Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Godspeed, Jonjon

KNOWN for his daredevil moves and keen outside shooting, former San Beda King Red Cub and University of the Philippines point guard Lino "Jon-jon" Tabique Jr. thought he had the game all figured out. Like any athlete, he felt invincible on court. He was a fleet-footed playmaker who could authoritatitvely orchestrate the team and fearlessly take the game-winning shot. Until, at 21, he was told he had cancer. Tabique now carries with him the fear of dying young.

“Sometimes, I wonder if I'm still going to wake up tomorrow. And I keep thinking that I don't want to die. So I just pray. I tell God to give me one more chance,” says the soft-spoken Tabique.

It's a fear that the UP Fighting Maroon has been battling since January this year. Tabique was first diagnosed with tuberculosis, but further tests revealed he had stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer affecting the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made up of tissues and organs that help the body fight infections and other diseases. And just like on court, it's still Jon-jon Tabique's competitive spirit that's pushing him to win the biggest battle of his life. “I don't want to die. I will fight to survive.

-Excerpt from “Fighting to Play Again,” a 2004 Philippine Daily Inquirer article by Jasmine W. Payo. Got this from his cousin, Mae, online.

Lino Tabique, Jr. or “Jonjon” to us, his high school batchmates, lost his long battle with cancer last November 13. It was while browsing around that I read about this really tragic news. Jonjon was “the” man on campus during our high school years. He was the King Red Cub and star basketball player. But one thing that differentiated him from the stereotypical jocks of high school years, the guy’s humble. Well, coming from a private all-boys institution, you can’t take away the naughtiness and mischievousness of the students, but still, he was never a jerk. He had always kept his feet planted in the ground.

I can’t say we were that close. But I know the guy and have the utmost respect for his accomplishments and all the glory he brought to our beloved school. On and off-court, Jonjon made a name for himself. He was a good friend to his barkada and a great leader to his teammates. He will be missed.

Like what Thops said in his tribute blog, I’m also thankful for having to meet one of the greatest Red Cub there was and a good batchmate. I’m also thankful for letting us feel what it’s like to be a champion by sharing your basketball talents and bringing home countless victories for San Beda. Thanks, pare!

That in All Things, God May Be Glorified!

Thops is cooking up some tribute thing for Jonjon. While he’s working on that, I borrowed the picture from his Friendster. Sorry for the late entry, man!


Kadz said...

So young.. =(

timeenutlatte said...

Man, I hope the dying of family, friends, and acquaintances end already. It's scary! Anyway..I know he's in a better place. He'll be playin' with all the greats up there! :')