Archive for July 2008
… Ensueño de mi vida, mi ardiente vivo anhelo,
Salud te grita el alma que pronto va á partir!
Salud! ah que es hermoso caer por darte vuelo,
Morir por darte vida, morir bajo tu cielo,
Y en tu encantada tierra la eternidad dormir.
Si sobre mi sepulcro vieres brotar un dia
Entre la espesa yerba sencilla, humilde flor,
Acércala a tus labios y besa al alma mía,
Y sienta yo en mi frente bajo la tumba fría
De tu ternura el soplo, de tu hálito el calor.
Deja á la luna verme con luz tranquila y suave;
Deja que el alba envíe su resplandor fugaz,
Deja gemir al viento con su murmullo grave,
Y si desciende y posa sobre mi cruz un ave
Deja que el ave entone su cantico de paz.
Deja que el sol ardiendo las lluvias evapore
Y al cielo tornen puras con mi clamor en pos,
Deja que un sér amigo mi fin temprano llore
Y en las serenas tardes cuando por mi alguien ore
Ora tambien, Oh Patria, por mi descanso á Dios! …
…Y cuando ya mi tumba de todos olvidada
No tenga cruz ni piedra que marquen su lugar,
Deja que la are el hombre, la esparza con la azada,
Y mis cenizas antes que vuelvan á la nada,
El polvo de tu alfombra que vayan á formar.
Entonces nada importa me pongas en olvido,
Tu atmósfera, tu espacio, tus valles cruzaré,
Vibrante y limpia nota seré para tu oido,
Aroma, luz, colores, rumor, canto, gemido
Constante repitiendo la esencia de mi fé.
… My lifelong dream, my deep burning desire,
Is for this soul that will soon depart to cry out: Salud!
To your health! Oh how beautiful to fall to give you flight,
To die to give you life, to rest under your sky,
And in your enchanted land forever sleep.
If upon my grave one day you may behold,
Amidst the dense grass, a simple lowly flower,
Place it upon your lips, and my soul you’ll kiss,
And on my brow may I feel, under the cold tomb,
The tenderness of your touch, the warmth of your breath.
Let the moon see me in soft and tranquil light,
Let the dawn burst forth its fleeting radiance,
Let the wind moan with its gentle murmur,
And should a bird descend and rest on my cross,
Let it sing its canticle of peace.
Let the burning sun evaporate the rain,
And with the struggle behind, towards the sky may they turn pure;
Let a friend mourn my early demise,
And in the serene afternoon, when someone prays for me,
O Country, pray that God will also grant me rest!…
… And when my grave, then by all forgotten,
has not a cross nor stone to mark its place,
Let men plow and with a spade disperse it,
And before my ashes return to nothing,
May they be the dust that carpets your fields.
Then nothing matters, cast me in oblivion.
Your air, your space, your valleys I will cross.
I will be vibrant music to your ears,
Aroma, light, colors, murmur, moan, and song,
Ever echoing the essence of my faith…
(excerpt from Mi Ultimo Adios/My Last Farewell by Jose P. Rizal)
There will be a mass at the Himlayang Pilipino Chapel on July 13, 2008, at 9 in the morning. This is to observe the first death anniversary of Dr FG David. Relatives and close friends have already confirmed their attendance, but everyone who knew Dr David in life is welcome to attend this mass.
Ethel P David & Children
A year ago, today, I saw my Dad alive for the very last time. As we had no inkling of course that it was to be the last, I can recall nothing out of the ordinary between our exchanges that day. Apart from his usual queries as to my health (I had been pregnant at the time), our clinical practice, whether Don and I had eaten heartily, nothing of seeming importance took place that day. Except, of course, that I will now always have to bear it with me as the last day I heard his voice and laughter.
July tenth of 2007 will remain as the last time Dad and I exchanged our ritualistic banter about professors and doctors, the last time he made mention of my weight, the last time he referred to my baby ‘Donita’ and how he was looking forward to seeing her. It was to be the last time we would partake of his beloved alimango, to which he devoted much time and effort buying and cooking. It was to be the last time I would feel his reassuring pat on my shoulder as we were leaving for the night.
I remember telling him that we would be by again to see them that coming weekend, which he confirmed once more as we got into the car. There he stood, out on the street beside our green gate, ignoring the slight drizzle that persisted throughout the evening, wearing his favorite pambahay white shirt with the little tear at the collar, waving us good bye for the last time.
As I look back to that day, armed with the virtues of hindsight, I now sense that he seemed more tired than he usually did. But of course Dad never wanted our visits to be about him. He made no mention of how felt that day, even as he came home walking from his night class at close to nine amidst a sudden, unexpected downpour. Romanticized visions would have given us clues that he knew he was about to go. But apart from the usual thoughtful reminders he gave me that night, I had absolutely no idea how significant that moment was when the car turned the corner and I watched him disappear from view.
There have been very few comforts I have derived following the loss of a father who has meant so much to me. To this day the only fragments of strength I have taken have been borne from the knowledge that, because he had long ago accepted that life could suddenly cease to exist at any point, he made sure to live each day to the fullest, making the most of every opportunity to bring our family together. Dad was never one for words, but I now survive knowing he loved us dearly, and, perhaps in another realm or other, continues to do so still.
