Considered as one of the pillars of the local sportswriting industry, Henry Villalva of SunStar Bacolod passed away at 5:30 p.m. yesterday due to myocardial infection and multiple organ failure.
Villalva was born December 9, 1948 and was known for his cool and modulated voice, an asset that landed him a job as disc jockey at DYWN of West Negros College and DYRG back in 1980s, then at Magic 103 in the 90s.
While he was known as Long, Tall, Henry to his radio listeners, Villalva is the football “guru” among sportswriters, as his knowledge and game analysis would have easily qualified him as a soccer coach, Negros Daily Bulletin sports writer Cyrus Garde said.
Whenever we had multiple-event coverage such as the provincial, regional, and even the national Palaro, we could rely on him to give us the football updates, Garde added.
His passion for sports was undeniable and it reflected in his work. He almost always had an opinion on issues especially those close to his heart – basketball, football and boxing, Philippine Daily Inquirer sportswriter, and former DAILY STAR sports editor Cedelf Tupas said.
He also remembered Villalva’s booming voice, which Tupas said, added color to the events they covered.
“He is a big loss to the sports community and I am grateful to have worked with him,” Tupas said.
More than a colleague, Villalva’s closest friend among the media circle is Elsie Jolingan, the first person in the media contacted by Villalva’s family to inform her about his passing away.
He was more of a brother to me than a friend, Jolingan said, as she remembered every PBA and MBA games he and Villalva would cover together.
“But his heart has always been in football. He simply loved the game,” Jolingan said.
Villalva’s remains now lie in state at the Rolling Hills Memorial Chapels. Schedule of interment will be announced later.*NAB
Visayan Daily Star