The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Remembering Two Important Persons in My Life on All Souls' Day

Since that I still have ten minutes more before my promised time of logging out and then going to sleep, I will not wait for tomorrow for my first blog entry for November 2. I dedicate this entry to two important persons in my life--both of whom died unexpectedly only recently.

The first is Jasmine Rochelle Latina, a former officemate of mine back at Diwa Scholastic Press Inc., in Makati City, Philippines, a very close friend of mine. She died in a freak accident last August 31.

Second is Rodolfo A. Vera, an uncle of mine, my mother's second eldest brother. Tito Rody died of heart attack in September.

The following are articles I've written in tribute and in memory of my friend Jas and my uncle Rody. May both their memories linger here on Earth for a long time.

Death of a Loved One
As always, death becomes a serious and sad occurrence when it involves someone close to our hearts--either a family/clan member or a good friend. Personally, especially that Tito Rody and his bereaved family were among the relatives who are close to my own, this event once again saddens me much (I said "once again," because one female bestfriend of mine [in the Philippines] died, at 27, last month because of a freak vehicular accident.)

I try hard to peek at deaths inside my own circle of life with a positive light--I regard each demise as a blatant reminder to myself that each day is a gift of chance to become better and more compassionate regardless of my beliefs and ideals. This also serves as a reminder that Life is very short and that Death can, indeed, claim anyone anywhere anyhow anytime. All we can ever do is be as safe as we possibly could.

Rodolfo "Rody" A. Vera was the second among the seven children (Conrado Jr., Roberto, Carmelita Arado, Teresita V. Mella, Renato, Gerardo) of Conrado L(anuza) Vera Sr. and Ada P(lata) Aranzamendez-Vera(deceased).

Born on November 17, 1938, "Rody," 65, died on the morning of September 19, 2004, of a heart attack. He is survived by his wife, Rosalina "Rosie" Remanente-Vera; five sons--Bernard, Allan, Joel, Ronald, and Warren; and 4 grandchildren.

I Will Mourn for a Long Time for the Demise of a Bestfriend
When I received the chilling news from Jayge (Salvan), I right there and then felt numb. But I couldn't believe what I was reading. The difficult part for me, being here in Canada away from close friends and immediate-family members, I had no one with whom to share what I was feeling.

Luckily, one friend of mine, Timmy Tan, who is based in Ontario, another Canadian province, was online and I shared with him the news. Very kind as he is, he immediately offered to me his $10-phone card upon learning that I wanted to call someone in the Philippines but couldn't because I couldn't have a phone card at the moment.

Immediately, I called Diwa office to speak with anyone at SEM (Scholastic Enhancement Materials Dept.), looked for friend Junggoi (Peralta) or Ruby (Estillores), they were not there, perhaps because it was still early there in the Philippines--around 9:00 a.m. (6 p.m here).

Finally, I was able to talk with friend Bong (Linay), who confirmed the sad and tragic news. Somehow, getting connected with someone from home made me feel home. Thanks, Bong.

According to Bong (and just a while ago through Ruby's e-mail),Jas, while waiting for a ride home yesterday night at around 9 p.m., somewhere near Mandaluyong Bridge, was sideswiped by a speeding truck being chased by the MMDA for a certain violation. The accident was obviously fatal, for Jas didn't reach the hospital alive.

So there, the news was true after all. But I couldn't believe it still. Half of me keeps on denying what happened, convincing my other half that I was just dreaming or had just received a bad joke. But no, friends would not joke about something so serious as that.

Jasmin and I shared many times together talking about different things. She was one of my trusted confidants in the office. She was a thoughtful and caring friend, always neutral in almost any situation.

Jas--how she always shared with me her plans in life, her worries and woes about life in our beloved country, her concern for her father and mother and brother and sister.

A true friend, Jas once in a while spent for phone cards just to call me here in Canada. She never forgot me even I'm already far away.

Jas was one of the last persons who werewith me during my last days in the Philippines. She was also among those who texted me to bid farewell hours before my flight on August 14 of last year.

Jas was the one who gave me The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, the book I was reading on my flight to Canada, my first airplane trip. The book that taught me:

"To realize one's destiny is a person's only obligation"--a food for thought which, I'm afraid, will sound ironic to me for a while.

Jas had so many plans for her future...for herself and family. She is yet to go to the United States to follw her mom, who recently migrated there.

How Jas always told me to have a brave heart, me being far awayfrom home. How she always reminded me to realize my destiny...

I feel numb...
I am now in tears,,,

As I wrote of her on Friendster:
"Jas, oh, Jas. What can I say? Of course, this person is one of my best friends at Diwa, where I previously worked. As a friend, Jas is sweet, caring, understanding, thoughtful, and loyal. Moreover, she is a family- oriented individual, who would worry if anything unlikely happens to any family member. At work, she is one of the most driven, passionate, willing to learn, and patient. Aske her what time she usually goes home from work and you'll be surprised to know that most of the times, she is the last to go. Eh paano ba naman, hindi 'yan makatulog kapag merong report na hindi tapos. Jas, stay lovely and compassionate."

I will mourn for a long time for the loss of a very special friend.

Jas, I will never forget you. I will never forget you!

Those were magical moments between two great friends.

Being far away from home, I couldn't do anything but wish for the safety and prosperity of the important people I left in my beloved country.




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