CBS News veterans were paying tribute to Gaby Tabuñar, Jr., the longtime foreign correspondent from the Philippines who died this week at the age of 94.
Gaby was a legend among Filipino journalists. His experience during the Japanese occupation gave him a great passion for freedom that stayed with him throughout his career in news.
One colleague said the one word to describe him would be "wise" — those who listened to Gaby would "come away smarter, more aware of the currents of civil affairs and life itself." Another said there was no one more gentle and giving.
Many journalists learned their craft at the feet of Gaby Tabuñar.
Gaby gave voice to the voiceless, and guided CBS News coverage for decades through the ever-changing landscape of Philippines history.
"When earthquakes struck, volcanoes erupted or coup bullets started flying, Gaby stayed steady," said a rookie producer who worked for Gaby. "He was the center of the CBS newsroom at the Manila Hotel, telling his reporters where to go and who to interview. To the crisis he brought context, a sense of history and, yes, wisdom."
He respected everyone, even if they were a target of CBS News reporting. And from priests to presidents, his contacts in the Philippines were second to none. Gaby was one of the founders of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines, which continues to be a vanguard of press freedom to this day.
One longtime CBS producer in Asia said she would always remember and honor the lessons she learned from Gaby. Another: "I have never encountered a man as elegant and as lovely."