Journal corres falls to COVID, goes home in a jar


Cesar Reyes, a news correspondent for the People’s Journal, died of Covid-19 complications Tuesday, May 25, at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center – Intensive Care Unit and finally got home, but sadly, in a jar.

Reyes, 61, died at 8:35 AM after doctors failed to revive him. He went into coma last Friday. He was confined last May 18 and tested positive for Covid-19. On his Facebook wall last May 20, Reyes asked for prayers for his recovery.

His last story that appeared on Journal News Online was on May 18 and of two men who died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer. It might have served as a premonition as he will die due
to lack of oxygen. “Kuya Cesar is gone now,” Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club president Aldwin Quitasol told local media in the Kakadwa Media group chat Tuesday morning.

Reyes is survived by his wife Lita and three children who are all under quarantine at their home at 103 Cabinet Hill, which made his death even more tragic with none of them present when he drew his last breath or before when he went into coma.

He was cremated at 2PM also Tuesday. No member of his immediate family were present except a brother in-law, who does not live with them, and Quitasol, who coordinated efforts to help in the hospital bills and burial expenses of Reyes as well as the services itself.

Quitasol, as BCBC president, also started a food drive for the family of Reyes, who are stuck in their house with no means to get food. Donations from media friendly organizations and companies were sent through the BCBC’s efforts.

He added that the wife lost all hopes Tuesday morning saying that a higher being will be watching over her husband. “It was so sad that it was only through a nurse they know, who got his phone and said she would put it on every time his family calls, which was even sadder since he could only answer in moans,” said GMA – 7 stringer Darius Bajo, who frequented the hospital even if he cannot go near Reyes.

Born in San Fabian, Pangasinan, Reyes was raised in Manila. His family settled in Baguio in 2008 where he became member of the BCBC and later an officer. He was a one-time president of the Baguio City Police Press Corps.

In his first few months in Baguio, he got into an altercation with a group of taxi drivers, who blocked his van from going out of the parking space in front of Luisa’s Cafe. That time it was allowed for taxi drivers to have a long queque from the taxi stand in front of the Mercury Drug until Cid. He was detained at the Baguio City Jail from that Thursday night until Monday morning
before lunch.

Reyes is the first Baguio – Benguet based media to have died from Covid-19, 11 others were infected before him but recovered.

Pigeon Lobien/ABN