By Charmie Joy Pagulong
ABS-CBN’s veteran entertainment journalist Mario Dumaual has passed on Wednesday morning due to septic shock. He was 64.
He was survived by his wife Cherie, children Luigi, Miguel, Maxine, William, and Thessa and grandchildren Sky, Alonzoe, and Tali.
According to the statement released by his family, Mario, who would have turned 65 on July 31, had been battling a severe fungal infection, a complication during his recovery from a heart attack.
He was confined for a month at the Philippine Heart Center. He died on Wednesday at 8:01 a.m. due to septic shock.
“Papa was strong, he kept fighting on, overcoming the heart attack then a cardiac arrest. He would always say he wanted to go home because he missed us, his family. But the infection overwhelmed his body’s ability to recover,” the statement said.
“What comforts us is he knew that we were always with him, waiting for him, and that home was wherever he felt our love. We also made it a point to let him know how loved he was by his friends in the industry and even kind strangers who have been offering prayers and help for his recovery,” it added.
The senior reporter’s family described their “Papa” as their “rock.” “We depended much on him. But he also nurtured us to become strong and able and to be the best version of ourselves. Beyond us his family, we’d like to think he also left a legacy in entertainment journalism. He made us proud as Mario Dumaual, the reporter, but ultimately more so as a devoted husband, father, and granddad.”
The details of the wake will be announced soon.
Earlier this year, Dumaual was bestowed with a five-point brass star on the Eastwood City Walk of Fame for his contributions in news and public affairs.
He previously worked at the Ministry of Agriculture, financing company and a shipping line. He was part of the Journal Group of Companies in 1982.
Condolences and tributes from the entertainment have poured in for the well-loved veteran entertainment reporter.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) “mourns the passing of Filipino veteran reporter Mario Dumaual.”
“He cemented his legacy as a well-respected entertainment reporter in the industry and was honored with a five-point brass star on the Eastwood City Walk of Fame this year. He was a constant supporter of FDCP’s programs and initiatives for the local film industry. The FDCP extends its deepest sympathies with the family and loved ones of Mr. Dumaual,” FDCP announced on social media.
TV5 entertainment reporter and The Philippine STAR entertainment columnist MJ Marfori shared, “A difficult send-off to a mentor, showbiz family and friend. We will miss you dearly Tito Mario. Thank you for everything. We’ll keep your zeal for stories alive. We promise you that.”
Broadcaster Julius Babao penned a message for his good friend, saying, “Losing a good friend is never easy. Mario Dumaual just like many of us had crosses to carry during his lifetime. But whenever we see him, he’s the kind that does not show his wounds. He was always jolly, happy, and sometimes naughty specially when we are in our “Maritess” mode.”
“Today we grief for his passing. Tomorrow let us celebrate the wonderful life of one of the pillars of the entertainment media. A family man, a hardworking man and a great human being. Our deepest condolences to Cherie and the family. Please include him in your prayers everyone. Rest in peace pare,” he added.
Actor and senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. also extended his sympathies to the bereaved family and loved ones of Dumaual.
“May you find strength and comfort in this heartbreaking and difficult time,” he said and cited Dumaual’s legacy in the industry.
“Rest in eternal peace, Mario. Dalangin namin ang lubos mong kapayapaan sa iyong paglisan sa mundo,” he furthered.