Saturday, July 22, 2006

Top cartoonist, newspaper designer Boy Togonon dead at 55

Boy Togonon

Top cartoonist, newspaper designer Boy Togonon dead at 55
From the Manila Times.

Romeo Tan Togonon, known to friends as “Boytogs,” died of cardiac arrest Thursday night. He was 55.

As editorial cartoonist of The Manila Times until his death, Togonon was one of the country’s finest cartoonists.

A graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, where he finished his BS in Fine Arts and Advertising Art, Togonon had been a cartoonist and art director for the past 27 years. He won several awards and recognition for his works. Last year, he won second prize in the Sining-Guhit editorial cartoon and comic-strip contest sponsored by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Togonon’s winning cartoon portrayed Juan de la Cruz, representing the Filipino masses, with a cross on his back—symbolic of the burden of corruption. His entry, which came out in the February 15, 2005, issue of The Sunday Times, underscored the government’s campaign against corruption. His entry beat 113 other editorial cartoons.

Togonon worked for several publications before joining The Manila Times. He was creative director and political cartoonist of Sun-Star Manila and Sun-Star Bulilit; art director and cartoonist of the defunct Daily Globe. He also worked with The Manila Chronicle, which reopened in 1986. He contributed to several other publications and did artworks for several books and brochures of the National Book Store.

But his talent as a political cartoonist was honed during his Daily Express days.
Togonon was involved in advocating press freedom and other issues championed by the Philippine press. He was founding member of Samahang Plaridel, founding chairman of KartunAsia, the first organization of Asean cartoonists which he led in organizing; founding member, past president and chairman of Samahang Kartunista ng Pilipinas, the national association of Filipino cartoonists and illustrators which he helped organize with prominent artists like the late Hugo Yonzon and Larry Alcala and other artists.
He was also a former art consultant to the NCCA, Daily Manila Shimbun, KMC Magazine (Tokyo) and the Philippine Airlines.

An avid golf buff before his frequent bouts of chronic asthma, Togonon was former president of the Journalist Golfers’ Association and member of the Media Golfers’ Association. He was director for two terms of the National Press Club of the Philippines, from 1989 to 1990, and from 2000 to 2001. He won in the last NPC elections, but his two-year term as director (2006-08) was cut short by his death.

He left a wife, Sonia, sons Leonardo “Ardie,” Romeo Francesco “Franz,” and Michaelangelo “Micky,” sister Sylvia and husband Wenceslao Sampayan, nieces, nephews and other relatives.

The wake is at Saint Joseph Chapel, Holy Trinity Memorial Chapels on Sucat Road, ParaƱaque, until Wednesday, July 26. His body will lie at the National Press Club of the Philippines for necrological services on July 27-28. Interment will be on Saturday, July 29, 3 p.m. after Mass at the Manila Memorial Park.