The greatest gift

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By Tess B. Macasinag

Glowing Ember

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


SOMEONE great passed away recently. He is not someone very prominent or affluent; neither is he someone who has done an outstanding accomplishment. Nevertheless, he is someone dear to me and to the many others whose lives he had touched. He was an ordinary man who measured his wealth in memories and friends.
  
Through this column we honor the warmth, compassion and selflessness that Severo Ampaguey Serrano so willingly shared. Uncle Albiso, as me and my sister fondly called him had proven that indeed everybody can be great; because everybody can serve.
  
His life was a restatement of the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. which says, “You don't have to have a college degree to serve.  You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.  You only need a heart full of grace; a soul generated by love.”
  
Like the rest who have been positively influenced by the life of Uncle Albiso I am so pleased I had a chance to get to know him, a generous, caring and thoughtful man who helped me become a better person. He was such a great part of my adolescent years for the gracious person he was to me and my sister.
  
While we were struggling back in high school, Uncle Albiso and his wife Rosita Onse Serrano (whom I referred to on one of my posts as more beautiful than the flowers she grows),  helped us by letting us work by pulling weeds in their flower gardens in Bahong during weekends. Bahong is a small barangay just below Camp Dangwa in La Trinidad and is where the city’s supply of flowers -chiefly roses- comes from. Sometimes they paid us more than what we worked for. They invited us to stay in their house near our school in Acop, Tublay without asking us to pay any rent. They treated us and their gardeners like we were their own relatives.
  
Charity is the greatest of all and this Ibaloi couple had lots of it. While earning their daily bread, they made sure they shared a slice with those less fortunate.  They had a big heart and a big smile. Had it not been for their help, we could not have managed in high school having been away from our parents who opted for us to study away from them probably to learn about life independently. In much the same way we leave fingerprints on what we touch, their life left a mark on me. The impact their life had on me made me affirm that every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. 

I will always be grateful for the things I learned from this couple’s example. Uncle Albiso and Aunt Rosita had shown us that the greatest gift is a portion of you. Congratulations, Uncle for a life well-lived.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 06, 2012.

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