In Memory of My Dear Mother
Dr. Jose "Dodong" R. Gullas (Banat) - October 18, 2020 - 12:00am

Niadtong Oktubre 8, adlaw nga Huwebes among gihandom ang ika- 36th death anniversary sa co-founder ug inspirasyon sa University of the Visayas – ang akong pinalanggang mama, si Josefina Rivera Gullas. Sakto sab, nga natunong sab nga nakakaplag ako sa kopya sa eulogy nga gibatbat sa kanhi UV scholar asa pipila ka mga opisyal nga mga dokumentong gihipos ni anhing Dr. Eladio Dioko.

Ang maong UV scholar nakaila personal sa akong inahan. Suod siya ni Mama Pining, pirme gani siyang imbitahon diha sa maong balay sa Manalili Street ( karon Vicente Gullas Street), diin siya pameryendahon og init nga “sikwate” ginama ni Lola Andrea gamit ang iyang sikat nga “tableya.”.

Ang maong UV scholar, way lain kondili si anhing Judge Lorenzo Paradiang. Siya maong mibatbata sa niining mosunod nga eulogy atol sa paghaya kang Mama nidtong Oktubre 13, 1984:

In occasions like now, what comes to the fore is poet Edgar Lee Masters who, in his poem, “Silence” versified: “For the depth of what use is language? We are voiceless in the presence of realities… we cannot speak…”

But then, there are also times that bottling inarticulate one’s feelings of sorrow and pain in silent ears, becomes more deafening, more unbearable, and more heartrending!

Thus for the countless persons who were, and have been, fortunate beneficiaries of the love and benevolence of the Gullases, let me speak for them. I am referring to the horde of scholars – the academic, the athletic, and other extra-curricular scholars, and the plain “UV Strivers” whom Inday Pining held closest to her heart. Their talents might have had gone to naught without the opportunity to blossom, and perhaps, would have had gone wasted in utter frustration, if not for the kindness of Inday Pining and her beloved husband and their children.

Almost four decades ago, when the Visayan Institute was still a nipa-bamboo-sawali makeshifts right after the war, a poor and timid small boy entered its portals for the first time. Hungering for education, yes, hankering for a chance to study and learn, this uninitiated and still naïve boy found his benefactors.

And time came to pass… along Thomas Gray’s famous verse that runs, “the short and simple annals of the poor” this student pursued his studies diligently over the years. On academic scholarship extended by the school, he was able to finish his college courses, and above all, he was given first choice to teach in his Alma Mater.

This boy student, then, is but one of the many recipients of the school’s scholarship program. In fact, he flatters himself into believing that he typifies the various UV scholars whom Inday Pining and her family have lent a helping hand in molding them into what they are today. Multiply his case by the hundreds, nay, many thousand times more, and you will have a picture of the magnitude of what is meant by the UV’s motto: “Amor, Servitium, Humanitas.”

President Vicente Gullas, during one of his lecture sorties in various classrooms, once confided that the school motto was personified by his self, also epitomized the “UV Spirit”, the latter smilingly replied: “No, no, it is principally personified by my wife… I only come next.”

More particularly because of you, Ma’am, we have coined the well-meant expression; “The UV is my second home,” and sincerely feeling that is so.

Unlike other known personalities, you did not walk with heroes so to speak; you walked with the humble and the lowly. Unlike others of your social stature, you did not talk in language elegant and with affectations; you talked with your heart, and on first name and nickname intimacy. Unlike other philanthropists, you philanthropized in silence and anonymity.

Yes, you could have mingled with the “haves,” the elite or so-called 400 of society; but you also chose to rub elbows and exchange pleasantries with the “have-nots” and the simple commoner. While other hanker, and even hector, for high brows titles, honors, and publicity, you shun these social sophistications like plague. And as we know you so well, I am pretty certain that if you only had your way now, you would not have this display, all these rituals and eulogies. Indeed, you were always at home in an atmosphere of simplicity… of humility. William Shakespeare never alluded to you, Ma’am, when he said in the tone of irony, “The evil that men do live after them; the good are interred with their bones.” While you had your human failings as all God’s creatures have, nonetheless, nothing evil in words, or deeds, or even in thoughts shall live after you. While you leave us behind, the life you lived shall, excuse the pun, live on for us to emulate and live by. And the good that you have left us will never be interred with your bones. Inday Sering, Eddie and Dodong and their children are not only your children and grandchildren, I venture to say. In a way, we too, and thousands more, feel with sweet sorrow that you are our mother as well, and a grandmother too, to our children.

To the bereaved children of Inday Pining and their loved ones, may we plead: “Please, let us share with you the consolation that your irreplaceable loss is likewise our loss, and our common loss is Heaven’s gain!”

Si Dr. Eladio C. Dioko mismo miingon nga ang among inahan “…was strong-willed but flexible, ethically-driven but soft-hearted, she was during her time an omnipresent phenomenon in the school campus, directing, advising and motivating school personnel, especially the students, to do their best for their own good and for the good of the school. Deeply religious, she was also very much involved in socio-religious activities particularly those initiated by mandated church organizations and by the parish council of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. As always, she was in the forefront generously giving time and personal resources for these. So extensive was her services to local churches that in 1985 she was conferred the coveted Papal Award by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.”

Isip iyang anak, sa akong kasing-kasing padayong buhi si Mama … tungod sa iyang pagkasiya.

MOTHER
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