The University of the Philippines (UP) College of Mass Communication (CMC) paid tribute to its late former Dean Luis Teodoro on Wednesday, March 15.
Teodoro passed away on Monday, March 13. He served as UP CMC’s Dean for six years from 1994 to 2000 and taught at UP for decades, even after his retirement.
The CMC community mourned the loss of an esteemed educator and mentor who had left a profound impact on generations of students.
“That we are assembled here so soon and in such numbers is a testament to the depth of our gratitude for the man whose lifelong dedication to the cause of free and ethical press permeated and transcended the walls of our college,” incumbent CMC Dean Fernando Paragas said.
“His service was not just to us and the University, but [also to] the nation for which he helped ensure the freedoms and rights to speech, press, and assembly today,” he added.
“In the 17 years since his retirement, he has remained a staunch defender of the truth, establishing organizations and writing books towards this cause.”
UP President Angelo Jimenez also mourned with the CMC community. In his message, Jimenez praised Teodoro for mentoring generations of UP students.
“It is very important that we honor and hallow the memories of those who have dedicated their lives towards fulfilling the tasks of our great institution,” Jimenez said.
“Through those they have mentored, they magnify their influence, and, therefore, the influence of the University of the Philippines, our beloved institution.”
Former UP Regent and CMC Dean Georgina Encanto considers her colleague a “master teacher.”
“That students will no longer have the opportunity to listen in person and learn from the master teacher deeply saddens us. However, his passing is also a time to remember all the wonderful things he did for this College and especially for its students,” Encanto said.
“[H]e was a passionate teacher who knew the subject of Philippine media like the back of his hand,” she said.
Several more others provided a glimpse of how it was to be a student of Teodoro.
“Masayang nakakatakot sa loob ng klase niya. Masaya sa loob ng klase dahil parating may malayang talakayan at parati niyang binabanggit ang kaniyang personal na karanasan bilang peryodista at ang pangangailangang ipaglaban ang kalayaan sa pamamahayag,” UP Department of Journalism Associate Professor Danilo Arao said.
“Nakakatakot naman sa mga pagkakataong sinusuri na niya sa harap ng klase ang mga sinulat naming artikulo. Ang inakala naming mahusay na pagkakasulat ay maraming pagkukulang palá,” he added.
“Linawin ko lang: hindi siya namamahiya ng mga estudyanteng katulad ko. Ipinapakita lang niya kung gaano táyo dapat kaseryoso sa propesyong pinili natin,” he continued.
“Mabait si Sir pero agad kong nakikita na nagta-transform siya sa masungit kong professor sa Journ 101 kapag hindi kami umaabot sa standards niya,” Teodoro’s former student and journalist Evelyn Katigbak said.
“Malalim ang paggalang ko sa kaniya dahil naging guro at tagapayo ko siya hindi lang sa loob ng klasrum, kundi lalo na sa klasrum ng totoong búhay,” she said.
“Isa si Prof. Teodoro sa mga gurong nagmulat sa mga mata naming mga estudyante noong 70s sa tunay na kalagayan ng ating bayan na dito ay malalim ang pagkatanim ng hindi pagkakapantay-pantay ng lipunan, kawalan ng katarungan, at sukdulang kahirapan,” former UP CMC College Secretary and Professor Emeritus Elizabeth Enriquez said.
“Sa kabila ng maraming gawain bilang Dekano, maraming oras ang patuloy niyang iniukol sa pagsusulat at pagtuturo, na sa pamamagitan nito ay pinukaw niya ang kamalayan ng mga sumunod na henerasyon ng mga mamamahayag at guro ng midya,” she added.
While in mourning, Teodoro’s former students and colleagues expressed their gratitude for the late professor.
“Hindi ka malilimutan ng Kolehiyo at ng mga naging estudyante mo rito. Hindi ka namin malilimutan. Hindi ka malilimutan ng sambayanan,” former CMC Dean Rolando Tolentino said, thanking his predecessor.
A requiem Mass was also offered on Wednesday for Teodoro’s repose.