By Belinda A. Aquino
Today, the late Corky Trinidad would have reached the age of 70, and as far as we know, he never missed a deadline. Family, friends, colleagues and admirers have chosen this day to begin a campaign to memorialize Corky's artistic and professional legacy.
The “Friends of Corky” initiative aims to establish an endowment at the University of Hawaii Foundation to assist students, scholars and researchers in the fields spanning Corky's lifelong interests, including journalism, mass communication, fine arts — especially painting — performing arts and human rights.
A minimum of $35,000 is needed to name an endowment for Corky, who died Feb. 13. Upon reaching the amount, the UH Foundation will administer the endowment in conjunction with the Center for Philippine Studies at UH-Manoa.
“Friends of Corky” organizers are delighted that the Star-Bulletin has pledged a significant amount to the endowment project. Several pledges from various donors already have been received, some coming from friends and colleagues on the mainland and abroad.
Corky was a talented, tireless, delightful, devoted and loyal worker for the Star-Bulletin for nearly 40 years. I know that many people, especially in Hawaii's large Filipino community, subscribed to the paper because they loved Corky's cartoons. They would often greet each other with, “Did you see Corky's cartoons today?” or “What do you think he meant by that cartoon today?”
His fans obviously miss him.
Underlying his genius was the way he treated and used humor. He often quoted Abraham Lincoln who, according to Corky, gave the best definition of humor when he said, “I laugh because I must not cry.” The purpose of humor, he said, is “to express the truth in another manner that softens the hurt. Like slapping someone with reality wrapped in a pillow.”
The Corky Trinidad Endowment Fund will perpetuate Corky's long and distinguished legacy of independent thought and free expression through the arts.
Anyone wishing to make a contribution to Friends of Corky, can send a check to “Friends of Corky” c/o FilCom Center, 94-428 Mokuola St., Suite 302, Waipahu, HI 96797. For further questions, contact Friends of Corky organizer Teresita Bernales at email@example.com or Geminiano Arre, president of FilCom Center at (808) 680-0451. All donations are tax-deductible.
—May 26, 2009
Belinda Aquino is professor and director of the Center for Philippine Studies at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.