Ruben de Jesus
February 26, 1961 - May 11, 2023
Ruben is one of the founders of Ang INK. He is the Illustrators’ Sectoral Representative of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) since 2012.
Ruben “Totet” De Jesus was a gifted artist, beloved teacher, mentor, and friend. He is the award-winning illustrator of the book Mahiyaing Manok and he, more recently, created designs for the stained-glass windows of the University Library of UP Diliman. At the core of all his work was love for country and the steadfast belief that art, especially illustration for children, served a crucial role in creating hope and uplifting the life of the Filipino child. 
Totet was a founding member and past president of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK). Now on its 32nd year, the organization is well-established and respected in the Philippine children’s book industry—a source of pride and inspiration for him. Totet credited “a lot of fun, a lot of struggles, a lot of hardships, a lot of learning” combined with “a lot of hard work, a lot of creativity, a lot of good vibes, and a lot of bonding among people involved” as the group’s winning formula. 
Looking back, though, it is undeniable that Ang INK would not be what it is without Totet’s faithful support, patient guidance, and constant encouragement. When asked about his wish for the future, he said, “Ang wish ko [is] for INK to continue....yung tuloy-tuloy pa rin na makatulong...para mas maraming bata ang makakapagbasa ng libro.” He added, “Siguro I’d like to end with helping all the people, institutions, that helped us grow...I also thank those who have been part of INK, have been members or are still members...Kayo yung buhay ng grupo kaya maraming salamat!” 
Ang INK is privileged to count Totet among its founders. We remember and take to heart his words as we continue to create and illustrate for children. And we promise that we will have fun while doing it. 


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