My dad and Marcel’s lolo, Vicente Bagaporo De Lima, died July 31. He would have turned 82 years old this September 11.
In these sad and challenging times, our family had seen the goodness of our fellowmen flow abundantly. Hundreds of relatives, friends, classmates, neighbors, religious, and co-workers in the private and public sectors offered prayers, sent flowers, donated goodies and visited us in our house in San Agustin, Iriga City. The generosity and support of countless men and women, both familiar and stranger, made us sincerely feel that our father was well-respected and well-loved.
We buried our father in the afternoon of August 4. The night before, the City of Iriga held a necrological service in honor of our father. The mayor of our city had her eulogy about my father, so did a handful of my father’s friends. I, as the youngest among my father’s children, gave the family’s response (you can visit the blog of my niece for more of my dad http://nikki-mama.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-model-death-how-atty-vicente-de-lima.html). Immediately preceding me, my son Marcel had his talk about his lolo. I share here the full text:
Good evening to all of you. I am one of the 3 grandsons of Atty. Vicente de Lima. The eldest is Kuya Israel, next is Kuya Vincent and I am the youngest. To be honest, I am very nervous because I was only informed about this yesterday so I apologize if this is too short. Anyway, my mom told me that this speech is supposed to be about what I think of Lolo. For us cousins, Lolo is the best lolo because he always gives us the best and he wants us to be the best. All of us are his favourites in our own special way; Kuya Israel for his innocence and purity, Kuya Vincent for his looks and wit and me for my brains. But for me, he is not just a grandfather to me. He is my idol. Some of you already know what I want to be in the future, a lawyer just like him.This ambition started when I was only around 5 years old. The reason for this is that he has achieved so many things such as being a Comelec commissioner, a reputable lawyer and an awardee of the Ulirang Ama award for showing his ability to be an excellent father and grandfather. He is also my idol for other things such as his wisdom in chess, where he constantly defeats me. Every grandchild has a means to bond with his grandfather. I bond with him through various debates about various topics such as the chronological order of the presidents of the Philippines and of the United States and also the capitals of the different countries. Once again, he usually comes out on top. In my 13 years, Lolo was always present in every special moment of my life. He was there the day I was born, in my Baptism, when I celebrated my 1st birthday here in Bicol upon his request, on some school occasions and in my daily life because I lived with him. So with that, I made sure that I was with him in his last days. Lolo calls me “manager” for what reason I do not know but it gives joy to my heart. Now, Lolo has died but his memory will live forever to guide me in achieving excellence. Lolo we’ll miss you. Thank you for listening.
Marcel delivered his speech with a flourish. What surprised me, the proud father, and my wife, the prouder mother, was the newfound bravado he displayed on stage, in front of a hundred or more guests. We were all smiles when we congratulated our son. Clearly, Marcel was deeply inspired by his lolo. I looked up to the heavenly sky and imagined my father beaming with pride and declaring “Apo ko itong si Manager”.