personal

Final Goodbyes

I’ve posted a blog about saying goodbye to Sec Jess last Saturday. Today, the final rites and departure honors are over. I don’t know what to say, except that there is a lingering sadness. I pray that this moment will at least fuel the need for more public servants like him. Let us drag down the useless posters promoting traditional politicians. Let us report blatant corruption. Let us not vote for people who are not seeking to serve the country but to fill their pockets and to grab the fame. Let us learn from example. Why do we condemn people one day and then coddle them the next? Politicians who have been hunted down and even imprisoned can come back into the arms of the Filipinos, all innocent-like. On the other hand, public servants who did well are only offered awards and confirmation after death.

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personal

Farewell, Secretary Ninong Jess!

Last night, my husband and I were not able to visit the good secretary Jesse Robredo’s wake. It was raining, my husband was still working, and our toddler expected me to lie next to him whenever he had to go to sleep.

This morning, we decided to go very early. We arrived at Malacañang Palace at around 7:30 am, which is not really that big a feat considering that we live nearby. There were already two long queues waiting, but they were manageable compared to last night’s, which reached even Nagtahan Bridge.

The queues moved pretty quickly to our surprise, and although the public viewing was set to start at 8 am, there was marked movement before that said time. Before getting into the gates, the queues were separated into  two, by gender. I was both happy and nostalgic to hear a flurry of Bicolano voices in the queues. Some even talked to my husband and me, asking about surnames, and how we knew the secretary. “Mga inaanak kami sa kasal (we’re his godchildren by way of marriage),” my husband explained. It turned out that we were talking to men and women who knew Ninong Jess when he was still in Ateneo de Naga high school.

Inside, my husband and I had to wait a little bit as our bouquet of flowers was checked by a sniffing K9. I know that Atty. Leni requested people to send donations to Sec. Jesse’s favorite charities, instead, but I still felt like we should bring at least a bouquet and a mass card.

It was still early in the morning. The palace grounds felt solemn and peaceful.

We headed to the closed coffin to say our final goodbyes, placing the bouquet on the carpeted floor, the yellows, pale pinks, and browns contrasting with the pure white flowers that gathered below. It was all so quiet.

We left the place without taking a paperbag of snacks. We were not there for the food. We were just there to say goodbye. It would have been a more satisfying goodbye if we could go home to Naga City for the burial (I remember being part of the funeral parade-to-burial for the late Senator Roco when I was still student council president for Ateneo de Naga), but other responsibilities prevent us from doing so.

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personal

Wake Schedule for DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo

I only got hold of the information from Facebook. This is Secretary Jess’s daughter’s FB status last night:

“Very grateful for all the prayers and love. Fyi for those who are asking abt wake schedule, Wed/Thurs – Archbishops Palace (Naga City); Fri(starting 12nn)/Sat – Malacanang (Kalayaan Hall, open to public); Sun/Mon – Naga City (no final venue yet)”.

Edit:

Retweet @aikarobredo:

Malacanang Public Viewing Schedule (Kalayaan Hall):
Friday – 7pm to 11pm
Saturday – 8am to 530pm.

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Remembering a Happy Day During a Day of Mourning

Farewell, Ninong Jess. You are truly loved by your country, especially by the people of Naga City who know more about who you really are and what you are about – servant leadership, integrity and humility.

Here’s a photo of happier times, when you personally (not by proxy!), and officially became our godfather. You simply took a bus on the way from Manila to Naga City to get to our early morning wedding on time. My brother was on that bus, also on the way home for the wedding. We used to joke about how the bus operator did not play one of his usual pirated DVDs knowing that you were on board.

Thank you for taking your time to come to our special day, five years ago.

personal

Remembering a Happy Day During a Day of Mourning

Remembering a Happy Day During a Day of Mourning

Farewell, Ninong Jess. You are truly loved by your country, especially of the people of Naga City who know more about who you really are and what you are about – servant leadership, integrity and humility.

Here’s a photo of happier times, when you agreed to become our godfather. You simply took a bus on the way from Manila to Naga City to get to our early morning wedding on time. My brother was on that bus, also on the way home for the wedding. We used to joke about how the bus operator did not play one of his usual pirated DVDs knowing that you were on board.

Thank you for taking your time to come to our special day, five years ago.

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rant

It’s D-Day But I Hope It Wasn’t So Hard

Today, I am so rattled, I could not even get through 500 words of work. One, we are all still waiting for word about Secretary Robredo and the two pilots. Two, I am waiting for my Compre grades. A couple of classmates already received their grades. Apparently, one examiner is yet to submit my grade on one test.

Also, I have been getting dubious calls or texts via the landline and mobile phone from people pretending (?) to know me. Oh, well. Hope things get better as the day goes.

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news, personal

Somber, Quiet… No News Yet of Jesse Robredo and Two Pilots

The search and rescue team has not yet found Secretary Jesse Robredo, and the two pilots of the Seneca plane that crashed yesterday at about 4:30 Philippine time. Despite some nasty tweets, false reports and other setbacks, the people of Naga City are still holding out hope for a miracle.

Tomorrow, search and rescue operations will resume while I try to come up with plausible ways in which the good secretary could have survived the crash. Hopefully, he was able to swim to shore, or  as previous unconfirmed reports had relayed: was rescued by fishermen, and might just be recovering as of the moment. It is rare to have such a good man in politics. So, we are still praying for his safe return.

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news, personal, rant

Today Didn’t Turn Out as Happy-Sunny as I’d Hoped

Aside from my colds, nothing is really wrong with my day. My meds have been making me sleepy that I spent most of Saturday afternoon taking a nap on the couch. When I woke up, my family had sandwiches for snacks. I also had the added good news of being accepted as regular home-based blogger/web content writer for an up-and-coming website hosting company.

Then, my son Joreb, the nanny and I went down to the 7th floor playground (we live in a condo building) so that my toddler could catch some rays and play with other children. Sunlit afternoons had been rare here in Metro Manila after the destructive monsoon rains had flooded most of the metropolis just about a week back.

Then, came the news.

The Philippines’ DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo is missing. The Cessna Seneca plane that was carrying the well-loved statesman has reportedly crashed in Masbate en route to Naga City. As of the moment, he is still missing, but prayers are pouring in from all over the country, especially from the people of Naga City.

I am from Naga City. Secretary Jess served as the city’s mayor for three terms (six?), I think, and my husband and I have the honor of having him as godfather on our wedding.

I am hoping for more prayers. Most of all, I am hoping for a happy ending.

Most of the country is still waiting for more word.

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