HUNDREDS paid their last respects to former Governor Raul Molintas.
Molintas died in San Francisco, California, on February 14 after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke due to acute leukemia and returned home in the country on March 6.
For nine days, families, friends and former constituents of the governor reminisced his life during his stint in the government while several ibaloi rituals were performed including the butchering of two horses which is believed to carry his soul in the “sang-ayan” (heaven).
A necrological services was also offered by the province at the Provincial Capitol were Governor Crescencio Pacalso offered a eulogy while the thirteen municipalities of the province addressed their resolution of condolences.
Indigenous People Mandatory Representative Sario Copas performed a prayer chant of the Calanguya called “Bad-iw” (parting song).
Copas said the former governor was an astute leader where he brought community development projects in the whole province.
"He was certainly one of the province greatest provincial executive," said Copas.
The former governor hails from Sitio Daklan, Bokod and Central Atok and is survived by her wife Purificacion Suanding, daughter Charmaine Molintas-Likigan and sons Baron Ralph and Gavin Rocky.
"Thank you for being with us in time of grief and for the province of Benguet thank you for giving my father the opportunity of serving the province. As board member and governor my father has love this province and the people of Benguet," said Lady Charmaine.
Baron Ralph described the former governor a humble, simple and respectable man.
"In our one short conversations, he told me always remember you are my son, the son of an Ibaloi, be proud of our culture because while some laugh of our tradition, that's because they don't understand it or because they don't have tradition that they could be proud of. Be proud of our culture because some didn’t have a tradition. No one could take that away, and should take that away because it is part of who you are. Remember wherever you are or wherever you go, you are always a child of Benguet," he said.
Tourism envoy Purificacion expressed her gratitude and recalled the former governor sayings.
"He taught me the humanitarian principles of life, as we would always say we give up the comforts of life so that others may live well and others may be free," she added.
Molintas served the province as board member from 1988 to 1992, then as three-term governor of the province from 1995 to 2004 and died at the age of 60.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on March 13, 2018.
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