Roots, remembrance, and respects

BAR NONE - Atty. Ian Vincent Manticajon - The Freeman

I am writing this piece from a beach house in Silago, Southern Leyte. I'm here to attend the wake and burial of my late Auntie Inday, who was my late father's sister. My aunt left her hometown in Misamis Oriental to start a family here in Silago, where her husband is from. My cousin told me that my father would at times visit my aunt in Silago. That's quite a feat, considering my aunt is the only relative I know who made this far-flung part of Leyte her new home. So now I’m here to pay my deepest respects to my late aunt.

As Filipinos, it’s not uncommon for us to have relatives or clans from different parts of the archipelago. Hence, we cannot firmly say we are rooted in a single place. While I may call myself a native of Metro Cebu, I also belong to clans from different places in our islands. On my mother’s side, I belong to the Cavada Clan of Toledo City and the Sususco Clan of Catmon, Cebu. From my father’s side, I'm part of the Orlanes Clan, also from Catmon.

My father hailed from a barangay in Talisayan town, Misamis Oriental, which is renowned for its white sand beaches. When he passed away in 2016, he left his children a few properties there. I visit periodically to manage the realty payments and to process the estate settlement. The place is blessed with abundant natural resources, including the aforementioned white sand beaches, of which we share a portion with my relatives. If not for Cebu, which I consider the best place to live in the country despite the challenges of a growing metropolis, I would have already set up at least a vacation home in Mindanao.

In the 1930s, my paternal great-grandmother migrated to Mindanao from Cebu with her family, including my lola. She was married to a Chinese migrant, my paternal great-grandfather, who had arrived by boat in Luzon from mainland China during the pre-communist era. In Mindanao, where my paternal lola grew up, she later married a man from the ‘Manticahon’ clan, whose roots trace back to the beautiful volcanic island of Camiguin.

Today, I am married to a woman who hails from Butuan City. I believe we Filipinos are fortunate to live in an archipelago where nuances and differences in language and culture abound. Yet, we are very much interrelated either by affinity, consanguinity, or place of birth. Since I am here in Silago to attend the wake and burial of my aunt, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Auntie ‘Inday’ Miraluna M. Tomol.

* * *

Speaking of losses that impact us personally or our community, let me also take this opportunity to extend my condolences to the family of Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Eugene Espedido, and to recall some memories with him. His family and some friends in the legal community announced Atty. Espedido’s untimely passing last Tuesday.

Atty. Espedido was my professor in the University of San Carlos College of Law. I always remember him as the USC Law professor from Ateneo Law and the highest-ranking councilor of Lapu-Lapu City. I was in his Partnership and Corporation class at USC Law in 2005.

I can barely recall what I did in class to earn the distinction of being nicknamed "Where were we, Mr. Manticajon?" by my classmates outside the classroom. This was in reference to Atty. Espedido’s trademark spiel during our Socratic method of recitation --what Law students refer to as "pusil-- which either terrified us or kept us on our toes. For those unfamiliar, the Socratic method, common in Law school, involves professors posing probing questions to help students explore the principles and intricacies of the law as applied in Supreme Court cases.

In class, Atty. Espedido might bang on the table to emphasize a point, and he was one of the most vaunted "mamusilay" at USC Law, but he never insulted students. Yet, you'd genuinely feel embarrassed if you didn't meet the standards set by this remarkable mentor. Modesty aside, I remember receiving excellent recitation marks from him.

Along with the late Prof. Domingo Disini from the UP College of Law, Atty. Eugene Espedido dispelled all my doubts about eventually becoming a lawyer. Thank you, sir! You rank among the greatest. May God grant eternal rest to both you, Atty. Espedido, and my Auntie Inday.

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