THIS is an open letter I read in honor of Ms. Salome Y. Bustos on her 90th birthday.
December 8, 2019
Dearest Dang Omi,
I join your friends and relatives in wishing you – Happy 90th Birthday.
You are a blessing to all of us and many more. You have been given a happy and long life because you are one of God’s angels on earth.
You are a blessing to your spouse, Tang Elmer. Tang Elmer used to look at women with “healthy boobs” but he stopped right there because you were his soulmate all throughout. You wed three times – your first marriage was when you were fifteen or so. After 50 years, you validated the marriage in a golden wedding. After 70 years, you closed the deal in your diamond anniversary. Indeed, Tang Elmer is blessed because he was given a virtuous wife.
You are a blessing to your children, in laws and grandchildren. Not, all people are lucky like Aida, Johnny, Mar, Raymond, Marlene, Elmer, Jr. and the late Marissa. Your sons-in-law and daughters-in-law are beneficiaries of your kindness. I am sure your grandchildren want to go back to Masantol because they have Grandma who is ready to welcome them unconditionally.
You are a blessing to the priests. Just like Apung Anti, you placed the men in white in a pedestal. Fr. Diaz and the long line of priests including Fr. Joe Lacap, Fr. Tony Bustos and many others are your trusted friends. Apo Ceto listens to you because you are there when you are needed. Even our scholarly bishop, Florentino Lavarias holds you in high esteem.
You are a blessing to me. Long before I became a lawyer, you and Tang Elmer accorded me respect and friendship. 50 years ago, we were the disciples of Apung Diaz in his education formation seminar, remember?
When I became a lawyer, when no one trusted me with their cases/problems, you allowed me to handle your cases without hesitation.
Since you are our blessing to us, when you don’t feel well, we don’t feel well. When you are unhappy, we are unhappy. When you rejoice, we jump with joy.
You are the most gracious host I know “Kulang namu, ipasubu mo ing ulam.”
Dang Omi, today is your day. You are a part of us. Your smile is a guarantee that you are happy on your birthday.