Good night Dad. Till we meet again.
a mass will be offered at the Himlayang Pilipino Chapel in Tandang Sora
on Sunday, the 13th of July at 9 in the morning
to mark Dad’s first year of passing
… I must’ve been stirred by the trip, so much I couldn’t fall asleep. So, I filled up my time in bed with Beethoven’s 5th and 6th symphonies, with which I rambled in reminiscence of episodes of my life since November 15th 1961 . The corridor of memory has been very long already, especially dark corners and alleys of faraway time. But some episodes were still fresh, as if they only happened yesterday, with their residual feelings still alive. Life, indeed, is how it’s made, given what chance occasions to get made of it. My Listening Center days were still arrestingly clear and distinct against the engaging background of the 5th symphony. The self is nothing more than the memories that are received, stored and accessed—memories that continue and cohere to compose a biography of integrated sub-plots. In its integrity, it looks as if it has been planned, with a necessary beginning, middle and end. Perhaps, it is out of all of these, that many a human being believes in destiny or life is pre-ordained. But even clouds and tsunamis make patterns. The dusts of stars compose patterns of galaxies. Still, life hits with its dynamic unfolding in seeming chaos that produce self and oneness, as if some will within or design somewhere drives or guides it to follow along its line amidst its probabilities…
With Due Respect
Happy 100th birthday to UP
TODAY, I WOULD LIKE TO SING “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” to the University of the Philippines as it celebrates its centenary.
UP noon. In the early 1950s, my batch mates at Mapa High School and I often visited the UP campus. In front of the Oblation, we promised one another that we would study diligently to be worthy of entrance to this great institution of learning. Unfortunately, although granted a UP scholarship, I could not enroll because my impoverished parents could not afford the then 15-centavo bus ride between Diliman and our small rented apartment in Cataluna Street in Sampaloc, Manila.
My classmates were luckier. They all excelled in their UP courses. Among them were Doctors Cornelio Banaag Jr., Reginaldo Picache, Romeo Atienza and Ernesto Resurreccion; Engineers Filemon Berba Jr. (magna cum laude), Benjamin Apolinar and Angelo Manahan; as well as former UP Dean of Architecture Geronimo Manahan.
Nonetheless, I never lost my affection for UP. That is why I cherish the membership granted me 10 years ago in the UP Chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi International Honor Society. That is the closest I can claim personal affinity with “UP Beloved.”
I encouraged our children to enroll at UP. Two of them did and graduated with honors. In fact, our only son Jose Artemio III (Archie) finished with the distinction of being the second student to have earned “summa cum laude” honors since the founding of the UP College of Music and of having the highest average among UP’s 3,300 graduates in 1989. Too, my wife Leni finished her MA (in statistics) there.
During my college days, I specially prized the friendship of UP student leaders. They were trained to think and behave independently. They upheld student rights at the risk of their own studies and careers. Fernando Lagua, the then president of the UP Student Council, was suspended and Homobono Adaza, the then editor of the Collegian, was expelled for insisting on their right to free expression.
UP sa batas. In the legal profession, UP definitely leads. It has produced the most number of chief justices, Supreme Court magistrates, bar topnotchers and lawyers, many of whom (like Raul Pangalangan, Theodore Te, Romeo Capulong, Harry Roque, Emil Capulong, Marvic Leonen and Manuel Diokno) should be acclaimed for choosing to represent the marginalized and the disadvantaged. Since 1946, UP graduates have always dominated the composition of the highest court of the land.
Small wonder then, the UP Alumni Association has deservedly picked Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno as the “Most Distinguished Alumnus of the UP 2008 Centennial Year.” I must say that CJ Puno provoked some of the most memorable intellectual encounters I relished in the Supreme Court. Early on, I described him in my book “Justice and Faith” (1997) in these words:
“Like a trained surgeon, he uses his pen with laser-like precision to separate and excise fabrication from truth and pretension from reality. In the process, he gives life to populist causes and libertarian ideals. Daring, gutsy and erudite, he—like Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes—oftentimes wages lonely battles against conventional wisdom with his stirring dissents and insightful opinions.”
Among the other centennial lawyer-awardees are Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, Court of Appeals Justice Magdangal M. de Leon, retired Justice Leonor Ines-Luciano (lifetime achievement), Antonio A. Oposa (for “environmental conservation and sustainable development”), Loida Nicolas-Lewis (for “global entrepreneurship”) and posthumously, former Court of Appeals Presiding Justice Romeo A. Brawner.
UP ngayon. UP is unlike any other in the country. It has 50,000 students in seven constituent universities located in 12 campuses nationwide. Of its faculty, 30 percent hold doctorates and 42 percent have masteral degrees. It offers the most number of academic programs, 246 undergraduate and 362 graduate degrees.
Some of our most outstanding leaders, scientists, physicians, dentists, educators, engineers, artists, writers, journalists, broadcasters, business persons, accountants, biologists, inventors and entrepreneurs carry UP diplomas.
UP has consistently been the best institution of higher learning in the country. It has always rated among the top 500 universities of the world. Now, as it celebrates its centennial, it is the first of only two Philippine universities (the other being Ateneo de Manila) that were included among the global “Top 500” in the 2007 survey of the Times Higher Education Supplement-Quacquarelli Symonds (THES-QS).
Like Tokyo University in Japan, University of Toronto in Canada, Cambridge and Oxford in the United Kingdom, and Harvard, Yale and Stanford in the United States, UP has produced the largest number of presidents, legislators, Cabinet members, local government leaders and civil servants in the Philippines. Whether for good or otherwise, UP graduates have brought this country to where it is, and to where it will be in the foreseeable future.
May the University of the Philippines maintain its liberal traditions, academic excellence and research standards. May it continue to nurture intellectual and cultural growth, encourage innovation and creativity, and develop its technological and physical facilities. Most of all, may it (like Harvard) secure all the financial resources it deserves so no poor but talented student is ever denied UP education. Maligayang bati po, Centennial President Emerlinda R. Roman, the first woman UP chief.
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