Tough Joseph

The Daily Tribune family lost one of its pillars, Joseph Cortes, who was an example of pure dedication.

JC would always take lightly the heaviest of challenges primarily the health predicament that requires him to undergo dialysis thrice a week.

He usually put humor in his ordeal and even wrote about what contributed to his health problem in his weekly column, Galaero, which this writer anticipates weekly.

His journeys in Galaero are the travails in the daily life of most Filipinos such as getting hitched with friends and later suffering heavily for it, which in Joseph’s case included making it home without remembering how the next day.

His medical condition did not restrict his free spirit as he would revel in discovering off-the-beaten-track gems where the best food can be found.

During ordinary moments at the office, JC would pitch a joke as an ice breaker which hid the pains.

He would play song selections at times when he was editing saying that it reminds him of those he loves back home to whom he plays music for, including surprisingly a platoon of dogs.

Joseph is known to his friends as an animal lover and would carefully choose the people to whom puppies are bequeathed.

An anecdote is that he parts with his beloved puppies with a lot of advice on how to care for them like a parent asking a guardian to care for a child who would long be away.

Most of the time JC would be the last to leave the office on a normal working day since he puts in some time to see through some of the assignments for the next day.

To top it all, he would apologize to Larry our editorial coordinator, and at a time bring him a pasalubong after a dialysis session just to make up for being late or missing a day in the office.

Raye Sanchez, a student of JC when he was a journalism course professor at Letran College, described JC as being so committed to the journalism profession as he drilled students about grammar and make sure that they learn editing marks and symbols.

“He did ask us to interpret a table about the tourism industry that students have a small grasp of,” according to Raye who is now a reliable staff member of Daily Tribune’s Lifestyle section.

JC indeed is a stickler for accuracy as he would not let pass a word in an article or column that escapes his journalistic grasp.

His long history in the newspaper field endeared him to many in the industry, particularly those who have had a discourse with him during his frequent visits to the National Press Club.

Joseph will be missed. His journeys as a “Galaero” will lie deep in the hearts of friends and colleagues.

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