‘Jack the Wack’ signs off; politicians mourn his passing

·2 min read

THE death of Sylvan Jakosalem, the former Cebu City councilor and disc jockey, saddened some city officials who had worked with him when he was still active in public service.

Jakosalem, who was also known by his music radio station moniker “Jack the Wack,” died at 6:42 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Before his passing, Jakosalem had been hopitalized on Feb. 14 due to seizure, pneumonia and urinary tract infection.

His late grandfather Dionisio Abella Jakosalem served as governor of Cebu during the American colonial rule from 1907 to 1912, succeeding Sergio Osmeña Sr., the grandfather of former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña.

Tomas Osmeña, in a text message, said Jakosalem’s death was “really a very sad story,” but he added that “where Jack is today, he is no longer suffering. And his family will no longer bear the endless agony.”

In February 2013, Jakosalem underwent brain surgery due to neurocysticercosis, a parasitic disease in the nervous system.

Jakosalem was part of then reelectionist Cebu City mayor Michael Rama’s slate of councilors running in the 2013 elections. His brain surgery and subsequent recovery forced his wife Sharon to join Team Rama’s campaign sorties on his behalf. Jakosalem lost in the elections.

City Council stints

Rama and Jakosalem were members of the Cebu City Council for three straight terms from 2001 to 2010. Rama, as vice mayor, was the presiding officer.

In 2010, Rama won the mayoral race, succeeding Osmeña, then his ally at Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan.

During Rama’s term, Jakosalem continued his public service as the chairman of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom), the former name of the Cebu City Transportation Office.

Rama, now the city vice mayor, issued a statement celebrating Jakosalem’s life.

Jakosalem, as the Citom chief, “courageously” advocated for solutions to traffic, including opposing the controversial construction of two flyovers in the city, according to Rama. But the vice mayor did not specify which flyovers these are.

Jakosalem, said Rama, was an advocate for a more livable Cebu City.

“It was our honor to work with a man with such dedication and steadfast bravery in his advocacies,” Rama said.

City Councilor David Tumulak said Cebu City lost one of its good public officials with Jakosalem’s passing. Tumulak was not a member of the councils where Jakosalem had been a member, but he had covered him when he was still a reporter for a local radio station.

Jakosalem had programs at music radio station Y101 FM, which he had also served as its manager when he was still in good health.

In its Facebook page, the Y101 FM family paid tribute to Jakosalem, saying: “You will live in our hearts and in our adlibs forevermore.” (JJL)