FULL DISCLOSURE: The writer was a reporter under Nick Lizares when Lizares became news chief in the 90s of Church-owned radio station dyAF-Radyo Bacolod.
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Post-Marcos broadcast journalist Nicolas Gerardo M. Lizares died yesterday of an illness.
He turned 60 only two months ago.
Popularly known as “Nick” to family, friends, and the TV audience of the local ABS-CBN, he was the third among nine children.
Nick became an almost household name when the local ABS-CBN affiliate reopened in 1998 and launched TV Patrol, its flagship newscast.
Maria Luisa “Bing” Ascalon became the first post-Marcos station manager of ABS-CBN Bacolod.
She was Assistant Vice-President for the Visayas when she retired.
The giant TV network owned by the Lopez family was ordered shut by then President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in 1972 when he declared Martial Law.
It reopened in the mid 1980s after Corazon Aquino was swept to power through a civilian-backed military take over.
August this year, the Philippine Congress denied the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
At least 80 employees here lost their jobs.
Nick was one of the earlier co-anchors of TV Patrol along with Harold Limbo, a veteran radioman before becoming ABS-CBN anchor, Leilanie Salem-Alba and Agnes Lira-Jundos.
Alba and Jundos both headed the local ABS-CBN affiliate.
Nick told DNX in a 2020 August interview that among those who trained him were Frank Evangelista and Angelo Castro Jr., both widely considered as titans of Philippine TV.
“He was the life of the party, the life of the family,” Nick’s younger brother, Larry, told DNX.
Messages of sympathy for the family poured out on the Facebook wall Limbo from ABS CBN employees belonging to new and old generations.
Issa, one of Nick’s children, posted a message on her Facebook wall thanking her dad:
“Thank you for everything, DADDY! Thank you for your sacrifices and for always spoiling us. I know you’re in a better place now with Lolo and Lola. Please watch over us, especially Mommy.”