Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Memorial to Henry C. Villalva (1948-2010) By: James U. Sy Jr.

Sportswriter Henry Chuatico Villalva, Acting Editor-in-Chief of Sun Star Bacolod, passed away last June 4, 2010, 5:30 PM at Doctor's Hospital, B.S. Aquino Drive, Bacolod City due to multiple organ failure caused by a myocardial infection (heart attack). He was 61.

Villalva was rushed to the hospital by his niece Frances Villalva Porter where medical personnel tried to save him for 30 minutes at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. Previously he also had a heart attack several months back but recovered.

Villalva, who hails from Isabela, Negros Occidental, was born on December 9, 1948. He was an active student activist during the Martial Law years and later worked as a DJ at DYWN of West Negros College and DYRG in the 1980s and at Magic 103 in the 1990s. He was also a formerly a university professor.

Prior to becoming the Acting Editor-in-Chief of Sun Star Bacolod, Villalva was a sportswriter and columnist of different print media outlets in Bacolod. Negros Daily Bulletin sportswriter Cyrus Garde called him the “Football Guru” as football was his favorite sports event to cover.

Villalva conceptualized the idea of a local sportswriters group which he proposed to his colleagues in 1988 and the Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines (SCOOP)-Bacolod elected its officers in 1989. Villalva was Vice President. In the next elections, he became President.

Villalva covered various local and national sports competitions such as the Batang Pinoy, Palarong Pambansa, and the Southeast Asian Games

He was active in the formation of several sports events together with local sports patrons like Oscar Bascon, Monju Guanzon, Rafael "Junie" Lizares, Vic Tan, and Roy Yanson and took part in the conduct of different international sports competitions such as the 2005 SEA Games, Asean Football Championship-Qualifier, and the recent RP-Malaysia Goodwill Games.

In their obituary pieces on Villalva, the top three local dailies in Bacolod unanimously called Villalva as "one of the pillars of the local sportswriting industry in Bacolod and Negros Occidental."

Villalva was the second SCOOP member who died in 2010, the first being Victorino Salazar.