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Louie Tolentino

Goodbye Mr Radioman Louie Tolentino

BY BLESS SALONGA – Louie Tolentino. He’s known to his colleagues as the former Senior Radio Producer at SBS Filipino. To His friends, he’s known for being an adventurous, charming, caring, dedicated, energetic, generous, humorous, intelligent, kind-hearted, lively, optimistic, quick-witted and talented Christian and family man.

I first met Tito Louie in March 2016 when he interviewed me about Uncle Jovito preceding his memorial service at FCF Life Centre in Michinbury; Tito Louie served as a senior member of that church who held multiple vital roles. I then occasionally saw him at FCF Life Centre when I used to take my Mom there for Sunday worships. The next time I bumped into him was in Hillsong around 2018 when he served as one of the weekly volunteer at the 9AM service ushering and handing out bibles with his better half, Tita Nida.

June 16 is when we became FB friends when he sent me a “wave” (to which I “waved” back. Initially, the only communication we had where the random likes and comments on FB threads and posts then he gradually started sharing links via FB chat. Late October 2018 is when my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. After seeing one of my posts, he rang me in November to give me encouraging words and to pray for me. I was really touched by his concern.

By late November, he was in my home along with his lovely wife, Tita Nida and Alvin so we can sit down and talk about God’s words. That was the start of our brotherly relationship – through our regular bible studies. After another interview about my daughter’s complex medical and developmental needs in March 2019, aired at SBS “Never give up: Raising a child with special needs” our bond has progressed into a father-daughter status. He would always emphasise that God commands that he had to take care of us as I am a “widow” and my children “orphans” as their fathers were not active in their lives.

With his frequent phone calls to check up on us, not wanting me to thank him publicly or asking for anything in return, I could see his genuine intention to serve God, his love and care towards people in need. To be honest, I was on the verge of clinical depression early 2019 due to burn out and I would confidently say, God sent Tito Louie at the right time to get me out of it. Every week, in spite of the distance from his home to mine, he would visit us so we can share the word of God.

Even during the lockdown, we would conduct bible studies via zoom where he would lead and share God’s wisdom. In February 2019, he was the one who convinced me to enrol with him at night school to do bible classes. By mid-2020, we were planning to go back to SWR 99.9FM to produce a program about God’s love and hope with my son. When I get married one day, we planned that my son and him would walk me down the aisle, him as the “father of the bride”.

My beloved son passed away March this year, and now he is also gone. When I first heard that Tito Louie has also joined our good Lord, I was devastated. Not only did I lose a very good friend and a selfless pastor/leader, I lost a father. Tito Louie cared. He has mentored a lot of people. His compassion and passion to serve God and other people is a revelation of his faith. Tito Louie did not end up walking me down the aisle but he did more that that — he walked with me through my journey of faith. My only son’s passing truly weighted heavy on me, he took a piece of me that rendered me incomplete.

But Tito Louie constantly reminded of God’s love and grace — and how the Holy Spirit is capable of making me whole again. I have friends whom I have known for over 10, 20, 45 years but for just a period of 3 years, I consider myself so blessed for the very intimate friendship from Tito Louie and Tita Nida.

We are blessed with a great family whom both my son and I love and respect, a man who have impacted our lives though short in comparison to others. I have heard stories of this devout Christian and how he has helped a lot of people in the past so I am sure sharing my journey with this approachable soul is just a tiny scratch of the larger purposeful life God has granted him.

Tito Louie’s legacy is not his charismatic voice in the air waves, not his beautiful smile or his amazing personality alone….. it’s his love and actions… how he walked the faith and held our hands to walk the path and appreciate our lives whom God sacrificed for. His legacy is about loving God and his people.

Tito Louie mentioned to me he was ready anytime and looked forward to meeting his creator. Sad we may be for a great loss, we are happy for him for living a full and happy life and now finally meeting his beloved Creator. Tito Louie, thank you for the Loe. Thank you for the laughter.

Thank you for living Christ through your actions. Thank you for being you. Enjoy mingling in Heaven!