Inday Nita Daluz (Nenita Cortes Daluz)


Inday Nita Daluz (Nenita Cortes Daluz)

Daluz, Inday Nita

Inday Nita Daluz (Nenita Cortes Daluz) was a radio broadcaster who became a leading Marcos critic and opposition leader in Cebu. She was born on 25 November 1938 in Cogon, Compostela, Cebu to Rosa Cortes and Jose Pascual. She died on 29 August 2007 in Cebu City. She was married to Jose Daluz Jr, with whom she had four children. Her two brothers Willy Cortes and Leo Cortes were also radio writers and directors. She attended the Tejero National High School.

Inday Nita was a teenager in the 1950s when she began her radio career on DYRC as a drama talent in Ikaw ang Langit Ko (You are my Heaven), written by Susana de Guzman. She then co-hosted a counselling program with Iyo Karpo, the radio name of Wenceslao Ben Zubiri, composer of the popular Cebuano love song Matud Nila (They Say) and already a popular radio personality even before World War II. Soon the station management gave Inday Nita her own program dispensing advice on marriage and relationships. She also emceed an amateur singing contest and learned to write and direct programs.

She was still with DYRC when then President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law on 21 September 1972, shutting down all media operations for several weeks until the government had put all media under the control of the Department of National Defense and the Department of Public Information. She subsequently joined DYRE. In the 1980s, Inday Nita rose to the position of station manager of DYRE. By this time, she had also become a political commentator. She and other radio commentators Tony Avila, Migs Enriquez, and David Ompoc were critical of then President Ferdinand Marcos and other powerful politicians.

Her transition from popular radio personality to opposition leader came on 21 September 1980, the eighth anniversary of the declaration of martial law. In the public affairs program Kon Ako’y Pangutan-on (If You Ask Me), which she co-hosted with Avila, she aired a prayer rally organized by local political opposition leaders Antonio Cuenco, Valentino Legaspi, and Vicente del Rosario and Manila-based politicians Salvador Laurel and Eva Estrada Kalaw. She then criticized the silence of other radio stations that avoided covering anti-Marcos protests. She also censured the government’s Broadcast Media Council for reprimanding journalists and threatening closure of media outlets critical of Marcos. While she was on the air, soldiers bearing long arms raided the station and arrested her inside the announcer’s booth. The incident and the screams of her small children who were in the studio were heard on the air as she instructed her technician not to switch off the transmitter.

The military accused Inday Nita and her colleagues of organizing freedom marches and of being infiltrated by communists or of being communists themselves. They were detained at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City on charges of inciting to sedition. Released from her 38-day detention, she turned down an offer to manage a radio station taken over by a Marcos crony. Three months later, DYRB hired her as station manager. She resumed her denunciation of state repression and human rights violations on the air but was cautioned by the station management to criticize only low-ranking military personnel. The station fired her when she refused to tone down her criticisms.

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In 1984 Inday Nita ran as the lone opposition candidate under the Panaghiusa (Unity) party and won as an assemblywoman of the Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly), serving until the EDSA revolt of 1986 overthrew Marcos. New president Corazon Aquino then appointed her undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior and Local Government. In 1987, she served as director of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. In the same year she ran unsuccessfully for the congressional seat of Cebu’s fifth district. After losing in 1988 in her Cebu gubernatorial bid against Emilio Osmeña, she retired from politics and returned to radio. She co-hosted with print and radio journalist Elias Baquero the program Bayan Muna Bago Sarili (Country Before Self) on DYRF from 1988 to 1989. In 2001, Daluz joined the DYDD Bantay Radio Network. Despite her declining health, she continued to anchor her radio program until her death in 2005 at the age of 68.

The Cebu provincial government posthumously recognized Inday Nita Daluz in 2012 for her contributions to Cebu’s music, entertainment, and media during the year’s Garbo sa Sugbo (Pride in Cebu) celebration. Cebu’s oldest English-language daily, The Freeman, included her in its list of 100 persons that “made a huge impact on the lives of Cebuanos” to mark the newspaper’s centennial celebrations in 2019.


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