Filipino journalists

Journalist, lensman Owen Bayog dies at 46

Tonyo Cruz

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Journalist, lensman Owen Bayog dies at 46

JOURNALIST AND PHOTOGRAPHER. Journalist and lensman Owen Bayog passed away on January 20, 2023, at the age of 46.

Owen Bayog's Facebook page

Bacolod-based Owen Bayog was the brains behind the Negros Sentinel, a local news website

Journalist and photographer Owen Segovia Bayog died on Friday, January 20, in Bacolod City, after a lingering illness. He was 46.

Bayog’s initial foray into journalism was with the regional Visayas Daily Examiner. He later worked as staff photographer for the Negros Daily Bulletin, and also contributed to the multi-awarded alternative online news outlet Bulatlat.

He was the brains behind the Negros Sentinel, a local news website.

The Negros Press Club, the country’s oldest press club, elected him as a director in 2018.

Prior to his confinement in July 2022, he worked as a commentator for Negros MUEWS Radio 104.7 FM, gracing the airwaves on weeknights.

In between taking photos and actively participating in community journalism, Bayog also lent his skill as photographer for then-Bacolod mayor Evelio Leonardia and congressman Greg Gasataya, and as festival photographer for the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto.

Through his OSB Digital Photography, Bayog became known as an instructor in photography training workshops, and as a sought-after photographer for weddings, portraits and events.

Bayog discovered journalism and photojournalism while still a student in the early 1990s. While studying at La Consolacion College-Bacolod, he joined the student publication The Ripples.

The College Editors Guild of the Philippines elected him vice president for Visayas, during the CEGP presidency of Ruth Cervantes.

Cervantes fondly remembers Bayog: “When I met Owen in the late 90s, my impression of him was he looked like your typical “maton” from the movies. Looks could really be deceiving, though, for he was never a bully.”

“Owen was funny, smart, witty, and empathetic,” Cervantes said.

“We would work together for two years. He and his family opened up their home to me when I was touring Negros and meeting up with editors from various schools. Momsie, Popsie, Owen and their furbaby Kevin made me feel welcome,” she added.

“When I first met him, Owen was this massive dark boulder of a man with almost a grouch for a face. But it is just that – a first impression melted by his kind demeanor, humor, and a strong heart for press freedom, protection of rights, and justice,” said former CEGP president Rey Asis.

Bayog is survived by longtime partner Maria Liza Yorac and their children.

Bayog’s remains will lie in state at the Rolling Hills Memorial Chapels in Bacolod.

Donations are accepted to cover the expenses for Bayog’s long hospital and home confinement since July, and for his burial.

Funeral details will be announced shortly, said Yorac. –

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