Sports editor Joe Antonio, 69

JOSE “JOE” ANTONIO, the long-standing sports editor of People’s Journal, passed away Wednesday night. He was 69.

His remains lie at Loyola Commonwealth’s Diligence Room.

A proud son of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, Antonio was passionate with sports growing up most especially with baseball and cycling, specifically the Tour of Luzon.

He took up Marketing at the University of the East while juggling his time as a working student at Puyat Undergarments.

But Antonio would be lured to sportswriting later on when he chanced upon an announcement inviting students to join UE’s weekly student newspaper, The Dawn. He honed his craft with the student publication and rose to become its sports editor and managing editor.

A vacancy at the Times Journal launched Antonio’s sportswriting career in 1976 under the late sports editor Gus Villanueva. He spent the next 10 years with the broadsheet covering various sports from basketball, baseball, cycling, marathon, boxing to athletics, among others.

Antonio briefly worked at Tempo and the Manila Times early in the post-Edsa Revolution era, before coming back home to the Journal family after being invited to serve initially as assistant sports editor of the widely-read People’s Journal.

In 1987, he officially became People’s Journal sports editor, turning the section into a “can’t-miss reading” habit behind its catchy headlines, superb layout and easy-to-read stories.

Simple, down-to-earth and a friend to everyone, Antonio loved horseracing and was an avid fan of the late action king Fernando Poe Jr. He uses the pseudonym Daniel Barrion.

Antonio was the paper’s sports editor for 35 years. He is survived by wife Lita Antonio, son Steve Ovett, daughter in-law Princess Anne, and grandchildren Anthony James and Andre Stephen.

Interment will be on Sunday at the Forest Park Memorial.