A mediaman for vice-governor

By Herbert Vego

It was not surprising that our media colleague, Jonathan Cabrera, earned the distinction of being one of the “finest dozen” Western Visayas’ personalities for 2022 in an awards ceremony held at SM-City-Iloilo recently. He is the lone awardee from the province of Aklan

The award-giver, Keep on Talking by Boy Jorge, recognized Cabrera for founding Aklan’s first multimedia company, Todo Media Services. He was identified as “mediaman, publicist, and strategist rolled into one”.

As an avid listener of his early-morning “Todo Latigo” on Radyo Todo in Kalibo — which is also aired visually on Facebook and YouTube — I salute this young man for his guts in exposing malpractices in Aklan’s local government units at the risk of endangering his life.

Radyo Todo now has a branch in Panay, Capiz.

Alas, he has gone fed up of straining his voice without seeing reforms taking place at the provincial level. Would getting into where the action is be a more potent move?

I guess so, and that is why he is running as an independent candidate for vice-governor against two lawyers — Reynaldo Quimpo and Immanuel Sodusta — who are running mates of gubernatorial candidates Joen Quimpo and Wlliam Lachica, respectively.

He is not exactly a tyro in politics.  He had served as a Sangguniang Bayan (SB) member of Malay (elected in 2010) and is credited with having crafted an ordinance providing for a water waste management system in Boracay.

Jonathan Cabrera would not be ashamed to admit that, in financial stature, he is a “nobody” when compared to his opponents. But he believes in the audacity of the Aklanon voters to refuse to be bought, placing the future of the province above temporary personal gain.

After all, he has a long track record of public service outside of politics through the mass media, which has endeared him to the poor. Let us find out.

In a coffee talk with this writer, Cabrera revealed that he could have chosen a career in aeronautics had he pushed hard enough.  In fact, he was already a student at the defunct Gumayan School of Aeronautics in Iloilo City when he backed out on discovering that his heart was not in flying.

“I realize that I was inclined to embrace media work as a better choice,” he revealed, “because it would send me to war against ignorance, to lift and inspire radio audiences, and to help make a difference in people’s lives.”

And so, he auditioned for a reportorial job with Bombo Radyo (Iloilo City) in 1997 and made it.  In 1998, the network sent him to Kalibo, Aklan to work as a news writer. It did not take long for him to morph into assistant station manager of Bombo-Kalibo.

There was also a time when the regional GMA-TV tapped him to be its Aklan-based reporter for the then famous “Ratsada” newscast.

He has scored 25 years in the media profession.

There was also a brief period when he served as Aklan correspondent of the Daily Guardian.

Today, JonCab – as he is fondly called by friends – is also a corporate personality with natural talent in public relations.  As the spokesman and media relations consultant of More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power), he is responsible for devising ways and means to keep the company closer to its customers through the mainstream and social media. No doubt MORE Power President Roel Z. Castro is happy over the factual media image of the company as the conveyor of the cheapest electricity (around ₱6.40 per kilowatt-hour) in the Philippines.

He is a teki (Filipino slang for the technically advanced) who could “take” his radio station everywhere here and abroad via the internet with the use of portable gadgets.

Jon Cabrera must have “inherited” quick learning from our national hero. He prides himself in being a ka-birthday of Dr. Jose Rizal.  He was born in Paluan, Mindoro on June 19, 1977.

After finishing elementary school there, Jon studied and finished high school in New Lucena, Iloilo.

He is happily married to the former Linly Autencio, a medical technologist.  They have one son, Simon Angelo, 11.

They are a family that dances Paru Paru G on “tik-tok” together to stay young, happy and healthy.