Philippines, 09 Aug 2022
  Home >> News

 


BOXERS

CURRENT CHAMPIONS 

FORMER CHAMPIONS   

RATINGS                       

NEWS           

FORUM        

FIGHT GALLERIES        

RING CARD GIRLS        




 
 
News  


A man of his word: Farewell, Aquiles Z. Zonio


PhilBoxing.com




“My integrity and reputation are my legacy to my family and children —something money can’t buy,” the late Aquiles Z. Zonio once opined. For his friends, colleagues and the rare foe, his words will always ring true.

Aquiles Z. Zonio passed away on August 9, 2021 after an arduous battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and complications from Covid-19 —respiratory failure caused by the novel virus SARS-CoV-2.


(L-R) Lar, Yellen, Aquiles, Cherry (Sister Stella Maris) and Phel

“Our dear brother, you fought hard. You beat cancer but the damn virus got you. But we trust that it’s God’s will that your temporary life ends here. You are now with our Lord. No more pain, no more worry, Dear Aquil.”

 “We love you so much and we will miss you and it hurts so bad to think that we will not hear your jokes, your plan for your kids, your stories about your passion and your stories of your travel around the world with the great Manny Pacquiao. Padayon sa imong paglakaw diha sa langit. Please watch over our parents as we struggle to tell them this news,” Amie Zonio shared in her Facebook posts and PhilBoxing.com.


Aquiles with Amie Zonio and her daughter Rhea Mae

 For clarity, Amie Zonio said, “After his 4th cycle of chemotherapy, he told me that his last tests were good and that he might not need to finish up the 6th cycle. But on July 20 he tested positive for Covid-19. He was admitted to the intensive care unit at a General Santos City hospital and was there for ten days. Aquiles seemed to be doing fine and his oxygen saturation never went down below 93%. He became hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) but his vital signs were stable. During the last three days, he became critically-ill and the doctor told our family to prepare for the worst-case scenario. He seemed to have a pulmonary embolism and was in acute respiratory failure. He passed away peacefully on Monday morning, August 9th.”


Aquiles Z. Zonio was born fifty-five summers ago on January 13,1966 to Mr. and Mrs. Napoleon and Veronica Zonio of Libacao, Aklan in the Republic of the Philippines.

Growing up in General Santos City, he learned to take care of himself and his family as early as the third grade selling pandesal (bread of salt) and ice drops (a frozen delicacy). He contributed his earnings for medicine, necessities like rice and viand —a meat, seafood or vegetable dish that accompanies rice in a typical Filipino meal, sometimes fish (for weeks in a row) he earned while bartering with workers at the fish landing sites —a tradition he continued later in life despite undergoing chemotherapy for his malady.

“He was the lone protective thorn among six roses,” according to his sisters Amie, Weng, Yellen, Iar, Cherry (Sister Stella Maris), Phel,”
He was a devoted servant of God and he had a sense of humor that belie his stoic demeanor. When he was young, he used to sneak out to play billiards because our father considered it a form of gambling. He was active in sports, loved to lift weights and enjoyed the game of chess. Not many people know that he plays a mean guitar and can carry a tune.”

 He leaves behind four wonderful children —Rhea, Karen, Al Nezzar and Lexie Gianne Samara.


Aquil, as his friends and family fondly called him, grew up in General Santos City (formerly Dadiangas) in the southern island of Mindanao.

Blessed with an innate desire to fight injustice, he pursued a curriculum focusing on what constitutes good government.

He received his political science degree from Mindanao State University in March 1990. His inquisitive nature, knack for writing and talent for reportage has taken him to unprecedented heights in the world of journalism by advocating for press freedom and justice for the oppressed.



He cut his professional teeth in journalism as a radio reporter and news writer for National HighwayDXCP Radio Station (1986-1994) while attending college. Along the way, he was a correspondent and reporter for SapolNews Bulletin, General Santos City (2010-21), The Mindanao Bulletin (2007-21), Philippine Daily Inquirer (1996-2021), Agence France-Presse (2013-2015), The Brunei Times (2011-12), The Edge, Davao (2009-10), SunStar Super Balita, Davao (2005-06), SunStar, GenSan (1998-2004), GenSan Today as city editor and columnist (1995-96).



A glaring omission from his curriculum vitae are his duties as Media Relations Chief Officer for the Office of the Senate of Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, most likely by design due to his humble nature. 



He was a consummate professional and a meticulous reporter diving deep just to get to the bottom of the story be it murder, mayhem, political assassination or illegal logging; the juicier the subject matter was the better, according to him.
 He penned incisive articles like his coverage on Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and the proposed development of a Philippine Boxing and Combat Sports Commission (PBSC) designed to help every aspiring Filipino athlete in boxing and martial arts or MMA.

Of his reports and musings, my favorite was his hard-hitting column called AQUILES’ Heel on AquilesZonio.wordpress.com where he exposed a corrupt government official he dubbed COA-Kot.



Of his accomplishments, Zonio holds in high regard his title as writer and photographer for the very website you are on---PhilBoxing.com and/or PinoyGreats.com. Zonio wanted to be known as a fair and objective reporter while working for his famed boss—8-weight division world boxing champion and the oldest welterweight champion…well, you know the rest.



There was a time when Zonio flew in a Huey helicopter leading a team of reporters deep into enemy territory while covering Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s visit to Camp Ranao in war-torn Marawi to lift the spirits of weary government soldiers battling the remnants of an ISIS-inspired Maute group.

Zonio reported, “Pacquiao claimed he is not scared amidst the cacophony of artillery fires heard from a distance as he grew up in a conflict area in Sarangani.”

