Renowned GMA-7 reporter, host, and director Cesar Apolinario has passed away. He was 46.
He was diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this year, an illness which he chose to face privately.
After finishing with a degree in Communication Arts at University of Santo Tomas, he began his career with the Kapuso Network as a cameraman-researcher.
He shortly went on to become a television reporter, before further making his mark with documentaries on I-Witness, Brigada, and Born to Be Wild.
He would go on to host I-Juander, which sought to tell stories of ordinary Filipinos.
He is survived by his wife Joy and their children.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of our Kapuso, Cesar Apolinario, Jr., who peacefully joined his Creator today, December 13, 2019," GMA Network said in a statement.
"An award-winning broadcast journalist, writer, and director, Cesar will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues, especially those in GMA News and Public Affairs and in the film industry, where he devoted the best years of his life. A loyal Kapuso, his dedication to his craft as a news reporter, producer, and public affairs host will continue to serve as an inspiration to all.
"We join his entire family and loved ones in praying for his eternal repose."
He also ventured into film directing, taking the helm of the movie "Banal," an official entry into the 2007 Metro Manila Film Festival starring Paolo Contis, Alfred Vargas, and Christopher De Leon. He won Best Director at the Gabi ng Parangal.
He followed that up with another feature "Puntod," which starred a young Barbie Forteza. He also directed 2013's "Dance of the Steel Bars" starring Dingdong Dantes.
He has been open about coming from humble beginnings, working as a "takatak boy" to put himself through school.
"Kahit mahirap yung pagtatakatak, kahit na nakakahiya, kailangang mag-ipon ng pambaon sa loob ng isang linggo para makapasok ako everyday," he said in a GMA Public Affairs video in 2015.
"Hindi porke't mahirap ka ay wala ka nang karapatan na tumalino. Ang pangarapin nila ngayon ay yumaman ang kaalaman nila para marami silang mai-inspire."
He opened up about working different jobs to put himself through school in an interview with Mel Tiangco on "Powerhouse" in 2012.
His shows like I-Juander also provided occasional glimpses into Cesar's personal life and interests. In one episode last year, the host showcased his collection of aquatic plants.
Last year, Cesar and Joy's love story was featured on an episode of Wagas titled "Karugtong Ng Damdamin."
—JST, GMA News