Showing posts with label condolences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label condolences. Show all posts

Monday, December 31, 2018

Year-end ponderings on life and death leading to the New Year

A friend lost his daughter a few weeks ago to what was diagnosed as clinical depression. I learned from various sources that she had already had one attempt to take her own life recently. I also learned that she turned 18 just a week before the end. From all accounts including my friend's and those who knew her, there was no indication of her depression or her going through rough times. The photos in the slideshow at the wake showed what anyone can consider as a happy childhood and a happy, loving family. I have known my friend for almost 29 years now and I know him to be a man of strong faith and convictions. I know that he is an affectionate father and one with a good sense of humor, too.

I could not imagine what my friend and his wife were and are still going through right now. It is certainly a most difficult time given this tragic event. My friend is grieving and has only recently returned to social media where his posts reveal that he is still sorting things in his mind and heart. I pray that he may find solace in his faith and that he would be comforted by happy memories I am sure he keeps of his daughter.

We were at the wake the last Friday before her remains were cremated and witnessed the tributes and testimonials given by the daughter's classmates. The music they shared touched most if not everyone. I felt their grief, their sadness over what happened to a person they regarded as a dear friend. She was Grade 12 and would have graduated next year. She just took the UPCAT and could have passed the entrance examination and go on to study at UP. Sadly, that will not come to be.

Friends talk about how social media and all these information available to us now tend to influence he way we think and feel. I, too, think there's just a lot of information going around these days and people especially the young don't generally know how to filter what's valid or true from the fake. This creates a confusion of the mind and the heart, which may lead to depression and to some, a general loss of hope. It is this hopelessness that we need to address but more so by tackling the root causes. Many people like to say we need to "go back to the basics" and yet it seems they do not know what the "basics" are all about. Perhaps we should have less of social media, of the internet? More of family time, of outdoor activities and interactions? I think we should.

I wish everyone a peaceful, joyful, hopeful, healthy and prosperous 2019!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Rest in peace, Mama Puring

Another beloved aunt recently passed away. Purissima Fajardo-Ermino or Mama Puring as we fondly called her was the younger sister of my mother. I had photos of her in my old album but that, too, was destroyed by the flood of 2009 (Ketsana/Ondoy). The following collage was created by a cousin who posted about our aunt's passing early last Friday, June 1st.

Mama Puring succumbed to complications after she suffered a massive stroke earlier last week. My uncle, her husband, who is a retired police officer decided against her going under surgery as the prognosis was not promising and upon conferring with relatives thought they would just be prolonging her suffering as there was no assurance of a recovery. 

Mama Puring was a public school teacher; one of many in both sides of my family. She practically raised two of my cousins from another aunt who went home immediately after learning of her stroke. She and her husband didn't have their own biological child but have an adopted daughter who was there by her side when she expired. I knew of her mostly from my mother who related on how my aunt was very generous with my cousins back in Sorsogon. Their side of the family was not an affluent one. An older aunt and uncle depended on farming to raise their two children; one of whom became a registered nurse. An uncle, the youngest among the siblings, had to work many jobs including factory worker, bus conductor and farmer. He and his wife persevered, too, and now my cousins are better off than their parents were with one cousin now with the Marines. Mama Puring helped bridge the financial gaps particularly when it came to my cousins' schooling. Hers was a very generous, unselfish heart.

My siblings and I were careful in breaking the news of her stroke to my mother. We were afraid that she would become depressed after learning of the condition of her sister. So far, so good it seems and she took the news pretty well and resigned to the fact that this was something more serious than what she herself experienced.

Paalam, Mama Puring. May your soul rest with Our Creator.

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Farewell to a National Artist

We have had our share of meeting (or rubbing elbows with) well known artists. Some of them are friends or acquaintances. But perhaps the most frequent that we saw was a National Artist who recently passed away. Napoleon Abueva is a National Artist for Sculpture. He is famous for many of his creations that include the Himlayang Pilipino's iconic statue and the crucifix atop the UP Chapel's main altar. He also has versions of the UP's oblation as well as many other works spread around the campus.

We remember him though as a fellow parishioner at the church where we hear Mass on Sundays. Abueva, I believe and observed, was humble, low key, and not the rock star type of artist. He was practically inconspicuous during the 9:00 am Masses that he attended at the Parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Antipolo. Perhaps people did not recognize him or unaware of this accomplished person among us? Perhaps he preferred this, too.

We often sat near (at times shared the same bench) him, his wife and their two assistants. The latter always greeted us and were sweet with our daughter who liked singing during Mass. He often just sat through the Mass and probably said his prayers or meditated in silence. When it was time to greet each other peace, he would often gesture to those around them with a nod while also acknowledging those who greeted him.

We knew he was already weak though he could still walk with assistance and didn't need a wheelchair for those times we saw him in church. Recently, we have been attending Mass at the chapel near my in-laws' home in Novaliches and so was not aware of his condition until the news came out about his passing.

Paalam po at nawa'y makapagpahinga kayo sa kanlungan ng Panginoon. May your works continue to inspire people.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rest in peace Dr. Manny Vergel

I first met Dr. Manny Vergel when I was still in college. He was the father of a dear old friend, Karl, who was obviously inspired by his father as he strove to get a degree in civil engineering. I learned then that Dr. Vergel was doing consulting work and my friend's stories of what his father did I think gave me a clearer understanding of what civil engineers do and what the profession was like. He graduated from UP will a degree in Civil Engineering and proceeded to take his master's at the then SEATO in Bangkok, which is the precursor of today's AIT. He obtained his PhD at Iowa State University where he specialised in Agricultural Engineering. He worked for some time at the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and had taught at UPLB. Dr. Vergel was a general practitioner of sorts by the time I met him. He worked on different projects in the different sub-disciplines of CE including hydraulics, construction and transportation. Few people are like that nowadays as CE's have become more specialised, in part to be recognised as an expert in the more specific field under civil engineering that one wanted to focus on. His kind of CE is rare nowadays.

The last time I spoke to him was before his heart attack last year. I remember asking him if he would agree to review the research reports and outcomes for one of our projects. He quickly agreed and told us to just send him the reports via email so he could just read them on the computer. He was always  kind to us and willing to help out any way he could. I also remember him allowing us to stay at their company's office so we could use their computers for machine problem assignments that we had for one of our engineering subjects. This was at a time computers were still expensive and few had one in their homes. Students who had tight budgets could not afford to spend time hands-on on rental computers in campus. That was how I would like to remember him - a kind, father figure who guided his sons despite his own shortcomings, and was willing to help out other people especially those struggling as they started work on their chosen profession.

Thanks for your help and for inspiring us Dr. Manny Vergel. May your soul rest in peace with our God in heaven. And may your works continue to inspire others for years to come.
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cory Aquino, 1933-2009

Thank you President Aquino...may your legacy sustain us and serve as a an enduring example of the sacrifices that have to be made if we are to emerge as a peaceful, progressive and united nation in the face of adversities.

May you continue your advocacy and may you intercede for us even after you have left this world to gain eternal life. Perhaps it is only fitting that the analogy be made to events as related in the Silmarillion, where Eärendil made the voyage to Valinor to seek the aid of the Valar in vanquishing the pain and suffering that brought upon by Morgoth, Sauron and the elves and men who were corrupted in so many ways. So too do I hope that your passing remind us of what needs to be done to make this nation great!