THE cliché "A person's worth is realized only in death" does not entirely apply to the late third district Board Member Ceferino "Pinong" Laus.

Both in life and in death, the Laus patriarch is without shortage of friends, supporters and allies.

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His wake at St. Dominic Villa in the City of San Fernando has been teeming with people that have been touched by both the political and personal life of Tatang Pinong.

From President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Representative Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales, mayors, village officials down to ordinary citizens, they all lined endlessly to pay respect to the remains of the one of the most respected politicians in the Pampanga. Humbled in death but glorified by kind words of praise.

Businessman Levy Laus, Tatang Pinong's most prolific son, said the Laus clan is where it is today because of the efforts of its patriarch. But it was Tatang Pinong's wish that the clan contribute to the community. This is manifested in the family's businesses on media that continue to extend public service to the people.

"Tatang Pinong's death is a great loss to local politics. The province has lost an institution in local governance. He will be missed," wife Monina "Monz" Laus said.

Monz narrates that it was Tatang Pinong's wish to complete a full three terms in office. But frail health and the physical requirements of a campaign prevented Tatang Pinong from accomplishing this dream; a dream that he would want to be realized by asking Monz to run for the 2010 elections. "He wished that the public service he started would be continued by the another Laus," Monz told this writer.

Monz had embarked on her new task late last year. However, Tatang Pinong was not destined to see Monz achieve great heights.

But Monz maintains that Tatang Pinong has lived his life to the fullest that he does not have any other regrets in life.

"It's all about public service. The Laus clan will continue Tatang Pinong's effort," Monz added. As many mourn Tatang Pinong's death, all should be reminded that his death should also be a celebration of a life, a life well lived.

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