Guess who came to my father's burial?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B Jimenez (The Freeman) - April 14, 2019 - 12:00am

Today, Palm Sunday, Christendom recalls in deep reflection the arrest, arraignment, and persecution of our Lord Jesus Christ, and his conviction by the accusers, judges, and executioners, all rolled into one. He was sentenced to die by crucifixion in front of the people he loved and served, gave hopes to and cured. The prisoners he visited in jails, the lepers and the lame he made clean and to walk again, the blind he allowed to see again, the prostitutes and adulterers that he forgave and blessed, and the scribes and Pharisees who hated him. Indeed, one is known by the people who came to his death and burial.

We buried our father on April 9, Araw Ng Kagitingan (because he was a bemedalled WWII veteran, wounded in battle) and guess who came to attend his burial? Aside from my siblings who came all the way from the US, cousins from other parts of the world, from Mindanao, Bacolod, Los Baños, Cebu City, Argao, Dumanjug, Barili, and other nooks and crannies of our country, there came the thousands of former students he taught as a teacher for more than 40 years, and all those still living among his classmates and fellow teachers, veterans, widows, and surviving children of veterans.

And guess what? The governor and vice governor came. Governor Hilario Davide III came along with Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, and --surprise, surprise—former chief justice Hilario Davide Jr. Actually, the first to arrive at 6 a.m. was my very good friend and former student in the UV College of Law, Michael Rama, former Cebu City mayor and vice mayor. The two mayoralty bets of Ronda also came; Terence Yap Blanco and Sinia Taypin-Acosta. The vice mayoralty bet of Dumanjug, Noli “Tatang” Famor, also came with a big delegation from the town of my late father. The Gica Family also came. Both the Gicas and the Baricuatros of Dumanjug are relatives of my late Papa.

There were farmers, fishermen, and ordinary laborers whom Papa loved so much who came too. Papa's alma mater and mine too, UV, sent a delegation led by Atty. Joseph M. Baduel and lent their vans to ferry relatives to and from the city. San Miguel Corp. and Pepsi Cola, my former employers, also donated a lot of food and drinks and sent delegations.

The people came and saw that indeed, while politics divide us, it is love and death that bring us together. That while we differ in religion, career, politics, and in all the other walks of life, the Lord has ways of summoning us together and making us meet in one place at one time. Today, Palm Sunday, we remember in deep contemplation, how Jesus entered triumphantly the city of Jerusalem. The people danced and shouted “Hosanna” and applauded him, the same people would later cry “crucify him.” My father was not well-applauded during his life. But when the US government awarded him that very prestigious medal, people started to notice him.

Somehow my father got his laurels near death and post mortem. The presence of high officials and dignitaries and the gun salute and the drum and bugle band symbolized accolades for a wounded soldier and a hero. Those who came to his burial added luster to the deeper meaning of his life and his death.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with