Well-loved Duterte photographer passes away at 74

Published July 2, 2019, 3:11 PM

by Patrick Garcia


By Ivy Tejano

DAVAO CITY – Renato “Rene” Lumawag, long-time friend and personal photographer of President Rodrigo Duterte, passed away last Monday, July 1, after a six-year bout with prostate cancer. He was 74.


Lumawag, fondly called as“Tatay Rene by his colleagues, was in the media industry for about four decades, and had inspired the careers of many homegrown photographers

He was also able to chronicle the political career of Duterte from being a mayor in 1986 until he was elected to the highest position in government.

Born on December 22, 1944 in Panay Island, Tatay Rene started earning money from classmates and friends who would ask him to draw school projects and make cards for special occasions.

Tatay Rene, who is a former broadcaster of the UMBN, was once documenting weddings and birthday parties. He was a radio deejay, a caminero, and even had a stint as embalmer before he ventured into photojournalism.

Lumawag has worked as a chief photographer in various local news papers in Davao.

Tatay Rene joined the San Pedro Express for about two months, just as the weekly business paper shifted to daily. From there he joined Ang Peryodiko Dabaw until it became Sun.Star Davao about six years later.

He was a staff photographer until he retired in August 2008.