TIMESMAN| Matagal mamatay ang masamang damo

BAYANI was always branded as the black sheep in the family when he was still alive. Black sheep defined as a member of a family or group of whom the other members are ashamed to be associated with.

Friends and acquaintances believed then in the Filipino saying: Matagal mamatay ang masamang damo. And my brother Bayani was no exception. Bayani was a trouble maker and tried so many vices like smoking, drinking, gambling and even being a womanizer. I only learned of his being a womanizer after his death as I found out he had 21 children, three with his wife and 18 with women he had relationships with.

For all these Bayani and I had always been at loggerheads since our growing up years until his final days because I was his exact opposite.

I have four brothers and a sister and since Bayani was masamang damo I thought then that he was the last to die.

Of course, after the death of our parents, my sister Virginia, brothers Paquito, Remegio, Antonio died one after another. That left Bayani and I as survivors of our generation.

I still believe that I will be the next to leave this world and Bayani will retain his “crown” as the black sheep and masamang damo in the family. I was wrong.

On Feb. 7, Bayani passed away at the age of 74 after more than a year suffering from a lingering illness at his residence in Pilar Village in Las Pinas, Metro Manila and was buried at Angelus Eternal Cemetery in Bacoor, Cavite last Sunday.

Bayani’s death finally vindicated him. I am the lone survivor in the family now. That means ako ang masamang damo? Hehe!

On the finale of the five-night special masses for Bayani at the St. Peter Funeral Homes in Las Pina, Rev. Fr. Ireneo “Ernest” M. Relatoress, a missionary priest of Missionary Society of St.Thomas  – the Apostle, repeated in his homily the statement of President Duterte against the Church which he quoted in my column in the TIMES of Feb. 10 and read by him after I personally handed him a copy I brought.

The President who openly criticizes the priests and church for their direct attack of him against his drugs campaign and extrajudicial killings, said then – “I only believe in God, but never the church.”

Although the good Fr. Relatoress never made negative comment on the President’s statement, he praised this writer for “being a good son and big brother to Bayani” who even in the latter’s last hour  showed my being of what I am in the  eyes of God and the rest of the family members.

Readers may remember that this is the second time that I received encouraging words from people of the Church in a year even when sometimes I don’t go to church even on my birthdays.

In February of last year, a priest from Saint Paul at Juna Subdivision (sorry, I can’t recall his name anymore) said: “Loreto, you’re a kind man (while whisking holy water on the new car gifted to me by my daughter) for no one will give you this expensive car that many cannot afford to own.”

Both Rev. Fr. Relatoress and the Saint Paul priest may not have praised me had they known that, like President Duterte, I also believe in God but never the church. Aray!

P.S.

As observed, this corner is not regularly coming out lately. I am supposed to write from Monday to Friday. January alone, I only wrote one article for my column. As of this month, so far I only have two.

Let’s admit it. Tinatamad na talaga ako. But when readers like Tito and Tess Tarranza, old acquaintances and insurance executives of Insular Life complain about missing my column, I felt guilty of neglecting my obligation to my readers in coming out regularly.

Posted in Opinion