapisanan ng Mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas, he co-anchored the public affairs program “Damayan” over DZGN-FM during the late 80s till early 90s. A long-time journalist from the 1970s, he edited several local weekly community newspapers, notably the Sorsogon Times, Balangibog, and Sorsogon News Service including Sentro Sorsogon, which he himself published.
For a time he was correspondent and feature writer for the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) and credited for exposing the slaughter of whalesharks in Donsol popularly known locally as Butanding that initiated the advocacy for its protection in his front page article on March 23, 1998. He was a member of the board of editors of letra, a bikol magazine, the first regional cultural and literary magazine and Centro, a Bikol magazine.
A playwright and folklorist, he wrote the dance-drama in the Bikol dialect, Si Bulusan nan si Agingay, based on the local legend of Lakes Bulusan and Agingay, which received several production and tour grants from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and NCCA, and Kantada ni Daragang Magayon, Mandirigma, adopted from Bikolano artist Merlinda Bobis’ epic poetry of the same title, which was toured around the country and presented at the CCP Little Theater in 2000. He also rewrote, revised, and adapted Sorsogon Sarswelista Asisclo Jimenez’s Pagkamoot sa Banuang Tinoboan, under a production and tour grant from the NCCA in 1994.
A long-time cultural worker, he was a founding member of the Kasanggayahan Foundation, Inc. and responsible for the institutionalization of Pantomina sa Tinampo every Kasanggayahan Festival in October. He was also a member of Sorsogon Heritage Society chaired by PDI Founder Eugenio Duran-Apostol, the publisher of Sarabihon, a journal of Sorsogon studies where he wrote several articles. He was also one of the organizers of Pagsurat, the first gathering of Bikol writers in 2000 at the Aquinas University of Legaspi attended by over a hundred participants including a septuagenarian chanter from Albay and New York-based poet Luis Cabalquinto.
He was the brains behind the establishment of the Sorsogon Museum and Heritage Center which involves the adaptive re-use and restoration of the old Sorsogon Provincial Hospital building built during the American occupation in the 1920s.
He earned his academic degree from the University of Santo Tomas, B.S. Major in Psychology. He taught at the Mass Communications Department of the Aemilianum College, Inc. in Sorsogon City.
He is survived by his wife Ella, sisters Mercia and Millet, daughter Suyin, adopted son Ian, and grandson CJ. (MAL/JJPerez/PIA Sorsogon)