Saturday, March 21, 2009


It’s been a while since I last blogged. So many things had happened and they were a bit out of hand. A very close friend got married a week ago and helping her in some areas of preparation was part of my duty as her Matron of Honour. But that’s not this post is all about. Something devastating happened to my family. My father passed away last March 1st due to cardiac arrest in San Diego USA where he and my mom lives. It was too sudden that everyone who knows him and the family could not believe it. He never had heart complains for the last 10 years. He was 77. And tomorrow, March 22, was and will still be, “the most important date of the year” – his birthday.

I want to share with you my sister’s letter in behalf of the family, thanking everyone for saying their prayers for my dad and for the family, for constantly sharing us with their love, comforting words, and warm thoughts and concerns.

Read along…


Hello All,

It is now 12:19am of March 20th … and the next couple of days (March 22 to be exact) will be what was always celebrated -- well at least among the Manalo clan -- as the "most important date of the year" … Daddy Deo's birthday!.. He would've turned 78 …

Before I go any further, again, in behalf of my mom, my brother and 3 sisters, and everyone else in our family, we'd like to say BIG, BIG THANK YOU TO ALL for the warm thoughts and concern, for all the support, and for the sympathies and sincerest prayers you have offered us upon Dad's sudden demise last March 1st …

As I had said, the family remains strong and steadfast in the midst of this trying and difficult moment in our lives. And this is partly because of the family and friends' overwhelming expression of love for our Dad and for our family …

Backtracking a bit, Dad was diagnosed to have angina pectoris since 1996 and has been on nitrolingual since then. However, this was used only when necessary … He became conscious and extra-cautious with his diet and was very religious with his medications. Eventually, all that paid off as he was always given a clean bill of health during his Annual Physical Exams and was found to still be fit to work. However, on February 28th, he just happened to have left his nitrolingual spray at a time when he badly needed it. Thus, by 11:45pm of that day, he had phoned my Mom to inform that he wasn't feeling that well and would immediately need the spray as soon as he would arrive home … Unfortunately though, Dad suffered from heart attack, which was actually his first since the diagnosis 13 years ago, and didn't survive ...

From time to time, certain "what ifs" would cross our minds … but later comes the acceptance that, indeed, it really was Dad's time to go home and be with the Lord … We are all just thankful that the attack did not happen on the freeway when he was driving home. He was still able to reach home, even able to park the car in the driveway and spend his last moments with my Mom by his side ... And knowing my Dad, too, am sure that during those final moments, he was fervently praying and lifting everything up to God and then faithfully accepting His will …

During the necrological service held at the Holy Family Parish last Monday, March 9th, there were so many things that I heard and still learned about Dad …from the eulogists who willingly related their memories of him, from colleagues from various socio-civic organizations who credited him for his numerous contributions and projects, from relatives who shared unforgettable moments with him and from family friends whose lives he had touched in one way or another … They all talked about the many acts of kindness and selfless deeds he has done as a faithful servant of our Lord, how jolly and optimistic a person he was and how he was as a man of BIG faith …

Till the very end, he remained to be the selfless person that he was -- he was still of service to others … Dad signed up to be an organ donor … And last March 15th, Mom informed that she received certificates of appreciation from the eye bank and Life-Sharing organizations and how these groups considered my Dad to be a hero for also donating parts of his body to be able to help someone in need. If I may mention, these included his eyes, skin from the torso, arms and buttocks for reconstructive surgery, limbs from his legs to help someone walk, and even a part of his brain to be able to help a person's mind work again. Amidst all the pain brought by the loss, I felt truly proud and humbled at the same time …

You know, as our way of paying tribute to Dad, there were two AVPs which I prepared … They were done in time for the March 7th viewing in San Diego, CA and for the necrological rites here in Manila on March 9th. For some reason, the AVPs couldn't be sent to the U.S. by email before March 7th … and on March 9th, inspite of having conducted some technical tests prior, the AVPs also didn't play during the necrological rites … We were also fortunate to have been granted permission to hold simultaneous viewing online from 3:00am – 8:00am, Manila time of March 8th … but then again, the technician assigned wasn't suddenly available … My mom said that probably, Dad didn't want us to see him – well not yet – in a coffin … maybe Dad preferred it that people would remember him the way he was while he was still alive … and that perhaps, Dad wanted to spare people from leaving the viewing and necrological rites with heavy hearts …

Which suddenly reminded me of a song that Dad once told me, about twelve years ago, to be one of his favorites … That time though, I thought the lyrics sounded kinda morbid so I didn't give it as much attention … I never thought it would take me more than a decade to eventually appreciate the song … I now find it to be very fitting since the words, most especially the chorus part, best encapsulates the kind of memory my Dad wants us to have of him … Add to it, the song's tempo isn't your usual fare of a highly emotional ballad … The chorus says:

And when I die I keep on living
You'll always have my love seeing you through
I'll be your angel up in heaven
Forever all my love will shine on you
Cause baby I love you
Baby I need you
Yes, I do

So this was the song that I used in one of the AVPs …Title is When I Die, and sung by No Mercy in 1997 …

The other AVP simply shows Dad as a father to his five children, as father-in-law to his "manugangs", as a grandfather to seven (going eight) grandchildren and as a husband and soulmate to my mom …

I'd like to share these videos with you, which were both uploaded in youtube … com/watch? v=lSp2DLRsV0w com/watch? v=xFzpbgQB3dY

Dad also always ended his emails and text messages with "I love you 8", which he said meant that he will love us till eternity … I know Dad is in a much better place now and will always look down upon us and take care of us …"Dad, you will be sorely missed … WE LOVE YOU 8!"

It's Dad's birthday on Sunday, March 22 … The family would like to request you to please say a short prayer for him, for his soul, and read thru his favorite Bible verse, Psalm 23 …

Psalm 23 - A psalm of David
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

Again, thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts …

Mom, kids and grandkids

God bless you all!