The heroes we see on television and on the big screen are all wearing capes with extraordinary superpowers, but on the airwaves, there was once a hero who wore headphones and spoke in front of a microphone possessing the superpower in the form of a fully equipped knowledge and experience in Agriculture.
Heroes do not reveal their names for they do not want to be known and rewarded for their service. This hero of the people in Agriculture considers awards for his service as bonuses, not rewards. He said in his acceptance speech in Gawad Dangal ng Wika, “The reward of service is service itself.”
Our hero, a native of Tanauan, Batangas, was born on February 11, 1944. He studied at Tanauan Institute and expanded the depth of his knowledge and skills under the Department of Agriculture Information and Communication with a degree in Bachelor of Agriculture major in Agricultural Communication at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He then pursued Mass Communication for his graduate studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He also finished courses on Radio Program Production in Holland and on Educational Television Production in England. These prepared him to the road he would take to reach out and change lives of ordinary people.
In the 1960s he served as a student announcer for DZLB in UPCA. After graduating, he started working as a producer in Radio Veritas, a non-government Catholic radio station. He was promoted from being a chief announcer to being a program director throughout the years.
In 1991, he spearheaded the Tambuli Project of UNESCO, a project aimed to build 24 community radios in isolated rural areas. A breakthrough in community radio, the project received the 1995 UNESCO-IPDC (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – International Programme for the Development of Communication) Rural Communication Prize.
His most famous radio program “Sa Kabukiran” finally activated its radio shack in 1998. Being the radio program anchor, our hero opened his doors to promote agriculture, find innovations in agricultural technology, work hand in hand with people in agriculture for solutions to problems, and use community radio to reach out to people from secluded areas.
He received numerous awards for his service, but the award he is most thankful for is the Gawad Dangal ng Wika he received from Komisyon ng Wika in 2014. He was awarded for his use of Filipino language to promote agriculture in his radio program “Sa Kabukiran” and for his poetry work “Punla sa Diwa”.
For his second daughter, the best thing she would not forget about him is his eye for doing things that were never done before. She recalls her father’s words, “Aim higher and you will achieve higher.” To our hero, he sees no hindrance on the way to achieve something. Moreover, he finds thousands of possibilities when confronted with one impossibility.
For his first granddaughter, the most unforgettable lesson she learned from him is his priority to always get along with others. He does not base his attitude towards others on their social statuses. He is even humble and polite that he appropriately dresses when immersing with people. In fact, he always makes sure he does not stand out so people can easily approach him. When people greet our hero, he smiles back and listens to their stories. When they have problems, he surely holds them hand in hand to find solutions.
Much like planting, he gave people seeds of hope through his dedication to community radio and interest in agricultural technology innovation. In return, these people cherished what he gave, and showed him that each and every seed has now bore fruit. To where he lies to rest, these people gather to honor him and give him a basket of fruit full of love.
His sincerity, perseverance, kindness, compassion, and willingness to help brought many people to look up to him and made the ones who adore him to love him even more.
As we know it, heroes do take a rest. To honor him for his selfless service to the people, we proudly reveal his name.
Lucio N. Tabing, the voice behind “Sa Kabukiran”, have done beautifully in his stay here on earth.
Our very own community radio hero “Ka Louie” has now signed off.