THE Negros Occidental Provincial Government is mourning the death of Ian de Ramos, head of Special Project and Concerns Department, who passed away on February 13.
He was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in September last year.
Before he died, he was able to attend a seminar of Capitol executives in Pampanga and part of the discussion was a sharing about one's last will and testament.
He was quoted to have said that his greatest wealth is love.
De Ramos, who was to turn 45 in April, was among the planners of Panaad as Negros Festival and other celebrations and programs of the provincial government where he was known for his creative ideas and inputs.
He was a registered nurse by profession and had also completed his Bachelor of Science in Education in 1995 and Masters in Public Management in 2014.
His wake lies in state at the Acropolis Memorial Park in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City.
Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said in a statement that the untimely demise of De Ramos saddened his peers at the Provincial Government.
As head of the Special Concerns Division that manages the Panaad Park and Stadium and the Public Affairs Division, he leaves a big vacuum to fill, the governor said, adding that De Ramos was a workhorse and performed tasks given him even up to the last few days before his passing away.
“He will be missed by his co-workers especially during the Panaad Festival week where he was in-charge of some of the major events, from the opening ceremonies to the staging of Lin-ay sa Negros. May the good Lord grant him eternal peace and everlasting joy in Heaven,” the governor said.
Ma. Lina Sanogal, provincial planning and development coordinator, said she is glad De Ramos was able to join them at Clark in Pampanga because he had been happy and did not feel isolated.
“I am sad and we will have to find someone to fill the void he left as the committee head for Lin-ay sang Negros pageant for Panaad Festival. For now, we will just have to come to terms with his passing away and pray for his eternal repose. Maybe also a time for us to think about our own mortality,” she said.
Karen Dinsay, head of Negros Occidental Scholarship Program and Public Information Office, said she is grateful to God for giving all of them, the department and office heads, precious moments to be with De Ramos for three days in Pampanga before his demise.
“In one of our activities, I was able to hug him tight and told him ‘thank you girl,’” she said.
Dinsay added: “I thank God for giving us the time to listen to his last love letter and though it was just an exercise and none of us thought that we will be reading it aloud, that poignant moment when he poured his heart out by reading his letter made me cry.”
He said that “nothing lasts forever and everyone must come to an end, but the love of his family and friends made him the richest man on earth,” she also said.