Ex-PNA executive editor writes '30'

By Severino Samonte

January 20, 2021, 4:26 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo) </em></p>

(PNA file photo) 

MANILA – Veteran journalism and communications Prof. Iluminado M. Varela, better known as Jun Varela or JV to his former colleagues and students, died of a lingering illness on Jan. 18, 2021 at the Commonwealth Hospital and Medical Center in Barangay Greater Lagro, Novaliches, Quezon City.

Varela, a widower who would have been 82 years old this coming April 20, retired in 2004 as executive editor of the government-run Philippine News Agency or PNA.

Before he assumed the PNA's top post, he was the features editor of the agency for several years.

Also a former professor of journalism and communications at the Far Eastern University (FEU), he is survived by his two children -- Portia and Friedrich -- and seven grandchildren.

A day before his retirement, Varela, a physical fitness enthusiast, suffered a serious hip injury while running or jogging near his Quezon City home after office hours. He never recovered from such ailment.

His caregiver, Randy Dayro, said although Varela was not a victim of the new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), his immediate family members decided to have his remains cremated and buried on the same day at the Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park in Barangay Pasong Tamo, Novaliches, Quezon City.

This is in accordance with the current government health protocol on burial of the dead.

Aside from the PNA, Varela also worked at the former Manila Chronicle, the Bureau of National and Foreign Information (BNFI), and the Evening Paper, among other media outfits. (PNA