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Starweek Magazine

Remembering Raul Roco

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MANILA, Philippines - The late Senator Raul S. Roco, in his vision saw the challenges the country faced (and still facing). In the lyrics for the Bedan (San Beda) Hymn which he wrote, one line stands out, especially in this period of change and seeming turmoil in the country. “Bring out the challenges, we’ll win them all,” he dared. That is a ‘call to arms’ any Filipino should heed.

Roco was remembered by family and close friends and dedicated supporters on the 5th. Anniversary of what widow Sonia calls “his 5th birthday in heaven” with a mass and salo-salo at the De La Strada church in La Vista, QC. It also marked the unveiling and blessing of his mask done by renowned artist Napoleon Abueva.

In the course of the gathering, copies of “Favorite Poems of Raul S. Roco” were distributed. The collection includes poems that teach universal truths and have classic literary values, in English and Filipino, some he, himself wrote. A voracious reader he called on the youth to “Read, read and read for when you read, you stand on the shoulders of giants, you see farther than the rest.” Going to libraries must have become a lost activity now, but because he started reading while very young in his hometown Naga, Roco developed a discerning wisdom that guided him through his long career as a lawyer and untainted politician. Among his favorites are works by Shakespeare, T.S. Elliot,Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, and others. His own prayer for the country, “Kaunting Dasal, Kaunting Aral, Kaunting Sipag,” was written long before one unsuccessful politician took up the battle cry “Sipag at Tiaga”. Roco’s “Kaunting Dasal” is an encouraging exhortation that says – “Sa kaunting aral, kaunting sipag, kaunting dasal, walang hindi magagawa kahit mayroong hadlang. Sa kaunting aral, kaunting sipag, kaunting dasal, walang hindi magagawa ang taong may pagkukusa.         

As he wanted the youth to continue pursuing the right path of learning, he has inspired law students in his alma mater to develop a love for literature, which he said made excellent partners when used wisely in their noble profession. 

Raul S. Roco was not only a ‘politico’ with unchallenged integrity and strong faith. He was also a man of letters with vision and mission, expressed in his readings and writings. Hopefully, as he foresaw, the country, now plunged into a sea of challenges, will rise and “win them all.”

vuukle comment

DE LA STRADA

EDGAR ALLAN POE

ENGLISH AND FILIPINO

FAVORITE POEMS OF RAUL S

KAUNTING

KAUNTING DASAL

ROCO

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