Taps-A A +A
Saturday, September 1, 2012
AMIDST the melancholy strain of the bugler playing taps, Sec. Jesse Robredo was finally laid to rest after being mourned upon for almost two weeks. The entire nation stood still as we watched on TV the saga of his plane crash to the search for his cadaver until his cremation.
Military funerals have its eerie yet grandiose manner of projecting how great the man was. But in the anguish of all the tears shed with the passing away of Sec. Robredo, we who hardly knew him personally salute the man who has laid so precious a sacrifice on the altar of public service.
Some say he was too young to be taken away. Some say good people die young. Others sigh, what a waste of good man, he could have done more for the country. We’ll never understand the heavenly wisdom of his demise at a very young age. Who knows? May be in death, Sec. Robredo might yet do more than what he was able to achieve in life.
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I must admit there was this lump in my throat that kept on growing and couldn’t be swallowed down as I watched the funeral cortege make its final way to the crematorium. It was like I knew the man for a long time. But I did not know him from Adam. Had he not been appointed the DILG Secretary, his popularity would have been confined only in his native Naga City.
If there is one notable phrase made by one cabinet member during the wake was that Sec. Robredo was quoted to have said—“QUOTANG-QUOTA NA AKO” (I am up to my quota already). Those words attributed to the Secretary plaintively put in proper perspective his dedication to his work and to public service.
The passing away of Sec. Robredo comes in the wake of our recent national disasters at the 2012 London Olympics, the widespread floods in Luzon, outbreak of leptospirosis, and what-have-you which prompted a popular TV news reporter to ask – “TALAGA BANG NAPAKAMALAS NATIN? (Are we really that ill-fated?). Must we always blame “malas” (bad luck) for our spate of disasters in every field of human endeavor? It makes me wonder, will there be an end to our collective sufferings?
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Speaking of the 2012 Olympics, our athletes came home with heads bowed down in utter defeat without any medal to be proud of. No hero’s welcome. No ticker-tape parades. Now our sporting officials are quizzically looking at each other for the answers to our unblemished record of Olympic futility.
After more the several decades of fruitless participation, maybe it is about time that we should accept the fact that we Filipinos are not physically and athletically gifted to compete at the Olympic level. We are simply no match against the Americans, the Brits, the Germans, the Africans, and the Chinese.
I fully agree with the opinion of former Olympian and Ex-Senator Freddie Webb when he opined in his radio show that we should confine ourselves to sporting competitions at the regional level like the SEA Games or in such disciplines where we are at par with our neighbors and concentrate on sports that we have the chance to excel.
With this in mind, I recall the quip my idol Clint Eastwood said at the end of his iconic movie Magnum Force—“man has got to know his limitations.” We should realize and accept our physical limitations that we can’t win in such Olympic sports like basketball, track & field, swimming, cycling, etc. Come to think of it, we cannot even dominate in Southeast Asia anymore. There lies the answer.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 01, 2012.