Aquiles Z. Zonio nicknamed himself Los Olvidados---the forgotten one. If you’ve had the pleasure meeting him you’d refer to him instead as El Inolvidable---one whose life was unforgettable.
To the Zonio Family, please accept this humble gallery on the life and times of our departed friend, colleague and mentor Aquiles Z. Zonio who lived life to the fullest January 13, 1967 - August 9, 2021. We thank you for telling us a side of Aquil’s life he kept private. God Bless You…and all the best from your friends here at PhilBoxing.com and PinoyGreats.com.

Aquiles Z. Zonio: His life and times…







Notes:



My friendship with Aquiles Zonio and most of what I know about him was inspired by my late father Hermie Rivera who considered Sir Aquil as one of his trusted colleagues and good friends. It is heartwarming to hear from Amie Zonio that Aquil considered my dad Hermie as his second father in journalism as in life. 
I miss them both.



The following message was my last for Sir Aquil. It was a follow-up from my past conversations with him. His inspiring words kept me company while I was on ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) lock-down in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan (Cebu Province) last March 13 to July 8, 2020. 

Sadly, he did not get to read it, but I take comfort in his last directive. 

Just let me know how I can help with your dream in the boxing world,” he last said.

In many ways, his words are good enough.

Sir Aquiles Zonio (August 2, 2021)

I once observed how lucky Aquiles Zonio was(is) to work for Emmanuel Pacquiao. My fond observation was short-lived as my late father sternly corrected my misconception.

Ano ka ba? Si Manny ang masuwerte nakahanap siya ng katulad ni Aquiles Zonio. He (twice)has what the Mexican boxing trainers of old call Doble EmE—Matapang, Masipag, Mapagkumbaba at Masigasig. And you can to the list of adjectives Magaling.”

Your friendship and stories about you are part of my treasured pamanas from Hermie Rivera. I appreciate you listening to my dreams of one day having a Philippine Boxing Hall of Fame with the commensurate book you are cordially invited to be part of and offering about the Greatest Filipino Fighters not named Manny Pacquiao.

I hope to show you our burgeoning collection and artifacts (including Francisco Guilledo’s gloves and shoes) and perhaps gallivant while soaking in the history and sights of the San Francisco Bay Area afterwards.

Stay well and safe, my friend.

Emmanuel Rivera (Noel)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel Rivera, RRT.


Recent PhilBoxing.com In-House articles:

  • JOSEPH “JOJO” DIAZ, JR. AND WILLIAM ZEPEDA SET TO BATTLE IN DANGEROUS CROSSROADS FIGHT
    , Tue, 09 Aug 2022
  • ESPN KNOCKOUT IN LATIN AMERICA TO BROADCAST NEXT DETROIT BRAWL, FEATURING ERGASHEV, IZMAILOV AND MICHIGAN’S BEST NEW FIGHTERS
    , Tue, 09 Aug 2022
  • Rances Barthelemy Feels his Last Performance will Garner him Another Big Fight at Super Lightweight
    , Tue, 09 Aug 2022
  • Sons Rise - Jimuel Pacquiao and Campbell Hatton
    By Teodoro Medina Reynoso, , Mon, 08 Aug 2022
  • Abne beats Bacolod by UD
    By Lito delos Reyes, , Mon, 08 Aug 2022
  • Mike “Bad Man” Ohan, Jr. Moves to 16-1
    , Mon, 08 Aug 2022
  • FVR: Ama ng Philippine National Games
    By Eddie Alinea, , Mon, 08 Aug 2022
  • Antipolo City team to compete in Sen. Manny Pacquiao Tuna Festival chess meet
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Mon, 08 Aug 2022
  • Charly Suarez Dominates Mark John Yap, Retains WBA Asia belt
    , Mon, 08 Aug 2022
  • VERGIL ORTIZ, JR. DEFEATS MICHAEL MCKINSON VIA TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT
    , Mon, 08 Aug 2022
  • Dante is WBF Int’l minimum champ
    By Lito delos Reyes, , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Chess Olympiad: PH Women's Team Beats Slovenia; Men's Team Bows to Greece
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Pasig City King Pirates rule over Iloilo Kisela Knights to claim PCAP GM Wesley So Cup
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Return of the Mick: Conlan Dominates Marriaga in Belfast Main Event
    , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • CASTANEDA AND MORAN ARE VICTORIOUS IN PROBOX TV’S 140 lb. LAST CHANCE TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINALS
    , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Ancajas-Martinez rematch set Oct. 8
    By Lito delos Reyes, , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Results from Thailand: Thais Yuttapong, Ongjunta Score WBA ASIA Title wins Saturday in Bangkok
    By Carlos Costa, , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • BORNEA TO SEE ACTION IN MEXICO ON AUGUST 19
    , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Suarez aims overseas campaign as he defends WBA regional title today
    , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Weights from Hanover, Maryland
    , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Paragua shocks Duda in Chennai Chess Olympiad
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • Boca, Ponteras lose in Thailand
    By Lito delos Reyes, , Sat, 06 Aug 2022
  • Moralde, Duno, Bernaldez make weight
    By Lito delos Reyes, , Sat, 06 Aug 2022
  • DENIEGA DISPOSES FORMER CHAMP JARO IN 4 ROUNDS
    , Sat, 06 Aug 2022
  • Prince Maverick Cornelio tops GM Balinas Training Center 1st Anniversary.
    By Marlon Bernardino, , Sat, 06 Aug 2022




  •  



     
    PhilBoxing.com has been created to support every aspiring
    Filipino boxer and the Philippine boxing scene in general.
    Please send comments to feedback@philboxing.com


    PRIVATE POLICY | LEGAL DISCLAIMER
    developed and maintained by dong secuya
    © 2022 philboxing.com.