Missing Tina Jacinto

A social gathering on Zoom to celebrate such a charmed life


This sonnet, penned by this humble writer, was among the many kind words spoken in tribute to party chronicler and Manila Bulletin Lifestyle "Having A Ball" columnist Tina Jacinto.

In her memory, the Zoom gathering and ninth-day novena and mass, celebrated by Fr. Tito Caluag, last night, Aug. 5, was in honor of all things we would need more of in this life, under these circumstances--a gentleness that belies strength of character, a tender, delicate front behind which lies a forceful will.

ANGEL Tina Jacinto during a shoot for Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, photo by Rxandy Capinpin

Friends and family members shared their fondest memories of Tina. Her sister Rissa Hidalgo, shared many things, but one thing struck me the most -- owing to one of the definitions of glamour that I found when I was young in the American Town & Country, refering to the Duchess of Windsor, as a quality that precluded running because glamour was one's ability to take one's time. Rissa said that the only time she saw her ate running was back when they were kids. She found Tina's diary, only to be caught in the act of opening the sacred journal by Tina who made a mad dash to protect her secrets. At that point, Rissa said, she knew that her sister was bound to find expression and power in words as well as in elegance.

HAVING A BALL The faces that used to grace Tina Jacinto's Sunday column in Manila Bulletin Lifestyle were all together but apart at the ninth-day novena and mass held on Zoom in her memory

Tina's only son Jeremy Jacinto intimated many qualities most of us in the audience knew of Tina as a steel butterfly, as fragile looking as gossamer wings but with enough energy to reach the heights of her dreams and the depths of her soul's desires.

Her husband Rupert Jacinto wrapped up the tributes by acknowledging those whose presence and support enable him to cope with the grief, the likes of Nedy Tantoco, Ping ValenciaMario KatigbakJosie NatoriYoli AysonMellie Ablaza, and more.

MASS GATHERING The requiem mass, particularly the sermon delivered by Fr. Tito Caluag, was a celebratory meditation on Tina Jacinto's buoyant spirit

But as Fr. Tito Caluag said, it was Nedy Tantoco, choosing from all the pictures what to use for the evening's celebration of such a charmed life, who best put into words what Tina was all about in a nutshell.

"This photo of Tina is so beautiful!" cried Nedy.

Here she exudes the real Tina, a mother who is a hero to her children, adored by her husband, and a true friend to many!

GRACE AND GRIEF Rupert Jacinto said the final tribute, choosing to acknowledge the presence and support of family and friends in this time of grief

Also among those spotted on Zoom at this virtual gathering were Helen OngMarvie YuloMia BorromeoDavid LimArmita Rufino, former President Gloria Macapagal ArroyoCriselda Lontok, and Fortune Ledesma.

Of Tina's children, it was only Liezl, married to Yuki Sato, who made it in time to Manila. Her son Jeremy and her other daughter, Jacqueline, married to Peter Zuratynsky, are in New York. But all were present, along with all of Tina's beloved grandchildren, in spirit and on Zoom.