Lopez Jaena kin
laid to rest
One of the grand-nephews of the late Graciano Lopez Jaena, Antonio, was laid to rest by several great-grand-nieces and nephews yesterday at the Rolling Hills Memorial Park.
No, it was no earth-shaking event. Just the interment of his ashes at the grave beside that of his son, Patrick, who was buried there some 10 years ago.
But we were elated by the presence there of Graciano Lopez, eldest son of Tito Oscar Lopez, his daughter, Mia, and Nena Martelino, sister. The two are from Iloilo and are members of the Graciano Lopez Jaena Foundation.
Gaging, as we call him, is already 84. But he still walks around with a cane.
Kit, Ibay's widow, and daughter Tanya an official of the Negros Museum and a member National Commission on Culture and Arts, were of course, there to attend the mass for the dead celebrated by Fr. Mitz Guadalupe, at the Rolling Hills Memorial Chapel.
Tony was my favorite first cousin. He was the fourth offspring of the late Jose B. I. Sr. and Lourdes Lopez of the once famous Lopez Studio. Their house used to be the site now occupied by the Lopue's San Sebastian.
His youngest brother, Faraon, had died several months earlier. Another sister, Maria Jacobe Gardanera, had also preceded his demise by more than a month.
But what struck me with Tony was that he had invited me to a despedida talk the day that he died. Early that morning, I went to see him and there he was seated with complete aplomb on his chair, and he told me straight to my face that he had asked me to see him because that was the last chance I could talk with him.
With extraordinary equanimity, he told me that he believed that his allotted time was up and he wanted to just bid me goodbye.
He had asked to give another farewell talk with Nena Martelino, a second cousin. And he told her that he had seen several times the image of youngest brother Faraon, inviting him to join him across.
By 9 p.m. the same day he has dead. His passing was described by Tanya as peaceful. He just stopped breathing hard.
So, why should I write about his burial and death? Unfazed by the prospect of oncoming summons to the Creator, that morning, I really felt my pride deflated in the face of Christ a quiet and resigned acceptance of his forthcoming death by Tony. Only a believer could have shown such courage and acceptance of the inevitability of his dying.
It was for me a catechesis on how Christians should face the possibility of this with complete confidence and aplomb. Confident that the believer, as he had been promised, is not going to die but will have eternal life.
But back to the reality of the world around us and the prospects of the future.
What struck me yesterday was the report that some 12 municipal mayors of Negros Occidental were taking their oath as members of the Liberal Party on March 4 and 5.
This was announced by Rep. Albee Benitez, provincial LP head. Their oath taking is going to be held at the Nature's Village in Talisay City, Saturday.
Although that is reportedly preparatory to the 2013 elections, Benitez said that presumed recruits will come from the Lakas-CMD and none from the Nationalist Peoples Coalition.
There was no mention how this would affect the United Negros Alliance (UNA).
But, as I had earlier pointed out in a previous column, something seems to be brewing. Vice Govenror Genaro Alvarez had pledged his support to the Peña brothers – because they were nephews. One of them, had announced himself as running for mayor of Moises Padilla and what was significant was that Rep. Jeffrey Ferrer was among those who were there with Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña. And Ferrer has reportedly been mentioned as a potential gubernatorial candidate in the coming elections.
As I had said earlier, nothing has been said about the UNA. All indications point to the possibility that the UNA may remain intact. But what happens when so many of its members join the LP?
You can't help it if tongues keep wagging about the possibilities. But something is going on. We can soon know what these preliminary trends are pointing to.
The latest twist in the investigation into the killing last week of Kabankalan RTC Judge Henry Arles was the suspicion that the two look outs could possibly be the executioners of Arles.
It turned out now that there were actually three passengers aboard the tricycle that overtook Arles' car at Barangay Manalad, Ilog, on April 24.
Undoubtedly, the gunman, whoever he was, must have been a well-trained marksman. Arles was killed by three .45 caliber bullets in a cluster shoot that penetrated the driver's window.
As I had pointed out, only a well-trained gun wielder could have managed the shot. There are only a few who could fire a three-cluster shoot at a person aboard a moving vehicle.
That, I think, is something that the police investigators should consider in their investigation. And I have no doubt that, by now, they must already have a few names to look into.*
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