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Guest Editorial | Farewell Rene

On Monday, photojournalist Rene Lumawag crossed over to the great beyond. He was 74.

We already knew that for the last few years he had been fearlessly battling the Big C, and that for a time, many among the local journalists had already believed he was winning the fight. What with his active involvement in the Presidential run of former Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016.

Rene even took the challenge of joining Malacanang Press Corps, the job of which is to go with the President wherever he goes. It requires flying long hours and keeping pace with an almost indefatigable chief executive.

Of course Rene’s coverage experience during the height of the insurgency movement in Davao City and the rest of the then much troubled Mindanao could have strengthened his stamina to the fullest.

So strong was his physical constitution that even when he was diagnosed with the Big C affliction it was difficult to observe him slowing down.

But then, as the saying goes, life is a journey, and every journey has its end. The one who gives life, He who prescribes the route, the distance and the length of time for his journey may have already found Rene reaching his finish line. So He called him to rest forever.

We know Rene to have lived a full life as a photojournalist. But if we are correct in saying that life’s journey is also a relay and not a marathon, then we can only hope that our friend and comrade in profession may have passed on his torch to some, if not all, members of his family.

There was that great promise of Rene’s offspring following his footsteps in the person of his son Gene Boyd Lumawag. Unfortunately, the younger Lumawag’s finish line was much nearer than that of his father’s. He was assassinated several years back while doing his photojournalistic job in Jolo. And he was at the prime of his youth.

Goodbye our friend. We sure will meet again. After all, every human being’s life journey is headed towards that direction. Only, we have different set time travel.

With this we are extending our heart-felt condolence to those whom Rene had left behind. (Vic Sumalinog)

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