“There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends, I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all.”
A person is remembered not for what he has done to himself or to his life as a whole, he is remembered for what he has accomplished.
And for the next 50 years, thereupon a full generation, a person’s name can still be recalled haltingly, his life can still be reckoned as footnote, although like an impression of his foot on the sand, in time it would be washed away by the coastal waters. Until such time, he would be taken aside, completely ignored and forgotten as if he never lived at all.
I was trying my best to check who the grandfather of my father was. I was also trying to check every relative to determine who the grandparents of my mother were. I would always face a blank wall. I wanted to know where I came from, from where my genes emanated. Just a way by which to preserve mine and supply my successors where we originated. In my research, I found one accomplishment by my greatgrandfather, Benedicto Centeno, the grandfather of my mother. It was a monument he sculpted at the Plaza of Vigan, Ilocos Sur that reminded of his existence. After all, he was the tutor of a studious kid who would become the President of the Philippines. And yes, my grandfather , father side, Eufemio Pili Tesoro. His name remained in SCRA as a convicted felon challenging the authority of then Director of Prisons, in re GR No. L-46437 dated October 10, 1934. That is the farthest I could reach. Their pompous and for a while an embarrassing life may have been preserved through records or in the memory of their immediate family but also for those down in the generation that followed, they were no longer a part and parcel of reminiscence.
How fleeting time is. One day, a person is born, nurtured, schooled and would become an active part of the world. And after a while, he is gone and what is left are titbits of incidents and some anecdotes on how he lived. It is fleeting and flickering. The Kings of olden times while yielding considerable power and fame would also be forgotten after a turn of a generation. Alfred Nobel was the inventor of dynamite and now reduced to a medal. At least his name is still reckoned but no longer as significant as when he was during his prime. Well, no one else actually had a chance to be remembered until the digital age has arrived.
We are a fortunate generation because we are now concerned with knowledge and have now the capacity to preserve it for a number of generations more.
It is on this note that I submit my take on my immediate family, addressed to cyberspace if only to have a record of them somewhere within reach.
Hence, the following:
For a while, my loved ones passed away one after another. And their memory lingers on not on what they have accumulated, not on how they understood life, not on how they tread the earth, not even on how they loved but on the passion they gave on something significant for them. These apply also to all.
My father (who passed away at the age of 86) is simply remembered for saving the lives of truckloads of his town mates during the Japanese time.
My mother, 59 years old, is simply remembered for resigning from a high paying job if only to take care and nurture her growing children.
My sister, 57 years old, is simply remembered for her sacrifices to make technical vocation training a major educational course in all colleges and universities in the world.
My wife Fely, 65, is simply remembered for her staunch loyalty to government service, never allowing any day of absence just to serve public service even to the detriment of her parental duties or for health consideration.
My uncle Gred, 77 years old, is simply remembered for his tenacious loyalty to his friends.
My uncle Ben, 68 years old, is simply remembered as a one of country’s foremost musician who excelled in music through his rhythm guitar.
My best friend Romy, 68 years old, is simply remembered for surrendering himself in the altar of friendship.
My loyal garderner, Jojo Viray, 57 years old, who stayed in my garden night and day, volunteered his labor, until he was felled by a bullet from an unknown assailant.
My loyal mechanic Junboy, 63, who is simply remembered for maintaining my first car (and still is running after 40 years).
My school mate and best friend Sonny Miranda, 58 years old, is simply remembered as a family man who wanted to celebrate his birthday, no matter what, beside his family.
They may have gone to the other side, their deed may not be earth shaking but it was an accomplishment which they have dedicated their lives no matter how historical or trivial it may be.