George Rama laid to rest
Kristine B. Quintas/JMD (The Freeman) - February 4, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - “The legacy you left behind, your wisdom and courage will last forever.”

So was the general sentiment of relatives, friends, political allies and supporters as Barangay Basak-San Nicolas captain George Rama was laid to rest yesterday at Cebu Memorial Park in Barangay Banilad, Cebu City.

The necrological service at Cebu City Hall before the interment was exactly the kind of ceremony George would have wanted — full of life, humor and song while bringing together a crowd of Cebuanos and his loved ones.

George is remembered as the man behind the success of Cebu’s renowned Lumad Basakanon. His colleagues in the government would say he had utmost dedication and passion for public service.

In his eulogy, George’s cousin Mayor Michael Rama said he was grateful and proud of what George had accomplished.

George became a city councilor for one term in 2001 to 2004, chairing the Committee on Public Services and passing 309 resolutions.

George authored city ordinances, such as CO No. 1991 or an ordinance establishing a system of garbage collection and CO No. 1988, otherwise known as an ordinance creating the Coastline Management Board, among others.

He was elected as barangay chairman of Basak-San Nicolas in 1989 to 2001 and 2007 to 2015. His government service spanned a total of four decades, Rama said.

“He is leaving an imprint of an exceptional public service. I am so proud of him because he is not only the protector and defender of Rama clan but also of the entire Barangay San Nicolas. I love him so much because he fought to defend and protect us without minding his own life,” he said.

Mayor Rama said George was the “pillar” of  Team Rama.

“The death of George would surely enhance and expand the Team Rama because each one of us is inflicted with his courage, wisdom and bravery,” he said, stressing that his death would make them stronger and wiser instead.

George’s elder brother Adolfo Rama remembered his brother as an “eloquent speaker despite his physical disability.”

“We were rivals in almost all things in we were young but he was a good person a brother though we are not really that close because I went to United States,” Adolfo said.

George’s only son Paul Edward Rama promised that they will continue the legacy of his father, which is high-quality public service.

“We promise you that we will continue your legacy and we will become a stronger and wiser family. Don’t worry about us. I will take good care of mom. You will be missed, Dad. Heaven will now be jollier with you around,” he said.

Annabelle Rama, George’s closest sister and confidante, reminisced and shared her memories with George during yesterday’s necrological service.

Annabelle sharing brightened the gloomy ceremony.

“We are very close. I am like a mother to him. Bisan pungkol siya we fight in almost everything but we love each other and we understand our flaws and imperfections,” she said.

Archbishop Jose Palma, who officiated the interment mass at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral consoled the family of George.

“It is natural to feel sad as we lost a great man. It is just right to honor him,” Palma said. He then reminded the Cebuanos to cherish and emulate George’s good deeds.

Former co-workers in the government service, local politicians, senior citizens, private companies and relatives have bid goodbye to “Kap” George, tagging along in his burial convoy to the cemetery. They said George will always be their Bruce Willis and his satirical discourses imprinted in their minds.

George died last week of severe pneumonia. — (FREEMAN)

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