my so-called life

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. -Eleanor Roosevelt-

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Eulogy for my Lolo Bernie

My Lolo Bernie passed away last November 22, 2006. It was a very shocking event. Here is a copy of my eulogy.

The night before Lolo Bernie passed away I was lucky to speak to him over the phone. As usual, I was asking him about something and he knew the answer. The last thing that I said to my Lolo was “THANK YOU...” My Lolo was truly a kind and generous man. He was always there when he was needed and was always ready to help in whatever way he can. My sister Jef, was recently hospitalized and our Lolo was always there to check on her and her bantay who was my other sister Janjan. Visiting them every chance he can and calling to check on them. He was even planning to be the one to bring her home. But he never came because it was the same day he passed away. Lolo was also protective of us He would defend us as long as we were right. He would also support us in our endeavors. I remember when Jan was planning her debut. Lolo went out of his way to help her go around the city to find the best venue to celebrate her birthday.

When we were young we spent some of our summer vacations in BF. Lolo Bernie would leave early in the morning to go to the office and when we made lambing so he would leave merienda money. He would always tell us that that he doesn’t have any money and would start telling stories that only Lolos would tell, noong panahon ko nung nasa bundok pa ako walang merienda, mga kamoteng kahoy lang. But with some more of our paglalambing, he would eventually give in. Lolo Bernie was also very fond of eating at restaurants. His favorite spots are Kowloon House, Ma Mon Luk, Jollibee shabu-shabu restos, they, he and lola always ate at Chowking after hearing Mass at Baclaran. He also loved eating at Dampa. He would never forget to take home something for us. Even just some mami from ma mon luk or siopao from kowloon. Lolo Bernie was a fun loving person. His latest favorite song was Boom tarar. Imagine him doing a song and dance number with that song. He even has a nickname for us, his apos. When we were young, it used to be Bernie’s Angels. But the latest nickname was WASALAK. Hwne we asked him what it means, he said: walang sawa sa alak. Hindi daw kasi kami nanonood ng wowowee kaya hindi namin alam. Makulit talaga si Lolo. Kaya ganito kami, makulit din.. mana-mana lang yan. Sa pamilya namin, bawal ang pikon. Si lolo, number one sutil. Lalo na sa bata. His favorite pang-asar is when wo go swimming dadalihin niya yung pinakabata sa pinakamalalim. Kahit umiiyak na.. sasabihin niya para maging matapang daw. After a while, we get used to his pangsusustil and now that were older, it becomes paglalambing for us... Weird but true.

But like all lolos.. giving us sermons were never out of the question. Wala g magsesermon sa amin about our bing Wasalaks at pagkatapos ng sermon tatawagin na kami kumain... Saan ka naman nakakita ng ganyan.. galit na saio.. ipagluluto ka pa. Pagbabawalan ka uminom pero may nakahanda nang pulutan.

Our Sundays are usually scheduled for spending the day here in BF. Now that our Lolo Bernie has passed away, our Sunday lunches will never be the same again. There would always be an empty seat in the dining table, that missing face in family pictures, that warm and enthusiastic smile that would always be ready and waiting to greet us. We would never see our Lolo Bernie standing in front of the stove, cooking the most delicious meals. Hindi na namain siya mahuhuling tulog habang nanonood ng TV. Pag pinagsabihan na natutulog na siya, sasabihin niya na nagdadasal lang daw siya. O kaya pag pinatay agad yung TV, bakit daw pinatay eh nanonood pa daw siya.

Our Mr. suave Lolo Bernie, whom we also describe to be grooviest Lolo, would never leave the house without putting on just the right amount of cologne or perfume fit to his liking. He would never leave without his favorite comb which he has been using since I can remember. He even had it in his pocket when he passed away.

Lolo Bernie’s passing came as a great shock to all of us. Our very healthy, lively, spontaneous Lolo Bernie is gone. Our Lolo Bernie whose life long dream was to live up to a hundred years old, is now gone. Oh how we all wish he could have achieved his dream. He may not have lived up to a hundred years, but his memories will always remain with us… The things that he has taught us, things that we learned from him will always remind us of him. Bits and pieces of him will always remain with us… among us. Lolo Bernie is not entirely gone, He has been sharing himself with us, with his amazing stories, his loving gestures, just words wise antics, sensible advice an his great show of level headedness. Lolo Bernie has lied a full life. It could have been fuller but maybe God thought that it would be unfair to others. Lolo’s last videoke song would describe him best. Now the end is here. Lolo faces his final curtain, he lived a life that’s full. He traveled each and every highway. Regrets he had a few, but then again, too few to mention, he did what he had to do and saw it through without exemption. Yes there were times; Lolo Bernie knew that he bit off more than he can chew. But through it all, he stood tall. He loved, he laughed, he cried, he had his fill, his share of losing, after the tears subside, he found it all amusing. The record shows, Lolo Bernie took the blows. He did it his way.

We are all going to miss you Lolo Bernie.